What the deuce?

Christos
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What the deuce?

 

Hey Rook. I have a few more Paul verses to mention. I wonder if you have to think about these verses, or if you already have responses because you have been confronted with them so many times. Galatians 1:19 This verse mentions that Paul saw "James, the Lord's bother." If Jesus was a myth, he certainly could not have had an earthly brother. Especially since James was mentioned by Josephus (Book 20, Chapter 9). Obviously, Josephus also mentions "Christ," in that passage as well. Galatians 3:1 Paul scolds the Galatians, because it was before their eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly crucified. Two things to mention: Paul is telling us that the crucifixion was witnessed by real people who he is addressing in the letter. Finally, Paul says that Jesus was publicly crucified; not killed in a mythical realm. 1 Cor 15:6-8 Paul describes to people that Jesus appeared to. Spong uses this as proof for a none-bodily resurrection that we see in Luke and John. However, this does show Paul’s conviction that Jesus literally appeared to hundreds of people (including Paul) after the crucifixion. The God Who Wasn't There tried to prove that Jesus lived, died and rose in a mythical realm. However, that thesis this cannot be proven true because Paul is telling us that Jesus was resurrected on earth.  By the way, in the ABC debate, I didn't see a whole lot of talk about the Jesus myth. All I saw was Comfort stating that, "Josephus wrote about Jesus." Obviously, the passage specifically referring to Jesus was a forgery. I wonder if Comfort actually read that passage and still considered it to be authentic. That would expose some serious stupidity.

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


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By the way Rook, you never

By the way Rook, you never mentioned where you got your history degree.


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You're not going to get

You're not going to get your questions answered like that.

The 'debate' wasn't over the historicity of jesus. Ray and Kirk said that they could prove the existence of god scientifically without using the bible or faith.

They failed.

 

What specifically leads you to believe that Paul was speaking directly about the historicity of jesus? 

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What do you mean? Did you

What do you mean? Did you read my first post on this thread? I know that Rook has a history degree, I just want to know where he went to school. And when I mentioned the debate, it was kind of a insult to Comfort, not to the RRS. If Comfort read the forged Josephus account and thought it was authentic, he would have to be crazy.

My first post lists some verses where Paul talks about the historiocity of Jesus.

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


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Hmmm. One that sticks out

Hmmm. One that sticks out to me:

2 Corinthians 12

 

Your 1 Corinthians verse was rather early in  the chapter. At 15:44, Paul says: "It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body."

 

Here's a question for you. Did Paul see a 'bodily-risen' christ or a 'spiritually-raised' christ in his writings?

 

I'll let someone else discuss Josephus. I'm not fully up to snuff on which chapters or pieces were added. 

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1 Cor 15 is one of the

1 Cor 15 is one of the chapters I use to prove that Paul thought that Jesus was a real person. Specifically because Paul explains the resurrection through a earthly body to a spiritual body.Thus, it does seem that the resurrection according to Paul was Jesus in the form of a spiritual body. That doesn't really conflict with Mark or Matthew. Only in Luke and John (which were written much later) do we see a resurrected Jesus with a new physical body.  

 

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


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And what of 2 Cor 12? Paul

And what of 2 Cor 12?

Paul had time to think about it.

 

So which is it? Physical ascension or Spiritual ascension?

Isn't that important? 

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"I know a man in Christ

"I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. 3And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— 4was caught up to paradise."

Paul says that he doesn't know if it was a spiritual or physical body. Honestly, it doesn't really matter which it was.

By the way, where is Rook?

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


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The physical Rook or the

The physical Rook or the spiritual Rook? lol.

 

OK. You answered part of my question. Paul didn't know whether it was physical or spiritual ascension.

So, the questions still remain: Did jesus ascend bodily or spiritually?

and 

Isn't this important to christianity?

I know that you said that it didn't matter to you. If that's all that counts for you then I'm okay with that answer.  However, it seems to me that the issue in contention was the body or spirit question and that speaks directly to the idea that Paul thought that the story happened on a spiritual plane and was a 'divine revelation' to him.

Thus he ignores so much about the alleged life of jesus and focuses on his interpretation of the purported message.

In Greek mythology, Mt. Olympus was a real place but reached the 'heavens' where the gods lived. Many things happened on Mt. Olympus that were never seen by mortals. Prometheus was chained to rocks on Mt. Caucasus. 

Aren't these 'real' places used to shore up the story?

Comparing the two ideas, can I prove or disprove either based upon the other? No. However, I can maintain skepticism with regard to both.

 

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It appears to me that Paul

It appears to me that Paul is claiming to have met the resurrected Jesus on earth. Paul appears to be unsure of whether Jesus inhabited a physical or spiritual body. To me, I can assume that Paul is claiming that the resurrection happened on earth, becasue he says that Jesus appeared to over 500 people, including Peter.

Jesus in the form of a spiritual body or a physical body shouldn't matter to Christianity. Although it may seem like it, I am not a Christian, so I cannot really comment on the significance of Paul's testimony.

Even though there was allegory around his life, I think that a real Jesus who inspired Christianity really existed. Honestly, I don't think that atheism helps its cause by pushing the idea that Jesus was 100% mythology.

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


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Christos wrote: It appears

Christos wrote:

It appears to me that Paul is claiming to have met the resurrected Jesus on earth. Paul appears to be unsure of whether Jesus inhabited a physical or spiritual body. To me, I can assume that Paul is claiming that the resurrection happened on earth, becasue he says that Jesus appeared to over 500 people, including Peter.

 

Hi Christos.

Your post brings up something which has always been problematic for me, namely, that Paul's language in 1Cor 15 makes it unlikely that the appearance of Jesus to all those people was in a tangible physical way.

He goes through the entire list, starting with Cephas, using the same verb "optomai" (to see) to describe the experience of "having seen" Jesus. He goes to the end of the list where he inserts his own experience of Jesus in a self-effacing tone using the same exact word - the verb "optomai".

My question is:

If Paul, by his own admission, never saw Jesus in the flesh, yet had an experience of the risen Jesus (I'll call it a vision) which he used that verb to describe, by what criteria do we categorize the appearances to Cephas and the 500 (et al) as "physical" while we then relegate Paul's experience to the category of "vision" (or "spirit-body" if you prefer)?

If no such criteria exists, I see no choice but to surmise that the appearances to Cephas and to the others before Paul were of the same order, i.e. ecstatic visions.

To insist that Paul is convinced that Jesus appeared to 500 people physically begs the question.

Anyway . . . It is very late and I have work to tend to tomorrow.

peace be with you

 

Ó

"Theology is that science which treats of the unknowable with infinitesimal exactitude." - Anatole France


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Hey I Quixie. Based on

Hey I Quixie. Based on Paul's vision, I assume that the appearances to Cephas and the 500 were probably visions of the spirit-body Jesus.

This begs one of the questions that keeps me intrigued with Christianity. Is Paul telling the truth? Did he really see a resurrected Jesus (in whatever form). Keep in mind, Paul's conversion happened 1-5 years after the crucifixion. When I try to rationalize my answer, I am always fascinated that Paul's conversion casued him to reject his lifelong training to become a Pharisee and his Roman citizenship. He claims that the dramatic change in his life was caused by a vision of the resurrected Jesus. If we take this claim seriosuly as truth, it becomes difficult to reject Christianity.

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


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By the way I Quixie, I

By the way I Quixie, I noticed that you debated a lot with AL500. I have a theory that AL500 is from Way of the Master. What do you think?

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


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Ahhhh. Rael(Claude) was an

Ahhhh.

Rael(Claude) was an aspiring publisher and a racecar driver before December 13, 1973 when he met the Elohim. Ergo it must be difficult to reject Raelianism too.

Muhammed was a poor orphan. He was 40 before he found out that he was the chosen prophet from the archangel Gabriel. He was ~50 when he was 'divinely' told he could marry a 6/7 year old. 

It really doesn't become that difficult to reject christianity when so many others declare themselves to be correct. 

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Christos wrote: Hey I

Christos wrote:

Hey I Quixie. Based on Paul's vision, I assume that the appearances to Cephas and the 500 were probably visions of the spirit-body Jesus.

This begs one of the questions that keeps me intrigued with Christianity. Is Paul telling the truth? Did he really see a resurrected Jesus (in whatever form). Keep in mind, Paul's conversion happened 1-5 years after the crucifixion. When I try to rationalize my answer, I am always fascinated that Paul's conversion casued him to reject his lifelong training to become a Pharisee and his Roman citizenship. He claims that the dramatic change in his life was caused by a vision of the resurrected Jesus. If we take this claim seriosuly as truth, it becomes difficult to reject Christianity.

That's just it, Christos . . . the "form" in which Paul "saw" Jesus makes ALL the difference in the world. If he saw him in "spirit" form, then it means that it was all in his head (just like EVERY other ecstatic vision leading to a conversion - Paul's . . . C.S. Lewis' . . . . Mohammed's . . . Pastor BillieJoeJimBob's . . . the smug-guy-down-the-block-from-me's . . . etcetera etcetera). Do you get what I'm saying? How "true" their indivudual visions seemed to them has no bearing on whether they in fact ocurred in actuality, as Darth so colorfully pointed out.

If Paul's case seems somehow more credible because of his intense fervor in describing it, than Joe Schmo's, consider this:

Here's a guy who has been persecuting people for no other reason than they are dubbed heretical in their liturgical practices by the established order, when suddenly . . . it occurs to him what a fucked-up and anti-God (he WAS Jewish, after all) thing to do that is.

Yes . . . I believe it hurt like hell, and the 180º turn he took (i.e. adopting that which he had previously hated) is typical of such intense remorse and repentance-inspired conversion (I've seen it before in my own travels). But it doesn't make any momentary ecstatic vision (which is what I'm proposing his vision could ONLY be) that he may have experienced a tangible physical event.

ALL religious experiences are essentially psychological events. I think this is easily demonstrable.

I hope that your threshold of credulity is higher than that, man!

As far as AL500 goes . . .

I'm only about a week old here and I don't know anything about the Way Of The Master people, so I don't have an opinion on that. But I DO believe that AL500 is in dire need of psychiatric attention, if you ask me.

It's like talking to a muppet . .. it sure looks like they are moving their lips on their own volition . .. . but when you look beneath the stage and behind the curtain . . . . you realize that there's a hand up their ass doing all the talking for them.

People like him almost make me lose my hope . . . . almost.

peace be with you

 

Ó

 

 

"Theology is that science which treats of the unknowable with infinitesimal exactitude." - Anatole France


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I've already made a post

I've already made a post about this very thing (I apologize for the formatting things didn't transfer right):

 Here is an excerpt from a book I'm working on (aside from the one on the origins of Christianity) concerning the resurrection:

 

Paul, unlike the writers of the Gospels, which came later, and the rabbinic teachings of the resurrection that came earlier, had a vastly different approach to the resurrection. Up until now, we've seen exactly what the resurrection is to the church today according to the Catechism, and what the early church fathers like Martyr and Tertullian thought of the resurrection - which isn't all that different from what the Catechism suggest.

