Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Holy Wednesday: hate, conspiracy, betrayal

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
Behold, I have told you before
(Mt 24:14-25).
Even as Jesus was enlightening the masses with a little sermon on the Mount of Olives, and healing the odd leper in Bethany, Judas was conspiring with the Sanhedrin to betray him for 30 pieces of silver. That's what we remember on Holy Wednesday. Funny, isn't it, that the one who betrayed the Lord should get his own day of commemoration.
Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests,
And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.
And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.
And from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him
(Mt 26:14-16).
Perhaps Jesus disappointed; perhaps he failed to meet Judas's messianic expectations; perhaps Judas just couldn't resist the money. Perhaps, even, he had no choice: Jesus had to be betrayed for prophecy to be fulfilled, and Judas was the vessel who was given over to Satan ("Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot [Lk 22:3]). His heart was the first to hate the Son of God, and when that hate corrodes the soul, you wish ill, plot downfall, and rejoice in comeuppance.

It's easy for us to wonder and judge with incredulity. Just how can you spend so much time in a man’s company and not get the measure of his character? How could Judas not know? How could he not believe? Had he not seen with his own eyes? How could he not trust?

The reason is that he did not love, or that he loved himself, his ambition and money far more. Judas is one of those friends who aren’t really friends: you know the sort – the superficial hangers-on; those who like to be seen with you or use you for their own ends; those who boast and name-drop, whose every conversation becomes a tedious discourse about them. The world of politics is full of such people. So is the Church. They profess eternal friendship and mouth their undying loyalty while they plot to stab you in the back. As The Lady observed, it is "treachery with a smile".

As long as Judas lined his pockets, he never really paused to consider the inevitable consequences for Jesus. That would have been an act of love, yet his proud and self-righteous heart was consumed with hate, selfishness and greed.  And that's when Satan enters in.
 
Friends are God’s gift of love: they are there to nurture and support, and also to correct and rebuke. On this Holy Wednesday, let us thank God for them, and reflect on forgiving those who have persecuted or betrayed us – even if they have caused us to weep a river of heartache and sorrow.

56 Comments:

Blogger David Hussell said...

Your Grace, an excellent, thoughtful piece, so thank you.

True friends are a rare gift, undoubtedly.

Sadly, your point in third from last paragraph, about politics and the Church is all too true, having experienced a little of both myself, but t'was ever thus, I suspect.

16 April 2014 at 08:45  
Blogger IanCad said...

Thank you YG for these thoughtful sermonettes freely given to us during this week of weeks.

16 April 2014 at 09:13  
Blogger Len said...

These' sermonettes' are extremely though provoking and I thank His Grace for that.
Jesus had several trials(all which were illegal I believe)but we all put Jesus Christ 'on trial' in some way or another.
There definitely are some very deep questions to ask about Jesus and I am not sure anyone can answer them fully.It would seem that only God can truly reveal Christ and His nature by divine revelation. There is a 'knowing' which comes through the Holy Spirit touching the human spirit not purely through the intellect attempting to grasp spiritual truths.
There were those who walked with Christ saw the miracles heard the teaching and then walked away and turned their backs on Him.They loved their lives too much and the price of following Christ was too great for them.
There are those[then and today] who see Christs 'crowd pulling ability' and try to make capital of that' fleecing the sheep' is a very profitable business.Perhaps this was Judas`s only intention?.
What is clear through all the drama being enacted in the run up to Calvary was that God was in total control throughout.


16 April 2014 at 10:41  
Blogger The Explorer said...

What is 'the abomination of desolation'?

I would say:

1) The 70AD destruction of the Temple.

2) Tribulation during the history of the Church.

3) The Great Tribulation that heralds the end of the present order.

Agreement/disagreement welcome.

16 April 2014 at 10:58  
Blogger The Explorer said...

"So I took the thirty pieces of silver..." 'Zechariah' 11: 12-13.

Judas is offered thirty pieces of silver.

