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Take A Staff (mark 6:8) Or Not (matt. 10:10; Luke 9:1-6)?...


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I'm discussing with a Christian friend the inconsistency between the passages mentioned in the title about what Jesus told his twelve to take when he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God. In Mark he told them to take a staff, and in the other two gospels he told them not. I asked him if God is all-loving, all-powerful and all-knowing, then why the inconsistency.

 

He sent me this link:

 

http://www.christian-thinktank.com/nostaff.html

 

which explained that the root of discrepancy is the English translation.

 

I'm about to concede this point and move on to other inconsistencies. But I'm curious what you think.

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I never thought of that. I think even with any explanations about translations etc, most Christian's would claim they're two different occasions. Whenever you have an inconcistency in the Bible, the easiest cop-out for the literalist is to say it's two different stories or two different occasions, while at the same time stories that obviously are two different kinds they try to make into one (like the Genesis story).

 

Another funny inconsistency is that there where 12 disciples, and this is what Paul says:

1 Corinthians 15

2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles,

Here it is very clear that Jesus appeared after the resurrection to Peter, then the twelve disciples (had they already replaced Judas?), then the 500 (the pentecostal thingy), then he appeared to James (wasn't he a disciple?) and then the apostles (not same as the twelve that already had seen him?).

 

What do you make out of that? The apostles are not the same as the twelve. James is not a disciples or part of the 500 even. Twelve disciples immediately (40 days) after the supposed death. Paul doesn't know the story here as well as the Gospel writers, it can only be that he knows these things through hearsay (with bunches of mix-ups) and not from reading any material like the Gospels.

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I'm discussing with a Christian friend the inconsistency between the passages mentioned in the title about what Jesus told his twelve to take when he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God. In Mark he told them to take a staff, and in the other two gospels he told them not. I asked him if God is all-loving, all-powerful and all-knowing, then why the inconsistency.

 

He sent me this link:

 

http://www.christian-thinktank.com/nostaff.html

 

which explained that the root of discrepancy is the English translation.

 

I'm about to concede this point and move on to other inconsistencies. But I'm curious what you think.

 

I think several things:

 

The fellow at www.christian-thinktank.com spent a heck of a lot of time on something that doesn't matter anyway. Who cares if Jesus encouraged them to take or not take a staff? What does it matter? Does it say: "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth that Jesus told them to take (or not take) a staff, thou shalt be saved"? My goodness -- all that energy on matters of no consequence. (Too bad the fellow feels the need to defend every jot and tittle of the Bible.)

 

That said, the website you linked to is new to me and it does seem to be quite a good one, even if they (in my opinion) waste their time on matters that are not worth two seconds worth of thought. Thanks for the heads-up on the site.

 

Tell your Christian friend that it doesn't matter anyway. These small details have absolutely no bearing on the meaning of the Jesus event.

 

-CC

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As you know, these details do not get my boxers in a tizzy. He appeared alive is the point.

 

But I think this one can be largely reconciled:

 

He appeared first to Peter.

Then to The Twelve together (Peter included, as well as Matthais who would officially replace Judas later)

Then to five hundred (not the Pentecost thingy, btw, as that was after the Ascension and there were only c. 120 at that event)

Then to James (his genetic brother who is distinguised from the apostle James) -- the James who wrote the letter of James, tradition says

Then the "apostles": Not sure what he means here?? The 12 again?? But now not disciples (followers) but apostles (sent-out ones)?

 

If this Jesus story were fiction, I'd think the authors would have had one Mary, one Judas, one James, one Jesus.

 

If the stories are non-fiction, it makes sense that there are duplicate names: "Mary, the mother of the Lord, and Mary the mother of Joses and the other Mary." Good grief. Must we have so many Mary's? (In a true story, yes.)

 

-CC

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He appeared first to Peter.