We know that the resurrection is so important that if it fails, so does the Christian faith, in fact the resurrection is the backbone of Christianity, as I've shown throughout this commentary. That being stated, exactly why did Paul think that? How exactly did Paul view the resurrection?

Richard Carrier makes an excellent point on Paul in his "Spiritual Body" chapter in The Empty Tomb:[i]

 

"The vast diversity of Jewish ideology establishes the possibility, but the existence of a two-body doctrine can be demonstrated specifically. First, we know the concept of a purely spiritual 'salvation' (the soul lives forever in paradise, or sometimes hell, without a body) was held by many Jews in the time of Christ. This is proven directly by Jubilees 23-25 and a redaction in 1 Enoch (92-105), as well as other Jewish apocrypha. Even the Pharisees conceived of souls separable from the body that wait for the body to decay, then go to heaven or hell, even raise complaints with angels about where they ended up, or hold conversations with the living, all before the general Resurrection ever happens. It is a very small step to go from that to an idea of the departed soul becoming or being clothed in an entirely new body. And we have indications of just such a view in two prominent Jewish writers: Philo and Josephus." (Pp. 113)  

 

"From the Rabbinical material we have ample evidence of how at least one sect of the Pharisees dealt with those who doubted the resurrection (of the body before Christ – Ed). There are three general types of attack that keep recurring in the sources, requiring an answer: those that challenge the claim that the resurrection can be deduced from scripture, those that challenge whether God can even accomplish such a thing, and those that challenge the idea of the resurrection with the question about what form it will take. The first kind of argument is answered with copious citations and exegesis of biblical passages. The second is answered with analogies from observed facts. And the third is answered with a clever harmonizing of details in resurrection doctrine. The first type of argument is the most frequent. The second type is exemplified by a passage in the Talmud: “An emperor said to Rabban Gamaliel: ‘You maintain that the dead will revive, but they turn to dust, and can dust come to life?” The rabbis answer him with analogies involving claymolding and glassmaking, then the spontaneous generation of moles and snails, then with an argument that the soul and body must be reunited so they can be judged together. In every case, the challenge can only be answered by proving resurrection possible with logical argument and evidence from the natural and human world. [12]” (Pp. 114 )

 The way Carrier explains the Talmudic idea of the resurrection is accurate. Here are a few examples from the Sanhedrin, Volume 16 of the Talmud by Neusner:

A. Caesar said to Rabban Gamaliel, “You maintain that the dead will live. But
they are dust, and can the dust live?”
B. [91A] His daughter said to him, “Allow me to answer him:
C. “There are two potters in our town, one who works with water, the other who
works with clay. Which is the more impressive?”
D. He said to her, “The one who works with water.”
E. She said to him, “If he works with water, will he not create even more out of
clay?”

 

And:

A. A Tannaite authority of the house of R. Ishmael [taught], “[Resurrection] is a
matter of an argument a fortiori based on the case of a glass utensil.
B. “Now if glassware, which is the work of the breath of a mortal man, when broken, can be repaired,
C. “A mortal man, who is made by the breath of the Holy One, blessed be he, how
much the more so [that he can be repaired, in the resurrection of the dead].”

And:


A. Said R. Joshua b. Levi, “How on the basis of Scripture may we prove the
resurrection of the dead?
B. “As it is said, ‘Blessed are those who dwell in your house, they shall ever praise
you, selah’ (Psa. 84: 5).
C. “What is said is not ‘praised you’ but ‘shall praise you,’ on the basis of which there is proof from the Torah of the resurrection of the dead.”
D. And R. Joshua b. Levi said, “Whoever recites the song [of praise] in this world will have the merit of saying it in the world to come,
E. “as it is said, ‘Happy are those who dwell in you house, they shall ever praise you, selah’ (Psa. 84: 5).”
F. Said R. Hiyya b. Abba said R. Yohanan, “On what basis do we know about the
resurrection of the dead from Scripture.”
G. “As it says, ‘Your watchman shall lift up the voice, with the voice together they
shall sing (Isa. 52: Cool.’”
H. What is said is not ‘sang’ but ‘will sing’ on the basis of which there is proof from
the Torah of the resurrection of the dead.
I. Said R. Yohanan, “In the future all the prophets will sing in unison, as it is written, ‘Your watchman shall lift up the voice, with the voice together they shall sing (Isa. 57: Cool.’”

 

As you can see, the Talmud is very clear on the resurrection. How similar of a concept it is to glass making and pot molding. In fact there is even a reference to building a house - similar to that stated in Paul and in the Gospel accounts.

What is also worthy of note is how similar the Talmudic responses are to the replies of the church fathers - with regards to the clay molding and scripture references. And how they describe the resurrection as with the same body.

Carrier continues in regards to Paul, he states the following,

"We have established (over the previous several pages – Ed) that Paul did not hold to the resurrection doctrine of a Rabbinical Pharisee, but something substantially different, in some respects, exactly the opposite. This should not be surprising, since upon conversion Paul came to regard the trappings of the Pharisees as “mere rubbish” (skybala - Phil. 3:8 ). Unlike the Pharisee, Paul explains, a Christian “trusts not in the flesh” (ouk en sarki pepoithotes). The true circumcision, for instance, is spiritual not physical.” (Pp. 118)

“Paul would have known everything pertinent to believing Christ’s resurrection really happened: he attests to speaking with God directly, knows the primary witnesses, and attests to having spoken with them and to having visited them in Jerusalem. It seems improbable Paul himself would remain a convert without checking any of the evidence – for if we are to suppose this, then we can hold no trust in anything Paul affirms. It is therefore peculiar that Paul only provides two kinds of evidence in support of Christ’s resurrection: scripture and various epiphanies like his own roadside vision. On the hypothesis that Jesus rose in the same body that died (and proved this by submitting that body to handling by disciples and eating fish, and by the very words of Jesus himself), such an approach makes little sense. Too many unanswered questions arise. How could the Corinthians have any doubt about the kind of body Jesus rose in, when they would have had such specific accounts of it? And why would Paul never once appeal to those accounts in making his case? It cannot be that the Corinthians were doubting Christ’s resurrection, since Paul makes it clear that denial of his resurrection is the unforeseen consequence of their doubts, and therefore not one of the things they are actually doubting. Therefore, doubts over the metaphysical minutiae of Christ’s resurrection could not have led to doubting the resurrection of everyone else…. But though Paul insists on there being no difference, he never cites any testimony, of Jesus or those who saw him raised, as to the nature of his resurrected body. This is the first puzzle. The second puzzle is: How was Paul’s elaborate answer supposed to end the dispute? If the problem were merely one of identifying how we are like Christ and thus will be raised in the same way, then that is what Paul would have argued. But he doesn’t. Instead, he discourses on metaphysical minutiae, clearly aimed at resolving some misunderstanding about the nature of the resurrected body in general. Why? On the same-body hypothesis (Of the Pharisees for example - Ed) this doesn’t make much sense. The response for Paul in that case would be to list the eye-witness evidence pertaining to the nature of Christ’s raised body and then directly eliminate whatever ‘difference’ between us and him the Corinthians were stumbling over. So why does Paul respond in an entirely difference way? Why does he never mention the material witness, or the particular stumbling block tripping up the Corinthians? Why does he never resort to any of the Pharisaic descriptions of continuity between the dead and the raised body, which answered the very same worry for them? More puzzling questions.” (Pp. 120-21)

 
“In contrast, consider how later Christians defended the resurrection against doubters (who included both pagans and Christians). Their approach is quite the opposite of Paul’s. First of all, their thesis is exactly what we would expect from someone who believed the flesh would be raised: as Justin succinctly puts it, “the resurrection is a resurrection of the flesh which died.” So why wouldn’t Paul ever say anything like that? There is no logical explanation—other than the obvious: Paul didn’t say it because he didn’t believe it. Likewise the arguments they (the later Christians) deploy are exactly what we would expect from someone who believed the flesh would be raised. Just like the Pharisees, they recognize and address the problem of wounds and blemishes. Just like the Pharisees, they prove their point using analogies, especially the very same analogy (claymolding), but many others besides, which illustrate continuity and reassembly. Just like the Pharisees they insist that the body and the soul must be reunited to be judged together, and to restore the “whole man.” Indeed, as Athenagoras puts it, “it is absolutely necessary” that soul and body be restored together, “for it is impossible” for the same man to rise otherwise. If it is impossible, if it is absolutely necessary, how could Paul have failed to say so? Why doesn’t he berate the Corinthians for believing that the soul can be saved without a body? Why, indeed, does he never even mention a soul? Why does Paul show no interest whatever in the problem of wounds or deformities? How is it that Paul never resorts to obvious analogies like claymolding or shipbuilding (like Christians following Paul in the century to come did – Ed)? It simply makes no sense. Unless Paul believed something fundamentally different from what these later Christians did.” (Pp. 123)

Let's take a look at some of the church fathers and their ideas of the resurrected flesh which Richard is suggesting, so we have a better understanding of how he means they are similar to that of the Pharisees, and then we'll look closely at what Paul says on the resurrection and compare.

Comparing to clay molding or reforming the flesh:

"And this being so, the regeneration of the flesh will, according to all these philosophers, appear to be possible. For if, according to Plato, it is matter and God, both these are indestructible and God; and God indeed occupies the position of an artificer, to wit, a potter; and matter occupies the place of clay or wax, or some such thing. That, then, which is formed of matter, be it an image or a statue, is destructible; but the matter itself is indestructible, such as clay or wax, or any other such kind of matter. Thus the artist designs in the clay or wax, and makes the form of a living animal; and again, if his handiwork be destroyed, it is not impossible for him to make the same form, by working up the same material, and fashioning it anew." (Justin Martyr, On the Resurrection; Chap. 6)

"What therefore is there left to which we may apply the term "mortal body," unless it be the thing that was molded, that is, the flesh, of which it is also said that God will vivify it?" (Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, 5:7:1)

"To that man, however, who had been blind from his birth, He gave sight, not by means of a word, but by an outward action; doing this not without a purpose, or because it so happened, but that He might show forth the hand of God, that which at the beginning had moulded man. And therefore, when His disciples asked Him for what cause the man had been born blind, whether for his own or his parents' fault, He replied, "Neither has this man sinned, nor his parents, but that the works of God should be made manifest in him." (John 9:3) Now the work of God is the fashioning of man. For, as the Scripture says, He made [man] by a kind of process: "And the Lord took clay from the earth, and formed man." (Genesis 2:7) Wherefore also the Lord spat on the ground and made clay, and smeared it upon the eyes, pointing out the original fashioning [of man], how it was effected, and manifesting the hand of God to those who can understand by what [hand] man was formed out of the dust." (Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, 5:15:2)


On deformities corrected:

 

"Well, they say, if then the flesh rise, it must rise the same as it falls; so that if it die with one eye, it must rise one-eyed; if lame, lame; if defective in any part of the body, in this part the man must rise deficient. How truly blinded are they in the eyes of their hearts! For they have not seen on the earth blind men seeing again, and the lame walking by His word. All things which the Saviour did, He did in the first place in order that what was spoken concerning Him in the prophets might be fulfilled, "that the blind should receive sight, and the deaf hear," (Isaiah 35:5) and so on; but also to induce the belief that in the resurrection the flesh shall rise entire. For if on earth He healed the sicknesses of the flesh, and made the body whole, much more will He do this in the resurrection, so that the flesh shall rise perfect and entire. In this manner, then, shall those dreaded difficulties of theirs be healed." (Justin Martyr, On the Resurrection; Chap. 4)

 

As we can see there are similarities in the doctrines of early Christians and that of the Pharisees rabbinical works. I could have listed more, but for the sake of the discussion I still have lots more to go over in this blog.

