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Author Topic:   Did Jesus teach reincarnation?
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Message 1 of 230 (776523)
01-15-2016 12:11 AM

Listen to what Jesus said when he was asked about resurrection.
Mark 9
10 And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean.
11 And they asked him, saying, Why say the scribes that Elias must first come?
12 And he answered and told them, Elias verily cometh first, and restoreth all things; and how it is written of the Son of man, that he must suffer many things, and be set at nought.
13 But I say unto you, That Elias is indeed come, and they have done unto him whatsoever they listed, as it is written of him.
Parallel in Matthew
Matthew 17
10And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?
11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.
12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.
13 Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.
Matthew 11
11Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.
15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
The fictional Gospel of John was written perhaps to contradict what Jesus said.
Interestingly, early Christian communities seemed to hold views that were based on the plain words of Jesus.
The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions
John Bowker (ed.)
Oxford University Press; 1st edition (May 8, 1997)
Elkesaites. A Jewish Christian group which arose c. 100 CE in the country east of the Jordan, having affinities with the *Ebionites (e. g. in their *asceticism and in their use of only the gospel of *Matthew) and deriving their name from Elkesai who received a revelation from an angel 96 miles tall. Mani (see MANICHAEISM) belonged to an Elkesaite community in S. Babylon from the ages of 4 to 25. It is clear that a number of Manichean beliefs (e. g. in repeated incarnations of Christ, heavenly and earthly counterparts, and eating as sacramental) derive from the Elkesaites.)
Here is the Wikipedia entry on them, and the evidence for their existence seems documented and strong.
Elcesaites - Wikipedia
Mani and the Dead Sea Scrolls The BAS Library
Mani and the Dead Sea Scrolls
Manichaean mythology not only draws on Genesis, but also borrows from extrabiblical Jewish texts, including a Second Temple era account known as the Book of Giants. The Book of Giants includes an expanded version of Genesis 6:1—4, in which the sons of God mate with the daughters of man. The Book of Giants is known from only two literary collections: the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Manichaean scriptures, where it was considered canonical.
How did Mani and his followers know about this ancient Jewish book? Is there a connection between Mani and the Essenes, the Jewish sect often credited with producing and preserving the Qumran library?
Bishop Epiphanius of Salamis, a fourth-century C.E. expert on Christian heresies, suggests an intriguing link.
According to Epiphanius, who was intimately familiar with the late antique Palestinian landscape, the Dead Sea area was home to a Jewish sect of Ossaeans, a designation that is strikingly reminiscent of Essenes. Epiphanius reports: During the reign of the Emperor Trajan [98—117 C.E.], these Ossaeans were joined by one called Elksai, who was a false prophet. According to Epiphanius, the Ossaean sect is now called Sampsaean, but elsewhere he states that the Sampsaeans are now called Elkesaites.
MANI — Encyclopaedia Iranica
Back to the Oxford Dictionary.
Oxford Dictionary
Ebionites. (Heb. ..., 'poor men'). Asect of Jewish Christians of the early centuries CE. Its nature and history cannot be reconstructed from the surviving references. It appears to have existed east of the river Jordan. ...It is an open question whether they can have been direct descendants of the Jerusalem church. ...See also ENCRATITES.
Oxford Dictionary
Encratites. Groups of early Christians whose ascetic practices (and related teaching) were condemned by mainstream writers such as *Iranaeus. The term was apparently not used precisely but with reference to many *gnostics and *Ebionites who commonly rejected *alcohol, meat, and especially marriage. In these terms, much of earliest Syriac Christianity may be said to have been 'encratite'.

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 Message 3 by PaulK, posted 01-15-2016 8:57 AM LamarkNewAge has replied

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Message 4 of 230 (776568)
01-16-2016 12:49 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by PaulK
01-15-2016 8:57 AM

