The significance of the Greek verb ōphthē and the "visions" of Jesus

You are repeating yourself and still failing to address the rest of the usage of οραω.

Why are you ignoring what Acts says? Do you not consider it an accurate portrayal of the events or are you purposefully avoiding it because you know I’m right?

Excluded middle, again.

In order to weasel out of my argument you had to ignore the majority of my original post.

Rudeness instead of actual consideration of the linguistic data. Charming.

Bye. :wave:

Still failing to consider Paul’s vision in Acts. The whole point is the word was used for spiritual visions. I never said it was ONLY used to refer to spiritual visions. Therefore, the fact that it was used for visions means you can’t rule it out. That combined with the account we have in Acts means the earliest appearances were thought of as visionary experiences.

Ignoring the majority of my argument, again.

I’ve considered the linguistic data and provided scholarly sources to back it up. The only way out of my argument is if you ignore the majority of it.

I’m sure the scholarly consensus has considered all the potential scenarios. You’ve provided ad hoc excuses that argue nothing more than “what if” speculation. We’re going to need actual arguments and evidence if you want to claim that Mark was not the earliest gospel.

Do you know anything about the Synoptic Problem? Here watch this. youtube.com/watch?v=N2g9j1XKPKw

Sample proof of copying verbatim:

Mark 2:9-11
Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and take your mat and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— “I say to you, stand up, take your mat and go to your home.”

Matthew 9:5-6
For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Stand up, take your bed and go to your home.”

Luke 5:23-24
Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the one who was paralyzed—“I say to you, stand up and take your bed and go to your home.”

==========================================================

Mark 1:41
Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, “I do choose. Be made clean!”

Matthew 8:3a
He stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I do choose. Be made clean!”

Luke 5:13a
Then Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do choose. Be made clean.”

==========================================================

Mark 2:23
One sabbath he was going through the grainfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain.

Matthew 12:1
At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the sabbath; his disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat.

Luke 6:1
One sabbath while Jesus was going through the grainfields, his disciples plucked some heads of grain, rubbed them in their hands, and ate them.

“Most scholars believe that this close literary relationship is due to Matthew and Luke independently copying Mark.” - Casey pg. 62
books.google.com/books?id=lXK0auknD0YC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA62#v=onepage&q&f=false

In regards to Mark 2:9-11, Matthew 9:5-6, and Luke 5:23-24
he goes on to say:

“This is obviously the same story, and it is told in almost the same words, the crucial indicator that there is a literary relationship between Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The narrative interpolation into Jesus’ speech is especially significant here: ‘(then) he says/said to the paralytic/paralyzed’. The chances of three independent writers making this almost identical narrative interpolation at the same point are negligible.”

Of course it’s a matter of the empty tomb. Read my OP. The shared sayings material “Q” and unique M and L is irrelevant to my argument. Regardless, the evidence for Matthew and Luke copying Mark is abundant.

Not if you accept the consensus dating. 70 CE was a whole generation after the crucifixion in those days. “If they were lies” - my intent isn’t to show they’re lies, that’s a shifting of the burden of proof by the way. Since these texts have supernatural claims in them the burden of proof would be on you to demonstrate that they’re true. The BoP does not lie on the one who is unconvinced of such claims. If that were the case then every book with a supernatural claim in it should be taken as equally true and we can see how that would cause some problems.

Continued…

Not too many other writings claim to be inspired by the creator of the universe so I will maintain a certain level of healthy skepticism when investigating such texts. adversusapologetica.wordpress.com/2013/03/31/history-probability-and-miracles/

“It is not possible that the Gospels can be either more or fewer in number than they are, since there are four directions of the world in which we are, and four principal winds…the four living creatures [of Revelation 4.9] symbolize the four Gospels…and there were four principal covenants made with humanity, through Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Christ.” Irenaeus (Against All Heresies 3.11.8; cf. M 263)

There you have it. The reason that 4 gospels were chosen to be in the canon was because there are four directions in the world. Does that sound like scholarly reasoning to you?

