For Vince -- "not peace, but a sword"

For Vince -- "not peace, but a sword"

Joined: April 17th, 2006, 10:37 pm

August 6th, 2010, 2:15 pm #1

Hi Vince, this is just too hard to find way down here:http://www.network54.com/Forum/272761/m ... /this+post...

(this post...)...is a whole 'nother ball of wax -- almost a totally different conversation. I'm looking at the clock and thinking, "There is no way I can address this point by point before I have to go to work." Let's see how far I get...or at least what pops out at me. =)

V: only because your imagination allows it ... and that's not a "bad" thing because .... as I maintain, life is ALL about using our imagination. We don't do anything without applying our imagined concept to "create" something desirable to us.

I am not sure what you are saying, but I think I disagree? LOL I do not think God is in my imagination, or that I have "created" a God that is desirable to me. I think God just...is. And that God is very real.

V: Now I WISH that Jesus could have been everything good you imagine but if we are to believe the only written record about him -or any parts of that record that are plausible- discarding the parts that are illogical and conflict...

It's nice that you wish that; I believe that. Since neither of us has ever met Jesus Christ face to face -- at least not yet -- neither of us can provide definitive proof. We've already discussed that there are flaws and conflicts in scripture, which was written by men. And all scripture has to be read in context to get an idea of what the writer was talking about. Case in point (although rather simplistic) -- in Psalms 14, it says: "There is no God." That's a direct quote from the Bible. But if you read the entire verse, it says: "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God."

V: Jesus may have spoken of Loving God, fellow man, friend or enemy ... doing good; shunning evil --- all of which have strategic value when you consider that agape love is not anything more magical than a soldier's love for his country or fellow soldiers in his career setting. (The reason Generals often lost wars in those days was because their soldiers would get a better offer from the enemy and switch sides! A drilled-in agape love tends to solve that problem about the best).

What does "agape" mean to you? I think we have very different ideas about it. It can be described as self-sacrificing love, but not like a soldier's love of country or comrades. It's the deep kind of love you have for your spouse or children, or the kind of love God feels for us. This is a pretty good description of how I understand agape:

http://www.gotquestions.org/agape-love.html

Thomas Jay Oord (Wesleyan theologian and Nazarene minister defines agape as "an intentional response to promote well-being when responding to that which has generated ill-being." -- ie: returning good for ill.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 The word translated as "loved" here is agapao.

The verses you've discussed seem to be rather...scattershot? I think the intention is you are showing Biblical evidence of the "dark side" of Jesus? Kind of like...oh, I don't know...those fellas that keep insisting it's Christlike to go into a rage because look at Jesus and the money changers, or it's Christlike to call people names because Jesus called the Pharisees a brood of vipers. LOL Alrighty... (checking the clock, not going to get too far, I'm afraid).

First of all, I'd probably recommend reading a book like, "Understanding the Hard Sayings of Jesus" by Lloyd John Ogilvie, "The Hard Sayings of Jesus" by F. F. Bruce, "Preaching the Hard Sayings of Jesus" by John T. Carroll, etc. Obviously, we aren't the only ones who find these passages problematic.

V: On the other side of the recorded ledger we have Jesus quoted as saying he didn't come to bring peace on earth but rather a sword. To set families at odds with each other and to make foes of people in their own households. (Matt. 10:34->) Sword? Foes? Do you get a connection there? People of the same households and families killing each other? Granted, it was pretty common at that time but to have Jesus/God endorsing the same .... doesn't that seem rather archaic and obsolete in today's understanding of ethics?

Do you really think Jesus literally meant he was bringing a sword and wanted people to kill their family members? LOL OK, let's look at the passage:
"Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a mans enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it." (Matthew 10:34-39 NASB)

And here is the parallel passage in Luke:
" 49 I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism* to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished! 51 Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; 52 for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father* against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law. (Luke 12:49-53)

So Matthew says he brings a sword, Luke says he brings "division". He wasn't advocating violence -- he was talking about the effect of his coming, not his purpose. He had told his disciples that they would not be always well received, and to leave cities and homes that rejected them (shake the dust from their sandals, Matthew 10:14). He warned his disciples that the reaction against them might be dangerous and violent, and that they would be persecuted because of him. (Matthew 10:17-22)

Jesus quoted the prophet Micah 7:6, a passage about Israel's misery. Jesus understood well about the conflicts and division his ministry and message could cause between family members --

John 7:1-5 After this, Jesus went around in Galilee, purposely staying away from Judea because the Jews there were waiting to take his life. But when the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was near, Jesus' brothers said to him, "You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world." For even his own brothers did not believe in him.

