You may also like...

17 Responses

  1. Gary says:

    One of the questions I have is this: When did Jesus become omniscient?

    I mean, when did people start believing in an all-knowing God the Son? When? Where? Who? I’ve seen this commonly in contemporary Evangelical circles (as a response to the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy?). But as I read more centuries worth of theology it seems the ability to know this and that for God Incarnate more so tied into kenotic theology.

    Was Jesus much of a know-it-all prior to the last century? Prior to the Reformation?

  2. Brigitte says:

    You don’t need loads and loads of secondary writing. Read the Gospels and make up your own mind. Jesus himself, was quite subtle about the point so people could figure it out. So, when Peter makes his famous confession about the Son of the living God, Jesus says: it has been revealed to you! In the same way, let the text reveal it to you in your meditation. (A bible study might help, and still you should apply your own mind and heart to the text). (There is a really great study bible at Concordia Publishing House).

    Also, read the Koran and see if there really is anything revealed in it. And read other books and see if you have more than standard wisdom in it.

    See, if you find Jesus compelling, or not.

  3. Jordan says:

    Brigitte, I know that’s your style, but that’s not everyone’s. In fact, I can say for certain that your thinking is uniquely Christian. I’d even go so far as to say that it is only in Christianity, with its holding up of texts, where there’s an insistence from mainstream sects to not make an effort to look beyond the text itself. The study of the Qur’an ultimately requires commentaries to be studied as well. There are plenty of them out there for students to pick up and argue with. The study of the Torah (as well as the rest of Jewish scripture) demands the reading of secondary and tertiary sources. Heck, I’m not even required to agree with the commentaries or main text and that’s okay.

    Pretty sure Jesus wouldn’t have agreed with the interpretations in his day, either. He still had to do the work to find out why exactly he didn’t agree with what was taught.

  4. Brigitte says:

    I would expect that the Koran stands above the commentaries and opinions. I would also think that the Torah stands above the myriad of rabbinical opinions. And nobody says you can’t read them for interest or weighing, but somewhere, somehow, the truth must be asserted, weighed, accepted, rejected. I know that some believers in dialectic think that the circle continues endlessly, but I am drawn to what Chesterton said: the open mind is great, but in the end it needs to bite down and close on something solid. ( something like that).

  5. Jordan says:

    It’s interesting that you bring up this idea of Islam and Judaism both have their texts held above commentary and interpretation, when that’s patently false. Barring the fact of the matter there are many sects in both religions that have their own views on the matter, you’re arguing as if Muslims and Jews don’t have long histories of commenting on the scripture. While you are right to suggest that the texts must eventually be examined and their truths “asserted, weighed, accepted, [or] rejected,” your particular approach betrays a distrust of the commentary – a distrust not uncommon in Evangelical Christianity (or at the very least Evangelical Christianity in the Americas). Which is ironic, considering that the Christian bible cites many commentaries, but no one notices or cares. An open mind is demanded of the reader, otherwise what lessons can be taught cannot be absorbed. “Closing down on something solid” makes no sense as a remark on having to decide what is true, when it’s really teaching the opposite – you have to decide what works for you, and you have to chew on it.

    Simply put – Jesus would have argued and he would have put the effort into what he had to say. That meant making sure he could argue his point with various justifications and interpretations of the text. To think otherwise would be a horrible mistake.

  6. Brigitte says:

    To drown in an ocean of commentary is not something I find desirable. The call of the Reformation was yo get back to the sources, and away from endless council decisions and declarations of clerics and popes. “Councils can err”, was a revulotionary thought at the time. Your Rabbis, Jordan, may think themselves above Torah, but while I might find them interesting, I might possibly in no way find them useful or good. Depends.

  7. Jordan says:

    Condescending as always, not to mention incredibly rude and ignorant. The “call of the reformation” doesn’t ignore that even the major Protestant sects still make use of the commentaries. If not, explain, say, Lightfoot, Melancthon, and so on. Those people wrote extensive commentaries.

    The rabbis didn’t think themselves above the Torah, but they also knew that the text needed to be interpreted, understood by its readers. It is a grave sin to assume that you can just take the text as it is without doing the work to justify it. But do not insult my personal religious path in order to make yours feel superior.

  8. Brigitte says:

    Ad hominems, as per usual, Jordan.

    Any “Protestant”, I prefer small “c” catholic, will say that their commentaries are trifles compared to the apostolic witness. That does not prevent the writing and discussing of commentaries. Nobody said that they don’t exist, don’t get written, don’t have more or less value depending on who wrote them. None of them will want to supersede scripture, that I will want to read. If they are making it up, then it is fiction. Fiction can be fun, can have lessons, but it is not apostolic witness.

