Sunday, April 28, 2024

what is the supernatural?

By Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) - September 10, 2017 Mathias Joseph Scheeben

The Supernatural was something very different than it is now. This is important because that original meaning, which Christian spiritually was predicated upon, is empirically provable and and can be shown to be real by simple scientific means. We have to understand the original concept, there are two thinkers who tried to restore the concept to it’s original form and we need to listen to what they tried to say. The first one was Matthias Joseph Scheeben (born, 1 March, 1835; died at Cologne, 21 July, 1888.) His major work was Nature and Grace. [17] Scheeben was a mystic who contemplated and studied divine grace and hypostatic union. He was also a greatly accomplished academic and was a fine scholar of scholastic theology. He studied at the Gregorian University at Rome and taught dogmatic theology at the Episcopal seminary.

at Cologne. Scheeben was the chief defender of the faith against rationalism in the nineteenth century. The generation after his death ( in Cologne in 1888) regarded him as one of the greatest minds of Catholic thought in his day. He left three major works: Nature and Grace (1861), The Mysteries of Christianity (1865), and the massive yet unfinished Handbook of Catholic Dogmatics. Among his major accomplishnents were defense of Vatican I's defense of infallibility, defense of religious freedom against Bismark's attempt to control the Catholic Church.

His books were repeatedly republished in Germany up into the 1960s and translated into other European languages, including English (the Dogmatics, alas, only in highly truncated form). Since the Second Vatican Council, though, he has mostly been neglected by theological teachers and students who have wrongly imagined the nineteenth-century Catholic tradition to be a period of anti-modern darkness….The Catholic world of a hundred or more years ago was quite right, I think, to see the Cologne seminary professor as perhaps the finest modern Catholic dogmatic theologian. His writings not only yield rare insight into the mysteries of Christian faith, they draw the attentive reader ever more deeply into the mysteries themselves. Scheeben is more important now than he has ever been. He can teach a theological generation that has sold its inestimable birthright how to restore and renew dogmatic theology.[18

The other thinker is Eugene R. Fairweather (2 November 1920-) an Anglican scholar and translator of Church fathers from Ottowa. MA in Philosophy form University of Toronto (1943) Ordained priest in 1944 and became tutor at Trinity college Toronto same year. He studied theology at Union theological seminary and earned his Th.D. in 1949. He had an honorary doctorate from McGill University. At the time he wrote his article “Christianity and the Supernatural” he was editor of the Canadian Journal of Theology and professor of dogmatic theology and ethics at Trinity College, Toronto.[19]Fairweather quotes Scheeben and bases part of his view upon Scheeben’s.

Fairweather’s view of the supernatural is contrary to the notion of two opposing realms, or a dualism. He uses the phrase “two-sidedness,” there is a “two-sidedness” about reality but it’s not a real dualism. The Supernatural is that which is above the natural in a certain sense but it is also working in the natural. There are supernatural effects in the natural realm that make up part of human life. Essentially we can say that “the supernatural” (supernature) is an ontology. Fiarweather doesn’t use that term but that’s essentially what he’s describing. Ontology is a philosophical description of reality. Supernature describes reality in that it is the ground and end of the natural. What that means is unpacked by Fairweather : an ordered relation of means to immediate ends with respect to their final ends. “The Essential structure of the Christian faith has a real two-sidedness about it, which may at first lead the unwary into a dualism and then encourage the attempt to resolve the dualism by an exclusive emphasis upon one or the other [side] of the severed element of complete Christianity.”[20] He explains the ordered relation several times through paring off opposites or supposed opposites: human/divine; immanent/transcendent; realm of Grace/realm of nature. All of these he refers to as “ordered relations.”[21] If this was Derrida we would call them binary oppositions. In calling them “ordered” he is surely saying one is ‘above’ the other in some sense. They are not necessarily oppositions because that’s his whole point, not a true dualism.

Supernature is working in nature. It’s not breaking in unwelcome but is drawing the workings of nature to a higher level. Fairweather describes it as the “ground and end of nature.” In other words it is the basis upon which nature comes to be and the goal toward which nature moves. Now it’s true that science removes the teleological from nature it doesn’t see it as moving toward a goal but that’s because it can’t consider anything beyond its own domain. Science is supposed to be empirical consideration of the natural realm and is practitioners often profess disdain for the metaphysical while inso doing keep a running commentary on metaphysics. Of course modern science become a form of metaphysics by infusing itself with philosophical assumptions and then declaring there is nothing beyond the natural/material realm. That is to say, when it is dominated by secularist ideology that is the direction in which science is cast. Be that as it may, theologically we can take a broader view and we see a goal oriented aspect to the natural. Supernatural effects draw the natural toward supernature. That is to say human nature responds to the calling of God in elevating humans to a higher level of consciousness. There is another example of the ground and end of nature. Fairweather doesn’t give this example, but I think it applies. This is Martin Luther King’s statement about the “arch of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice.” Nothing in nature bends toward justice, if by “nature” we mean rocks and trees but there is more to the natural realm than just those aspects that science studies. Humans are part of the realm of the natural and it is part of our social world that we understand concepts of justice. Due to our own purposive nature we bend the arch of the moral universe toward justice.

