Rossweisse
RIP Rossweisse, HellHost and long-time Shipmate.
Please see the thread in All Saints remembering her.

What to do with an atoning/non atoning Jesus?

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  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited July 2019
    !
    :lol:

    I think we'll live...but I, for one, am beginning to get a little tired of being Lectured.
  • And with respect, it seems to me that it is not I who have the problem.
    Read carefully, study, and think.
    Please don’t tell people who don’t see things the way you do that they haven’t thought about it. There’s no respect on that.
  • "I think we'll live."

    :smile: I surely hope so. After all, it's not really all that bad to admit that Clement was right when he pointed out the the author of John had written a "spiritual" gospel and was not so much interested in "the external facts."

    And I do think there are some things in that rather short piece (I really would not call it a lecture) that you might want to do some thinking about.
  • Good morning!

    I haven't been participating for a number of reasons, none of which has to do with me being abused, or feminist, or told to put up with abuse, or ragged on for being feminist, or any of that stuff. Take that right off the table.

    My participation in this thread will probably be minimal for a number of real life reasons. But also because I'm having a hard time disentangling the absolute barrage of ideas/theories/assumptions/whatsits that are flying at us in every post. It's overwhelming. Though good on you for finally leaving behind all the advertising!

    Now to your post.
    9:21AM
    Lamb Chopped wrote: »

    Those who've been on Ship for years will recall some of our struggles, which are wholly human, embarrassing, and "little faithed" at times, in spite of the miracle. Because miracles do not create faith. They just don't. At most they can serve as signposts to the object and giver of faith, the Lord. But it is entirely comprehensible to me how whole families and John the Baptist himself might have lost sight, for a moment or for years, of the miraculous events they were once a part of. Because it has happened to us.

    @Lamb Chopped
    I didn't respond to you in this thread because I was confused by what said about "miracle."

    I regret to say that I have no idea what you mean by "said about miracle," so I guess we're even. I'll try again.

    ["I'll come in again." Why is Monty Python running through my head?]

    Ahem.

    I understood you to be saying that no one who had had a supernatural aka miraculous experience, such as being told something by an angel, or seeing a miracle, or having the heavens open up, etc.... could later go on to have doubts about what they were told in that experience.

    I know by personal experience that that just isn't so.

    Mousethief had it right. Human beings are variable. No matter how absolutely convinced we are of a particular point, even if God has spoken to us directly, it doesn't take long before we're back in the muck and mire of doubt. That's why faith is a virtue and not simply a static state of mind. It takes some doing to remain convinced of anything that is not constantly reinforced and repeated by the outside world.

    A non-religious example of this is the fact that it is simply impossible for me to eat an average-sized meal without, er, repercussions later--a result of surgical trauma back in 2014. The fact that I still still STILL muck it up and suffer the consequences about once a week is proof that this human, at least, has a damn hard time maintaining her "faith" in the simple proposition "people without a working vagus nerve cannot tolerate average sized meals."

    (Be happy for me--I've actually managed to maintain my faith in this proposition for what, 10 days now? And am correspondingly more comfortable.)

    Now to the latest point you wanted me to address.

    According to the late Gospel of John, Jesus' disciples started calling him the Messiah in the first chapter, even before his ministry began, and continued calling him that throughout his entire ministry, as represented in that gospel.

    while

    According to the earlier Gospel Mark, the disciples (like Q's imprisoned Baptizer) struggled with trying to decide what to think of him, and did not win through to the belief that he was the Messiah until late in his ministry, in the eighth chapter of that gospel.

    I see nothing miraculous there. I see a difference impossible to reconcile.

    One could, however, humbly choose to go with the earlier sources as historically the more reliable.

    First of all, I'm going to question your ongoing usage of "early" and "late" (even within a single book!) as if these were unquestioned, everybody-knows-that facts. They are not. I am no great shakes as a textual scholar, but I have basic training and experience with the proper handling of manuscripts etc. and I know just how much of that vast edifice of "this is what we know about the Biblical texts" is based on shaky assumptions. It's why you won't see me taking so-called higher criticism seriously. I've spent way too much time in the trenches of "lower criticism," that is, manuscript handling, filiation, dating, and so forth, to have trust in the grand conclusions such people make. (Then there's my experience as a working writer, which tells me that people who try to reconstruct authorial processes etc. after the fact almost invariably get it wrong.)

    But enough of that.

    You want to know how it can be possible that Jesus' first disciples could identify him as "Messiah" and "Son of God" at the outset of their association, and THEN go on to "struggle with trying to decide what to think of him" later on. I presume you are speaking of people like Philip and Nathanael in John 1, by the way.