Understand what Avatar and reincarnation mean.
Oxford Dictionary of Worlds Religions
John Bowker
Avatara (skt., 'descent')
Oxford Dictionary of Worlds Religions
John Bowker
Incarnation (Lat., in carne, "in flesh/body'). The belief that God is wholly present to, or in, a human life and body. The term may be used to 'translate' the Hindu understanding of *avatara, but it is more commonly used of the belief that in *Jesus Christ, the divine and human natures were united in one person, and that God was, consequently, in carne, incarnated.
Reincarnation has to do with descending and migrating into a body from conception and not necessarily to death.
Before proceeding on that note, lets just say that Paul (in Romans 5 and I Cor. 15) didn't say anything about Elijah not being dead. Hebrews 11 also didn't mention it. The New Testament is actually silent on the issue. Josephus didn't draw conclusions.
2. Accordingly the king in a very little time died, as Elijah had foretold; but Jehoram his brother succeeded him in the kingdom, for he died without children: but for this Jehoram, he was like his father Ahab in wickedness, and reigned twelve years, indulging himself in all sorts of wickedness and impiety towards God, for, leaving off his worship, he worshipped foreign gods; but in other respects he was an active man. Now at this time it was that Elijah disappeared from among men, and no one knows of his death to this very day; but he left behind him his disciple Elisha, as we have formerly declared. And indeed, as to Elijah, and as to Enoch, who was before the deluge, it is written in the sacred books that they disappeared, but so that nobody knew that they died.
Also, consider this in Mark.
Mark 5
King Herod heard of it, for Jesus'2 name had become known. Some3 said, xJohn the Baptist4 has been raised from the dead. That is why these miraculous powers are at work in him. 15 xBut others said, He is Elijah. And others said, He is ya prophet, like one of the prophets of old. 16 But when Herod heard of it, he said, John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.
Mark 8
And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples, Who do people say that I am? 28 And they told him, pJohn the Baptist; and others say, qElijah; and others, one of the prophets. 29 And he asked them, But who do you say that I am? Peter answered him, rYou are sthe Christ. 30 tAnd he strictly charged them to tell no one about him.
But here is the response showing that the issue isn't death
The Jewish World around the New Testament
Richard Bauckham
Baker Academic (July 1, 2010)
Pseudo-Philo, Biblical Antiquities 48:1. This passage probably from the late first century, is the earliest evidence of a tradition, later found in the Pseudo-Jonathan Targum to the Pentateuch (Exod 4:13; 6:18; 40:10; Deut 30:4; cf. Num 25:12) and occasionally in rabbinic literature (Pirqe R. El. 29) that identified Elijah with the high priest Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron. We need not discuss the exegetical origins of the tradition here. What is important for our present purposes is that the version of the tradition in Pseudo-Philo refers to the death of the returning Elijah:
And in that time Phinehas laid himself down to die, and the Lord said to him, 'Behold you have passed the 120 years that have been established for every man. And now rise up and go from here and dwell in Danaben on the mountain and dwell there many years. And I will command my eagle, and he will nourish you there, and you will not come down to mankind until the time arrives and you be tested at that time; and you will shut the heaven then, and by your mouth it will be opened up. And afterward you will be lifted up into the place where those who were before you were lifted up, and you will be there until I remember the world. Then I will make you all come and you [plural] will taste what is death ( Bib Ant. 48:1).
Here Phinehas is commanded to hide on a mountain, where God nourishes him, until the time - many - centuries later - when he is to re-appear in the world as the prophet Elijah, unequivocally identified by the information that he will both conjure up a drought and put an end to it. Elijah's ascension is then predicted: 'you will be lifted up into the place where those who were before you (priores tui) were lifted up.' Presumably this is a paradise, and there Elijah and the others remain until, at the end time, God brings them back to the earth. Only then will Phinehas-Elijah and the others die. This reference to the death of Phinehas-Elijah in the eschatological future seems to be unique among the texts that identify Phinehas and Elijah.
Who are the ones who had been lifted up to paradise before Phinehas-Elijah? Certainly they include Enoch, whose translation to heaven Pseudo-Philo has noted in its place, following Genesis 5:24 (Lib. Ant. 1:16). Perhaps Pseudo-Philo's statement that Enoch 'was not found' (non inveniebatur), where Genesis has 'was not,' is intended to assimilate Enoch's ascension to that of Elijah (cf. 2 Kgs 2:17). Pseudo-Philo nowhere indicates that any other of his characters belong in the same category. According to 2 Baruch (13:3), Baruch does, according to 4 Ezra (14:9), Ezra does, but these lived long after Elijah's ascension. Later Rabbinic literature supplies other names of 'those who entered paradise alive': Elizer the servant of Abraham, Serah the daughter of Asher (Gen 46:17), Bithiah the daughter of Pharaoh (1 Chron 4:17, identified with the Egyptian princess who rescued Moses), Jabez (1 Chron 4:9-10), Hiram king of Tyre, Ebed-melech the Ethiopian (Jer 38:7-13; 39:15-18), Jonadab the Rechabite and his descendants (Jer 35), the servant of Rabbi Judah the Prince, Rabbi Joshua ben Levi, and the Messiah. Of these, Elizer, Serah, Bithiah, and perhaps Jabez, lived before the time of Phinehas, while Hiram lived before the time of Elijah's ascension. We have no evidence that precisely these persions were already, in the late first century CE, when Pseudo-Philo wrote, thought not to have died, but, in some cases at least, this idea about them was based in ingenious exegesis of the kind that certainly was employed in Pseudo-Philo's time and often presupposed by Pseudo-Philo's text. Some of these persons, therefore, may be those, besides Enoch, who had already been translated to paradise before Phinehas-Elijah was.
Pseudo-Philo's Biblical Antiquities has much in common, especially in its eschatological themes and language, with the two apocalypses of roughly the same date: 4 Ezra and 2 Baruch. The notion of a group of people who had not died and whom God would bring to earth at the end-time is found in 4 Ezra (6:26; 7:28; 13:52; 14:9), which provided the closest parallel to the Biblical Antiquities in this respect. The group are defined as 'those who were taken up, who from their birth have not tasted death' (6:26). The following passage is especially illuminating for our purposes:
For my son the Messiah shall be revealed with those who are with him, and those who remain shall rejoice four hundred years. After those years my son the Messiah shall die, and all who draw human breath. Then the world shall be turned back to primeval silence for seven days, as was at the first beginnings, so that no one shall be left. After seven days the world that is not yet awake shall be roused, and that which is corruptible shall perish (4 Ezra 7:28-31 NRSV).
In this passage those who are with the Messiah apparently share in the messianic kingdom, at the end of which both the Messiah and all living humans die. The latter must include those who had been taken up without dying and who return to earth with the Messiah at the beginning of the messianic kingdom. The idea seems to be that everything in this world must revert to nothing before it can be recreated in the world to come. No mortal being, not even the Messiah himself, can enter the new creation without dying and rising again. The issue seems to be the same as that which Paul deals in 1 Corinthians 15:50-52, though the solution is rather different.
It is not easy to parallel at all precisely these expectations of the death of the Messiah and the reversion of all creation to chaos (thought cf. 2 Bar 44:9), but it is notable how closely the end of this passage and the following verses (4 Ezra 7:31-35) are paralleled by Biblical Antiquities 3:10, including the idea of another, everlasting world to come. In view of the close parallels at these and other points between the eschatological expectations of 4 Ezra and Pseudo-Philo, it is reasonable to find in 4 Ezra 7:28-31 an explanation of the expected death of the returning Elijah in Biblical Antiquities 48:1. Phinehas-Elijah will finally taste death because every human must; it is the only way into the new creation. But he will die, not be killed. Thus, while Zeron was right to find in Biblical Antiquities 48:1 an expectation that both Enoch and Elijah (along with others who ascend without dying) will eventually die, he was mistaken to call this death 'martyrdom.' This expectation has little in common with the expectation found in the Christian apocalypses that Enoch and Elijah will come to denounce Antichrist and will be put to death by him. Both the rationale for it are quite different.
The above text had lots of detailed footnoted references that I didn't provide the ellipsis for, sorry.
Oxford Dictionary of Worlds Religions
John Bowker
the *gospels record speculation that John the Baptist, who wore the same clothes..., was a reincarnation of the prophet.
This is a conservative dictionary too btw.
A 100 CE Christian sect believed in Jesus as an avatar and in reincarnation (earlier than the book of John was even written)
COLOGNE MANI CODEX — Encyclopaedia Iranica
ALCHASAI — Encyclopaedia Iranica
ALCHASAI, a sectarian in the early Christian Church, 1st-2nd centuries A.D., in the time of Trajan.
The Cologne Codex as a whole indicates that Elchasaism was more important and widespread than hitherto known. It confirms and clarifies the patristic records, although it adds little to the general knowledge of the movement (or movements): (1) ritualistic conception of piety, life according to the Law (nomos), (2) keeping of the sabbath, (3) repeated baptisms (violently attacked by Mani), (4) baptism of food, (5) ritual preparation and baking of bread, disapproved by Mani, (6) acknowledgment of the gospels (so also Mani), but rejection of St. Paul, to whom Mani was indebted, (7) vegetarianism (so Ephiphanius and the Fehrest), implied though not expressly mentioned by the Codex (accepted by Mani), (8) cyclic incarnation of the True Apostle (taken over by Mani). (See Zeitschrift fr Papyrologie und Epigraphik 5, 1970, pp. 158ff.; A. Henrichs, Mani and the Babylonian Baptists, Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 77, 1973, pp. 47ff.; A. Henrichs and L. Koenien, Der Klner Mani-Codex . . . , Zeitschrift fr Papyrologie und Epigraphik 32, 1978, pp. 183ff.)
The primary importance of the Cologne Codex is that it convincingly underlines the character of Manicheism as a religion rooted in a Christian (Judeo-Christian/Judeo-Gnostic [but the anpausis of Elchasaism, the eternal rest of the body, removes the latter far from gnosticism]) tradition and not primarily an Iranian mystery religion (R. Reitzenstein’s iranisches Erlsungsmysterium), although Iranian elements play no small part in the forming of Mani’s gnostic religion. The text also shows that the apparent Mandean influence on Manicheism (cf. the Psalms of Thomas) must be interpreted as indirect, stemming from the common general baptist milieu, out of which also the Mandeans emerged.
There are 3 Encyclopedia Iranica links (including 1 super long one in my op). The above was a quote from the shorter last one. See the others.
These were the majority of Christians. The Iranian empire was packed with Jews and Aramaic individuals. That was where the bulk of Christians were. This was fairly representative of their views.
It gives us an idea of why the Gospel of John was written (from Alexandria?). And why the Pastoral Epistles were written (from Ephesus?).

