An FYM Poll - Page 12 - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind
Click Here to Login
View Poll Results: Did Jesus physically ascend to heaven?
Yes he did 20 31.75%
No he didn't, it is a pointless fabrication 21 33.33%
No, it is figurative 22 34.92%
Voters: 63. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-24-2008, 10:42 PM   #166
Rock n' Roll Doggie
VIP PASS
 
Pearl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: NYC
Posts: 5,653
Local Time: 03:10 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by VintagePunk View Post
There's nothing contradictory within that statement. I know many people who are members of churches, but attend only sporadically. Their faith is still very important to them.
Yeah, that's me. I'm too lazy to get out of bed in the morning to go to church.
__________________

__________________
Pearl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2008, 02:24 AM   #167
Rock n' Roll Doggie
VIP PASS
 
U2DMfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: It's Inside A Black Hole
Posts: 6,637
Local Time: 01:10 PM
Here's a question I read in a Hitchens interview recently.

To all Christians and religious Jews.

Where did Cain's wife come from?


And I already looked up the 'Answers in Genesis' incest answer.

I hope there is a better answer than that.

I would have clicked on "I don't know" BTW if this poll didn't suck.

I only say it sucks because I hold A_W to a high standard.
__________________

__________________
U2DMfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2008, 02:35 AM   #168
ONE
love, blood, life
 
A_Wanderer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: The Wild West
Posts: 12,518
Local Time: 05:10 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by U2DMfan View Post
Here's a question I read in a Hitchens interview recently.

To all Christians and religious Jews.

Where did Cain's wife come from?


And I already looked up the 'Answers in Genesis' incest answer.

I hope there is a better answer than that.

I would have clicked on "I don't know" BTW if this poll didn't suck.

I only say it sucks because I hold A_W to a high standard.
Ugh, that infernal standard
__________________
A_Wanderer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2008, 09:36 AM   #169
ONE
love, blood, life
 
melon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 11,781
Local Time: 02:10 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by U2DMfan View Post
Here's a question I read in a Hitchens interview recently.

To all Christians and religious Jews.

Where did Cain's wife come from?


And I already looked up the 'Answers in Genesis' incest answer.

I hope there is a better answer than that.
To be a bit academic, it's my view that pre-exilic Judaism was, at least, henotheistic--that is, they believed in the existence of other deities, but worshiped only one God. Thus, it is my view that the Adam and Eve creation myth was probably only about the creation of the first "chosen people," and the Garden of Eden was the creation of the first Jewish state.

Hence, when they are cast out of the garden, we suddenly see mentions of other people and lands, which, implicitly, would have been created by their own respective tribal gods, as the Semitic pantheon is fairly wide. "Gods" like Ba'al and Asherah weren't just random outside gods; they are the theistic equivalent of "relatives." In fact, I believe that one Semitic tribe left an artifact that implied that they believed Asherah to be Yahweh's consort!

Undoubtedly, as time goes on, theology changes, and scribes and priests wish to cover up their past in favor of their current beliefs, things are going to get muddled, and I think that the Genesis creation myths reflect this. No religion or culture has been immune from evolution, and I do not think we should be embarrassed about it. However, I think this would answer why Cain suddenly takes a wife that shouldn't exist under the conventional creationist view; she is from a different tribe and a different land--thus, it was implicit that she and her tribe were created by their own protector god.
__________________
melon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2008, 10:38 AM   #170
Rock n' Roll Doggie
ALL ACCESS
 
purpleoscar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: In right wing paranoia
Posts: 7,597
Local Time: 12:10 PM
It also helps to live hundreds of years so lots babies can be made to justify the population.
__________________
purpleoscar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2008, 05:17 PM   #171
Rock n' Roll Doggie
VIP PASS
 
U2DMfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: It's Inside A Black Hole
Posts: 6,637
Local Time: 01:10 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by melon View Post
To be a bit academic, it's my view that pre-exilic Judaism was, at least, henotheistic--that is, they believed in the existence of other deities, but worshiped only one God. Thus, it is my view that the Adam and Eve creation myth was probably only about the creation of the first "chosen people," and the Garden of Eden was the creation of the first Jewish state.

