A Major Conflict in Jesus Historicity

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Re: A Major Conflict in Jesus Historicity

Post #111

Post by tam »

Peace to you Danmark!
Danmark wrote:
tam wrote: [Replying to post 80 by Danmark]

Generation

Here is a link to the word "genea" being used, meaning generation:

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/le ... 1074&t=KJV

Look at how many different ways that word is used and what it means:

I. fathered, birth, nativity

II. that which has been begotten, men of the same stock, a family

A- the several ranks of natural descent, the successive members of a genealogy

B- metaph. a group of men very like each other in endowments, pursuits, character

i- esp. in a bad sense, a perverse nation

III. the whole multitude of men living at the same time

IV. an age (i.e. the time ordinarily occupied be each successive generation), a space of 30 - 33 years
Why pick a meaning that does not agree with what Jesus said in Matthew 16:28?
"Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.� That is consistent with a generation being less than 40 years, or according to your source, 30-33.
Because Matthew 16:28 is not the same conversation.


And at least one person DID see this before he died. (John from revelation) John was taken up to the third heaven (in the spirit) to the Lord's Day. He saw Christ return on that day. He saw many other things as well.

There are references all thru the Bible that reinforce Jesus was talking to "this generation" standing right in front of him. They include verses which show the early church understood Jesus to have said the same thing:
Just because some of the early church believed Christ meant He was returning in their lifetime does not mean that Christ actually said or meant this.

Men of Galilee,� they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.�
— Acts 1:11


This just describes how Christ is going to return. Doesn't mention when.

The end of all things is near.
— 1 Peter 4:7



It does sound as though Peter believed the end would occur in his lifetime (Paul writes things that sound the same). I don't like to base my understanding on one side of a letter though (people often make mistakes with things Paul said because they do not realize the issues of the day that Paul was addressing). Its kind of like listening to one side of a telephone conversation.

But again, that does not mean that Christ meant or said that He was returning in their lifetime. He did say to be alert because it could happen at any time - and no doubt that was their hope.



You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. … The Judge is standing at the door!
— James 5:8-9
Same as above.

Although.... Christ DOES come TO us, even now. ("If anyone loves me, they will obey my commands. My Father will love them and we will come and make our home with them." He IS with us even now; He even says, from Revelation, that He stands at the door and knocks.)

I sometimes wonder if the scribes did not mix up Christ coming to us now (as the Spirit) and Christ literally/physically returning with His Kingdom (where every eye will see Him).
And there are others in the gospels:
But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, “Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.� I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
— Luke 10:10-12


Oh, the Kingdom of God HAD INDEED come near. Christ is the King and He was walking among them; so yeah, the Kingdom was near. Christ also said that the Kingdom was within us (which it is within us by means of holy spirit). So that was near as well, since holy spirit was poured out within three years of His having said this.

“The time has come,� he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!�
— Mark 1:15


Same as above.

As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’
— Mat. 10:7


Same as above.

Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.�
— John 16:16
That already had one fulfillment. Christ died. They did not see Him. Christ was resurrected. They saw Him again.


There is ample reason C.S. Lewis wrote:

“Say what you like,� we shall be told, “the apocalyptic beliefs of the first Christians have been proved to be false. It is clear from the New Testament that they all expected the Second Coming in their own lifetime. And, worse still, they had a reason, and one which you will find very embarrassing. Their Master had told them so. He shared, and indeed created, their delusion. He said in so many words, ‘this generation shall not pass till all these things be done.’ And he was wrong. He clearly knew no more about the end of the world than anyone else.� It is certainly the most embarrassing verse in the Bible."
— C.S. Lewis, The World’s Last Night: And Other Essays
[/quote]

I never said there was no reason that people believe these things. Only that this reason is built upon misunderstanding.


Christ was not wrong about anything He said.


Peace again to you!
your servant and a slave of Christ,
tammy

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Re: A Major Conflict in Jesus Historicity

Post #112

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tam wrote:
Christ was not wrong about anything He said.
This is the essence of the argument. Nevermind what the early church believed. Never mind what Paul, Peter, and Jesus believed. The theology must be protected at all costs. Doctrine is more important than what Jesus actually said.