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 Message 3 by PaulK, posted 01-15-2016 8:57 AM PaulK has replied

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 Message 5 by PaulK, posted 01-16-2016 2:28 AM LamarkNewAge has replied

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Message 6 of 230 (776573)
01-16-2016 7:01 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by PaulK
01-16-2016 2:28 AM

Jesus said he was "born" in the same breath.
Exodus 6:25
Eleazar son of Aaron married one of the daughters of Putiel, and she bore him Phinehas. These were the heads of the Levite families, clan by clan.
There was a descending from above in both the case of John (see Gospel quotes) and Phinehas. If there is an earthly descent (from a mother) and a heavenly descent then that is evidence of at least incarnation, and in the case of these 2 an ascension as well. (Don't confuse with Hophni and Phinehas, son of Eli from 1 Samuel, which still predated Elijah by 150+ years). Elijah himself was a reincarnation (of Phinehas), according to 1 century CE Jewish thinking.
Descent and Ascension w/ death for Phinehas c. 1500 BCE, then descent then possible translation (or death which would then have an ascension) for Elijah in the 9th century. It's all based on 1st century AD documents (including the Gospel of Mark which could date in the mid 60s CE).
Hebrews 11 says Enoch was "translated" I think.
That isn't the same as a death which would have an ascension.
Edited by LamarkNewAge, : No reason given.

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Message 7 of 230 (776575)
01-16-2016 7:51 AM

The polemical 100-150 AD Gospel of John
This gospel is dated about 96-98 AD even by evangelical protestants fundamentalists. This text almost certainly dates after the 100 AD Elkesai datum (and the Ebonites would have held much the same views as the other non-Catholics like Elkesai - long before his 100 CE event).
John 1New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
The Word Became Flesh
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life,[a] and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to what was his own,[c] and his own people did not accept him. 12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son,[d] full of grace and truth. 15 (John testified to him and cried out, This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’) 16 From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son,[e] who is close to the Father’s heart,[f] who has made him known.
The Testimony of John the Baptist
19 This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who are you? 20 He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, I am not the Messiah.[g] 21 And they asked him, What then? Are you Elijah? He said, I am not. Are you the prophet? He answered, No. 22 Then they said to him, Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself? 23 He said,
I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness,
‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’
as the prophet Isaiah said.
Then chapter 3, which is clearly a total twisting of something Jesus actually said. I suspect it starts out accurate, then it gets twisted.
3 Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. 2 He came to Jesus[a] by night and said to him, Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God. 3 Jesus answered him, Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above. 4 Nicodemus said to him, How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born? 5 Jesus answered, Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. 6 What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.[c] 7 Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You[d] must be born from above.’[e] 8 The wind[f] blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit. 9 Nicodemus said to him, How can these things be? 10 Jesus answered him, Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?
11 Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you[g] do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.[h] 14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up
The rest of what is said is a 100% contradiction of the 3 (much) more historical gospels.
Both chapter 1 and chapter 3 are a (fictional) polemic that never-the-less want the readers to view as historical.
Edited by LamarkNewAge, : No reason given.

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Message 8 of 230 (776576)
01-16-2016 7:57 AM

Just to be clear
No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.
This is a 100% avatar statement. The definition of "avatar" is what he just said (if) as God "descended from heaven".
To the rest, the whole chapter 3:1-14 is about reincarnation for the rest of us. Then it seems to get twisted

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Message 9 of 230 (776581)
01-16-2016 9:23 AM

Helpful wikipedia links and the real Paul
The "Church Fathers" ( 1 Clement on)were all European Roman Catholics. They weren't the majority, not even close. The large bulk of Jews were in the eastern Persian empire, and they lacked the forgeries like the Pastoral Epistles that totally changed the picture on so many issues.
Read about the true majority of the early centuries. A silent majority today.
Ebionites - Wikipedia
Diversity in early Christian theology - Wikipedia (connected to Jesus' brother James of Acts 15:20-29 and 21:25)
Elcesaites - Wikipedia (the 1st century evidence is solid!) (don't forget the 3 Iranica articles above in post 1 and 4)
Manichaeism - Wikipedia
Here is the real Paul speaking for himself.
1 Corinthians 8
10 For if others see you, who possess knowledge, eating in the temple of an idol, might they not, since their conscience is weak, be encouraged to the point of eating food sacrificed to idols? 11 So by your knowledge those weak believers for whom Christ died are destroyed. 12 But when you thus sin against members of your family,[c] and wound their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food is a cause of their falling,[d] I will never eat meat, so that I may not cause one of them[e] to fall.
The Greek uses the double "never never" which is for permement emphasis. "I will never never eat kreas (flesh) while the world stands" The NRSV left out the double "never never" but the King James translators took both nevers out! Paul used the word for flesh (kreas) in only two places - both permament bans on eating meat (the word dishonestly translated "meat" in most places is broma which just means "bread")
Romans 14
Welcome those who are weak in faith,[a] but not for the purpose of quarreling over opinions. 2 Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables. 3 Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgment on those who eat; for God has welcomed them
14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. 15 If your brother or sister is being injured by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. Do not let what you eat cause the ruin of one for whom Christ died. 16 So do not let your good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 The one who thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and has human approval. 19 Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. 20 Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for you to make others fall by what you eat; 21 it is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that makes your brother or sister[j] stumble.[k] 22 The faith that you have, have as your own conviction before God. Blessed are those who have no reason to condemn themselves because of what they approve. 23 But those who have doubts are condemned if they eat, because they do not act from faith;[l] for whatever does not proceed from faith[m] is sin
The King James translated verse 20 "For meat destroy not the work of God"! And Romans 14:21 is the only other place where kreas ("flesh") is used. I suspect the "drink" part was added in to confuse the issue.
And don't forget verse 1 of chapter 15 as the translators want you to. (a guy named Langdon did the verse divisions hundreds of years prior to King James I think)
Chapter 15:1
We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
The full writing of Paul (if we are allowed to see it as such - see 15:1!) says that it isn't a sin to desire to eat meat, just a sin to eat meat. And it isn't based on the technical "unclean" concept of the law, so arguments about that (much twisted by the Catholics and their Protestant followers) issue are obsolete. It's a totally new concept.
The NRSV is full of soft-pedal translation choices to soften the words of Paul and make the issue sound minor. It can't be as bad as the King James though.
The eastern (mostly) Semitic Christians didn't have 1 Timothy 4 and the rest of the Pastoral to deal with though. Not early on, anyway.
The truth will come out if we want it to.
Edited by LamarkNewAge, : No reason given.
Edited by LamarkNewAge, : No reason given.