Long before Dionysius spoke of huper hamousios “From an early period the concept of 'that which is above nature’ had been seized upon by Christian Theologians as an appropriate means of stating the core of the gospel...” [22] Origen...[185-254] tells how God raises man above human nature…and makes him change into a better and divine nature.”[23] John Chrysostom (347-407) speaks of humans having received grace “health beauty honor and dignities far exceeding our nature.”[24] That view has persisted even in modern times. “In the West the most concise expression of the idea is to be found in the Leonine prayer ‘grant us to be partakers of his divinity who deigned to become partakers of our humanity.’”[25] “In these and a multitude of patristic texts the essential point is just this, that God, who is essentially supernatural perfects with a perfection beyond creaturely comprehension. Nevertheless, supernature elevates human creatures to a true participation in divine life an indwelling of God in man and man in God.”[26] The important point here is that human nature is being raised to the higher level of divine. We can see this manifests itself through the experience commonly known as “mystical.” That I will take up shortly, First, let’s turn to Scheeben to document further the nature of the supernatural. Supernatural is the power of God to raise us to this higher level.

The Trace of God, by Joseph Hinman, on Amazon. The 200 studies in this book prove that Mystical experience is real, this article just proved that the original concept of SN is mystical experiemce. Therefore, SN is real.


[17] Matthias Joseph Scheeben, Nature and Grace, Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2009 (paperback) originally unpublished 1856.

[18] Bruce D. Marshall. “Renewing Dogmatic theology: Mathias Joseph Scheeben Teaches Us the Virtues Theologians Need.” First Things. May 2012. On line version: accessed 11/8/2013 Bruce D. Marshall is professor of Christian doctrine at Perkins School of Theology.(c) 2012 Institute of Religion and Public Life

[19] Editor’s introduction to Eugene R. Fairweather, “Christianity and the Supernatural,” op.cit.

[20] Ibid, Fairweather,.237.


[22] Ibid.

[23 ]Fairweather, ibid (239).

[24] ibid

[25] Fairweather quoting Leonine prayer, ibid.

[26] Ibid

Here Fairweather seems to contradict Saler who says there is no term in the writings of the so called “church fathers” that could be translated as “supernatural” until Cyril and Dionysius, here Fairweather says the Patristic texts God is suernatural. He is back reading the term based up the concept. The term isn't really used by his pre Crylian examples.

Sunday, April 21, 2024

pre Mark redaction

The unknown Gospel of Papyrus Egerton 2

The unknown Gospel of Egerton 2 was discovered in Egypt in 1935 exiting in two different manuscripts. The original editors found that the handwriting was that of a type from the late first early second century. In 1946 Goro Mayeda published a dissertation which argues for the independence of the readings from the canonical tradition. This has been debated since then and continues to be debated. Recently John B. Daniels in his Clairmont Dissertation argued for the independence of the readings from canonical sources.[4] Daniels states "Egerton's Account of Jesus healing the leaper Plausibly represents a separate tradition which did not undergo Markan redaction...Compositional choices suggest that...[the author] did not make use of the Gospel of John in canonical form." (Daniels, abstract).[5] The unknown Gospel of Egerton 2 is remarkable still further in that it mixes Johannie language with Synoptic contexts and vice vers. [6]The Unknown Gospel preserves a tradition of Jesus healing the leper in Mark 1:40-44. (Note: The independent tradition in the Diatessaran was also of the healing of the leper). There is also a version of the statement about rendering unto Caesar. Space does not permit a detailed examination of the passages to really prove Koster's point here. But just to get a taste of the differences we are talking about:

This is very significant because it indicates a reading independent of and therefore prior to Mark;s redaction,

. Koster:

"There are two solutions that are equally improbable. It is unlikely that the pericope in Egerton 2 is an independent older tradition. It is equally hard to imagine that anyone would have deliberately composed this apophthegma by selecting sentences from three different Gospel writings. There are no analogies to this kind of Gospel composition because this pericope is neither a harmony of parallels from different Gospels, nor is it a florogelium. If one wants to uphold the hypothesis of dependence upon written Gospels one would have to assume that the pericope was written form memory....What is decisive is that there is nothing in the pericope that reveals redactional features of any of the Gospels that parallels appear. The author of Papyrus Egerton 2 uses independent building blocks of sayings for the composition of this dialogue none of the blocks have been formed by the literary activity of any previous Gospel writer. If Papyrus Egerton 2 is not dependent upon the Fourth Gospel it is an important witness to an earlier stage of development of the dialogues of the fourth Gospel....(Koester , 3.2 p.215)[7]
Gospel of Peter