This is why critics of Christian orthodoxy have no respect for doctrinaire assertions. Those claims continue in spite of the plain reading of their own scriptures. I've had this debate before. And I give a challenge. How could Jesus and the rest of the NT have made it more clear that the end was coming soon?

The problem is that there is no evidence sufficient to get the believers to admit they have been wrong for 2000 years. Doctrine is everything. Facts, even the facts published in the NT are nothing. There is no point in anyone referencing what the Bible actually says, because scripture means nothing when it goes up against the power of belief, of tradition.

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Re: A Major Conflict in Jesus Historicity

Post #113

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Danmark wrote: Men of Galilee,� they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.�
— Acts 1:11

The end of all things is near.
— 1 Peter 4:7

You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. … The Judge is standing at the door!
— James 5:8-9


And there are others in the gospels:
But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, “Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.� I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
— Luke 10:10-12 . . . .


Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.�
— John 16:16
Many scholars believe that both 1 Peter and James were written pseudonymously and after 80CE. Luke/Acts was definitely one of the later gospels written in that period, as was John. In fact both Luke (17:21 & 21:24) and John (21:20-23) indicate fairly clearly that they did not have a specific time-frame in mind for Jesus' return. So there's a fairly obvious problem there with critics claiming that these are somehow evidence for a specific time-frame!
Danmark wrote: Why pick a meaning that does not agree with what Jesus said in Matthew 16:28?
"Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.� That is consistent with a generation being less than 40 years, or according to your source, 30-33.
You've also missed
Matthew 10:23 When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

However, those two passages are unique to Matthew. In Mark 9:1 the author writes that "some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power." That's a much more ambiguous phrase - earlier in the gospel (especially chapter 4) the author had already established that what he means by the 'kingdom of God' is not a world-shaking eschaton but something much more subtle: The kingship of God in believers' hearts, sown by disciples and growing like a seed rather than forcefully established from on high.

It's difficult to see how any honest interpretation could view Mark 9:1 as a reference to a Second Coming. However Matthew by contrast changes the verse into that explicit meaning (16:28). Furthermore Matthew 10:23 does not even have any known parallel or precursor in extant texts, and may be Matthew's own invention. Clearly, Matthew must have had some reason to be adamantly certain that Jesus was going to come right now, within a few years of his writing. Most likely, he was writing immediately after the destruction of the temple in 70CE, and saw a profound and unquestionably obvious prophetic significance in that event.

Matthew certainly and unambiguously established more than one time-frame for Jesus' return, which have all passed. Score a point against the fundamentalists. But Jesus himself?
Danmark wrote: “The time has come,� he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!�
— Mark 1:15
As explained above, Mark pretty clearly shows in his gospel that the 'kingdom of God' is a word spread by disciples and growing in believers' hearts (Mark 4). Trying to interpret it otherwise is a stretch, at best.

Mark was written before Matthew, and potentially even before the beginnings of the Jewish Revolt; according to our earliest source Papias (c. 110-140CE), he wrote either shortly after Peter's death or maybe even while he was still alive, while Irenaeus (c. 180CE) said that Mark wrote shortly after the deaths of Peter and Paul (believed to have been in Nero's persecution in 64CE).

By that time, three and a half decades after Jesus' death, most of the people who'd been old enough to hear and understand him would already be dead. Even people who'd been newborns then would have grandchildren of their own. By any reasonable measure the 'generation' had already passed.

That is the context which lies behind Mark 13. I'm not a Christian so it's not as if I have any horse in this race, but as far as I can tell it could easily go either way:
> If Mark wrote in 64-66CE, he probably did not mean 'generation' in the three-decade sense suggested above.
> If he wrote in 67-69CE, it could go either way; he might have heard enough news of the Jewish Revolt and be theologically inclined to assume that it would lead into apocalyptic events.
> If he wrote after 70CE, he undoubtedly would have viewed the temple's destruction the same way Matthew did.

And of course none of these tell us with much confidence what Jesus actually said and believed almost four decades earlier. Clearly all early Christians believed it would be 'soon' in the sense of "any day now"; that there was a sense of urgency to their mission. Christians have believed that in every century since then too, usually without assuming specific time-frames. So were the early Christians (besides Matthew) and more specifically was Jesus wrong about a particular time-frame?

