Jump to content




Welcome to Unexplained Mysteries! Please sign in or create an account to start posting and to access a host of extra features.


- - - - -

God, Mary and Jesus, the original Trinity


  • Please log in to reply
134 replies to this topic

#121    Elfin

Elfin

    Remote Viewer

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 538 posts
  • Joined:01 Aug 2013
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:UK

Posted 05 September 2013 - 11:22 PM

View Posteight bits, on 05 September 2013 - 11:09 PM, said:

If you mean Acts 1:14, that pretty much is shown to be figurative by the next verse, 1:15, where the Eleven + some women including Mother Mary + his "brothers" comes to 120 people (I know, insert Catholic family-size joke here) and, for good measure, Peter addresses these "brothers." That assemblage turns out to include Joseph-Justus and Matthias, neither of whom have ever been suggested as Jesus' kin and, to run for the office in question, both need to have been with the ministry from the day of the baptism of Jesus, which is not how anybody suggests the "family" worked.

For Paul's uses of "Brother(s) of the Lord." I'd like to take some time (not necessarily a huge word count), since there are known problems with "Who's Who" in Paul's Jerusalem. So, I would like to move carefully, return to this fresh tomorrow (my time), and also give you fair warning if you have an objection:

If there is no objection, then I will not argue for, but instead argue based upon the assumption that Simon, Peter and Cephas are all names of the same person and that James the Brother of the Lord and the James with whom Paul makes a deal years later are the same person (Galatians Chapters 1 and 2), and that this James is one of the Brothers of the Lord whom Paul depicts as having a wife (1 Corinthians 9: 5), as well as the James who gets his own appearance in 1 Corinthians 15:7. Other patterns of identification are possible, and Christian apologists may prefer other assignments of identity. That is my preferred pattern.

More later, and you can counterpropose a "Who's Who" if you'd like.

No, the next verse refers to another, larger group of people, the believers.

If your argument involves a whole complicated chain of reasoning to explain why the text says something other than what it says, then I will not find it convincing.


#122    Paranoid Android

Paranoid Android

    ????????

  • 25,426 posts
  • Joined:17 Apr 2005
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sydney

  • Paranoid Android... No power in the verse can stop me...

Posted 05 September 2013 - 11:45 PM

View PostElfin, on 05 September 2013 - 03:53 PM, said:



Well, I happen to think that a mention in the Koran of the Trinity of God, Mary and Jesus counts as good evidence. Not proof, but good evidence. Your opinion may differ.
Forgive me, I'm just not able to see how a seventh century Arabic text trumps 1st, 2nd and 3rd century texts written by Christians who outline their belief in father/son/spirit.


Quote

What is undeniable, however, is that the gospels tell us that Jesus had brothers and sisters, but some Christians (not you) are trying to cover this up.
Is it such a big deal if some believe that? To me, the procreational productivity of Mary is such a minor point that I wouldn't bother arguing with a Christian who believed one way or another.

Posted Image

My blog is now taking a new direction.  Dedicated to my father who was a great inspiration in my life, I wish to honour his memory (RIP, dad) by sharing with the world what he had always kept to himself.  More details, http://www.unexplain...showentry=27811

#123    Codemonger

Codemonger

    Ectoplasmic Residue

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 140 posts
  • Joined:06 Aug 2013
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Canada

  • "I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people" - Isaac Newton

Posted 06 September 2013 - 01:33 AM

View PostParanoid Android, on 05 September 2013 - 11:45 PM, said:

Forgive me, I'm just not able to see how a seventh century Arabic text trumps 1st, 2nd and 3rd century texts written by Christians who outline their belief in father/son/spirit.


Is it such a big deal if some believe that? To me, the procreational productivity of Mary is such a minor point that I wouldn't bother arguing with a Christian who believed one way or another.

