Why is there lack of clarity in Christ's messages?

Argue for and against Christianity

Moderator: Moderators

Post Reply
User avatar
marco
Savant
Posts: 12314
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 3:15 pm
Location: Scotland
Been thanked: 1 time

Why is there lack of clarity in Christ's messages?

Post #1

Post by marco »

If Jesus was sent on a divine mission, with "good news", then one characteristic we might suppose would be resounding clarity. We don't have that, as discussions here show.


We judge a teacher by the clarity of his explanations. "I tell you TODAY you will be with me in paradise." Is it too much to expect divine Jesus to have anticipated difficulties in these simple words? And of course there are umpteen passages that necessitate discussion that results in vastly different interpretations.

Jesus gave people a further means to argue and disagree: his "sheep" know his voice. Unfortunately, many different groups believe they are HIS sheep; individuals believe they are solitary lambs, under the guidance of the Good Shepherd.


Is it the case that all is vanity? That the whole mass of NT writing is riddled with confusion? One would have thought that if the Resurrection was so important then that, especially, would have been done unambiguously.


Why is there so much ambiguity about NT verses?

Why was Jesus - outside of his platitudes on love and neighbourliness - so unclear?

User avatar
marco
Savant
Posts: 12314
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 3:15 pm
Location: Scotland
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Why is there lack of clarity in Christ's messages?

Post #2

Post by marco »

[Replying to post 1 by marco]

I was led to this question after discussing the contentious - and important - message from Jesus that he would return before some of his listeners had died. That modification about people being alive leads one to suppose Jesus is saying his mission will be completely wound up in a few years. Some take it that when Jesus was on a mountain with three of his followers, he fulfilled his prophecy.

Clarity would mean Jesus saying: "I am coming back in 2543 years and severty one days from now." Sadly, we never have such clarity, for then we could pronounce with certainty on dubious predictions.

User avatar
JehovahsWitness
Savant
Posts: 14963
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:03 am
Has thanked: 62 times
Been thanked: 101 times
Contact:

Re: Why is there lack of clarity in Christ's messages?

Post #3

Post by JehovahsWitness »

QUESTION Why isn't the bible clearer so that everyone that reads it can come to the same understanding?



ANSWER Because God doesn't want everyone to understand it. The bible indicates that scripture was not meant to be universally understood, but rather by design, was written to be understood by a select few at God's chosen time.
MATTHEW 13:11-13

[Jesus] said: To you it is granted to understand the sacred secrets of the Kingdom of the heavens, but to them it is not granted. ... whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. That is why I speak to them by the use of illustrations; for looking, they look in vain, and hearing, they hear in vain, nor do they get the sense of it
JESUS was speaking in the common language of the people so they understood the words as would have been defined in a dictionary but what they could not get, by design, was the "sense" or true meaning the words were conveying because they were judged not to be worthy of such truths. All such ones can do it settle for a superficial grasp of words but there is no chance for them to get the "meaning" of what is really being communicated.
To illustrate: During World War II allies devised complicated code languages to communicate messages. They deliberately devised these codes so that the ideas would not be clear to the enemy. Why? So they could win the war. God is at spiritual war with his enemies, only those he judges as an "allies" will be permitted to understand bible truths clearly. Like during the war, the text will, by design remain "unclear" for the enemy.

1 CORINTHIANS 2:14

But people who are n't spiritual can't receive these truths from God's Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can't understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. - New Living Translation

DANIEL 12: 8-11

Now as for me, I heard, but I could not understand; so I said: “O my lord, what will be the outcome of these things? Then he said: “Go, Daniel, because the words are to be kept secret and sealed up until the time of the end. Many will cleanse themselves and whiten themselves and will be refined. And the wicked ones will act wickedly, and none of the wicked will understand; but those having insight will understand. - New World Translation


JW







RELATED POSTS

I want to understand the bible, what must I do?
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 14#p940714

Is the bible unduly complicated to understand?
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 14#p940714

