Re: Scripture as literal history: A query
- From: "[M]adman" <grat@xxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2009 19:02:39 -0600
Perplexed in Peoria wrote:
"[M]adman" <grat@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
I've asked this question individually of several posters who say
that the Bible is literal history (see definitions below) but never
received an adequate response. So here it is again:
No one that i have read on TO claims "litteral" history. Just that
it is historical in nature and that it is an historical outline told
in story format.
Speaking only on the Gospels, can you explain these contradictions
between the Synoptic and Johaninne gospels:
- The fact that the Cleansing of the Temple is at the beginning of
Jesus' ministry in John, but at the end of the Synoptics.
It would seem to me that it is necessary to understand what he was
cleansing and why he was cleansing first.
The influx of people to Jerusalem for Passover from other parts of
Israel and from all over the world (see Acts 2:5-12) was huge.
Everyone had to pay a half shekel to enter. But many of them had
foreign coins. That is why the money changes were there. The temple
would not accept foreign money but everyone was required to pay
before entry. And the corrupt priests of the day allowed the money
changes in the temple to insure they received all of the money.
Where there is money changing hands there is always corruption.
Jesus found in the temple courts people selling oxen and sheep and
doves, and the money changes sitting at tables. So he made a whip of
cords and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the
oxen. He scattered the coins of the money changes and overturned
their tables.To those who sold the doves he said, "Take these things
away from here! Do not make my Father's house a marketplace!"
How could Jesus do this? He was one man going up against all of those
merchants that probably had some type of security friends with them
because of so much money involved. Remember, the numbers entering
the temple during Passover paying a half shekel was huge. And what
about the Roman centurions? Why did they not stop Jesus from chasing
them out? Jesus could do this because his entourage was quite huge
and some of them quite prepared to fight. Peter even cut the ear off
of a temple guard when they tried to arrest Jesus a few days latter.
We also know that Jesus went to the temple every year as did every
other Hebrew from around the known world. It was required.
So know we know why Jesus cleansed the temple and that he went there
every year. He hated the corruption and money making business that
the temple had become. The temple was supose to exist to spiritual
heal the people and give them comfort. Instead it had become a
carnival. And he latter critized the temple leaders for placing such
a burden on the people while not lifting a finger to help them. They
latter killed him for his public critisims.Traveling town to town as
Jesus did he saw the suffering and needs of the people. Yet all the
priest did was collect money and pass out rules that did not
originate from God.
With that said, Jesus cleansed the temple every year of his
ministry. (which was three) The Synoptic gospels record the last
time he did it before he died while John records the first time.
There is your answer.
- That Jesus goes up to Jerusalem five times in John (three times
for Passover) but only once in the Synoptics.
- That Christ's crucifixion comes after his third Passover in John,
but after his first in the Synoptics.
Number 2 and 3 go together.
I do not understand how questions such as this are asked if a full
reading of the material is done. And even with a full reading one
still has to understand how the people lived and what their customs
were.So it becomes necessary to read the many other books that the
hebrews have writen in order to get a clear perspective.
It was Jesus' 33 passover. He was 33 years old.
His parents took him every year. He went on his own as a man after
that. Every Hebrew made the pilgramage to the temple on Passover
every year. No matter where they lived. It was an requirement. The
Synoptics only mention the last one before he died.
There is a bit of reading between the lines necessary here. Jesus as
a child was left behind in the temple. (see Luke chapter 2:41) His
parents had left the city and did not discover that he was missing
for an entire day. Why? Because Mary, her family, and here firends
were traveling together and had assumed Jesus was with another
family member or with friends. So they were in a large enough group
to not see Jesus for an entire day before getting concerned. Every
year large groups would traveled together to Jerusalem for obvious
saftey and support reasons. There were no police patroling the roads
So given this information and knowing that everyone made a
pilgramage to the temple for passover, all that was necessary to
mention in the Synoptics was the last passover to mark the
historical reference when Jesus died.
A brief explanation, or as detailed as you like, if you would. Also,
what definition are you using for "Literal" and "History,"
especially if it differs from the ones offered below.
There are other differences, many that can be passed off as
variations in writing style or intended audience. But if we are to
read scripture as literal history then the differences in the above
instances in what would be our only historical record are
You are right. Reading only the bible as an historical record the
differences become substantial. And trying to get a clear picture of
what was going on back then is difficult. Because they were not
writting to 21st century humans accustomed to modern history books.
They were writting to a people they assumed had common knowledge and
points of reference to their stories..
This has been a pretty good and mostly responsive posting so far,
(M)adman. My compliments.
Why be condensending?I was not this rude before TO and am not this rude when
i close my news reader.
Some of you deserve the responses i give.
But let me interject here with a question. If an
omniscient, omnipotent, and benevolent God inspired the Scriptures as a
communicating with man (including 21st century man), why would he choose
to do so
in a style and format which was only readily understood by a small
fraction of mankind - specifically the inhabitants of the Levant in the
first century AD?
I see. YOU want special treatment. If God were that important to you, then
you would do what i have done and dig. Do research. And find the truth.
But if the above does nnot satisgy you consider this:
There will be those with the ears to hear and the eyes to see. And there
will be those that do not.
This holds true in every generation.
Is Scripture meant to speak to us today? If so, why is it written in
a language we no longer understand, and requiring common knowlege which is
Nothing will or even can "speak to you" until you let it.
Why doesn't God provide new revelations and scriptures for
each generation and nationality? I'm sure that if I had asked this
question 50 years ago in Catholic schools, I would have been told that God
Church to supplement Scripture - by translating and interpreting it. And
they would also have told me that Protestants get it wrong by denying that
ecclesiatical tradition is just as much a part of Divine revelation as is
That is what Catholics say. What does (M)adman say?
Jesus's message was simple. It was man that distorted it.
God has simple messages in the old tstement. It was man that has distorted
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