#shanenaz2016

November 2016 - I and my pals cycled in The Galilee, Northern Israel, to raise money for Nazareth Hospital Paediatric Department. We raised over £50,000 but we could use more! Nazareth is the largest Arab town in Israel; the people are lovely, and the kids are awesome. Nazareth also treats kids in the West Bank of Palestine who have very limited access to healthcare. They need your help! Go to my sponsorship page to find out more and see what you can do! Maybe even join us in 2017..?
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09 January 2011

The Great Transfiguration Debate

Ike wanted me to say what I think happened at the supposed Transfiguration of Christ event. As those of you with bibles will know, in the synoptic gospels (but not in John, oddly, because John was supposed to have been there), Jesus allegedly was transfigured on a mountain, and visited by Moses and Elijah.

As far as I am concerned there is nothing to say about this. There is no evidence that such an event ever happened, nor is there any evidence to suggest that the two chappies alongside Jesus were indeed Moses and Elijah anyway. The tale, idle as it may be, is a fiction to impress a specific point - Jesus is the Messiah, and he is greater than Moses or Elijah.

But was it a real event? Could Jesus's followers have been mistaken? Instead, could Jesus have actually been visited by aliens, and lit up by the headlights of their flying saucer? Maybe they were arranging a meeting in Gethsemane later, but like totally forgot to show up, much to the chagrin of Jesus himself. And all that even after organising donkeys and upper rooms and stuff. Pesky aliens! Unreliable, the lot of them.

So in the absence of anything remotely resembling evidence, the Transfiguration goes down as just another wee story; we can derive metaphorical "truth" from it if we will, but it's not historically useful.

64 comments:

  1. {Remember I did ask you to assume that what was reported actually happened. Thank you.}

    If Jesus was transfigured right there, in front of a couple of his disciples, such that his appearance changed dramatically and he radiated a light as bright as the sun, and Moses and Elijah were there with Him, how do you explain what was described?

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  2. Ike, erm if you're assuming that what was reported actually happened, then what is there to explain?

    Seems pretty clear to me that this is a mythical treatment of a theological need to place Jesus in the (Jewish) hierarchy of great prophets of old.

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  3. Ian, as you know, the whole of the enterprise of science is to explain what we observe. These explanations are what we call 'scientific facts.'

    Not that we are doing science here, necessarily, but imagine that you and I were sitting in a room, watching TV and chatting, and then for a few seconds or may be a minute I shone with a light as bright as the sun, so brightly that you had to shield your eyes with your hands or duck behind a sofa until I was back to my usual self.

    Would you wish to know why my appearance changed so dramatically for that brief period?

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  4. Ike, assume nothing. It is just a story, and stories are easy to explain. Mark was not a witness in any case. You might as well ask us to assume the Three Bears left their front door open.

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  5. In other words, an imaginary scenario is not a "fact" that needs to be explained. Just like the resurrection, indeed. But that already has a thread.

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  6. hi shane,

    um, isn't there quite a lot of question begging in your post?
    " The tale, idle as it may be, is a fiction to impress a specific point - Jesus is the Messiah, and he is greater than Moses or Elijah."
    "In other words, an imaginary scenario is not a "fact" that needs to be explained."

    you're very confused about the role of "storytelling" and "evidence" and all these things, in the pursuit of truth. i think you need to slow down and think about what you're actually saying and assuming.

    p.s. do you have editorial control over comments to your blog ..... just wondering, in the light of certain appearances ;-)

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  7. Hi, Jeremy, do come also to drazuonyesblog.blogspot.com, lots of jummy stuff out there for you. Ikay Azuonye

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  8. thanks ike, but i'll leave you to it i think.

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  9. You are most welcome, Jeremy.

    I look forward to the further evolution of Shane's Great Transfiguration Debate.

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  10. Ike, but if it happened as reported, then why is the explanation given in the story not suitable?

    What happened? Jesus was transfigured to demonstrate part of his heavenly glory.

    Coming up with some alternative explanation seems odd to me.

    Or are you actually asking for a theological interpretation of the event?

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  11. Hi, Ian, I am not asking for an interpretation of the reported event - I am asking for an explanation: i.e., by what process(es) did Jesus's facial appearance change, his face "shine like the sun" and his clothes become "as white as the light."

    This change lasted, perhaps, a few minutes, and Jesus reverted to the appearance that the disciples were used to.

    To bring it nearer home: By what processes of nature could YOU, for example, undergo a similar transfiguration?

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  12. Ikechukwu

    I'm not following your train of thought here.

    Pretend (x) happened. What would explain (x)? How could (x) happen to you?

    Where's this going?

    Graham

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  13. There is so much I could tell you about Jesus and Christ, but I have to choose not to. I revere both of them far too much to be involved in argument about their life and work. I would only wish to say this: try to understand what happened at the Transfiguration, and nothing about the relationship between Jesus and Christ, or the reason for Christ's three-year mission to our planet, would be hidden from you.