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Message 11 of 230 (776634)
01-17-2016 4:40 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by PaulK
01-17-2016 4:26 PM

Shi ites have the same confusion with the Mahdi
Will he reincarnate?
Was he translated into a different dimension?
Has he been kept alive?
Same issues as this Elijah issue.
We know where Jesus stood on Elijah though.
Acts chapter 2 was the "day" mentioned in Joel and Malachi btw.

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Message 13 of 230 (776856)
01-21-2016 1:17 PM

Parallels in related religions.
We have seen how Manichaeism came straight out of the 1st century Jewish Christianity of James the brother of Jesus.
Oxford Dictionary of World Religions
(ed) John Bowker
being made the state religion of the Turkish Uigur Empire in 762. It also reached China in 694 where, known as the 'religion of light', it seems to have persisted...almost down to modern times.
Manichaeism was very present in the Persian Empire, and then into the early days of Islam.
Avatar and incarnation
Wilde lectures in natural and comparative religion
Geoffrey Parrinder
An avatara is a descent, a 'down coming' (from a verb tri, to cross over, attain, save, with the prefix ava, down; and so ava-tri, descend into, appear, become incarnate).
The great majority of Muslims are Sunni, followers of 'tradition'. The Shi'a, 'followers' of 'Ali, though a minority, comprise many different sects, and are particularly important for our purpose since ideas of divine indwelling or similar beliefs, often occur. The Shi'ism belief was placed in divine manifestations. The Quran has spoken of revelations and meditations between God and man, but the true Word or revelation was the Qur'an. The Shi'a added the idea of the Imam, the human manifestation of the divine and leader of salvation. The term Imam is used several times in the Qur'an, for a sign, model and leader. The earliest Shi'a development identified the Imam with 'Ali, and his sons Hasan and Husain stressing their flawless genealogy and limiting the manifestation of God in the Imams to 'right guidance'. This view is still held by the Zadis, who are nearest to the Sunnis.
With the passing centuries Greek philosophy was studied throughout Islam and adapted to particular needs. Beliefs in prophets and Imams developed into ideas of cosmic powers. A new theory of Imam was that the cosmic force, the eternal instrument of creation was born by the Imams, who came one after another in a series, like Avatars. One Imam is always present in the world which would perish if the Imam disappeared. This has been described as a series of 'missionary campaigns' of the Deity, launched for preaching the eternal religion.
In a kind of Neo-Gnosticism the relationship between the Imam and God was spoken about in a way not unlike that between Christ and God in Christian theology, and many mystical allegories were made of their communion. Although most theologians do not accept this it became powerful among the masses, especially in Persia, and influenced both the Sufis and Isma'ilis. Bust most of the Shi'a rejected the notions of transmigration (tanasukh) of the Imams, their rebirth and incarnations. Rather it was thought that the divine light shone upon the Imam, who was otherwise an ordinary mortal, like Muhammad, who has said, 'I am a man like yourselves'. The soul and body of the Imam existed independently of the eternal light of the Imam.
To extremists there was a complete hulul, the divine light dwelt fully in the Imam bodily, the mortal part of him was completely absorbed, and finally he was identical with God. Both the Zadis and the middle of the road Imamis combated this doctrine, as bringing Shi'ism into disrepute. The orthodox Isma'ilis reject both Incarnation and transmigration, but such ideas are held by 'ultras' (Ghulat) who believe that God became incarnate by indwelling (hulul) in Ali. Both Twelver and Sevener (Isma'ili) Shi'a excommunicate the extremists, Nusairis, Druzes, and the like, calling them hululiya like the Christians.
The Nusairis hold that spiritual beings emanate from the ineffable deity in a hierarchy of Name (ism), Door (bab), and other classes. Five names include 'Ali, though sometimes he has been placed above them all. The 'Men of God' (Ahl-iHaqq) believe in seven successive manifestations of God, coming to dwell 'in a garment', accomplished by four angels. His first appearance was in the Creator, the second in 'Ali, and the third in leaders of the Men of God. There is a belief also in a thousand and one reincarnations of men.
The Druzes (Duruz), founded by Darazi among others, are now regarded as a separate religion from Islam, but call themselves Unitarians. They believe that the Fatimid Caliph and Imam Hakim, 'Our Lord', held a position comparable to the cosmic intellect and was the last incarnation of God. As an embodiment of the Godhead he was above 'Ali, and so Isma'ilism was superseded. He was also beyond good and evil and this explains away symbolically the cruelties of the wicked Caliph. When Hakim died it was said that he was hidden, like the 'Hidden Imam' of the Shi'a, but he will appear at the end of time to establish justice in the world. The Druzes have different Pillars of Faith from orthodox Islam, to the number of seven, and including acceptance of the unity of Our Lord. They believe not only in reincarnation, but also in the transmigration of souls, of which there is a fixed number who are immediately reborn after death until they are perfected and ascend to the stars.
Sufi beliefs
Sufi mystical teachings on unity have an important bearing on belief in reincarnation. From the fourth Islamic century there came ideas from late Greek Philosophy, and particularly the Platonic doctrine of emanations from God. Mystics came to speak of union with God as the result of divine emanation, or as due to the divine spark in man which revived under the effect of illumination or as the result of consciousness of undifferentiated existence where the soul realized its oneness with God. Since Islam went to India early and over the years became increasingly involved in Indian ideas there were probably Hindu influences also upon the later Sufis, though this was pantheistic and not an Avatar direction. The stark contrast of God and man, which is found in the Qur'an and Orthadox Islamic theology, seems to be quite irreconcilable with the claims of some Sufis not only to be united with God but to 'be God'. But this is quite natural on Hindu monistic terms although, as has been remarked earlier, monism does not lead toward the Avatar doctrine but rather against it.
In fact nearly all the Sufis rejected the use of the term hulul, 'indwelling' or 'incarnation', because this word had Christian undertones. To speak of a place for incarnation, a point of impact for
for immaterial realities, was regarded as an attempt at materializing them. Sufi writers warned their followers of the dangers of heresy and wrote special chapters in their manuals listing the dangers to which mystics might be exposed, and in these books hulul appears regularly. The term ittihad, 'becoming one', was preferred by Sufis to describe the mystical union in which one with the creature becomes one with the Creator. To some mystics this suggested that there are two beings which become one, and to others human individuality was only a phase which passes away in divine reality.
The teaching of the great Persian mystic Husain b Mansur al-Hallaj is important in this context and disputed. Junayd, who has been called 'the Crown of the Mystics', said that he saw much folly and nonsense in the words of Hallaj and he rejected the notion of incarnation. Hallaj was executed for heresy (A.D. 922). His most famous saying was Ana-il-Haqq, 'I am Reality' or 'My "I" is the Creative Truth'. This was an apparent identification of himself with God.
