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Author Topic:   Jesus's motives for performing miracles.
Archer Opteryx
Member (Idle past 1764 days)
Posts: 1811
From: East Asia
Joined: 08-16-2006


Message 61 of 69 (358792)
10-25-2006 2:31 PM
Reply to: Message 60 by iano
10-25-2006 9:42 AM


Re: Yeshua the Healer
iano:

Strip away his divinity and that's all your left with. A great moral, compassionate teacher.

Oh, is that all?

Well, no one has stripped anyone of divinity. And there's nothing trivial about being 'a great moral compassionate teacher,' whatever one decides about Jesus.

John prevents that - unless you can find some way (which you seem to have done to your own satisfaction) of dismissing the Jesus of John (and the epistles).

I noted only some differences that exist in the Gospel portraits and noted their correlation with the date of writing.

Good grounds exist to regard the Synoptic portraits as more accurate historically. I made no argument about how this affects theology, if at all. Readers will decide that for themselves.

Your error is to suppose that Jesus instructions have the one dimensional purpose of exhorting mankind to the humanistic endeavor of on and ever upwards.

I supposed nothing of the sort.

I noted only the way Jesus in the Synoptics endorses aggressive action to alleviate human suffering. I contrasted this with the indifference modern fundamentalists display toward even a discussion of world hunger.

You do not deny this indifference. You do not deny the contrast. You simply tar any discussion of feeding the hungry with the brush of 'humanistic endeavor.'

Yet it seems Jesus was a humanist.

His commands are "do or else". And man cannot do. He can only try to do. Which is not what Jesus commanded.

Then you have said it yourself. Do, or do not. There is no try.

Sell your possessions, and give to the poor.

The story of the rich young ruler is a case in point. He could not do as Jesus commanded. He could only do some of what Jesus commanded. Same as us all.

'Same as us all'?

This acceptance of human weakness is indeed touching... coming as it does on the heels of Jesus' command to sell all one's possessions.

:eek:

Until now you showed little patience with those who 'pick and choose' among Scriptures. Suddenly you find room to indulge those who 'only do some of what Jesus commanded.' You once had little patience for human refusal to act literally on divine instructions. Now you frame such refusals as a matter of 'can not' rather than 'will not.' You once had little patience with skepticism about the words of Paul. Now you find it understandable to disobey a direct command from Christ.

It's a touching show of compassion, to be sure. Who knew Iano could go so soft and mushy? ;)

But if that's things stand, you have an obligation now to cut other professed followers of Jesus slack when they 'only do some of what Jesus commanded.' You have no right to pronounce them outside the camp because, as you now say, this only makes them the 'same as us all.'

quote:

‘Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgement you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbour, “Let me take the speck out of your eye”, while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbour’s eye.

-- Matthew 7.1-5 (NRSV)



Archer

All species are transitional.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 60 by iano, posted 10-25-2006 9:42 AM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 63 by iano, posted 10-25-2006 8:04 PM Archer Opteryx has responded

  
honda33
Member (Idle past 3328 days)
Posts: 51
From: Antigua
Joined: 04-11-2006


Message 62 of 69 (358839)
10-25-2006 6:16 PM
Reply to: Message 51 by Archer Opteryx
10-25-2006 4:06 AM


Re: Yeshua the Healer
A sincere desire to heal strikes me as the most credible motive

That's the answer I was expecting from the Fundies..


Then it is said that an ancient written account of a miracle is supposed to be just as convincing as seeing the thing in person.

If the miracles stories were actually true they would validate that particular statement. The eyewitnesses to these events seemed less convinced than people reading the stories 2000 years later.

Edited by honda33, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by Archer Opteryx, posted 10-25-2006 4:06 AM Archer Opteryx has not yet responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 107 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 63 of 69 (358866)
10-25-2006 8:04 PM
Reply to: Message 61 by Archer Opteryx
10-25-2006 2:31 PM


Re: Yeshua the Healer
Well, no one has stripped anyone of divinity. And there's nothing trivial about being 'a great moral compassionate teacher,' whatever one decides about Jesus.

In comparison a great moral teacher is a triviality. That the creator of the universe stepped into time as a man and had direct dealing with us renders anything anyone else has to say about morals and meaning not worth the time of day.