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  14. It is thus: if you understood what caused Jesus's facial appearance to change, his face to shine like the sun and his clothes to appear whiter than light, you would know everything about Jesus and Christ because all your questions would have been answered.

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  15. Indeed, Ike - it's called mythology.

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  16. And that, Shane, is why I now consider it best to let you explore this by yourself when you come to the conclusion that there might be more than just a story.

    I will say to you, however, that Jesus and Christ are different people, one human, the other from a different world, and they worked together so well and so closely that people were not aware that there were two people involved in the mission. A clue was offered when Christ asked the disciples who they thought that he was, and they gave all sorts of answers,until Peter said "You are Christ, the Son of the living God." To which Christ said that Peter would not have known this if it had not been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit.

    Read the Gospels with the intention of understanding what they are telling you, not with the intention of looking for what to criticise; and, even more important, remember that religion is a relationship, the relationship between an individual and God, not just something to think and argue about - and take it from there.

    The Transfiguration was the occasion on which Christ allowed the disciples to see Him in his natural state of a great being of light. I shall now leave you to explore these things by yourself if you wished to do so. Good morning.

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  17. Don't worry, Ike, we can cope. Happy fantasies to you.

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  18. I would recommend this very enjoyable exercise: review the Gospels with the assumption that Jesus and Christ are different people. You would be very pleasantly surprised by what you discover.


    And another one guaranteed to make you glow with delight: Read the Sermon on the Mount as if it were a treatise on the law of physics that we state as "For every action there is a reaction that is equal in force but opposite in direction."

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  19. And for even more delight, read Little Red Riding Hood, assuming that Granny is a transdimensional bounty hunter with X-ray vision!

    There really is no end to the fun you can have.

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  20. Thanks Shane! Now I think that invisible predators are out to collect the bounty on my head!

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  21. If the Sermon on the Mount was a treatise on physics, wouldn't the house upon the rock be a bit redundant?

    A teensy bit obvious, maybe?

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  22. Ah - that means you need to join my church and pay me lots and lots of money. Then I'll call off Bounty Granny.

    http://churchofjesuschristatheist.blogspot.com of course.

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  23. Any how literally, Shane, do you take the speck in Graham's eye -v- the log of wood in yours?

    I find it very interesting when people who swear by reasoning refuse to reason just because of a pre-judgement that would be challenged if they let themselves think about the issue.

    'For every action there is a reaction' is stated in a variety of forms in the Sermon on the Mount: all the Beatitudes; judge and be sure you'll be judged; etc.

    Christ was showing that our thoughts and actions are not exempt from the operations of the laws of nature.

    Keep going, boys; you can't miss it.

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  24. Ikechukwu

    So how does "turn the other cheek", which reverses the lex talonis, fit into Newton's three laws?

    Graham

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  25. To 'turn the other cheek' is to choose not to retaliate when someone has offended or hurt you. So to choose places you in the ranks of peacemakers.

    And blessed are peacemakers because....

    The action of peacemaking brings its own rewards (reaction)

    If, as I hope, you re-read The Beatitudes with the Law of Action and Reaction in mind you would have noted how Christ translated that law of nature into a set of moral principles, showing that the laws of nature apply to everything that is part of our universe, including our thoughts, feelings, words and actions.

    Knowing that the way our universe functions ensures that we will inevitably experience effects that correspond to our behaviour, we would be careful to extend to others the respect, kindness and consideration that we would like them to extend to us, which Christ said was, along with the love of God, the whole of religion.

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  26. Ikechukwu

    No, that is not the argument that Jesus made. He argued that we should bless those who persecute us because this would make us like his Father in Heaven.

    And to the Hebraic mind God has absolutely nothing to gain from forgiving his enemies.

    And, frankly, we do not need the laws of action and reaction to understand the lex talonis or altruism. They were understood perfectly by many moral systems in Jesus day, and before Jesus day.

    Let me say from the outset that I am not inclined to write a theory off because it is fantastic or sensational. I don't reject your hypothesis because it sounds crazy. I reject it because it cannot withstand a cursory glance at the evidence.

    You can, of course, completely rewrite the Gospels to suit your presuppositions. So you can change the rules of Greek grammar in your own mind, and claim that Iesou Christou refers to two individuals, or rewrite the lexicons to make christos a name and not a title.

    But such a rewrite will take place in your own mind, and not in the real world. What you have is a sensational theory that is falsified by the evidence on the first reading. This does not even reach the heights of a good conspiracy theory, which does not have to rewrite the evidence.

    However, it is difficult to create a historical hypothesis that is so easily falsified.

    Graham

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  27. Ikechukwu

    No, that is not the argument that Jesus made. He argued that we should bless those who persecute us because this would make us like his Father in Heaven.

    And to the Hebraic mind God has absolutely nothing to gain from forgiving his enemies.

