What to do with an atoning/non atoning Jesus?

1246718

Comments

  • LeRocLeRoc Shipmate
    Many liberal-progressive types utterly reject atonement thinking. They find it abhorrent, primitive, superstitious.
    Instead of stating what 'liberal-progressive types' think, many times it is better to ask them.

    I don't find atonement thinking abhorrent, primitive, superstitious. I do have some problems with it, but they are of a different kind.

    First of all, I find the question "will I go to Heaven or not?" self-centered. I also disagree with people who overrate its importance in the Gospels. I don't believe they were written mainly to answer this question.

    I also reject specific atonement theories, most importantly PSA. Not only because it makes God to be cruel, but also because I find it utterly stupid, simplistic and uninteresting thinking.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    edited July 2019
    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)!

    So you don't have an issue. It doesn't take much to reconcile these things does it. For the mode of the distribution, the spectrum of thinking.
  • I repeat,
    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.


  • mousethief wrote: »
    You never have yet said how we know the "earlier" stuff is more historically reliable, in absence of independent corroborating evidence.

    First, historians generally find that the earlier a source is, the more likely it is more accurately to reflect an event, though not always.

    Second, what Martin quoted above, I think, reflects that. The scholar I cited made the mistake of not weighting Mark sufficiently imho.
  • @LeRoc
    I genuinely value what you say there and want to return to it. But first I think I am going to do a bit of ranting. I will come back to you eventually, quote you, and continue with what may be some parting shots.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    First, historians generally find that the earlier a source is, the more likely it is more accurately to reflect an event, though not always.
    Historians also assume that primary sources are generally more accurate than secondary. John is a primary source (John the Elder); Mark is not.
    (As I said in the other thread, generalising from Biblical scholars to historians in general is not necessarily reliable.)

  • @Dafyd
    Critical scholarship regards Q and Mark and John as primary sources. Q is early and may have been written by the apostle Matthew, though that's not certain.

    Mark is early and though it's not certain that it in its present form was written by John Mark (an earlier form may have been), it does seem to rely heavily on testimony from the fishermen disciples.

    Matthew was definitely not written by an eyewitness and relies on the primary sources Q and Mark.

    Luke may actually have been written by Luke and relies on the primary sources Q, Mark, and perhaps the "many" other written sources which the author mentions in his prologue.

    John is primary because it is largely independent of other sources but was written late and even admits having a different agenda.
    ____

    Some still claim that Matthew and John were written by eyewitnesses. If so, why did they disagree on the number of donkeys Jesus rode into Jerusalem, both citing the same Hebrew scripture to back that up?.
  • By the way, all that is "bare bones." Even if it's correct, there is still very, very much that we do not know.
  • balaambalaam Shipmate
    I repeat,
    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.

    We know. We have acknowledged this when you said it before. And again when you repeated it. If you think vain repetition will get people to agree with you -- sorry, it just alienates them. Try acknowledging the things you agree with in people's posts. Being antagonistic may not how you wish to come across, but it is how repeating previously acknowledged opinions are perceived. People will think that you have got nothing more to say on the subject if you merely repeat.
    mousethief wrote: »
    You never have yet said how we know the "earlier" stuff is more historically reliable, in absence of independent corroborating evidence.

    First, historians generally find that the earlier a source is, the more likely it is more accurately to reflect an event, though not always.

    Second, what Martin quoted above, I think, reflects that. The scholar I cited made the mistake of not weighting Mark sufficiently imho.

    FWIW, I'm with the scholar.

  • I repeat,
    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.
    Who has said John should be read as “historically true”? I think everyone has pretty much said that John should not be read so much as a historical narrative, but rather, as @PDR said, as a series of meditations, as a theological narrative rather than a historical one.

    Again, we have four Gospels to offer four perspectives on who Jesus was. If the goal was one definitive account of the life of Jesus of Nazareth, one Gospel would suffice. But detailed historical accuracy and consistency is not the goal of the Gospels. Proclaiming who Jesus was is the goal.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    I repeat,
    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.


    Show that.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    A small but significant point is that truth does not mean historically factual. All the authors of the Bible shaped their stories to present certain truths that may not even be historical, certainly not scientific,
  • Is it just me, or have we lost the OP subject somewhere?

    We appear to be going round in circles, like the hamster in his wheel...
    @LeRoc
    I genuinely value what you say there and want to return to it. But first I think I am going to do a bit of ranting. I will come back to you eventually, quote you, and continue with what may be some parting shots.