Setting to one side the gospel which makes most of his divinity on the grounds that reports of his compassion (which many great moral teachers have shared) are somehow subdued by that account is stripping the import of divinity. Divinity is the main event. He could have been a tyrant in the synoptics and it wouldn't have lessened the main event of his divinity. It just so happens that the divine is compassionate as well

Our good fortune. But a side issue.

Good grounds exist to regard the Synoptic portraits as more accurate historically. I made no argument about how this affects theology, if at all. Readers will decide that for themselves.

The synoptics tell us of a man who performed amazing miracles. This "historical accuracy" gig can only be pushed so far when Matthew says the likes of this:

quote:
2There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

I noted only the way Jesus in the Synoptics endorses aggressive action to alleviate human suffering. I contrasted this with the indifference modern fundamentalists display toward even a discussion of world hunger.

I was under the impression that you were suppressing talk of his divinity because it concentrated less on his compassion. As if compassion sat above and was more important than divinity. A compassionate divinity is rendered by all accounts together. The sum of the parts has greater significance for us than each of the individual parts have in themselves.

You do not deny this indifference. You do not deny the contrast. You simply tar any discussion of feeding the hungry with the brush of 'humanistic endeavor.'

If one is talking eternal destination then food on the table is the lesser of the priorities - had one to chose. As it happens one is in no need of doing so. The world is awash with Christian missions which aims to feed body and soul. Not that I think Christians are the sort of super-moral people you seem to require them to be.

Christians are simply bad people who accepted, before God, that they are bad. They are no better than anyone else (unless they have their heads stuck where the sun doesn't shine - their bad)

His commands are "do or else". And man cannot do. He can only try to do. Which is not what Jesus commanded.

Then you have said it yourself. Do, or do not. There is no try. Sell your possessions, and give to the poor.

I cannot. I am too selfish to do so. And so is everyone else. And even if they weren't they would merely fall at some other fence he set before them. No one who grasps what he commands can do as he commands. That's the whole point. Where does one get the fuel in ones tank to even begin to think about doing so. And if you do not do as he commands then to Hell you shall go. Unless....

If you were convinced of this, do you imagine that the phrase "Oh shit!" would enter your vocab? I'd be surprised if it didn't. It did mine.

This acceptance of human weakness is indeed touching... coming as it does on the heels of Jesus' command to sell all one's possessions.

It's not my acceptance of human weakness so much as being pragmatic about it. Humans are weak. They are in need a saviour precisely because they cannot do it.

quote:
‘Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgement you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbour, “Let me take the speck out of your eye”, while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbour’s eye.

Whose judging anyone? I'm telling it like it is. No one can do what Jesus commanded - be they Christian or no. They will all fail. The only difference between a Christian and anyone else is that the Christian has been convinced of the fact they cannot, of themselves, follow the his commands. I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone could persist under the illusion that they can, under own steam, do what Jesus commanded.

The only thing that explains that lack of seeing is blindness.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 61 by Archer Opteryx, posted 10-25-2006 2:31 PM Archer Opteryx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 64 by Archer Opteryx, posted 10-26-2006 10:10 AM iano has responded

  
Archer Opteryx
Member (Idle past 1764 days)
Posts: 1811
From: East Asia
Joined: 08-16-2006


Message 64 of 69 (358967)
10-26-2006 10:10 AM
Reply to: Message 63 by iano
10-25-2006 8:04 PM


Re: Yeshua the Healer
iano:

Setting to one side the gospel which makes most of his divinity on the grounds that reports of his compassion (which many great moral teachers have shared) are somehow subdued by that account is stripping the import of divinity.

I didn't 'set aside' anything, so I didn't do it on 'grounds.' I pointed out a difference.

I am sorry you find the observation unwelcome. It remains valid.

I was under the impression that you were suppressing talk of his divinity because it concentrated less on his compassion. As if compassion sat above and was more important than divinity.

You have been under many impressions. The word compassion triggers a host of reactions from you. You hear in the word all kinds of unwelcome things about 'soft mushy character,' enthroning a single idea over other cherished beliefs, 'one-dimensional humanistic endeavors,' spiritual blindness, divinity denials, etc. You kick up all this sand even when--especially when--the word is shown to you straight from your Bible.