Mark 3:20-21 Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, "He is out of his mind."


All out of time, gotta run. Vince...if you would really like to look at these difficult passages, may I suggest that we look at one at a time, maybe in individual posts? And take it to the top? Because it's getting harder and harder to locate this thread. And maybe we would get some input on the individual passages from other folks, too. Just a thought =)
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Joined: December 8th, 2003, 1:16 am

August 6th, 2010, 10:54 pm #2

other people weighing in with their own thoughts on this discussion, (provided, of course, they actually JOIN the discussion and don't just post a bunch of word-triggered random thoughts that pop into their heads ... with the motive of "teaching" something utterly unrelated).

The string's last post appears here ...

http://www.network54.com/Forum/272761/m ... +and+it+is

Well, again ... we're at a point where we have only the written record of the 4 Gospels to shape our concept of Jesus Christ "the man." Whatever we believe about him comes entirely from that source.

The "good" stuff written about him is very easy to understand directly from the writings ... but the "bad" stuff needs much work by outside spin-doctors to make it ...well ...seem "ok". It's really NOT reconcilable with anything good, logical or reasonable though ... or this problem would have been solved universally a thousand years ago already! It wouldn't require a modern apologist or groups of apologists to explain it again for the thousandth time.

The bad side of him then ... HAS NO logical answered solution; such "answers" have to be manufactured continually to quiet the masses.

Ironically though, there's no such problem with apostle Paul! He never said he was bringing any "sword"! He came to bring peace and bring it as abundantly as he possibly could!

Even the choice of "sword" -if Jesus might have HAPPENED to be speaking metaphorically- is REALLY BAD for a perfect GOD to be using on his stupid kids, (who are BOUND to take a literally understood meaning of it).

The obvious, clear and logical picture emerges when we simply accept Jesus "at his word" ... to have meant exactly, literally, what he said to his disciples. We then don't NEED any spin doctors to create a corrected image of him!

That picture has him pursuing a particular agenda of becoming King of a unified Israel. His agenda included no other ethnicity or region of the world; it was specifically focused on the Jewish/Israel world. His "great commission" to his disciples in Matt. 10:5 is very specific: Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:

Only in the context of division is there any need for swords. If Jesus came to save EVERYONE -as Paul's gospel aspired to do- he had no need to talk about swords and divisions. Paul certainly didn't need to talk that way.

To see Jesus in a different perspective from that presented literally in the gospels ... requires a goodly amount of imagination.

-Vince
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Joined: April 17th, 2006, 10:37 pm

August 7th, 2010, 12:51 am #3

I was really having to search and search to find our previous thread =)

V: Well, again ... we're at a point where we have only the written record of the 4 Gospels to shape our concept of Jesus Christ "the man." Whatever we believe about him comes entirely from that source.

The "good" stuff written about him is very easy to understand directly from the writings ... but the "bad" stuff needs much work by outside spin-doctors to make it ...well ...seem "ok". It's really NOT reconcilable with anything good, logical or reasonable though ... or this problem would have been solved universally a thousand years ago already! It wouldn't require a modern apologist or groups of apologists to explain it again for the thousandth time.

The bad side of him then ... HAS NO logical answered solution; such "answers" have to be manufactured continually to quiet the masses.


So far, I've discussed one passage, that when Jesus said, "I did not come to bring peace, but a sword..." he did not literally mean he was bringing a sword and intended people to kill their family members. That is what you said here:

V: On the other side of the recorded ledger we have Jesus quoted as saying he didn't come to bring peace on earth but rather a sword. To set families at odds with each other and to make foes of people in their own households. (Matt. 10:34->) Sword? Foes? Do you get a connection there? People of the same households and families killing each other? Granted, it was pretty common at that time but to have Jesus/God endorsing the same .... doesn't that seem rather archaic and obsolete in today's understanding of ethics?

Virtually all discussion about that passage came directly from the Gospels -- except for pointing out that Jesus was quoting the prophet Micah -- and most came from the passages in Matthew 10. I even brought up the parallel passage in Luke that uses the word "division" instead of "sword" to clarify. There was no spin-doctor, group of apologists, or manufactured answer. It took me about 30 minutes this morning to do some Bible study (when I should have been getting ready for work, LOL).