    And, frankly, we do not need the laws of action and reaction to understand the lex talonis or altruism. They were understood perfectly by many moral systems in Jesus day, and before Jesus day.

    Let me say from the outset that I am not inclined to write a theory off because it is fantastic or sensational. I don't reject your hypothesis because it sounds crazy. I reject it because it cannot withstand a cursory glance at the evidence.

    You can, of course, completely rewrite the Gospels to suit your presuppositions. So you can change the rules of Greek grammar in your own mind, and claim that Iesou Christou refers to two individuals, or rewrite the lexicons to make christos a name and not a title.

    But such a rewrite will take place in your own mind, and not in the real world. What you have is a sensational theory that is falsified by the evidence on the first reading. This does not even reach the heights of a good conspiracy theory, which does not have to rewrite the evidence.

    However, it is difficult to create a historical hypothesis that is so easily falsified.

    Graham

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  28. The historiography that you outline on the Resurrection thread depends on selective quotations from one scholar. That suggests that you are either not familiar with current debates in historiography, or that you do not take such debates seriously.

    (In fact, it seems fairly obvious that you do not take history very seriously at all. It is one thing to be a historical sceptic; it is another to rewrite or misrepresent the source material to suit your needs. Even Postmodern historiographers do not allow for this practice.)

    Yours respectfully
    Graham

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  29. Graham,

    Christ never spoke from the Hebraic point of view. He spoke, always, from the viewpoint of a great being who was able to say "If you have seen me you have seen the Father, for I and the Father are one."

    Christ's rejection of the religion of the Hebrews was evident at all times. "In the past your were told .... but I tell you...." There is nothing in Christ's teachings that bears any resemblance whatsoever with the religious teachings and practices of the Jewish/Hebrew people.




    And let us try this too: If Jesus and Christ were different people, what would people have been likely to have observed?

    It is all there in front of you, Graham.

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  30. Two of my points were about Greek grammar and vocabulary. We'll ignore that, and move to the astonishing claim:

    "Christ's rejection of the religion of the Hebrews was evident at all times."

    I'm sorry, but this is misinformed. There is no room for debate here. You are simply, undeniably, incontrovertibly wrong. This is on a par with getting Elizabeth I of England mixed up with Phillip II of Spain. It's like believing that Hitler and Churchhill were the same person. Or that Charles Darwin was two different writers called Charles and Darwin. It's just nonsense. Here's a few of the many, many reasons why. And when I say that there are many reasons, I mean that there are tomes of literature showing the link between Jesus and Judaism.

    -The Sermon on the Mount is one of the finest examples of Jewish Wisdom theology that we have available.
    - Jesus tells the leper to present himself to the Temple authorities, thereby observing Jewish purity codes.
    - “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven” puts a few flies in your theories ointment.
    - When Jesus' says "but I say unto you" he does not abrogate, but intensifies the demands of Torah
    - Jesus did not obey the Oral Tradition of the Pharisees. Neither did the Sadducees.Did they reject the Hebrew religion in its entirety? In fact Jesus' opposition to the Pharisees on this point makes Jesus a conservative Jew.
    - Jesus observes the Jewish feasts in John
    - He accepts the designation "Son of David"
    - Jesus refers to the Gentiles as "dogs". Pet dogs, mind. But not the sort of language you put on a Christmas card.
    - Zeal for the Temple motivates his actions there.

    Your method seems to be - imagine the Transfiguration happened, but that the Gospels describe it inaccurately; then imagine that the Sermon on the Mount means something other than what the words and sentences mean. Therefore Jesus was in league with an alien/transdimensional whatever.
    I recognise this type of reasoning. Its typical of alternative spirituality. You may want to imagine that the warning of Mark 3 v 27-29 should be taken much more seriously.

    A very perplexed and concerned
    Graham

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  31. Graham, welcome to my world :-)

    I think you have a point about Charles and Darwin being two different people. Suddenly "Voyage of the Beagle" becomes a treatise on G-protein-coupled receptor pathways in the nematode gut.

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  32. Graham, review Hebrews 7.


    Now tell me: What kind of person has no father, no mother, no genealogy, no beginning or end of his life? How did such a person come into existence?


    As for Christ's total rejection of Judaism, think again. He let his disciples go into the temple and eat the shewbread reserved for the priesthood. He worked on the Sabbath day and said why not? 'The Sabbath is meant for man not man for the sabbath.' 'Love your enemies' is not a firming up if 'An eye for an eye' - it is the exact opposite. The Law that cannot be changed is the Law of Nature, not any law passed by human beings.

    People who had known Jesus well were very surprised at the way he came across after his baptism by John, and wondered what had happened to him: they had very good reason to wonder because it was no longer the man Jesus expressing through that body but the Great Archangel Christ who let the disciples see what he really looked like at the Transfiguration.

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  33. I should have put it more elegantly, thus: It was the Great Archangel Christ who, at the Transfiguration, let the disciples see what he really looked like.

