interesting discussion on who were the witnesses to jesus' crucifixion and anachronisms in the christian new testaments.
The general observation is that the Romans considered crucifixion the ultimate punishment and reserved it for forceful political resistance against them. The above specific excerpt is consistent with the general observation. The implication from Josephus is that the sons are crucified because they are connected with armed resistance to Rome's authority to collect taxes in Israel. Also note the example above of the creator of disturbance in the Temple who is not crucified as punishment.
An Aramaic Original?
Decades after the abandonment of a thread in scholarly opinion that the Gospels may have been originally written in Aramaic, Bart Ehrman revives it in part by suggesting that some of his “oral traditions” lying behind the Gospels circulated in the days immediately following Jesus in the language of Aramaic. This theory is based on a paltry handful of Aramaic words that appear in the Gospels, supposedly indicating that these words are a survival of originally whole Aramaic oral traditions about Jesus. Further, these words are usually translated by the author into Greek, so that his readers will be sure to understand the meaning.
In the miracle of the raising of Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5:38-43):
Then, taking hold of her hand, he said to her, “Talitha ***,” which means “Get up, my child.”
Ehrman claims that when this story, originally told in Aramaic, was translated by Mark into Greek, the two Aramaic words were left as is, with a translation provided.
But it could equally well be explained as the usage by Mark of a common type of phrase used in faith healing in the Greco-Aramaic culture of the day, including in Q-type practice which Mark would have been a party to, something that might have been more familiar in Aramaic than in anything else.
Bilingual people in our own day tend to intermix phrases from one language into the other, especially if they have a well-used meaning in the other language. If I as a writer (or even speaker) in English use the phrase “raison d’être”, I don’t need to have the reader postulate that I am reflecting a prior source in French, it’s just part of the parlance which English speakers and writers in a bilingual culture often use. (It’s actually handier in the French.) And Mark provides a Greek translation for those of his readers who are not bilingual, maybe gentiles within the movement.
Consider 1 Cor. 16:22, in which Paul (let’s assume this ending is authentic to the letter) says: “Marana tha!”—Come, O Lord!” This hardly is expected to be from Jesus’ mouth. It’s part of the parlance of the prophetic movement of the time (though Paul’s cult was distinct from the Galilean preaching sect). There is no need to imagine that Paul is tapping into some ‘source’ or tradition in Aramaic. Nor is it likely to be a story about Jesus, being called on to “come.” Paul is simply inserting a well-known phrase within a bilingual culture, common in both languages in his apocalyptic-oriented circles (in a faith where Christ has not yet been to earth).
The very paucity of Aramaic words in the Gospels is argument against Ehrman’s claim. An entire Aramaic phase of preaching and faith, let alone one that went back to Jesus himself, would leave a far bigger trail than this. Can one imagine, in a bilingual society such as Palestine was, a ‘record’ of Jesus’ life which would not have been full of preserved words by him in Aramaic, whether authentic or not? And especially in the so-called ‘genuine’ teachings of Jesus supposedly collected in Q1?
An Aramaic Son of Man?
Ehrman has an interesting, if convoluted, argument surrounding one of the “son of man” sayings in Mark (2:27-8). “The Sabbath was made for the sake of man and not man for the Sabbath; therefore the Son of Man is sovereign even over the Sabbath” is the punch line to a story in which Jesus’ disciples, being hungry, picked corn on the Sabbath and were criticized by the Pharisees, to whom Jesus retorted with this saying.
This is one of the “Son of Man” sayings which falls into the non-titular, non-apocalyptic category—or should (see also Mark 2:10 and Luke/Q 9:58). Now, only in English can we make a distinction between “Son of Man” (capitalized) as a title for a future apocalyptic judge which eventually got applied to the Jesus figure, and “son of man” (not capitalized) which was a Semitic euphemism simply for “man,” sometimes used by the speaker as a self-reference. In Greek, both senses employ the same words: ho huios tou anthrōpou. If this saying in Mark had contemporary currency (and one can imagine the prophets of an anti-establishment sect claiming that sovereignty for themselves), it makes perfect sense.
Ehrman claims it does not, because the Pharisees were criticizing the disciples, not Jesus, so whether Jesus himself was Lord (master) of the Sabbath doesn’t answer the Pharisees’ objection.; and (b) the second part of the verse doesn’t follow from the first part.