You’re not really providing anything of substance. I’d prefer to stay on topic in regards to the OP but when you replied you ignored the majority of it and caused a flood of red herrings to be released which I unfortunately have engaged in. If you’re not going to respond to the whole OP then just don’t bother anymore.

My thesis still stands and I have plenty of scholarly support for it. The earliest appearances of Jesus were visionary experiences which only later evolved into Jesus wanting Thomas to put his fingers in him.

"In regards to 1 Cor 15:3-5, if we follow the logic of Paul’s line of thought, corroborated by what Paul says elsewhere and even in the summaries of Paul’s preaching in Acts – but without prematurely reading into his words the Gospel accounts of the empty tomb – Paul’s understanding never includes the Gospel progression in which Jesus was first raised to the Earth, but only later raised all the way to Heaven. The conception in Paul that Jesus was “raised” envisages nothing more than a simple one-step process, from Jesus’ death to his glorified post-mortem existence. As Paul explains elsewhere, Jesus died, then was raised to be at the right hand of God in Heaven, where he will act as a divine intermediary at the final judgment (e.g. Rom. 8.34; Eph. 1.19-23; 2.6-7; Col. 3.1-4; Phil. 2.8-9). This conception – that Jesus ascended directly from death to Heaven – has often been termed “exaltation Christology”, the belief that Jesus went straight “from grave to glory”. As A.W. Zwiep summarizes the belief (in Ascension of the Messiah, 1997: 130):

"the general conviction in the earliest Christian preaching is that, as of the day of his resurrection, Jesus was in heaven, seated at the right hand of God. Resurrection and exaltation were regarded as two sides of one coin…"

books.google.com/books?id=QIW7JywiBhIC&lpg=PA1&dq=a.w.%20zwiep&pg=PA130#v=onepage&q&f=false

Without knowledge of the two-stage Gospel accounts in Matthew, Luke and John, we would have no reason to interpret “raised” otherwise. One of Casey’s observations in respect of 1 Corinthians 15.3-8, and one made in some detail by Gerd Lüdemann (Resurrection of Jesus, 1995), is that Paul does not distinguish, and in fact equates, his much later and personal vision of Jesus on the Damascus Road with each of the other resurrection appearances. That is, Paul does not indicate any difference in quality between the post-resurrection appearances to the twelve disciples and to him some years later. Yet, from Acts 9.3-8; 22.6-11; 26.12-18 we know that Paul’s Damascus Road experience was something “which other people present at the time did not see or hear properly” (p. 457). The startling conclusion is that Paul does not distinguish a resurrection “appearance” to Cephas/Peter and the other disciples from a personal vision that only Paul himself claims to have had access to. For Paul, a resurrection experience can be entirely subjective, without any shared, objective, public basis; Paul’s understanding of the post-resurrection “appearances” of Jesus to his disciples only requires their visionary experience of subjectively “seeing” Jesus. In Paul’s understanding of these post-resurrection appearances of Jesus, it does not matter if he “appears” to somebody immediately, or many years afterward; if Paul knows of a tradition of a vision of Jesus, no matter how subjective or late, he simply records it as a fact." remnantofgiants.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/caseys-jesus-2-empty-tomb/

You’re missing the point. Again. You’re making your own specific and certain claims, based on the work of certain scholars. Other scholars have reached other conclusions which preclude the assertions you’re making. “Ad hoc excuses”? No – I’m just pointing out the other possibilities which would render your conclusions moot.

Do you know anything about the Synoptic Problem?

Yes. I’ve studied it. You’re picking and choosing a certain subset of the scholarship on the synoptic problem, and then attempting to claim that this subset is the only scholarship available (which, therefore, leads you to assert that your conclusions are the only reasonable ones). Which, of course, they’re not. :wink:

Here watch this.

