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Author Topic:   Miracles and their Effect of Faith
Taz
Member (Idle past 1465 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 31 of 39 (402247)
05-25-2007 11:39 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by ringo
05-25-2007 9:01 AM


Ringo writes:

Maybe you need to show us in the Bible where that is true. Where did miracles "force belief"?


When the prophet Elijah challenged the worshippers of Baal to create a fire without liting it up. The priests of Baal danced and danced and danced and there was no fire. Elijah prayed and god performed a miracle by liting the wood on fire even after water was poured on the wood. After this, the people of Israel was "forced" to believe in god rather than Baal.



We are BOG. Resistance is voltage over current.

Disclaimer:

Occasionally, owing to the deficiency of the English language, I have used he/him/his meaning he or she/him or her/his or her in order to avoid awkwardness of style.

He, him, and his are not intended as exclusively masculine pronouns. They may refer to either sex or to both sexes!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by ringo, posted 05-25-2007 9:01 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 34 by ringo, posted 05-25-2007 1:04 PM Taz has responded

  
Equinox
Member (Idle past 3315 days)
Posts: 329
From: Michigan
Joined: 08-18-2006


Message 32 of 39 (402259)
05-25-2007 12:26 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by jar
05-24-2007 7:24 PM


Re: Why?
Jar wrote:
For the most part, Jesus miracles are after the fact and NOT done to impress.

I think Jar’s “for the most part” disclaimer is simply a result of the fact that we (even if we know better) tend to think of the Bible as one book instead of 66 (or 73, or 78, or 62, or whatever group you are in) separate books that say very different things.

“for the most part” implies that Jar’s statement is sometimes true and sometimes false. I agree.

In the synoptic gospels (Mk, Mt, Lk), Jar’s statement is almost always true – it’s stated over and over that Jesus will not do miracles to help people believe (to prove he’s the messiah), even when asked. Open up to any synoptic miracles and you’re likely to find that (ask me if you want examples).

In the fourth gospel (Jn), the opposite is true - Jesus does miracles over and over specifically to help people believe (to prove he’s God). He even says so, and walks around doing just about everything he can to focus attention on himself and his miracle working ability to prove his divinity. He even purposefully stays away waiting for the sick lazarus to die, so he can make a big show of resurrecting him. (see John chap. 11).

Bible scholars have noticed this difference (among many others) between the Jesus of the synoptics and the Jesus of John. They are practically two different Jesuses.

This all makes sense if one remembers that the synoptics were written earlier, perhaps when the stories of the miracles hadn’t yet built up as much, so the Christians who wrote the synoptics had to write their stories such that it was understandable that most people had never heard of all these miracles or even of Jesus – hence, a modest and secretive Jesus. By the time John was written, the miracle stories had been further exaggerated by retelling, and many people in the Christian communities had heard them. Thus, whoever wrote gospel of John was able to portray a flashy and grandiose Jesus without losing credibility, thus stoking the hype about Jesus being a great miracle worker and God incarnate.

Have a fun memorial day-

-Equinox


This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by jar, posted 05-24-2007 7:24 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 33 by jar, posted 05-25-2007 12:56 PM Equinox has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 30997
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 33 of 39 (402266)
05-25-2007 12:56 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by Equinox
05-25-2007 12:26 PM


Re: Why?
Thank you. Wish I had rit it. :)

The different functions for miracles can also bee seen in the OT. A classic example is the Exodus myth. There just about every literary miracle device possible is used to further the plot. You see the "Impress miracle" in the competition between Moshe and Aaron tag team vs the evil conjurers of the Pharaoh as well as in the Plagues where God actually steps in and miraculously changes Pharaoh's mind from convinced to unconvinced just so God can pull of yet another stunt.

But you also see the "Miracle as helping" in the manna from heaven, the cloud by day and pillar of fire by night, in the water from rock miracle.

Just to cover all bases the Exodus Myth also has the "Miracle to resolve the Clffhanger dilemma that ended the last episode" type as well. A good example is the "Great Pharaoh wetting in the Red Sea" miracle.

The Bible really is an anthology, and a different writers had different styles and even different purposes for the bit they wrote. It is much like one of the favorite annual events in the old SF mags. A woe issue would be devoted to one subject and groups of authors would be challenged to write a story around the assigned theme. I was always amazed by the variety that appeared in the final product.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by Equinox, posted 05-25-2007 12:26 PM Equinox has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 35 by Equinox, posted 05-25-2007 1:13 PM jar has not yet responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 16681
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 34 of 39 (402268)
05-25-2007 1:04 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by Taz
05-25-2007 11:39 AM


Tazmanian Devil writes:

After this, the people of Israel was "forced" to believe in god rather than Baal.

Good one. :)


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by Taz, posted 05-25-2007 11:39 AM Taz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by Taz, posted 05-25-2007 1:19 PM ringo has responded

  
Equinox
Member (Idle past 3315 days)
Posts: 329
From: Michigan
Joined: 08-18-2006


Message 35 of 39 (402272)
05-25-2007 1:13 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by jar
05-25-2007 12:56 PM


Re: Why?
Thank you. Wish I had rit it.