The therefore in this case doesn’t make sense. Just because Sabbath was made for humans and not the other way around, what does that have to do with Jesus being the Lord of the Sabbath? (p. 89)
Ehrman is technically right on both counts. But the solution is to take the saying (and the others like it) as originally existing in a context in which “son of man” (non-capitalized) meant simply “man”, so that all Mark 2:27-8 means is that, if the Sabbath was made for humans and not humans made for the Sabbath, then a human in general (the “son of man”) can consider himself master of the Sabbath and free to do what needs to be done. Wherever these sayings came from, Mark has imported them into his Gospel and made the phrase “son of man” represent a reference to Jesus. This conversion has created Ehrman’s dilemma. Mark has altered the original saying about humans to direct it toward Jesus himself in his role as the “Son of Man” (in the apocalyptic sense). It would not be the first time that a Christian writer or editor redacted a passage or existing saying and created an anomaly.
Ehrman’s solution is quite different. If Mark 2:27-8 supposedly makes no sense in Greek, he suggests that if “son of man” is translated back into Aramaic using the words “bar nasha” this makes it clear that the phrase really is being used as a self-reference and the confusion between the two understandings in Greek is eliminated. This allegedly indicates that the saying began originally in Aramaic. But if one understands the progress of the saying from the non-titular use in Greek to a titular understanding applied by Mark to Jesus, no ‘back-translation’ need be performed. Mark may have created something confusing, but it might not have seemed so to him. He may not even have noticed, simply carrying over one understanding to the other. (It’s not as if no other Christian writing contains an internal contradiction.)
Of course, it is always feasible that this saying (or the others of its type) did begin in Aramaic, reflecting the bilingual nature of the Palestinian scene. A revolutionary claim like this might have been formulated in Aramaic, though we have no evidence of it. But even if so, there is nothing in evidence which requires us to assign such an Aramaic claim (or even its Greek counterpart) to Jesus. It could as well have been made by the sect itself. Once again, Ehrman is making his argument on the question-begging basis that anything uncovered prior to Mark has to relate to an historical preaching Jesus and thus becomes an early source to be identified with him.
Ehrman undercuts his sweeping claim about Aramaic originals by pointing out that some sayings of Jesus cannot be translated into Aramaic and still make sense. This, he says, is a pointer to such sayings not being authentic to Jesus, who would likely have spoken only Aramaic. But that’s a bit of a self-serving argument. It becomes a device to get around the problem by making the claim unfalsifiable. We’ll postulate an Aramaic original only when it works and serves our need, and reject one when it does not.
Last edited by theman09; 6th May 2012 at 18:02.
was jesus' brutal murder prophecied in the torah
One of the glaring and obvious things one notices about the Trinity is that God is not a singular being that has something that no one or nothing else shares.
In the Trinity doctrine God is not singularly unique. In fact it makes little sense to speak about 'God' when talking to Trinitarians. They believe in gods. God the Son and God the Holy Spirit and God the Father.
The problem with their theological presupposition is saying that God is One Team (a group comprising of three gods that co exist together) is that you could say based upon that same presupposition that God is One Team (comprising a hundred gods that co exist together).
What ever the Father has the Son also has. What ever the Son has is also shared by the Holy Spirit.
For example you could have two black shoe boxes. They could be exactly identical in shape and volume. However, the only thing that makes one unique from the other is the space that the other occupies. That would be 'unique' to it as a shoe box.
They do not believe that God's essence is One, because God's essence is SHARED. They believe that God's essence (being) is shared by THREE.
It is not UNIQUE TO ONE. It is SHARED by THREE.
What is the Trinity? A group? A composite thing? A set with members? A quasi-self? He doesn’t know. But it seems that he wants to deny the one God to literally be a self. If so, he goes hard against the Bible, throughout. God knows, acts, gets mad, makes and carries out plans, stands in an I-thou relationship to Jesus, as well as to disciples of Jesus. Further, I’m willing to bet that like just about all Christians, he interacts with God as a self to a self.
