Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Tim Bonney » Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:33 am

Jon Estes wrote:Because the event is so well attested in scripture is why it need to not be debated.


I'd always rather leave something open for discussion than start creating a priori lists of things that are undebatable. When questioning is no longer allowed is when religion becomes toxic.
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Rvaughn » Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:34 am

Tim Bonney wrote:Historically accurate by western standards and historically accurate by the methods of writing of the day aren't necessarily the same thing. We care about things being in chronological order. They didn't. We often care about putting every event in a narrative whereas the Biblical writers put in the material they thought was important to the message they were getting across.
The didn't.

There is no reason to assume that one gospel writer would put events in the same order as another. For us that might seem inaccurate. But those are western rules, not first century rules for writing narratives.
Modern westerners are not the only ones who interpret the writings as historical (neither the only ones who disagree on it). Origen was a master of allegorical interpretation and, as translated at New Advent, gives us the heading on the portion of text "The Story of the Purging of the Temple Spiritualized. Taken Literally, It Presents Some Very Difficult and Unlikely Features." Anyone familiar with Origen will hardly be surprised, but his mention that taking this literally presents some difficult features suggests there were others even then who took it literally. A little later than Origen, but John Chrysostom can be understood as taking it literally, holding two temple cleansings.
John Chrysostom wrote:2. Another Evangelist writes, that as He cast them out, He said, Make not my Father’s house a den of thieves, but this one,
John 2:16
(Make not My Father’s house) a house of merchandise.
They do not in this contradict each other, but show that he did this a second time, and that both these expressions were not used on the same occasion, but that He acted thus once at the beginning of His ministry, and again when He had come to the very time of His Passion.
Homily 23 on the Gospel of John
All that to say that there is evidence that churches and teachers disagreed on the type of interpretation early on, and it not something western evangelicals came up with more recently.
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Jim » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:17 pm

Hilarity is inspired when the “professional religionists” try to make the Bible say what they want it to say no matter how contrary to the printed word. This may be traced back to bonehead seminary professors who brag (so do preachers) of their ability to read in Greek or Aramaic when they have trouble positing three grammatically correct English sentences consecutively. A good example: accounting the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah as a lack of hospitality, which cannot be called a sin even today, but mod/lib preachers still insist upon this nonsense. Jesus was in Jerusalem the year before the crucifixion (A.D. 29) for the Feast of Tabernacles and probably a number of other times and just as probably did the same number (cleansing) on the crooks in the Temple, who this time were probably selling tents/spikes and food, for instance, necessary to the observance, which was a family thing including a lot of fun. He went in secrecy because he was a target of both the synagogue Ph.d's (sometimes called Pharisees) and the Roman soldiers. Indeed, the Pharisees ridiculed the soldiers for not having either the brains or the guts to assassinate (or at least arrest) Jesus. Jesus preached in the Temple and at the Mount of Olives (actually argued probably quite vehemently) to the elitists, who accounted him as a country-bumpkin, though dangerous nevertheless. John 7-9 reads like a novel of intense intrigue. The hangup of today's elitists always has to do with Christ's use of force, verbal and physical, anathema to the “gentle, kind” souls populating current pulpits and trying to interpret the scripture as normalizing a marriage between two men while their denominations are rotting inside-out. Naturally, John told it just like it was—violence and all—and let the chips fall where they may. He also was the only disciple recorded at the foot of the cross. Ask Peter if this took guts. Like Jesus, rough John the calloused fisherman was a man's man, who stared down the Roman soldiers and guarded the women. I love him and Jesus because they were tough as nails but gentle as lambs when necessary. Yeah...that makes at least three of Christ's recorded trips to the Jerusalem Temple and he most likely "cleansed" it every time. Some folks who did a lot of walking back then used long walking-sticks. I can see Christ using such in a "cleansing."
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Haruo » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:46 pm

The Bible is very clear on the sin of Sodom. "Hospitality" is too weak a term as normally understood, but it's not particularly about gay sex, either.
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Haruo » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:46 pm

Idolizing the printed word when the inspiration happened long before Gutenberg is problematic, too, Jim.
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Haruo » Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:56 pm

Haruo wrote:The Bible is very clear on the sin of Sodom. "Hospitality" is too weak a term as normally understood, but it's not particularly about gay sex, either.

The specific description, in KJV, reads "Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy."