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  34. ikechukwu

    This is becoming embarrassing. Not only do you fail to address any of my substantive points. You then give further evidence of your complete ignorance of the Judaism of Jesus' day.

    "He let his disciples go into the temple and eat the shewbread reserved for the priesthood." "He worked on the Sabbath day and said why not? 'The Sabbath is meant for man not man for the sabbath.'"

    Disputes over the nature of the Sabbath were part and parcel of the Judaism of Jesus' day. Jesus responds to the legal traditions of some Pharisees with a "Wisdom" saying ('The Sabbath is meant for man not man for the sabbath')and by citing Biblical precedent (the example of David). This was a thoroughly Jewish way of debating a legal point, and it shows that the Pharisees and Jesus held some premises in common.
    It is the claim to be "Lord of the Sabbath" that was offensive. You are so busy running your SETI project you miss the point of the passage completely!

    Graham

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  35. I apologise for the impatience. But I detect two debating tactics typical of practitioners of alternative spiritualities.

    1) Imprecision. Is Christ an "archangel" or "from another world"?

    2) When refuted decisively on one or more points - as you have been on your interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus' attitude to Judaism, and the meaning of "Christus" in Greek - simply change the topic to ask another bizarre question.

    I need to know that you are not making mischief, or pitching a sale, Ikechukwu, before I continue the conversation. I need to know that you are in earnest.

    Graham

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  36. graham,
    i misread your last sentence as "i need to know what you are in earnest".
    an equally important question, in the present case, i feel.

    your patience is noteworthy....

    jeremy

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  37. Graham, buckle up and enjoy the ride - Jeremy & I have been here before...

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  38. Graham, Christ is the centre of my life, and nothing means more to me than my devotion to Him. I am totally in earnest about these things.

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  39. And, Graham, I will make the time to respond in full to all your points. Thank you for your patience.

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  40. The Sermon on the Mount is not a treatise on the whole of physics, and I did not say that it was. I did describe it as a treatise on a specific law of nature (or law of physics) which we render as 'for every action there is a reaction that is equal in force but opposite in direction.' It is a fundamental character of the stuff of the universe that it responds in a corresponding manner to whatever is done to it. What Christ did with the Sermon on the Mount was to present this law of nature as a set of moral principles: if we lived by those principles we would automatically live in accordance with the basic law of nature, and we need to do so in order to make progress as the spiritual beings that we are.

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  41. [Regarding 13 January 2011, 08:33]

    Consider the hierarchy of beings. We are familiar with the mineral, plant and animal forms. We are also all too familiar with our own wave of life. Over the many millennia of our existence on this planet we have become aware of beings at a higher level of development than humankind: I refer her to angels, archangels and, of course, the Almighty Creator of all things.

    Christ repeatedly said that God sent Him to undertake a specific task, and showed great reverence for God, saying "The Father is greater than I." Whilst acknowledging this, Christ made clear that He had authority over the angels and could summon them at any time to do His bidding. Logic therefore establishes for us that Christ is an Archangel, greater than the angels but not on the same level as God.

    The Great Archangel Christ indicated that we, humankind on Earth, were not the only ones he was responsible for. "I have other flock...." He once said.


    As for the lex talionis, there is nothing huge to understand about it other than that it is the law of revenge or retaliation. That was what was taught to the Israelites as they made their way through the dessert towards their fateful occupation of the Land of Canaan, and we find that Israel of today continues to operate on the basis of that law, as readily exemplified by the extra-judicial killings of people that the Israelis think of as harmful to their security.

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  42. Regarding the issue of historiography:

    What historians say happened is, for the greater part, a matter of historical imagination. What people say happened is often a matter of who is telling the story, and where that person sits on the structures of power. We should thus always maintain a healthy scepticism regarding 'what historians say happened', as it is not always the same as 'what happened'.

    You would have noticed that, everything considered, the great Arthur Marwick decided that the only evidence for 'what happened' is the artefacts left behind. Among these we must now include all forms of photographic and electronic evidence.

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  43. Graham, a few more comments re your quotes from some source:

    -The Sermon on the Mount is one of the finest examples of Jewish Wisdom theology that we have available. COMMENT: IT IS NOT JEWISH. SHOW ME SOMETHING IN THE TORAH THAT APPEARS ON THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT OTHER THAN AS SOMETHING TO BE REPUDIATED IN FAVOUR OF A NEW WAY OF THINKING.
    - Jesus tells the leper to present himself to the Temple authorities, thereby observing Jewish purity codes. COMMENT: CHRIST WAS SHOWING CULTURAL SENSITIVITY. HE ENCOURAGED THE FORMER LEPER TO DO SOMETHING CONGRUENT WITH HIS CULTURE.
    - “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven” puts a few flies in your theories ointment. COMMENT: THE REFERENCE WAS TO THE LAWS OF NATURE, NOT TO ANY MAN-MADE LAWS.
    - When Jesus' says "but I say unto you" he does not abrogate, but intensifies the demands of Torah: COMMENT: IF YOU ARE TRAVELLING EAST AND I TELL YOU, HEY, GRAHAM, YOU SHOULD BE TRAVELLING WEST, I AM NOT INTENSIFYING YOUR TRAJECTORY EASTWARDS, I AM ASKING YOU TO DO A COMPLETE U-TURN.
    - Jesus did not obey the Oral Tradition of the Pharisees. Neither did the Sadducees.Did they reject the Hebrew religion in its entirety? In fact Jesus' opposition to the Pharisees on this point makes Jesus a conservative Jew. COMMENT: HYPOCRISY WAS THE ONLY THING THAT EVER MADE CHRIST SEE RED.
    - Jesus observes the Jewish feasts in John: I HAVE ATTENDED JEWISH AND HINDU FEASTS ON THE INVITATION OF FRIENDS;THAT DOES NOT MAKE ME JEWISH OR HINDU.
    - He accepts the designation "Son of David": COMMENT: TRY TO UNDERSTAND THIS. CHRIST SAID "BEFORE ABRAHAM I AM." CHRIST HAD BEEN AROUND FOR A VERY LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG TIME, AS SET OUT ON ST JOHN'S GOSPEL CHAPTER ONE.
    - Jesus refers to the Gentiles as "dogs". Pet dogs, mind. But not the sort of language you put on a Christmas card. COMMENT: AS STATED EARLIER, HYPOCRISY WAS THE ONLY THING THAT CHRIST COULD NOT STAND. HE USED SUCH FLOWERY LANGUAGE ON ANYONE WHO MANIFESTED HYPOCRISY.
    - Zeal for the Temple motivates his actions there. COMMENT: CHRIST KNEW, BETTER THAN ANYONE, THAT GOD DOES NOT LIVE IN A BUILDING, AND INDEED THAT THERE WAS NO NEED FOR A SPECIFIC PLACE OF WORSHIP. GOD COULD BE WORSHIPPED ANYWHERE, AND OUR EVERYDAY LIVES CONSTITUTE THE MOST LIVING FORM OF WORSHIP OF GOD. HAVING SAID THAT, CHRIST WAS OF COURSE AWARE THAT THE TEMPLE REPRESENTED SOMETHING IMPORTANT TO MANY, AND FELT DISGUST AT THE DISRESPECT SHOWN BY SOME PEOPLE.

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  44. The Great Archangel Christ, being the ruler of our solar system, was indeed Lord of the Sabbath, just as He is Lord of everything that happens from the Sun to Pluto. That some people were offended by His claims to authority did not mean that He did not have that authority. He demonstrated His power routinely through the miracles, and even more so through the Teachings that have shaped our world and which will be the foundation of the Golden Age that is our wonderful future on this planet.

    It is 12:52! Gotta hit the sack. Goodnight.

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  45. Ike, now that Pluto isn't a planet any more, does that mean Jesus has a little less stomping room?

    I have to agree with Graham here, Ike. Jesus the Nazarene was fully Jewish - your comments are completely out of context and utterly at odds with C1CE Judaism, into which Jesus fitted quite nicely (as Geza Vermes has comprehensively shown).

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  46. We have a problem here, Shane: a "fully Jewish" teacher offers teachings which, totally at odds with Jewish thinking, establish the basis of a different religion, Christianity. Let there be no doubt: Judaism and Christianity are completely different approaches to a relationship with God. The only things in common between Judaism and Christianity are that they are monotheistic religions and Jewish prophets of old prophesied the coming of the the Messaiah (in the person of Christ)

    Christ made very clear that the relationship that he wished people to have with God had a completely different basis from the relationship with God as taught in the Jewish canon.

    Nobody in the world today thinks of Judaism and Christianity as the same religion, or even as sects of the same religion.



    If you wished to look again at the Biblical evidence for the position that Jesus and Christ are different people, consider the following:

    1. At the baptism of Jesus, the Spirit of God 'descended' upon him, and the voice of God was heard declaring 'This is my beloved Son..' The Spirit that descended was the Great Archangel Christ, taking over the body of Jesus.

    2. After the baptism, John the Baptist was very reverential towards the person who now stood in front of him in the body of Jesus, saying that he was unworthy to unfasten his shoelaces. John was aware that it was now Christ, the Archangel, using the body of Jesus.

    3. People who knew Jesus were very surprised at the change of personality, asking whether the person now before them was the same Jesus that they had known all along, especially as He now spoke with a certain authority not previously observed.

    4. When Christ asked the disciples who they thought that He was - He knew that they were not aware that he was the Great Archangel in the body of Jesus - He told Peter, who correctly said that He was Christ - that he would not have known this unless it was revealed to him by the Holy Spirit. So the fact that this was a two-person mission was a secret. The disciples could just have said 'Why are you asking this question? You are Jesus, are you not?'