All he’s said is that all three equally and fully possess divinity
But the essence/nature/attributes of God are not called ‘God’, they are what makes God. The essence/nature/attributes are called omnipotence, omniscience, omnibenevolent, etc., regardless of whether or not if these can only pertain to God. These aren’t called God. To call the essence/nature/attributes God would violate logic. They are the “nature of God”, “the essence of God”, “the attributes of God”, and not the nonsensical “God of God” concept as my opponent thinks. This is a cover to explain away why daley wants to call the Father, Son and Holy Ghost God. My opponent has been making this blunder throughout the entire debate. I’m glad I caught it before it was too later. Not a moment too soon, though.
My opponent has made a mistake in understanding a common philosophical distinction. Flour is the thing (being). One scoop of flour is flour; a simple tautology. But all of what makes up flour’s nature is not flour. That is, flour has a nature, but the nature of what flour is made up of itself is not “flour”. Flour’s nature is a composite of other things that are not necessarily, in-themselves, flour…
For example, water is the thing (being). Water is water. It has a nature of hydrogen and oxygen. But water’s nature is not water; water’s nature is hydrogen and oxygen. And hydrogen and oxygen alone are not water. Same with God, as I've shown above…
If God the Father didn’t experience what the Son experienced, then The Father doesn’t know what something is like. Since not, God the Father isn’t omniscient. My opponent has just proved that God the Father is not omniscient, since God does not know something by experience (objective-subjective distinctions are irrelevant, he's expected to know it all). Then, why does my opponent claim that each person is omniscient when they're not? This is the fallacy of composition. Another way in which the concept of the Trinity is not logical. And since my opponent doesn’t claim to be omniscient, his example is void...
written by ex-trinitarian christian who turned unitarian
The Deception Precisely Illustrated
When Trinitarians say, "the Father is the one God, the Son is the one God, the Holy Spirit is the one God," they implicitly define the word "God" to mean "divine nature/essene." Hence, they are saying "the Father is the one divine nature/essence, the Son is the one divine nature/essence, and the Holy Spirit is the one divine nature/essence." That is about as simple as saying, "the three, Adam, Eve, and Abel are one human nature."
HOWEVER, and this is the critical turning point, Trinitarians ALSO define "the one God" as the Triune Being, the one Triune God. And now it does not work to say, "the Father is the Triune God, the Son is the Triune God, the Holy Spirit is the Triune God." Let us now return to their "logic."
It is quite easy to make a claim that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one divine nature. It is just as easy as claiming Adam, Eve, and Cain were one sinful flesh. But the God of the Bible is not simply a nature. The God of the Bible is a personal identity who has a divine nature in the same way that Adam is a personal identity that has a human nature.
Now since there is only one God, any claim that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are that one God, IS ALSO a claim that each of these three are that one and only personal identity, the one "I" who created the universe. But in the doctrine of the Trinity, each one of these three persons is not this one "I." In Trinitarianism that one "I" would be the one Triune God. None of these three are that one Triune God. Rather they are each only one hypostasis of that one Triune God.
In Trinitarianism this problem results in:
Jesus is the one true God (the one divine nature)
Jesus is not the one true God (the one Triune God who created the world)
Now if you are a thinking person, you know by the above two statements that we have a serious deception on our hands. Let us now illustrate their fallacy of equivocation clearly:
Premise 1: There is one WHO.
Premise 2: Father, Son, Holy Spirit, are each the one WHO.
Conclusion: The three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the one WHO.
Premise 1: There is one WHO.
Premise 2: Father, Son, Holy Spirit, are each the one DIVINE NATURE.
Conclusion: The three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the one DIVINE NATURE.
Fallacy of Equivocation - using a word with two different definitions in the same argument does not result in a logical conclusion. Let us try one more time:
Premise 1: There is one DIVINE NATURE.
Premise 2: Father, Son, Holy Spirit, are each the one DIVINE NATURE.
Conclusion: The three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the one DIVINE NATURE.
Presuming Premise 2 is correct, and presuming the Holy Spirit is a separate third person (both of which this site denies), this argument is TRUE.
Now here is the most important question of all. When the Bible says that there is one God, is it referring to a WHO or a WHAT (divine nature). It is referring to a WHO, a personal IDENTITY. The one God is a LORD, a personal identity, a personal authority, a personal identity to be loved. The one God is not simply a "divine nature" that is possessed by three persons. Divine natures do not created universes, beget sons, Lord over creation, or anything of the like. Personal identity does such a thing. The one God is a Lord of the chosen people of God, a personal authority figure to be served.