V: Even the choice of "sword" -if Jesus might have HAPPENED to be speaking metaphorically- is REALLY BAD for a perfect GOD to be using on his stupid kids, (who are BOUND to take a literally understood meaning of it).

When reading the section as a whole it's obvious that Jesus was not telling anyone to kill family members with a sword. His disciples were used to Jesus giving lessons in parables. I can't think of anyone who literally has cut off their own foot, hand, or plucked out their own eye because it caused them to sin, either. Most people have more common sense than that, I think!

If we are going to discuss the most confusing, most difficult things that Jesus said -- the things that are most contradictory to the very nature of Christ as we understand it -- then it will take some digging to figure out what he was talking about. It requires exegesis, and I'm certainly no expert in that, but I'd say I lean more toward rational rather than revealed exegesis.

V: That picture has him pursuing a particular agenda of becoming King of a unified Israel. His agenda included no other ethnicity or region of the world; it was specifically focused on the Jewish/Israel world. His "great commission" to his disciples in Matt. 10:5 is very specific: Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:

Only in the context of division is there any need for swords. If Jesus came to save EVERYONE -as Paul's gospel aspired to do- he had no need to talk about swords and divisions. Paul certainly didn't need to talk that way.


Matthew 10:5 is a different subject. I don't see Jesus pursuing becoming King of Israel at all. He knew that his ministry and his time on earth was very limited, and spoke of it many, many times. Want to tackle that one next? We can start a separate thread...
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Joined: December 8th, 2003, 1:16 am

August 7th, 2010, 4:57 am #4

with that one passage then and connect the luke one to it as a parallel.

Matt. 10:34 ; Luke 12: 49

How can one possibly understand the words of Jesus in either of these passages to be metaphorical? I mean, if they ARE metaphorical, "someone" very long ago should already have come up with the allegory that Jesus was relating to his disciples. But STILL -to this day- people have to write up spins to provide some sort of nice allegory for words spoken to soften their severity.

Luke 2 has the angel of the Lord declaring to the shepherds, "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people" and then suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host (appearing), praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace, good will toward men."

That's not difficult to "interpret," is it? Before this baby had even growed up, the angels were already declaring a mission of peace and good will toward "all people." Indeed, if you look at the ministry of A. Paul after his conversion ... THAT was exactly what he did in HIS ministry ... wasn't it? "as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men" (Rom. 12:18)

Yet, Jesus declares to his disciples,

[Matt. 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
36 And a mans foes shall be they of his own household. ]

This was a "shall be"; not a might be ... that you might be shunned by your own family. It was a declaration of war.

And why would this happen? Because Jesus DEMANDED total loyalty to himself over everyone else -friend or relative. Followers were NOT to let their own family ties and love (phileo) interfere with their duty to Jesus. Did Paul ever demand such loyalty to himself or to his Jesus Christ?

And in Luke 12, the words may seem a little "softer" but it was still about division and NOT ... good will to all men. His statement here is prefaced by a grim parable about an unprepared servant whose master "will cut him in sunder and appoint his portion with the unbelievers. (confiscate his holding and belongings the same way as enemies' property was taken for spoil). That servant shall be beaten with many stripes." ( The innocent ones that didn't know better would be beaten with few stripes ... but ... they'd still be beaten, nevertheless!

That sounds like a gracious and loving representation of your God?

Luke 12:51 51 Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:

Does that correlate with 1 Tim. 4:10 of "we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe"?

If all men are saved through Jesus -(Paul's Jesus)- "by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life" (Rom. 5:18) ... then WHY or HOW are the severe requirements of Gospel Jesus justified in the two, above Gospel passages?

I fail to comprehend how peace, good will to all, a free gift to all of mankind in salvation ....... can POSSIBLY be reconciled with brute-force words like bringing a sword and sending fire on the earth and causing severe family divisions/rifts ... turning families against each other. How is peace and good will somehow facilitated by brutality and hatreds?

It's not. That's the whole problem. Jesus of the 3 synoptic gospels was not the same Jesus whom Paul preached.

-Vince



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Joined: April 17th, 2006, 10:37 pm

August 7th, 2010, 6:26 am #5

V: How can one possibly understand the words of Jesus in either of these passages to be metaphorical? I mean, if they ARE metaphorical, "someone" very long ago should already have come up with the allegory that Jesus was relating to his disciples.

