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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Corky's Excellent Points

Again, I'm not picking on Corky, but pointing out that he actually does elevate the whole discussion to a level wothy of dialogue. And his points are excellent. Good, well reasoned responses to get folks to reach for that higher level of understanding.

Of course he and I don't agree, but that's what intelligent discussion is all about. It's about growth, learning, dialogue and sharing.
The points Corky makes that really intrigues me is in regard to government and law. For example, he points out that the Sadducees urged the people to submit to Roman law, not to revolt, but to have patience, that the "zealots" were the ones that usually caused trouble.

In fact, the Sadducees were not well thought of by the general population of Israel. They were considered the Quislings of the Roman government, puppets who ruled simply by the permission of the Roman Empire.

Even worse were the publicans, or tax collectors, who were generally lumped together with "sinners" in the New testament. Jesus associated with "publicans and sinners".

In fact, Jesus told his followers in Matthew 18 that, if a person didn't want to settle matters within the peaceful and non-vengeful treatment of the church or community, that person was to be shunned as a "gentile or tax collector". Not much of a statement in support of Sadducee government.

Pharisees, on the other hand, in spite of their general legislative popularity, were condemned as "Hypocrites!". Jesus said to call no man rabbi, and rabbis were Pharisees. Even though they sat in Moses' seat, they were not to be called "rabbi' or "master". In fact, Jesus accused them of "taking away the key of knowledge" from the people. Pharisees said that certain among them, with proper training and discipline, could understand and define the law of God. Jesus said they were pretentious, that the "key of knowledge" was as much the property of the people as of the Pharisees, and Paul completely insulted them by saying that the natural mind cannot be subject to God's laws, period.

The Sadducees were eliminated finally by the Pharisees, who waged "jihad" against the Roman Empire, only to see themselves scattered to the winds yet again. As Corky pointed out, the zealots gained absolutely nothing.

Why? because they believed something that simply wasn't true. They were NOT God's appointed representatives to establish God's kingdom on earth. It was impossible for any human to claim that right.

And, neither are the "Christians" of today given that right, when you get down to it. If no natural mind can be subject to God, then it logically follows that no "natural" kingdom of God on earth can be established by human will. Can't be done!

There is no "true church of God' organized by any human, nor can there be. To assume there is, one would have to assume that his/her natural mind is the exception to the rule of Romans 8:7.

"I know Paul says that the natural mind cannot be subject to God's law, but my mind is the exception, and I can decide otherwise". Yeah, right. That's pretty much the same attitude attributed to "Lucifer" in the Old Testament. "I will ascend into heaven, I will establish my will..." It's also pretty much what the Pharisees stated, with the very best of intentions. They believed that their minds, with proper training and discipline, actually could be subject to God's law, and they would represent God faithfully to the people. Jesus called them hypocrites, and Paul said it couldn't be done. And so did Kurt Godel about 1900 years later.

Corky's conclusions are correct except for one important point: the bible already pointed these things out.


Corky said...

It is true that "the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God." (Rom. 8:7-8).

However, "ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." (verse 9).

"For to be carnally minded (the natural mind) is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." (verse 6).

This is the thing then, does anyone have "the Spirit of Christ"? If so, then you are not in the flesh - that's what Paul says, not Corky.

Does anyone have "the Spirit of God" dwelling in them? If so, then there is no enmity between them and God. This is what Paul is saying, not Corky.

What Corky is saying is that no one has God's Spirit dwelling in them - not today, anyway and it is because of something else Paul said:

"For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth." (Rom. 9:28).

That "short work" was over 1900 years ago and was only for that single generation - 30-70 AD.

Luk 21:32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.

Since that time there are no witnesses, there can't be, unless they are 2,000 years old and I somehow doubt that.

Anyone who claims that they are a witness of Christ and his supposed resurrection since that time is a damn liar. No one can be a witness except a witness, hearsay doesn't count.

The New Testament writers quote the book of Enoch about 130 times and if anyone wonders where the idea of "the lake of fire" and going to hell and "the son of man" ruling the earth comes from, they should read that book.

Hey, I know - it's not scripture but evidently the early Christians thought it was.

Questeruk said...

Corky said...

“The New Testament writers quote the book of Enoch about 130 times”

Wow – is this some new revelation Corky? 130 times?

Now I am aware of ONE time in Jude. But even that is open to doubt.

Had the Book of Enoch even been written at the time of Jude’s letter? Possibly Jude was quoting Jewish tradition of what Enoch said, and the Book of Enoch also picked up on this same tradition.

Of course that is just speculation – so one quote, yes, maybe – but 130 quotes??

Could you provide some backing for that statement?

Byker Bob said...