The religion of Mani had an influence on Islam too.
Oxford Dictionary
Ghaiba (Arab., 'absence'). The state of one who has been withdrawn by God from visible appearance on earth, although he is still living invisibly on earth. The clearest example is the Hidden Imam (al *Mahdi).
Oxford Dictionary
Nur Muhammadi (Pers. abbr. of Arab., 'light of Muhammad') The essential nature of *Muhammad which was created before the creation of the world, and is thus something akin to 'the pre-existent prophet'. For the Shi'ites, the belief lent itself to the continuing inspiration of the *imams, who share in the nature of the Prophet through the dispensation of his illumination. Among the Sunnis, it was more modestly interpreted as the nature of the *rasul once called by God. The origins may perhaps be *Manichaean.
Oxford Dictionary
Imam, (Arab., in the *Quran 'sign', 'pattern', 'leader'). The leader of the Muslim congregational *salat, who can be any man of good standing in the community, but is often a theologically educated man who is engaged by the *mosque. There is no ordination, nor is the Imam like the Christian *priest: he is only imim while acting as such. ...
2.Among Shi'ites, the Imam has an incomparably higher status. Initially, it is almost synonymous with 'rightful caliph (*khalifa), i.e. *Ali and his descendants. The stress on succession led to the elaboration of the Imam as one who has received secret knowledge (*jafr), and who still receives (or may receive) direct divine guidance. There is a dispute among Shi'ites whether the line ended with the seventh (*seveners) or twelfth (Twelvers or 'Ithna 'Ashariyya) successor, complicated further by those who believe in a hidden Imam (see AL-MAHDI) whom the initiate can recognize, who may still give guidance, and who will become manifest at the End (see also ISMAILYA). As philosophical ideas spead which argued for the unity or Being, with the consequence that human (or perhaps all) manifestation is an incarnation of Being, so Imams were regarded by some Shi'ite groups as incarnations of divine beings. See also (al-) Zaidiy(y)a for their special understanding of Imam. See Index, Imams.
3. Among *Sufis (not always in distinction from (2)), the Imam is the guide to true knowledge, and is thus equivalent to pir (in Persian) or murshid.
Oxford Dictionary
Ithna 'Ashiy(y)a (Arab., ithna 'ashar, 'twelve') The Twelvers, majority *Shi'a Islam, the official Shi'a religion of modern Iran. This Shi'a sect follows the cult of Twelve *Imams, in distinction from the smaller Sab'iya sect (*Seveners, see also ISMA'ILIYYA). The Safavids made the Ithna 'Ashariy(y)a the state religion of Iran in 1500 (AH 906). The series of Twelve Imams is *Ali, *al-Hasan, *al-Husain, Ali Zayn, al-Abidin, Muhammad al-Baqir, Ja'far al Sadiq, Musa al-Kazim, Ali al-Rida, Muhammad al-Taqi, Ali al-Naqi, al-Hasan al-Askari, and Muhammad *al-Mahdi. The Imams are chosen of God. ...Moreover there is a strong eschatological element maintained by the Twelvers: the twelfth Imam ...disappeared when a young child, and it is believed that he will come back again ...to herald the Day of Judgement ...This is the Hidden Imam
Oxford Dictionary
In Shia Islam, even stronger beliefs surrounding al-Mahda as the hidden Imam, who will emerge at the end of time, developed among the Twelvers ... The twelfth Imam, Ali ibn Muhammad Simmari, was born in Samarra' in 869 (AH 255). On the death of his father in AH 260, he became Imam but was kept in seclusion (the first so-called occultation, *ghaiba, ghaibat-i-sughra), being seen (if at all) on rare occasions only by senior figures. He answered questions through a succession of deputies (wakil). Shortly before the death of the fourth wakil in 939 (AH 329), it was announced that there would be no further Imams, that the major occultation would occur (ghaibat-i-kubra), and that the imam would remain hidden until God gave him permission to manifest himself.
Hidden Imam. A Shi'a Muslim belief that the last Imam in succession from *Ali did not die, but disappeared, and is now in a hidden state from which he helps believers and will return as *al-Mahdi at the end of time to return peace and justice to the earth. Different Imams are identified as the Hidden Imam by different Shi'a groups. See AL-MAHDI; DRUZES; ITHNA 'ASHARIYYA; GHAIBA
Oxford Dictionary
Tanasukh. Islamic word for rebirth of souls. ...held to be true by some *Shi'a sects. Some *Isma'ilis believe in rebirth until the *Imam is recognized. ...a sinner will be reborn as a Sunni (or Jew or Christian)
Oxford Dictionary
Isma'ilil(y)a or Isma'ilis. An aggregation of Muslim groups, notable for esoteric teaching. Although the Isma'ilis are associated with *Shi'a Islam, they are more to be identified with their own teachings (which absorbed much from the remnants of *Gnosticism in Persia) than with Shi'ite doctrines. Nevertheless, they emerged historically from the disputes following the death of the sixth Shi'a Imam, Ja'far al-Sadiq. The succession should have passed to his eldest son, Isma'il, but he died before his father. Nevertheless, some maintained that the authority had been transmitted to him as the first-born (and beyond him to his son). Others held that the succession should pass to Ja'far's eldest surviving son (his third), Musa al-Kazim. The Twelvers (*ithna 'ashariyya, majority Shi'a) choose Musa and his successors, while those following Isma'il came to be known as Isma'ilis - and also as Seveners...
Out of the Isma'iliya there later arose many subsets e.g. *Qarmatians, Nizaris (including *Assassins), Musta'lis, *Druzes, and Muqam'ah.
Oxford Dictionary
Nusairi or Alawi. An extreme *Shi'a sect strongly influenced by *Isma'ilis and Christianity. ...They have no *mosques, partake of wine during religious ceremonies, ...They also believe in *tanasukh (rebirth) of an elaborate kind.
Oxford Dictionary
The Druze religion was derived from *Isma'iliya ...The main dogmas of the Druze faith are ...belief in successive manifestations of the deity (or the Universal Intelligence, al-'Aql al Kulli) in human form; acceptance of al-Hakim as the last and greatest of these divine incarnations ...Hakim, who is not dead, but hidden
This is real interesting
Oxford Dictionary
Ahl-i-Haqq (People of the Truth) A secret religious sect found in W. Persia and Kurdistan, dating back to the 11th cent. It incorporates *Zoroastrian, *Manichaean, Jewish, Christian, and *Sufi ideas into a popular *messianic cult. The Ahl-i-Haqq is not a single entity but a loosely knit federation of associated movements sharing the following: they await the advent of the Lord of Time 'who shall come to accomplish the desires of the Friends and embrace the Universe'; and the belief in the seven successive manifestations of divinity in a human form (worn as a garment), including *Jesus Christ, *Ali, and Sultan Sohak. This cult, supported mainly by the lower classes, peasants, and nomads, is rich in folklore and miraculous elements. Post-revolutionary Iran witnessed sections of Ahl-i-haqq claiming Imam *Khumayni to be a precursor for the final reincarnation, but this claim was later denied by the authorities, and the movement was heavily criticized for its un-Islamic ideology. Since it includes a belief in reincarnation, the opposition is not surprising.
We won't understand this in its broad sense if we are kept in the dark about the issues surrounding John the Baptist and what Jesus said about him.
We won't understand this if we don't understand first century Christianity (the James - Ebionite - Elkesaite -Mani connection).
We won't understand any of this if we fail to connect Mani to first century Christianity.