I think the argument Elfin is eluding to is trying to disprove the dogma of the Catholic Church:

http://en.wikipedia....late_Conception

vs.

http://en.wikipedia...._birth_of_Jesus

I personally would have to agree with you, that in the end this is a minor point ... I do think theological debates are great and healthy, I just wish people could be more tolerant.


#124    eight bits

eight bits

    ...

  • Member
  • 6,167 posts
  • Joined:24 May 2007

Posted 06 September 2013 - 08:17 AM

Elfin

Quote

No, the next verse refers to another, larger group of people, the believers.
I understand that that's how you read it. I am telling you how I read it. There are no verse distinctions in the original. Those were added much later. There is no "break" between the brothers who are in the house,  the brothers whom Peter rises among to address in the next sentence, and the people he addresses as his brothers in the sentence after that.

You talk context, yet you complain when others notice that the same word is used three times in rapid succession, by one of the most skilled prose stylists of his century. There is no cause for any doubt that the "brothers" whom Peter rises to address are the same men as those whom Peter immediately addresses as "brothers." There is no textual foundation for the brothers in the house where Peter speaks to be anybody else but just those brothers to whom he speaks.

Quote

If your argument involves a whole complicated chain of reasoning to explain why the text says something other than what it says, then I will not find it convincing.
What makes you think the object of this discussion is to convince you? Surely, you can't possibly be seeking to convince anybody else. Why do you imagine anybody else seeks to convince you?

What we have of Paul is business correspondence, haphazardly selected and only one side of what was originally a two-way series of communications. Some "chain of reasoning" is necessary to work out almost any aspect of what Paul wrote. Complicated? That's in the eye of the beholder. I imagine it's much simpler than the chain of reasoning making a Seventh Century non-Christian witness to a supposed First Century secret Christian doctrine that left no trace ever, whose contrary was universally taught by Orthodox and many "heretics" alike in the Fourth Century, and forever afterwards.

In brief compass, then, Paul's James appears to have a different father (Zebedee) from Jesus and a different mother (Salome). That eliminates their being literal brothers or half-brothers. James' full brother in the story is John.

codemonger

Quote

I think the argument Elfin is eluding to is trying to disprove the dogma of the Catholic Church:
Rhetorically isolating the Roman Catholic Church is unproductive. The belief is shared by the Eastern Orthodox, Eastern-rite Catholic, and Oriental Orthodox churches, as well as some Anglicans and some Lutherans. All told, it's around 2:1 among living Nicene Christians in favor of the belief. The belief may be unimportant among living Christians who do not subscribe to it, but their predecessors killed and were in their turn killed over the question. Apparently it seemed important enough to all Christians at one time. As other posters have noted, the belief is still thought to be important among those living Christians who do hold it.

For heathens like me, the question is important for the same reason that any other historical fact is important. More specifically, the vita of Jesus is a landmark of First Century Western literature. I cannot imagine being interested in ancient Western literature at all, and being uninterested in what the most prominent works of that age say about Jesus' family situation.

Posted Image

#125    Elfin

Elfin

    Remote Viewer

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 538 posts
  • Joined:01 Aug 2013
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:UK

Posted 06 September 2013 - 08:37 AM

It's not much good as "literature" if it uses words like brother in an ambiguous and metaphorical sense without any contextual clues. Why didn't the author say what he meant? This is the problem with those who seek to change the meaning of the text, they are actually doing a disservice to the very scripture they hold dear, turning it into an amorphous, meaningless mess.

I didn't receive an answer to the following question before, so I'll ask it again. If words like "brother" can be regarded at metaphorical in any or all contexts, then why not other words or phrases such as "mother", "virgin" or "son of god"? Why are these to be taken literally?


#126    eight bits

eight bits

    ...