Then to The Twelve together (Peter included, as well as Matthais who would officially replace Judas later)

Then to five hundred (not the Pentecost thingy, btw, as that was after the Ascension and there were only c. 120 at that event)

That I don't have a problem with, except for Matthias as the 12th. Supposedly this was very close to the events. The story puts it on the Sunday, after the women (one, two, three or many go back and forth and see a stone, and hear a sound, see one, and then two angels, two outside, then one inside and only one outside... etc, I don't even remember how messed up the stories are) ... after the women find the "empty" tomb. Supposedly some of the 12 were gathered and saw Jesus walking through the wall as a ghost, that same day. So the 12 must've been there, and Matthias wasn't assigned yet.

 

Then to James (his genetic brother who is distinguised from the apostle James) -- the James who wrote the letter of James, tradition says

Kind of strange that he wasn't part of the 500.

 

Then the "apostles": Not sure what he means here?? The 12 again?? But now not disciples (followers) but apostles (sent-out ones)?

This is the real kicker. I didn't know about this discrepancy until a few days ago. As Christian I never realized this one. All the time Christians assume the 12 were the apostles, which obviously not Paul agree too.

 

If this Jesus story were fiction, I'd think the authors would have had one Mary, one Judas, one James, one Jesus.

 

If the stories are non-fiction, it makes sense that there are duplicate names: "Mary, the mother of the Lord, and Mary the mother of Joses and the other Mary." Good grief. Must we have so many Mary's? (In a true story, yes.)

Which one of the stories do you read? They have different answers to how many women went to the tomb, and what they heard and what they saw. The only way to reconcile the stories is to have the women walk back and forth from the city and the tomb three or maybe four times and each time be surprised of what they see. Nah, it just doesn't seem reasonable. It's more likely a hearsay story where the details got scrambled. Just like urban legends. Heck, how come we have all these urban legends popping up in our "educated" era, and when people are so "skeptical"? People are so incredible guillable in our time, and yet we think people were professional scientists and highly trained skeptics 2000 years ago? No, I don't think so. I think people were more easily decieved back then than now, and we are incredible foolish today. So it only tells me that anyone could invent anything back then, and you'd have a huge following.

 

There were many Marys and many Jesuses. Jesus had a sister Mary too, right? And his mom, and many of the followers.

 

I think the explanation is something like "Jesus" and "Mary" were titles rather than names in this cult, or substitue names. The leader was called Jesus Christ, and maybe all the men were called Jesus or just brothers, and the women were called Mary or sisters.

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Which one of the stories do you read? They have different answers to how many women went to the tomb, and what they heard and what they saw. The only way to reconcile the stories is to have the women walk back and forth from the city and the tomb three or maybe four times and each time be surprised of what they see.

 

ROFL :funny:

 

That's the first time EVER I have used that ROFL character, so you really got me going!

 

Nah, it just doesn't seem reasonable. It's more likely a hearsay story where the details got scrambled. Just like urban legends. Heck, how come we have all these urban legends popping up in our "educated" era, and when people are so "skeptical"? People are so incredible guillable in our time, and yet we think people were professional scientists and highly trained skeptics 2000 years ago? No, I don't think so. I think people were more easily decieved back then than now, and we are incredible foolish today. So it only tells me that anyone could invent anything back then, and you'd have a huge following.

 

There were many Marys and many Jesuses. Jesus had a sister Mary too, right? And his mom, and many of the followers.

 

I think the explanation is something like "Jesus" and "Mary" were titles rather than names in this cult, or substitue names. The leader was called Jesus Christ, and maybe all the men were called Jesus or just brothers, and the women were called Mary or sisters.

 

The four gospels remind me of the two creation stories. I am thrilled that the redactors did not tidy things up. That would smack of sham, deceit, fraud. I am very comfortable with these inconsitencies. (Some of which, actually, can be cleared up without doing mental back-flips.)

 

Is your last paragraph a funny or a serious theory? Sortta like all the "X's" in the Nation of Islam?

 

CC

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Half serious, half joking. I'm never completely in either camp, ever when I talk or think. I see life with a touch of humor. The Divine Comedy etc...

 

The idea of Jesus/Mary being titles isn't mine. I heard it somewhere.