Hence, when they are cast out of the garden, we suddenly see mentions of other people and lands, which, implicitly, would have been created by their own respective tribal gods, as the Semitic pantheon is fairly wide. "Gods" like Ba'al and Asherah weren't just random outside gods; they are the theistic equivalent of "relatives." In fact, I believe that one Semitic tribe left an artifact that implied that they believed Asherah to be Yahweh's consort!

Undoubtedly, as time goes on, theology changes, and scribes and priests wish to cover up their past in favor of their current beliefs, things are going to get muddled, and I think that the Genesis creation myths reflect this. No religion or culture has been immune from evolution, and I do not think we should be embarrassed about it. However, I think this would answer why Cain suddenly takes a wife that shouldn't exist under the conventional creationist view; she is from a different tribe and a different land--thus, it was implicit that she and her tribe were created by their own protector god.
Well, that's an answer that would satisfy the reasonable.

Then again, those who adhere to a strict reading of the old books would reject the notion that somehow it wasn't done by sheer divine inspiration.

I am familiar with Documentary Hypo.
I think it's most likely correct.

My gut feeling is that your answer to the Cain question is in the same vein as the Documentary Hypo. Paying mind to history/archeology and science.

I suppose what I'm saying is, I figured there was a reasonable historic explanation, what I am interested in, actually, is the explanation from those who take a strict reading and believe the 'word' is essentially flawless. Those who take it more or less literally.

So, I could have asked my question differently.

P.S. Did you choose that picture of Eno because his melon was so shiny?
__________________
U2DMfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2008, 07:16 PM   #172
ONE
love, blood, life
 
A_Wanderer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: The Wild West
Posts: 12,518
Local Time: 05:10 AM
You can get a lot of insight by reading the history of science, especially during the 18th and early 19th century when creationism was the status quo. How individuals attempted to reconcile their faith with the evidence, how the geological record was interpreted as a series of catastrophies (with the biblical flood being the most recent) or how animals common body plans reflect unity stemming from the mind of God (rather than common decent). The history of science is a record of how smart people deal with uncomfortable facts, men who could actually understand the consequences of it, some clung to their particular model and others had to change their views, consequently it is much more illuminating to read than listening to the base creationism expelled from the "Discovery Institute" or imposed by the Louisiana Governor.
__________________
A_Wanderer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2008, 10:48 PM   #173
Forum Moderator
 
yolland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7,471
Local Time: 08:10 PM
As far as Jewish strict-literalist readings go--and only among the haredim (ultra-Orthodox) would you find an insistence on such readings--yes, the 'incest answer,' as U2DMfan put it, would be the only 'correct' one.

I attended (non-ultra-)Orthodox Sabbath school as a kid, where we studied the Cain and Abel story as a parable about the insidious effects of jealousy, and also as an allegory about the tension in human history between nomadic-pastoralist and developed agricultural societies. (Kayin, Cain, means 'metalworker'--the "I-have-obtained" pseudo-etymology offered by Eve is just a pun--and perhaps also alludes to the Kenites, who were known for their smithery; Hevel, Abel, means transitory, insubstantial, a dead end; "Nod," to which Cain is exiled, just means 'wandering'... etc., etc.; the names in this story suggest a symbolic dimension from the get-go. Our rabbi did not, however, address the rather obvious possibility that originally unrelated epic narratives were being knit together here--it was left to my father to point that out to me.) These allegorical interpretations of the story are certainly perfectly traditionally Jewish, as far as it goes. However, we did also discuss the "Where did Cain's wife come from?" question, since it's an ancient and logically inevitable one.

