David

Sermon on the Mount vs Nicene Creed

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Evangelion put me on to this book and I though I should share this for those who might find the quote useful when running a seminar on the nature of God & Christ:

The fourth and fifth centuries saw the theological basis of Christian doctrine receive a definite shape…Numerous councils were held to deal with threats or resolve conflicts. We have followed the tortuous course of some of these debates. The four ecumenical councils of Nicaea (325), Constantinople (381), Ephesus (431) and Chalcedon (451) were those which in the end emerged as the norms for imperial religion and catholic truth.

The chief doctrines they stated were these:
  1. that the Son is of the same substance as the Father;
  2. that the Holy Spirit shares the honour and dignity of the Father and the Son;
  3. that Mary is to be honoured as ‘Theotokos’ (Godbearer);
  4. that Jesus is fully divine and fully human.
The creeds and other statements of these councils used ideas and language sometimes perceived as very different in some respects from those of the New Testament. A typical example is given by Edwin Hatch, who at the beginning of his Gifford Lectures for 1888, published as The influence of Greek ideas and usages upon the Christian church, spoke of the contrast between the Nicene Creed and the Sermon on the Mount: ‘The one belongs to a world of Syrian peasants, the other to a world of Greek philosophers…The question why an ethical sermon stood in the forefront of the teaching of Jesus Christ and a metaphysical creed in the forefront of Christianity of the fourth century is a problem which claims investigation’.

Those who believe in Jesus Christ have to decide what they make of this apparent discrepancy.

Doctrine and Practice in the Early Church, Stuart G. Hall, 1992, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Edited by David
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It's a fantastic little book. Every Christadelphian who aspires to good scholarship should acquire and read it cover to cover.

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On 03/04/2014 at 9:40 PM, David said:

 

  1. that the Son is of the same substance as the Father;

The debate was between "same substance" (trinitarianism) and "like substance" (arianism), no hint of just a man theory.

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11 hours ago, SDA said:

The debate was between "same substance" (trinitarianism) and "like substance" (arianism), no hint of just a man theory.

Sorry, I don't understand your point - I never suggested it was otherwise. I was quoting from a book written by a Trinitarian scholar. But I do like the cut of his jib. My understanding is that Ellen White would have like it as well.

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9 hours ago, David said:

Sorry, I don't understand your point - I never suggested it was otherwise. I was quoting from a book written by a Trinitarian scholar. But I do like the cut of his jib.

Yeah I know, I was just saying it because I've heard the council of Nicea mentioned in every single trinity talk by CDs and by extension everything in the church considered corrupt to be scape goated in 'Constantine'. I want solid evidence that the earliest christians before Constantine believed Jesus never existed before the incarnation.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_Nicaea#Agenda_and_procedure

"The agenda of the synod included:

The Arian question regarding the relationship between God the Father and the Son (not only in his incarnate form as Jesus, but also in his nature before the creation of the world); i.e., are the Father and Son one in divine purpose only or also one in being?

The orthodox bishops won approval of every one of their proposals regarding the Creed. After being in session for an entire month, the council promulgated on June 19 the original Nicene Creed. This profession of faith was adopted by all the bishops "but two from Libya who had been closely associated with Arius from the beginning". No explicit historical record of their dissent actually exists; the signatures of these bishops are simply absent from the Creed."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_Nicaea#Trinity

"The council of Nicaea dealt primarily with the issue of the deity of Christ. Over a century earlier the term "Trinity" (Τριάς in Greek; trinitas in Latin) was used in the writings of Origen (185–254) and Tertullian (160–220), and a general notion of a "divine three", in some sense, was expressed in the second century writings of Polycarp, Ignatius, and Justin Martyr."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_Nicaea#Constantine

"While Constantine had sought a unified church after the council, he did not force the Homoousianview of Christ's nature on the council"

9 hours ago, David said:

My understanding is that Ellen White would have like it as well.