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Message 14 of 230 (776857)
01-21-2016 1:22 PM

Important sects today.
The Druze are 2% of the citizens of Israel. (included among the 21% of the total Israeli population that are Arab citizens of Israel)About 150,000 in number.
They are the only Arab group that serves in the Israeli military ("Israeli soldiers" shooting in the West bank are often Druze divisions).
The Alawi's are the sect that Bashar Assad belongs too and are 12% of Syria.
Not unimportant groups mind you.

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Message 16 of 230 (776882)
01-21-2016 10:11 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by NoNukes
01-21-2016 1:11 PM

Re: Shi ites have the same confusion with the Mahdi
Is this question even possible to answer? Do we know enough about Elijah's current state to say whether his return to earth requires resurrection, reincarnation, or something less?
Many Christians say that Elijah and Enoch will be back on earth as the "two witnesses" in Revelation or something like that.
The "last gnostics" are a sect (until recently) from Iran and Iraq called the Mandeans
Save the Gnostics
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The United States didn't set out to eradicate the Mandeans, one of the oldest, smallest and least understood of the many minorities in Iraq.
This extinction in the making has simply been another unfortunate and entirely unintended consequence of the invasion of Iraq - though that will be of little comfort to the Mandeans, whose 2,000-year-old culture is in grave danger of disappearing from the face of the earth.
The Mandeans are the only surviving Gnostics from antiquity, cousins of the people who produced the Nag Hammadi writings like the Gospel of Thomas, a work that sheds invaluable light on the many ways in which Jesus was perceived in the early Christian period.
The Mandeans have their own language (Mandaic, a form of Aramaic close to the dialect of the Babylonian Talmud), an impressive body of literature, and a treasury of cultural and religious traditions amassed over two millennia of living in the southern marshes of present-day Iraq and Iran.
Practitioners of a religion at least as old as Christianity, the Mandeans have witnessed the rise of Islam; the Mongol invasion; the arrival of Europeans, who mistakenly identified them as "Christians of St. John," because of their veneration of John the Baptist; and, most recently, the oppressive regime of Saddam Hussein, who drained the marshes after the first gulf war, an ecological catastrophe equivalent to destroying the Everglades. They have withstood everything - until now.
Like their ancestors, contemporary Mandeans were able to survive as a community because of the delicate balance achieved among Iraq's many peoples over centuries of cohabitation. But our reckless prosecution of the war destroyed this balance, and the Mandeans, whose pacifist religion prohibits them from carrying weapons even for self-defense, found themselves victims of kidnappings, extortion, rapes, beatings, murders and forced conversions carried out by radical Islamic groups and common criminals.
Opinion | Save the Gnostics - The New York Times
Interestingly, they are related to the Elkesaites and Mani (Mani was born in 216, the Elkesaites were a group that started exactly 100 AD and were an offshoot of Ebionite Jews who fled Jerusalem in the 60s AD)
Possibly related groups[edit]
According to the Fihrist of ibn al-Nadim, the Mesopotamian prophet Mani, the founder of Manichaeism, was brought up within the Elkasaite (Elcesaite or Elchasaite) sect, this being confirmed more recently by the Cologne Mani Codex. The Elkasaites were a Judeo-Christian baptismal sect which seem to have been related, and possibly ancestral, to the Mandaeans (see Sabians). The members of this sect, like the Mandaeans, wore white and performed baptisms. They dwelt in east Judea and Assyria, whence the Mandaeans claim to have migrated to southern Mesopotamia, according to the Harran Gawait legend. Mani later left the Elkasaites to found his own religion. In a comparative analysis, Mandaean scholar Sve-Sderberg indicated that Mani's Psalms of Thomas were closely related to Mandaean texts.[27] This would imply that Mani had access to Mandaean religious literature, or that both derived from the same source.
Mandaeism - Wikipedia
There doesn't seem to be any eschatology but I heard they believe in reincarnation.

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Message 17 of 230 (776883)
01-21-2016 10:16 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by Jon
01-21-2016 9:55 PM

(Un) Conspicuous Appearances?
Did anyone alive at the time of Jesus know what Elijah was supposed to look like?
The Bible says angels weren't even noticed based on appearance. I'm thinking of the early books like Genesis.
Jesus wasn't blazing with light and he was an Avatar.
The name Krishna means black blackish blue or something.
I don't know if he was supposed to have been be noticed.