I don't think there's sufficient evidence to reach a conclusion one way or another.

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Re: A Major Conflict in Jesus Historicity

Post #114

Post by Danmark »

[Replying to post 113 by Mithrae]
In Mark 9:1 the author writes that "some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power." That's a much more ambiguous phrase - earlier in the gospel (especially chapter 4) the author had already established that what he means by the 'kingdom of God' is not a world-shaking eschaton but something much more subtle: The kingship of God in believers' hearts, sown by disciples and growing like a seed rather than forcefully established from on high.

It's difficult to see how any honest interpretation could view Mark 9:1 as a reference to a Second Coming. However Matthew by contrast changes the verse into that explicit meaning (16:28).
There is nothing ambiguous about either of these passages with respect to the time element. They are unanimous about the prophesy that this will happen soon, within a generation. There is no getting around this.

What I find amusing is the difficult struggle and stretching people go thru to subvert the plain meaning of all these verses and how the imminence of the apocalypse is supported by the context of all of the gospels, plus Acts and the letters of Peter and Paul. What is even more telling is that, according to your argument, all these passages in the NT are ambiguous at best.

OK, let's accept the argument. If we do then all you've done is to dilute the meaning of the NT. In order to twist the words to fit the doctrine (ambiguously), the entire NT has been rendered meaningless. When the meaning is a big bag of mush and with the argument about the clear meaning being other than it is, the result is no one should put any stock in any of it. To this we add the absurd supernatural references. It is a wonder that anyone believes any of it.

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Re: A Major Conflict in Jesus Historicity

Post #115

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Danmark wrote: [Replying to post 113 by Mithrae]
In Mark 9:1 the author writes that "some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power." That's a much more ambiguous phrase - earlier in the gospel (especially chapter 4) the author had already established that what he means by the 'kingdom of God' is not a world-shaking eschaton but something much more subtle: The kingship of God in believers' hearts, sown by disciples and growing like a seed rather than forcefully established from on high.

It's difficult to see how any honest interpretation could view Mark 9:1 as a reference to a Second Coming. However Matthew by contrast changes the verse into that explicit meaning (16:28).
There is nothing ambiguous about either of these passages with respect to the time element. They are unanimous about the prophesy that this will happen soon, within a generation. There is no getting around this.

What I find amusing is the difficult struggle and stretching people go thru to subvert the plain meaning of all these verses and how the imminence of the apocalypse is supported by the context of all of the gospels, plus Acts and the letters of Peter and Paul. What is even more telling is that, according to your argument, all these passages in the NT are ambiguous at best.

OK, let's accept the argument. If we do then all you've done is to dilute the meaning of the NT. In order to twist the words to fit the doctrine (ambiguously), the entire NT has been rendered meaningless. When the meaning is a big bag of mush and with the argument about the clear meaning being other than it is, the result is no one should put any stock in any of it. To this we add the absurd supernatural references. It is a wonder that anyone believes any of it.
What I find amusing is that you are evidently approaching this from a doctrinal perspective, rather than historical. I said nothing whatsoever about doctrine - I'm not even a Christian, for crying out loud - but apparently that is what you're somehow seeing. It seems your concern is to paint "the entire NT" (again, a doctrinal concept rather than historical) as "meaningless," a "big bag of mush" and so on, rather than trying to understand each individual author's perspective and meaning.

The Christian responses on this topic have not been particularly persuasive, but it seems evident that objectivity and open-mindedness have not been your strong suit either :lol:

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Re: A Major Conflict in Jesus Historicity

Post #116

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Mithrae wrote: And of course none of these tell us with much confidence what Jesus actually said and believed almost four decades earlier. Clearly all early Christians believed it would be 'soon' in the sense of "any day now"; that there was a sense of urgency to their mission. Christians have believed that in every century since then too, usually without assuming specific time-frames. So were the early Christians (besides Matthew) and more specifically was Jesus wrong about a particular time-frame?
I don't think there's sufficient evidence to reach a conclusion one way or another.

