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View Full Version : The internal feature that proves the Gospel accounts



Interplanner
July 23rd, 2017, 12:39 PM
Please take a moment to see a basic problem with the denials of the gospel accounts Jesus, way before the Resurrection. This is for people who think no miracles, predictions or even the Resurrection happened.

In one of his first significant healing miracles he makes a challenge on either 'side' of reality--the two sides being this world or Nature and the other of God--although God acts into this world, overriding Nature. He says 'So that you may see that (I) the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins' (he turned to the paralytic), 'I tell you get up and walk.' And he did. He did the corporeal to validate the unseen.

You may doubt the action here, doubt that that actually took place. However, please notice something else between the lines from this point on: if this had not taken place, there is no story. The 'story' from this point on would be the claim by leaders in Judaism that all this was bogus. Instead Mk 3:6, which is very early in the timeframe, the leaders of Judaism want a way to stop this guy, to kill him. That's right. The whole account of Jesus would disappear into nonsense and irrationality because there would have been no actual conflict that captures us and must be resolved.

Here is how: the claim that he was the Messianic figure (Daniel's Son of Man) has just collapsed. Any looney can claim that, but he said he would claim that IF he could prove it with the healing. If that collapses, there is no build up of opposition, because there is nothing to oppose!

Never mind the proof for the resurrection for a moment. We are talking about a story with a fatal flaw that has no reason for another chapter or paragraph. It would have stopped at that moment! Instead the conflict will grow and swell and the parties will volley huge weapons at each other, because the initial assertion is TRUTH and the conflict must be resolved. The leaders of Judaism had no time or interest in dealing with 'phantom' issues.

In other words, the best proof possible that this healing took place is the counter-actions by the leaders of Judaism: this person had to be stopped by any means possible.

The New Testament is this way every which way you look. The person who preached and spread it the most was in the best place to deny the resurrection--temple police. He (Paul) had every Judaistic reason to stop the thing, but he checked out the account that Christ appeared to about 500 at one time, and there was nothing for it. Not to mention all the 'lesser' appearances, I Cor 15. This is not a person with no dog in the fight saying he heard casually these accounts; this is a person given temple authority documentation to imprison anyone who believed the account and Gospel, and finding there is no stopping the evidence.

If you write a script, you have to have a 'conflict.' That is what interests people, that is what makes it sell, that is what drives it on as a compelling story once you have laid the book down. The drive of the Gospels is that the healings and predictions and resurrection did take place AND HAVE A CREDIBLE ANTAGONIST(s) who had every resource possible to shut it down and could not. Because there is no stopping evidence.

Interplanner
July 23rd, 2017, 09:12 PM
I did fix the 2nd paragraph to make clear that God acts into this natural world.

chair
July 24th, 2017, 01:34 AM
This is all rather silly. It's like saying:

"if Juliet hadn't taken the potion, then the whole story would have fallen apart. Therefore the play Romeo and Juliet is true!"

Interplanner
July 24th, 2017, 07:59 AM
This is all rather silly. It's like saying:

"if Juliet hadn't taken the potion, then the whole story would have fallen apart. Therefore the play Romeo and Juliet is true!"




Not. it is saying that if the two aristocratic families had not been at odds then the story would never have happened. It wouldn't have. Juliet took it specifically because the background structures were true--were the real backstory of that drama.

You should note that in the Sanhedrin, they met specifically about stopping Jesus because all the reports were true. The Sanhedrin was the 'senate' of Israel, though its enforcement powers were limited. But if nothing was going on, there never would have been meetings.

My proposition is also not at the back end of the account but the first weeks. Nothing afterward would make any sense if it had not actually happened that way at the beginning. You have completely missed the argument.

But hopefully you became more familiar with the career of Paul, because it was his assigned career goal to end the movement. That is precisely why he was used by God to defend and spread it.

chair
July 24th, 2017, 11:30 PM
Then we need to use another example.
Your argument runs along the lines of "Well, if the first little pig hadn't built a straw house, then the rest of the story wouldn't makes sense. So clearly that happened."