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Message 19 of 230 (776888)
01-21-2016 11:43 PM

Just to be clear.
Elkasaites are a major issue here
The Blackwell Dictionary of Judaica
Judeo-Christian sect connected with the Essenes. They existed from the 2nd century in the Transjordan. They emphasized ritual purification, encouraged procreation, and regarded Jesus as one of a series of reincarnations of the Messiah.
Just a moment...
Some Contemporary Texts
2 Peter (100-160 A.D.)
Odes of Solomon (100-200 A.D.)
Gospel of Eve (100-200 A.D.)
Thunder, Perfect Mind (100-230 A.D.)
Book of Elchasai (101-220 A.D.)
Ignatius of Antioch (105-115 A.D.)
Polycarp to the Philippians (110-140 A.D.)
Papias (110-140 A.D.)
Oxyrhynchus 840 Gospel (110-160 A.D.)
Book of Elchasai
A 100/101 A.D. text is contemporary with a heck of a lot more than 2 Peter, but this should give us an idea.
Here is an 1880 encyelopedia article (Smith)
Elkesaites - Biblical Cyclopedia
Here is an online definition
Elkesai lived about 100. It is not clear whether he was an Ebionite* who developed particular views, or whether he came from a common background. He stressed the Law, though cutting out the false pericopes, rejected sacrifices and Paul, and taught vegetarianism. His Christology seems to have been Ebionite. In addition he claimed a special revelation given him by an angel (the Son of God) and a feminine being (the Holy Spirit). There is a common background for many of his concepts and the Shepherd of Hermas. Though strongly ascetic, there was an insistence on marriage and a great stress on baptism. Because his teaching was somewhat more orthodox than that of the Ebionites and showed more Gnostic tendencies, it spread to Alexandria and Rome. We know details largely through quotations in Hippolytus and Epiphanius. - See more at: Free Online Bible Library | Elkesaites
Here is what the 100 year old Cathloic Encyclopedia said.
According to Hippolytus the teaching of Alcibiades was borrowed from various heresies. He taught circumcision, that Christ was a man like others, that he had many times been born on earth of a virgin, that he devoted himself to astrology, magic, and incantations
That Catholic Encyclopedia has a good article on the Ebionites
James said "remember the poor" (apparently the poor Jewish Christians of Jerusalem who needed funds) according to Paul in Galatians 2.
In Hebrew poor is 'evyon and a member of a named poor group is 'evyoni or Ebionite.
The Jewish Christians of Jerusalem fled to the east of Jordan before 70 AD. The founder of the Elkesaites got his "revelation 100/101.
This is an early sect and they spread far and wide.
Their views on reincarnation seem to match the views of Jesus. Their views on food seem to match both James and Paul's views.
This should be considered the earliest Christianity (emphasis on the "Christ" part).
And the Manicheans fundamentally are of an early Christian origin (the trip to India in 241 was NOT what caused Mani to have his Avatar/reincarnation beliefs! I admit that I thought that when I was younger. I though Manicheans were just some gnostic sect very far removed from Jesus, James, etc.). Or at least in the strain of Jesus and his followers (like his brother).
Their influence on the respective Islamic sects is a reflection of earliest Christianity and its teachings.
Eschatology obsessed "Christians" today struggle in vain to find any evidence at all of a "pre-tribulation rapture" tradition from the first 1000 years of the era. They aren't going to look and see the very strong reincarnation-based eschatological school which can clearly be said to be "the tradition of Jesus" himself.
But its there (to be ignored).

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Message 20 of 230 (776890)
01-21-2016 11:49 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by Jon
01-21-2016 11:35 PM

Re: (Un) Conspicuous Appearances?
I think you've got the wrong religion there.
Is a belief in resurrection the wrong (concept for the Jewish Christian) religion too?
Show me any teaching in the Bible on THAT before the time of the Persian Empire.
Adam (if he existed literally or at all) dates back no more recent than 4000 BCE.
Find me any Biblical text or character, from any of the first 3 millenniums that the Bible covers, who mentions a resurrection.
More Christians (after the time of Mani) believed in reincarnation and Avatars than believed in the the Old Testament.

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Message 21 of 230 (776891)
01-22-2016 12:41 AM

Manichean Psalms to Jesus
Manichaean Writings -- The Gnostic Society Library
Early part of the first Psalm.
Come, my Savior Jesus, do not forsake me.
Jesus, thee have I loved, I have given my soul
. . . . . . armor (?);
I have not given it rather to the foul (?) lusts
of the, world. Jesus, do not forsake me.
Lo, the glorious armor wherein thou hast girded thy
. . . holy commandment, I have put it upon my Iimbs,
I have fought against my enemies. Jesus, do not forsake me.
I, wandered into the whole world, I, witnessed all the
things that are in it, I saw that all men run vainly too and fro.
Jesus, do not forsake me.
O how long is the evil genius and madness of the Darkness
wherein they have been bound ; for they have forgotten
God, who came and gave himself up to death for them.
Jesus, do not forsake me.
When I saw these things, my Lord, I took thy hope and made
myself strong upon it. Thy yoke which thou didst enjoin on me,
I did not refuse it, my Lord.
Jesus, do not forsake me.
Thy excellent commandments which thou didst enjoin on me
I have fulfilled them my Savior.
Thy lamps of Light, I have not suffered
my enemies to put them out.
Jesus, do not forsake me.
And a good (the last gnostics) Mandean article (which links to 4 Encyclopedia Iranica articles)
The Mandaean Religion by Kurt Rudolph -- The Gnostic Society Library

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Message 28 of 230 (776958)
01-23-2016 4:17 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by jaywill
01-23-2016 12:04 PM