The concept of the "sword" is allegorical. It is symbolic of strife and division (as it is described in Luke). The strife and division Jesus was talking about were very, very real.

So, here is what happened in Matthew:

1He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil[a] spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.

2These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

5These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: "Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.


Notice, Jesus does not say, "Never go to the Gentiles, nor the Samaritans". At this time, Jesus was trying to reach the lost sheep of Israel. They were the people who had been promised the Messiah, had been waiting for the Messiah, and when he was right there with them, they did not recognize him or did not believe in him. This is not the Great Commission. That came after Jesus' resurrection, in Matthew 28 -- 17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Same author, just later on in the same book.

7As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' 8Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy,drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. 9Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; 10take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep.

He told them to go, now, with no provisions and no preparation. And this was a huge leap of faith for them: he was imbuing them with his power so they could do these miraculous things -- but they had to believe in him, and have confidence that they would be given these abilities. And it was an important testing ground for them, too. Because later on when given the Great Commission, they would have to go out into the world, to people outside of their own culture, people who had not been expecting a savior and who would have absolutely no idea who Jesus was. And Jesus would no longer be there physically with them to calm the storms and help them walk on water.

11"Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave. 12As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. 15I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. 16I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.

It was not going to be easy for them. Not everyone would welcome them or listen to them. Then they should not try to force things, just shake the dust from their feet and go on. And the town will regret having rejected Jesus. And notice the allegory: sending out sheep among the wolves. Jesus didn't literally turn his disciples into sheep.

17"Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues. 18On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

21"Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 22All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 23When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.


They would be persecuted -- by fellow Jews (flogged in synagogues), by Gentiles, and betrayed even by family members, being turned over to the authorities -- they would be hated because of Jesus.

24"A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub,[c] how much more the members of his household!

26"So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29Are not two sparrows sold for a penny[d]? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. 30And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

32"Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. 33But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.

34"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn
" 'a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law -
36a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.'[e]


Here he is quoting Micah 7:6, again letting the disciples know that there would be such division that even their family members might hate them and betray them.

37"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

40"He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me. 41Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and anyone who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man's reward. 42And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward."


This isn't the best way to recruit someone for a job =) He told the disciples to be prepared to be rejected, persecuted, hated, betrayed by their own families, imprisoned, flogged, and possibly put to death. But the only way through this, the only way to endure this and still share the message of God's Kingdom, is to love Jesus -- therefore, love God -- more than you love your own family, more than you love your own life. Not an uplifting message -- if I'd been one of the twelve, I would have been scared to death.

So...I don't see at all that Jesus was instructing people to kill their family members, with or without swords.

i...am...exhausted. Good night =)

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Joined: December 8th, 2003, 1:16 am

August 7th, 2010, 9:28 am #6

He didn't say "these things will happen; be prepared for it." He said, I came to BRING this.

And ...

To get a profile on a person, you don't just pick SOME of his quotes; you analyze as many as you can get your hands on. This is what you -a journalist- called "scatter shot" though, I believe.~ LOL

Here's another of his quotes ...

[Luke 19:27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. ]

What intention could one POSSIBLY derive from that ... outside of his explicit words?

You know, there's this thing called "preponderance of evidence."

From time to time there are these little quotes or occurrences that seem to indicate some thing but ... are mistakes or misinterpretations. The guy didn't really MEAN what he said or he was being cute or whatever. That's understandable. But when case after case shows the same pattern and intention, it's a preponderance of evidence which ... a court of law considers to be valid confirmation of initial perception.

It never ceases to amaze me how Christians will treat each case of wording "problems" as isolated cases ... as if OTHER incidences must ALL be treated as individual exceptions as well.

No ... one has to consider the PREPONDERANCE OF EVIDENCE to form a comprehensive picture of what is actually going on.

The preponderance of evidence shows that ...