Seriously?!!!:))

Mark 8:38, 9:1
“ 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.�
9 And he said to them, “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.�

It's clear if not biased that Mark believed the second coming of Christ is near too.
The first phrase clearly hints to the Judgment Day.
It's clear if not biased that Jesus words here(the two phrases) talk of the same event. 8-)
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Re: A Major Conflict in Jesus Historicity

Post #117

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alexxcJRO wrote:
Mithrae wrote: And of course none of these tell us with much confidence what Jesus actually said and believed almost four decades earlier. Clearly all early Christians believed it would be 'soon' in the sense of "any day now"; that there was a sense of urgency to their mission. Christians have believed that in every century since then too, usually without assuming specific time-frames. So were the early Christians (besides Matthew) and more specifically was Jesus wrong about a particular time-frame?
I don't think there's sufficient evidence to reach a conclusion one way or another.

Seriously?!!!:))

Mark 8:38, 9:1
“ 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.�
9 And he said to them, “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.�

It's clear if not biased that Mark believed the second coming of Christ is near too.
The first phrase clearly hints to the Judgment Day.
It's clear if not biased that Jesus words here(the two phrases) talk of the same event. 8-)
Unfortunately what you're doing there is picking two sentences out of the whole gospel in an effort to make 'kingdom of God' mean something entirely different to the meaning Mark establishes earlier:
  • Mark 4:10 When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11 He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. . . .
    14 The farmer sows the word. 15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.� . . . .

    26 He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.�

    30 Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. 32 Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.�
For Mark the 'kingdom of God' is a message which is spread by disciples, growing in believers' hearts. This is thoroughly established throughout the gospel:
> The very opening verses, describing John, refer to him as the one who would precede "the messenger of the covenant" (cf. Malachi 3:1);
> John himself is said to have described Jesus as one who would "baptize you with the Holy Spirit";
> Jesus' first message is "The time has come" and "The kingdom of God has come near" (not decades away when Mark wrote);
> Jesus tells the first disciples he calls that he was going to make them "fish for people," again an emphasis on the message, not some distant eschaton;
> He says that the reason he came was to preach (1:38), not to usher in a new government on earth.

All of this is in the very first chapter of the book. Then Mark continues, showing that Jesus' message was about
- forgiveness of sins (2:1-11),
- calling all to God, not ministering to the righteous (2:12-17),
- bringing a new message, new wine, not the old that his hearers already knew (2:18-22),
- and crucially, most controversially, about reinterpreting or arguably even replacing the old laws they were used to (two stories about the Sabbath, 2:23-3:6).

If we know anything about the early church - anything at all - we should be able to understand what Mark is conveying here: That as the "messenger of the covenant," Jesus' mission and purpose was to introduce the new covenant which had been prophecied by Jeremiah (Jer. 31:31-34) which does indeed explicitly talk about replacing the old laws, forgiveness of sins, and elevating even the least of God's people - all of which Mark has Jesus doing right from the beginning.

So that's what the 'kingdom of God' is, in Mark's view.

Now let's look at this later passage and see whether or not we can torture it into saying what you think it means:
  • Mark 8:27 Jesus went out, along with His disciples, to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way He questioned His disciples, saying to them, “Who do people say that I am?â€� They told Him, saying, “John the Baptist; and others say Elijah; but others, one of the prophets.â€� And He continued by questioning them, “But who do you say that I am?â€� Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ.â€� And He warned them to tell no one about Him.

    And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. And He was stating the matter plainly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.�

    And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.�

    And Jesus was saying to them, “Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.�
There is a very clear progression within this section which you're missing when you quote only two verses:
> First Jesus asks what do people think of me, what do you think my mission is?
> Then he drops the bombshell that it definitely is not the traditional expectations of Messiah - definitely not the earthly government/eschaton many Jews expected.
> Then goes into even further detail explaining that not only was he himself going to die, but his followers too should prepare themselves for suffering and loss.
> Finally he explains not only why they should persevere (because eventually he will return), but also how they will be enabled to persevere when the kingdom of God - the message and presence of the new covenant - has come to them with power, the "baptism of the Holy Spirit" which John earlier spoke of.