Why doesn't God help people understand the bible?
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 70#p940370

Why does God not grant understanding to some people?
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 02#p964402
HERMENEUTICS (bible interpretation)
Why is the bible written in a way that is open to interpretation?
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 82#p844682

Are there rules of hermeneutics (biblical interpretation)?
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 85#p953385

Isn't the reading that settles on "the plain meaning off the words" by definition the most accurate?
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 85#p965785

Are Jehovah's Witnesses "biblical listeralists"?
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 28#p868428

How can we know which biblical interpretation is correct?
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 38#p880438
To learn more please go to other posts related to...

THE BIBLE , HERMENEUTICS* and ... BEST TRANSLATION
* bible interpretation
Last edited by JehovahsWitness on Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:51 am, edited 7 times in total.
INDEX: More bible based ANSWERS
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 81#p826681


"For if we live, we live to Jehovah, and if we die, we die to Jehovah. So both if we live and if we die, we belong to Jehovah" -
Romans 14:8

JJ50
Banned
Banned
Posts: 512
Joined: Thu May 29, 2014 6:22 am

Re: Why is there lack of clarity in Christ's messages?

Post #4

Post by JJ50 »

marco wrote: If Jesus was sent on a divine mission, with "good news", then one characteristic we might suppose would be resounding clarity. We don't have that, as discussions here show.


We judge a teacher by the clarity of his explanations. "I tell you TODAY you will be with me in paradise." Is it too much to expect divine Jesus to have anticipated difficulties in these simple words? And of course there are umpteen passages that necessitate discussion that results in vastly different interpretations.

Jesus gave people a further means to argue and disagree: his "sheep" know his voice. Unfortunately, many different groups believe they are HIS sheep; individuals believe they are solitary lambs, under the guidance of the Good Shepherd.


Is it the case that all is vanity? That the whole mass of NT writing is riddled with confusion? One would have thought that if the Resurrection was so important then that, especially, would have been done unambiguously.


Why is there so much ambiguity about NT verses?

Why was Jesus - outside of his platitudes on love and neighbourliness - so unclear?

I suspect the gospel writers put words in the mouth of Jesus after he was long dead.

User avatar
ttruscott
Site Supporter
Posts: 11067
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:09 pm
Location: West Coast of Canada

Post #5

Post by ttruscott »

Begin by looking at why HE talked in parables....He explains that every well.
PCE Theology as I see it...

We had an existence with a free will in Sheol before the creation of the physical universe. Here we chose to be able to become holy or to be eternally evil in YHWH's sight. Then the physical universe was created and all sinners were sent to earth.

This theology debunks the need to base Christianity upon the blasphemy of creating us in Adam's sin.

User avatar
marco
Savant
Posts: 12314
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 3:15 pm
Location: Scotland
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Why is there lack of clarity in Christ's messages?

Post #6

Post by marco »

JehovahsWitness wrote: QUESTION Why isn't the bible clearer so that everyone that reads it can come to the same understanding?



♦ANSWER Because God doesn't want everyone to understand it.

I truly find this hilarious. Were it given in a parody of biblical belief it would rouse laughter. God misses out commas to confuse some Bible readers! The RC Churchmen alone know the statement "This is my body" is a formula for transubstantiation. When one introduces cognoscenti, favoured by God, one is in peril of arrogating oneself to a position unmerited.

The lack of clarity comes not from clever codification but from clumsiness of expression or poor translation. Sometimes when clarity seems to have been achieved, it is smudged to accommodate the belief set of some religious group.

User avatar
marco
Savant
Posts: 12314
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 3:15 pm
Location: Scotland
Been thanked: 1 time

Post #7

Post by marco »

ttruscott wrote: Begin by looking at why HE talked in parables....He explains that every well.

Parables may have puzzled the poor fishermen; they are no more complex than Aesop's fables. The problem with figurative language is that it allows many interpretations. When you pick one, what tells you that you have chosen wisely?