    Again, we're back to human nature. The two guys start off with a bang, but it doesn't last. And really, is that so surprising? Take Jesus' own reaction to Nathanael's confession of could-this-possibly-be-faith-naw-it's-way-too-premature:
    “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”

    50 Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.”

    I see more than a hint of incredulity there. As in, "Seriously, dude. I told you one simple fact which implies uncanny knowledge, and immediately you jump to huge assumptions about my identity? I mean, you happen to be right, but really. I hope you don't make all your life decisions this way. Wait for more evidence, next time."

    And of course Jesus is right. Nathanael et al ARE going to suffer crises of faith. They ARE going to have their doubts, and even fall away at the time of the crucifixion. Because human.

    Really, just use your imagination a little. You are a brand new disciple of Jesus, and you've just started hanging around with him. You are full of religious joy and zealotry. This is the Messiah! This is the Son of God!

    And then you wake up next to him and discover he has to take a shit like anyone else. You watch him eat and drink and sweat. You discover that he farts and burps. This is the Son of God?

    Go on a little while.

    You watch him do miracles. And yet--

    You're sleeping on the side of the road three nights out of seven (instead of in a palace, or at the very least, the home of some local grandee). You listen to him patiently answering the objections of nobodies in rural Galilean villages. You watch him suffer abuse from people who claim to be religious leaders. Why doesn't he just use his power and fry them?

    What kind of a man is this?

    It's not surprising at all to me that they had doubts--or even that their early grasp of his identity went Pfffffft! and they reverted to treating him like any ordinary rabbi. Three years is a long time to maintain the fervor of a new convert. Particularly if your Lord isn't doing the things you think he oughter.


  • DooneDoone Shipmate
    And with respect, it seems to me that it is not I who have the problem.
    Read carefully, study, and think.

    With respect, I really urge you to read carefully and think about what @Nick Tamen wrote in his last post.
  • DooneDoone Shipmate
    And what @Lamb Chopped wrote!
  • With respect, I did read what Nick wrote, and with respect, I think he may indeed need to more carefully to consider what is there in my short post.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited July 2019
    You may think that - the rest of us couldn't possibly comment. Please stop telling us what to think - it's getting tedious.

    BTW, well done @Lamb Chopped for a fine post. You clearly have more patience than I.
  • I think struggle is a very important part of the Gospel of Mark. Once Jesus' disciples have finally realized that he is the Messiah, you would think there would be smooth sailing for them after that.
    They would seem at last to be home free.

    Not so. Almost immediately they are really in a struggle. For almost as soon as Peter says, "You are the Messiah," Jesus tells them to keep that quiet, and then begins telling them them that "the Son of Man" is going to have to die! And boy o boy , do they struggle, struggle, struggle with that, and from then on.

  • BTW, well done @Lamb Chopped for a fine post. You clearly have more patience than I.

    You're very kind!
  • @Martin54
    I'm going to say this to you, Martin, because I think you strive to be fair minded. Without telling anyone what to think, much less you, there are, I think, some things in what I wrote there that a number of scholars have put forward and would defend because they hold up to scholarly examination. (This is not just me!)
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited July 2019
    I particularly liked your exposition as to how Nathanael may have felt, to the extent that I can feel a Sermon coming on!

    My People will be in touch with Your People as to copyright issues, fees, etc., should the occasion arise.
    :wink:

    (BTW, my birthday is 24th August. Let the reader with a lectionary understand).
  • DooneDoone Shipmate
    I think struggle is a very important part of the Gospel of Mark. Once Jesus' disciples have finally realized that he is the Messiah, you would think there would be smooth sailing for them after that.
    They would seem at last to be home free.

    Not so. Almost immediately they are really in a struggle. For almost as soon as Peter says, "You are the Messiah," Jesus tells them to keep that quiet, and then begins telling them them that "the Son of Man" is going to have to die! And boy o boy , do they struggle, struggle, struggle with that, and from then on.

    Try and think yourself into the reality of what they were experiencing in real life - surely it would be absolutely mind blowing! We are familiar with the story and the outcome, reading, re-reading, studying, discussing it, but they were actually living it and they didn’t know what would happen the next day, let alone in the future. Are you really surprised that they struggled, changed their minds, lurched from belief to incredulity? I am certain sure that I would have and still do in my journey trying to follow Him.
  • It is you who have the problem, @James Boswell II , because the question that you are trying to answer is a non-question.