 

When it comes to not tidying up the stories, I'd say it could be because the stories were not meant to be taken literally, or as factual historical events. It is very possible that the stories were told to outsiders as a "fact", but the real, true meaning was only understood to the invited/initiated in the mystery cult. That Jesus was the symbol of you becoming one with god. You would die and be resurrected. It's like the freemasons with their plays they do to move to a new level. They take on certain roles in a play and "become" that character, and with that they're introduced into a new level of knowledge (gnosis).

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Many have raised the mythic angle on the Jesus story. I found this at the www.christian-thinktank.com site referenced a few posts back. I only skimmed it, but it looks interesting:

 

http://www.christian-thinktank.com/copycat.html

 

-CC

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Many have raised the mythic angle on the Jesus story. I found this at the www.christian-thinktank.com site referenced a few posts back. I only skimmed it, but it looks interesting:

When I get a little more time I'll look into that site too. So far, the mystery religion explanation gets most of my attention and piques my interest. I also think that perhaps the two first Mark and Matthew came fairly straight from these cults, while Luke might have been an attempt by the Romans to create a connection between the Jesus and Caesar. Both called son of god and savior etc.

 

Understand though that there's a difference between Mythical Jesus and a Mystery Religion.

 

Here's another interesting part. Philo wrote extensively about how the stories in the Torah was not meant to be taken literally, but as allegories. Now, if the Jews already were in this mindset, and Philo was a strong proponent for this non-literal view, and Philo was interesting to the Christians (since the story goes that Philo's work was saved by the early Christians), and John seems to have been somewhat influenced by the ideas of "Logos" etc. I suspect strongly that the Gospels and Christianity was the fundamentalist kind at all, but very mysterious, very "gnostic", very revelation oriented, and not "follow these guidelines and you'll be fine". Basically, it was a progressive view on faith, where your own experience of the transcendental was the expected result. So being "saved" wasn't really the way Christians see it today, but "saved" was when you have finally realized the true secrets.

 

I suspect also that Paul misunderstood the religion, and popularized it and made it public. But by doing so, the real Christianity was lost. The pagan influenced religion was gone, and in it's place we had a machinery where Christians could be produced by the minute by a simple statement of faith. While the original religion maybe was only through invitation and a progress of understanding and revelations.

 

It's just speculations. :)

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...

 

Here's another interesting part. Philo wrote extensively about how the stories in the Torah was not meant to be taken literally, but as allegories. Now, if the Jews already were in this mindset, and Philo was a strong proponent for this non-literal view, and Philo was interesting to the Christians (since the story goes that Philo's work was saved by the early Christians), and John seems to have been somewhat influenced by the ideas of "Logos" etc. I suspect strongly that the Gospels and Christianity was the fundamentalist kind at all, but very mysterious, very "gnostic", very revelation oriented, and not "follow these guidelines and you'll be fine". Basically, it was a progressive view on faith, where your own experience of the transcendental was the expected result. So being "saved" wasn't really the way Christians see it today, but "saved" was when you have finally realized the true secrets.

 

I suspect also that Paul misunderstood the religion, and popularized it and made it public. But by doing so, the real Christianity was lost. The pagan influenced religion was gone, and in it's place we had a machinery where Christians could be produced by the minute by a simple statement of faith. While the original religion maybe was only through invitation and a progress of understanding and revelations.

 

It's just speculations. :)

 

Speculations, yes, but the core point is one I more or less share: What Christianity was, it no longer is. What Christianity is, it was not.

 

The power of the Jesus event and the gnosis one can encounter when seated in the heavenly places as joint heirs of the blessing is barely known in most churches. Seems to me. It's formalized, ritualized, and the potential power is sapped by dogma and anger and politics and nonsense and "the sinner's prayer." Not wanting to be too harsh here, for all have their own way to God, but it seems to me that there could be so much more to the Christian experience than sitting in a church listening to a man tell you how sinful you are. Where's the life? The power? The energy? The spririt?