Fragments of the Gospel of Peter were found in 1886 /87 in Akhimim, upper Egypt. These framents were from the 8th or 9th century. No other fragment was found for a long time until one turned up at Oxyrahynchus, which were written in 200 AD. Bishop Serapion of Antioch made the statement prior to 200 that a Gospel had been put forward in the name of Peter. This statement is preserved by Eusebius who places Serapion around 180. But the Akhimim fragment contains three periciopes. The Resurrection, to which the guards at the tomb are witnesses, the empty tomb, or which the women are witnesses, and an epiphany of Jesus appearing to Peter and the 12, which end the book abruptly.

Many features of the Gospel of Peter are clearly from secondary sources, that is reworked versions of the canonical story. These mainly consist of 1) exaggerated miracles; 2) anti-Jewish polemic.The cross follows Jesus out of the tomb, a voice from heaven says "did you preach the gospel to all?" The cross says "Yea." And Pilate is totally exonerated, the Jews are blamed for the crucifixion.[8] However, "there are other traces in the Gospel of Peter which demonstrate an old and independent tradition." The way the suffering of Jesus is described by the use of passages from the old Testament without quotation formulae is, in terms of the tradition, older than the explicit scriptural proof; it represents the oldest form of the passion of Jesus.[9] Jurgen Denker argues that the Gospel of Peter shares this tradition of OT quotation with the Canonicals but is not dependent upon them.[10] Koester writes, "John Dominic Crosson has gone further [than Denker]...he argues that this activity results in the composition of a literary document at a very early date i.e. in the middle of the First century CE" (Ibid). Said another way, the interpretation of Scripture as the formation of the passion narrative became an independent document, a ur-Gospel, as early as the middle of the first century![11]

Corosson's Cross Gospel is this material in the Gospel of Peter through which, with the canonical and other non-canonical Gospels Crosson constructs a whole text. According to the theory, the earliest of all written passion narratives is given in this material, is used by Mark, Luke, Matthew, and by John, and also Peter. Peter becomes a very important 5th witness. Koester may not be as famous as Crosson but he is just as expert and just as liberal. He takes issue with Crosson on three counts:

1) no extant text,its all coming form a late copy of Peter,

2) it assumes the literary composition of latter Gospels can be understood to relate to the compositions of earlier ones;

3) Koester believes that the account ends with the empty tomb and has independent sources for the epihanal material.


"A third problem regarding Crossan's hypotheses is related specifically to the formation of reports about Jesus' trial, suffering death, burial, and resurrection. The account of the passion of Jesus must have developed quite eary because it is one and the same account that was used by Mark (and subsequently Matthew and Luke) and John and as will be argued below by the Gospel of Peter. However except for the appearances of Jesus after his resurrection in the various gospels cannot derive from a single source, they are independent of one another. Each of the authors of the extant gospels and of their secondary endings drew these epiphany stories from their own particular tradition, not form a common source....Studies of the passion narrative have shown that all gospels were dependent upon one and the same basic account of the suffering, crucifixion, death and burial of Jesus. But this account ended with the discovery of the empty tomb. With respect to the stories of Jesus' appearances, each of the extant gospels of the canon used different traditions of epiphany stories which they appended to the one canon passion account. This also applies to the Gospel of Peter. There is no reason to assume that any of the epiphany stories at the end of the gospel derive from the same source on which the account of the passion is based."[12]
So Koester differs from Crosson mainly in that he divides the epiphanies up into different sources. Another major distinction between the two is that Crosson finds the story of Jesus burial to be an interpolation from Mark to John. Koester argues that there is no evidence to understand this story as dependent upon Mark.[14] Unfortunately we don't' have space to go through all of the fascinating analysis which leads Koester to his conclusions. Essentially he is comparing the placement of the pericopes and the dependence of one source upon another. What he finds is mutual use made by the canonical and Peter of a an older source that all of the barrow from, but Peter does not come by that material through the canonical, it is independent of them. That source is the Pre Mark Passion Narrative (PMPN)

"The Gospel of Peter, as a whole, is not dependent upon any of the canonical gospels. It is a composition which is analogous to the Gospel of Mark and John. All three writings, independently of each other, use older passion narrative which is based upon an exegetical tradition that was still alive when these gospels were composed and to which the Gospel of Matthew also had access. All five gospels under consideration, Mark, John, and Peter, as well as Matthew and Luke, concluded their gospels with narratives of the appearances of Jesus on the basis of different epiphany stories that were told in different contexts. However, fragments of the epiphany story of Jesus being raised form the tomb, which the Gospel of Peter has preserved in its entirety, were employed in different literary contexts in the Gospels of Mark and Matthew." [14]
Also see my essay Have Gaurds, Will Aruge in which Jurgen Denker and Raymond Brown also agree about the indpeendent nature of GPete. Brown made his reputation proving the case, and pubulshes a huge chart in Death of the Messiah which shows the idendepnt nature and traces it line for line. Unfortunately I can't reproduce the chart.