And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, "Which commandment is the first of all?" Jesus answered, "The first is, "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' The second is this, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." And the scribe said to him, "You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that He is one, and there is no other but He; and to love Him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices." And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God."
Premise 1: There is one WHO. TRUE
Premise 2: Father, Son, Holy Spirit, are each that one WHO. FALSE
Conclusion: The three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the one WHO. FALSE
The Trinity is FALSE. You see, all you need to do is ask a Trinitarian to define his terms.
Worship Jesus' God.
In Trinitarianism, there is the one God, the Triune God, and Jesus is "another God." He certainly is not the Triune God. So when it is said by Trinitarians that Jesus is God it means "Jesus is divine by nature" because it cannot mean "Jesus is that one Triune God." Hence, their own doctrine results in there being the one Triune God and Jesus is another God because the word "God" in the second statement is another definition for the word "God", another God. Indeed, it also means, in the very same way, that the Father is another God. Different definitions of God (i.e. defining different identities) means you have different Gods on your hands.
Or their own doctrine results in Jesus truly being truly God (truly divine by nature) and the Triune God is another God (not a divine essence but the one being who created the universe) since the word "God" in each of these two claims is different by definition. Six of one, half dozen of the other.
This can be further demonstrate in this way. At 1 Corinthians 8:6, Paul says that we have one Lord, Jesus Christ. Quote this verse and ask a Trinitarian if his one Lord is Jesus Christ? Once he answers, ask him if his one Lord is Jesus or the Father or the Holy Spirit or the Triune God.
Essentially, Trinitarians are trying to persuade people they can have their cake and eat it too. They wish to persuade you Jesus is the one God. But at the same time they wish to persuade you that the Triune God is their one God. Jesus is not that one God because that one God is the Triune God and Jesus is not the Triune God. Hence, they must either accept there are two Gods, the one that Jesus is and the one that Jesus is not. Or they must confess their doctrine is wrong. Their only other option is denial.
Therefore concerning the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that there is no such thing as an idol in the world, and that there is no God but one. For even if there are gods, whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him. (1 Corinthians 8:4-6).
There is one God, the Father, and this God was Jesus' one and only God. Worship not any other God than the God Jesus worshiped and served.
died for their beliefs? reallY?
CONSISTENT ORAL tradition?
jesus prince of peace? really?
IS BLOOD AND MEAT REQUIRED FOR ATONEMENT TO BE ACCEPTED?
did the poor HOLD HANDS with the rich to form continuity so that ATONEMENT was accepted?
jesus according to the gospels wanted to get crucified so badly that he thought that it would have been better that judas was not born
“For the Son of Man goes, even as it is written about him, but woe to that man by whom the Son
of Man is betrayed! It would be better for that man if he had not been born." Mark 14: 21
jesus' deciples who were unable to understand jesus in the public required interpretation in private in a house
Mark 4 (NIV)
When he was ALONE, the Twelve and the others around him asked him
about the parables.
He told them, "The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to
you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables
so that, "`they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever
hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be
jesus , according to trinitarian theology, had a 100 percent human person and a hundred percent god person who was hiding in jesus' hundred percent human flesh.
jesus ' hundred percent human person asked his divine person to forgive those who nailed him on a cross while knowing at the same time that those who blaspheme against the holy spirit will never be forgiven and that god will not send his forgiveness to judas in the DEPTHS of hell. so does it make sense to say that my human side will forgive but my divine side will destroy both the soul and flesh in hell?
does it make sense that my human side is more MERCIFUL than my divine side? it is funny really, god in cosmic form can DROWN people in flood, use human hands TO COMPLETELY destroy the amalekites, but in his flesh form his "peaceful" actions are ranked HIGHER than his RIGHTEOUS commands in the past. in his flesh form, the christian god is IN AGREEMENT with what his father did/said , agrees that ALL of his gods commands are RIGHTEOUS (psalms) .
Last edited by theman09; 12th May 2012 at 10:34.
instead of feeling sorry for jesus and hating the people
who killed him and all the while knowing what god required for
forgiveness of sins; christians should have cheered all the way though
mel gibson’s other movie the passion of the christ chanting the whole
while: Without the shedding of jesus’ blood we’ll fry like beacon in
hell! Thus, shouting “Glory” and “Allelulia…Salvation is mine!” every
time jesus’ flesh is laid open.But you Christians want it both ways.
