Sunday, September 22, 2013

Phenomena during the crucifixion Phenomena during the crucifixion Julius Africanus further refers to the writings of historian Thallus: "This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun. For the Hebrews celebrate the passover on the 14th day according to the moon, and the passion of our Saviour falls on the day before the passover; but an eclipse of the sun takes place only when the moon comes under the sun."[150]Donaldson, Coxe (1888). The ante-Nicene fathers 6. New York: The Christian Literature Publishing Co. p. 136. A solar eclipse concurrent with a full moon is a scientific impossibility. Christian apologist Tertullian wrote "In the same hour, too, the light of day was withdrawn, when the sun at the very time was in his meridian blaze. Those who were not aware that this had been predicted about Christ, no doubt thought it an eclipse. You yourselves have the account of the world-portent still in your archives."[151]Tertullian. "Apologeticum". Humphreys and Waddington of Oxford University considered the possibility that a lunar, rather than solar, eclipse might have taken place, visible for thirty minutes after sunset.[152][153] They concluded that: "This eclipse was visible from Jerusalem at moonrise ... first visible from Jerusalem at about 6:20pm (the start of the Jewish Sabbath and also the start of Passover day in A.D. 33) with about 20% of its disc in the umbra of the earth's shadow ... The eclipse finished some thirty minutes later at 6:50pm." _______________________________________________________________________________ ^ The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament by Andreas J. K√∂stenberger, L. Scott Kellum 2009 ISBN 978-0-8054-4365-3 page 104–108 ^ Evans, Craig A. (2001). Jesus and His Contemporaries: Comparative Studies ISBN 0-391-04118-5 page 316 69.Jump up ^ Wansbrough, Henry (2004). Jesus and the oral Gospel tradition ISBN 0-567-04090-9 page 185 ^ Green, Joel B. (1997). The Gospel of Luke : new international commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. p. 168. ISBN 0-8028-2315-7. ____________21.^ Jump up to: a b Eddy, Paul; Boyd, Gregory (2007). The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition Baker Academic, ISBN 0-8010-3114-1 page 127 On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, 'He is going forth to be stoned because he has practised sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy. Anyone who can say anything in his favour, let him come forward and plead on his behalf.' But since nothing was brought forward in his favour he was hanged on the eve of the Passover! —Sanhedrin 43a, Babylonian Talmud (Soncino Edition) ^ Jesus in the Talmud by Peter Sch√§fer (Aug 24, 2009) ISBN 0-691-14318-8 page 141 and 9 Van Voorst, Robert E. (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 pages 177–118 81.^ Jump up to: a b George W. Braswell Jr., What You Need to Know about Islam and Muslims, page 127 (B & H Publishing Group, 2000). ISBN 978-0-8054-1829-3 ^ William Barclay, Great Themes of the New Testament (Westminster John Knox Press 2001 ISBN 978-0-664-22385-4), p. 41 Letter to the Smyrnaeans, II ____________________________________________________________________ Moreover, their calculations showed that the 20% umbra shadow was positioned close to the leading edge, the first visible portion at moonrise. These authors note that the Apostle Peter's reference to a "moon of blood"[Acts 2:20] (a term commonly used for a lunar eclipse because of the reddish color of the light refracted onto the moon through the Earth's atmosphere) may be a reference to this eclipse. It should be noted, however, that in the preceding verse of the same passage, Peter expressly mentions that "the sun shall be turned to darkness", which would suggest a solar eclipse in conjunction with the lunar one.[Acts 2:20] They claim that the failure of any of the gospel accounts to refer to a lunar eclipse is the result of a scribe wrongly amending a text, a claim historian David Henige describes as 'indefensible'.[154] Astronomer Bradley Schaefer points out that the lunar eclipse would not have been visible during daylight hours.[155][156] CHAP. XXXIII. Contra Celsus(m) "But," continues Celsus, "what great deeds did Jesus perform as being a God? Did he put his enemies to shame, or bring to a ridiculous conclusion what was designed against him?" Now to this question, although we are able to show the striking and miraculous character of the events which befell Him, yet from what other source can we furnish an answer than from the Gospel narratives, which state that "there was an earthquake, and that the rocks were split asunder, and the tombs opened, and the veil of the temple rent in twain from top to bottom, and that darkness prevailed in the day-time, the sun failing to give light?" But if Celsus believe the Gospel accounts when he thinks that he can find in them matter of charge against the Christians, and refuse to believe them when they establish the divinity of Jesus, our answer to him is: "Sir, either disbelieve all the Gospel narratives, and then no longer imagine that you can found charges upon them; or, in yielding your belief to their statements, look in admiration on the Logos of God, who became incarnate, and who desired to confer benefits upon the whole human race. And this feature evinces the nobility of the work of Jesus, that, down to the present time, those whom God wills are healed by His name. And with regard to the eclipse in the time of Tiberius Caesar, in whose reign Jesus appears to have been crucified, and the great earthquakes which then took place, Phlegon too, I think, has written in the