- The three synoptic gospels don't agree on many specific details. Not ONE instance -which might be dismissed- but MANY instances. Several of these incidences are crucial ... such as ... when was Jesus born? If Jesus was born when Luke says he was, the story of Herod's slaughter of the innocents was impossible. In the instructions given to Jesus' disciples after his resurrection ... Luke says the disciples stayed in Jerusalem and Jesus instructed them to STAY in Jerusalem until they got the holy ghost. (John says Jesus breathed on his disciples and they got the holy ghost). All the gospels except Luke indicate that Jesus showed up in Galilee but in Luke he stayed in Jerusalem. The synoptic gospels agree that Jesus thoroughly informed his disciples about his impending death and resurrection. John says they were totally clueless about that part. The synoptic gospels agree that Jesus attended only one Passover and therefore, had a one year ministry. John says he attended 3 of them.

-The three synoptic gospels may REFER to the same stories but the details are quite different. Yet, in many cases the exact same wording appears in them, verbatim. This indicates that all 3 were either copied from each other and modified .. or .. they were copied from a common source.

-Matthew and Luke show 2 genealogies of Jesus' heritage which don't agree with each other. Yet, Jesus' mother was allegedly impregnated by the holy spirit! Thus ... the genealogies don't matter! So you SEE that some modification of perception or understanding CHANGED over time ... and the text was modified to reflect the change. Yet, the older understanding remained -preserved in text- for "some" reason. What was the reason? Well, it's pretty hard to make abrupt changes to sacred text once it's been committed to writing! There are always "old school" guys who object to that strenuously. So ... they make compromises.

-The gospels indicate that Jesus instructed his disciples to go out into the WORLD and preach the gospel to every creature and to all nations. Yet, other records show (Acts) that Peter had NO IDEA that this was supposed to happen! Indeed, the conflict in Acts CONTINUOUSLY -between the Jerusalem church and Paul- was his preaching the gospel to Gentiles.

- Luke and Acts indicate that he ascended to heaven; Mark kind of tacks it in there as if he rose through the roof after supper .. and Matthew and John have him simply "fade away" or something. They make no mention of him ever ascending to heaven.

Thus, you look at the PREPONDERANCE of evidence where you take ALL of these things into consideration and it SHOULD become clear rather quickly that .... the 4 gospels are make-fit works to prove something. They're NOT the actual/factual story of this fellow Jesus; they're fabricated stories to "prove" that the guy "really" existed. They used some obscure person as their skeletal model and then fleshed him out with fantasy.

If you were to read the story of any other guy ... written up in the fashion of the gospels ... you would instantly dismiss it as a fairy tale! No biographical information to speak of ... starting dates conflict ... no childhood information or background aside from ONE instance related in Luke. Nothing really known about his person. The same stories are told with different twists. No flowing narrative; just miracle event after miracle event related .. Surely, his mom could have been consulted to provide PILES of information but nope ... she just disappeared from the scene when he died as well.

It's like Paul Bunyan ... conceived by the holy ghost.

-Vince
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Joined: July 1st, 2008, 11:52 pm

August 7th, 2010, 1:14 pm #7

I was really having to search and search to find our previous thread =)

V: Well, again ... we're at a point where we have only the written record of the 4 Gospels to shape our concept of Jesus Christ "the man." Whatever we believe about him comes entirely from that source.

The "good" stuff written about him is very easy to understand directly from the writings ... but the "bad" stuff needs much work by outside spin-doctors to make it ...well ...seem "ok". It's really NOT reconcilable with anything good, logical or reasonable though ... or this problem would have been solved universally a thousand years ago already! It wouldn't require a modern apologist or groups of apologists to explain it again for the thousandth time.

The bad side of him then ... HAS NO logical answered solution; such "answers" have to be manufactured continually to quiet the masses.


So far, I've discussed one passage, that when Jesus said, "I did not come to bring peace, but a sword..." he did not literally mean he was bringing a sword and intended people to kill their family members. That is what you said here:

V: On the other side of the recorded ledger we have Jesus quoted as saying he didn't come to bring peace on earth but rather a sword. To set families at odds with each other and to make foes of people in their own households. (Matt. 10:34->) Sword? Foes? Do you get a connection there? People of the same households and families killing each other? Granted, it was pretty common at that time but to have Jesus/God endorsing the same .... doesn't that seem rather archaic and obsolete in today's understanding of ethics?

Virtually all discussion about that passage came directly from the Gospels -- except for pointing out that Jesus was quoting the prophet Micah -- and most came from the passages in Matthew 10. I even brought up the parallel passage in Luke that uses the word "division" instead of "sword" to clarify. There was no spin-doctor, group of apologists, or manufactured answer. It took me about 30 minutes this morning to do some Bible study (when I should have been getting ready for work, LOL).