The 'incest answer' has a long pedigree in Jewish midrashic (oral lore) tradition, and is cited as a taken-for-granted by numerous Jewish sources from the classical period--the Talmud; the first-century (AD) Roman-Jewish historian Josephus; various pseudepigraphic works, like the Book of Jubilees and the Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum; the first-century (BC-to-AD) Hellenistic-Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria; and the midrash collection Bereshith Rabbah. While these texts vary on certain details about "Cain's wife," and none spend much time on the matter, they all share the premise that Adam and Eve had numerous sons and daughters (as stated in Gen 5), who married each other--or perhaps more correctly, mated each other, marriage contracts presumably having yet to be invented--and through that means furthered the human race. Since Genesis says nothing about when and in which order these sons and daughters were born (the fact that Gen 5 is preceded by the Cain and Abel story need not mean that all other children came after, as the Torah often leaps back and forth in time); since Biblical genealogies don't generally bother mentioning females anyway; and since the classical sources had no reason not to suppose that all humans must originally have descended from one ancestral pair, this explanation presumably satisfied literalists of the time as reconcilable with scripture.

The mention of the 'incest answer' in the Talmud, while fleeting, is perhaps the most important (at least for literalists), since Jews consider the Talmud a holy book. It's brought up by the rabbi Hoona during a discussion in the tractate Sanhedrin, concerning the rules about various relatives marrying each other. As the rabbis don't consider anyone before Abraham 'Jewish,' Cain's example is largely irrelevant, and Hoona mostly seems interested in joking about how you can tell Adam was a pretty righteous guy for a heathen, since he had the fatherly considerateness to save his daughters for his sons rather than claiming them for himself. Nonetheless, the fact that the Talmud treats this account of where Cain's wife came from as a taken-for-granted would seem pretty solid evidence that this was a well-established explanation at the time.

Josephus offers actual numbers on Adam and Eve's children--they had 33 sons and 23 daughters, he says--but otherwise seems to be drawing on the same midrashic tradition as Hoona. Again, the mention is very brief and doesn't give the impression that the author considered the absence of a clear family tree particularly troubling.

I don't know much about the pseudepigraphic sources, as I've only heard about them, never read them. The Book of Jubilees gives Cain's sister's/wife's name as Awan, presumably a reference to the great Elamite dynasty by that name which was crushed by the Akkadians in the late second millennium BC. The Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum names her as "Themekh"--not really a name, but an epithet meaning 'May she be crushed.' I believe it's the case that in Islamic tradition as well, Cain's wife is said to be his sister.

Philo of Alexandria, who interprets the Torah from a Jewish-neo-Platonist perspective, mentions the 'incest answer' solely to scoff at it as the ironic product of (from his POV) precisely the sort of degenerate mind that Cain himself epitomizes. Philo reads Cain as a metaphor for the arrogant mind that philosophizes in detachment from reverence and humility; when such minds encounter impious ideas, they 'breed' false pride and sinfulness. For Philo, literalist readings of Torah are intrinsically impious; useful perhaps as a starting point for the unenlightened, but hopelessly deaf to the philosophical mysteries he believes the Torah exists to reveal.

In midrash preserved in the classical collection Bereshith Rabbah, which was finalized around the second century AD, Cain and Abel's sisters are said to have figured crucially in Cain's jealousy towards Abel: Cain preferred the sister promised to Abel to the one promised to him, and being the firstborn felt he deserved first dibs on a wife. As a dog lover, I especially like this midrash because it's the source for the tradition that the "sign" God worked for Cain to protect him in exile was Ke-lev -- the first dog, an affectionate play on words meaning both 'the Yelping One' and 'like the heart,' i.e., epitomizing selfless devotion. This midrash also has a great scene where, many years later, Adam re-encounters Cain, whom he's astonished to find alive and well (he'd assumed God destroyed him for murdering Abel), and, upon seeing that Cain received some reprieve from God for having acknowledged his guilt and humbly begged for mercy, Adam has a four-hanky 'Son,-You're-A-Better-Man-Than-Me' moment where he realizes that Cain was able to do the one thing he couldn't (back in Eden)--accept responsibility for his own sin, rather than blaming it on the woman he desired.