    I applaud greatly the work done on the historical Jesus, because I believe the proces was essential in clearing out a lot of dead wood in terms of ahistorical beliefs. However, I'm not hugely convinced of the value of the conclusions, to which you are so wedded, because I don't believe that history is the purpose of the gospel narratives. Rather I see them as a series of character studies for us in becoming the children of God that we are called to be.
  • My post above was, of course, directed at Lamb Chopped...
    :blush:

    @Doone has also expressed much the same thoughts as LC.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    And with respect, it seems to me that it is not I who have the problem.
    Read carefully, study, and think.

    Your naive arrogance is breathtaking.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited July 2019
    If this were Hell, I would be inclined to be rather less polite, @Martin54.

    Meaningful discussion with James Boswell II appears to have fallen overboard, unfortunately, but at least there are reasoned contributions from others.

  • DOONE SAID:
    Try and think yourself into the reality of what they were experiencing in real life - surely it would be absolutely mind blowing! We are familiar with the story and the outcome, reading, re-reading, studying, discussing it, but they were actually living it and they didn’t know what would happen the next day, let alone in the future. Are you really surprised that they struggled, changed their minds, lurched from belief to incredulity? I am certain sure that I would have and still do in my journey trying to follow Him.
    __________
    Oh my goodness. I have thought myself into their reality, many, many times, and with regard to my own struggles! Their struggles are one of the most wonderful things in Mark!. To be told that the one whom Peter has just called the Messiah (and Jesus didn't deny it! He said keep it quiet, but he did not deny it!) -- to be told that the Son of Man (the glorious one in Daniel who comes with clouds of heaven to be served by all the world) -- to be told that he is going to have to die! -- no wonder Peter rebuked Jesus and said, "God forbid, Lord! This shall never happen to you!"* [you're the Messiah after all, I just said so!] Whereupon Jesus lowered the boom on him: "Get behind me, Satan! You're a hindrance to me! * For you're not thinking the way God thinks, but the way humans think."

    And yet, it is not long before the disciples are getting in trouble again because they can't think of anything now but how great they're going to be when the Kingdom of God comes. Though Jesus keeps telling them he is going to have to die, they keep struggling against g that, not wanting to accept it, wanting rather to believe that glory lies ahead for him and for them!

    Powerful!
    ________

    *The italicized portions are not from Mark but from special M material that HAS to be accurate!
  • And that sort of gets us back to atonement, which I would like to get back to :neutral: .
  • I'll have to think about that...
    :neutral:
  • "And I do think there are some things in that rather short piece (I really would not call it a lecture) that you might want to do some thinking about.
    Okay, sermon if you prefer.

    Please stop treating us like your students or you congregation.
    With respect, I did read what Nick wrote, and with respect, I think he may indeed need to more carefully to consider what is there in my short post.
    And please cut out the “with respect” crap. You’re only emphasizing your lack of respect.

    I have considered carefully what you’ve said. I have, in fact, carefully considered it many, many times over the last three or so decades, because news flash—you’ve said nothing I haven’t read and heard before, though rarely has it come with the pontification and hubris you’ve packaged it in.

    You specifically asked for my response to your response to Lamb Chopped. I gave it to you. I’m sorry it wasn’t what you wanted. But there it is. You’re not convincing me of anything.

  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    @Martin54
    I'm going to say this to you, Martin, because I think you strive to be fair minded. Without telling anyone what to think, much less you, there are, I think, some things in what I wrote there that a number of scholars have put forward and would defend because they hold up to scholarly examination. (This is not just me!)

    There is nothing new. Nothing. Unless you can come up with an original one line proposition. Which you can't. So it's just your disposition. And even God can't change that.

    We're all out of step but you eh?
  • @Martin54
    We have one gospel in which Jesus keeps his identity private until the very end.
    We have another gospel in which Jesus publicly talks about his identity all the time.
  • I think struggle is a very important part of the Gospel of Mark. Once Jesus' disciples have finally realized that he is the Messiah, you would think there would be smooth sailing for them after that.
    They would seem at last to be home free.

    Not so. Almost immediately they are really in a struggle. For almost as soon as Peter says, "You are the Messiah," Jesus tells them to keep that quiet, and then begins telling them them that "the Son of Man" is going to have to die! And boy o boy , do they struggle, struggle, struggle with that, and from then on.

    They do indeed. I have always seen that as Lesson Part 2. "Who do you say that I am?" is the first lesson; once the finally get that right, it moves on to "What do you think I'm doing?"
  • I particularly liked your exposition as to how Nathanael may have felt, to the extent that I can feel a Sermon coming on!