  • Member
  • 6,167 posts
  • Joined:24 May 2007

Posted 06 September 2013 - 10:10 AM

Quote

It's not much good as "literature" if it uses words like brother in an ambiguous and metaphorical sense without any contextual clues.
Language is like that; how can literature ever be different from language? Do you really want to read

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers,
metaphorically speaking, although with many of you, and you know who you are, we are literally cousins, which, I admit, isn't really as close as brotherhood, but, hyperbolic or not, definitely is a significantly closer degree of kinship than I have with some others in this audience, many of whom are no genetlemen at all, vile even, speaking of which, and still figuratively...

Holy Cow, if Henry V talked like that, we'd all be speaking French now.

Quote

I didn't receive an answer to the following question before, so I'll ask it again. If words like "brother" can be regarded at metaphorical in any or all contexts, then why not other words or phrases such as "mother", "virgin" or "son of god"? Why are these to be taken literally?
"Son of God" is sometimes used metaphorically in the canon. I wasn't aware that anybody denied that. I assume you mean mother and virgin as descritptive of Mary. Mother is taken as literal because Mary is described as giving birth to Jesus, for example, Luke 2:7, which occurs just after she has been described as "with child." Similarly, Mary describes herself as having had no relations with a man (Luke 1: 34). In context (that she will soon have a baby, according to Gabriel), this would reasonably be taken to refer to sexual inexperience. By the nature of the claim, there can be no other witnesses.

Posted Image

#127    Elfin

Elfin

    Remote Viewer

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 538 posts
  • Joined:01 Aug 2013
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:UK

Posted 06 September 2013 - 10:44 AM

View Posteight bits, on 06 September 2013 - 10:10 AM, said:

Language is like that; how can literature ever be different from language? Do you really want to read

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers,
metaphorically speaking, although with many of you, and you know who you are, we are literally cousins, which, I admit, isn't really as close as brotherhood, but, hyperbolic or not, definitely is a significantly closer degree of kinship than I have with some others in this audience, many of whom are no genetlemen at all, vile even, speaking of which, and still figuratively...

Holy Cow, if Henry V talked like that, we'd all be speaking French now.


"Son of God" is sometimes used metaphorically in the canon. I wasn't aware that anybody denied that. I assume you mean mother and virgin as descritptive of Mary. Mother is taken as literal because Mary is described as giving birth to Jesus, for example, Luke 2:7, which occurs just after she has been described as "with child." Similarly, Mary describes herself as having had no relations with a man (Luke 1: 34). In context (that she will soon have a baby, according to Gabriel), this would reasonably be taken to refer to sexual inexperience. By the nature of the claim, there can be no other witnesses.

You have missed the point. The context of the Shakespeare quote makes it clear that a metaphorical use is intended. No such context occurs in the gospels when Jesus's brothers are mentioned.

So, when Jesus is referred to as the "son of god" we need not take this literally?

I could also add that trying to explain away the mention of his brothers by a different argument each time is merely special pleading.

Edited by Elfin, 06 September 2013 - 10:50 AM.


#128    Elfin

Elfin

    Remote Viewer

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 538 posts
  • Joined:01 Aug 2013
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:UK

Posted 06 September 2013 - 11:02 AM

Let me play devil's advocate for a moment, to expose the vacuousness of the "metaphorical brothers" argument.

If these group of people described as brothers are to be understood as brothers only in a metaphorical sense, then they must be a group of men to whom Jesus was close in some way. They were not his disciples, who are listed, and named, as a separate group. But his disciples are his closest companions. Why is it that some other group of men deserve to be called "brothers", but not his disciples?


#129    eight bits

eight bits

    ...

  • Member
  • 6,167 posts
  • Joined:24 May 2007

Posted 06 September 2013 - 12:47 PM

Quote

If these group of people described as brothers are to be understood as brothers only in a metaphorical sense, then they must be a group of men to whom Jesus was close in some way. They were not his disciples, who are listed, and named, as a separate group. But his disciples are his closest companions. Why is it that some other group of men deserve to be called "brothers", but not his disciples?
The pattern of use in Acts is that the group described as brothers by Luke and whom Peter is quoted as addressing with the term "brothers" presumably includes the disciples. I gather that everybody in the house at the time, men and women, were people to whom Jesus was close, in one way or another, to one degree or another.