    5. At the Transfiguration Christ allowed the disciples to see what he, an Archangel, looked like.

    6. Remember "Before Abraham I am."? Christ was just letting people know that he had been around for a very long time (indeed, from the beginning, as stated on St John's Gospel Chapter 1.)

    There is more.

    Suffice it to say that, following the crucifixion and death of the body of Jesus, our dear brother resumed the use of his resurrected and immortalised physical body.

    The Great Archangel Christ returned briefly to our planet for the purposes of the one-off phenomenon of the Ascension, which was His demonstration, to the disciples, of His return to His own world, having accomplished the objectives of his third appearance on Earth.

    You will ask, I know, when were His first and second appearances on Earth? The Bible documents the first appearance, in Hebrews Chapter 7 (when He simply appeared on Earth - without father or mother, without genealogy, with no beginning or end of his days -and using the name Melchizedek.) His second appearance on Earth, as Poseidonis, is not documented in the Bible. One of His greatest followers, Osiris, was crucified by the corrupt priesthoods in the city of Caiphul and was deified by the Egyptians who knew of his work. And of course we know that the Great Archangel of our solar system used the name Christ for the purposes of His third appearance on our planet. His fourth appearance - often referred to as the Second Coming - will set in motion the perfection of life on this planet and our progression to another dimension in accordance with God's scheme of things for the perfection of all life.

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  47. Ike

    I can point out where you seem to be going wrong on your understanding of the book of Hebrews, the nature of Judaism in First Century Palestine, your understanding of History (which seems to be based on one book, and a misreading/misrepresentation of that book) and the nature of Christian Theology.

    But once more, I need to check that we actually can have a rational exchange of ideas.

    "The Spirit that descended was the Great Archangel Christ, taking over the body of Jesus."
    This conclusion appears from nowhere. You do not provide a single premise that would support it. Nothing in the text of the Gospels supports this conclusion!
    "John was aware that it was now Christ, the Archangel, using the body of Jesus."
    This conclusion appears from nowhere.
    "People who knew Jesus were very surprised at the change of personality"
    This evidence appears from nowhere. The Gospels do not mention a change in personality. Generally the ancients weren't interested in personality - they were interested in character (virtue etc.)

    "At the Transfiguration Christ allowed the disciples to see what he, an Archangel, looked like"

    No evidence supports this conclusion.

    And then we have the Poseidon Adventure. At this point I can absolutely guarantee that Jesus and his disciples would accuse you of blasphemy!

    Why should anyone believe any of this? It's not that there's no evidence for these beliefs. It's that there is no evidence for them, plenty of evidence against them, and they form a needlessly complicated and ad hoc theory!
    Astrology seems rational in comparison. That's how bad this theory is.
    And I cannot see how any religious experience, no matter how profound, could by itself support such a disconnected and random set of ideas.

    So two questions (i)why should I even think this idea is rational? What is your argument?
    (ii) If you are not interested in rational arguments, what are you trying to achieve? Are you willing to take objections on board, and think them through?

    Graham

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  48. Graham, this is just to let you know that I had seen your latest post. There is every reason to believe what I have told you about Jesus and Christ, and I will show you, next time, how the Gospels support it all [as I said earlier, Christ's appearance on Earth using the name Poseidonis - not Poseidon, by the way - is the only one not documented in the Holy Bible.]

    I make reference quite a lot to Marwick only because his classic work is, by a long seamile, the best book on historiography ever written.

    ReplyDelete
  49. But first, Graham, what is your view of the idea of a hierarchy of beings in our universe:

    Minerals
    Plants
    Animals
    Human Beings
    Angels
    Archangels, and the
    Celestial Hosts?

    Is this part of your worldview?

    ReplyDelete
  50. A "hierarchy of beings" is a load of cobblers. No such hierarchy exists, nor is there any such thing as a "being" (or at the very least, this term needs to be defined). But there are several points Ike raised in that long post that are *directly* contradicted by the accounts given in the Gospels. Now I know you can't rely on everything you read in the bible - the authors were not eyewitnesses to anything, and their ideas were often wrong, and their words are imprecise and can be twisted, but it is not difficult to spot where the errors in Ike's view lie.

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  51. Ikechukwu

    No, I'm not a gnostic.

    Graham

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  52. This does pose a tiny bit of difficulty, I think.

    Absent suprahuman supernatural beings, most of the content of the Bible would not make any sense at all and would appear to be fiction or fantasy.

    Anyway, I will do my best to answer you questions, Graham, as a person who accepts the existence of supernatural beings speaking to one who does not.

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  53. Ikechukwu

    I do believe in "supernatural" beings. God would be an example.

    But I don't believe in a "chain of being" (emanating out from a source of all being).

    Graham

    ReplyDelete
  54. Graham,

    It is not clear to me whether you believe that supernatural beings such as God do exist, or think that my references to the spiritual identity of Christ are nothing other than a SETI wild good chase.