User avatar
marco
Savant
Posts: 12314
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 3:15 pm
Location: Scotland
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Why is there lack of clarity in Christ's messages?

Post #8

Post by marco »

JJ50 wrote:
I suspect the gospel writers put words in the mouth of Jesus after he was long dead.
Well obviously they did. The words of Christ in the wilderness, in conversation with Satan, were overheard by no one, so they are either invented or Christ boastfully recounted his noble deeds.

Sometimes the words are chosen to reflect some phrase in the OT so that Christ is given even more status.

It is sad that he is not allowed to speak as an infant in the manger. On the other hand, his alter ego in Islamic lore speaks eloquently hours after his birth.

User avatar
1213
Savant
Posts: 7701
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:06 am
Location: Finland
Has thanked: 31 times
Been thanked: 15 times
Contact:

Re: Why is there lack of clarity in Christ's messages?

Post #9

Post by 1213 »

marco wrote: ...
Why is there so much ambiguity about NT verses?
I think it is because people don’t remain in truth. Bible is quite simple, when own explanations and interpretations are ignored and the text is read as it is written.

User avatar
William
Savant
Posts: 6129
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:11 pm
Location: Te Waipounamu
Has thanked: 11 times
Been thanked: 80 times
Contact:

Re: Why is there lack of clarity in Christ's messages?

Post #10

Post by William »

[Replying to post 1 by marco]

Marco: Why is there lack of clarity in Christ's messages?

William: Is there? What about loving one another is unclear?


Marco: If Jesus was sent on a divine mission, with "good news", then one characteristic we might suppose would be resounding clarity.

William: Why would you expect 'resounding clarity'? A new way of looking at an ancient idea [GOD] which has been firmly embedded into the human psyche...you expect a complicated subject to be clearly understandable by beings barely - if at all - comprehending the true nature of their reality?


Marco: We judge a teacher by the clarity of his explanations. "I tell you TODAY you will be with me in paradise." Is it too much to expect divine Jesus to have anticipated difficulties in these simple words? And of course there are umpteen passages that necessitate discussion that results in vastly different interpretations.

William: If I gave you one piece of a thousand piece jigsaw puzzle and asked you to describe for me from that 1 piece, the total picture, would I be remiss in my expectation?


Marco: Jesus gave people a further means to argue and disagree: his "sheep" know his voice. Unfortunately, many different groups believe they are HIS sheep; individuals believe they are solitary lambs, under the guidance of the Good Shepherd.

William: All pieces of a puzzle...


Marco: Is it the case that all is vanity? That the whole mass of NT writing is riddled with confusion? One would have thought that if the Resurrection was so important then that, especially, would have been done unambiguously.

William: Why? Are you basing this assessment upon your own personality ready and willing to accept something as long as you understand it as acceptable?
Do you know what evil is capable of doing in order to keep truth undisclosed? What men will do to keep their positions of power and influence? Should the truth parade around shouting from the rooftops where the evil snipers can pick them off with ease?
We are informed that most of what Jesus did, was done in secret.
Moments when he did bring his ministry to the public, pot-shots were taken by those he referred to as the evil ones...



Marco: Why is there so much ambiguity about NT verses?

Why was Jesus - outside of his platitudes on love and neighbourliness - so unclear?


William: Perhaps it is because the love of nieghbours is the key ingredient to the recipe that all else follows.


Marco: I was led to this question after discussing the contentious - and important - message from Jesus that he would return before some of his listeners had died. That modification about people being alive leads one to suppose Jesus is saying his mission will be completely wound up in a few years. Some take it that when Jesus was on a mountain with three of his followers, he fulfilled his prophecy.

Clarity would mean Jesus saying: "I am coming back in 2543 years and severty one days from now." Sadly, we never have such clarity, for then we could pronounce with certainty on dubious predictions.


William: Is it important 'when he returns'? How does that matter to anyone busy loving their neighbours?

Post Reply