    My People will be in touch with Your People as to copyright issues, fees, etc., should the occasion arise.
    :wink:

    (BTW, my birthday is 24th August. Let the reader with a lectionary understand).

    Heh. Let's do lunch. :wink:

    By the way, I think we're on different lectionaries. Mine has dreadful stuff about the way being narrow and the gate strait, and all that. I'm guessing you've got Nathanael...
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    @Martin54
    We have one gospel in which Jesus keeps his identity private until the very end.
    We have another gospel in which Jesus publicly talks about his identity all the time.

    Uh huh. Both are true. And?
  • Both are not true. The fathers almost rejected John from the canon because of that and other differences.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Uh huh.
  • Yes.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited July 2019
    I particularly liked your exposition as to how Nathanael may have felt, to the extent that I can feel a Sermon coming on!

    My People will be in touch with Your People as to copyright issues, fees, etc., should the occasion arise.
    :wink:

    (BTW, my birthday is 24th August. Let the reader with a lectionary understand).

    Heh. Let's do lunch. :wink:

    By the way, I think we're on different lectionaries. Mine has dreadful stuff about the way being narrow and the gate strait, and all that. I'm guessing you've got Nathanael...

    Actually, I was thinking of St Bartholomew the Apostle, traditionally identified with Nathanael (but AIUI scholars these days disagree), and whose day is observed in the C of E and the RCC on 24th August.

    Fortunately, perhaps, my parents didn't know that, or I might have ended up with a much longer Christian name!
  • Both are not true. The fathers almost rejected John from the canon because of that and other differences.

    When? I hadn't heard of any such occasion. John is not one of the antilegoumena. Please tell me.
  • I particularly liked your exposition as to how Nathanael may have felt, to the extent that I can feel a Sermon coming on!

    My People will be in touch with Your People as to copyright issues, fees, etc., should the occasion arise.
    :wink:

    (BTW, my birthday is 24th August. Let the reader with a lectionary understand).

    Heh. Let's do lunch. :wink:

    By the way, I think we're on different lectionaries. Mine has dreadful stuff about the way being narrow and the gate strait, and all that. I'm guessing you've got Nathanael...

    Actually, I was thinking of St Bartholomew the Apostle, traditionally identified with Nathanael (but AIUI scholars these days disagree), and whose day is observed in the C of E and the RCC on 24th August.

    Fortunately, perhaps, my parents didn't know that, or I might have ended up with a much longer Christian name!

    Heh. With my luck I'd have gotten Maher-shalal-hashbaz (though I doubt he's on the calendar). Or Magor-Missabib.
  • Both are not true. The fathers almost rejected John from the canon because of that and other differences.
    Both are true, and almost doesn’t count (and is, I think, an overstatement).

    There is a difference between “true” and “historically accurate.”

  • Both are not true. The fathers almost rejected John from the canon because of that and other differences.

    When? I hadn't heard of any such occasion. John is not one of the antilegoumena. Please tell me.

    That's such a lovely word - I just had to look it up:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antilegomena

    See? Even the fathers weren't sure/didn't know (for certain, anyhow).


  • It is a cool word, and I can never get the spelling right. Arghhh.
  • Both are not true. The fathers almost rejected John from the canon because of that and other differences.

    Which fathers rejected John? Can you give me a source or sources on this?
  • Sorry, LC, didn't see your similar request.
  • It's okay. Two, and he might notice.
  • @mousethief
    I have never seen a list of specific fathers who questioned the canonicity of John, but over the years I have repeatedly come upon the info that there were some who were opposed to its reception into the canon.

    I did just find this:
    "We know that was the case with the Gospel of John; by the end of the 2nd century there was a faction among the Roman church leadership that rejected the Fourth Gospel and said, "We are..."
    The text breaks off there. It's from a Public Radio squib, but I can't get it to open.
  • Thing is, who's against it matters. There are some people you WANT to be against you. Others would carry real weight.
  • Well, I know that of all the NT gospels, John was the one most loved by the Gnostics. It struck them as closer to their contention that Jesus only seemed to be human.

    However, I think one of the biggest reasons for questioning it were the glaring differences between it and the synoptics.

  • Many liberal-progressive types utterly reject atonement thinking. They find it abhorrent, primitive, superstitious.

    I personally am convinced that the historical man Jesus was himself into that kind of thinking, but there are numerous scholars who do not agree.

    QUESTIONS:

    What are the strongest reasons anyone here can come up with that Jesus pretty well must have been into atonement thinking?

    Or the strongest reasons he must must not have been into atonement thinking.

    Any reasons will do, but historical reasons would be appreciated.
  • balaambalaam Shipmate
    "And with respect...." does not sit well at the front of an accusation that your detractors neither read carefully, study or think. There is no respect here.