This part definitely

"The creeds and other statements of these councils used ideas and language sometimes perceived as very different in some respects from those of the New Testament. ...‘The one belongs to a world of Syrian peasants, the other to a world of Greek philosophers…"

 

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On 3/18/2017 at 11:02 PM, SDA said:

I want solid evidence that the earliest christians before Constantine believed Jesus never existed before the incarnation.

The earliest Christians were Jews and they claimed Jesus as the Messiah. The Jewish Messiah was neither God nor a supernatural, pre-existent being. He was a man "anointed" to be God's messenger. A starting point for evidence would be the Psalms of Solomon or any book covering the Jewish belief system in the first century BCE and CE.

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42 minutes ago, David said:

The Jewish Messiah was was a man "anointed" to be God's messenger.

There were alot of opinions on what (man or age) or who (king or priest) the Messiah would be. It was precisely because there was no unified definition that the Jews couldn't recognise Jesus as the Messiah. The disciples themselves only with hindsight (when looking at the OT) could see how Jesus fulfilled the Messiah role.

 

42 minutes ago, David said:

The earliest Christians were Jews

Would you consider gentiles to be early Christians too?

On 18/03/2017 at 10:32 PM, SDA said:

I want solid evidence that the earliest christians before Constantine believed Jesus never existed before the incarnation.

Do you have a book that says this?

Edited by SDA

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5 hours ago, SDA said:

[1] There were alot of opinions on what (man or age) or who (king or priest) the Messiah would be. It was precisely because there was no unified definition that the Jews couldn't recognise Jesus as the Messiah. The disciples themselves only with hindsight (when looking at the OT) could see how Jesus fulfilled the Messiah role.

[2] Would you consider gentiles to be early Christians too?

[3] Do you have a book that says this?

[1] Change of topic. If there was one agreed point of understanding it was that Messiah would be a man (and not God). Saying that they may have disagreed on other particulars is not relevant.

[2] Yes, that's why I said earliest.

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Did_Jesus_Exist%3F_(Ehrman)

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5 hours ago, David said:

Yes, that's why I said earliest.

So at time point in history do you consider true christians to have died out? or when do you put the end date for early church?

5 hours ago, David said:

The 'historical' Jesus quest presuppositional rules out the divine. I'm after a commentary book.

Edited by SDA
Meant to say *the divine

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1 minute ago, SDA said:

The 'historical' Jesus quest presuppositional rules out a man. I'm after a commentary book.

Ehrman is a scholar. Start with that and check his footnotes.

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4 hours ago, David said:

Ehrman is a scholar. Start with that and check his footnotes.

A scholar yes,  though not sure how the book is relevant to the pre-existence?

"Ehrman sets out to demonstrate the historical evidence for Jesus' existence, and he aims to state why all experts in the area agree that "whatever else you may think about Jesus, he certainly did exist." 

"In 2012, Ehrman published Did Jesus Exist? The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth, defending the historical existence of Jesus of Nazareth in contrast to the mythicist theory that Jesus is an entirely fictitious being"

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bart_D._Ehrman

"Andreas J. Köstenberger, Darrell L. Bock and Josh D. Chatraw have disputed Ehrman's depiction of scholarly consensus, saying: "It is only by defining scholarship on his own terms and by excluding scholars who disagree with him that Ehrman is able to imply that he is supported by all other scholarship." Michael R. Licona, notes, however, that "his thinking is hardly original, as his positions are those largely embraced by mainstream skeptical scholarship"

Side note, What is scholarly consensus?

 

Using Ehrman is like quoting me https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Strauss from the presuppositional historical approach side.

And also the worldview side.

For example:

"his belief that Christian doctrines such as the suffering Messiah...were later inventions."