One can clearly see the references to clay molding and reconstruction of the body. This is important to establish the styles in which Christians portrayed the one-body doctrine, that your body will be raised in the resurrection - just as the Talmud explains it. Paul, being a former member of the Pharisaic sect of Jews, does not feel this way, however later Christians do insist that he did. Let's look at some apologetics of early Church fathers.

Misinterpreting Paul - concerning the nature of the two-body doctrine:

"He does not say: "He that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead shall quicken also your dead bodies" (although he had previously said, "the body is dead," Romans 8:10); but his words are: "He shall quicken also your mortal bodies;" Romans 8:11) so that they are not only no longer dead, but no longer mortal [or capable of dying], since the natural is raised spiritual, and this mortal body shall put on immortality and mortality shall be swallowed up in life." (Augustine, On Merit and Forgiveness of Sins, 1:5)

"In the same manner, therefore, as Christ did rise in the substance of flesh, and pointed out to His disciples the mark of the nails and the opening in His side (now these are the tokens of that flesh which rose from the dead), so "shall He also," it is said, "raise us up by His own power."1 Corinthians
6:14)" (Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, 5:7:1)


Notice how they use Romans 8 and 1 Corinthians? Let's look at these two passages:

According to the KJV, Romans 8:10-11, "And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you."

The slide on the left - like all slides in this commentary - are from Carrier's debate with Licona at UCLA on the resurrection. Carrier shows here that this verse is mistaken a lot, even by church fathers, to be about the resurrection. For those who can't see what this says, it states the following:

(1) "If the spirit - the one who raised Jesus - lives in us (present tense), then the one - who raised Jesus - will also (i.e. in addition to living in us) make alive our mortal bodies, because his spirit is in us."

(a) Talking about the present (the spirit living in us now)

(b) A 'mortal' body is a body that by definition dies

(c) Does not say God will change or raise our mortal bodies

(2) Paul says we're 'made alive' already (Eph. 2:1-7, Col. 2:13)

(3) Context of Romans 8:11 is the present: We walk now not in flesh but spirit (8:4-5), flesh is death but spirit is life (8:6), but only if spirit lives in you now are you alive now (8:9), because our bodies are already dead (8:10).

Richard makes some excellent points, which is why I quote him so often, because he does so in such eloquence I would not be able to mimic it. Indeed, the context of this passage is not the resurrection but the present in the spirit - something Paul discusses a lot, as he feels that only through the spirit are we saved. For example, in 1 Corinthians 3:1-3, “My brothers, I could not talk to you as spiritual people, but as fleshly people, as infants in Christ. I fed you milk, not solid food, because you were unable to take it. Indeed, you are still not able, even now, for you are still of the flesh.” Indeed, the only re-enforces the point that Paul feels that those who are still in the flesh are not yet ready to handle certain truths, they are but infants, but Paul feels he is learned through the spirit in the present.

Romans 13:11-14, “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.”

In Romans 13, above, we can make several reasonable posits from this. The first is the most clear, that without the spirit we are but asleep, drunk and in the dark - and only with the spirit are we made awake, sober and brought to light. The second part is less obvious, you'll notice Paul doesn't say "accept Christ" but rather "Put Christ on" - this is the next point we'll bring up after we finish looking at the falsities of the Church fathers on Paul. The next verse we'll look at is 1 Corinthians 15 (KJV).

1 Corinthians 15, "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed. Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die. Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame. But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. here are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord."

 

There is a lot to cover, so I'm going to start out with what Carrier has to say on this chapter, and I'll add in my two cents after his points, which he makes clear where he has posted these that there are more he could cover.

  1. Paul makes no distinction between his vision and appearances to the others, apart from when it happened (vv. 8, vs. 1-7). This makes it prima facie reasonable that all the appearances were understood by him to be visions and not literally physical in the sense portrayed by the Gospels of Luke and John.
  2. Paul's distinction between "perishable" and "imperishable" bodies (vv. 42) is based on a distinction between earthly things and things of heaven (vv. 40, 47-9), and it was common belief in antiquity that the heavenly things were ethereal. Since Paul does not disclaim the common belief, he must be assuming his readers already accept it. This makes it prima facie reasonable that he means the "imperishable body" to be an ethereal one, not a body of flesh.
  3. Paul literally makes this distinction, calling the one a "natural body" (psychikos) and the other a "spiritual body" (pneumatikos), and says that they both coexist in one person (vv. 44), in that first there is a natural body which is then infused with a spiritual one (vv. 46), thus the resurrected body is clearly in his mind something lacking the physical body we know, the body that is conceived in a womb and only later infused with a spirit. He says outright (here and in 2 Cor. 4:16-5:9) that the body we know, the body of flesh, is sown only to die, and only this other, second body, the body of the spirit, rises to new life.
  4. The Christian lexicographer Photius understood psychikos to mean the "animal" part of man (Lexicon, s.v.), as opposed to the higher, spiritual part that was made in the image of God (and God is certainly not a body of flesh), and there is a lot of evidence that Paul meant this as well.[ii]
  5. Paul distinguishes Adam and Jesus in a certain way that supports this: Adam is regarded as being alive in the psychic sense, Jesus as giving life in the pneumatic sense (vv. 45), and Paul relates them as opposites (also vv. 22), so that as Adam was given physical form, beginning the age of sin, Jesus transcended it, ending sin. For Adam was made of dust (crude matter), but the resurrected Jesus was not (vv.47, cf. 48-9).
  6. Paul says point blank that "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God" (vv. 50), because flesh and blood is the mortal, perishable body, and we are resurrected as an imperishable body (ibid.). It is thus plain that he does not believe that the resurrection involved flesh and blood, i.e a physical body in our familiar sense, but a different, ethereal body, like the same sort of body angels have (and according to the Gospels, Jesus said we shall be like angels, cf. Mk. 12:25; Mt. 22:30; Lk. 20:34-36).

I'd like to go over each bullet point as these are Carrier's points, and since he isn't here to back these up, I'll add in my own evidence to weigh in on certain things I feel need to be explained more.

The first point is pretty clear if you know Paul, but if not you may be wondering, "Wait, what about his conversion? Didn't he see Christ?" No. According to Galatians1:1, "Not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;" and also Galatians 1:11-12, "But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ."

For Paul this is clear as day, that he did not receive his conversion from a physical being, but rather a revelation (aποκaλυψις), which in the Greek literally means "manifestation" or “revelation/apocalypse.”[iii]  This is the same word used in Romans 2:5, “But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God” and 1 Corinthians 1:7.

1 Corinthians 1:7 is important to have a side note, just to explain how some Christians will purposefully misinterpret texts to explain things. If you read the KJV text of this passage this is what you get: "So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:" The problem is the Greek doesn't use the word "coming" or "to come" in any manner. This verse is used by Christians to generally prove a second coming of Christ[iv], but lets look at the Greek, " ωστε (therefore) υμας (you) μη υστερεισθαι (shall not fall short) εν μηδενι (in any) χαρισματι (grace) απεκδεχομενους (anticipating) την αποκαλυψιν (the revelation) του κυριου ημων (of our Lord) ιησου χριστου (Jesus Christ)."

You'll see the translation is much different when understood in the Greek and within the context of the passages. Note that I highlighted in red the same word used in 1 Corinthians 15, and that it again means the same thing - a revelation, a vision of Jesus. Paul uses this word even after interviewing with the Apostles in Jerusalem three years after his conversion in Galatians to explain his vision. You'd think that had Jesus really been resurrected in the bodily form as Acts suggests, that Peter would have compared stories with Paul when they met there in Jerusalem. Couldn't you just see the conversation unfolding in your mind?

Peter: "Yes, I've seen Christ risen as well! He was glorious! He let us tough his palms where the nails had been pierced through his very bone! And Thomas just started apologizing like you wouldn't believe. Then he was swept up in an array of clouds! Was that what you saw too?"

Paul: "Why yes! I saw that as well! Let me go preach about this miracle to the world!"

*some years later*

Paul scribbling notes down on papyri to the Galatians: "But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ."



Don't you find it odd that he would describe his vision in this manner? Why would he use the word donating "revelation" and not something that would have fit much better? And what of his constant reference to Christ "in the spirit?" Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

Had Christ been a physical being, and Paul had witnessed this, or even discussed this matter with Peter, why does he differentiate between the spiritual body (pneumatikos) and the natural body (psycikos)? It seems rather odd one would make a distinction between the two if they believed in a one-body resurrection, and not a new, spiritual body that they'd get upon death. This makes no sense at all, unless there's more to it.

In fact when he describes the vision among the 500, he states in the Greek, "φησν κοων λγια θεο ῦὅστις ρασιν θεο εδεν ν πν ποκεκαλυμμνοι ο φθαλμο ατο" in which the two words highlighted differentiate better the difference between sight and visions. The first word comes from the Greek ρασις which indicates seeing (mentally, a vision) which is then supported by the word ρω which signifies the vision, qualifying the first. This is how the word is read - a vision, a sight through the mind.[v]

Notice how these phrases and words and just the general overall language of Paul differs from that of the Talmud, and that of Christians less then a hundred years later. This is important, because remember what we're trying to establish - what exactly Paul believed of the resurrection. Not only through that of Christ but of every man, and how important Paul said it was - "if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain..." Of course it's important! As stated earlier, the entire Christian faith rests upon this idea.