1. Fulfilment of prophecy.

2. Why, apart from that, thirty pieces? Symbolic amount? Anybody know?

16 April 2014 at 11:07  
Blogger Len said...

The first abomination was ;


The Syrian army marched into Jerusalem and many of the people were killed and others escaped to the hills. Only the known Hellenists were allowed to remain. Orders were given: NO Sabbath, NO Holy Days, and NO Circumcision. A Statue of Zeus/Antiochus was placed in the Temple above the altar. The most detestable animals (the pig) were brought and sacrificed on the altar. An abominable act was perpetrated on Kislev 25, 168 BC according to the Book of Maccabees that "left the Jewish people desolate." (They call this the Abomination of Desolation in Daniel) but Jesus taught that this was a preliminary occurrence of a greater fulfillment coming in the last days, during the seventieth week of Daniel.

Apparently history will repeat itself. When the Temple is rebuilt an Idol will be placed in the Holy Place .

16 April 2014 at 11:11  
Blogger Len said...

Thirty pieces of silver was the price of a slave I believe?.

16 April 2014 at 11:14  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Thanks, Len, for both of those.

16 April 2014 at 11:16  
Blogger David Hussell said...

The Explorer + Len,

Yes the price of a slave was 30 pieces of silver, that would be the standard compensation that you would have to pay the slave owner if you accidentally killed his slave. The market price would be more variable I would conjecture, but I'm not sure on that last point.

The "abomination of desolation" . Boring I know, but I agree with your list.

16 April 2014 at 11:23  
Blogger The Explorer said...

David H:

If the list is accurate, then the sort of insuperable difficulties encountered by Schweitzer about an erroneous Second Coming within the lifetime of the disciples simply evaporate.

16 April 2014 at 11:34  
Blogger meema said...

Judas was chosen because he was the “type”. We have all met the type, self-centered, short-sighted and foolish. Which makes the point that God freely uses both good vessels and bad, for His own purpose. A sobering thought one ought to consider.

I often ask but fail to get a satisfactory answer to several questions:

Why would Christ teach, to the people gathered to listen to Him on the Mount of Olives, about things to happen thousands of years in the future? Would it not be more likely that He would be speaking directly to them for their sakes, regarding their lifetime?
When the Angel gave Daniel the formula, that translated, allowed for 490 years from the call to rebuild the Temple, for the old covenant people to wake up and return to God, why would there be a delay for thousands of years to complete 490 years?
If the Third Temple is spiritual, “not built by the hands of man” how can a flesh and blood antichrist stand in it?

Perhaps, as had already begun in the first century, twisted doctrine and certain “types” of people had already been attempting to adulterate the pure gospel to lead many astray. Paul preached against those who tried to bring Jewish customs back into the church. John preached agains the gnostics who were bringing their particular kind of heresy to the first century followers of The Way.

Last question:

If Jesus Christ, Himself, did not know the hour or the day of the End, by HIs own admission, how could Satan know? If Satan doesn’t know, why would he wait two millennia to begin trying to bring it about?

One more last question:

Where in Revelation is there a mention of a seven year tribulation?

For Him,
Meema

16 April 2014 at 12:10  
Blogger John Thomas said...

Of course, the role of Judas - as your Grace reveals - raises all the questions about free choice/determinism, destiny, level of culpability, etc., etc.
The Judas question that always exercises me is: Why did the Chief Priests need anyone to "betray" Jesus? Why did they expend the money? It would have been blindingly obvious which one Jesus was, among the others?

16 April 2014 at 12:47  
Blogger Nath said...

Isn't it strange how even we human beings can look upon a person and know from their "type", their background and their values what they will do and what choices they will make in a whole raft of situations.

On occasion, even, we invite a person to make a choice knowing exactly what the outcome will be.

Yet when God foreknows how someone will respond logically prior to that person's temporal act (either by knowing that person perfectly or being able to view the whole swathe of time in a simple glance) we call it predetermined.

If we in our finitude had the power to glimpse the results of others' future choices would anyone presuppose that we determined their outcome? Would we simply not call it foreknowledge? Would our knowledge ahead of time still not be dependent on that event occuring in the future? Of course, our knowledge would still remain contingent on the event occuring its just the temporal order of things is flipped.