"Ehrman posits some New Testament books are literary forgeries and shows how widely forgery was practiced by early Christian writers—and how it was condemned in the ancient world as fraudulent and illicit"

 

"Early Christians found themselves confronted with a set of new concepts and ideas relating to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, as well the notions of salvation and redemption, and had to use a new set of terms, images, and ideas in order to deal with them. The existing terms and structures which were available to them were often insufficient to express these religious concepts, and taken together, these new forms of discourse led to the beginnings of Christology as an attempt to understand, explain, and discuss their understanding of the nature of Christ"

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christology

"the broad consensus of modern New Testament scholars that the proclamation of Jesus' exalted nature was in large measure the creation of the earliest Christian communities." Footnote 108, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_Jesus

[It was a necessary 'creation' to explain the evidence]

 

This is the only group I could find that argued Jesus was an ordinary mortal with not pre-existence.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebionites#Jesus

This is what I mean by show me the earliest Christians didn't believe in the pre-existence. Show me the long line through history that it was held as a belief.

John Locke, William Ellery Channing and Isaac Newton appear to have maintained belief in the pre-existence of Christ despite their rejection of the Trinity.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-existence_of_Christ#Non-Trinitarian_belief_in_the_doctrine

We are Christian's not Jews.

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It is relevant because he explains that the earliest Christians were Jews, the earliest Christians claimed Jesus as the Messiah, and by Messiah "all Jews" understood that to be in reference to a man. This is not the part that most Christians have a problem with - it is the last section of his book that they take issue with.

You are asking me to prove a negative which is typically extremely difficult or impossible. Instead, can you show me once piece of evidence that the earliest Christians did believe in the pre-existence? That it was a critical part of the gospel message? If instead, you concede that many first century Christians died in faith without belief in the pre-existence of Christ, then explain why CD need it and why you are so anxious to impose it?

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11 hours ago, David said:

It is relevant because he explains that the earliest Christians were Jews, the earliest Christians claimed Jesus as the Messiah, and by Messiah "all Jews" understood that to be in reference to a man.

Yes, I agree Jews were only expecting a human Messiah. The disciples naturally mistakenly took the view of their contemporaries, they also weren't expecting the Messiah to die (because he human). "So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and *said to them, “Peace be with you.” John 20:19

Until after the resurrection then they realised Jesus was the Anointed One (Christ) and so much more:
"Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” John 20:27-28

That is why John includes alot of pre-existence allusions.
 

That book, is talking about was there Jesus not who is Jesus.

A historian cannot tell me who Jesus is. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/jesus/tensions.html

Do you mean for me to read 'How Jesus Became God' instead?

 

11 hours ago, David said:

You are asking me to prove a negative which is typically extremely difficult or impossible. Instead, can you show me once piece of evidence that the earliest Christians did believe in the pre-existence? That it was a critical part of the gospel message? If instead, you concede that many first century Christians died in faith without belief in the pre-existence of Christ, then explain why CD need it and why you are so anxious to impose it?

No I'm saying almost every Christian believed in the pre-existence except for the Ebionites. I'm asking you to show me that belief there was no pre-existence is mainstream in early christianity and not a 'heresy'.

That is why I'm asking you to define when you put the end cutoff for the early Christians or the when you think the church became fully corrupt? Then I can cite you the historical evidence you want. You seem to want to discount any belief, after say 40AD.

Are you asking me if the critical part for salvation or for truth(belief)?
Do you think Jesus came to take away the sins of the world or to destroy the carnal mind (which is apparently a property of the flesh)? (side note, if you want to discuss salvation)

I'm saying they died in faith believing it.

 

 

 

If you want to take the belief of the times of the apostles, then you have to admit the gospel writers believed in a supernatural devil. You might argue that they mistakenly throught demons were real when they were medical diseases, but they themselves believed they were supernatural powers.

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12 hours ago, David said:

explain why CD need it and why you are so anxious to impose it?

Christadelphian put this as Sunday-night (public) lecture topic. 
If they kept it as a Wednesday-night study or Sunday-morning study, then that is fine. (Keep their controversial views to themselves)

That it specifically addressed to the unsaved this indicates to me they believe it is essential to believe this.  Is this not an open challenge to other Christians?
 