Thanks! Though you have written a lot of very good posts. Have a good weekend-

Equinox


This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by jar, posted 05-25-2007 12:56 PM jar has not yet responded

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 1465 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 36 of 39 (402273)
05-25-2007 1:19 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by ringo
05-25-2007 1:04 PM


I'm dumbfounded... no argument from you? I was all ready to intercept grenades and internet missiles from you. :)

Anyway, I just wanted to also point out that that is an example of a miracle for the sole purpose of making people believe in god. Without going deep into the metaphorical realm, no person was actually helped by that miracle.



We are BOG. Resistance is voltage over current.

Disclaimer:

Occasionally, owing to the deficiency of the English language, I have used he/him/his meaning he or she/him or her/his or her in order to avoid awkwardness of style.

He, him, and his are not intended as exclusively masculine pronouns. They may refer to either sex or to both sexes!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by ringo, posted 05-25-2007 1:04 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 37 by ringo, posted 05-25-2007 2:11 PM Taz has not yet responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 16681
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 37 of 39 (402279)
05-25-2007 2:11 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by Taz
05-25-2007 1:19 PM


Tazmanian Devil writes:

I'm dumbfounded... no argument from you?

I really did try to find a way to weasel out. :D

I just wanted to also point out that that is an example of a miracle for the sole purpose of making people believe in god.

Did I say that "never" happens? If so, oops. I do get a bit polar sometimes.

To put it more diplomatically: The purpose of miracles is (generally) not to impress or convert. Sometimes people (possibly including Elijah) misconstrue them that way.


Help scientific research in your spare time. No cost. No obligation.
Join the World Community Grid with Team EvC
This message is a reply to:
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anastasia
Member (Idle past 4126 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 38 of 39 (402561)
05-28-2007 12:30 AM
Reply to: Message 37 by ringo
05-25-2007 2:11 PM


This is just a general reply, not directed to you specifically...but as you were the last post...well.

I for one do not think that the miracles are completely over. I think we see 'miracles' but as you have said, we recognize them for what they are without the mythos of centuries.

I will also chime in on the loser category in saying that I believe the time of God's intervention is suspended, and this is ONLY because I am Catholic and because I believe in the message of Jesus to Sister Faustina amoung others, where He does say that His direct intervention will end until a later period.

Regarding the Bible, there is actually no record that any miracle, or few, resulted in belief in Jesus' divinity. The feeding of 5000 never mentions whether the 5000 fed knew where the food had come from. No one at the wedding, beside Mary, knew where the extra wine came from. Jesus' walk on water was essentially private, and still did not stop Peter from doubting and denying Jesus later. ALL of the miracles did not stop Thomas from doubting that Jesus could resurrect. That should be amazing to us, or ar least throw off our own belief in the miracles. Judas obviously still betrayed this great miracle worker!

These people believed in God and in His prophets. They did not find PROOF of God thru Jesus, they did not find proof that Jesus WAS God. There were not 1000's of converts to Christianity, only Hebrews who believed God was still working amoung them. It took a long while, and it is STILL not resolved amoung Christians, that Jesus IS God. Either that says something about our power to doubt, or about the quality and the publicity of the miracles themselves. You can't just say 'why doesn't God do miracles now?' without recalling that whatever miracles were rumoured to have happened were by and large only recorded or noticed by those who already believed and who saw something in the event. That's exactly how it is now. But WHAT they believed or saw in the miracles was a very subjective experience.

I don't disbelieve the miracles, but I do see historically that they were not the cause of immediate fall on your face worship, and actually the folks who believed in Jesus, such as Mary Magdalene, and the thief on the cross, the woman who touched Jesus, the centaurian who believed that Jesus could heal his servant, Mary the sister of Martha...these people were exalted and remembered for listening to the message, for trusting an example, and they were rewarded for their faith. NOT the other way around. That was what Jesus was telling Thomas.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by ringo, posted 05-25-2007 2:11 PM ringo has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by Nighttrain, posted 05-28-2007 7:36 AM anastasia has not yet responded

    
Nighttrain
Member (Idle past 2167 days)
Posts: 1512
From: brisbane,australia
Joined: 06-08-2004


Message 39 of 39 (402568)
05-28-2007 7:36 AM
Reply to: Message 38 by anastasia
05-28-2007 12:30 AM


Oink! Oink!
Regarding the Bible, there is actually no record that any miracle, or few, resulted in belief in Jesus' divinity. The feeding of 5000 never mentions whether the 5000 fed knew where the food had come from. No one at the wedding, beside Mary, knew where the extra wine came from. Jesus' walk on water was essentially private, and still did not stop Peter from doubting and denying Jesus later. ALL of the miracles did not stop Thomas from doubting that Jesus could resurrect. That should be amazing to us, or ar least throw off our own belief in the miracles. Judas obviously still betrayed this great miracle worker!

If topping someone else`s herd of 2000 pigs didn`t impress the lads, nothing else would. :-p


This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by anastasia, posted 05-28-2007 12:30 AM anastasia has not yet responded

    
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