Wilbur and Orville Wright had three other brothers, Lorin, Reuchlin and Otis. They were all brothers, but only Wilbur and Orville were "the pioneers of aviation." To say that does not deny their brotherhood, but further distinguishes them within a set of brothers.

Posted Image

#130    Elfin

Elfin

    Remote Viewer

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 538 posts
  • Joined:01 Aug 2013
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:UK

Posted 06 September 2013 - 12:57 PM

View Posteight bits, on 06 September 2013 - 12:47 PM, said:

The pattern of use in Acts is that the group described as brothers by Luke and whom Peter is quoted as addressing with the term "brothers" presumably includes the disciples. I gather that everybody in the house at the time, men and women, were people to whom Jesus was close, in one way or another, to one degree or another.

Wilbur and Orville Wright had three other brothers, Lorin, Reuchlin and Otis. They were all brothers, but only Wilbur and Orville were "the pioneers of aviation." To say that does not deny their brotherhood, but further distinguishes them within a set of brothers.

That's just special pleading though, and it doesn't cover the other instances where his brothers are mentioned and named.

If the gospels cannot be trusted to mean brothers when they say brothers, without any hint of metaphorical use, then they cannot be trusted on anything. That's the fundamental dilemma that has presumably silenced all the anti-brother Christian apologists in this debate.


#131    ambelamba

ambelamba

    Just an average guy who tries to be...NORMAL!!!!

  • Member
  • 3,332 posts
  • Joined:26 Mar 2008
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Entertainment Capital of the World

  • It's good to be mildly skeptical to remain sane. But too much of it will make you a douche.

Posted 06 September 2013 - 01:26 PM

View PostElfin, on 06 September 2013 - 12:57 PM, said:

That's just special pleading though, and it doesn't cover the other instances where his brothers are mentioned and named.

If the gospels cannot be trusted to mean brothers when they say brothers, without any hint of metaphorical use, then they cannot be trusted on anything. That's the fundamental dilemma that has presumably silenced all the anti-brother Christian apologists in this debate.

Why don't we just argue with the translators who worked on the Bible? They should have used the word 'cousin' if that's what really meant. And guess what, seems like that kind of stretch happened everywhere in the Bible, except for that 'brothers meaning cousins' part.

Someone I somewhat respect has some decent knowledge in koine greek, and he definitely has some good insight in this issue. Hey, Bart! You should write a new book on this!!!!! Stat!!!!!

They came with a Bible and their religion. stole our land, crushed our spirit, and now they tell us we should be thankful to the Lord for being saved.

-Chief Pontiac (1718-1769)

#132    eight bits

eight bits

    ...

  • Member
  • 6,167 posts
  • Joined:24 May 2007

Posted 06 September 2013 - 03:08 PM

Elfin

Quote

That's just special pleading though, and it doesn't cover the other instances where his brothers are mentioned and named.
No, it is answering the question you asked me. If you have a further question, about a different aspect of this figure of speech, then ask it.

Quote

If the gospels cannot be trusted to mean brothers when they say brothers, without any hint of metaphorical use, then they cannot be trusted on anything.
Well, by what you will doubtless see as a happy coincidence, the ample majority of Christians avail themselves of a larger deposit of faith than the Bible alone. This issue in particular became affirmative doctrine, for those who adopted it, by reliance on supplementary materials.

Quote

That's the fundamental dilemma that has presumably silenced all the anti-brother Christian apologists in this debate.
I didn't notice anybody being "silenced," and I am unsure what "anti-brother" means. Pro- and anti- doesn't seem to have much to do with it; he did or he didn't. I wasn't there. Going by the canonical text, what is clear to me is that whether he did or did not, a lot of people who are called his "brother" in the texts weren't his brothers literally.

ambelamba

Quote

Why don't we just argue with the translators who worked on the Bible? They should have used the word 'cousin' if that's what really meant.
Whether that is the translator's proper role is debatable. If you, as a reader without knowledge of Greek (and Koine is a specialist language, even more so than Classical Latin and Attic Greek) are serious about both what the text says and what was meant, then there are many good "study Bibles" with scholarly notes, cross-references, variations in the textual witness, etc.