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21 hours ago, SDA said:

"Andreas J. Köstenberger, Darrell L. Bock and Josh D. Chatraw have disputed Ehrman's depiction of scholarly consensus, saying: "It is only by defining scholarship on his own terms and by excluding scholars who disagree with him that Ehrman is able to imply that he is supported by all other scholarship." Michael R. Licona, notes, however, that "his thinking is hardly original, as his positions are those largely embraced by mainstream skeptical scholarship"

You don't even know what this is talking about. This criticism only applies to one specific area of Ehrman's work.

21 hours ago, SDA said:

Side note, What is scholarly consensus?

The general agreement of professional scholars in a field.

21 hours ago, SDA said:

Using Ehrman is like quoting me https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Strauss from the presuppositional historical approach side.

No it is nothing like that, because mainstream confessional scholarship agrees with Ehrman on the point under dispute.

21 hours ago, SDA said:

"the broad consensus of modern New Testament scholars that the proclamation of Jesus' exalted nature was in large measure the creation of the earliest Christian communities." Footnote 108, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_Jesus

[It was a necessary 'creation' to explain the evidence]

You missed out these parts of the article.

Quote


Raymond E. Brown concluded that the earliest Christians did not call Jesus, "God."[107] New Testament scholars broadly agree that Jesus did not make any implicit claims to be God.

 

In fact you didn't even quote the footnote properly. Here's what it says.

Quote

"A further point of broad agreement among New Testament scholars ... is that the historical Jesus did not make the claim to deity that later Christian thought was to make for him: he did not understand himself to be God, or God the Son, incarnate. ... such evidence as there is has led the historians of the era to conclude, with an impressive degree of unanimity, that Jesus did not claim to be God incarnate."

 

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16 hours ago, Fortigurn said:

In fact you didn't even quote the footnote properly. Here's what it says.

I would argue Jesus claimed to be God.
But scholarly consensus is that while Jesus didn't make the claim for himself, the early Christians made it on his behalf. They only way I could see they would of got this idea would be from reading the scriptures for themselves or from the disciples.

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2 hours ago, SDA said:

I would argue Jesus claimed to be God.
But scholarly consensus is that while Jesus didn't make the claim for himself, the early Christians made it on his behalf.

Do you have some references for that?

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1 hour ago, David said:

Do you have some references for that?

I will have to chase up the broad consensus individual references

On 3/21/2017 at 2:34 AM, SDA said:

"Early Christians found themselves confronted with a set of new concepts and ideas relating to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, as well the notions of salvation and redemption, and had to use a new set of terms, images, and ideas in order to deal with them. The existing terms and structures which were available to them were often insufficient to express these religious concepts, and taken together, these new forms of discourse led to the beginnings of Christology as an attempt to understand, explain, and discuss their understanding of the nature of Christ"

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christology

"the broad consensus of modern New Testament scholars that the proclamation of Jesus' exalted nature was in large measure the creation of the earliest Christian communities." Footnote 108, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_Jesus

[It was a necessary 'creation' to explain the evidence]

Note that nature here doesn't mean mortal and immortal, like how Christadelphians like to use the word.

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4 minutes ago, SDA said:

I will have to chase up the broad consensus individual references

Note that nature here doesn't mean mortal and immortal, like how Christadelphians like to use the word.

Ok, please do when convenient.

What does "nature" mean in your citation?

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22 minutes ago, David said:

Ok, please do when convenient.

What does "nature" mean in your citation?

Divine nature or Human nature, has been the two Christology options. 
 

 

Btw, what do CDs mean when they say Jesus is divine but he isn't God?

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He exhibited the character of God in perfection

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5 hours ago, David said:

He exhibited the character of God in perfection

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk
 

So we will all become divine after the second coming?

Edited by SDA

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So we will all become divine after the second coming?


John 17

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19 minutes ago, David said:

John 17

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk

 

 

 

And it is abit confusing when it seems like the only attribute that makes the Father divine, is his character? (I was supposed to include that in my previous post)

I will take John 17 as yes? I'm not sure which verses you refer to in particular but I hazard a guess
I might need an answer for this http://berea-portal.com/forums/topic/2320-glory-character-to-god-be-honour-and-character/ before I can answer

 

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