    Whether you believe that God exists or not is a matter only for yourself, and I share the following with you and all other participants in this discussion:

    THE DESCENT OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD UPON JESUS:
    Matthew 3:16

    THE IDENTITY OF THE SPIRIT THAT DESCENDED UPON JESUS:
    Matthew 3: 17
    John 1: 1 - 14

    CHANGE OF PERSONALITY FOLLOWING THE BAPTISM:
    http://bible.cc/john/6-42.htm

    WAS CHRIST THE SON OF DAVID?
    Matthew 22; 41 - 46, Mark 12: 35 - 37

    CHRIST'S EXISTENCE RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE UNIVERSE:
    John 1
    John 8: 58

    WHAT CHRIST ACTUALLY LOOKED LIKE (HIS PHYSICAL APPEARANCE):
    Matthew 17: 1 - 9

    (Incidentally, verses 10 - 13 raise the intriguing possibility that Christ identified John the Baptist in a particular manner in relation to Elijah.)

    -------------------

    As to your two questions (i)why should I even think this idea is rational? What is your argument? -

    COMMENT: My argument is, as stated, that the mission that we attribute to Jesus was actually carried out by the Great Archangel Christ for whose use Jesus had prepared his physical body. Accordingly, the teachings of Christ were given from the viewpoint of an Archangel, and therefore transcend anything that any human being had offered as a way of forming a relationship with God. This also means that His teachings are the most advanced ever offered to humankind, which is why they appear so untenable: 'Love your enemies.'; 'Bless those that curse you.'; 'Resist not an evil person.'; and so on. But is we are to see the face of God we have to get to the point of doing these 'impossible' things.

    (ii) If you are not interested in rational arguments, what are you trying to achieve? Are you willing to take objections on board, and think them through? - COMMENT: I am of course very interested in rational arguments. And what I am trying to achieve? Just sharing with you my understanding of the work and teachings of Christ as a way to attainment of spiritual development.


    I would also like you to understand that when I read the Bible my search is for guidance on how to live the most balanced and productive life possible to me during my current incarnation.

    I am very greatly assisted by Christ's summary of the essence of religion: "Love God and love your neighbour as yourself." I am happy that if I am able to treat everyone well, on the background of my love of God, I could not help but be in the right place and hearing in the right direction.

    Good evening.
    Ikay

    ReplyDelete
  55. Graham,

    It is not clear to me whether you believe that supernatural beings such as God do exist, or think that my references to the spiritual identity of Christ are nothing other than a SETI wild good chase.

    It is not necessary to explore, at this stage, the processes whereby supernatural beings come into existence; it is sufficient only to consider that they exist.

    Whether you believe that God and other supernatural beings exist or not is, however, a matter only for yourself, and I share the following with you and all other participants in this discussion:

    THE DESCENT OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD UPON JESUS:
    Matthew 3:16

    THE IDENTITY OF THE SPIRIT THAT DESCENDED UPON JESUS:
    Matthew 3: 17
    John 1: 1 - 14

    CHANGE OF PERSONALITY FOLLOWING THE BAPTISM:
    http://bible.cc/john/6-42.htm

    WAS CHRIST THE SON OF DAVID?
    Matthew 22; 41 - 46, Mark 12: 35 - 37

    CHRIST'S EXISTENCE RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE UNIVERSE:
    John 1
    John 8: 58

    WHAT CHRIST ACTUALLY LOOKED LIKE (HIS PHYSICAL APPEARANCE):
    Matthew 17: 1 - 9

    (Incidentally, verses 10 - 13 raise the intriguing possibility that Christ identified John the Baptist in a particular manner in relation to Elijah.)

    -------------------

    As to your two questions (i)why should I even think this idea is rational? What is your argument? -

    COMMENT: My argument is, as stated, that the mission that we attribute to Jesus was actually carried out by the Great Archangel Christ for whose use Jesus had prepared his physical body. Accordingly, the teachings of Christ were given from the viewpoint of an Archangel, and therefore transcend anything that any human being had offered as a way of forming a relationship with God. This also means that His teachings are the most advanced ever offered to humankind, which is why they appear so untenable: 'Love your enemies.'; 'Bless those that curse you.'; 'Resist not an evil person.'; and so on. But is we are to see the face of God we have to get to the point of doing these 'impossible' things.

    (ii) If you are not interested in rational arguments, what are you trying to achieve? Are you willing to take objections on board, and think them through? - COMMENT: I am of course very interested in rational arguments. And what I am trying to achieve? Just sharing with you my understanding of the work and teachings of Christ as a way to attainment of spiritual development.


    I would also like you to understand that when I read the Bible my search is for guidance on how to live the most balanced and productive life possible to me during my current incarnation.

    I am very greatly assisted by Christ's summary of the essence of religion: "Love God and love your neighbour as yourself." I am happy that if I am able to treat everyone well, on the background of my love of God, I could not help but be in the right place and hearing in the right direction.

