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Old 12-26-2017, 12:16 PM
 
1,168 posts, read 549,571 times
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One of the reasons why I think the 4 Jesus stories aren't literal stories about the literal life of a literal figure, and aren't supposed to have any theological meaning, is because of how "random" they are. Jesus travels to this town, says this weird thing, does this weird miracle, than travels to some other town. The events feel "forced," like the authors are trying hard to make the story fit some predefined template.

But this makes perfect sense if you believe a theory like Joseph Atwill's that claims the Jesus story is based on Titus Flavius's military campaign.

For example, the following happens in the Jesus story right before the "Triumphal Entry" into Jerusalem:
  • Jesus stays right outside the city for days (Why? Makes no sense.)
  • Jesus says that trees that don't bear fruit should be cut down (Why? Makes no sense.)

Christian scholars will say that this is infused with theological meaning -- an unfalsifiable claim. After all, with enough creativity, I can give meaning to any text.

I'm more convinced that this is a parallel of what happened when Titus's military reached Jerusalem:
  • The army camped on the perimeter of the city for days
  • Titus ordered that the fruit trees outside the city walls be cut down

Same with pretty much every Gospel story.
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Old 12-26-2017, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
13,612 posts, read 7,544,457 times
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Back in my Christian daze, I tended to dispense with such questions like why Jesus stayed outside the city walls for a time, as just Jesus being Jesus, using his god-wisdom to wait for some known-only-to-him "appropriate time". Now even as an unbeliever I'm so accustomed to the mythos that I tend not to see it as "odd".

Of far more import to me are the inconsistencies between gospels, the fact that they inherently can't represent good scholarship and research and certainly aren't the "eyewitness accounts" that many believers claim them to be. Also the huge disconnect between the gospel mythos and the much earlier writings of Paul. I think the least-forced explanation is that the gospels were a corrective for (and integration of) the teachings of Paul into a nascent Christian orthodoxy. Paul's celestial being "seated in the heavenlies" becomes a flesh-and-blood god-man, and the gospels establish the mythos of this god-man in a way that tends to get Paul reinterpreted as if the gospel narratives set the stage for them. Later, when the gospels were placed first in the NT canon, this effect was greatly amplified. Paul was teaching something rather like what became known as the gnostic heresy, this was a competitive orthodoxy by the time the gospels were penned, probably in reaction to it, and in the end ... the Jesus mythos won out.

Ironically, the main contribution of Paul that survived basically intact and free of reinterpretation, was the broadening of the new faith beyond Judaism. Jesus is depicted as inclusive of gentiles, "sinners" and others regarded by Judaism as "outsiders". But some believe that Paul's "spiritual Jesus" just didn't cut it after Jesus' promise of the ushering in of god's kingdom failed to come to pass within the lifetimes of Jesus' contemporaries.

Last edited by mordant; 12-26-2017 at 01:57 PM..
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Old 12-26-2017, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Stepford Clone Bozoland
1,577 posts, read 520,787 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KonaldDuth View Post
[*]Jesus stays right outside the city for days (Why? Makes no sense.)
Why doesn't it make sense? What difference does it make, and what's the issue?

[*]Jesus says that trees that don't bear fruit should be cut down (Why? Makes no sense.)
Of course it makes sense. It's an allegory depicting the difference between healthy, loving, productive believers, and unhealthy, unproductive "believers" who bear no resemblance to Christ. The first group 'gives' of him/herself, helps make life better, and reflects the new life in Christ. The others are essentially wasting what they know, and not adding anything of value from their existence. Jesus is encouraging us to make our lives and time down here useful, and using a tree as a wonderful visual. We easily recognize and value a healthy fruitful tree compared to an ugly rotten one.

[*]The army camped on the perimeter of the city for days
What scripture? Regardless, armies always do that. The set up, prepare, plan, etc. Duh.

[*]Titus ordered that the fruit trees outside the city walls be cut down
Are you back in the Old Testament? If so, you do know that Jesus wasn't around in the Old Testament days, right?

Same with pretty much every Gospel story.
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Old 12-26-2017, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
13,612 posts, read 7,544,457 times
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Originally Posted by Thoreau424 View Post
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The OP was referring to Titus and the seige of Jerusalem, ca. AD 70. He's alleging that the gospels are some sort of allegorical or symbolic retelling of that seige.

It's possible, I suppose, but it seems like a stretch to me. Look hard enough and you can see pattern matches / engage in confirmation bias for almost anything.
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Old 12-26-2017, 02:47 PM
 
30,247 posts, read 6,200,228 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KonaldDuth View Post
One of the reasons why I think the 4 Jesus stories aren't literal stories about the literal life of a literal figure, and aren't supposed to have any theological meaning, is because of how "random" they are. Jesus travels to this town, says this weird thing, does this weird miracle, than travels to some other town. The events feel "forced," like the authors are trying hard to make the story fit some predefined template.

But this makes perfect sense if you believe a theory like Joseph Atwill's that claims the Jesus story is based on Titus Flavius's military campaign.

For example, the following happens in the Jesus story right before the "Triumphal Entry" into Jerusalem:
  • Jesus stays right outside the city for days (Why? Makes no sense.)
  • Jesus says that trees that don't bear fruit should be cut down (Why? Makes no sense.)

Christian scholars will say that this is infused with theological meaning -- an unfalsifiable claim. After all, with enough creativity, I can give meaning to any text.

I'm more convinced that this is a parallel of what happened when Titus's military reached Jerusalem:
  • The army camped on the perimeter of the city for days
  • Titus ordered that the fruit trees outside the city walls be cut down

Same with pretty much every Gospel story.
That;s an interesting suggestion. There are a couple of points to bear in mind with the Temple business and the fig tree.

