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Discussion in 'The Philosopher' started by Uladyne, Apr 6, 2007.
Haha, no that was my bad, just got a little too defensive.
I know this thread is from a while back, but I was doing some reading on if Jesus was an "Essene" recently, and I thought I would clear up some people's misconceptions here.
There is, in fact, no chance that Jesus was an Essene. One need only read the Dead Sea Scrolls themselves to discover this. The dominant theology of the Essenes is that of Gnosticism (i.e., the material world is bad and we must escape from it). This is in no way the theology that Jesus subscribed to, and corresponds with nothing known about him historically. In other words, no one who was an Essene would have ever said: "Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven". Nothing can redeem the earth in Gnosticism; it must simply be escaped from.
This also applies to two other areas: John the Baptist and the canonical gospels.
In my opinion, it's also unlikely (despite what I said before ) that John the Baptist was an Essene because he believed he had an active role in the kingdom of God coming about, whereas one of the main tenets of being an Essene was to withdraw from society and wait for God's kingdom to come by itself.
The fact that much of this other material that is in 'competition' with the canonical gospels is gnostic is also telling. The fact is, before Constantine Christians were regularly persecuted, and to become a Martyr is completely against the tenets of the Essens. The whole point of being an Essene was to withdraw from the world powers, not to confront them and by martyred like the early Christians were (see particularly "The Martyrdom of Polycarp").
Sources: Vermes, Complete Dead Sea Scrolls; for mainline 1st century Judaism, see E.P. Sanders, Paul and Palestinian Judaism, N.T. Wright, The New Testament and the People of God; and for the whole issue: N.T. Wright, Judas and the Gospel of Jesus.
it would have made a lot more sense for Jesus to write it himself while he was here than to 'divinely inspire' people, and then hope men pick and choose correctly which men who claim to be divinely inspired were so, or accurately conveyed what was inspired to them.
prove it more? did you begin to prove it before you concluded it was "just utter trash", I'm just skimming the thread.
The issue with 'virgin' has never been rooted in the New Testament, but in the interpretation of Old Testament prophecy (specifically Isaiah). The familiar line 'Behold, a virgin shall conceive' is not nearly so clear cut in the original Hebrew. The term used could refer to a virgin or simply to a young woman. However, there is pretty powerful evidence that Jews of the first century did indeed read this passage to mean 'virgin,' given that the Septuagint (the Greek version of the Old Testament and Jewish Apocrypha circulating in the years immediately before and after the time of Christ) uses a Greek term that indisputably refers only to virgins. It is likely that the Jewish tendency to render the problematic passage as 'young girl' dates to the medieval period, when drawing a clear distinction between the Jewish tradition and Christian interpretations of OT prophecy was valued within the Jewish community (for obvious reasons).
The whole ambiguity of the term 'virgin' ("parthenos") is true, but its context within the story lets one know it should be translated as it traditionally has (IMO) (See Matthew 1.18-25, Luke 1.31-38). Translating the term 'virgin' as "someone who has not had sex' makes the most sense of the story. In Luke, when Mary is told she will become pregnant by the angel Gabriel, would it make sense for her to say, "How can this be, since I am a young girl?" Not really. The tension is obviously between conceiving a child and not having had sex yet.
THE QUESTION HAS NEVER REVOLVED AROUND NEW TESTAMENT OR GREEK PASSAGES, BUT AROUND THE HEBREW OF OLD TESTAMENT PROPHECY! No one has ever questioned the translation of Matthew, the question is whether the prophetic passages believed by Christians to refer to Jesus indeed make reference to a virgin birth.
Isn't Christianity just rehashed Egyptian religion. If you think about it, research it, you will begin to realize that Horus or Amen-Ra, is the same character as Jesus. All that happened was that the Jews took the religion, made the savior of mankind a Jew, made the Jews gods chosen people, and then tricked Gentiles to follow this new religion that was very similar to ones they already had.
Even at the end of Prayers Christians say AMEN! There is nothing new or original about the virgin birth, Jesus walking on water, the # 12 or any of that. Jordan Maxwell knows his shit about religion.
Luke 22:10 - This reference is about astrology and the sign the sun will move into after the 2000 years of being in Pisces, which is the age of Aquarius known by the man holding the water jug.
lol don't worry bro, the rest of us heard you the first time
Nice use of caps.
I'm saying that whoever wrote Matthew did believe in the virgin birth.
Therefore, the passage in Isaiah was used by Matthew in that sense.
But you seem to be saying that all that matters is that the early Christians could have misinterpreted this term found in Isaiah to mean virgin. Why does this matter? It does not change that Matthew and Luke did in fact mean virgin.
That guy completely misses the point of this whole argument. It does not follow that if it is proven that the word in Isaiah did not mean virgin, that there was in fact no virgin birth. It just means that Matthew misinterpreted a prophecy that he obviously took to be discussing a virgin birth.
it would simply mean the prophecy was false/it has nothing to do with the prophecy.
Exactly, which is not what the argument is trying to prove, if I am correct in assuming that it is trying to disprove the virgin birth. So what I'm saying is, even if you are right, it's irrelevant.
...about the same time his girlfriend knocked out a half-black baby.
Ah, haha, I think I'm beginning to see now. You think that Matthew created this story because he thought that this prophecy in Isaiah had to be fulfilled in the birth of the Messiah? Well, that's an entirely different argument to make altogether. I'd like to see a decent source for that one. That would have to be built around Matthew actually, not Isaiah.
In my reading of the story, rhetorically it doesn't make much sense for the whole "virgin birth" story to be built around this Isaiah passage; rather, it just seems like sort of an addition on the end, which is really more focused on Christ's name than anything about the virgin birth. And of course Luke doesn't even mention the passage.
who needs to disprove a virgin birth when it has nothing to do with the birth of Christ? sure, maybe an ancient alien abductee was artificially inseminated, and she was thus a virgin but pregnant, perhaps that has happened to hundreds of women, creating a race of reptilian shapeshifters, or star children, or whatever the most popular wacky theory is today, it's all irrelevant because it has nothing to do with religion or fulfillment of prophecy.
It has a lot to do with Christianity, actually. It's basically a doctrine that affirms God's providence toward humanity through his intervention, and has direct ramifications for the doctrine of the incarnation. In other words, Jesus was not some man who was elevated to godly status during his lifetime, but rather God himself come directly down into a woman. It is basically God saying to humanity: I have heard your suffering, and I have come down to rescue you myself (see Exodus 3:7-8).
But no one has ever called the Luke or Matthew accounts into question in this regard, so what, exactly, is your point?
My point is that questioning the meaning of the term in the Isaiah passage really does not affect the story of the virgin birth much at all in Matthew or Luke.