V: Even the choice of "sword" -if Jesus might have HAPPENED to be speaking metaphorically- is REALLY BAD for a perfect GOD to be using on his stupid kids, (who are BOUND to take a literally understood meaning of it).

When reading the section as a whole it's obvious that Jesus was not telling anyone to kill family members with a sword. His disciples were used to Jesus giving lessons in parables. I can't think of anyone who literally has cut off their own foot, hand, or plucked out their own eye because it caused them to sin, either. Most people have more common sense than that, I think!

If we are going to discuss the most confusing, most difficult things that Jesus said -- the things that are most contradictory to the very nature of Christ as we understand it -- then it will take some digging to figure out what he was talking about. It requires exegesis, and I'm certainly no expert in that, but I'd say I lean more toward rational rather than revealed exegesis.

V: That picture has him pursuing a particular agenda of becoming King of a unified Israel. His agenda included no other ethnicity or region of the world; it was specifically focused on the Jewish/Israel world. His "great commission" to his disciples in Matt. 10:5 is very specific: Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:

Only in the context of division is there any need for swords. If Jesus came to save EVERYONE -as Paul's gospel aspired to do- he had no need to talk about swords and divisions. Paul certainly didn't need to talk that way.


Matthew 10:5 is a different subject. I don't see Jesus pursuing becoming King of Israel at all. He knew that his ministry and his time on earth was very limited, and spoke of it many, many times. Want to tackle that one next? We can start a separate thread...
the Bible actually defines itself and interprets itself


more than a few times the WORD is called a sword:

when Jesus tell his disciples that two swords are all that is necessary he meant the Old and new testament, since both divide and conquer our old nature and restructure our new nature:


the sword/WORD brings division because it FIXES what is wrong and establishes what is RIGHT:

since this happens within us, Jesus the WORD brings division before he brings peace:
every day is a new day to die to the old and live to the newness of life
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Joined: July 1st, 2008, 11:52 pm

August 7th, 2010, 1:18 pm #8

He didn't say "these things will happen; be prepared for it." He said, I came to BRING this.

And ...

To get a profile on a person, you don't just pick SOME of his quotes; you analyze as many as you can get your hands on. This is what you -a journalist- called "scatter shot" though, I believe.~ LOL

Here's another of his quotes ...

[Luke 19:27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. ]

What intention could one POSSIBLY derive from that ... outside of his explicit words?

You know, there's this thing called "preponderance of evidence."

From time to time there are these little quotes or occurrences that seem to indicate some thing but ... are mistakes or misinterpretations. The guy didn't really MEAN what he said or he was being cute or whatever. That's understandable. But when case after case shows the same pattern and intention, it's a preponderance of evidence which ... a court of law considers to be valid confirmation of initial perception.

It never ceases to amaze me how Christians will treat each case of wording "problems" as isolated cases ... as if OTHER incidences must ALL be treated as individual exceptions as well.

No ... one has to consider the PREPONDERANCE OF EVIDENCE to form a comprehensive picture of what is actually going on.

The preponderance of evidence shows that ...

- The three synoptic gospels don't agree on many specific details. Not ONE instance -which might be dismissed- but MANY instances. Several of these incidences are crucial ... such as ... when was Jesus born? If Jesus was born when Luke says he was, the story of Herod's slaughter of the innocents was impossible. In the instructions given to Jesus' disciples after his resurrection ... Luke says the disciples stayed in Jerusalem and Jesus instructed them to STAY in Jerusalem until they got the holy ghost. (John says Jesus breathed on his disciples and they got the holy ghost). All the gospels except Luke indicate that Jesus showed up in Galilee but in Luke he stayed in Jerusalem. The synoptic gospels agree that Jesus thoroughly informed his disciples about his impending death and resurrection. John says they were totally clueless about that part. The synoptic gospels agree that Jesus attended only one Passover and therefore, had a one year ministry. John says he attended 3 of them.

-The three synoptic gospels may REFER to the same stories but the details are quite different. Yet, in many cases the exact same wording appears in them, verbatim. This indicates that all 3 were either copied from each other and modified .. or .. they were copied from a common source.