(a). John suggests that Jesus and party arrived at Bethany (perhaps from Peraea by way of Jericho as per the Synoptics) around midday. But John has them stay overnight after supper and anointing and they collect the donkey (put all ready) for the procession to the temple (which John shiifts right to the beginning of the ministry). The story seems to be that Jesus gets on witj the Temple -cleansing right away. The John as I say simply deletes it, but the Synoptics separate it by putting a day or two in between.

(b) The sequence of events arrival, supper and anointing, next day procession and immediate temple -cleansing are al separated in various ways. Luke for instance deletes the anointing altogether and appears to rewrite as a Galilee event. But apart from that, he has the aequencd of events intact (19.28 -on).

(c) Mark and Matthew have the fig -tree event - not Luke. So I think this is common material they picked up, either from a Q -typr document that I call "M' or a version of the synoptic gospel that already had that material in (because Mark, though the earliest of the three, is not the original and neither Matthew nor -obviously - Luke is based on it). There is some evidence that these gospels had to be post Jewish war as they full of references to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Christian argument that it happened because the city 'rejected' Jesus.

This I think is what the fig -tree is all about. Jesus approached Jerusalem hoping to be accepted as messiah and saviour. The symbol of the fig -tree is fruition - the ripeness of God's plan. But the fig tree hadn't fruited the plan was not going to happen, Jesus would be rejected and the city would be destroyed as punishment. That is why Jesus curses the fig tree (as Jerusalem, the Temple and Judaism) as cursed never to bear fruit again. Mark 13.28 underlined the symbolism of the fig -tree as a symbol of the coming of the God -planned events.
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Old 12-26-2017, 03:48 PM
 
9,050 posts, read 3,265,545 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KonaldDuth View Post
One of the reasons why I think the 4 Jesus stories aren't literal stories about the literal life of a literal figure, and aren't supposed to have any theological meaning, is because of how "random" they are. Jesus travels to this town, says this weird thing, does this weird miracle, than travels to some other town. The events feel "forced," like the authors are trying hard to make the story fit some predefined template.

But this makes perfect sense if you believe a theory like Joseph Atwill's that claims the Jesus story is based on Titus Flavius's military campaign.

For example, the following happens in the Jesus story right before the "Triumphal Entry" into Jerusalem:
  • Jesus stays right outside the city for days (Why? Makes no sense.)
  • Jesus says that trees that don't bear fruit should be cut down (Why? Makes no sense.)

Christian scholars will say that this is infused with theological meaning -- an unfalsifiable claim. After all, with enough creativity, I can give meaning to any text.

I'm more convinced that this is a parallel of what happened when Titus's military reached Jerusalem:
  • The army camped on the perimeter of the city for days
  • Titus ordered that the fruit trees outside the city walls be cut down

Same with pretty much every Gospel story.
some say he literally died, woke up, and flew away. We can't talk reasonably until that claim is addressed.

non literal?

use the bible as examples for lessons in life. They couldn't make stuff up that happens in real life so the bible aint bad for that kind of stuff.

the tree that doesn't bear fruit makes perfect sense as a metaphorical lesson in life. Like you pointed out, it can fit where it needs to. A good teacher does that.
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Old 12-26-2017, 09:46 PM
 
2,873 posts, read 899,037 times
Reputation: 744
Quote:
Originally Posted by KonaldDuth View Post
One of the reasons why I think the 4 Jesus stories aren't literal stories about the literal life of a literal figure, and aren't supposed to have any theological meaning, is because of how "random" they are. Jesus travels to this town, says this weird thing, does this weird miracle, than travels to some other town. The events feel "forced," like the authors are trying hard to make the story fit some predefined template.

But this makes perfect sense if you believe a theory like Joseph Atwill's that claims the Jesus story is based on Titus Flavius's military campaign.

For example, the following happens in the Jesus story right before the "Triumphal Entry" into Jerusalem:
  • Jesus stays right outside the city for days (Why? Makes no sense.)
  • Jesus says that trees that don't bear fruit should be cut down (Why? Makes no sense.)

Christian scholars will say that this is infused with theological meaning -- an unfalsifiable claim. After all, with enough creativity, I can give meaning to any text.

I'm more convinced that this is a parallel of what happened when Titus's military reached Jerusalem:
  • The army camped on the perimeter of the city for days
  • Titus ordered that the fruit trees outside the city walls be cut down

Same with pretty much every Gospel story.
There is another angle to it, that was expressed here,

Parallels between the gospels of Jesus and the story of Apollo
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Old 12-27-2017, 05:56 AM
 
6,798 posts, read 10,843,758 times
Reputation: 2398
The "tree" was obviously a reference to Israel.

You are not getting anywhere by reading the story as a fundamentalist, and challenging the facts within it. It will make no sense unless you are familiar with the Old Testament as well. The gospels have very little factual information, as people who had knowledge of the Hebrew scriptures would have known. Read the Old Testament. The gospel stories were entirely symbolic.

This entire thread makes no sense.
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Old 12-27-2017, 08:13 AM
 
1,479 posts, read 356,062 times
Reputation: 1359
I find it odd that anyone with any belief could find scripture that potentially supports their belief, depending on how its interpreted of course, but that alone is suspicious to me.

I think its also odd how much religious law and scripture in general, benefit a totally secular society, its almost like the bible was the absolute perfect 'tool' for maintaining control over a population.
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Old 12-27-2017, 09:01 AM
 
30,247 posts, read 6,200,228 times
Reputation: 4331
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoCardinals View Post
There is another angle to it, that was expressed here,

Parallels between the gospels of Jesus and the story of Apollo
I don't see where the cursing of the fig -tree lonks up withh the story of Apollo.
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