Posted Image

#133    Elfin

Elfin

    Remote Viewer

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 538 posts
  • Joined:01 Aug 2013
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:UK

Posted 06 September 2013 - 03:45 PM

Let me try another suggestion.

Based on the text alone, and ignoring later doctrine, is there any reason to reject that brothers are meant literally in the passages without metaphorical context?


#134    eight bits

eight bits

    ...

  • Member
  • 6,167 posts
  • Joined:24 May 2007

Posted 06 September 2013 - 06:40 PM

Elfin

Quote

Based on the text alone, and ignoring later doctrine, is there any reason to reject that brothers are meant literally in the passages without metaphorical context?
As I mentioned earlier, nothing in my posts depends on later doctrines. I also notice that you and I have disagreed about what constitutes metaphorical context and what would be reasons to "reject" that brothers are meant literally. We also seem to disagree whether a writer who salts figures into his speech needs to signal the reader about that. None of these authors could possibly have had the faintest idea that what they were wriitng would be scrupulously analyzed 1900 or more years later, each word challenged with "Hmm, what he did he mean by that?" or that 1400 years afterwards somebody would get the bright idea of working only from what they wrote, ignoring what the earliest readers, closest to the facts, thought was being said.

Among the strongest "Jesus' mother parented other children" passage, in my opinion, is Mark 3: 31-35. Jesus' mother and "brothers" arrive, and when Jesus uses the expression "mother and brothers" figuratively in verse 35, it is in clear contrast to the people who arrived and are waiting for him to finish. So, the people outside are all likely to be Jesus' family, in my opinion.

OK, so no rejection here. What did I do with the evidence? The same things I do with any other evidence. I ask myself: What specific hypotheses does the evidence distinguish among, and with how much weight does it bear on the hypotheses it distinguishes among?

Who arrived in verse 31? I don't see that the evidence distinguishes much or at all among:

- Jesus' mother and her natural sons (no Catholic or big-O Orthodox  believes this)
- Jesus' mother and her natural sons by Jesus' father (no Nicene Christian believes this)
- Jesus' mother and children she step or foster parented, who were born to other woman(en)

and these include the two hypotheses where "later church doctrines" are salient. The evidence does seem to favor all three at the expense of "non-family figures of speech", for example,

- Jesus' mother and some of the disciples

How much does the pericope bear on what it distinguishes? Well, I know it isn't the strongest evidence possible because its evidence would be strictly stronger if somebody had said "Jesus' mother and her sons." Nevertheless, while I cannot eliminate a "non-family figure of speech," I think the case for a literal family reference is strong. The problem is that in the first set of hypotheses above, all of those men would literally be Jesus' "brothers."

That's what I actually do with evidence.

Posted Image

#135    Copen

Copen

    Extraterrestrial Entity

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 496 posts
  • Joined:15 May 2011

Posted 08 September 2013 - 12:05 AM

View PostCodemonger, on 01 September 2013 - 08:57 PM, said:

I don't think the idea was derived from the Egyptians - I think it was just a logical way of explaining how you can have one God being monotheistic with multiple divine entities (God, Jesus, Holy Spirit).
God gave us an image of Himself when He created humans with a (1) soul - power, mind, emotion (symbol of the Holy Spirit; (2) a heart (symbol of the Father) and (3) body of flesh (symbol of Jesus Christ). The flesh is in the heart and the heart is in the flesh. They cannot be separated; BUT they are two different entities. All three work together and cannot be separated. Yet each have their separate places. Thus the only image of God we are supposed to have is man.  
God bless.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users