Maybe the normal order of Event followed by Knowing is merely a condition of our fallen humanity in which we live in a 1/2 dimension of time.

Maybe God is not constrained by this "normality"?

Let us take this one step further. Maybe God's foreknowledge extends to the hypothetical as well as the actual? In a similar way that we know how a person may respond given a simple choice, perhaps God has this down to perfection?

Maybe God "prior to" his first creative acts foreknew the hypothetical choices that people would freely make in the various realities of creation he could instantiate?

I believe this type of formulation was developed by a Catholic theologian called Joseph Moliner a few hundred years back. And it seems to me that this exploration of freewill and determinism is very helpful and also explores one way in which prayer itself could be seen as a creative act - its not that it brings something into being but brought something into being that would eventually happen (in direct response to one's prayers) at the first instant of creation.

Thus God is sovereign overall AND we have freewill.

Plus I believe it also speaks to the problem of suffering and the free-will defence.

God's creative choices are limited by what we would freely do. Thus we could say every human being that has or will exists is a co-collaborator in the creative act. We all bear responsibility for the problem of evil.

Just a few thoughts.

16 April 2014 at 13:13  
Blogger David Hussell said...

John Thomas @ 12.47

Yes you are right, from a practical point of view they didn't need a "betrayer" as he was very visible. The visibility and availability, for capture, point was made by Jesus to them of course.

So there must have been some political or conscience motivation at play maybe. Perhaps it allowed them to blame a scapegoat, pretending to themselves, that it wasn't them who betrayed a fellow Jew to the occupying authority ?

16 April 2014 at 13:18  
Blogger IanCad said...

The Explorer @ 10:58 asked:

"What is 'the abomination of desolation'?

A big question that needs a bigger answer.
Allow me to take a stab at boiling it down.

Biblically it seems to have a triple application:

The destruction of the First Temple.
The destruction of the Second temple.
A future application prior to the coming of Christ.

It may be helpful to understand these events as:
"The Abomination that Leads to Desolation."

Perhaps also "Abomination" should be understood as an outrage against the law and word of God.
"Desolation" equates to destruction.

Briefly, ch. 36 of 2nd Chronicles provides us with a timeline of the first destruction.
Jeremiah 17:19-27 warns Israel of the wrath and penalties for rejecting God's Law.
Ezekiel 8:16 defines the ultimate insult to God. Sun worship.

Our Saviour in Matthew 24:15 refers us to the book of Daniel 9:25-27 wherein the second application is prophesied; And the reason:
The rejection of The Messiah.

Lastly, Dan. 8:13, 11:31, 12:11. Revelation chs.13 and 14 apprise us fully of the events prior to the coming of our Saviour.

16 April 2014 at 13:27  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Re the above picture-
The oldest known portrait of Jesus, found in Syria and dated to about 235, shows him as a beardless young man of authoritative and dignified bearing. He is depicted dressed in the style of a young philosopher, with close-cropped hair and wearing a tunic and pallium – signs of good breeding in Greco-Roman society.

16 April 2014 at 13:58  
Blogger Len said...

IanCad,

'Ezekiel 8:16 defines the ultimate insult to God. Sun worship.'

We see this thread[sun worship] run right throughout religions from the beginning of time worldwide up to the present day.This is described in' Romans' as those who worship the creation rather than the Creator.
We see the sun disc and the sunburst represented worldwide today from the head of the statue of Liberty to 'the monstrance' that holds the wafer in Catholicism.



16 April 2014 at 15:24  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Meema @ 12:10

In 'Why I am not a Christian' Bertrand Russell cited Christ's "abomination of desolation" and "this generation will live to see it all". Russell thought Christ meant that the world would end during the lifespan of the disciples. It didn't happen; therefore, Christianity is false.

However, if Christ was predicting the destruction of the Temple (which did happen in the lifespan of "this generation") and comparing it to how the world would end, then Russell was wrong.

The interpretation is a problem for liberal theologians/clergy who do not accept the divinity of Christ. (Change of occupation in order?) Concede that Christ could predict the future (subject to the limitations of his human side) and what else might have to be conceded about him?