It’s outwardly: Poor Jesus, but inwardly: Make that sucker bleed!
Salvation is MINE!!!
Bart Ehrman claims that the Gospel of John is testimony to the existence of traditions or sources about the life of Jesus that were independent of anything that was known to the other Gospels. Therefore, so it is implied, the Gospel of John is a witness to Jesus that stands independently of the other Gospels.
When they do tell the same stories (for example, the cleansing of the Temple, the betrayal of Judas, the trial before Pilate, the crucifixion and resurrection narratives) they do so in different language (without verbatim overlaps) and with radically different conceptions. It is simplest to assume that John had his own sources for his accounts. (Did Jesus Exist? p. 259)
Bart Ehrman is a scholar so he does not make this claim lightly. He footnotes it to a source, a scholarly source no less:
Robert Kysar, John the Maverick Gospel, 3rd ed. (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2007) (this links to an online preview)
And that’s it. A book is cited. Authority. Learning. No argument. If Ehrman had given a slight nod to the fact that scholars are in fact divided over the question of John’s dependence upon the Synoptics, he makes it clear that the “reality” is that there is really no question that the fourth gospel is truly an independent source. (Presumably Ehrman thinks scholars are divided over the nature of the reality about the Gospels.)
To begin with, there are solid reasons for doubting that the Gospel of John is based on Mark or on either of the other two earlier Gospels, even though the matter is debated among scholars. But the reality is that most of the stories told about Jesus in the synoptic Gospels are missing from John, just as most of John’s stories, including his accounts of Jesus’s teachings, are missing from the synoptics.
Can you imagine the response of a scholar like Ehrman toward a mythicist who cited a single work that expressed but one side of a contentious scholarly issue in order to make their argument look authoritative? “Quote mining!” would surely be the criminal charge.
But let’s examine one of the examples of the way John’s version of a Synoptic anecdote is so “radically different” and thus presumably derived from a non-Synoptic source.
Simplest to assume . . . ignorance
Bart Ehrman says the differences between the Gospel of John and a synoptic gospel are so radical that “it is simplest to assume” that they drew upon quite different sources.
Don’t biblical scholars talk to each other? Why did Ehrman not refer to the abundantly published studies by his peers that address the way writers of the era imitated and re-wrote their literary sources?
The question is critical. Studies in recent years have demonstrated decisively that ancient authors imitated or re-adapted literary source material in ways that made it look quite different from the original. Indeed, more often than not, the art of imitation that was most valued was one that shunned verbal and thematic similarities.
Ehrman has apparently never heard of any of this scholarship, or if he has, has declared that it is “simplest to assume” ignorance of it and pronounce, instead, that the primary author of the Gospel of John drew upon an otherwise unattested oral tradition that knew nothing of the synoptic Gospels.
Let’s examine that assumption with a case study of the “cleansing of the Temple”.
The Cleansing of the Temple in Mark and John
Why is the Gospel of John so very much alike the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) yet so completely unlike them? It’s a bit like asking why Virgil’s epic poem of the founding of the Roman race by Aeneas of Troy is so alike yet so completely unlike Homer’s epics, the Iliad and Odyssey.
Homer wrote of the Trojan war from the Greek perspective. His second epic, the Odyssey, followed the ventures of a Greek hero. Virgil took the opposite perspective. His hero, Aeneas, was a Trojan. The values Virgil expressed in his epic are in many ways utterly unlike those found in Homer. Virgil speaks of his hero founding a race whose laws and values would be the new civilizing benchmark for the entire world. Homer’s Odysseus only wanted personal revenge against those who had attempted to rob him of his wife and household. Odysseus was in many ways a failure by comparison with Aeneas. Odysseus suffered so many more calamities on his way home and finally lost his entire crew. Aeneas, so much more abundantly blessed by the gods, bypassed hazardous passageways and monsters like Scylla and Charybdis. Yet every scholar, and every innocent layperson, who has read both of Homer’s epics and then Virgil’s Aeneid knows that Virgil was imitating or re-writing Homer.
That’s how authors worked in those days. Imitation, reversal and transvaluation (the same, reversing ‘the same’ and going beyond ‘the same’). Some scholars have suggested that what we can observe in the wider literary world of the day might also be relevant for the gospel literature of the same period. The authors of the gospels might have conformed to the literary conventions of their time.