Re: (Un) Conspicuous Appearances?
(question for Director. Does my quote of jaywill count as my words or a "cut n paste"?)
Jaywill said
Would you be skeptical of a indication of belief in resurrection in the life of Abraham in Genesis 22:5. On his way to sacrifice his only son Isaac he told his accompanying servants that he and the lad would be returning to them. Since he knew he was to kill Isaac, the strong implication is that he expected that God would raise him from the dead.
The writer of Hebrews in the New Testament tells us that Abraham believed he would receive Isaac back in resurrection (Hebrews 11:17-19). We Christians count that as authoritative.
Hebrews is interesting because early Christians disputed whether it should be included in the cannon. Origin didn't want books included that quoted from apocryphal or non-canonical sources. That included Jude, 2 Peter, and Hebrews. He naturally didn't think Enoch should be in the Bible. Hebrews quoted Maccabees, so he didn't think it should be included in the cannon.
Hebrews 11:35
Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection.
This quotes an important apocryphal book on the subject. Catholics use this as evidence of purgatory. Zoroastrians had a 3000 year Judgment Day and hell was destroyed at the end (everybody gets saved). Revelation 20 seems to be from the Zoroastrian Judgment day.
Early Christians thought Clement of Rome wrote Hebrews (I think Jerome thought that). It canonicity was questioned.
Maccabees was important on this subject.
In the postbiblical period, the Jewish group known as the Sadducees famously denied the future life altogether. The Sadducees, according to the first-century C.E. Jewish historian Josephus, held that the soul perishes along with the body (18.16). Other Jews spoke, platonically, of a disembodied immortality; according to the Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria, at death the philosopher’s soul would assume a higher existence, immortal and uncreated.[3] Still others appear to display some kind of resurrection belief, as in Josephus and the Wisdom of Solomon. In the time of their visitation they will shine forth, and will run like sparks through the stubble. They will govern nations and rule over people, and the Lord will reign over them for ever (Wisdom of Solomon 3:7-8)[4]. The clearest statements of resurrection after Daniel 12, however, are found in 2 Maccabees, the Mishnah and the later rabbinic writings. In 2 Maccabees, a martyr on the verge of death puts out his tongue, stretches out his arms and declares: I got these from Heaven, and because of his Laws I disdain them, and from him I hope to get them back again (2 Maccabees 7:11). According to Mishnah 10.1, All Israelites have a share in the world to come; ... and these are they that have no share in the world to come: he that says that there is no resurrection of the dead prescribed in the Law.
The Resurrection of Resurrection - NTWrightPage
There were lots of reinterpretations of earlier books.
As pointed out by Greenberg,10 the Vision of the Valley of Bones in Ezekiel 37 presents an interesting interpretive conundrum: while modern scholars nearly unanimously agree that the passage speaks of national restoration, early Jewish and Christian exegesis interpreted the passage as a justification for the idea of bodily resurrection. This difference suggests a change within some Judaean circles between the writing of Ezekiel 37 and the later interpretersthe idea of resurrection became known and accepted, and this idea was then seen to be taught by a literal reading of the Ezekielian text. The mural of this passage found in the Dura Europos synagogue demonstrates that some Jews felt that this literal interpretation of Ezek 37 was slightly too similar to Zoroastrian ideas of resurrection for comfortthe painting altered the bones to body parts.11 The muralist was quite correct, as a number of features resemble Iranian ideas concerning the experience after death. The presence of these (likely fortuitous) parallels can be seen to have offered a way for Judaeans to have interpreted the new idea of bodily resurrection as already inherent in their own traditions. When the inheritors of Ezekiel were exposed to such ideas, they already had a way to fit them into their worldview. Thus, a shift from a metaphorical to a literal interpretation of the oracle would have both coincided with and facilitated interaction with Iranian ideas about the afterlife, in this case, bodily resurrection.
The oldest book in the Bible is the book of Job. Though Job does not mention a physical resurrection he certainly believed he would stand before God even without a physical body at the end of the world before God his Redeemer (Job 19:25).
Here is what a fundamentalist says about the typical translation.
Job is problematic in translation. The Hebrew text does not support the Septuagint Greek text, which modern translations, that verse,are based. (this is typical of the entire book of Job btw.) The only thing scholars know for sure about Job is that it was written after 600 BC (they can date the text), but they have difficulty reading it. It's a strange language.
Here is another great link on the subject. Full of scholars opinions on the issue. (I wont quote them, because it will take up too many words)
Eschatology.org – Dialogue when possible-Debate when necessary-At all times, charityoes-job-19-predict-the-resurrection-of-a-body-of-flesh
Jaywill said
Of course we have a teaching of resurrection in the prophesy of Daniel and of Isaiah. See Daniel 12:2 and Isaiah 25:7,8
This supports link your view.
Perspective Digest
Isaiah 25:7-8 is typically interpreted, by scholars, as symbolic and 26:19 is interpreted as a national restoration.
The book of Isaiah mentions Cyrus (see chapter 45), who conquered Babylon is 539 BCE, so it raises the possibility that parts of Isaiah 1-39 were much later than 700 BCE just like all of 40-66.
The mainstream scholarly consensus is that Daniel was the first undisputed reference to an afterlife. 2 Isaiah (the parts that mention Cyrus) speaks of people reaching an age where they live forever while not seeing death. It seems to describe an evolution into a spiritual body perhaps. The animals are all vegetarian and don't eat each other.
The Iranian Zoroastrian texts have a new age that precedes Judgment Day. People stop eating meat, then stop eating plants, then stop drinking water. That brings Judgment Day. Then the 3000 year Judgment Day begins. The Devil is put in a pit while people are taught. Hell is only temporary and it is destroyed with death at the end of Judgment Day. Much like Revelation 20.
On a related subject (what Jews thought of the Messiah and the 3 day resurrection), there seems to be a discovery of a 1st century CE text on the subject. My first 2 links below link to the issue. I won't quote it because my post could be hidden if I quote too much. I did a quick scan of the internet for "recent discovery" type of issues.
This first link below mentions and links to what seems like a major discovery on the issue of a Messiah resurrecting after 3 days.
6 Shocking New Discoveries About Jesus of Nazareth - TheBlaze
Sorry! - Deseret News
Page not found – Togel Hk : Result HK, Toto Hk, Pengeluaran HK, Togel Hkg 4D
Five Recent Biblical Archaeological Discoveries | Top Secret Writers
Most of the evidence supports the view that the first century Jewish people were developing views on the Messiah that were not present before. I feel that it is very much parallel to the issue of Avatar. A pre-existent God incarnating females in a spermless type of conception. The Bhagavad Gita talks about the Hindu God (or holy spirit) promising to incarnate in future ages whenever the times calls for such.
The Messiah in the Christian Bible should be seen as a Palestinian translation of Avatar. The Gospel of Matthew talks about Zoroastrian Priests (Magi) following the Star of Bethlehem. It mentions the incarnation.
The "Messianic expectation" didn't include a divine incarnation, from any texts I have seen. Unless one understands the Indian Avatar issue.
The Elkesaites came into existence 100/101 AD and were from the community of Jewish Christians that were associated with James, brother of Jesus. They clearly believed in Avatars. It came from a pure Christian environment too.
The Gospel of John and the synoptic Gospels show a clear presence of eschatological reincarnations in Jesus' words and thoughts. John should be understood as polemical. It was responding to current issues in the day (c. 100 BCE) which certain Christians felt the need to airbrush or clarify.
The "Book of Elkesai" and the Gospel of John are parallel.
Avatars and incarnations were a clear and present issue to the people of the time. Just because we don't understand the issues doesn't mean that the c.100 A.D./C.E. writers did not know what they were responding to.
Scholars say that pre-Persian Empire Jews didn't have the same afterlife views (although the story of the Witch of Endor and Samuel clearly show they had certain views) as Exilic/2nd Temple Jews had.
The idea of progressive revelation backs up my theological conclusions. Every words in your post backs up my stance. My stance is that reincarnation is a Biblical concept. That includes the Avatar issues.
Its time we take another look at this whole issue.
Never forget that "wise men" is a false translation of *magi.
Magi is the plural word for Zoroastrian priests. The Parthian Empire to the "east" (you can say, ex orient lux, or "from the east, light") touched the Roman Empire to its west and India and China to its east.
The Parthians controlled Jerusalem until the year Herod the Great was born. 37 BC.
In Acts 2, Jews from Elam, Parthia, and other Iranian towns were present.
The Eastern light was mentioned in the Jesus Christ Messiah story from the very first pages in the Christian Bible. (mind you they said we saw the light from the east, so that doesn't mean the star came from the east I suppose) There were lots of concepts compatible with "messianic expectation" of the east.
We need to rewrite our entire understanding of the 1st century issues so they become 21st century issues.
We need to become aware.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by jaywill, posted 01-23-2016 12:04 PM jaywill has replied

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