Not a bad little introduction to the synoptic problem. The author of the piece at least provides a more even-handed approach to the question than you’ve done here… :shrug:

Sample proof of copying verbatim:

You do know what ‘verbatim’ means, don’t you? These aren’t verbatim copies… although they are very close.

“Most scholars believe that this close literary relationship is due to Matthew and Luke independently copying Mark.” - Casey pg. 62

Umm… you recognize that this isn’t what the two-source theory says… right? Or are you only interested in theories inasmuch as they agree with Markan priority, and so two-source or two-gospel are all good with you, as long as they agree on Markan priority?

In regards to Mark 2:9-11, Matthew 9:5-6, and Luke 5:23-24
he goes on to say:

“This is obviously the same story, and it is told in almost the same words, the crucial indicator that there is a literary relationship between Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The narrative interpolation into Jesus’ speech is especially significant here: ‘(then) he says/said to the paralytic/paralyzed’. The chances of three independent writers making this almost identical narrative interpolation at the same point are negligible.”

Of course, this is a far cry from suggesting that these are simply copies of a single work. Yes, they draw on similar pericopes from the tradition… but that doesn’t mean that there’s only one ‘author’ here; merely that there are three authors who are dipping into similar sources (whatever those sources might be). You’re overreaching in the conclusions you’re asserting. :shrug:

Of course it’s a matter of the empty tomb. Read my OP. The shared sayings material “Q” and unique M and L is irrelevant to my argument.

Actually, it’s highly relevant, and you seem to be unaware of the importance of its existence vis-a-vis your assertions. You claim that, if Paul precedes the Gospels, and Mark precedes Matthew and Luke, and greater detail and additional information appear in Matthew and Luke, that therefore it follows that the Church forged new information as time went on. Your argument has a fatal flaw: it presumes that, if Matthew and Luke were later than Mark, then their sources were later, too. That’s a gaping hole in your argument. If the two-source theory is true, then your assertions die a painful death if Q precedes or is contemporaneous with Mark. There is much scholarly debate surrounding the ‘dating’ of the ‘sayings gospel’ that Matthew and Luke are said to share. Your conclusions do not “follow inductively from the premises”, as you claimed in response to Mystophilius, but rather, have a rather glaring weakness that you are either attempting to hide (or worse, about which you are unaware).

Not if you accept the consensus dating. 70 CE was a whole generation after the crucifixion in those days.

Yes, but if these accounts added whole new and unheard-of narratives to the Gospel story, then we’d expect to see some rationalizations for adding the new information. None exist.

“If they were lies” - my intent isn’t to show they’re lies, that’s a shifting of the burden of proof by the way.

No – you’re the one making the claims here; the burden of proof rests on you. It does not prove an argument to simply point at the accounts and assert, “see! they must be accretions!”. That’s a claim… not an argument. :wink:

Since these texts have supernatural claims in them the burden of proof would be on you to demonstrate that they’re true.

How, precisely, would we demonstrate their truth to your satisfaction?

The BoP does not lie on the one who is unconvinced of such claims.

Precisely. And we’re unconvinced that your assertions are reasonable arguments, let alone that you’ve proven them. So… let’s see the proof!

I will no longer engage in addressing your red herrings. Only responses to my OP will be addressed. I should have known from your first post and your selective response (ignoring most of the OP) that you wouldn’t really have anything substantial to offer.

Regardless of all that I have demonstrated beyond the shadow of a doubt that the earliest Christian beliefs were that of “visions” rather than interacting with the physical body of Jesus. Those beliefs came later.

One thing that I will address though is this:

Even if the “Q” predates Mark that doesn’t affect my argument because it’s the “sayings” material of Jesus not the narrative describing what happened. And as such it’s entirely irrelevant here. What’s of importance is the empty tomb narrative originally having no appearances then evolving toward appearances where the physicality is more emphasized. This completely contradicts the nature of the “appearances” in 1 Cor 15 and Paul makes no reference to an empty tomb.