Of course, the behavior of the men of Sodom with respect (or lack of respect!) to the angels lodging with Lot was a special case, and does indeed fit "lack of hospitality" as ancient Middle Easterners saw such things. It was probably not so much choosing homosexual rape over heterosexual as the idea of raping one's guest that was the primary charge in the indictment. But "Sodom's sin" was a given at that point, and the basic charge didn't have much to do with sex.
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Haruo » Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:12 pm

And just for the record, I have only taken one seminary class in my 64 years (tomorrow), and I'm certainly NOT what could sensibly be called a professional religionist.
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Jim » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:37 pm

Anything else? Good luck with the seminary course. I was in a church study-class led by a Southern professor back in the day who insisted that the Gadarene (or is that Gerasene [my Greek is bad]) demoniac was just a nutcase and not indwelled by the demons that Christ transferred to the swine who immediately drowned both themselves and the demons...or is that just a myth? In any case, I call that a huge sinful lack of hospitality on the part of the pigs...or on Christ's part for that matter since he no doubt terribly offended the demons, if not the demoniac who seemed perfectly at peace in his raging at the population. The prof (well-known and respected but I can't remember his name) became a bit flustered when someone dared to contradict him. Watch those profs and call them out if they exhibit even a smidgeon of inhospitality.
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby JE Pettibone » Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:21 pm

Haruo wrote:And just for the record, I have only taken one seminary class in my 6 4 years (tomorrow), and I'm certainly NOT what could sensibly be called a professional religionist.


Ed: Happy Birthday Haruo.
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby JE Pettibone » Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:46 pm

Jim wrote:Anything else? Good luck with the seminary course. I was in a church study-class led by a Southern professor back in the day who insisted that the Gadarene (or is that Gerasene [my Greek is bad]) demoniac was just a nutcase and not indwelled by the demons that Christ transferred to the swine who immediately drowned both themselves and the demons...or is that just a myth? In any case, I call that a huge sinful lack of hospitality on the part of the pigs...or on Christ's part for that matter since he no doubt terribly offended the demons, if not the demoniac who seemed perfectly at peace in his raging at the population. The prof (well-known and respected but I can't remember his name) became a bit flustered when someone dared to contradict him. Watch those profs and call them out if they exhibit even a smidgeon of inhospitality.


Ed: Jim in 7 years on the SBTS campus, as a student 1963 to 64, 1990-1992, and as the husband of a Female M.Div. Student 1995-1998, and attending a number of Churches in Louisville with a number of seminary faculty. I never observed any professor being inhospitable. Being a bit flustered if someone publicly insults your your teaching is not being less than hospital. BTW hospitality is a two way street.
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Jon Estes » Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:35 am

Tim Bonney wrote:
Jon Estes wrote:Because the event is so well attested in scripture is why it need to not be debated.


I'd always rather leave something open for discussion than start creating a priori lists of things that are undebatable. When questioning is no longer allowed is when religion becomes toxic.


Why would the cleansing of the Temple be debatable? It would seem the debate would not be on the event but on the veracity of scripture.

When Christian theology (using this term to speak to how I am reading the term religion) comes to the point where open discussion on scripture being not true is acceptable and even desired - it will soon die.
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Jon Estes » Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:37 am

Haruo wrote:Idolizing the printed word when the inspiration happened long before Gutenberg is problematic, too, Jim.


Idolizing the mental capacities of ourselves above scripture is a greater problem. It is safe to let scripture speak for itself.
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby JE Pettibone » Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:25 am

Jon Estes wrote:
Haruo wrote:Idolizing the printed word when the inspiration happened long before Gutenberg is problematic, too, Jim.


Idolizing the mental capacities of ourselves above scripture is a greater problem. It is safe to let scripture speak for itself.


Ed: So Jon, are you suggesting that the predisposition of the reader has nothing to do with how she or he interprets scripture?
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Tim Bonney » Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:54 am

Jon Estes wrote:Why would the cleansing of the Temple be debatable? It would seem the debate would not be on the event but on the veracity of scripture.

When Christian theology (using this term to speak to how I am reading the term religion) comes to the point where open discussion on scripture being not true is acceptable and even desired - it will soon die.


No Jon, you are missing the point I am hoping to make. There are events in the Bible that are parables and some that are stories told to make a point that the author may have never intended to be historical accounts. There is little doubt as I currently understand it that the intention of the author is that the cleansing of the temple was an actual event in the life of Jesus. But when human beings, pastors or denominations, decide something can’t even be discussed/debated, then they’ve put human authority above the scriptures.

If down the road someone could show a good Biblical reasoned argument that the events of the cleansing of the temple are different than I thought, proved from previously not understood facts, Biblical exegesis, etc., I shouldn’t decide that I’d not even look at such information because the current view “isn’t debatable.”