-Matthew and Luke show 2 genealogies of Jesus' heritage which don't agree with each other. Yet, Jesus' mother was allegedly impregnated by the holy spirit! Thus ... the genealogies don't matter! So you SEE that some modification of perception or understanding CHANGED over time ... and the text was modified to reflect the change. Yet, the older understanding remained -preserved in text- for "some" reason. What was the reason? Well, it's pretty hard to make abrupt changes to sacred text once it's been committed to writing! There are always "old school" guys who object to that strenuously. So ... they make compromises.

-The gospels indicate that Jesus instructed his disciples to go out into the WORLD and preach the gospel to every creature and to all nations. Yet, other records show (Acts) that Peter had NO IDEA that this was supposed to happen! Indeed, the conflict in Acts CONTINUOUSLY -between the Jerusalem church and Paul- was his preaching the gospel to Gentiles.

- Luke and Acts indicate that he ascended to heaven; Mark kind of tacks it in there as if he rose through the roof after supper .. and Matthew and John have him simply "fade away" or something. They make no mention of him ever ascending to heaven.

Thus, you look at the PREPONDERANCE of evidence where you take ALL of these things into consideration and it SHOULD become clear rather quickly that .... the 4 gospels are make-fit works to prove something. They're NOT the actual/factual story of this fellow Jesus; they're fabricated stories to "prove" that the guy "really" existed. They used some obscure person as their skeletal model and then fleshed him out with fantasy.

If you were to read the story of any other guy ... written up in the fashion of the gospels ... you would instantly dismiss it as a fairy tale! No biographical information to speak of ... starting dates conflict ... no childhood information or background aside from ONE instance related in Luke. Nothing really known about his person. The same stories are told with different twists. No flowing narrative; just miracle event after miracle event related .. Surely, his mom could have been consulted to provide PILES of information but nope ... she just disappeared from the scene when he died as well.

It's like Paul Bunyan ... conceived by the holy ghost.

-Vince
he is a whole household as well:

he contains within him the mother, sister, brother and all the animals and plants as well:

understanding our "parts" is to understand our deepest and highest reality:
every day is a new day to die to the old and live to the newness of life
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Striver
Striver

August 7th, 2010, 2:59 pm #9

the Bible actually defines itself and interprets itself


more than a few times the WORD is called a sword:

when Jesus tell his disciples that two swords are all that is necessary he meant the Old and new testament, since both divide and conquer our old nature and restructure our new nature:


the sword/WORD brings division because it FIXES what is wrong and establishes what is RIGHT:

since this happens within us, Jesus the WORD brings division before he brings peace:
The sword symbol is derived from Buddhism, which is an offshoot of Hinduism. Some 2500 years before Gautama, the symbol for mind was Crishna, transfigured before his beloved disciple Arjuna. It is the subjective sword of discrimination; the ability to identify, to cite but one example, that structure of belief it is time to leave behind. My sword of discrimination for instance, was the cause of my severing and leaving behind the structure known as orthodox Christianity for Esoteric Buddhism.

As millions are experiencing in this transition stage we're in between the Picean and Aquarian Age, millions are being led by their swords of discrimination to sever, leave behind, their religious upbringing and (insofar as spiritual matters are concerned) their parents, spouses and children.

The best example of discrimination in the Bible is the twelve year old Jesus (symbolising the highest attainment possible for human mind) seeing it was time to leave behind that mind quality called human (his parents) and begin the process of what the Bible calls the Transfiguration of human mind, transmuting human mind into Christ mind.

Jesus, a symbol for human mind at its highest, was transfigured before his three disciples. The Jesus of the Bethlehem myth could not have been the second person of the Trinity, a God. God needed to become transfigured? Now really!

Gautama, a symbol for human mind, lived about 500 years B.C. and went through the process of Enlightenment..Transfiguration.

Crishna, the Hindu symbol for mind, lived about 2,500 years before Gautama. Crishna was transfigured before his beloved disciple, Arjuna.

In the religious texts of every Culture I know of, there is a Jesus (by another name), a symbol for human mind making the decision to be transfigured.

This subjective sword will continue severing the old and its being replaced by the new; a "new" which will in time become the old; an old which will give way to the new; a "new" which becomes the old and on and on until Christ mind has been attained. What happens after that only the Christ and Yvonne know. Study, meditation (seeking and knocking) and open-mindedness constitute the whetstone upon which our sword of discrimination is sharpened. Religions has discarded the whetstone!
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Joined: May 4th, 2005, 1:31 pm

August 7th, 2010, 3:38 pm #10

He didn't say "these things will happen; be prepared for it." He said, I came to BRING this.