    It is a grave sin to read the text as it is? That is really scary, Jordan. The “perspicuity” of scripture is asserted by any commentator I am willing to hear out. The text makes sense, as it is. You don’t need secret knowledge, you don’t need a class of gurus to give you the real low-down, you don’t need someone to take the text and twist it around…

    What it is you are saying or nor saying about Rabbis and their relationship to Torah, I can’t quite make out. You seem to be saying contradictory things. About your path, I also know very little, except it seems to me, from the limited things you have shared, that you have not quite decided whether you are atheist or theist. Are you turning Gnostic/ Kabalist? That would make some sense, as they think that they have secret knowledge.

    Whatever you write in response, Jordan, try to explain rather than to insult.

  9. Jordan says:

    Brigitte, you literally insulted my own remarks and claim that a correct statement of ignorance on your part is an ad hominem. I think that whatever you’re trying to play here just isn’t going to work – so I’m going to stick to the original point I was making and probably David was as well.

    Jesus had to show his work, omniscience or not. Knowing the text is only half of the battle; the other half is justification of the interpretation.

  10. Brigitte says:

    Maybe you can justify what you are saying by explaining it in a sensible and kind way.

  11. Jordan says:

    Jewish tradition of Jesus’s time would have mandated actual study and argument. Such was the practice after the texts were collected in the time of Ezra. Their being ransacked the first time required an end to a purely oral tradition for Judaism – and ultimately it would end up that Jesus and any other Jewish male would have to be able to read and interpret the Torah, as well as the associated haftarot (non-Torah excerpts that accompany a torah portion), and make an argument from there.
    Jesus would have to justify his commentaries. Even the commentaries for his citing Isaiah 61 and 58 (see Luke 4) state that Jesus was going to say a homily on reading portions associated with Yom Kippur, the day of atonement. If he wanted to make ANY comments, even to say “today this has been fulfilled for you,” he’d have to justify why he was making the remark.

    It’s not holding oneself above the torah or the torah above oneself, but reading the text as something that is complicated rather than simple. No matter what, if Jesus was going to use scripture in anything he said, he’d better have a good reason to use them.

    Hence – showing his work. But then again, you asked for sensible. “Kind” you’re not getting because you decided to insult an entire religion when all I said originally was that particular Christian sects were unique in their not wanting to actively incorporate commentary and justification of the use of text in their readings of scriptures.

  12. Brigitte says:

    I think we can say that Jesus did not follow this method in a standard way. Hence it was said that he taught with authority and not like the scribes and Pharisees. That is why people wanted to hear him. That does not make him automatically right but it does say something. He had a message for his time. But more than that he was the message himself. The Messiah suffers rather than conquers, as can be shown from Isaiah. He is humble rather than puffed up. He washes feet and talks with women. He heals and binds up. He is Savior and the rock which the builders reject. He saves from sins not from the Romans or other worldly powers. When he stood up to announce that the text was fulfilled in their hearing, they wanted to kill him. He had to walk away. He was rejected in the synagogue. And the temple was destroyed as he predicted, the temple in Jerusalem and the temple of his body. And so it was. Now the Muslims sit on the mountain and won’t budge an inch. And this sort of thing does not matter any more because the kingdom is not of this world, and it does not matter if you worship on Mount Gerizim, or on Mount Zion, as long as all nations come to the spiritual Mt. Zion, the kingdom that has no end. Jesus was not a regular type of Rabbi.

  13. Jordan says:

    Except – one problem.
    Isaiah’s poems aren’t about the Messiah, but Israel. Read the Suffering Servant poems in the proper context, and especially note the first one in chapter 41.

    Maybe make a point related to the post instead of trying to derail from it with a wall of text?

  14. Brigitte says:

    That is what the rabbis say: this not about the Messaiah, that is not about the Messaiah.

  15. Dan says:

    No, Brigitte, that’s not only what the rabbis say. It’s not surprising you are vastly ignorant about this because, as you admit, you don’t need to read very much outside the bible to help you decide things. How dumb it is to suggest that one should not read widely when trying to learn about anything!

    Your continual comments on David’s blogsite betray an insecurity you have about your own beliefs. If the bible really does speak for itself, then it doesn’t need Brigitte defending it daily on blogsites. Or does it?

  16. Brigitte says:

    God bless you Dan, you and Jordan. I forgive you all the things you have called me.

  17. Jordan says:

    Someone got mad over their being called out with their circumlocutive rhetoric, but it’s actually very much as Dan says – and Judaism has a long history of people who either got close to meeting the qualifications for Messiah or missed the mark entirely. But all that is beside the point.

    Jesus may or may not have been illiterate, but he would have needed to know how to justify his usage of the writings of the Prophets – or at the least the gospel writers, though said writers have their own issues with showing their work. That’s another blog post entirely.

Daily Cartoon & Reflection!

PLUS: Sign up & get my FREE eBook "Two Sizes Too Small"!