thirteenth or fourteenth book of his Chronicles." CHAP. XXXIV. Origen Contra Celsus dream of Pilate's wife reference to Pentheus This Jew of Celsus, ridiculing Jesus, as he imagines, is described as being acquainted with the Bacchae of Euripides, in which Dionysus says:- "The divinity himself will liberate me whenever I wish." NOW the Jews are not much acquainted with Greek literature; but suppose that there was a Jew so well versed in it (as to make such a quotation on his part appropriate), how (does it follow) that Jesus could not liberate Himself, because He did not do so? For let him believe from our own Scriptures that Peter obtained his freedom after having been bound in prison, an angel having loosed his chains; and that Paul, having been bound in the stocks along with Silas in Philippi of Macedonia, was liberated by divine power, when the gates of the prison were opened. But it is probable that Celsus treats these accounts with ridicule, or that he never read them; for he would probably say in reply, that there are certain sorcerers who are able by incantations to unloose chains and to open doors, so that he would liken the events related in our histories to the doings of sorcerers. "But," he continues, "no calamity happened even to him who condemned him, as there did to Pentheus, viz., madness or discerption." And yet he does not know that it was not so much Pilate that condemned Him (who knew that "for envy the Jews had delivered Him"), as the Jewish nation, which has been condemned by God, and rent in pieces, and dispersed over the whole earth, in a degree far beyond what happened to Pentheus. Moreover, why did he intentionally omit what is related of Pilate's wife, who beheld a vision, and who was so moved by it as to send a message to her husband, saying: "Have thou nothing to do with that just man; for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of Him?" And again, passing by in silence the proofs of the divinity of Jesus, Celsus endeavours to cast reproach upon Him from the narratives in the Gospel, referring to those who mocked Jesus, and put on Him the purple robe, and the crown of thorns, and placed the reed in His hand. From what source now, Celsus, did you derive these statements, save from the Gospel narratives? And did you, accordingly, see that they were fit matters for reproach; while they who recorded them did not think that you, and such as you, would turn them into ridicule; but that others would receive from them an example how to despise those who ridiculed and mocked Him on account of His religion, who appropriately laid down His life for its sake? Admire rather their love of truth, and that of the Being who bore these things voluntarily for the sake of men, and who endured them with all constancy and long-suffering. For it is not recorded that He uttered any lamentation, or that after His condemnation He either did or uttered anything unbecoming. CHAP. XXXV. But in answer to this objection, "If not before, yet why now, at least, does he not give some manifestation of his divinity, and free himself from this reproach, and take vengeance upon those who insult both him and his Father?" We have to reply, that it would be the same thing as if we were to say to those among the Greeks who accept the doctrine of providence, and who believe in portents, Why does God not punish those who insult the Divinity, and subvert the doctrine of providence? For as the Greeks would answer such objections, so would we, in the same, or a more effective manner. There was not only a portent from heaven--the eclipse of the sun--but also the other miracles, which show that the crucified One possessed something that was divine, and greater than was possessed by the majority of men. CHAP. XXXVI. Celsus next says: "What is the nature of the ichor in the body of the crucified Jesus? Is it 'such as flows in the bodies of the immortal gods?'" He puts this question in a spirit of mockery; but we shall show from the serious narratives of the Gospels, although Celsus may not like it, that it was no mythic and Homeric ichor which flowed from the body of Jesus, but that, after His death, "one of the soldiers with a spear pierced His side, and there came there-out blood and water. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true, and he knoweth that he saith the truth." Now, in other dead bodies the blood congeals, and pure water does not flow forth; but the miraculous feature in the case of the dead body of Jesus was, that around the dead body blood and water flowed forth from the side. But if this Celsus, who, in order to find matter of accusation against Jesus and the Christians, extracts from the Gospel even passages which are incorrectly interpreted, but passes over in silence the evidences of the divinity of Jesus, would listen to divine portents, let him read the Gospel, and see that even the centurion, and they who with him kept watch over Jesus, on seeing the earthquake, and the events that occurred, were greatly afraid, saying, "This man was the Son of God." CHAP. XXXVII. After this, he who extracts from the Gospel narrative those statements on which he thinks he can found an accusation, makes the vinegar and the gall a subject of reproach to Jesus, saying that "he rushed with open mouth to drink of them, and could not endure his thirst as any ordinary man frequently endures it." Now this matter admits of an explanation of a peculiar and figurative kind; but on the present occasion, the statement that the prophets predicted this very incident may be accepted as the more common answer to the objection. For in the sixty-ninth Psalm there is written, with reference to Christ: "And they