So...that's an overview, at least, of the oldest surviving written sources for the 'incest answer.' The traditional hermeneutical and exegetical principles laid out in the Talmud expressly do not require exclusively literal readings of Torah and Tanakh, and Genesis in particular has often been interpreted allegorically in Jewish history. It's likely that the defensive dread towards all other interpretations you may encounter among the haredim is a largely modern phenomenon--for some, the existence today of an authoritative alternative explanation for mankind's origins can imbue what used to be fluid with tensions requiring a newfound rigidity.
__________________
yolland [at] interference.com


μελετώ αποτυγχάνειν. -- Διογένης της Σινώπης
yolland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2008, 11:46 PM   #174
ONE
love, blood, life
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Tempe, Az USA
Posts: 12,856
Local Time: 12:10 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by yolland View Post
; the first-century (AD) Roman-Jewish historian Josephus; .
Josephus as I understood it was credible secular historian living at the time of Christ.

Didn't this same Josephus being a contemporary of Chist -have this to say about Him ? :

3. (63) Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. (64) And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross [2], those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day [3], as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named for him, are not extinct at this day.


<>
__________________
diamond is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2008, 06:07 PM   #175
Forum Moderator
 
yolland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7,471
Local Time: 08:10 PM
I'm not sure what you mean by 'secular'; Josephus describes himself as an observant Jew from a priestly family, which is exactly how he comes across in the numerous works he authored (though his life experiences were very unusual for a Jew from Judaea of his time). He was a near-contemporary of Jesus rather than a contemporary, since he was born in AD 37, after Jesus' death. As for 'credibility,' that's awfully hard to summarize concisely, but yes, he'd generally be considered fairly reliable by the standards for historians of his day--which is to say, he's a useful source for events during and close to his lifespan, but the further back in time he goes, the heftier the spoonful of salt one must take his words with, as he relies increasingly on Jewish religious sources alone for "documentation."

At any rate, the specific five-sentence passage you're quoting--which is so famous in Christian history as to warrant its own name, the Testimonium Flavianum--has been highly controversial since the 17th century concerning whether it's original to Josephus, a later Christian scribe's interpolation, or a mixture of both (with the latter opinion currently prevailing among historians and theologians). I really don't know all that much about this debate. The first Christian writer to have clearly read Josephus' Antiquitates Judaicae (the work the Testimonium comes from) was the Church father Origen, who quotes from it extensively in his Contra Celsum, ca. 240 AD. However, Origen doesn't mention the Testimonium at all, though he does quote the very brief mention of Jesus found in Josephus' account of James the Just's execution, later in Antiquitates: "adelphon Iesou, tou legomenou Christou"--' [James] the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ'--which is indeed all that second passage, the only other reference to Jesus in Josephus' works, has to say about Jesus, based on all known manuscripts and citations of Antiquitates. Origen also disapprovingly writes of Josephus "kaitoi ge apiston to Iesou os Christo"--that he did not believe in 'Jesus as Christ.' Since the Testimonium's third sentence specifically proclaims 'Jesus was the Christ,' and also has much more (positive) to say about Jesus than that fleeting second mention, it's hard to account for why Origen doesn't cite it, especially since he quotes another passage (unrelated to Jesus) from the exact same chapter the Testimonium appears in.

The bishop Eusebius of Caesarea was the first Christian writer to quote the Testimonium in its present form, ca. 320 AD, in his Historia Ecclesiastica. The church father Jerome quotes it as well (392 AD, in De viris illustribus) with the difference that he quotes the third sentence as "Credebatur esse Christus" ('He was believed to be the Christ') rather than "He was the Christ." Three further works--an anti-Jewish apologetics text by the anonymous "Pseudo-Hegesippus," written probably in the late 4th or early 5th century; the Byzantine bishop Theoderet of Cyrrhus’ 5th-century AD commentary on Daniel; and the twelfth-century Syriac patriarch Michael the Syrian’s Chronicles--quote the Testimonium exactly as Jerome did, all of them noting that Josephus was an “unbeliever.” After that point in time, pretty much all Christian writers are clearly quoting from manuscripts in which the Testimonium appears in its present form.