    That post looks as if it contains both a threat, and a promise!

  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    If I still had my teacher’s red pen, I would repeatedly be writing Repetition, Answer the question set, Source? Etc etc. on the OP’s comments.

    IANAT , where T = Theologian, but we seem to be struggling to move on from the historicity and purpose of the Gospels. I know Tangents are permitted, nay, welcomed , but I am not sure how much more time I can afford to waste spend reading this and the other thread.
    I had thought both questions were going to generate interesting discussion.
  • So did I, and so did other classmates Shipmates.

    *sigh*
  • And I (foolishly) am wondering if I’ll ever get a response, after being solicited so eagerly...
  • By the way, all that is "bare bones." Even if it's correct, there is still very, very much that we do not know.

    This is interesting coming from someone who earlier was making definitive declarations about which gospels were more historically reliable. It looks like you want to eat your cake and still have it. You want to punch people and ideas down based on the historical primacy of Q and Mark, then when called on it, fall back on "there's so much we don't know." Next time you post, you will probably go back to punching. Your self-serving inconsistency doesn't support your arguments at all.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited July 2019
    Well, at least he's at long last agreeing with Me (re the 'not knowing' thing), but otherwise, yes, I concur.

    I do wonder, though, if the parting shots he threatened have, in fact, been fired - without us noticing!
    :flushed:
  • Umm...that link didn't work...
    :confounded:

    Or do you mean that The Rapture has occurred?
    :flushed:
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited July 2019
    *Doh*

    A Homer Simpson moment - 'Hope Springs....' - I think I geddit!
    :grin:
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Martin54 wrote: »
    I repeat,
    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.

    Show that.

    I.e. that.

  • While we wait: for your listening pleasure.
  • Thank you, @Lamb Chopped !

    That was absolutely BRILLIANT.....!
    :grin:
  • I so much love the rhymes.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited July 2019
    TBH, they out-Gilbert Gilbert...
    :wink:

    I rather doubt if our absent lecturer (peradventure he is asleep, or on a journey ) would find them funny, though.
    :grimace:
  • <wickedness ON> You know, at university we had a rule about how long we had to stick around when our instructor was late. It was 10 minutes for a Master of Arts and 15 for a PhD. Do you think... :smile:
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    @Dafyd
    Critical scholarship regards Q and Mark and John as primary sources. Q is early and may have been written by the apostle Matthew, though that's not certain.
    Since ancient times students of the Gospels a list of passages in the four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and arrange them into columns you see that a good many passages appear in three of the Gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke. (The arrangement is called a synopsis; hence the three Gospels are called the synoptic Gospels.) The widely accepted hypothesis is that Matthew and Luke both had a copy of Mark when they were writing their Gospels. But that's not all there is. There are also passages that are shared between Matthew and Luke that aren't found in Mark. There are several possible hypotheses that explain that. One group is that Luke had a copy of Matthew, or vice versa. The other group is that Luke and Matthew had access to a common body of material other than Mark. This common body could be oral tradition, it could be several documents, or it could be a single document. If it was a single document, that document is referred to as Q for short (from quelle, German for source). But many Biblical scholars might use 'Q' more broadly to refer to any set of sources, singular or plural, oral or written, other than Mark, used by both Luke and Matthew.
    Have you got that?

    In history, a source is a document (broadly understood) that we have access to that provides evidence. If it provides evidence directly at first hand, it's a primary source. If it derives evidence at one or two removes reliant on other evidence it's secondary.

    If we don't have the document it isn't a source for us, primary or secondary. We don't have Q.
    Q is not any kind of source.
    There's no reason to think the author of Mark was himself a witness to the ministry of Jesus. (External testimony says that he was reporting on eyewitness accounts.) He (probably) was drawing on evidence supplied at one remove. Mark is not a primary source. (Still less are Matthew and Luke.)
    There is both external and internal testimony stating that the Gospel of John was written by an eyewitness of Jesus. John is a primary source.

    Eyewitnesses can lie or misremember. A primary source is not necessarily more accurate or trustworthy than a secondary source. Nevertheless, secular professional historians will tend to place more weight on primary sources all things being equal.


  • Yes indeed.

    You know, I've always wondered about the Markan priority thing, given that the fathers (as far as I recall) thought Matthew came first. Is it not possible that Mark took from Matthew, leaving out the bits he didn't want and adding in other material from elsewhere; and then Luke came along and (on his own testimony) glommed on to as many sources as he could, including both Matthew and Mark, and created an amalgam of both--with his own new material as well?