gave me gall for my meat, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink," Now, let the Jews say who it is that the prophetic writing represents as uttering these words; and let them adduce from history one who received gall for his food, and to whom vinegar was given as drink. Would they venture to assert that the Christ whom they expect still to come might be placed in such circumstances? Then we would say, What prevents the prediction from having been already accomplished? For this very prediction was uttered many ages before, and is sufficient, along with the other prophetic utterances, to lead him who fairly examines the whole matter to the conclusion that Jesus is He who was prophesied of as Christ, and as the Son of God. CHAP. XXXVIII. The few next remarks: "You, O sincere believers, find fault with us, because we do not recognise this individual as God, nor agree with you that he endured these (sufferings) for the benefit of mankind, in order that we also might despise punishment." Now, in answer to this, we say that we blame the Jews, who have been brought up under the training of the law and the prophets (which foretell the coming of Christ), because they neither refute the arguments which we lay before them to prove that He is the Messiah, adducing such refutation as a defence of their unbelief; nor yet, while not offering any refutation, do they believe in Him who was the subject of prophecy, and who clearly manifested through His disciples, even after the period of His appearance in the flesh, that He underwent these things for the benefit of mankind; having, as the object of His first advent, not to condemn men and their actions before He had instructed them, and pointed out to them their duty, nor to chastise the wicked and save the good, but to disseminate His doctrine in an extraordinary manner, and with the evidence of divine power, among the whole human race, as the prophets also have represented these things. And we blame them, moreover, because they did not believe in Him who gave evidence of the power that was in Him, but asserted that He cast out demons from the souls of men through Beelzebub the prince of the demons; and we blame them because they slander the philanthropic character of Him, who overlooked not only no city, but not even a single village in Judea, that He might everywhere announce the kingdom of God, accusing Him of leading the wandering life of a vagabond, and passing an anxious existence in a disgraceful body. But there is no disgrace in enduring such labours for the benefit of all those who may be able to understand Him. CHAP. XLI. In the person of the Jew, Celsus continues to find fault with Jesus, alleging that "he did not show himself to be pure from all evil." Let Celsus state from what "evil" our Lord did not, show Himself to be pure. If he means that, He was not pure from what is properly termed "evil," let him clearly prove the existence of any wicked work in Him. But if he deems poverty and the cross to be evils, and conspiracy on the part of wicked men, then it is clear that he would say that evil had happened also to Socrates, who was unable to show himself pure from evils. And how great also the other band of poor men is among the Greeks, who have given themselves to philosophical pursuits, and have voluntarily accepted a life of poverty, is known to many among the Greeks from what is recorded of Democritus, who allowed his property to become pasture for sheep; and of Crates, who obtained his freedom by bestowing upon the Thebans the price received for the sale of his possessions. Nay, even Diogenes himself, from excessive poverty, came to live in a tub; and yet, in the opinion of no one possessed of moderate understanding, was Diogenes on that account considered to be in an evil (sinful) condition. Understanding the common elements of Judaism and Christianity which are represented in Jesus is particularly difficult. For Christians the task involves adequate acquaintance with and appreciation of "late" Judaism, i.e., the legalistic elements associated with Ezra and his successors. For Jews the task requires acquaintance with both the literature and the history of Christianity. The difficulties tax the best efforts of scholars. Fortunately there have been Jewish and Christian scholars who have devoted themselves to efforts in these fields. One thinks of Claude G. Montefiore, or of Joseph Klausner, and of George F. Moore -- representatives of many, of whom the larger number have come from Judaism. Understanding the common elements of Judaism and Christianity which are represented in Jesus is particularly difficult. For Christians the task involves adequate acquaintance with and appreciation of "late" Judaism, i.e., the legalistic elements associated with Ezra and his successors. For Jews the task requires acquaintance with both the literature and the history of Christianity. The difficulties tax the best efforts of scholars. Fortunately there have been Jewish and Christian scholars who have devoted themselves to efforts in these fields. One thinks of Claude G. Montefiore, or of Joseph Klausner, and of George F. Moore -- representatives of many, of whom the larger number have come from Judaism. Contents Acknowledgments ix Abbreviations xiii Introduction 1 1. Jesus' Family 15 2. The Son/Disciple Who Turned out Badly 25 3. The Frivolous Disciple 34 4. The Torah Teacher 41 5. Healing in the Name of Jesus 52 6. Jesus' Execution 63 7. Jesus' Disciples 75 8. Jesus' Punishment in Hell 82 9. Jesus in the Talmud 95 Appendix: Bavli Manuscripts and Censorship 131 Notes 145 Bibliography 191 Index 203

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