While there are Jewish manuscripts (usually in Yiddish) of Josephus by the High Middle Ages, they’re uniformly of poor quality and heavily adulterated with other materials drawn from unclear sources; it seems that later Jewish scholars only came to know Josephus through Christian writers’ frequent use of the Testimonium in anti-Jewish apologetics. This isn’t particularly surprising--Josephus wrote in the immediate aftermath of the destruction of Jerusalem and the enslavement or forced emigration of much of Judaea’s population to far-flung corners of the classical world, hardly the opportune moment to establish himself as a scholar among his peers; plus, he wrote primarily for a Roman audience anyway, as a Roman citizen and Flavian patron, considering himself an apologist for the Jews (not just in the religious sense). Furthermore, Josephus had actually been captured by Vespasian’s troops during the Jewish revolt, and as ‘probation’ later worked as a translator for the Romans, encouraging Jewish forces to surrender--which likely did little for whatever reputation among his people his priestly background and obviously high level of Jewish learning might otherwise have secured him. Therefore, the debate over the Testimonium’s authenticity has always been, and largely remains, a debate among Christian scholars.

In the late 16th century, Protestant writers began to challenge the authenticity of numerous sources frequently drawn on in Catholic writings, among them the Testimonium Flavianum. Initially, these challenges were quite heavy-handedly political in nature, premised not on actual textual evidence but dubious claims to the effect that no Jew would’ve had anything but vicious and hostile things to say about Jesus and Christians, therefore the entire passage must be a fake—ironically mirroring the same anti-Semitic attitudes in which Catholic writers’ citations of the Testimonium were often steeped (by way of example: another passage from Josephus that was ever-popular with Catholic sources briefly mentions a Jewish woman named Maria, who allegedly ate her own child’s body to survive during the Roman siege of Jerusalem; this became a favorite illustration of Jewish perfidy and ‘blood libel’ savagery) . By the mid-17th century, however, Protestant scholars had begun to point out the conflicting evidence from Origen, Jerome et al. for the Testimonium’s authenticity. The controversy continues to this day, and as I mentioned earlier, the prevailing scholarly theory at this point is that the Testimonium is probably partially interpolation, but not a wholesale fabrication. Critical study of the passage usually focuses on the phrases “if indeed one ought to call him a man,” “He was the Christ,” and “On the third day he appeared to them restored to life, for the prophets of God had prophesied these and countless other marvelous things about him.” Some scholars believe that those phrases are probably wholly interpolated, while others--pointing to the slight but significant difference in the third sentence’s wording found in Jerome and others—suggest that similar minor alterations may have been made to the other two problematic phrases, transforming what were originally Josephus’ observations about what Christians believed to be true into a seeming profession of what Josephus himself believed to be true. The problem, of course, is that even assuming a generally positive opinion of Jesus and Christians on Josephus’ part (which is certainly possible), it’s extremely difficult to read those particular phrases as anything less than explicit professions of Christian faith, and nothing else in the roughly one thousand surviving pages’ worth of Josephus’ works we have—which, again, mention Jesus only one other time, fleetingly and rather unremarkably: “Jesus, who was called Christ”—suggest that Josephus was anything other than a mainstream, if highly educated, Jew in his beliefs. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that there’s much in the way of ‘smoking gun’ new evidence left to be found out there.
__________________
yolland [at] interference.com


μελετώ αποτυγχάνειν. -- Διογένης της Σινώπης
yolland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2008, 09:46 PM   #176
ONE
love, blood, life
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Tempe, Az USA
Posts: 12,856
Local Time: 12:10 PM
Interesting yolland, by secular I meant non Christian.

After 96 AD Christians went underground and were being killed by the Romans.

When you match up the Dead Sea Scrolls with the writings of Josephus they more or less corroborate one another.

The Dead Sea Scrolls also corroborate the Book of Mormon in a few areas.

It's all fascinating to me testifying of Christ's authenticity.

<>
__________________
diamond is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2008, 10:12 PM   #177
ONE
love, blood, life
 
melon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 11,781
Local Time: 02:10 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamond View Post
Interesting yolland, by secular I meant non Christian.
If that's how you define "secular," then it sounds like you need to brush up on your definitions.
__________________
melon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2008, 10:18 PM   #178
ONE
love, blood, life
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Tempe, Az USA
Posts: 12,856
Local Time: 12:10 PM
Faux pas on my part.

I meant "secular" in that the writings of Josepus were historical in nature and not of canonized scripture.

Geez.

<>
__________________

__________________
diamond is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:10 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com