The main thrust of the passage is not about some glorious reign of Christ on earth; it is about correcting those expectations and preparing them instead for suffering. Verse 38 which you have fixated on is the odd part out, simply an aside to further encourage believers' endurance against adversity. Trying to interpret the whole passage in light of that verse is wildly inappropriate; and as if seeing it all in context were not enough, Mark himself separated the bit about the 'kingdom of god present with power' from the bit about Jesus' return.

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Re: A Major Conflict in Jesus Historicity

Post #118

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Mithrae wrote:
alexxcJRO wrote:
Mithrae wrote: And of course none of these tell us with much confidence what Jesus actually said and believed almost four decades earlier. Clearly all early Christians believed it would be 'soon' in the sense of "any day now"; that there was a sense of urgency to their mission. Christians have believed that in every century since then too, usually without assuming specific time-frames. So were the early Christians (besides Matthew) and more specifically was Jesus wrong about a particular time-frame?
I don't think there's sufficient evidence to reach a conclusion one way or another.

Seriously?!!!:))

Mark 8:38, 9:1
“ 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.�
9 And he said to them, “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.�

It's clear if not biased that Mark believed the second coming of Christ is near too.
The first phrase clearly hints to the Judgment Day.
It's clear if not biased that Jesus words here(the two phrases) talk of the same event. 8-)
Unfortunately what you're doing there is picking two sentences out of the whole gospel in an effort to make 'kingdom of God' mean something entirely different to the meaning Mark establishes earlier:
  • Mark 4:10 When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11 He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. . . .
    14 The farmer sows the word. 15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.� . . . .

    26 He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.�

    30 Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. 32 Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.�
For Mark the 'kingdom of God' is a message which is spread by disciples, growing in believers' hearts. This is thoroughly established throughout the gospel:
> The very opening verses, describing John, refer to him as the one who would precede "the messenger of the covenant" (cf. Malachi 3:1);
> John himself is said to have described Jesus as one who would "baptize you with the Holy Spirit";
> Jesus' first message is "The time has come" and "The kingdom of God has come near" (not decades away when Mark wrote);
> Jesus tells the first disciples he calls that he was going to make them "fish for people," again an emphasis on the message, not some distant eschaton;
> He says that the reason he came was to preach (1:38), not to usher in a new government on earth.

All of this is in the very first chapter of the book. Then Mark continues, showing that Jesus' message was about
- forgiveness of sins (2:1-11),
- calling all to God, not ministering to the righteous (2:12-17),
- bringing a new message, new wine, not the old that his hearers already knew (2:18-22),
- and crucially, most controversially, about reinterpreting or arguably even replacing the old laws they were used to (two stories about the Sabbath, 2:23-3:6).

If we know anything about the early church - anything at all - we should be able to understand what Mark is conveying here: That as the "messenger of the covenant," Jesus' mission and purpose was to introduce the new covenant which had been prophecied by Jeremiah (Jer. 31:31-34) which does indeed explicitly talk about replacing the old laws, forgiveness of sins, and elevating even the least of God's people - all of which Mark has Jesus doing right from the beginning.

So that's what the 'kingdom of God' is, in Mark's view.

Now let's look at this later passage and see whether or not we can torture it into saying what you think it means:
  • Mark 8:27 Jesus went out, along with His disciples, to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way He questioned His disciples, saying to them, “Who do people say that I am?â€� They told Him, saying, “John the Baptist; and others say Elijah; but others, one of the prophets.â€� And He continued by questioning them, “But who do you say that I am?â€� Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ.â€� And He warned them to tell no one about Him.

    And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. And He was stating the matter plainly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.�

    And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.�

    And Jesus was saying to them, “Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.�
There is a very clear progression within this section which you're missing when you quote only two verses:
> First Jesus asks what do people think of me, what do you think my mission is?
> Then he drops the bombshell that it definitely is not the traditional expectations of Messiah - definitely not the earthly government/eschaton many Jews expected.
> Then goes into even further detail explaining that not only was he himself going to die, but his followers too should prepare themselves for suffering and loss.
> Finally he explains not only why they should persevere (because eventually he will return), but also how they will be enabled to persevere when the kingdom of God - the message and presence of the new covenant - has come to them with power, the "baptism of the Holy Spirit" which John earlier spoke of.

