Hi Brian. I'm loath to comment on issues about the Bible since (as I endlessy say here :)) I've only ever read two books of the Bible, but I did wonder about something.
For example, how do the people who worship before statues of Shiva, Vishnu, or Brahman get saved by Jesus when the Father states that: you shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them
Couldn't you argue that this - actually all the commandments! - are actually directed specifically at the Jews. According to Wiki:
Text of the commandments
The following is the text of the commonly accepted (by Christian and Jewish authorities) commandments as found in the book of Exodus 20:1-17, New Revised Standard Version of the Christian Bible. Because Jewish, Protestant, Orthodox, and Catholic traditions divide the commandments in different fashions, they are presented below without itemization.
Then God spoke all these words: saying: (2)"I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage:
â€I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; (3) you shall have no other gods before me. (4) You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. (5) You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, (6) but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments. (7) You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name. (8) Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. (9) For six days you shall labour and do all your work. (10) But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any workâ€”you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. (11) For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it. (12) Honour your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. (13) You shall not murder. (14) You shall not commit adultery. (15) You shall not steal. (16) You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour. (17) You shall not covet your neighbourâ€™s house; you shall not covet your neighbourâ€™s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.
Surely the 'I am your God who saved you from slavery in Egypt' stuff is pretty unambiguous. Maybe it says somewhere in the New Testament that the following parts of the OT appy to you new-Jewish Christians?
If this is a dumbass question sorry for wasting your time :)
Re: Scriptures on the crucifixion as sacrifice for sin
If "laying down one's life" meant only death, then a suicide would be on the same plane with a soldier's death. On the contrary, "laying down one's life" means risking one's life for a reason. The risk of one's life is more important than the loss of one's life.
I think you're conflating two things here - the 'risk' and 'reason' parts.
I agree that "laying down one's life" always involves a reason.
However I have never ever heard the phrase used except about people who died (soldiers, policemen, firemen, the guy at the end of A Tale Of Two Cities).
Can you give me some examples of it being used about somebody who risked their life but didn't die - either in literature or political/rememberance speeches or newspapers etc.?
Obviously you can say things like "Every soldier knows they may be called on to lay down their life for their country" - but I would say this clearly means die (in fact you could replace "lay down their life" with "make the ultimate sacrifice" and have exactly the same meaning).
Actually I think I've just found the perfect summation of my (and I think Faith's - and you have no idea how strange it is to agree with her rather than you :)) position.
The phrase "lay down your life" is a synonym for "make the ultimate sacrifice" - and they both mean "as a result of a choice die for the benefit of others".
Synonym only really applies to individual words - I don't know what the correct term is for phrases.
Re: Scriptures on the crucifixion as sacrifice for sin
There's a similar phrase that we apply to police officers, firefighters, etc.: "laying their lives on the line". Do you think that refers only to the ones who die? I'd say it refers to all of them who risk their lives for our sake.
I agree with all this but...
...in this case "laying your life on the line" is similar to "laying down your life" but is not a synonym (somebody must know what the right word is :)). The phrase "laying your life on the line" specifically means risking your life - a consequence of which may (or may not) be that you "lay down your life" (i.e. die).
However it turns out all of that is irrelevant.
What we have here is a question of English usage. You and Faith are trying to project today's common usage of a phrase back on Jesus, who wasn't speaking English.
Almost completely guilty as charged. I am indeed talking about contemprary usage. Despite the fact I read all the messages - so I knew it was about Biblical quotations - I got sucked into fixing on the modern usage and forgot the Biblical context. A case of not seeing the wood for the trees, so mea culpa(ish).
So, in the Biblical context I have some questions you may be able to answer:
For a better idea of what He meant, let's look at the context:
quote:Joh 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. Joh 10:12 But he that is a hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. Joh 10:13 The hireling fleeth, because he is a hireling, and careth not for the sheep. Joh 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. Joh 10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
Does a shepherd die for his sheep or does he risk his life to protect his sheep? What use to the sheep would a dead shepherd be? Who would protect them from the next danger?
Why did you stop there? If you go on three more verses it says:
quote:Joh 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. Joh 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. Joh 10:18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
In your interpretation of Jesus laying his life down what does taking it again mean? I can't see how verses 17 and 18 make sense with your interpretation.
Of course, all this could be pissing in the word on both our parts. After all, we're talking about Jesus saying something in whatever language it was he spoke being later reported in 1st. (?) Century Greek which is later translated into 17th. Century English (for the KJV) being discussed in the 21st. Century by a Brit and a Canuck.
What are the chances of our really getting the original meaning right? :)