You realize, of course, that this is simply an argument by Irenaeus from mysticism against the claim that there are fewer or greater than four Gospels… right? You realize that this isn’t a claim that the Church makes in its defense of the Gospels… right? You realize that this isn’t how the canon was decided upon… don’t you? :rolleyes:

If you’re not going to respond to the whole OP then just don’t bother anymore.

Why respond to the whole thing, if I can point out the obvious errors in it?

My thesis still stands and I have plenty of scholarly support for it.

Here’s where you’re being just a bit delusional. There’s scholarly support for the various premises of your argument, but your conclusion is not held by Scripture scholars. Your argument is akin to me ‘proving’ that since the moon exists, and since blue cheese exists, then the moon must be made of blue cheese. :wink:

if we follow the logic of Paul’s line of thought, corroborated by what Paul says elsewhere and even in the summaries of Paul’s preaching in Acts – but without prematurely reading into his words the Gospel accounts of the empty tomb – Paul’s understanding never includes the Gospel progression in which Jesus was first raised to the Earth, but only later raised all the way to Heaven. The conception in Paul that Jesus was “raised” envisages nothing more than a simple one-step process, from Jesus’ death to his glorified post-mortem existence.

Paul himself admits that he wasn’t a witness to Jesus’ resurrection and that he wasn’t taught by the apostles. In other words, we would expect that his witness would be singularly his own. However, the conclusion that, since he didn’t explicitly discuss physical appearances of Jesus means that they didn’t occur, is at best sketchy. Paul’s Christology focuses on the effects of Christ’s glory, not the telling of the Gospel story itself, and therefore, it doesn’t demonstrate what you hope it does…

Paul does not distinguish, and in fact equates, his much later and personal vision of Jesus on the Damascus Road with each of the other resurrection appearances. That is, Paul does not indicate any difference in quality between the post-resurrection appearances to the twelve disciples and to him some years later.

Paul’s purpose there isn’t in the retelling of the Gospel story, but in justification of his status as an ‘apostle’. Therefore, it only stands to reason that he ‘equates’ his personal experience of Christ with that of the Twelve.

Perhaps, but look at what it does to your argument: you claim that Matthew and Luke constructed their own material from thin air in order to bolster their arguments about Christ’s resurrection. Besides the fact that you don’t prove your claim – but only blithely assert it – your argument is weakened if Q doesn’t follow Mark. It would have to account for the fact that Matthew’s and Luke’s additional material isn’t novel, but rather, is more ancient than Mark (and perhaps even Paul).

I will no longer engage in addressing your red herrings.

Yesssss… it’s always easier to claim ‘red herring’ (without further analysis) than defend one’s assertions, isn’t it? :thumbsup:

For the last time Q is irrelevant because it makes no explicit mention of the details surrounding the death and resurrection of Jesus.

What of the fact that Luke has all the appearances in Jerusalem while Mark says Jesus will be going to Galilee (Mark 16:7) and Matthew has all the appearances in Galilee as well? That’s a deliberate replacement that cannot be reconciled. Mark’s Gospel ends with “They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.” So obviously there’s some rewriting going on here by Matthew and Luke as they saw that ending unfit.

To argue Irenaeus had no influence on what books would be in canon is completely asinine.

You have still made no mention of how the Greek word ophthe was used in regards to visions. Perhaps you agree with that part?

What’s delusional? The fact that Markan priority and the two-source hypothesis are the most widely regarded solutions to the Synoptic Problem by textual scholars? Or the fact that I showed Paul has a vision of Jesus and most likely the earliest traditions of Jesus were based on these visions and the belief that he was exalted straight to heaven as per the Zwiep quote I provided?

Ok, so what? Why should we trust what Paul said?

The ophthe/vision argument is too strong to just brush aside which you’ve been doing all along.