For theological liberals, therefore, 'Matthew' MUST have been written some time after 70AD. That way, the disturbing 'prophecy' about the Temple can be safely disposed of.

Re the seven-year tribulation in 'Revelation'. Not straightforward to answer (without evading the question) because it also depends on how one interprets the Millennium.

Remember that "seven" in 'Revelation' is a highly-symbolic number meaning strength, or completeness. More significant is the "time and times and half a time": the three and a half years of the Great Tribulation. Half of seven: a time cut short. Not a literal timespan.

16 April 2014 at 17:50  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Meema:

The idea of the seven years comes, I think, subject to correction, from 'Daniel' Chapter 9.

The forty-two months of power of the Beast is 'Revelation' 13:5.

The interpretation of this sort of stuff is difficult. I read it, but rely on the expertise of others for explanation.

16 April 2014 at 17:59  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Ian Cad @ 13:27

Thanks for that. I had been neglecting the significance of the destruction of the First Temple. You correct the general sequence.

16 April 2014 at 18:03  
Blogger David Hussell said...

The Explorer

I read these interpretations with interest but tend to move on quickly because it would be exceedingly easy to be very wrong. Jesus seemed to be able to predict future events, the sacking of the Temple, but I'm happy to trust and wait. The chances are that most of these events will come way after my time on planet earth, so I'll just get on with the aspects of the faith that we do understand better. To much interpretation may put unbelievers off I suspect.

16 April 2014 at 18:26  
Blogger The Explorer said...

David H @ 18:26

Quite so.

In discussion with unbelievers on these issues, especially those (a diminishing number nowadays) who have read Russell, I am content to make two points.

1. That Russell was much too limited (not to say ignorant) in his assertions.

2. That theological liberals often reach their stance less from scholarship than from their unbelieving presuppositions: Christ was not divine; therefore...

Beyond that, I'm completely undogmatic and tentative.

16 April 2014 at 18:40  
Blogger Charles McEwan said...

The Angel who spoke to Daniel mentioned that the prophesy had to be sealed away until the time of the end and the events which we can use to identify the time are the “going forth of the message to return and rebuild Jerusalem” and also that the return would be in a time of trouble. The return of the Jews after the Babylonian exile 2,600 years ago was facilitated by Cyrus the Persian king whereas the current return has been very much in a time of trouble. The going forth of the message was the UN declaration in 1947. Daniel’s prophecy goes on to state that 70 weeks are decreed for an end to transgression and the anointing of the holy of holies i.e. the coming of Jesus as Messiah. 70 years (weeks) from 1947 takes us to 2017 but Jesus said that before his return there will be such tribulation that there will be survivors only because the time will be shortened and of course St Paul tells us that before Jesus returns, the anti-christ will appear first so we would expect wars, famines, refugees, the killing of the innocent, lawlessness and Satanism. Looking at the world today we seem to be heading very quickly in that direction. In 1929 Our Lady prophesied peace if the Pope would consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. So far it has not been done and now we see Russian expansionism re-established. These things I fear will not be sorted by political discussion. We need the power of God in a world that so far has told him to sod off.

16 April 2014 at 18:48  
Blogger parepidemos said...

Thank you.

16 April 2014 at 21:07  
Blogger Frater minor said...

Dear Meema 12:10

[i]Why would Christ teach, to the people gathered to listen to Him on the Mount of Olives, about things to happen thousands of years in the future? Would it not be more likely that He would be speaking directly to them for their sakes, regarding their lifetime?[/i]

I do not claim to know what was in the mind of Christ when he was teaching. However, Jesus was aware that although Heaven and Earth might pass away, his words would never pass away, so he quite possibly was conscious that we would be reading them two thousand years later.
He taught that on his return, there would be some who would be seeking their own gain, and some who would be seeking God's kingdom. This teaching has been relevant in every generation since he spoke.