But clearly Paul does not hold to the one-body resurrection. If he had, we would see signs of this, but we don't. It's clear, in fact, that we see the opposite. As Carrier alluded to, it makes a clear reference to what Josephus states on this doctrine, believed by the Essene sect of the Jews:

 

“For this particular doctrine (the Two-Body doctrine – Ed) is strong among them: bodies are subject to corruption and their material is not permanent, but souls are immortal and persist forever. Descending from the thinnest ether they are merged with bodies just like prisons, having been drawn down by some natural spell. But whenever they are released from the bonds of the flesh, as if released from a long slavery, then they rejoice and are carried skyward.” (Wars 2:8:11; 154-5)

“The bodies of all men are indeed mortal, and are created out of corruptible matter, but the soul is forever immortal, and is a part of God that inhabits our bodies….Don’t you know that those who exit this life according to the law of nature, and pay that debt received from God, when he that gave it wants it back again…then the souls that remain pure and obedient obtain from God the holiest place in heaven, and from there, after the completion of the ages, they are instead sent again into undefiled bodies.” (
Wars 3:8:5; 372, 374-75)

Indeed the very same idea is shown here in Paul. What is more interesting is how Josephus describes the nature of this ideology and from whence it stemmed. That will be discussed in the next section.

I also want to make it clear the meaning of Paul when he discusses the natural and spiritual bodies. Carrier, in his publication I posted above, makes the following graph:

Psychikos
aka "Psyche-like"

 

Pneumatikos
aka "Pneuma-like"

->

 

->

Psychê
aka "Living Person"

 

Pneuma
aka "Holy Spirit"

[always something one can lose (Php. 2:30)]

 

[always something ethereal (2 Cor. 5:5)]


Carrier states, "The above chart makes the meaning of these Greek words clear: psychikos and pneumatikos are adjectives, meaning something is made of, or is like, or shares the properties of the noun they are derived from, in this case psychê and pneuma respectively. When we look at the nouns, we find that their associations are clear: one is used typically to refer to a living body, hence a body of flesh and blood (a search of the letters of Paul shows this to be his usual use of the word); the other, always to a disembodied spirit. The word sôma, which they modify in 1 Cor. 15:44, means only a distinct thing with volume and location, it does not entail what that thing is made of or what its properties are or where it came from. Paul calls the resurrected a pneumatikos sôma to distinguish this pneuma from "the" Pneuma, or Holy Spirit, which is not a sôma because it is everywhere, whereas a resurrected soul is not everywhere, but has a distinct and localized existence as an individual. Paul clearly means to say that when we are resurrected, we become like the Holy Spirit, and cease to be what we are when we were alive (a living body made of dust), but unlike the Holy Spirit, our spirit is still organized as a new kind of body, more like Casper the Ghost.”[vi]

Indeed, there is no denying the fact that these words are dissimilar, and in fact are not the same thing as some of the early church fathers had thought - and even made a case using this very passage and chapter. It is also obvious that Paul could not have been discussing the same thing that the Church fathers had thought he was.

So far we've discussed several important topics in this essay, that being the fact that we determined exactly the nature of the resurrection through various sources including modern-day church authorities and authorities in antiquity. We've discussed the importance of it, and why it is that way, as well as determined what the church fathers had to say on the matter. We've witnessed the internal contradictions of the resurrection in the Gospels and also the complications of the historical nature of the resurrection, and we've now discussed Paul at length concerning his views on the resurrection, how he differed from the Gospels, Pharisees and the later Church fathers, and also how there was similarity to Paul's thought to that of Josephus and Philo, and other Jews and Gentile Jews of the day.

But if Paul believed in this two-body resurrection doctrine, where did it originate? Glad you asked. Let's turn to the final subject of the essay - that being the Greeks and how they viewed the resurrection.



[i] Richard Carrier, The Empty Tomb, "The Spiritual Body of Christ," page numbers listed.

 

[ii] Check out Richard’s article, particularly Section V.

 

[iii] LSJ: Greek-English Lexicon 9th Edition

 

[iv] Naves Study Bible, 1 Corinthians 1:7, Pp. 1567 states in a side note, "Jesus, second coming of (as some interpret), Matt. 1:21. 1. R.V. Revelation" - Clearly a purposeful mistranslation when the word, as they admit, means revelation. This is not the same thing as "coming."

 

[v] LSJ: Greek-English Lexicon 9th Edition

 

[vi] Richard Carrier, "Why I Don't Buy the Resurrection Story; Section V: What Do 'Pneumatikos' and 'Psychikos' Mean?"

 

 

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To Rook: I am in full

To Rook:

I am in full agreement with the fact that Paul's version of resurrection is in a spiritual sense.

but . . . dude!!! . . . is it really necessary to paste 5000 words to make a simple point that could have been made by simply quoting Paul (and maybe a few of the writers of the patristic age to contrast him)?

Excessive though your post was, I managed to make it through it.

Though they don't detract from your basic thesis, I'd like to make a couple of points that must be taken into consideration regarding the certitude of some of your (or Carrier's) assertions:

Arguing from a supposed normative model of first-century Judaism (as in the first part of your post) assumes that we know enough about it to be able to recognize what is or is not part of its credal or liturgical aspects. Such an argument evaporates rather quickly because there are no secure grounds on which it could be either substantiated or rebutted. Citing the Talmudic writings in order to highlight some supposed Judaic practice or belief relevant to the argument at hand is spurious for the reason that, though it probably reflects some pre-destruction-of-the-temple remnants of tradition, we have no way of knowing how many, if any, of these kernels the Talmud retained. Such citations are conjectural at best.

I had another point to make . . . but i forgot it . . . and I simply don't feel like reading your long post again (laughs).

I'll just say that I am impressed by your historical acumen but that I agree with whoever said that "brevity is the soul of wit". You don't need to haul out a thermonuclear device when all that is needed is a slingshot. Such excess is very hard to distinguish from "arguing from authority" or pedantry (neither of which I think you are doing - but the charge could be leveled by some antagonistic poster, who would then feel justified in bringing out HIS authorities). Just a thought.

Anyway . . . it's late

peace

Ó

"Theology is that science which treats of the unknowable with infinitesimal exactitude." - Anatole France


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Hey Quixie!  I Quixie

Hey Quixie! 

I Quixie wrote:

To Rook:

I am in full agreement with the fact that Paul's version of resurrection is in a spiritual sense.

I think it goes beyond that.  I am fairly certain judging by Paul's own admissions that the entire character of Jesus is in the spiritual. 

Quote:
but . . . dude!!! . . . is it really necessary to paste 5000 words to make a simple point that could have been made by simply quoting Paul (and maybe a few of the writers of the patristic age to contrast him)?

 Haha!  Well, I guess you can say I like being thorough.  It's who I am.  I don't like repeating myself, so this saves me the trouble.  I can just direct people to the whole picture, and state somewhere in the mass is what they're looking for.

Quote:
Excessive though your post was, I managed to make it through it.

Wait until you read my book. Eye-wink 

Quote:
Though they don't detract from your basic thesis, I'd like to make a couple of points that must be taken into consideration regarding the certitude of some of your (or Carrier's) assertions:

Of course, feel free to launch away. 

Quote:
Arguing from a supposed normative model of first-century Judaism (as in the first part of your post) assumes that we know enough about it to be able to recognize what is or is not part of its credal or liturgical aspects. Such an argument evaporates rather quickly because there are no secure grounds on which it could be either substantiated or rebutted. Citing the Talmudic writings in order to highlight some supposed Judaic practice or belief relevant to the argument at hand is spurious for the reason that, though it probably reflects some pre-destruction-of-the-temple remnants of tradition, we have no way of knowing how many, if any, of these kernels the Talmud retained. Such citations are conjectural at best.

I would agree but we do have quite a large amount of writing which would back up my position.  I defer you to the two volume set by Charleston entitled "The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha."  Although some works are fragmentary, a large deal of them are quite indespencible.  I refrained from adding to the text, because it was quite long already, but there are many key instances in which such evidence can be backed by pre-second-exilic times.  

I would also add that we have quite a lot of Judaic texts from Egypt, albeit that is where most of our manuscripts derive.  We also have many works from Qumran, in which scholarship is leaning towards them being general diasporic writings (instead of the previous notion that they are Essene texts), at the behest of the IAA, and the Biblical Archaeological Review.  Of course, this is not set in stone, but based on the findings it is made pretty clear that the archaeological findings at Kirbet/Qumran do not match what you'd expect to find based on the textual data from Hippolytus, Josephus, Pliny and Philo.  

So one can say we have a very good foundation of texts with which to consider, and gain perspective of various groups of Jews in the Diaspora or in the homeland.  From my research I've gleaned several key factors, which my book will hopefully draw some concensus on.

Quote:
I had another point to make . . . but i forgot it . . . and I simply don't feel like reading your long post again (laughs).

Ha!  Well, if you remember it, please bring it up. 

Quote:
I'll just say that I am impressed by your historical acumen but that I agree with whoever said that "brevity is the soul of wit". You don't need to haul out a thermonuclear device when all that is needed is a slingshot. Such excess is very hard to distinguish from "arguing from authority" or pedantry (neither of which I think you are doing - but the charge could be leveled by some antagonistic poster, who would then feel justified in bringing out HIS authorities). Just a thought.

Anyway . . . it's late

peace

Ó

I appreciate your comments.  The best to you! 

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Rook, although you wrote a

Rook, although you wrote a lot about the vision of Paul, you did not mention his verse about James, or the verse scolding the Galatians who witnessed the crucifixion.

Furthermore, in second Corinthians, Paul dates the crucifixion as 14 years before the writing of his letter.

These verses and more have to be explained to prove your thesis.

Finally, the teachings of Jesus have to be explained, especially Q and Thomas. There are many unique teachings of Jesus in the gospels. Obviously others mention the Golden Rule, however some of his teachings are unique to Jesus. For example, his teachings about accept gentiles or "turn the other cheek." To truly prove that Jesus was 100% myth, you need to prove that their was an alternate source for the teachings of Jesus. By the way, what university did you get your history degree from?

 

I Quixie, I still don't think its a big deal for Christians if Jesus was resurrected as spirit-body. Paul was not the only one who claimed to have met a resurrected Jesus, thus his experience was not simply individual.

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


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I Quixie wrote: Here's a

I Quixie wrote:

Here's a guy who has been persecuting people for no other reason than they are dubbed heretical in their liturgical practices by the established order, when suddenly . . . it occurs to him what a fucked-up and anti-God (he WAS Jewish, after all) thing to do that is.

I Quixie, this is not a well thought out point. Yes, Paul was a Jew. He would have spent his entire life studying Hebrew scripture. Thus he would be very familiar with God's treatment of those who oppose the Hebrews. Haven't you ever read a book like Joshua? God allows the Hebrews to show no mercy on people who stand in their way.