It might be a good idea to explore further on your own the sources of this reaction.

For my part, I'm satisfied to note the difference that exists between the portraits of Jesus we find in the Synoptic writers and in John. The difference is substantial, it can be demonstrated by reference to the texts, it has been noted by countless observers, and it reflects changing historical situations in the first century.

The significance of this observation to the subject of this thread has been demonstrated.

I leave it to the reader to decide what to make of the situation theologically. Iano has his take on it. Others will have theirs.

_

Edited by Archer Opterix, : Italics.

Edited by Archer Opterix, : HTML.


Archer

All species are transitional.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 63 by iano, posted 10-25-2006 8:04 PM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 65 by iano, posted 10-26-2006 10:35 AM Archer Opteryx has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 107 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 65 of 69 (358977)
10-26-2006 10:35 AM
Reply to: Message 64 by Archer Opteryx
10-26-2006 10:10 AM


Re: Yeshua the Healer
I didn't 'set aside' anything, so I didn't do it on 'grounds.' I pointed out a difference.

Earlier you said this...

Archer earlier writes:

The earliest accounts of Yeshua emphasize his gifts as a healer, storyteller and teacher. A sincere desire to heal strikes me as the most credible motive.

You continue for some reason to suppose an either/or. Either miracles due to compassion or miracles due a demonstrating divinity. You haven't said why there should be an either/or except to assert more or less this...

A later generation made the miracles about demonstrations of an icon's divinity rather than expressions of a healer's compassion. The shift reflects a more polarized age when a Christian identity separate from that of Judaism was emerging.

No one knows when John was written precisely so your either/or depends on a) the date you happen to plump for, for the writing of the gospel and b)the assertion that the times it was written in determined the writing not the situation being reported. One must make a choice I suppose but the synoptics contain evidence of his divinity and John contains evidence of his compassion so your either/or seems to be lost at sea to me

Why not compassionate and divine? The divine would have some characteristic - and compassionate is as good as any.

You have been under many impressions. The word compassion triggers a host of reactions from you. You clearly hear in the word all kinds of unwelcome things about 'soft mushy character,' enthroning a single idea over other cherished beliefs, 'one-dimensional humanistic endeavors,' spiritual blindness, divinity denials, etc. You kick up all this fuss even when--especially when--the word is shown to you straight from your Bible.

I challenge your plumping for the compassionate side of your either/or scenario.

For my part, I'm satisfied to note the difference that exists between the portraits of Jesus we find in the Synoptic writers and in John. The difference is substantial, it can be demonstrated by reference to the texts, it has been noted by countless observers, and it reflects changing historical situations in the first century.

Jesus wept.

Maybe you should concentrate on the similarties instead.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 64 by Archer Opteryx, posted 10-26-2006 10:10 AM Archer Opteryx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 66 by Legend, posted 10-26-2006 11:45 AM iano has not yet responded
 Message 67 by Archer Opteryx, posted 10-26-2006 12:15 PM iano has not yet responded

  
Legend
Member (Idle past 3172 days)
Posts: 1226
From: Wales, UK
Joined: 05-07-2004


Message 66 of 69 (358998)
10-26-2006 11:45 AM
Reply to: Message 65 by iano
10-26-2006 10:35 AM


Re: Yeshua the Healer
iano writes:

One must make a choice I suppose but the synoptics contain evidence of his divinity and John contains evidence of his compassion so your either/or seems to be lost at sea to me

It's because you've already made the choice of amalgamating the two into one (as per your previous "stereoscopic vision" analogy). The synoptics focus on a fiery yet compassionate preacher who teaches that good deeds will see you through in the kingdom of heaven. John focuses on a meta-physical divine being whose main role is living out a pre-arranged scenario in order to 'redeem' us.

If they're all based on eyewitness accounts (as you and most Christians believe), then it really does come down to a crossroads:
Either Jesus made a hell of a contradictory impression on people around him
Or One of the two lines of gospel authors knew very little about Jesus and was instead pursuing its own theological interests.

Just because you've chosen the first option doesn't mean that the dividing line isn't there.