[i]When the Angel gave Daniel the formula, that translated, allowed for 490 years from the call to rebuild the Temple, for the old covenant people to wake up and return to God, why would there be a delay for thousands of years to complete 490 years? [/i]

Again, I cannot claim to know God's thinking. But it seems to me that Daniel's prophecy gave a definite timeline so that when Jesus came, those who believed God's word would recognise him for who he was. The Jews of Beroea, for example, were convinced from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ foretold, so that they believed in him.
So it seems that it was not that God gave the Jews 490 years to wake up, it was a marker that he put down so that those with ears to hear would realise the truth.

The 2000 years that have elapsed so far have happened to give time for us to fulfil the Commission of Christ to make disciples of all nations. That job has not quite been completed just yet.


Frater minor

16 April 2014 at 23:50  
Blogger Frater minor said...

If Jesus Christ, Himself, did not know the hour or the day of the End, by HIs own admission, how could Satan know? If Satan doesn’t know, why would he wait two millennia to begin trying to bring it about?

Satan did not wait two millenia. He has been opposing the work of God ever since the time of Adam.



Frater minor

16 April 2014 at 23:52  
Blogger Frater minor said...

The Judas question that always exercises me is: Why did the Chief Priests need anyone to "betray" Jesus? Why did they expend the money? It would have been blindingly obvious which one Jesus was, among the others?

It seems to me that it was not blindingly obvious at all.
The authorities knew Jesus was from Galilee, but it is quite possible that they were not sure just what he looked like.
Some of the Pharisees had met Jesus (eg Nicodemus and Simon), but I would speculate that these ones were not part of the conspiracy.


Frater minor

16 April 2014 at 23:55  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Frater minor, Happy Jack says the Jewish authorities most probably also feared the reaction of the crowds if they took Him publically. Just a few days before He had been greeted as a hero by the crowds and Jerusalem was a volatile place. Best done in secrecy, in the dead of night and in a quiet location away from others.

17 April 2014 at 00:03  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Oh, and Happy Jack thinks it's best if he just lives each day as it comes and have trust in God.

Jack cannot fathom the detail of God's great plan. Scripture tells us the end game and gives us clues about how it is to come about. We each play the part that has been appointed to us through God's foreknowledge of us and events. Some parts are small; some momentous. Some events are seemingly inconsequential; some portentous.

Let us pray our part promotes His will and does not resist or attempt to hinder it. We cannot force God's hand; neither can we stop Him achieving His purposes at His time of choosing. All we can do is our best to live according to His commandments.

And saying all this is, from Jack's experience, is easier said than done.

17 April 2014 at 00:44  
Blogger Manfarang said...

The King of the Jews
Another troublesome radical that the Romans decided to rub out as they had done to others.
He was not left on the "cross" for more than a few hours and may have lapsed into a coma.
His followers, Jewish "Christians"
did not believe he was divine but was the messiah who would deliver a new kingdom on earth.

17 April 2014 at 05:23  
Blogger Ivan said...

Oh please Manfarang, when the Roman soldiers went around to break the shinbones of those crucified, they did not have when they came to Jesus, as he was already dead.

17 April 2014 at 05:55  
Blogger Ivan said...

... they did have to when they...

17 April 2014 at 05:56  
Blogger IanCad said...

Frater minor,

I'm sure that there were several on this blog who wanted to answer Meema but hoped that someone else would step up and save them the effort.

I'm one of them.

Thank you. You did it well.

17 April 2014 at 09:01  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Ivan
When they came to Jesus, a little known leader of a small Jewish sect, they thought they might have got the wrong man and so took the body down and had it "buried" and kept under guard but during the night the Guards became frightened by an earthquake and ran away.When they returned the body was not there.So who was this mysterious man?

17 April 2014 at 11:51  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Sad to reflect on Judas. However it is comforting in a glum kind of way to realise that the church has always contained ' false brethren". Would that it was otherwise, but since it is so, best to know.

By their fruits shall you know them.

17 April 2014 at 12:02  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Manfarang @ 11:51

To which earthquake are you referring?

'Matthew' mentions a Friday earthquake at the death of Christ, and another on Sunday morning.