In Paul's case, he persecuted Christians because they made insanely heretical claims about Jesus. To Christians, Jesus superceded Moses. Do you realize how angry that claim would make a Pharisee? Moses was the figurehead of Passover and the Jewish Law. Going off the tradition they know in OT, a Pharisee  like Paul would have no problem killing a Christian who blasphemed against God in such a horrible way.

 

 

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


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Christos wrote:

Christos wrote:

Rook, although you wrote a lot about the vision of Paul, you did not mention his verse about James, or the verse scolding the Galatians who witnessed the crucifixion.

Furthermore, in second Corinthians, Paul dates the crucifixion as 14 years before the writing of his letter.

These verses and more have to be explained to prove your thesis.

Christos. The Galatians as a whole COULD NOT have witnessed any crucifixion of Jesus. Do you know how far Galatia is from Jerusalem? Think about it. Unless you are suggesting that there was a mass migration of Jews to that vicinity in the forties and fifties (and I DON'T accept either the conjectural dating of Paul's conversion to 1-5 years after Jesus' death . . .to me it seems more like 8-10 . . . nor the idea that the Christian community of Galatia consisted primarily of Jews - I think that the particularly virulent nature of the circumsicion debate there is evidence to that).

Furthermore, it wouldn't have anything to do with a resurrected body of any kind, if they had (which they didn't). Crucifixions are about bodies being destroyed, not raised. You keep bringing up the dating of the crucifixion as though it was evidence of a resurrection.

 

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Finally, the teachings of Jesus have to be explained, especially Q and Thomas.

I lean toward the probability that Jesus existed in some rudimentary historical personage, so it's not a problem for me, as it is for Rook. But . . .

I'll remind you that neither Thomas nor Q contains any stories of raised bodies, either physical nor spiritual.

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I Quixie, I still don't think its a big deal for Christians if Jesus was resurrected as spirit-body. Paul was not the only one who claimed to have met a resurrected Jesus, thus his experience was not simply individual.

The resurrected spirit-body (and I don't think anyone alive or dead could ever explain what the hell that even means - it is a bad metaphor, Paul could have done better with that), if it was experienced by hundreds, dozens, or thousands of people, is still a psychological event, unless one can show it to be a physical manifestation from without. The number of people experiencing it has no bearing on whether it happenned in actuality.

I say it IS a big deal. If it is just a psychological event (as I posit - and notice I didn't say "individual" ) , and the "experiencers" insisted it really happened physically, then this insistence on belief in someone's momentary psychosis is an amazing example of a delusion which wants to propagate itself.

peace

 

Ó

I'll post somethng in that thread on the Quirinus census that you might be interested to read . . . about the composition of Matthew using the Mosaic model as a prototype.

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I Quixie wrote: Here's a

I Quixie wrote:

Here's a guy who has been persecuting people for no other reason than they are dubbed heretical in their liturgical practices by the established order,  . . . 

Christos wrote:
I Quixie, this is not a well thought out point. Yes, Paul was a Jew. He would have spent his entire life studying Hebrew scripture. Thus he would be very familiar with God's treatment of those who oppose the Hebrews. Haven't you ever read a book like Joshua? God allows the Hebrews to show no mercy on people who stand in their way.

I completely understand your objection here. I will post my hypothesis about this where this "better-than-Moses" position came from in that Quirinus thread.

I actually have given it more thought than you think.

peace

Ó 

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I Quixie wrote: I'll

I Quixie wrote:

I'll remind you that neither Thomas nor Q contains any stories of raised bodies, either physical nor spiritual.

Thank you, Captian Obvious 

I Quixie wrote:

I'll post somethng in that thread on the Quirinus census that you might be interested to read . . . about the composition of Matthew using the Mosaic model as a prototype.

Don't worry, I'm a religion major. I know all about Matthew and its structure. I think I've mentioned it on this forum.  

So anyway... 

Some of the Galatians could have experienced the crucifixion. Obviously not all of them.

How could you reject the dating of his conversion? Becasue "it seems more like 8-10"? Thats not an arguement. Read Galatians, thats where the dating comes from.

If lots of people have similar visions regarding the same dead person, I would think that would give some credibility to their claims. I've never heard of hundreds of people being fooled by the same vision. Unless you have another non-Christian example.

Even though I'm sure you've thought about the "greater than Moses" concept, I would hold-off from providing a theory. Unless you have a deep understanding of Judaism and the first-century Jew that comes from years of intense study. Smiling

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

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I Quixie wrote:

[MOD EDIT - removed duplicate post]


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Hey Christos, I will get to

Hey Christos, I will get to your other objections in a moment, but I saw some things in your response to Quixie I'd like to address.

 

Christos wrote:
I Quixie wrote:

I'll remind you that neither Thomas nor Q contains any stories of raised bodies, either physical nor spiritual.

Thank you, Captian Obvious

This is quite important.  You brush it off as if it weren't.  Especially since in Thomas, there is a passage which goes: (I've had toadd it as an image since this forum won't pick up coptic fonts)

 

The most obvious question now becomes, why did his disciples need to ask Jesus where he was?  This is significant.  This verse alone is so much a keystone to Thomas.  To the writer of Thomas, Jesus is not a real human being, but rather a revealer of knowledge who came to his students in a vision or euphoric state. (Gos.Thomas 108)  His students seek to find him, to gain the gnosis which will bring them away from their dead state of being, their intoxicated form of flesh, which to the Gnostic was a prison. (Gos.Thomas 13)  The Light Jesus is speaking of is that of Sophia, who according to Gnostic creation myths, is the 'mother' (in a certain manner of understanding) of the evil or tragic Demiurge (sometimes she is the offspring or sibling) who really created the world.  Sophia is the offspring via thought of the monad or Λογος (the presencer - the being which is all reason and all things that can be brought into existence).  When the Demiurge was spawned - basically - he trapped Sophia on this world which he created, and within the righteous Sophia is stored.  To release Sophia (this is the salvation) and our trapped souls (part of Sophia) we must attain the secret knowledge (gnosis) from the revealer - who to the Christian Gnostics was Christ Jesus (literally the "Anointed Savior" - funny how that works out).  All of these thoughts are worked out in just this verse alone, but continue through the Gospels (even the Canonized versions possess some Gnostic thoughts - especially that of the allegorical Mark and John).

This is certainly nothing to brush aside.  Even if we were to propose a second century date to Thomas (which I find unlikely, probably a first century pre-Markan document), this sort of confusion should not have existed.  This sort of confusion should have been stopped early on by eyewitnesses or friends of Jesus had he lived.  But it doesn't.

The confusion was clear in Pauls day as well, which is even more curious.  Why would that be the case?  Isn't it a little peculiar that, if as you say, the dating of Galatians is a short time after Jesus, why all this confusion?  Why does Paul end up disagreeing with James and Peter? 

As for the brother of Christ comment, this is really a stretch of the imagination.  

 

Galatians 1:19, “But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the brother of the Lord.”

(Greek) “ετερον δε των αποστολων ουκ ειδον ει μη ιακωβον τον αδελφον του κυριου”

Let's take a look at this carefully.  Notice the greek word αδελφον?   

 

1 Corinthians 9:5, “Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?”

(Greek) “μη ουκ εχομεν εξουσιαν αδελφην γυναικα περιαγειν ως και οι λοιποι αποστολοι και οι αδελφοι του κυριου και κηφας”

There is is again.  And in other places.  The Greek αδελφη and αδελφος are figurative for brother and sister (friend or family, as per the LSJ 9th Edition).  In early Christendom it was common for Christians to call each other “brothers” and “sisters” in the Lord.  In fact Paul does it often.  In, for example, 1 Cor. 1:1, where he states that Sosthenes is “our brother;” 1 Cor. 1:10 states “I urge you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…;” Galatians 1:2, “…and all of the brothers who are with me…” etc…  More examples could be given. 

I also find it odd that it isn't more specific.  In Greek, the better way to phrase it would have been "James the brother of Jesus," or "James the Lord's brother," instead of the peculiar way it is phrased, "James the brother of the Lord."  Richard Carrier thinks of it as a rank of initiation into the early Christian rites.  I would agree, much like the Mason's have the Order of the Pheonix or grades of initiations.  Such esoteric means were common in the day.  


Quote:
I Quixie wrote:

I'll post somethng in that thread on the Quirinus census that you might be interested to read . . . about the composition of Matthew using the Mosaic model as a prototype.

Don't worry, I'm a religion major. I know all about Matthew and its structure. I think I've mentioned it on this forum.

Why, if you know the typology, would you put up a fuss concerning the "better than Moses" hypothesis? 

Quote:
So anyway...

Some of the Galatians could have experienced the crucifixion. Obviously not all of them.

Based on what?  Where are the documents from Galatia attesting to this?

Quote:
How could you reject the dating of his conversion? Becasue "it seems more like 8-10"? Thats not an arguement. Read Galatians, thats where the dating comes from.

Citation please. 

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If lots of people have similar visions regarding the same dead person, I would think that would give some credibility to their claims.

How do you know they were the same?  Do you have any studies done or conducted which you verify that it was all the same?

Also, read my evidence presented.  I don't think you did.  I specifically addressed the 500, given that it isn't a later redaction (see Price, Jesus is Dead), Paul makes no distinction between his conversion experience (which as I have shown was a revelation) and the others.  Also, he never really makes it clear that this vision happened at the same time.  Nor does he posit any sort of timeline in 1 Corinthians 15 to suggest that is the case.  He simply gives us the list of who has had this experience.   

Quote:
I've never heard of hundreds of people being fooled by the same vision. Unless you have another non-Christian example.

Please see the Encyclopedia Britanica, specifically the documented cases on group hallucinations.   

Quote:
Even though I'm sure you've thought about the "greater than Moses" concept, I would hold-off from providing a theory. Unless you have a deep understanding of Judaism and the first-century Jew that comes from years of intense study. Smiling

Since we're discussing the idea of holding off until we know what we're talking about, this smells a lot like somthing somebody who doesn't know a thing about Judaism in the first century.  

First, there can be no 'understanding of judaism' in the first century because there was never a unified 'judaism' in ths first century.  Jews were just as divided in their opinions on their religion as first century Christians (see my excerpt for Pauline quotes).  You can't judge the whole group of people, this is very anti-scholarly.  Please consult any modern Diasporic historian, like Barclay or Collins.  The fact is that every section of every province was different, and we really don't have enough from every province to know exactly how different.  Most of our manuscripts come from Egypt, Rome, some from Palestine, some from Babylon, some from Syria (although very little) and that's about it.  

Fortunately, we have evidence of Jews being extremely Hellenized, which paints a very unique situation for early Christianity, being that so much of it stems from Greek philosophy (Hell, just look at how they attempted to MAKE Plato and Aristotle Christian!), and the Jews considered the Greeks, especially the Spartans, to be kin!  