"In life, you have to face that some days you'll be the pigeon and some days you'll be the statue."
This message is a reply to:
 Message 65 by iano, posted 10-26-2006 10:35 AM iano has not yet responded

  
Archer Opteryx
Member (Idle past 1764 days)
Posts: 1811
From: East Asia
Joined: 08-16-2006


Message 67 of 69 (359015)
10-26-2006 12:15 PM
Reply to: Message 65 by iano
10-26-2006 10:35 AM


Re: Yeshua the Healer
Why not compassionate and divine?

If you regard Jesus as deity and all four of the Gospels as inerrant, that's how it has to be.

But you didn't say this at first. You never mentioned compassion. Mark, Matthew, and Luke did, but you left it to others to bring that up.

When I mentioned compassion it was you who assumed the 'either/or situation'. You began by assuming that belief in Jesus's divinity stood or fell with John's account. You assumed the compassion discussed by me (and the Synoptic writers) represented a competing, hostile, anti-divinity thesis. You ended by arguing against your own assumption.

People have more than one reason for doing anything. I know this. I see no reason why Yeshua would be an exception.

I also know the Synoptic writers--the writers closest to events historically--thought compassion the motive most worthy of mention. I shared their statements here.

I recommend putting compassion into your picture earlier in the future, before someone else has to bring it up. It serves no purpose to let fears of 'mushiness' and 'one-dimensional humanism' blind you to the teachings of a Christ you claim to defend.

As for the Gospel accounts: the differences are as I stated them and the observations are hardly new with me. Reasonable people will consider these differences in weighing the nature and credibility of the accounts--unless barred from doing so by the constraints of their faith.

_

Edited by Archer Opterix, : HTML.


Archer

All species are transitional.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 65 by iano, posted 10-26-2006 10:35 AM iano has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 68 by b b, posted 03-25-2007 5:07 PM Archer Opteryx has not yet responded

  
b b
Member (Idle past 4298 days)
Posts: 77
From: baton rouge, La, usa
Joined: 09-25-2005


Message 68 of 69 (391532)
03-25-2007 5:07 PM
Reply to: Message 67 by Archer Opteryx
10-26-2006 12:15 PM


Re: Yeshua the Healer
God created everything. Everything he created, he created with a purpose. He created Jesus Christ with a purpose. Everything Jesus did he did because that's what he was created to do. That was his number one reason for doing "anything." God created this world with laws of nature. Regardless to popular belief, everything works a certain way. God sent Jesus to show us that the only true way to heal is through love (for one another) and faith (belief in God). That was God's purpose. Jesus's purpose was to obey his Father, who created him from love. If he created him to hate us all, he would have. One thing I want to point out(not sure what this means) is that in Mathew, Mark, and maybe Luke(not sure about Luke), I never got the impression that Jesus was any different than us. You can't show me that I can do all things with a cheat code on. John may have wrote his beliefs, I think Mathew and Mark wrote facts (the things he did and what he actually told us about himself. Everyone read Mathew and Mark again forgetting what you already think you know and see who he really told you he was. Mark 10 v17 or 18 : Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one. That is God. We can argue until he comes back, but he told us what he really wanted us to know. We just believe what we want. It is no surprise to me that John was written way later than the other two, although I did not know that. When we as people lose someone close to us we sometimes remember them a little more dramatic(I really can't think of a better word) than what the actual account was. I do beleive Jesus was who "He" said "He" was. For God is not a man that he should lie. I don't believe his son was either. I don't need a phd for that either.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by Archer Opteryx, posted 10-26-2006 12:15 PM Archer Opteryx has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 69 by Larni, posted 03-27-2007 6:40 AM b b has not yet responded

  
Larni
Member
Posts: 3976
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 69 of 69 (391747)
03-27-2007 6:40 AM
Reply to: Message 68 by b b
03-25-2007 5:07 PM


Re: Yeshua the Healer
Yay thread necromancy!

b b writes:

When we as people lose someone close to us we sometimes remember them a little more dramatic(I really can't think of a better word) than what the actual account was.

So we could say his motive for performing miracles was to cement his place in history? By making people remember his works in a more dramatic sense because of the miracalous nature of said works?

b b writes:

I do beleive Jesus was who "He" said "He" was.

Do you believe because of the miracles or because of faith alone? If it is faith; why miracles?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 68 by b b, posted 03-25-2007 5:07 PM b b has not yet responded

    
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