You’re changing the goalposts again. It’s not whether Irenaeus influenced the canon; it’s whether his assertion – about four winds, etc, etc – were what the Church adopted as its standard for canonicity. Asserting that his statement that you quoted is what the Church believes about why a Gospel is a Gospel is completely asinine. :wink:

You have still made no mention of how the Greek word ophthe was used in regards to visions. Perhaps you agree with that part?

It’s an interesting discussion. Where you’ve taken it, though, and the conclusions you reach based upon it, are the assertions with which I disagree. And that’s why I’ve focused on those assertions.

What’s delusional? The fact that Markan priority and the two-source hypothesis are the most widely regarded solutions to the Synoptic Problem by textual scholars? Or the fact that I showed Paul has a vision of Jesus and most likely the earliest traditions of Jesus were based on these visions and the belief that he was exalted straight to heaven as per the Zwiep quote I provided?

Neither. Markan priority is well-attested and not unreasonable. I’d disagree with Zwiep’s conclusion that Paul’s texts point to an “exalted straight to heaven” Christology… but that’s besides the point. (After all, Zwiep’s conclusions don’t represent a scholarly consensus.) What’s delusional is the way you connect the dots – the fact that Paul’s story is different than the Evangelists doesn’t prove that later Gospels are a deliberate fabrication. I recognize that you seem to want to connect the dots this way, but it’s unreasonable to suggest that this is the only logical conclusion.

Ok, so what? Why should we trust what Paul said?

Which part? That he saw Christ?

The ophthe/vision argument is too strong to just brush aside which you’ve been doing all along.

The argument is an interesting one. It just doesn’t force us to submit to the conclusion that you’re championing.

forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=12861465&postcount=30

Not quite sure why you’re pointing back to your own (recent) post. But…

[quote=Contrarian]For the last time Q is irrelevant because it makes no explicit mention of the details surrounding the death and resurrection of Jesus.
[/quote]

It’s not irrelevant. Your claim is that Matthew and Luke are suspect because they spuriously add new material that they, themselves, have made up in order to make the Gospels look good. If Q is not older than Mark, then your thesis has a problem – since Matthew and Luke will have been seen to have added old material. Your thesis, then, would at least have to attempt to explain the addition of old material; in fact, without such an explanation, your thesis fails, since its motivation is seen to have been false (the “let’s make stuff up” part). I’m not claiming Q is relevant for its content, but for its provenance and presence. :wink:

What of the fact that Luke has all the appearances in Jerusalem while Mark says Jesus will be going to Galilee (Mark 16:7) and Matthew has all the appearances in Galilee as well? That’s a deliberate replacement that cannot be reconciled. Mark’s Gospel ends with “They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.” So obviously there’s some rewriting going on here by Matthew and Luke as they saw that ending unfit.

The evangelists are telling a story to a particular audience. Matthew’s and Luke’s audiences are not Mark’s audience. We’ve already established that the Gospels aren’t ‘history’, per se (heck – ‘history’, as we’re used to seeing it written in the 21st century, didn’t even exist as a genre back then; ‘history’ was written differently!). They were writings meant for a group of the faithful. No one takes John to task for writing a Gospel that’s different than the Synoptics; why should we get worked up when one of the Synoptics looks a bit different than another Synoptic? Where’s it written that, since there are similarities, the accounts must necessarily be identical (or else be tossed out)?

[BIBLEDRB][/BIBLEDRB]Even if Q is “old material” that doesn’t prove that Matthew and Luke wrote before Mark. It does nothing to disprove Markan priority. The “sayings material” has nothing to do with the unique material that was added later and describes the bodily appearances in detail.

My point is that the difference in where the appearances happened is a discrepancy that cannot be reconciled and shows the sources to be unreliable. Where did the appearances happen? In Jerusalem or Galilee? Depends on what Gospel you read.

What I find weird is that someone would just announce that Paul had or did not have a vision of Jesus, without referring to any materials about the actual definition of visions, apparitions, and actual presence, etc. Usually scholars of mysticism are much more cautious about the exact classification of Biblical experiences with angels, the saints at the Transfiguration, etc.