So there is a lot you don't know, that you seem to think you know, and a lot you haven't read that I have read.  So, if you'd like reading material, some points in the right direction, I have hundreds of books on my shelf that I'm willing to direct you towards on any issue.  

And for the record, I'm self taught, been studying for 8 years now, and I am a member of the JBL, as well as the Journal of Higher Criticism.  And have many friends and colleagues in the scholarly community who I defer to on a number of issues.  If you want to keep asking me for my credentials after this, or continue to make a stink about it, I will have to assume you seek only to be lazy, and not look at the arguments presented, and then I'll be forced to stop taking you seriously.  

I hope this has been an enjoyable read.

The best to you,

Rook 

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I Quixie wrote: I'll

I Quixie wrote:

I'll remind you that neither Thomas nor Q contains any stories of raised bodies, either physical nor spiritual.

Christos wrote:
Thank you, Captian Obvious

I didn't say say that to be facetious. It is relevant to the discussion at hand. If you review your post that I was responding to, you were making a corollation between the Pauline "resurrection" and the need to understand Jesus' teaching in light of Thomas and Q. It was an appropriate point to make.

 

Christos wrote:
How could you reject the dating of his conversion? Becasue "it seems more like 8-10"? Thats not an arguement. Read Galatians, thats where the dating comes from.

Dating Paul's Damascus vision as early as 1-3 years after the crucifixion can only be done if one posits that the letter to the Galatians was written from Antioch at the end of his fist missionary journey, which ended sometime around 47 C.E.

However, if instead it was written during the course of his second journey from Corinth, then it could have been written around 51 C.E.

Further, if it was written shortly before his letter to the Corinthians (1Cor) during the first part of his third journey (a date that many commentators prefer because of the similarities in content and style between Galatians and Romans), then it could have been written as late as 58 C.E.

I personally opt for a probable second journey provenance, mostly because of the defiant tone of the opening of the letter, which I think is a veiled reference to his meeting with Jacob and the "pillars" in Jerusalem.

I hope that answers your question.

I'll add a note here saying that I wasn't making an argument for the dating, but pointing out that not everyone holds to the 1-3 year dating. I'm not like Rook in this sense. I won't write miles of citations regarding what is ultimately unproven. If you wonder how I arrive at my conclusions, feel free to ask, but don't assume that I'm just guessing, please. I hope it is clear to you by now that I have spent a good deal of time thinking through these matters in some detail.

 

Quote:
If lots of people have similar visions regarding the same dead person, I would think that would give some credibility to their claims. I've never heard of hundreds of people being fooled by the same vision. Unless you have another non-Christian example.
Fatima in 1917.

All manner of UFO sightings.

But to me it's inconsequential because I don't even think that there was such a thing as an apparition to that many people and that that is instead a rhetorical device to give creedence to his preaching (Paul's). In case you will now say that that is not an argument, suffice it to say that my conclusion is based on my impression that there weren't that many proselytes available forty days (or however many - if he's not talking about pentecost) after Jesus' death.

Kinda similar to when someone around here says something like: "thousand and thousands of scientists agree". The speaker has usually not reviewed all the scientific literatur to make the claim; she is using a rhetorical boast to highlight certitude.

Christos wrote:
Even though I'm sure you've thought about the "greater than Moses" concept, I would hold-off from providing a theory. Unless you have a deep understanding of Judaism and the first-century Jew that comes from years of intense study. Smiling

I don't know if you realize this, but that is the very thing that I warned Rook about regarding his long post of a few days ago.

I would never claim a thorough knowledge of first-century Judaism in that way. I think I am right in hypothesizing about the Matthean mosaic-prototype model based on several factors, which i touched on in my response to your post in the Quirinus thread, which you've already read.

Incidentally, my major in college was engineering. My interest in history is independent of any specific curriculum, independent of any institution, and I have spent over a decade studying these matters in-depth. I wouldn't presume that I have not, as in your implication above.

"Theology is that science which treats of the unknowable with infinitesimal exactitude." - Anatole France


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I Quixie wrote: I had


I Quixie wrote:
I had another point to make . . . but i forgot it . . . and I simply don't feel like reading your long post again (laughs).

Rook wrote:
Ha! Well, if you remember it, please bring it up.

I remember now . . . It had to do with your insistence that belief in the resurrection is vital to Christian faith.

Rook wrote:
. . . We know that the resurrection is so important that if it fails, so does the Christian faith, in fact the resurrection is the backbone of Christianity ...

There are in fact varieties within Christianity where this is not the case. They focus instead on the "incarnation" as the heart of the faith. There are plenty of genuine Christians who don't subscribe to a physical resurrection.

 

Now that I got your attention, though . . .

. . .that crazy AL500 dude said that you said that Jesus wasn't considered divine until 325? Did you say this? (G-sh, I hope not)

Also, If I may . . . .

to Christos

Your Steweie avatar says that you are theist, yet I remember you distinctly saying that you are not a Christian. Could you maybe elaborate on what your theism consists of? I'd be interested to hear.

I myself, when asked what religion I am, have two answers ready to go, depending on who the asker is:

1 - I'm a heathen . . . if it's just your average man-in-the-street context.

2 - I'm an agnostic Catholic . . . if it is asked by someone who I think has some experience with textual-historical method. It confuses a lot of people, but it's not hard to point out that plenty of people who are not religious at all still categorize themselves as "Jewish". It's a cultural inheritance, not necessarily a religious one for me. It is in this context that I mean it.

 

and . . .

 

To Rook .. .

 

I don't think that Christos was being demeaning in any way when he asked about your degree. I get the feeling that he was just curious to know where you had studied.

 

peace

 

Ó

"Theology is that science which treats of the unknowable with infinitesimal exactitude." - Anatole France


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I Quixie wrote: I Quixie

I Quixie wrote:

I Quixie wrote:
I had another point to make . . . but i forgot it . . . and I simply don't feel like reading your long post again (laughs).

Rook wrote:
Ha! Well, if you remember it, please bring it up.

I remember now . . . It had to do with your insistence that belief in the resurrection is vital to Christian faith.

Certainly not my insistance.  I am merely showing how Christians, especially those of early Christians, insisted on this very thing.  But I found it strange that as much dependance as they put on the resurrection, how much of a vast difference of opinion there was concerning it. 

Quote:
Rook wrote:
. . . We know that the resurrection is so important that if it fails, so does the Christian faith, in fact the resurrection is the backbone of Christianity ...

There are in fact varieties within Christianity where this is not the case. They focus instead on the "incarnation" as the heart of the faith. There are plenty of genuine Christians who don't subscribe to a physical resurrection.

This is true.  This is why I left Christianity.  Because it simply makes no sense.  If Paul states it's importance, and the Apostolic fathers rest their faith on it, why then does this large diversity of opinion exist?  

Quote:
Now that I got your attention, though . . .

. . .that crazy AL500 dude said that you said that Jesus wasn't considered divine until 325? Did you say this? (G-sh, I hope not)

Oh no, of course not.  There were certainly Christians who believed in Jesus' divinity.   However, what I did say was that his divinity wasn't officially established until 325.  Don't forget the whole reason why the Council of Nicea was called, due to the concerns of Arrianism.  And prior to this event, and even during, we know a vast number of Christian sects existed, and following the second Ecumenical Council, they disappeared save for the Cathars and Manicheans, who were later 'exterminated' during the Inquisition.  However it wasn't doctrine until 325, but certainly I admit that Christian sects, at least the Orthodox sects prior to 325 believed in the divinity of Christ.  This is simply another case of AL500 misrepresenting my position and strawmanning me.

Quote:
To Rook .. .

 

I don't think that Christos was being demeaning in any way when he asked about your degree. I get the feeling that he was just curious to know where you had studied.

 

peace

 

Ó

That could be correct. I get annoyed when people ask me that question, simply because people tend to focus on that instead of the argument or position which I lay out.  I didn't want the thread to deviate.  

 

The best to you and Christos,

 

Rook 

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As for the mentioning of

As for the mentioning of the Gospel of Thomas, this in unimportant because the book is not considered Christian and should not be expected to agree with Christianity.

Onward to Paul

Jesus died on the cross and went to hell for three days (according to tradition, and also it is the only thing that makes since, as Jesus had to go somewhere because if he didn't exist, neither would God. This is unimportant here to debate where Jesus went) He then comes back after three days to pick up his body. He makes physical appearances before his ascension. If he did not, he would have to leave his body somewhere to make the non-physical appearances. Jesus then ascends to heaven with his physical body.

Because Jesus gave signs to when he would return after he ascended, Jesus could not have appeared to Paul in Physical form, so how did Jesus appear to Paul? Acts 9:3-19 gives us the answer.

From this we know that the appearace was neither physical nor spriritual, because Jesus would have to return to make an appearance by either method. Paul was blined by light, so light was all Paul had seen before he became blind. Paul then heard the voice of Jesus after being blinded. It is this event that Paul claims was Jesus appearing to him. We don't know if a vision of Jesus was in this light or not (though we do know it was neither the physical or spiritual Jesus [It is also possible to argue that a spiritual only Jesus doesn't exist because he ascended with his body, so his spirit is still inside his human body]), because Paul was blind at the moment he heard the voice. We know that this wasn't simply in Paul's head because 1) having visions or dreams do not make you go blind and later provide the means to become unblind, 2) his companions heard the same vioce, though they did not understand it, 3)whoever Paul heard also arranged for Paul to become unblind, 4) Paul had a great change after this and believed it to be real. If this was simply a vision, there is no reason Paul wouldn't have blaimed the Chrsitains for using sorcery on him. 5) Paul does not claim the Christians or the Devil was behind this, although Jesus had been claimed to be in the league with the Devil. Had the event been only in Paul's head, it would be more likely he would have been able to dismiss the event as from the Devil.


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simple theist wrote: As

simple theist wrote:

As for the mentioning of the Gospel of Thomas, this in unimportant because the book is not considered Christian and should not be expected to agree with Christianity.

This is complete fiction.  Where did you ever get this idea? 

Quote:
Onward to Paul

Jesus died on the cross and went to hell for three days (according to tradition, and also it is the only thing that makes since, as Jesus had to go somewhere because if he didn't exist, neither would God.

This is really irrelevant.  The early Christians would have believed in Jesus, just not as a physical being.  Jesus would have in fact been more real to Paul and early Christians as a spiritual revealer then as a real person.  Paul even states, "But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." (Galatians 1:11-12)

Paul's experience as a revelation is more vital to him and his school as it is, to Paul, more direct to God.  He continually makes the point in Galatians that his conversion was by revelation, as man is fallible and flawed and give false information, a direct revelation was much more real and authentic.  It's like saying, "Hey, God gave me this information directly, not Joe Schmoe the Baker where you got your information!" 

His Christ was more real and more Godly then anyt living, physical Christ could be.  After all, it is Paul that says nothing good comes from the flesh.  