If we are really willing to grow in our faith than none of us should think that our answers are always right. I’ve changed my mind about a lot of theology over the last 20 years and I’m pretty thankful I don’t understand the Bible the way I did when I was 20, 30, or even 40.
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Jim » Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:44 am

JE Pettibone wrote:
Jim wrote:Anything else? Good luck with the seminary course. I was in a church study-class led by a Southern professor back in the day who insisted that the Gadarene (or is that Gerasene [my Greek is bad]) demoniac was just a nutcase and not indwelled by the demons that Christ transferred to the swine who immediately drowned both themselves and the demons...or is that just a myth? In any case, I call that a huge sinful lack of hospitality on the part of the pigs...or on Christ's part for that matter since he no doubt terribly offended the demons, if not the demoniac who seemed perfectly at peace in his raging at the population. The prof (well-known and respected but I can't remember his name) became a bit flustered when someone dared to contradict him. Watch those profs and call them out if they exhibit even a smidgeon of inhospitality.


Ed: Jim in 7 years on the SBTS campus, as a student 1963 to 64, 1990-1992, and as the husband of a Female M.Div. Student 1995-1998, and attending a number of Churches in Louisville with a number of seminary faculty. I never observed any professor being inhospitable. Being a bit flustered if someone publicly insults your your teaching is not being less than hospital. BTW hospitality is a two way street.

I haven't the slightest idea of what any of this means but suggest you work hard toward developing a sense of humor.
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Jim » Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:55 am

Haruo wrote: But "Sodom's sin" was a given at that point, and the basic charge didn't have much to do with sex.

Well of course not since men can't have sex with each other as a normal exercise. They merely engage in unnatural acts, which is what the Sodomites had in mind in exhibiting an inordinate act of hospitality since they figured everyone enjoyed sodomy just as they did. The angels struck them blind on the spot so they could neither find Lot's front-door again nor be forced to watch their own unnatural acts. Imagine gazing at anal frivolity. Nauseating, right?
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Jim » Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:05 am

Haruo wrote:Idolizing the printed word when the inspiration happened long before Gutenberg is problematic, too, Jim.

Who said anything about idolizing the printed word? Not me! I only read it and have never offered a prayer to it or even lit a candle. I don't know if your "inspiration" references the printed word or Gutenberg but printed words were available long before Gutenberg, else we would have no scriptures or even Playboy Magazine.
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Jim » Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:25 am

Egad!!! I have just been struck with the name of the prof I mentioned somewhere in this thread vis-à-vis the swine and the demoniac. I believe it was Frank Stagg who insisted that the madman was not mad at all but just crazy, like out of his mind...maybe a schizophrenic or some such malady, meaning that Christ didn't cast out any demons and that the pigs survived to the stockyard, although I don't think the Israelites were allowed to touch them with a ten-foot pole and so just sold them to the Philistines, maybe, of whom well over a thousand died when God answered Samson's prayer for suicide and made him strong enough to pull down the roof on them and him. If I'm wrong about Stagg, my apology to him wherever he may be and will be happily corrected by anyone who was around SBTS in the 60s-70s and has knowledge of what he thought about demons and such.
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby JE Pettibone » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:43 am

Jim wrote:
JE Pettibone wrote:
Jim wrote:Anything else? Good luck with the seminary course. I was in a church study-class led by a Southern professor back in the day who insisted that the Gadarene (or is that Gerasene [my Greek is bad]) demoniac was just a nutcase and not indwelled by the demons that Christ transferred to the swine who immediately drowned both themselves and the demons...or is that just a myth? In any case, I call that a huge sinful lack of hospitality on the part of the pigs...or on Christ's part for that matter since he no doubt terribly offended the demons, if not the demoniac who seemed perfectly at peace in his raging at the population. The prof (well-known and respected but I can't remember his name) became a bit flustered when someone dared to contradict him. Watch those profs and call them out if they exhibit even a smidgeon of inhospitality.


Ed: Jim in 7 years on the SBTS campus, as a student 1963 to 64, 1990-1992, and as the husband of a Female M.Div. Student 1995-1998, and attending a number of Churches in Louisville with a number of seminary faculty. I never observed any professor being inhospitable. Being a bit flustered if someone publicly insults your your teaching is not being less than hospital. BTW hospitality is a two way street.


I haven't the slightest idea of what any of this means but suggest you work hard toward developing a sense of humor.


Ed: So Jim where in this thread I have displayed a need to improve my sense of humor?
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