17 April 2014 at 12:22  
Blogger meema said...

To Explorer, Frater minor and others,

My questions were rhetorical. Sometimes a point is best made by asking rather than telling. To put it as succinctly as possible, I believe manmade doctrine has been planted into the original gospel - tares growing up with the wheat. It is my concern that the Rapture Doctrine has done more harm by amalgamating and thusly obfuscating the truth about Christ’s return. To be clear, I do believe, no, actually I know, not just believe, that Christ is returning for His bride. But who is His Bride?

Romans 8
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

For Him,
Meema

17 April 2014 at 12:59  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Explorer
The one according to experts overestimated by 10 times at least! A 9th degree event is described as "near-to-total destruction with 50k deaths", which would make it an event of epic historical proportions and not simply little more than a footnote.

17 April 2014 at 14:21  
Blogger Manfarang said...

The 3.2-magnitude earthquake, powered from a depth of 2.5 miles, struck the Oakham area of Rutland at 7.07am.
Well there you go!

17 April 2014 at 15:15  
Blogger Len said...

meema,
'Who is His bride'?.
A very good question.
I also believe that man made doctrines have been implanted not IN but ON the original Gospel.

There are those who believe they are 'the bride' of Christ But Jesus will rebuke these and say

'I Never Knew You'.

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’(Matthew 7:21-23)

Apparently you can do lots of' good works' for your church and your community... but never have had any sort of relationship with the bridegroom.




17 April 2014 at 20:41  
Blogger meema said...

Len,

I can’t argue against that at all. I’ve had this discussion with those who interpret the parable of the ten virgins in all manner of ways–to suit their doctrine. But I can’t see how it could be more clear. The door is closed. By broadening the study, one can go up a few verses to Matthew 24:45 and see a similar fate for the evil servant who behaves how he wishes because he isn’t expecting the master to return.

Who is the Bride, then? Could it be as simple as the good and faithful servants?

17 April 2014 at 21:16  
Blogger Ivan said...

Manfarang who are the "they" here? The soldiers? Why should they care? It should make little difference to them which Jew or other is dead. Actually Matthew's earthquake doesn't quite cut it as a wondrous event. The tremendous cosmic marker was the sundering of the "veil of the Temple" in Mark. Illustrated with the cosmography of that era, the sundering of that veil, was accompanied by the hermetic principle, with a shifting of the ecliptic plane, as would befit the passing of the Word through whom the World was made.

18 April 2014 at 06:09  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Ivan
Who are the they?
The Roman occupiers who were concerned about a Jewish uprising.
Others had been put to death before in the same manner with the same concerns.
The writers of the early Christian scriptures were anxious to blame the death of Jesus on the Jews so as not to upset their Roman occupiers.

18 April 2014 at 10:27  
Blogger Len said...

Meema, I can only think that 'the Bride of Christ' are ones that have a personal relationship with Christ and He knows them by being' one spirit' with them.
'But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit'. ( 1Corinthians 6:17)

If I stood in Church waiting for my bride and a mystery woman turned up claiming to be my bride and I had never seen her before I also would say' I never knew you?'.

18 April 2014 at 10:35  
Blogger Ivan said...

Come on, whether they blamed the Jews or the Romans made no difference to the tribunes as they were a small sect, pretty much under the radar as far as the Roman Empire was concerned. Portions of the Gospels have been dated to AD 50+ by the late Carsten Theide, This is not time enough, for redaction and revision to please current authorities. The Romans were not fools, why should they care about a non-violent sect when they had their hands full with Sicaris and Zealots.

18 April 2014 at 16:17  
Blogger Manfarang said...

During the 66AD revolt the Jewish Christian Church fled from Jerusalem.
Their refusal to become associated with the second great Jewish revolt of 132-5 cost them dear in terms of violence from their fellow Jews who regarded them as traitors.
Like the Jewish Christ followers the surving leaders of mainstream Judaism were forced to regroup after the great revolt away from Jerusalem and this gave them a unity of belief Judaism had not previously possesed.
When the Gospels were compiled the descendents of the Pharisees were a living force, unlike the Sadducees who were the ones responsible for the death of Jesus but it was the Pharisees who come in for far more abuse rcorded by the Gospel writers who had become strongly opposed to them.