Quote:
This is unimportant here to debate where Jesus went)

Not necessarily.  Paul's understanding of the world was very different then ours today.  Paul believed in multiple heavens (signifigant and stunning similar to 1 Enoch), and he himself claims to have visited, or knew people who visited, these Heavens in visions (2 Corinthians 12:1-3).  To paul Christ did die, and was resurrected, but there was nothing earthly about it.  To Paul, all of this happened on another plane of existence.  Something that mimics the other mystery cults of the day, like the Dionysiac rites and mysteries.  Or those of Zagreus would also suffice as a comparison.

Quote:
He then comes back after three days to pick up his body. He makes physical appearances before his ascension. If he did not, he would have to leave his body somewhere to make the non-physical appearances. Jesus then ascends to heaven with his physical body.

None of this is supported by Paul. In fact this contradicts Paul.  Please take the time to read my two posts above concerning Paul and his account of the resurrection.

Quote:
Because Jesus gave signs to when he would return after he ascended, Jesus could not have appeared to Paul in Physical form, so how did Jesus appear to Paul? Acts 9:3-19 gives us the answer.

Why are you using Acts to talk about Paul?  Acts is a second century anti-Marcionite book, same as Luke.  (Read: Marcion and Luke Acts: A Defining Struggle, Joseph B. Tyson. South Carolina University Press 2006; Dating Acts, Richard I. Pervo. Poleridge Press 2006; Contextualizing Acts: Lukan Narrative and Greco-Roman Discourse, Penner & Stichele. SBLSymS 20) 

Aside from the fact Luke didn't even bother to utilize Paul's letters often (although we can prove he had them), he botches up the conversion story of Paul and contradicts Galatians:

 

1.     Galatians states that Paul didn’t talk to anybody about his conversion for THREE YEARS during his time in Damascus and outlining regions. (Galatians 1:17) Yet in Acts, Ananias and the other disciples of Jesus were AT Damascus, healed Paul’s sight, and baptized him. A few days later, he was PREACHING about the Lord. (Acts 9:17-20)

2.     In Galatians Paul didn’t SEE a Disciple/Apostle for THREE YEARS – until he saw Peter and James (That’s the ONLY TWO) in Jerusalem after those three years. (Gal. 1:18-19)  In Acts, however, Paul spent a few days with many disciples in Jerusalem (The Bible states “ALL the Apostles” – Acts 9:19)

3.     Paul fled at once (RSV) to Arabia and THEN to Damascus in Galatians (Gal. 1:17), where in Acts, Paul had been on his way TO Damascus (Acts 9:3) then started to preach there at long accord (Acts 9:19-26) until the Jews there threatened to kill him and then he fled to Jerusalem after many days (Acts 9:25-26).

4.     In Paul’s own words, none but Peter who stayed with him, and James were in Jerusalem.  Yet in Acts, ALL the Apostles were there – and were not just there but were afraid of him.  This was not the case in Galatians.

5.     Paul says after 15 days he left for the regions of Syria and Cilicia (Gal. 1:21) where in Acts, by somebody else’s accord, upon the attempts to kill him by the Greeks, Paul was smuggled out to Caesarea – and from there Tarsus. 

6.     After 14 YEARS in the regions of Syria and Cilicia, Paul returned to Jerusalem with Barnabas and Titus. (Gal. 2:1) but in Acts, Barnabas leaves from Antioch to Tarsus to find Paul, brought him back to Antioch for a whole YEAR. (Acts 11:25-16)

7.     In Galatians, Paul took TITUS to Jerusalem (Gal. 2:1), where in Acts, Paul took Mark, whose surname was John. (Acts 12:25)

Using Luke to prove something about Paul is like using Moby Dick to prove something about whales. 

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From this we know that the appearace was neither physical nor spriritual, because Jesus would have to return to make an appearance by either method. Paul was blined by light, so light was all Paul had seen before he became blind. Paul then heard the voice of Jesus after being blinded. It is this event that Paul claims was Jesus appearing to him. We don't know if a vision of Jesus was in this light or not (though we do know it was neither the physical or spiritual Jesus [It is also possible to argue that a spiritual only Jesus doesn't exist because he ascended with his body, so his spirit is still inside his human body]), because Paul was blind at the moment he heard the voice.

 Paul seems to know exactly what his vision was.  This is simply an Acts author making things up to fit his perception of what he things should have happened.  Get your information from the horses mouth, not a second century redactor.

Take care,

 

Rook 

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simple theist
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Rook_Hawkins

Rook_Hawkins wrote:

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Onward to Paul

Jesus died on the cross and went to hell for three days (according to tradition, and also it is the only thing that makes since, as Jesus had to go somewhere because if he didn't exist, neither would God.

This is really irrelevant. The early Christians would have believed in Jesus, just not as a physical being. Jesus would have in fact been more real to Paul and early Christians as a spiritual revealer then as a real person. Paul even states, "But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." (Galatians 1:11-12)

Paul's experience as a revelation is more vital to him and his school as it is, to Paul, more direct to God. He continually makes the point in Galatians that his conversion was by revelation, as man is fallible and flawed and give false information, a direct revelation was much more real and authentic. It's like saying, "Hey, God gave me this information directly, not Joe Schmoe the Baker where you got your information!"

His Christ was more real and more Godly then anyt living, physical Christ could be. After all, it is Paul that says nothing good comes from the flesh.

So we both agree that Paul recieved his information by revelation? I also don't see how this applies to Jesus dying on a cross.

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This is unimportant here to debate where Jesus went)

Not necessarily. Paul's understanding of the world was very different then ours today. Paul believed in multiple heavens (signifigant and stunning similar to 1 Enoch), and he himself claims to have visited, or knew people who visited, these Heavens in visions (2 Corinthians 12:1-3). To paul Christ did die, and was resurrected, but there was nothing earthly about it. To Paul, all of this happened on another plane of existence. Something that mimics the other mystery cults of the day, like the Dionysiac rites and mysteries. Or those of Zagreus would also suffice as a comparison.

Christians still believe in multiple heavens.

 

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He then comes back after three days to pick up his body. He makes physical appearances before his ascension. If he did not, he would have to leave his body somewhere to make the non-physical appearances. Jesus then ascends to heaven with his physical body.

None of this is supported by Paul. In fact this contradicts Paul. Please take the time to read my two posts above concerning Paul and his account of the resurrection.

I will read them when I get the time.

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Because Jesus gave signs to when he would return after he ascended, Jesus could not have appeared to Paul in Physical form, so how did Jesus appear to Paul? Acts 9:3-19 gives us the answer.

Why are you using Acts to talk about Paul? Acts is a second century anti-Marcionite book, same as Luke. (Read: Marcion and Luke Acts: A Defining Struggle, Joseph B. Tyson. South Carolina University Press 2006; Dating Acts, Richard I. Pervo. Poleridge Press 2006; Contextualizing Acts: Lukan Narrative and Greco-Roman Discourse, Penner & Stichele. SBLSymS 20)

Aside from the fact Luke didn't even bother to utilize Paul's letters often (although we can prove he had them), he botches up the conversion story of Paul and contradicts Galatians:

 

1. Galatians states that Paul didn’t talk to anybody about his conversion for THREE YEARS during his time in Damascus and outlining regions. (Galatians 1:17) Yet in Acts, Ananias and the other disciples of Jesus were AT Damascus, healed Paul’s sight, and baptized him. A few days later, he was PREACHING about the Lord. (Acts 9:17-20)

2. In Galatians Paul didn’t SEE a Disciple/Apostle for THREE YEARS – until he saw Peter and James (That’s the ONLY TWO) in Jerusalem after those three years. (Gal. 1:18-19) In Acts, however, Paul spent a few days with many disciples in Jerusalem (The Bible states “ALL the Apostles” – Acts 9:19)

3. Paul fled at once (RSV) to Arabia and THEN to Damascus in Galatians (Gal. 1:17), where in Acts, Paul had been on his way TO Damascus (Acts 9:3) then started to preach there at long accord (Acts 9:19-26) until the Jews there threatened to kill him and then he fled to Jerusalem after many days (Acts 9:25-26).

4. In Paul’s own words, none but Peter who stayed with him, and James were in Jerusalem. Yet in Acts, ALL the Apostles were there – and were not just there but were afraid of him. This was not the case in Galatians.

5. Paul says after 15 days he left for the regions of Syria and Cilicia (Gal. 1:21) where in Acts, by somebody else’s accord, upon the attempts to kill him by the Greeks, Paul was smuggled out to Caesarea – and from there Tarsus.

6. After 14 YEARS in the regions of Syria and Cilicia, Paul returned to Jerusalem with Barnabas and Titus. (Gal. 2:1) but in Acts, Barnabas leaves from Antioch to Tarsus to find Paul, brought him back to Antioch for a whole YEAR. (Acts 11:25-16)

7. In Galatians, Paul took TITUS to Jerusalem (Gal. 2:1), where in Acts, Paul took Mark, whose surname was John. (Acts 12:25)

Using Luke to prove something about Paul is like using Moby Dick to prove something about whales.

I was going to respond to each point, but as I started looking at the passages, I see that they only conflict when I agree with your interpretation of what the passages mean or imply. Simply reading the passages and what they mean for myself, I see no disagreement with them. Point 1 for example you state that Paul never told anyone about his conversion. Galations never says that. Also Galations concerns Paul receiving revelation from Jesus and no where mentions if this is the same event as recorded in Acts or if it is a different event. It also never says Paul didn't talk to anyone for three years, it simply says he didn't go to Jerusalem to see the apostles for three years. After that I decided to ignore the other points since point two seemed to be the same way.

 

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From this we know that the appearace was neither physical nor spriritual, because Jesus would have to return to make an appearance by either method. Paul was blined by light, so light was all Paul had seen before he became blind. Paul then heard the voice of Jesus after being blinded. It is this event that Paul claims was Jesus appearing to him. We don't know if a vision of Jesus was in this light or not (though we do know it was neither the physical or spiritual Jesus [It is also possible to argue that a spiritual only Jesus doesn't exist because he ascended with his body, so his spirit is still inside his human body]), because Paul was blind at the moment he heard the voice.

Paul seems to know exactly what his vision was. This is simply an Acts author making things up to fit his perception of what he things should have happened. Get your information from the horses mouth, not a second century redactor.

Take care,

 

Rook

I disagree with the second century remark and don't see anything in Galations that contradicts the event in Acts. I also believe that in all likelyhood, the event in Acts and the Event in Galtions actually refer to two different events. (though it is possible that Paul could have had his encounter with Jesus and his revelation of Jesus at the same time, it is also possible the events are unrelated.)


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simple theist wrote:

simple theist wrote:

As for the mentioning of the Gospel of Thomas, this in unimportant because the book is not considered Christian and should not be expected to agree with Christianity.