To put it plainly: Your argument is that the Gospel account is consistent. That the end wouldn't make sense if the beginning hadn't happened. But who says that any of it is true? We only have the Christian version of the events as a source., so proving something internal in the account only serves to show that it is consistent on a literary level. Not that it factually happened.

Interplanner
July 25th, 2017, 07:22 AM
Then we need to use another example.
Your argument runs along the lines of "Well, if the first little pig hadn't built a straw house, then the rest of the story wouldn't makes sense. So clearly that happened."

To put it plainly: Your argument is that the Gospel account is consistent. That the end wouldn't make sense if the beginning hadn't happened. But who says that any of it is true? We only have the Christian version of the events as a source., so proving something internal in the account only serves to show that it is consistent on a literary level. Not that it factually happened.





None of the outside references are wrong: the features and reactions of Judaism's leaders, references to the Imperial census, the accumulated issues with Christ when the trial takes place (the prosecution rehearses them--claims, ritual violations, threats to the temple), the nature and features of Galileans as zealots seeking independence through violence, etc.

You missed the whole point of the two-pronged claim/miracle of Mk 2 and its parallels: the 'theological' claim was linked to actual healing and the healing took place. They are interlocked as an event, and as an impact on the leaders. The move to stop Jesus is relatively close to the beginning of the story because of this. If the healing had not taken place, THAT would be the story, and likewise in the thousands through the accounts. Where are the leaders of Judaism shown saying the healings/feedings, etc. did NOT take place?

Review the raising of Lazarus. Not the event itself, but the imprint on the public and the leaders. The problem is never that the crowds 'imagined' the event, the end of Jn 11. The problem is it happened and what it could do to the masses.

By way of background about zealot agitators, which connects to this same imprint, Caiaphas concern there was that this 'messiah' really would do something (supernatural) that would validate the masses' wish for an overthrow of Roman power. So he had to be stopped, killed. The zealot complaint about Judaism's leaders was that they had accepted the role of Roman power, with its polluting of the worship system, and needed to be overthrown. Jesus swerved close to that liberation/independence theme with his 'kingdom' of God but it was never the armed overthrow the zealots were hoping for. Not only did Peter in his fears seek to deny knowing Christ, but also that he was Galilean (Mk 14:70, 71) because it was a hotbed of launching revolts (Acts 5:37 etc.)

With all those items in place, will you still say this was just fantasy literature like LORD OF THE RINGS?

chair
July 25th, 2017, 12:18 PM
it is a legend. not made-up fantasy. But that does not make it true. If it did, then the myths of all peoples and religions would also be true- as long as they self-consistent, and fit in with the time they supposedly happened in.

Interplanner
July 25th, 2017, 09:17 PM
Judaism's leaders would have loved for it to be legend.

Back to the initial miracle. I can't see any way for the story to continue if either part was missing: there had to be the claim to be the divine/Messianic figure, and there had to be the at-will healing. Sorry, the story is trash if either part did not happen. It is a true record.

Paul the enforcer could easily have shut down a legend. But the historic record is that 'enough' signs and wonders were done to launch the preaching of the apostles, not to mention his list of people who saw Christ raised. (Anyone reading Acts can see that they taper off).

He was paid to stop it; he had temple documents for notifications in various cities to stop it; he had his own training's reasons to stop it. That is precisely why he was picked by God to preach it; his account of the thing is the most reliable (if I didn't mention before, Luke's gospel is essentially background material which Paul preached and was used to demonstrate to Roman admins that Paul was not launching a violent subversive movement in the usual sense--the theology did challenge the emperor cult).