    It seems to me that this would explain the current set up:

    Stuff unique to each Gospel < independent sources;
    Stuff shared by Matthew and Mark <origin in Matthew;
    Stuff shared by Matthew and Luke <origin in Matthew;
    Stuff shared by all three Synoptics < ultimate origin in Matthew, though Luke may have taken it either from there directly or from Mark who got it from Matthew himself.

    I've never had the time to go searching for a refutation of this idea, which I surely did not originate. Does anybody know of one? I'm thinking of one that is wholly text-based as it attempts to decide filiation, NOT one that gets half its assumptions from extra-textual ideas (like dating based on supposed awareness of the fall of Jerusalem or some such).
  • @Lamb Chopped I have heard that theory also, when I took Intro to NT in college all those years ago (it would have been about 1981).
  • You don't happen to recall whom from? It suggested itself to me when I had a very similar situation develop amomg the texts I was filiating for my doctoral variorum edition. (I even named the putative missing source Q.)
  • Colm Toibin in A Testament to Mary suggested Matthew and Luke spent time interviewing the aged and grumpy Mary for her memories when writing their gospels, both together and separately. It's as good an idea as anything, but that was definitely written as fiction. (Also a fascinating discussion about what it must have been like for Lazarus, being brought back from the dead.)
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    Certainly there are scholars who still make a case for Matthean priority.

    IIRC (from 30 yrs ago :anguished:) when you compare like passages between Mark and Matthew or Luke the nature of the differences suggests Matthew and Luke are dependent rather than Mark.

    Having just looked at it, the evidence cited in the Wikipedia article on Markan Priority looks like a fair summary of the sort of internal text-critical case for it that I recall.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    In the meantime. What to do with Jesus at all? Find Him in everybody and everybody in Him? Even that tends to the meaningless. I want to be kind and generous and decent and tolerant and... ...and humble and helpful to the max but the opportunities are few and unclear and I usually fail in them, I irritate the wife and lose another game of Age of Empires Definitive Edition.

    As yorl (those who don't scroll on) know over the past couple of years uniformitarianism has utterly overwhelmed any and all exceptionalism for me. I hardly ever go to a church services due to 'the woman thou gavest me' finding it all but pointless. We both do church social action activities. I miss communion. Its numinosity.

    But as for Jesus and the Father - generically 'Lord' (I love the Spanish 'Senor') - they get burst transmissions in the shower, hypno/a-pomp/gog-ically, walking in Their absent presence / non-existence.

    I'm surprisingly comfortable talking to He who isn't there. The comforts of madness?

    And that.

    Keep taking Pascal's wager eh?

  • I, like others, don't hold tight to the academic teaching, rather I have my own feel of things which may or may not be accepted by anyone else. We see things through the lens of the written word thanks to the printing press, before which most information was passed on orally. The Jewish people took great pride in accurate passing on of the oral tradition which was later recorded in writing. Why wouldn't 'Q' be simply that, what everyone knew and passed on about Jesus?

    I think Jesus knew that he was the fulfilment of the scriptures, the law and the prophets, and that his death was a necessary element of the extension of God's invitation to future generations of people everywhere. I'm not convinced that it is helpful for us to be able to connect and explain his death within the existing religious thinking of its time. Rather, it is far more helpful to see his death in terms of his resurrection, and the hope and promise of eternal life this extends to us.

    What shall we do with Jesus at all? The question becomes what shall Jesus do with us? We serve. We are refreshed within the church, we are sent out to serve. We listen. Sometimes we hear. We look. Sometimes we see. We knock. Sometimes a door opens.
  • O, there is comfort indeed in madness!
    :wink:

    What to do with Jesus at all? A very good question...

    It reminds me of last week's Gospel* reading, with Jesus asking Peter, 'But who do you say that I am?'

    (*We observed SS Peter & Paul on Sunday 30th, transferring from the 29th.)
  • This morning I typed out a short rant, and then I paused and had some prayer, and then I took a look at this thread, which I had not so much as peeped at since my last post until now.

    I just finished reading through it.

    I have my doubts about the Philistines being Canadians :smile: but busted my sides laughing at the video.

    And now @Dafyd who at least engages in scholarly speculation:
    Regarding the Q passages common to Matthew and Luke:

    Those passages include long sections that are word for word the same in Greek, suggesting a written, not an oral, tradition. And if those passages are based on an Aramaic original (as some textual peculiarities suggest), it might have been written by Matthew or some other eye/ear witness before being translated into Greek, and that would make Q a primary source, by your own definition.