Heck, Paul himself says (at another point) that he didn’t know if he went to heaven in the body or just spiritually. And if the eyewitness experiencer doesn’t always know, how can we be so sure that we know?

What does seem certain with the Damascus road thing is that it’s more a case of “Jesus made Paul know him experientially” than that Paul saw or heard Jesus.

Obviously what Paul did after that was all Paul’s free will, but Paul surely didn’t want or choose to have any weird vision of Jesus telling Paul that the Church was Jesus’ body and Paul should lay off.

But Jesus after the Resurrection, and Jesus at the Transfiguration, were both cases of Jesus tooling around in a physical body that was better because more obviously unfallen, and better because making Christ’s divinity more obviously integrated with His humanity. But it was still His physical body, and it’s the same physical thing that our physical bodies will become at the Resurrection (assuming we have His life in us, and hence in our bodies).

Even now, it’s fairly common for people to have the mystical experience of looking at ordinary landscapes and suddenly seeing the glory of Creation tying it all together, or to look at a saintly person and see how much more real and glorious they are. There is often a sort of feeling of brightness to this, even though the actual light levels don’t change. And this is looking at fallen Creation and a normal physical body, albeit that of someone in the process of becoming Christ-ized.

Looking at Jesus, Who actually puts out that glory which Creation only reflects and His saints only share — looking at Him when He had been resurrected and was not hiding that glory… Well, that physical body would be pretty amazing to see.

According to Acts 1:21-22 Paul doesn’t fit the criteria for an apostle so we have another discrepancy among our sources.

OK… so, let’s be honest here. You’ve just gone beyond “scholarly debate about Gospels” to “I think the NT is wrong”. Fair enough?

In any case, I disagree that you’ve found a discrepancy. What Peter is trying to do in Acts 1 is different than what we see happening with Paul. Peter is trying to reconstitute the Twelve, following Judas’ death, but prior to the coming of the Advocate; for that purpose, he needs someone who has a personal experience with Christ as a disciple during His earthly ministry. Paul’s experience is different, and he doesn’t ever become one of the Twelve (although he does become one of “the sent”).

Why does Paul refer to the “Twelve” in 1 Cor 15 when there should have only been eleven that experienced the appearances? Acts may not have been written until 110-120 CE according to modern scholarship and there are numerous contradictions in it with regards to the letters of Paul.

I’m well aware of the problems scholars face when dating Acts and am also aware of the difficulties that arise when trying to argue for traditional authorship - a position which has largely been abandoned in recent scholarship. bibleinterp.com/opeds/actapo358006.shtml

First off, Paul and Barnabas were “sent” by the Church (in the person of their specific community) to go evangelize. An apostle in the secular sense was someone who has been sent officially as a representative, such as an ambassador. In the Christian sense, it is someone who has been sent out as a missionary or is otherwise an official representative of Christ.

For example, St. Patrick is called “Apostle to the Irish” because he was sent by the Church to evangelize Ireland. The same title is given to the first or most prominent evangelizer/s in every country, or even among regional areas or tribes. (And it doesn’t matter if the person is a layperson, or whether it’s a man or woman. In the East, the title for women missionaries who are the earliest is “equal to the apostles”, though.)

Similarly, bishops are “heirs to the apostles” or “apostolic” because they are Christ’s official representatives to their individual sees, and because we have an official record of this office being passed along from bishops to bishops.

Re: 1 Corinthians 15:5 – Matthias was clearly among the disciples in the Upper Room. He was not of the Twelve at that moment, but became one of the Twelve within the next few days.

However, it might make you happy to know that St. Jerome translated this passage as “the Eleven.” There were two different Greek versions of this verse kicking around - one said hendeka (11) and the other said dodeka (12). I guess Jerome wanted to clarify the matter and picked the less common verse version that he liked better.

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