 

-CC

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When it comes to not tidying up the stories, I'd say it could be because the stories were not meant to be taken literally, or as factual historical events. It is very possible that the stories were told to outsiders as a "fact", but the real, true meaning was only understood to the invited/initiated in the mystery cult. That Jesus was the symbol of you becoming one with god. You would die and be resurrected. It's like the freemasons with their plays they do to move to a new level. They take on certain roles in a play and "become" that character, and with that they're introduced into a new level of knowledge (gnosis).

:3:

 

Indeed. Some just never grow out of a literal understanding which completely kills the symbology. If a historical event did happen (within the laws of nature) then all the better, but it doesn't rely on it actually happening.

 

Not many freemasons would make it to the next level if the play were real. :HaHa:

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I don't think people were any more stupid or gullible two thousand years ago than they are today. We are talking about two distinctly different paradigms through which to see, understand, and interpret reality.

 

Imagine yourself in a world where the highest mountain peak is the highest elevation humans can achieve. There is definitely no airplane from which to view the land mass below.

 

Further, imagine yourself in a world where not only does the average person not know a single thing beyond the treetops but neither do they know a thing deeper than the skin or tinier than the naked eye can see.

 

Imagine yourself in a world where instant communication meant the speed of the fastest horse, or perhaps the fastest human runner.

 

Imagine what it would be like living in a world like this (it feels to me like being blindfolded and ear-plugged), but tsunamis happen. Plagues happen. Draughts happen. Crops fail for several consecutive years and starvation is inevitable.

 

If living in such a world, would we not seek some means by which to make life more secure, more predictable? Heck, we still do to this day! Well, imagine that someone somewhere saw a connection between some human behaviour and the larger cosmic events like tsunamis of hail storms. Who, in their right mind, would not give some really deep and serious though to such an idea?

 

Who of us today does not at times find the separation between the "real" world and imagination or intuitive hunches very thin? If we were blind-folded and ear-plugged like I described and had no access to information might we not accept the messages and imaginings from within our own psyches? I lived most of my life in a world where the height of mass communication was the daily newspaper. No radio. No TV. No movies. Only old novels and out-dated encyclopedias. The Bible was the science text, history text, the last word on biology and psychology. I learned to tune in to intuitive hunches, and honed this skill to high precision.

 

I did, however, know that the earth was round, that man landed on the moon, that there was a huge universe out there. I was exposed to globes with accurate maps of the world--its continents and oceans, mountains and rivers. I learned about the exploration of this globe. I knew that it was possible for humans to talk across vast geographical distances, such as across oceans or continents, via telephone and radio and TV.

 

Just imagine I didn't know all of this stuff, that's what I'm trying to get at. Then we would believe in supernatural events and occurrances. At least, some of us would. There were learned philosophers alive centuries, if not millennia, before christ who did not believe in supernatural occurrances.

 

I've studied a bit on what story means to Natives or Aboriginals. Factual accuracy is simply not one of the strengths of that kind of story. Nor is anyone held at gun point for not accepting it as factually accurate. I think that's the problem with Christianity. It holds people at gun point for not believing the factual accuracy of these ancient myths. I've been reading theologians today who are trying to get back to a mythical understanding. They would not use that term, mind you, but the description sounds to me like exactly that.

 

Hmmm. That's just a long ramble and maybe I'm not saying a thing...I just thought I was...

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I've studied a bit on what story means to Natives or Aboriginals. Factual accuracy is simply not one of the strengths of that kind of story. Nor is anyone held at gun point for not accepting it as factually accurate. I think that's the problem with Christianity. It holds people at gun point for not believing the factual accuracy of these ancient myths. I've been reading theologians today who are trying to get back to a mythical understanding. They would not use that term, mind you, but the description sounds to me like exactly that.

 

Hmmm. That's just a long ramble and maybe I'm not saying a thing...I just thought I was...

I think you said all that very well.

 

I would love to know which theologicans that you are describing so I can read up on them too. Anything that brings me hope is good! Of course, they may have to change their names from theologians to mythologists. :HaHa:

 

My prejudice right now is with the late mythologist Joseph Campbell. Right now I'm reading a posthumous work that contains the Judeo-Christian mythological symbols and I am loving it! I got it from the library, but I'm going to have to buy it. It's called, Thou art That. Amazon

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