    There's an old church tradition, discovered by Bishop Papias of Hieropolis, according to which the apostle Matthew composed logia of Jesus "in the Hebrew dialect," probably Aramaic, for congregational use before he departed to preach in other places. Those logia could very well have soon been translated into Greek for use in a Jewish-Hellenistic church such as the one at Syrian Antioch..

    If something like that happened, it could very well explain why the name Matthew came to be associated with the Gospel of Matthew, for that gospel incorporates long sections derived from Greek Q along with Greek Mark and material found only in Matthew (M).

    And now I will post my rant.
  • Short rant.

    It surprises me that no fair minded person shows up here (perhaps a Host who still has some principles of integrity) to say,

    You know, you people are not being intellectually honest or rational here.

    When James Boswell II comes aboard and points out that---

    There is one gospel wherein Jesus and his disciples constantly talk about his messianic identity all the time
    and another gospel wherein Jesus is severely secretive about his identity -- so much so that when his disciples finally manage to tell him that he is the Messiah, he tells them to keep that quiet among themselves--

    and you guys stumble all over yourselves trying to say that there is absolutely nothing the least bit problematic or contradictory in any of that,
    and/or that both are equally true,
    and/or that it is just horrible to raise questions like that---

    at that point, you might want to consider whether it is possible that there is, after all, something wrong, not with James Boswell and the scholars who think like him, but with you and the people who think as you do.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited July 2019
    O dear. Here we go again...

    Try showing a little respect for others on this thread (who may well have a great deal more scholarship than you - I don't put myself in that category, FWIW), and please stop ranting, shortly or longly.

    BTW, casting aspersions and insults at Hosts is really, really, Not A Good Idea.

    I can't be doing with this tarradiddle of a thread - it's a fine afternoon, so I'm going to have a glass of wine instead.
  • No, just cast insults at me. And that was not really very much of a rant, but something that I would sincerely like to see answered, really answered, which you have a history of not doing.

    And as for any Host, let him or her speak for him or herself.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited July 2019
    I have politely asked you to stop ranting, and politely advised you to stop insulting us.

    Which part of that do you not understand?

    I'd call you to Hell, but, frankly, I can't be bothered, and the wine is much more interesting and enjoyable.

    And yes, Hosts are perfectly capable of speaking for themselves.
  • See?

    And note that my comments to Dafyd were scholarly and respectful.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited July 2019
    I refrain from any further 'engagement' with you, James Boswell II, but await with interest comments from other Shipmates.
  • See? Another example of your history of being unwilling or unable to answer.

    And note that my comments to Dafyd were scholarly and respectful.
  • Ditto from me, Bishops Finger.
  • CathscatsCathscats Shipmate
    edited July 2019
    What I don't get, following this wearisome thread, is why it all matters so much to you @James Boswell II . I also have studied about gospel sources, also many moons ago, and while it is interesting, and even fascinating, I cannot see that it makes much difference to how we seek to follow Jesus. And that is why the gospels were written. Sure, there is the scholar's desire to learn, and, for some, it seems for you, to be right; but will it make you a better follower of Jesus if you are?
  • I certainly think so.

    As I have indicated, I came aboard here only a scant few days ago and I will probably soon be leaving with some "parting shots" -- parting shots, however, that I hope will not be contentious but edifying.

    For I am most interested in returning to the questions regarding atonement raised by LeRoc and the intriguing comments of Raptor Eye, and also what you just said.
  • DooneDoone Shipmate
    Just a thought, could it be that the obsession with sources, etc, means one can actually sidestep the difficult, emotional, actual following Jesus stuff (hand up, this is quite often me 🙁) that can result in being able to bury one’s head in the sand a bit, with the hard stuff of engaging with the poor, the disadvantaged, the sick, the lonely, the homeless, the addict, the refugee, etc, put on the back burner? I hasten to add that I’m not saying that scholarly learning and understanding isn’t important, it is!
  • @Doone , that rather chimes in with Jesus' question to Peter, which could be extended thus, 'But who do you say that I am? And what are you going to do about it, in the way you try to live your life?'
  • DooneDoone Shipmate
    @Bishops Finger - an interesting suggestion! Certainly, for me, it’s a lot more about what you do, once you follow Jesus, rather than the minutiae of what you believe. Obviously, not everyone would agree and it is a fine line.
Sign In or Register to comment.