Which book of Enoch? I believe there are several, and scholars tend to give the most weight to the first one. All are considered to be pseudoepigraphic, meaning that Enoch himself did not write them.

The so called "Apocrypha", or the Deuterocanonicals as the RCC chooses to call them, were part of the Septuagint, which was Jesus' and the disciples' Bible. However, the books of Enoch even fall outside of this body of work, if I recall correctly.

In my religious studies, the only teacher whom I ever encountered that actually taught from the apocryphal books of Enoch was Dr. Gene Scott. He used to cite them regularly on his radio broadcasts throughout the 1980s. I can't recall his ever mentioning that the NT quoted from them, but that's not to say that his was the final word on this topic.

The footnotes in my TNIV study Bible generally point out where OT scripture is quoted in the NT. These footnotes even point out where there have been misquotes, or where there are composite quotes from several sources. If there had been 130 such citations from the books of Enoch, this would most certainly have stood out to me, but I can't recall any such references.

Corky, would you care to elaborate?


Corky said...

Questeruk, Bob,

Go to Early Jewish Writings on the Internet and read the first book of Enoch there.

You will see for yourself where the NT writers have quoted the book.

If I tell you, you won't believe it. So read it for yourself.

That's not a command, by the way. That's just a friendly request. If you really want to know, just read it.

Questeruk said...

Corky said...

“Go to Early Jewish Writings on the Internet and read the first book of Enoch there.

You will see for yourself where the NT writers have quoted the book.”

Corky, I have done that. I admit that at the moment I have only read a few chapters, but I did scan through the rest. I haven’t found anything yet.

The only quote that the publishers have footnoted as a quote in the NT is chapter 2 of Enoch, which they reference as quoted in Jude v14 & 15. Well, we are all aware of that.

Come on Corky, give us a clue – can you reveal maybe three or four examples, because the Early Jewish Writers site seem unaware of this knowledge.

If you can give just a few examples of these 130 quotes it might extend my enthusiasm to properly read Enoch.

Corky said...

Just kind of read the part about the "ancient of days" and "the son of man". If you know your NT gospels very well, you'll catch some of the phrases used.

Jude is the only one who quotes it directly but the book of Revelation contains several things from Enoch, like "the lake of fire" and the references to the tree of life and the mountain etc.

To recognize the phrases you will have to know the NT pretty well.

When Paul misquotes passages from the OT, he is quoting from Enoch who was also misquoting the same passages - just little things like that.

Questeruk said...

Corky said…

‘Just kind of read the part about the "ancient of days" and "the son of man". If you know your NT gospels very well, you'll catch some of the phrases used.’

Thing is Corky, these phrases, and others that you mention, are also contained in the Old Testament.

Why would you conclude the NT writers are quoting Enoch, when they just as easily could be quoting the Old Testament?

In reality, which is the most likely?

Isn’t it more likely that the book of Enoch (assumed to be written from 2nd century BC – 1st century AD) was actually itself using phrases taken from the OT.

For example:-

Daniel 7:9 'I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool…'

Virtually the same phrasing is used in Enoch46v1:-

‘There I beheld the Ancient of days, whose head was like white wool, and with him another, whose countenance resembled that of man.’

Enoch then goes on to describe this other being:-

‘His countenance was full of grace, like that of one of the holy angels. Then I inquired of one of the angels, who went with me, and who showed me every secret thing, concerning this Son of man; who he was; whence he was and why he accompanied the Ancient of days.’

Of course Daniel also says similar:-

Dan 7:13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
Dan 7:14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

And likewise Enoch describes this kingdom:-

Enoch 61v10 ‘Then shall the kings, the princes, and all who possess the earth, glorify him who has dominion over all things, him who was concealed; for from the beginning the Son of man existed in secret, whom the Most High preserved in the presence of his power, and revealed to the elect.’

Corky said...

That everyone will appear before the judgment seat of Christ, which Paul talks about in his epistles is not in the OT but in the section on the son of man in Enoch.

Fragments of Enoch was found in the caves of Qumran - called the dead sea scrolls. It is estimated to have been written between 300 and 100 BC.

The whole theme of "the son of man" that Jesus mentions so often does not come from the OT but from the book of Enoch.

The mention of the son of man in Daniel 7:13 makes no sense unless the writer had knowledge of the story in the book of Enoch because it doesn't appear anywhere else in the OT.

Also, the lake of fire in Revelation is not mentioned anywhere in the OT scriptures, only in the book of Enoch.

A lot of Christian concepts come from that book, the war in heaven, fallen angels and all that stuff about hell fire, not to mention the pre-existence of Jesus.

Ralph said...

Folks, this is some really good dialogue from both sides. You guys are a great example of balanced discussion, which of course I'm not. I hope this can be a bigger part of future blogs.