What all of this means is, that there were independent traditions of the same stories, the same documents, used by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John which were still alive and circulating even when these canonical gospels were written. They represent much older sources and the basic work which all of these others use, goes back to the middle of the first century. It definitely posited Jesus as a flesh and blood man, living in historical context with other humans, and dying on the cross in historical context with other humans, and raising from the dead in historical context, not in some ethereal realm or in outer space. He was not the airy fairy Gnostic redeemer of Doherty, but the living flesh and blood "Son of Man."

Moreover, since the breakdown of Ur gospel and epiphany sources (independent of each other) demands the logical necessity of still other sources, and since the other material described above amounts to the same thing, we can push the envelope even further and say that at the very latest there were independent gospel source circulating in the 40s, well within the life span of eye witnesses, which were based upon the assumption that Jesus was a flesh and blood man, that he had an historical existence. Note: all these "other Gospels" are not merely oriented around the same stories, events, or ideas, but basically they are oriented around the same sentences. There is very little actual new material in any of them, and no new stories. They all essentially assume the same sayings. There is some new material in Thomas, and others, but essentially they are all about the same things. Even the Gospel of Mary which creates a new setting, Mary discussing with the Apostles after Jesus has returned to heaven, but the words are basically patterned after the canonical. It is as though there is an original repository of the words and events and all other versions follow that repository. This repository is most logically explained as the original events! Jesus actual teachings!

Canonical Gospels

The Diatessaon is an attempt at a Harmony of the four canonical Gospels. It was complied by Titian in about AD172, but it contains readings whihc imply that he used versions of the canonical gospels some of which contain pre markan elements.

In an article published in the Back of Helmut Koester's Ancient Christian Gospels, William L. Petersen states:

"Sometimes we stumble across readings which are arguably earlier than the present canonical text. One is Matthew 8:4 (and Parallels) where the canonical text runs "go show yourself to the priests and offer the gift which Moses commanded as a testimony to them" No fewer than 6 Diatessaronic witnesses...give the following (with minor variants) "Go show yourself to the priests and fulfill the law." With eastern and western support and no other known sources from which these Diatessaranic witnesses might have acquired the reading we must conclude that it is the reading of Tatian...The Diatessaronic reading is certainly more congielian to Judaic Christianity than than to the group which latter came to dominate the church and which edited its texts, Gentile Christians. We must hold open the possibility that the present canonical reading might be a revision of an earlier, stricter , more explicit and more Judeo-Christian text, here preserved only in the Diatessaron.[15]
Summary and Conclusion

Koster and Crosson both agree that the PMR was circulating in written form with empty tomb and passion narrative, as early as 50AD

From this notion as a base line for the begining of the process of redaction, and using the traditional dates given the final product of canonical gospels as the base line for the end of the process, we can see that it is quite probable that the canonical gospels were formed between 50 and 95 AD. It appears most likely that the early phase, from the events themselves that form the Gospel, to the circulation of a written narrative, there was a controlled oral tradition that had its hay day in the 30's-40's but probably overlapped into the 60's or 70's. The say sources began to be produced, probably in the 40's, as the first written attempt to remember Jesus' teachings. The production of a written narrative in 50, or there abouts, probably sparked interest among the communities of the faithful in producing their own narrative accounts; after all, they too had eye witnesses.

Between 50-70's those who gravitated toward Gnosticism began emphasizing those saying sources and narrative pericopes that interested them for their seeming Gonostic elements, while the Orthodox honed their own orthodox sources that are reflected in Paul's choices of material,and latter in the canonical gospels themselves. So a great "drying up" process began where by what would become Gnostic lore got it's start, and for that reason was weeded out of the orthodox pile of sayings and doings. By that I mean sayings Like "if you are near to the fire you are near to life" (Gospel of the Savior) or "cleave the stone and I am there" (Thomas) "If Heaven is in the could the birds of the air will get there before you" (Thomas) have a seeming gnostic flavor but could be construed as orthodox. These were used by the Gnsotically inclined and left by the orthodox. That makes sense as we see the earliest battles with gnosticism beginning to heat up in the Pauline literature.