    Good evening.
    Ikay

    ReplyDelete
  56. Graham,

    It is not clear to me whether you believe that supernatural beings such as God do exist, or think that my references to the spiritual identity of Christ are nothing other than a SETI wild good chase.

    It is not necessary to explore, at this stage, the processes whereby supernatural beings come into existence; it is sufficient only to consider that they exist.

    Whether you believe that God and other supernatural beings exist or not is, however, a matter only for yourself, and I share the following with you and all other participants in this discussion:

    THE DESCENT OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD UPON JESUS:
    Matthew 3:16

    THE IDENTITY OF THE SPIRIT THAT DESCENDED UPON JESUS:
    Matthew 3: 17
    John 1: 1 - 14

    CHANGE OF PERSONALITY FOLLOWING THE BAPTISM:
    http://bible.cc/john/6-42.htm

    WAS CHRIST THE SON OF DAVID?
    Matthew 22; 41 - 46, Mark 12: 35 - 37

    CHRIST'S EXISTENCE RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE UNIVERSE:
    John 1
    John 8: 58

    WHAT CHRIST ACTUALLY LOOKED LIKE (HIS PHYSICAL APPEARANCE):
    Matthew 17: 1 - 9

    (Incidentally, verses 10 - 13 raise the intriguing possibility that Christ identified John the Baptist in a particular manner in relation to Elijah.)

    -------------------

    As to your two questions (i)why should I even think this idea is rational? What is your argument? -

    COMMENT: My argument is, as stated, that the mission that we attribute to Jesus was actually carried out by the Great Archangel Christ for whose use Jesus had prepared his physical body. Accordingly, the teachings of Christ were given from the viewpoint of an Archangel, and therefore transcend anything that any human being had offered as a way of forming a relationship with God. This also means that His teachings are the most advanced ever offered to humankind, which is why they appear so untenable: 'Love your enemies.'; 'Bless those that curse you.'; 'Resist not an evil person.'; and so on. But is we are to see the face of God we have to get to the point of doing these 'impossible' things.

    (ii) If you are not interested in rational arguments, what are you trying to achieve? Are you willing to take objections on board, and think them through? - COMMENT: I am of course very interested in rational arguments. And what I am trying to achieve? Just sharing with you my understanding of the work and teachings of Christ as a way to attainment of spiritual development.


    I would also like you to understand that when I read the Bible my search is for guidance on how to live the most balanced and productive life possible to me during my current incarnation.

    I am very greatly assisted by Christ's summary of the essence of religion: "Love God and love your neighbour as yourself." I am happy that if I am able to treat everyone well, on the background of my love of God, I could not help but be in the right place and hearing in the right direction.

    Good evening.
    Ikay

    ReplyDelete
  57. {I think there is an error on the system: I set out to publish a comment and am informed that it is too long! I then either try to resend it or shave off a few words, and the system still says it is too long! And then, suddenly, I see that the system had published the comments two or more times. Sorry about that. Ikay.}

    ReplyDelete
  58. Ike

    I need to be very clear.

    "I believe in God the Father the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

    In God the our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made.

    And that our Lord Jesus Christ is also perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man, of a reasonable soul and body; co-essential with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood; in all things like unto us, without sin; begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, according to the Manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ; as the prophets from the beginning have declared concerning Him, and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself has taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us.

    And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father;
    who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified."


    Thats the core of the Nicene and Chalcedonian creeds.The philosophical terminology is out of date, but the core ideas are simple enough. It's the position that the Church has taken for over 1500 years; and it follows from the statements of Scripture. Put another way, it follows from the devotional practices and beliefs of Jesus' first followers, and from the sayings and deeds of Jesus.

    Graham

    ReplyDelete
  59. My assertions are as good as the next guys!

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  60. Yes, Graham, but when the next guy is Ike, that's not saying a whole pile :-)

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  61. Yes, but mine have been translated from Greek. And have been translated into Latin.

    Alvin Plantinga has shown that they are, therefore, indubitably true.

    GV

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  62. Ha ha! Graham, I think you know my opinion of Plantinga - he's an acrobatic clown. If it is possible that he is a waste of space, that must mean in some possible universe, perhaps even the ACTUAL universe, and maybe even THIS universe, he IS a waste of space. And since by definition Plantinga is an omniwassock, he therefore is a waste of space in ALL possible worlds.

    See?

    ReplyDelete
  63. Guys, I had not gone away, just catching up with other stuff. Graham, I note what you have quoted, and if that represents what you accept as the Truth, then you do not find cause to accept that Jesus and Christ are different people. I also note that you had not gone through the evidence presented and refuted it item by item as I thought you would have preferred to do.

    We may just agree to hold different positions on this matter and continue on the path of our discovery of the relationship between Jesus and Christ.

    ReplyDelete