The main thrust of the passage is not about some glorious reign of Christ on earth; it is about correcting those expectations and preparing them instead for suffering. Verse 38 which you have fixated on is the odd part out, simply an aside to further encourage believers' endurance against adversity. Trying to interpret the whole passage in light of that verse is wildly inappropriate; and as if seeing it all in context were not enough, Mark himself separated the bit about the 'kingdom of god present with power' from the bit about Jesus' return.
Please answer this question:

Q: Is Mark 8:38(the part with the angels) talking about the Second Coming of Jesus? (Yes/No question)

A simple answer yes or no will suffice.
“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.�
"Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived."
"God is a insignificant nobody. He is so unimportant that no one would even know he exists if evolution had not made possible for animals capable of abstract thought to exist and invent him"
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Danmark
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Re: A Major Conflict in Jesus Historicity

Post #119

Post by Danmark »

Mithrae wrote:
What I find amusing is that you are evidently approaching this from a doctrinal perspective, rather than historical. I said nothing whatsoever about doctrine - I'm not even a Christian, for crying out loud - but apparently that is what you're somehow seeing. It seems your concern is to paint "the entire NT" (again, a doctrinal concept rather than historical) as "meaningless," a "big bag of mush" and so on, rather than trying to understand each individual author's perspective and meaning.

The Christian responses on this topic have not been particularly persuasive...
I agree they are not persuasive.
You may be 'amused,' but I disagree with your analysis. My approach is based on the plain language of the verses and is buttressed by a dozen or so other verses which provide context. That the end was thought to be imminent is reflected in many other passages. Take the one cited where Paul is urging people not to marry:

This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.
1 Corinthians 7:29-31

What Paul writes is consistent with the world as we know it going away. Certainly it is a strange idea for the married to live as if they are unmarried and to pretend they already had no dealings with the world. This is not advice you give your clan if the world will continue unchanged for millennia. This is an apocalyptic message. And why not think so? The words of Jesus about this happening within the lifetime of his audience and to "this generation" were very well known. All 3 synoptic gospels make this reference.

The opposite of what you say is true. Just looking at the words of Jesus, in context, supported by Paul and Peter, should inform the doctrine, rather than the doctrine being used to change the meaning of the words.

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Re: A Major Conflict in Jesus Historicity

Post #120

Post by Danmark »

[Replying to post 113 by Mithrae]
You've also missed
Matthew 10:23 When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
I agree this is yet another example of Jesus predicting the end is coming VERY soon, before Jesus even finishes his visit to the towns of Israel. This is another example of the failed apocalyptic message. As I said, there are many such references. i did not attempt to give an exhaustive list. BUT, the more accurate way to analyze is to start with the words themselves and their meaning, rather to view words that challenge your doctrine as puzzling and then attempt to make them mean something else that fits your belief.

However, those two passages are unique to Matthew. In Mark 9:1 the author writes that "some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power." That's a much more ambiguous phrase - earlier in the gospel (especially chapter 4) the author had already established that what he means by the 'kingdom of God' is not a world-shaking eschaton but something much more subtle: The kingship of God in believers' hearts, sown by disciples and growing like a seed rather than forcefully established from on high.
It may be slightly more ambiguous, but even that is a stretch. The key phrase that makes this almost identical to the "this generation" reference in the Olivet Discourse, is "... see that the kingdom of God has come with power." This is the same rhetoric as Matthew 25:31 "For the Son of Man will come in His Father's glory with His angels...." And “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life."
Matthew 19:28-29

Jesus made many references and parables about the nature of the Kingdom of God, but when he is talking about WHEN it comes he references it will be very soon, tho' the exact day and hour is not known. In this he was more prudent than the hundreds of other apocalyptic 'prophets' that followed. :)

Back in about 1970 I taught a high school Sunday School class, using Lindsey's The Late Great Planet Earth. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Late, ... anet_Earth
Lindsey famously used 40 years as a 'generation' and strongly suggested 1988 was THE year since that was 40 years after the founding of of modern Israel as a State.

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