My own theory is that Mark was produced in several forms between 60-70, before finally coming to rest in the form we know it today in 70. During that time Matthew and Luke each copied from different versions of it. John bears some commonality with Mark, according to Koester, becasue both draw upon the PMR. Thus the early formation of John began in 50-s or 60s, the great schism of the group probably happened in the 70's or 80s, with the gnostic bunching leaving for Egypt and producing their own Gnostic redaction of the gospel of John, the orthodox group then producing the final form by adding the prologue which in effect, is the ultimate censor to those who left the group.

The Gospel material was circularizing throughout Church hsitory, form the infancy of the Church to the final production of Canonical Gospels. Thus the skeptical retort that "they weren't written until decades latter" is totally irrelevant. It is not the case,they were being written all along, and they were the focus of the communities from which they sprang, the communities which originally witnessed the events and the ministry of Jesus Christ.


[1-3] I am transposing this paper fromone oe I previouly wote. I tart with fn 4.

[4] John B. Daniels, The Egerton Gospel: It's place in Early Christianity, Dissertation Clairmont, CA 1990. Cited in Helmutt Koester, History and Literature of Early Christianity,second Edition, New York, Berlin: Walter D. Gruyter, 186.

This is from a dissertation cited by major scholar Helmutt Koester., so apparently Daniels did good work as a graduate student, Koester is New Testamemt Studies at Harvard.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Joachim Jeremias, "Unknown Sayings,An Unknown Gospel with Johannine Elements" in Hennecke-Schneemelcher-Wilson, NT Apocrypha vol 1. Westminster John Knox Press; Rev Sub edition (December 1, 1990,96.

[7]Helmut Koester, Ancient Christian Gospels: Their History and Development, London. Oxford, New York: Bloomsbury T&T Clark; 2nd prt. edition, 1992, 215

. [8] Koester, 218).

[9] Philipp Vielhauer, Geschichte,Geschichte der Urchristlichen Literatur einleitung in das Neue Testament, die Apokryphen und die Apostolischen Väter (1975) 646


Philip Vielhauer, History of The original Christian Literature: Introduction to thev New Testment, the Apocrypha, and the Apostolic Fathers. (cited by Koester)

[10] In Koester, 218

[11] Ibid, 218-220

[12] Ibid. 220

[13] Ibid.

[14] Ibid, 240

[15] William L. Petersen Titian's Diatessaron in Helmut Koester, Ancient Christian Gospels: Their History and Development, Philadelphia: Trinity Press International, 1990, p. 424

special answer to 16 things,

This was put on comment section on the isssue. Its not 16 but starts umberingthem at 16.J.L. Schellenberg

Anonymous said... 16) None of my claims about Paul are "ridiculous", though your zeal for Jesus obbiously causes you to overstate your opponents' alleged errors.

i don't even know what they are

You "debunked" nothing about my claims about Paul. Once again, you errarntly think that because the story exists and isn't as contradictory as possible, all readers are intellectually or morally compelled to trust it as truth, or admit their skepticism is unreasonable. Stop using dirty needles, you gutter rat.

i have bo idea whatthehell this guy is refirring to

You also didn't get close to demonstrating that it was my "emotions" that were the basis for my arguments.

obviousoy ths guy thinks i'vevbeen attackig him I don't know who he is.

I wasn't proving atheism from my attack on Paul. I was only criticizing the credibility of Luke and Paul. Their being first-rate liars wouldn't disprove god anymore than it would disprove the tooth-fairy.

17) I agree with you there is no analogy to be found in the Millerite comparison, but the comparison was made by either you or your source. Furthermore, your admission that the Jesus followers did not originally believe in a resurrection sucks for YOU, because it is highly unlikely they would view all the miracles of Jesus and his resurrecting Lazarus, and STILL be so thickheaded as to find his promise of rising from the dead too unbelievable to credit. IMO, the stupidity of the disciples is a literary fiction intended to make the contrast betweeen their stupidity and their discovery of the risen Christ more dramatic than it actually was. Gee, ancient Jews never exaggerated anything, did they?

18) Your inability to express your opinion about my argument, is not an argument. Try again.

19) So you think I made a good argument by saying death of a loved one is more likely to lead to cognitive dissonance? Gee, how much did the disciples "love" Jesus?

20) My theory that the earliest resurrection belief was entirely spiritual in nature is supported by the fact that Luke felt compelled to add fictional physical elements to Paul's absurd "vision" experience of Jesus in Acts, thus winding up giving the reader a completely incoherent story about how Paul could see the other guy standing there, but his traveling companions couldn't see the other guy that was supposed to be there. If 5 people are walking together and experience a car carsh, but only 1 witness testifies to understanding the sound of the screeching tires, while the other 4 testify they didn't understand such sound, you don't have reliable witnesses.