This opening statement reveals much more than you realize. If by "not considered Christian" you mean "is not part of the Magisterium" or "not part of the canon", then it would be a true statement.

But, if what it means is "not written by Christians" or "not a legitimate source of information about the early variations in early Christianity", then it is a whopper of a false statement. The fact that you meant it in the first sense and then moved on, completely glossing over the implication of the second sense, tells me that your position is pretty much the orthodox partisan one no matter what the evidence might indicate.

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Onward to Paul

Jesus died on the cross and went to hell for three days (according to tradition, and also it is the only thing that makes since, as Jesus had to go somewhere because if he didn't exist, neither would God.

I invite you to consider the possibility that it's the only thing that makes sense to YOU because you come to the question assuming that Jesus is somehow god and that he went down to hell for three days when he died (just like the creed says!) . . . to begin with. However, to a rational person who is not bound by any creed and has thus no emotional need for it to be literally true, something else might make more sense, . . . . let's see . . . . what would make more sense than this? . . . hmm. . . how about, "Jesus went nowhere at all because he was as dead as Coney Island in winter after the crucifixion" . . . . that might be ONE possibility off the top of my head. . . (I'm thinking about silk-screening a tee-shirt that says "explore the obvious" )

It amuses me how people come up with absurd explanations for their credal propositions. Metaphor is turned into literalist assertion.

"how many angels can fit on the head of a pin?" . . . "Where did Jesus go for three days?"

It's nonsensical.

And by the way, that part of the creed - "the harrowing of hell" - doesn't appear in any extant manuscript containing the creed or in any reference to the creed whatsoever until AFTER the year 600. Are you aware of that? Research it.

Its inclusion was obviously a Church-derived attempt at a solution to the theological problem that is raised by the Jesus(dead for 3 days)=God(omnipresent) postulate as you yourself point out in your post.


Bringing up the idea of Jesus' descent into hell in a discussion about early textual evidence for early christian definitions of resurrection betrays a lack of familiarity with the materials and of the last two hundred years of New Testament scholarship. Recitting that chunk of the creed is not evidence, dude. Testifying to church teachings won't do in a forum about historiography. That kind of testifying is for wednesday-night-bible-study groups. Not here. It's not a good idea to argue for the historical veracity of stuff that you believe solely on faith from the starting gate.

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This is unimportant here to debate where Jesus went)
I couldn't agree with you more.

There are so many things wrong with your post that I better stop here. Time and experience has told me that arguing points of historical-critical method with a partisan mentality is like boxing a glacier. How can you begin rational discourse on textual evidence with someone who starts off with the premise that god can do anything it wants to? (even post-date a creed)

. . . . (even make a rock so heavy that even he can't budge it? - while we are on the topic of non sequiturs).

Don't mean to be too harsh on you but this is silly and frustrating.

 

peace

 

Ó

 

"Theology is that science which treats of the unknowable with infinitesimal exactitude." - Anatole France


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simple theist

simple theist wrote:
Rook_Hawkins wrote:

Quote:
Onward to Paul

Jesus died on the cross and went to hell for three days (according to tradition, and also it is the only thing that makes since, as Jesus had to go somewhere because if he didn't exist, neither would God.

This is really irrelevant. The early Christians would have believed in Jesus, just not as a physical being. Jesus would have in fact been more real to Paul and early Christians as a spiritual revealer then as a real person. Paul even states, "But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." (Galatians 1:11-12)

Paul's experience as a revelation is more vital to him and his school as it is, to Paul, more direct to God. He continually makes the point in Galatians that his conversion was by revelation, as man is fallible and flawed and give false information, a direct revelation was much more real and authentic. It's like saying, "Hey, God gave me this information directly, not Joe Schmoe the Baker where you got your information!"

His Christ was more real and more Godly then anyt living, physical Christ could be. After all, it is Paul that says nothing good comes from the flesh.

So we both agree that Paul recieved his information by revelation? I also don't see how this applies to Jesus dying on a cross.

We do both agree.  However, I use Paul's words, and you are trying to combine both Paul's words and the words of Luke, who again wrote in the second century. (Please read those books which I cited for the most up-to-date scholarship) 

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This is unimportant here to debate where Jesus went)

Not necessarily. Paul's understanding of the world was very different then ours today. Paul believed in multiple heavens (signifigant and stunning similar to 1 Enoch), and he himself claims to have visited, or knew people who visited, these Heavens in visions (2 Corinthians 12:1-3). To paul Christ did die, and was resurrected, but there was nothing earthly about it. To Paul, all of this happened on another plane of existence. Something that mimics the other mystery cults of the day, like the Dionysiac rites and mysteries. Or those of Zagreus would also suffice as a comparison.

Christians still believe in multiple heavens.

Indeed, they do.  And some even believe in different planes of existence, like Limbo, which of course the Catholic Church has as of late discarded from it's doctrines, but at one time was a very real plane of existence for many Christians. 

 

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He then comes back after three days to pick up his body. He makes physical appearances before his ascension. If he did not, he would have to leave his body somewhere to make the non-physical appearances. Jesus then ascends to heaven with his physical body.

None of this is supported by Paul. In fact this contradicts Paul. Please take the time to read my two posts above concerning Paul and his account of the resurrection.

I will read them when I get the time.

Please do.   

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Because Jesus gave signs to when he would return after he ascended, Jesus could not have appeared to Paul in Physical form, so how did Jesus appear to Paul? Acts 9:3-19 gives us the answer.

Why are you using Acts to talk about Paul? Acts is a second century anti-Marcionite book, same as Luke. (Read: Marcion and Luke Acts: A Defining Struggle, Joseph B. Tyson. South Carolina University Press 2006; Dating Acts, Richard I. Pervo. Poleridge Press 2006; Contextualizing Acts: Lukan Narrative and Greco-Roman Discourse, Penner & Stichele. SBLSymS 20)

Aside from the fact Luke didn't even bother to utilize Paul's letters often (although we can prove he had them), he botches up the conversion story of Paul and contradicts Galatians:

 

1. Galatians states that Paul didn’t talk to anybody about his conversion for THREE YEARS during his time in Damascus and outlining regions. (Galatians 1:17) Yet in Acts, Ananias and the other disciples of Jesus were AT Damascus, healed Paul’s sight, and baptized him. A few days later, he was PREACHING about the Lord. (Acts 9:17-20)

2. In Galatians Paul didn’t SEE a Disciple/Apostle for THREE YEARS – until he saw Peter and James (That’s the ONLY TWO) in Jerusalem after those three years. (Gal. 1:18-19) In Acts, however, Paul spent a few days with many disciples in Jerusalem (The Bible states “ALL the Apostles” – Acts 9:19)

3. Paul fled at once (RSV) to Arabia and THEN to Damascus in Galatians (Gal. 1:17), where in Acts, Paul had been on his way TO Damascus (Acts 9:3) then started to preach there at long accord (Acts 9:19-26) until the Jews there threatened to kill him and then he fled to Jerusalem after many days (Acts 9:25-26).

4. In Paul’s own words, none but Peter who stayed with him, and James were in Jerusalem. Yet in Acts, ALL the Apostles were there – and were not just there but were afraid of him. This was not the case in Galatians.

5. Paul says after 15 days he left for the regions of Syria and Cilicia (Gal. 1:21) where in Acts, by somebody else’s accord, upon the attempts to kill him by the Greeks, Paul was smuggled out to Caesarea – and from there Tarsus.

6. After 14 YEARS in the regions of Syria and Cilicia, Paul returned to Jerusalem with Barnabas and Titus. (Gal. 2:1) but in Acts, Barnabas leaves from Antioch to Tarsus to find Paul, brought him back to Antioch for a whole YEAR. (Acts 11:25-16)

7. In Galatians, Paul took TITUS to Jerusalem (Gal. 2:1), where in Acts, Paul took Mark, whose surname was John. (Acts 12:25)

Using Luke to prove something about Paul is like using Moby Dick to prove something about whales.

I was going to respond to each point, but as I started looking at the passages, I see that they only conflict when I agree with your interpretation of what the passages mean or imply.

This is a load of crap.  You are obviously not readiong the text, but just making up excuses. 

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Simply reading the passages and what they mean for myself, I see no disagreement with them. Point 1 for example you state that Paul never told anyone about his conversion. Galations never says that.

Really?  Actually, I said he didn't tell anyone for three years!  Read the text, instead of just assuming I'm wrong.  I back up my claims.

"...was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus...." (Galatians 1:16-17)

The word used for "consult" in Greek is ἀποκαλύψαι which means DISCLOSE or MADE KNOWN or REVEAL.  (Check the LSJ 9th Edition, or the Middle-Liddell Greek Lexicons)

The full Greek word by word is thus:

Gal. 1:16, Disclose (αποκαλυψαι) the (τον)  son (υιον) himself (αυτου) by (εν) me (εμοι) where (ινα) I preach his good news (ευαγγελιζωμαι αυτον) by (εν) that (τοις) foreign people/gentiles (εθνεσιν) at once (ευθεως) I did not (ου προσανεθεμην) flesh (σαρκι) and (και) blood (αιματι).

I hope you can see that there is really no way you can say it didn't say that. 

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Also Galations concerns Paul receiving revelation from Jesus and no where mentions if this is the same event as recorded in Acts or if it is a different event.

Are you kidding me?  Have you even read Galatians?  My advice is don't get involved in a conversation if you cannot adequately defend a position, or have not adequately read the text.  This is CLEARLY refering to Paul's conversion!  Acts was written almost a hundred years LATER, and was modified by the legend of Paul,  by Marcion's use of Paul, and by Lukes own redactions of Paul.  This is the same event told differently by another anonymous author. 

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It also never says Paul didn't talk to anyone for three years, it simply says he didn't go to Jerusalem to see the apostles for three years.

It states explicitly that he didn't tell anybody about his event UNTIL he went to Peter and James.  Please read the verse. 

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After that I decided to ignore the other points since point two seemed to be the same way.

In other words, you couldn't refute them so instead you made up a ridiculous lie about what was said and didn't read the rest because you were just too lazy?  If this is your method for debating, you should best just stay out of it. 

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simple theist
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Honestly,  I read the Acts

Honestly,  I read the Acts and Galatians account several times and still don't see that what you are saying is true. It really appears that you are making claims that the text doesn't say. Yea go ahead with your insults, I don't care. I didn't focus on the other points because it was late and I felt like I was going to keep saying the samething about that not  being what the text said.

I posted my view as to what form of Jesus that Paul claimed to have seen. I have no intrest in arguing if Acts is true or not. Feel free to dismiss my views on Paul. 


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Thanks for your permission

Thanks for your permission to dismiss your claims, but I had already dismissed them as stemming from ignorance the second I read them.

The best to you,

 

Rook

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