19 April 2014 at 03:41  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Earthquake in Mexico on Good Friday.

19 April 2014 at 03:53  
Blogger Ivan said...


More likely the Jewish Christians figured after the death of James their head -"the brother of Jesus" - @ AD62 at the hands of the Sanhedrin that they had better get out of Dodge.

Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so (the High Priest) assembled the Sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Messiah, whose name was James, and some others; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned.

which is from Josephus and is part of an extended article by Tim O'Neill a self described atheist at his blog,

http://armariummagnus.blogspot.sg/2014/01/did-jesus-exist-jesus-myth-theory-again.html


Earthquake in Mexico? I suppose the signs and portends are apportioned according to local conditions. Whenever I was in Kerela for Good Friday, it was invariably thunderstorms around three pm.

19 April 2014 at 04:28  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Ivan
"The Romans were not fools, why should they care about a non-violent sect"
Then why did they execute Paul and Peter in Rome?

19 April 2014 at 08:59  
Blogger Manfarang said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

19 April 2014 at 08:59  
Blogger Ivan said...


Manfarang, that was in Rome years later, certain instigators, were behind it. This in spite of St Paul's constant protestations that he was entitled to protection as a Roman citizen. No record exists of St Peter, or St Paul, or St James preaching sedition against Rome. On the contrary Christians were enjoined to pray for lawful authority. The Apocalypse of St John, one strand of which can be read as a condemnation of Rome, was written when he was an old man at Mt Patmos, much water had passed under the bridge by then. In Jerusalem much earlier when the Christians were a fledgling sect, it was largely the establishment Jews that was behind their murderous harassment. The action after Jesus' death takes place over a few decades. All manner of narratives can be spun to fit the data. This can be compared to the revisionism today that blames the Allies for WW11. When adjudicating these contentious claims it is of utmost importance to firstly keep the chronology in order, and secondly keep an intelligent view of the possibilities that were open to the protagonists. Otherwise history becomes a he says, she says story into which any and all kinds of interpretations can be fitted according to the needs of the hour.

20 April 2014 at 10:03  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Who were the certain instigators?

20 April 2014 at 15:07  
Blogger Ivan said...


Those who blamed the Christians for starting the fire in Rome. May have been the madman Nero himself and his lovely entourage.

20 April 2014 at 15:24  
Blogger Ivan said...


Manfarang, if you are leaving your ELIZA Rogerian machine on, I may not play any further.

20 April 2014 at 15:28  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Rome was on the edge of the spread of early Christianity and it seems the early Christians there were Greek converts.They would not have been initally seen as distict from the Jews.
In Jerusalem the Jews would have been understandably hostile to Paul so no wonder he left for Rome.He didn't have much choice.
In Rome his case may never have been brought to trial.
(Gerrie Nel not Eliza. What in fact probably happened by looking at the historical background and sources. In this case lack of sources)
In Rome when Christianity became identified as being different from Judaism persecution began because it was seen as superstition.
Neroian persecution was limited to the city of Rome First Peter may refer to the persecution of Christians in Asia Minor during the reign of the emperor Domitian (81–96).
In fact I would conclude that neither Paul or Peter died in the manner described by later Christians as Rome began to emerge as an important center for Christainity.

21 April 2014 at 07:33  
Blogger Ivan said...


All religions are superstitions to those who are not adherents. This does not explain anything. Is a Jew allowed to worship the Emperor? To do so is an explicit, mortal, violation of the First Commandment. That being the case, why were Christians singled out because they worshipped a man-god. The Christians were gaining adherents from the lower classes and those of the upper classes with some intelligence. This clearly was a threat to the Roman power structure, and the attempt to extirpate Christianity was an ongoing project that lasted centuries. So far I think I am in agreement. But at its nascent stage it was the Jewish faction aligned with the powers that be that condemned Jesus, going on to the persecutions that culminated in the death of St James.

I suppose I have to add the usual caveats, that I do not think most or even a substantial fraction of the Jewish people at that time gave much thought to killing Jesus and His band.

22 April 2014 at 06:39  

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