The most obvious difference between John’s and Mark’s account of the “Temple cleansing” episode is their place in their respective narratives. (I refer to the two gospels as Mark and John for convenience, though we know they are not the real authors.) Mark’s scene is near the end and is the trigger that led the religious authorities to find a way to kill Jesus. John’s is at the beginning of his gospel and has no conspiratorial consequences. So is it likely that John really knew and adapted Mark’s narrative?
Yes. For the following reasons:
•Both scenes contain the same details and actions in the same order
•Both follow the same story structure
•The differences are readily explained by reference to the different theological interests of the gospels
(See the end of this post for a table comparing the two accounts.)
The above three features are typical of the way other authors of the day used their source materials. I am referring back here to my recent posts on Adam Winn’s book about literary mimesis in the era of the Gospels and the criteria Winn and others have proposed to detect literary borrowing: Discovering the soruces for the first gospel: Criteria.
Look at the similarity of details. If there were truly a tradition of this event that was completely independent from the one we read in Mark’s Gospel, we would expect differences of details and narrative sequences. John adds more details to those found in Mark, but we expect stories to be embellished over time in the re-telling. It is significant that he includes the same details as we read in Mark, and in the same order.
1.Both accounts open at exactly the same point. It is a Passover season. Jesus comes to Jerusalem and goes to the temple. Jesus goes up to the Temple and “finds” something there — compare Mark’s introductory scene of Jesus “going to” the fig tree and “finding” nothing on it;
◦Independent reports of events are likely to have different starting and concluding points;
◦We have not only John’s repetition of details applicable directly related to the temple, but also his use of motifs found in Mark’s fig-tree cursing episode either side of the temple incident. See “5″ below.
2.Jesus in both accounts overthrows the tables. Then in both we read, in couplet form, references to the moneychangers and to those who sold doves;
◦A real event spawning different independent reports would be portrayed with different emphases, different details noticed, and certainly not in the same order. John has embellished Mark’s account but he also maintains the same details as Mark and in the same order.
3.Jesus next speaks of his or his father’s “house” with a quotation from scripture. John’s scriptural allusion is to Zechariah 14:21 which can be translated as a complaint that God’s house is filled with merchandise (See Christopher Tuckett’s discussion in The Book of Zechariah and Its Influence — a Google-book preview.)
4.This is followed by a reference in both narratives to the destruction of Jesus: Mark speaks of the destruction of Jesus; John of the destruction of the Temple — which is said also to be Jesus. Here John has taken a cue from Mark’s later discussion of the destruction of the temple being a metaphor for the destruction of the body of Jesus when Jesus is on “trial” before the high priest.
5.Following this scene both narratives speak of the disciples of Jesus “remembering” something: Mark has them “remembering” Jesus’ curse of the fig tree; John has them remember Jesus’ words after his resurrection.
The details above are, I believe, arguably distinctive, numerous, and sequential and thus best explained as John adapting the story found in Mark. And those little echoes in John of the motifs found in Mark’s inclusio cursing of the fig-tree are surely a smoking gun.
Look also at the larger structure of the narrative units:
1.Both begin with a sudden entry into the city at the Passover season
2.Both open and close with scenes involving Jesus “going to”, “finding” and disciples “remembering”, and these motifs are likewise linked to a repeat of the opening and closing statements about the setting being Passover, and Jesus entering the city and coming to the temple.
3.Both have Jesus immediately begin with casting out the sinners. No preparatory discussion of his observations, confrontations, thoughts.
4.The action of casting out is followed by a scripture quotation
5.Both scenes are related in hindsight and misunderstood statements about the death and resurrection of Jesus
So the sequence of the way the story and it meaning unfold is the same in both Gospels.
What of the differences? Can they be explained? I think so.
1. Common but hidden scriptural source
One notable difference between the two is the word Jesus speaks when he casts out the moneychangers. Mark has Jesus charge them with making the temple “a den of thieves” while John says they made the place a centre “for merchandise”. But even here one can see Mark’s influence upon the story as told by John. Mark’s scene is taken in part from the image of Zechariah 14:21 that says a Canaanite or just as likely, a trader or merchant, shall not be allowed in to the house of God.
And there shall no longer be a trader in the house of the LORD of hosts on that day.