And ...

To get a profile on a person, you don't just pick SOME of his quotes; you analyze as many as you can get your hands on. This is what you -a journalist- called "scatter shot" though, I believe.~ LOL

Here's another of his quotes ...

[Luke 19:27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. ]

What intention could one POSSIBLY derive from that ... outside of his explicit words?

You know, there's this thing called "preponderance of evidence."

From time to time there are these little quotes or occurrences that seem to indicate some thing but ... are mistakes or misinterpretations. The guy didn't really MEAN what he said or he was being cute or whatever. That's understandable. But when case after case shows the same pattern and intention, it's a preponderance of evidence which ... a court of law considers to be valid confirmation of initial perception.

It never ceases to amaze me how Christians will treat each case of wording "problems" as isolated cases ... as if OTHER incidences must ALL be treated as individual exceptions as well.

No ... one has to consider the PREPONDERANCE OF EVIDENCE to form a comprehensive picture of what is actually going on.

The preponderance of evidence shows that ...

- The three synoptic gospels don't agree on many specific details. Not ONE instance -which might be dismissed- but MANY instances. Several of these incidences are crucial ... such as ... when was Jesus born? If Jesus was born when Luke says he was, the story of Herod's slaughter of the innocents was impossible. In the instructions given to Jesus' disciples after his resurrection ... Luke says the disciples stayed in Jerusalem and Jesus instructed them to STAY in Jerusalem until they got the holy ghost. (John says Jesus breathed on his disciples and they got the holy ghost). All the gospels except Luke indicate that Jesus showed up in Galilee but in Luke he stayed in Jerusalem. The synoptic gospels agree that Jesus thoroughly informed his disciples about his impending death and resurrection. John says they were totally clueless about that part. The synoptic gospels agree that Jesus attended only one Passover and therefore, had a one year ministry. John says he attended 3 of them.

-The three synoptic gospels may REFER to the same stories but the details are quite different. Yet, in many cases the exact same wording appears in them, verbatim. This indicates that all 3 were either copied from each other and modified .. or .. they were copied from a common source.

-Matthew and Luke show 2 genealogies of Jesus' heritage which don't agree with each other. Yet, Jesus' mother was allegedly impregnated by the holy spirit! Thus ... the genealogies don't matter! So you SEE that some modification of perception or understanding CHANGED over time ... and the text was modified to reflect the change. Yet, the older understanding remained -preserved in text- for "some" reason. What was the reason? Well, it's pretty hard to make abrupt changes to sacred text once it's been committed to writing! There are always "old school" guys who object to that strenuously. So ... they make compromises.

-The gospels indicate that Jesus instructed his disciples to go out into the WORLD and preach the gospel to every creature and to all nations. Yet, other records show (Acts) that Peter had NO IDEA that this was supposed to happen! Indeed, the conflict in Acts CONTINUOUSLY -between the Jerusalem church and Paul- was his preaching the gospel to Gentiles.

- Luke and Acts indicate that he ascended to heaven; Mark kind of tacks it in there as if he rose through the roof after supper .. and Matthew and John have him simply "fade away" or something. They make no mention of him ever ascending to heaven.

Thus, you look at the PREPONDERANCE of evidence where you take ALL of these things into consideration and it SHOULD become clear rather quickly that .... the 4 gospels are make-fit works to prove something. They're NOT the actual/factual story of this fellow Jesus; they're fabricated stories to "prove" that the guy "really" existed. They used some obscure person as their skeletal model and then fleshed him out with fantasy.

If you were to read the story of any other guy ... written up in the fashion of the gospels ... you would instantly dismiss it as a fairy tale! No biographical information to speak of ... starting dates conflict ... no childhood information or background aside from ONE instance related in Luke. Nothing really known about his person. The same stories are told with different twists. No flowing narrative; just miracle event after miracle event related .. Surely, his mom could have been consulted to provide PILES of information but nope ... she just disappeared from the scene when he died as well.

It's like Paul Bunyan ... conceived by the holy ghost.

-Vince
I understand that apologetics attempts to reconcile these contradictions and paradoxes.

But in honesty, and this is not an "attack" -- I don't see how one can reconcile the Beatitudes with "I bring a sword" etc

Two "gospels"? Translation issues? Allegory?

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