And I don't pretend to know what exactly paul believed about Jesus resurreciton, only that his comments are inconsistent with the spiritualized version given in Acts. It may very well be that as time progressed, Paul's story of his conversion started adding fictional physical elements, the way most scholars insist John was written

give e a lik to whereI aid all this

11:52 AM

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Deity of Christ in Mark

God's Love for Everyone |

There are two views of Christ's nature sloughing it out for supremacy: the adoptionist, which goes back to the early period of the Christian tradition but is not necessarily the oldest view. This idea says Jesus was a regular guy. God adopted him and made like he was the son of God. Why he he did it is unclear, it makes a lot more sense that God would incarnate himself as a man to understand us and to show solidarity with humans.. This is the icornation view, it says the divine logos was born into human life as a man who became Jesus of Nazerath.

I support the second view, "the incarnation." I believe that incornation can account for the adoptionist passages but the adoptionist have to allege that both passages are added later.I am using Mark because the adoptionist propaganda chooses to see Mark as the only valid gospel. That is under the notion that Mark was written first but  really it's veg about the resurrection.

My view of incarnational theory explains and subsumes the adoptionist view because it says that Jesus was born a peasant  and obtained notoriety through his preaching and teaching. Thus God elivated the man Jesus to the poition he had as Lord of the sabath and so on, but that does not negate the devine birth or the fact that he was tagged by God for all of those honors from birth, he was not adopted but first incornated then adopted.

The adoptionists must assume that at some point christians stopped sayig Jesus was born a regular guy and God  adopted him, and begn saying he was born the incarnate logos. Their understanding of religion assumes dishonesty,forgery, and deception. All one needs to do is imagine,why would they accept the switch from adopted son to incarnate logos?  Because religious people are stpuid and easy to fool.

Jesus is the exalted figure who is worshiped alongside the Ancient of Days. In Mark, Jesus as the Son of Man does what only God can do: he forgives sins (Mark 2:10), rules over the Sabbath (Mark 2:28), and promises that he will judge the world (Mark 8:38; Mark 13:26). Jesus Christ is the Son of David, the Son of God, and the Son of Man.

One of the most remarkable biblical affirmations that Jesus is God is in Mark chapter 2. Four men carried a paralytic man to a house where Jesus was teaching, but found they could not get near because of the crowd. However, their determination to bring their friend to Jesus caused them to remove some of the roof and lower him down. The first recorded words of Jesus are stunning: “Son, your sins are forgiven.” On hearing these words, some  religious experts thought, “Who can forgive sins but God alone?”[2]
Jesus claimed to be the Son of Man of Daniel 7, who is the Lord of the Sabbath. “And he said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath’” (2:27–28).[3] Jesus’ words are put at the same level as God’s words. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (13:31).

Jesus identifies Himself as the Son of Man in Daniel 7:13–14. “But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him,

    ‘Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?’ And Jesus said,

    ‘I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.’ And the high priest tore his garments and said, ‘What further witnesses do we need? You have heard his blasphemy’” (14:61–64).

Mark is usually assigned the state of composition  around AD 70. Those who deny christ's diety wll charge that these pro dieity pasages were put in late and just come into the chruch belief in latter years  but the adoptionist position is the original position. The only evidence is that that position is in Mark so it is the original position. They are completely ignorant of the pre Mrk redaction, Pul was pre Mark.

    The author of Mark did not create the empty tomb. "Mark" did echo the deity of Christ; both this and the empty tomb were part of the pre Mark redaction. These passages indicate that Paul knew versions of Jesus' teaching and Gospel stories two decades before Mark was written, What this means is the Gospel material was being transmitted in an era decades before the writing of Mark. This material also indicates oral tradition (as with the pericopes) we can assume this material goes back to era of the events themselves since we only know  about 20 years between Crucifixion and Paul's early epistles.

   chart showing Pauline material in mark


[1] Douglas Sean O'Donnell, "10 things you should know sbout the book of Mark." April 07, 2024,,and%20after%20three%20days%20rise%20again%E2%80%9D%20%28Mark%208%3A30%29.