We can see that this is the origin of Mark’s statement (not found in John) that Jesus let no such “trader” enter the temple after he cast them out. John has recognized the source of Mark’s “midrash”* and had Jesus quote it directly. If unsure about any of this have another look at Tuckett’s argument.
*(Dr Ehrman calls it midrash so who cares if Dr McGrath goes purple when I use the same word to describe the same thing)
2. Tables and chairs; tables and sitting
Another little detail — it is the little things that are often the telling clues — is that Mark speaks of Jesus overturning tables and chairs. John refers only to tables. No seats. But what John does do — unlike Mark — is describe the money-changers as “sitting” at the tables. Anyone else detect another whiff of smoke? If in doubt, have another look at the way Virgil imitated Homer.
3. Making the last scene the first
We know that John’s Jesus is always in control. He is not taken by others to be crucified, but those who are sent to take him fall backwards when they see him. Jesus gives himself up to them. He does not agonize in Gethsemane. He is in divine control of all that happens.
Mark’s account of the Temple action presents Jesus again in a totally controlling light. The leaders do not react by plotting to kill Jesus because of what he does in the Temple. Jesus, on the other hand, does cryptically tell them that he will give up his body for them to kill so he can resurrect it again.
I suspect there was another reason, too. John’s Gospel is anti-apocalyptic. Jesus is here now in the church. There is no “end time prophecy” of a second coming following the destruction of Jerusalem in John’s Gospel. Mark’s scene is often taken as a symbol of the destruction to come upon Jerusalem following the death of Jesus. John has removed it from any such context and presented it exclusively as a metaphor of the destruction of Jesus alone.
John has replaced Mark’s Temple scene with the miracle of the resurrection of Lazarus. This serves the same function as Mark’s Temple event — it is the catalyst that prompts the religious leaders to decide to kill Jesus. John has moved the Temple scene to the beginning of the gospel so its metaphor of the death of Jesus will hang over the entire narrative. What will prompt the leaders to kill Jesus is a life-giving miracle. Not a metaphor of destruction of Jesus (or even of the city of Jerusalem) but a sign of the life-giving goodness of God. One can read Mark and wonder if the priests had a right to kill Jesus for his temple act. One can’t read John without feeling the author’s savage picture of the incorrigible nature of the Jews.
Last edited by theman09; 13th May 2012 at 12:30.
discussion on jesus' crucifixion
discussion on trinity
Last edited by theman09; 18th May 2012 at 08:50.
You're stuck with modern translations with their attempts at semantic equivalence which are usually further away from the original than is the significance of the language of the KJV when it is not let down by its faulty manuscript source. Just look at the perversions that most modern translations have in Gen 1:7 for רקיע (raqi`a) which the KJV gives as "firmament": dome, expanse, horizon, space. The word means "that which is the result of being beaten (as with metal)". Firmament carries the notion of solidity furnished by רקיע, but not the guessed shape of "dome" nor the lack of substance implied by the others.
You may as well give up reading the bible. You have difficulties with the language of the KJV and are forced to read translations that are often less accurate. Tell me a non apologetic, non-pc reason why the "son of man" has disappeared from the tanakh in the NRSV, but retained in the christian testament?? Look at the morally bankrupt translations of Daniel 9:25 where many versions imply that the seven weeks (or sevens) should be added to the sixty-two weeks. Grammatically the seven belongs to the previous clause, while the 62 belongs to the following clause. But if you can add the two numbers together you can hide the fact that there are two anointed. Look at how many pull this cheap trick. Why do most christian translators not have the guts to translate Gen 1:1 properly? It's not that creatio ex nihilo is required by the religion. The Hebrew is clear, literally "at the beginning of god create the heavens and the earth the cosmos was without form and empty" or, more Englishy, "when god created the heavens and the earth, the cosmos was without form and empty". (Then came three days of god forming the world and three days of filling it.)
Most christians are dependent on the faithful translations of those who should know better, yet they are let down frequently. They are at the mercy of the foibles of doctrinal dictates that translators feel obliged to adhere to.
I recommend that people refer to numerous translations using different translating techniques, both more literal and more equivalent, so that you can get more angles on the idea underlying the text. It's no substitute for the original languages but it is better than being kept in the dark
In the torah is the sky a solid dome or not?
Last edited by theman09; 25th May 2012 at 08:34.
contradictions in the ressurection accounts
before or after the stone was rolled away?