Interplanner
July 25th, 2017, 09:24 PM
There is a 'secular' source within Acts, Gamaliel in ch 5, which shows the truth of the record. He is religious, but he is not of the belief system of the apostles. Hillel taught Gamaliel and Paul studied under Gamaliel. But what you find around v30 is a comparison with two other revolutionary movements and then Gamaliel comes to the subject of Christ and says it (the movement) will fold up; don't fight it.

As you can see, he is treating it as totally historical just like the followers of the zealot Judas the Galilean of 6 AD (the year of the census). And the other.

But not legend, and he could have blown it out of the water by saying it was a legend.

chair
July 26th, 2017, 12:19 AM
I'll try one more time: You have shown (or at least tried to) that the story is consistent, and that it fits in with what is know of the time. That does not show in any way that the story is factually true, only that the author was consistent in his writing, and that he was familiar with the times.

You are welcome to your beliefs, but please don't mess up logic like this.

Interplanner
July 26th, 2017, 07:17 AM
Sorry, but you aren't familiar with enough details. The details (historical, cultural, tradition) said to be true, are true. The events took place in space and time. They did not take place in the writer's imagination.

It would all have ended up entirely different if it was legend, and the leaders of Judaism wanted that!

Take one detail by the German scholar Hengel (not Hegel). He wrote one article in the early 70s on the features of Roman patrol of the temple because the PLO was claiming that its bombings were like 'Jesus cleansing the temple.' The article is called "Was Jesus a Revolutionary?" and was reprinted as a booklet. An attachment of Roman troops was ready in the temple compound for disruptions. Roman troops had the 'bird's eye' advantage of the Antonio fortress, built attached to the Temple to have a total view of the compound.

What Jesus did that day was small enough not to trigger the patrol troops. And he may well have done it more than once because John's account has it early (in his 3 public years), while the others have it late. No matter. The point is it did not lead to an arrest like Barrabas orchestrated overthrow (Barrabas was tried the same week as Jesus, and released.)

As far as public acts like that, even entering the city with the attention of followers laying down the 'red carpet' (palm fronds), riding a colt, was not enough to trigger the Roman attention.

I mention these because the NT writers were aware of 'legend' and of making the thing bigger than it was, and were actually showing that it was minute.

The point being that there was 'enough' as I said earlier. Enough means proof enough to launch the preaching of the apostles, but not healing or feeding everyone in the country.

I also don't think you are familiar with what was said about the destruction of Jerusalem some 40 years later. It was announced in 33 that it would take place in that generation. This is locked into the following time-frame: the babies nursing alongside the path he took carrying his crucifixion beam would see the destruction happen as adults. This was also announced because Daniel's 490 year time frame was at an end. The last line of that prophecy allows for some extension but on the whole the prediction is a 490 year time frame. Judaism's own leaders were aware this could happen. The priest/captain Josephus also explains that a destructive rebellion was due to happen.

Once again, his divine or 'otherworldly' type of claim is interlocked with present and near-future reality. There is no way for it to be legend. The fallout from that first interlocked miracle in Mk 2 is enough to comfirm that. If you were right, that would have been the launch of the ridicule of it all. The opposition would have been screaming: 'wait a second--none of this actually ever happened' and that would have solved the Christian 'problem' right there. Logically.

Stuu
July 30th, 2017, 05:16 AM
Sorry, but you aren't familiar with enough details. The details (historical, cultural, tradition) said to be true, are true. The events took place in space and time. They did not take place in the writer's imagination.
You cannot have both the story of the Slaugher of the Innocents and the Census of Quirinius being 'true'. Herod was real; the census was real, but Herod was dead years before the census that supposedly preceeded Jesus's birth.

What Chair has been saying to you is that the gospel accounts are historical fiction: the places are real, the Romans were occupying ancient Palestine, and many of the characters are really historical people.

It is a stretch to believe that Jesus was a real person, but most scholars think there is enough circumstantial evidence to support that view.

On the other hand, you are taking the traditional view, but that doesn't have much currency with people who know what they are talking about.

Stuart