Douglas Sean O’Donnell (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is the senior vice president of Bible editorial at Crossway. Over the past twenty-five years he has helped train people around the world to read and teach the Bible clearly. He has pastored several churches, served as a professor, and authored or edited over twenty books, including commentaries, Bible studies, children’s books, and a children’s curriculum. He also wrote The Pastor’s Book with R. Kent Hughes and The Beauty and Power of Biblical Exposition

[2]Paul Coxall, "Diety of Christ in the Gospels," UTG, from the series "is Jesus God?" Ap 30,2019,


Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Christ Divine from the Beginning


Adoptionism, also called dynamic monarchianism,[1] is an early Christian nontrinitarian theological doctrine, subsequently revived in various forms, which holds that Jesus was adopted as the Son of God at his baptism, his resurrection, or his ascension.
[1] some seem to assert that this provesthe Trinity just smething was made up latter. It has been asserted thatthisis the christology of Mark.I will argue that while therewere adoptionist groups early this was not the view of the infant chich. Now was it the christology of Mark. I think the iitial reaction of Jesus' deciples to sta,emtslike 'befpre AbrahamwasI am" was to makeexcusesk to assiehe wasn't really saying he's God and so on, He rose from the dead thatmight goa log way toward makingpeople thin he' divine.No doubt there was some kind of adoptionist theology floatimgaroumd we can see it in Romans 1:
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— 2 the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3 regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, 4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. (NIV)

While I think there was an adoptionist element--not only heterodox but within the orthdoox---it was not to the exclusion of the dieity of Christ. We have been led astray aobut what the Jews really thought of Messiah. We assume moern views re the ame as ancient. Alred Edershiem discusses the view of Messiah foundin theearlist formof the Talmud. True this is from the second century he asserts it was oral tradition in the time of Christ and written down lattter.They probaby understood like the Jews of the Talmud, Messiah is premundne (existed before the world)satatthe righthandof God and was quasi divine bit was also adopted as sono God.

In the Book of Enoch (130 BC) The Messiah is designated with such names "the son of God" (it speaks of I and My Son) and "the just" "the elect" "son of man." He is presented as seated by the side of the Ancient of Days, face like a man but as lovely as an Angles, he is the 'son of man' and he has and with him dwells all rightousness. [2].

In The Sybilline Oracles (170BC) Messiah is "the King sent from Heaven" and "King Messiah." In the Psalms of Solomon (150 BC) "The King who reigns is of the house of David" He is actaully refered to in the Greek Kristos Kurios, Christ the Lord! (Ibid).[3]

Paul shows morethan an adoptionist view in Philipians 1,

5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature[b] of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.(NIV)

the term avoce translated "natire" by the NIV v6 is th4e Greek term Morphe. NiV trnslator feltit is bet remedred nature but many disagree.

Greek from = Morphe google "It is the Greek morphe, for which English has no exact equivalent. Unlike "form" in English, morphe does not mean "shape." It is a philosophical term that means "the outward expression of an inner essence." We can derive an illustration of this definition from figure skating." [4]

Thayer's Lexicon "the form by which a person or thing strikes the vision external appearance"[5]

I find it hard to believe that it's so superficioal that Paul just says Jesus looked ike God so he shared equality. Anothr quotefroa sorce that upports nature; "Form (3444) (morphe) refers to the nature or character of something and emphasizes both the internal and external form. In other words morphe refers to the outward display of the inner reality or the essential form of something which never alters."[6]

1 Corinthians 8:6 New International Version 6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

, "Paul states that Jesus is 'the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation…in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell' (Col 1:15-20). Each of these statements affirms the deity of the Lord Jesus."[7]

[1]Williams, D. H. (2012) [2011]. "Adoptionism". The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell. doi:10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0008. ISBN 9781405157629.

[2]Alfred Edersheim,The Life and Times of Jesus The Messiah,New York: Longmans Green and Company.1950,173






Sunday, April 07, 2024

Isaha's suffering servant, Israel or Messiah?

Christians believe and argue the suffering servant m Isaha 53 is a referece to Jesus and the crucifiction and resurrection. Anti missionrie rgue it is not the edsiah bt n olgory of israel the nation. But i will show it canoot be.M

I have a huge aount of material on this issue. I have 4 big pages crammed with stuff. I will be hitting some highlight. for thefull studie see the linkl on thatpages will be links toeaach of the four pages.Here is the link to my pages:

An atheist site:
Isaiah 52 and 53 involve a lengthy passage about the "suffering servant". Christianity considers this a prophesy about Jesus, but could it instead refer to the nation of Israel? It should be noted that Christians are not alone in seeing the text as a prophesy for a messiah; this was a popular belief among Jews around the time of Jesus. However, that does not prove that Isaiah considered it to be a prophesy. So let us consider two completing scenarios.In the first scenario, Isaiah is prophesying the arrival and crucifixion of Jesus.In the second, Isaiah is bemoaning the fate of Israel. Later, his words are re-interpreted as a prophesy of a messiah, and later still Jesus' life is remodelled to fit that text.