    We do read carefully, study and think. And we disagree with you that the differences in Mark and John are a problem, people from different traditions within Christianity all disagreeing with you. Why have you resorted to insulting us when we have not insulted you?
  • balaambalaam Shipmate
    I have got up with insomnia and crossposted half a page.

    The synoptic Gospels follow Jesus from the beginning of his ministry to the crucifixion and resurrection, with little regard for the actual order of events, especially in Matthew.

    John was looking from a different perspective, the glory of the cross, through the experience of the risen Christ in the lives of believers. So we have the I am statements because the believers experienced the risen Christ as the Good Shepherd, the Light of the World, the Way the Truth and the Life and all the rest. It isn't a contradiction, it is a different way of telling the story. Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ has come to live in our hearts. That is John's perspective. It in no way negates Mark.
  • balaambalaam Shipmate
    edited July 2019
    Well, I know that of all the NT gospels, John was the one most loved by the Gnostics. It struck them as closer to their contention that Jesus only seemed to be human.

    However, I think one of the biggest reasons for questioning it were the glaring differences between it and the synoptics.

    Some take the opposite view, that it was written to contradict the Gnostics, though a similarity in style cannot be denied. The request to Thomas to touch the wounds on the risen body says something about Jesus being actually human, even after the ascension.
  • If even Clement way back in his time could look at GoJohn and, comparing it to the synoptics, come to the conclusion that the author was writing a spiritual gospel with little to no concern for "the external facts" or order of events or even the actual words that Jesus said during his actual ministry. Rather, John's Jesus is the Resurrected Lord Of The Church still speaking to his church some sixty to seventy years later.

    If a tape recorder had been running at the Lord's Supper, we would be able to hear Jesus speaking in Aramaic some of the words quoted in Mark, Matthew, Luke. We would hear nothing of the soliloquys in John's five long chapters.
  • I don't think it's insulting to ask people to read a bit more carefully. Apparently it did not occur to anyone ahead of time to see that
    We have one gospel in which Jesus keeps his identity private until the very end.
    We have another gospel in which Jesus publicly talks about his identity all the time.

    To say that both are equally true historically is simply not true. The author of John cared far, far more for kerygma than for historicity.
  • I
    QUESTIONS:

    What are the strongest reasons anyone here can come up with that Jesus pretty well must have been into atonement thinking?

    Or the strongest reasons he must must not have been into atonement thinking.

    Any reasons will do, but historical reasons would be appreciated.
    Yay. Another assignment from the teacher.
    I don't think it's insulting to ask people to read a bit more carefully.
    Of course it’s insulting to suggest that if people don’t agree with you, it’s because they haven’t read carefully or considered what you’ve laid out for them. It’s also condescending and arrogant.

    Apparently it did not occur to anyone ahead of time to see that
    We have one gospel in which Jesus keeps his identity private until the very end.
    We have another gospel in which Jesus publicly talks about his identity all the time.
    And there you go again. Apparently you’ve missed the number of times we’ve said you’re not telling us anything we haven’t heard before.
    It did occur to us. We didn’t need you to explain it to us. We—who are, as has been pointed out, from a variety of Christian traditions—don’t think it’s the problem you do. And that disagreement has nothing to do with not having read you carefully.
  • Actually the synoptics, unlike the Gospel of John, are concerned, though not overly concerned, for the order of events.

    I remember reading one writer who said

    "we have no way of knowing whether the beginning of Jesus' ministry was actually marked by a wedding feast at Cana (John), or by a sermon and exorcism in the Capernaum synagogue (Mark), or by a sermon in the Nazareth synagogue (Luke), or by the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew)."

    That is largely wrong.

    Jesus' ministry probably began as Mark has it, in Capernaum.

    And although Luke puts the sermon at Nazareth first, during that sermon Jesus says, "Surely you will say, 'Do here the things we heard you did at Capernaum'" (no contradiction!).

    And although Matthew puts the Sermon on the Mount first, he makes it clear that Jesus has already preached all through Galilee and drawn great crowds (no contradiction!).

    and although it is true John puts the wedding at Cana first, Jesus is soon after that in Caperanum!

    And why did Matthew put the Sermon on the Mount up front?
    Simply because he wanted to illustrate the truth of what Mark said at 1:27-28 about people being amazed at Jesus' teaching, words Matthew puts at the end of Jesus' Sermon (7:28-29)!
  • You never have yet said how we know the "earlier" stuff is more historically reliable, in absence of independent corroborating evidence.
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