It's really stupid to think that, that would have been way out of control. He asserts that linking the SS with Messiah is something Jews only did in Jesus day. No it was the orthodox Jewish word up to the 20t cnetiry. They only chnaged to destory the effectiveness of Is 53as prophesy of Jesus.

on my site Religious a priori I have a whole page tracing the view that SS is messiah from 200 BCE to 150 CE [2]

Page 2 brings it through middle ages to modern times

Abrabanel (1437-1508) said earlier:

"This is also the opinion of our own learned men in the majority of their Midrashim."

it's taken to be their actual opinion not merely figurative. He's speaking of the interp of Suffering Servant as Messiah.

Rabbi MOSES Alschech(1508-1600) says: "Our Rabbis with one voice accept and affirm the opinion ..that the prophet is speaking of the Messiah, and we shall ourselves also adhere to the same view."
[3] Into modern times.

"Rabbi Mosheh Kohen Ibn Crispin: This rabbi described those who interpret Isaiah 53 as referring to Israel as those: "having forsaken the knowledge of our Teachers, and inclined after the `stubbornness of their own hearts,' and of their own opinion, I am pleased to interpret it, in accordance with the teaching of our Rabbis, of the King Messiah....This prophecy was delivered by Isaiah at the divine command for the purpose of making known to us something about the nature of the future Messiah, who is to come and deliver Israel, and his life from the day when he arrives at discretion until his advent as a redeemer, in order that if anyone should arise claiming to be himself the Messiah, we may reflect, and look to see whether we can observe in him any resemblance to the traits described here; if there is any such resemblance, then we may believe that he is the Messiah our righteousness; but if not, we cannot do so." (From his commentary on Isaiah, quoted in The Fifty-third Chapter of Isaiah According to the Jewish Interpreters, Ktav Publishing House, 1969, Volume 2, pages 99-114.)
[4] Notice he describes those who say SS is Israel as those: "having forsaken the knowledge of our Teachers" this is modermm, 20th centiry.

After Rashi had popularized the view of Isaiah 53 as referring to Israel, Rabbi Don Yitzchak Abarbanel circa 1500, who did NOT interpret Isaiah 53 as Messianic, concedes the fact that the majority did.

He stated:

"The first question is to ascertain of whom this refers; for the learned among the Nazarenes expound it of the man who was crucified in Jerusalem at the end of the Second Temple . . . Yochanan ben Uzziel interpreted it in the Targum of the future messiah; but this is also the opinion of the learned men in the MAJORITY [emphasis added] of the midrashim."[5] David Baron was a Hebrew-Christian writer of the late 19th century. His "Servant of Jehovah" is his commentary on Isaiah 53, focusing on the meaning of the Hebrew words in the text.

In fact, until Rashi (Rabbi Solomon Yizchaki, 1040-1105) applied it to the Jewish nation, the Messianic interpretation of this chapter was almost universally adopted by Jews, and his view, which we shall examine presently, although recieved by Ibn Ezra, Kimchi, and others, was rejected as unsatisfactory by many others, one of whom (R. Mosheh Kohen Ibn Crispin, of Cordova, and afterwards Toledo, fourteenth century, who says rightly, of those who for controversial reasons applied this prophecy to Israel, that "the doors of literal interpretation of this chapter were shut in their face, and that they wearied themselves to find the entrance, having forsaken the knowledge of our teachers, and inclined after the stubborness of their own hearts and of their own opinions." According to Ibn Crispin, the interpretation adopted by Rashi "distorts the passage from its natural meaning", and that in truth "it was given of God as a description of the Messiah, whereby, when any should claim to be the Messiah, to judge by the resemblance or non-resemblance to it whether he were the Messiah or not." cease to exist. And just as the spring loses its value, becomes spoiled and moldy when it has lost its mission and does not water the stream, so would Jewry itself become petrified, barren, and dry if there were no Christendom to fructify it. Without Christendom, Jews would become a second tribe of Samaritans. The two are one. And notwithstanding the heritage of blood and fire which passionate enmity has brought between them, they are two parts of a single whole, two poles of the world which are always drawn to each other, and no deliverance, no peace, and no salvation can come until the two halves are joined together and become one part of God.

[1]on creationsim, "Isaiah's Suffering Servant." website, July 15, 2014"

[2]Joseph Hinman, "Rabbinical Tradition Backs SS as Messiah" The Religious a priori, website, no date goven.


[4]Rabbi Mosheh Kohen Ibn Crispin.From his commentary on Isaiah, quoted in The Fifty-third Chapter of Isaiah According to the Jewish Interpreters, Ktav Publishing House, 1969, Volume 2, pages 99-114.

[5]Rabbi Ginsburg of the Yeshivah Tomchei Temimim, Kfar Chabad, Beis Moshiach Magazine Online, ar8_83m

[6]David Baron, judeo Christian Research, websitem, "An Exposition of Isaiah 53"