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  1. #1
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    Prophet - Historian: Equal or Opposite

    Prophet - Historian: Equal or Opposite


    Titus Flavius Josephus [Yosef ben Matityahu] is best remembered as an unparalleled chronicler of first-century A.D. Jewish history. His biography also includes a military record marked by the betrayal of his peers and submission to the Romans. As a commander in the Jewish revolt, Josephus attempted to persuade his companions to open the gates of Yodfat (a small town in Lower Galilee south of Carmiel, Israel; in the vicinity of Atzmon mountain) for the Romans after a 47 day siege (in 67 A.D.), and when the city fell, he reneged on the group’s suicide pact and personally surrendered. After the destruction of Jerusalem, Flavius Josephus lived as a Roman citizen in the emperor’s palace, enjoying the luxurious life of a dignitary and scholar.
    Josephus’s repeated calls for surrender to the Romans have been labeled as treasonous and cowardly. In the September/October 2012 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review, distinguished scholar Avisahi Margalit (the George F. Kennan Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University) contrasts the historian’s tarnished reputation with that of the prophet Jeremiah. The prophet Jeremiah also urged total surrender to a militarily superior foe, the Babylonians. He tried to escape Jerusalem, and, much like Josephus, was accused of treasonous acts. In his article, Avisahi Margalit asks: “how is it that the Biblical prophet Jeremiah is revered while Josephus is criticized?”
    Avisahi Margalit writes that “Josephus offers two kinds of defenses: defense of creed and defense of his people.” Josephus portrayed the zealots as irrational while defending the majority of Jews and the Roman Empire, without mentioning the tremendous support for the revolt and the barbarisms perpetuated by the Romans. Jeremiah is also a historian, but “his appeal to history is not out of an interest in human affairs as such, but rather in history as a source of obligations to God. The religion of the Bible is, broadly speaking, a historically based religion; the primary arena of the Bible is history; the divine manifestation is set essentially in history.”
    Neither Josephus nor the prophet Jeremiah considered Judea (now a vassal state) to be idolatrous, and both found it a compulsion to warn their people about the strong and massive military force bearing down upon them. It is not the intent, but the motives that are debated. Avishai Margalit observed, “Josephus was tainted by his relation to power; Jeremiah was willing to risk everything. Josephus’s relation to power should not disqualify him as a witness in the court of history but it does disqualify him as a moral witness: a moral witness is never in the service of the ruling power.”
    In considering this paradoxical enigma of Jewish history it became more and more a lesson in personal responsibility weighed against the good of the nation. We can never know the thoughts that passed through the minds of either man as they must have struggled with this decision. Very similar circumstances and events transpired in the early church. One could compare Judas and Peter or even the polar motives and actions within the Priesthood and that between the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Granted, the at-risk kingdom is carnal in one case and spiritual in the other. However in these cases the individual(s) had to make choices that impacted more than just their life and were each motivated differently. In each case, it seems the men involved were doing what they thought was right. Also apparent is the indelible influence of Satan and the Devil; the enemy of mankind and father of lies; the tempter and his evil ward against God and all that is Holy.
    Josephus and Jeremiah are also types of the lives exemplified by men of all eras and either their surrender to the will of God or to their own personal desires. It is the demonstration of faith in the early church over against persecution and sure death. And, it is the personification of a chosen people, a called out group of believers, at odds with the world. It is the propriation by Christ and salvation through faith pitted against the penalties of sin and death outside the will of God. It is not a matter of the virtue of the prophet over the worldly desires of the historian, but rather the virtue of men and the perpetual struggle within them that determines whether they are found wanting.

    The early church was the playground of
    Philosophers, pagans, and fools, of
    Custom, tradition and rules, with
    God’s only Son, His Testament, and spiritual tools.

    The early faith was the test of all time, and history, and creation, of
    Love for God, His Son, and an His children of every nation, with
    The Word, the Spirit, and prayers of consolation.

    Christianity was the war that started in Eden for
    The future of mankind, sin, and grace, of
    Trials, Decisions, and consequences with
    Christ’s trial, death, and suffering for the decisions man made.

    Thus the complexity; the root, branch, and vine of free will.

    Jeremiah and Josephus were, after all, only human.

  2. #2
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    Author >

    Also apparent is the indelible influence of Satan and the Devil; the enemy of mankind and father of lies; the tempter and his evil ward against God and all that is Holy.

    Gil >

    There had to be a name given for all physical, mental and spiritual manifestations. Otherwise the thoughts, ideas and concepts of early ANE , there influence on the expanding consciousness of man at the time of Jesus > to the Christ would not have been comprehensible.
    The concepts of Good and Evil were introduced as the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil.
    The two sides of conscience , the weight and balance within the mind of man and the war between them .
    The manifestation and personification of evil would be given the name Satan and the name of good was God that had breathed life into the living soul which at the first was in relationship with him.

    Author >

    Christianity was the war that started in Eden for
    The future of mankind, sin, and grace, of
    Trials, Decisions, and consequences with
    Christ’s trial, death, and suffering for the decisions man made.

    Thus the complexity; the root, branch, and vine of free will.

    Jeremiah and Josephus were, after all, only human.


    Gil > Christianity is not a war but the fulfillment of light and peace within the individual man.
    What began in Eden was man's self realization and the subsequent development of Ego.

    Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these [things].

    Many ask the question, " why was evil introduced to man and couldn't man have been just made good".

    It was all within the plan / purpose that the creator had for man.

    Without self realization man would have been no different than the fish, birds, creeping things ,animals and the beasts of the field.
    Without self realization introduced in the creative process there could never have been a relationship established between the creator and his creation.

    I think it best to see evil as a survival mechanism, one that would insure the continuation and propagation of the species on an individual and group/ national level.
    All other lower species had this intuitive nature within them.

    What was it that man first realized after the tree incident . Man looked at evil, face to face. The same evil that was within all natural things.

    I think Isaiah 45:7 points to this if a separation is made between create and form and make..
    "I create darkness and create evil, I form the light and make peace."

    Man was created and formed for relationship , with one another and with his creator.
    Like many on this forum have stated before. Man was not to be a robot.
    It has been a long and hard learning curve for man since the Adam in Garden ,but the way, the truth and the light
    were given us by the new Adam, Jesus Christ.

    Not only has the spirit of man ( call him fallen if you like) been mans own worst enemy ,but the Spirit of man
    from the garden up until the Christ has been God the Fathers worst enemy.

    Just my take.

    Gil

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrWesley Rose View Post
    Jeremiah and Josephus were, after all, only human.
    As were all the writers of the Bible ...
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    As were all the writers of the Bible ...
    As were all writers in this forum No one can claim absolute truth. Jesus warned us to be beware of false prophets and Antichrists. No human can be trusted absolutely.

    God Blessed.
    Ask and You shall receive,
    Seek and You shall find,
    Knock and the door will be open unto You.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CWH View Post
    As were all writers in this forum No one can claim absolute truth. Jesus warned us to be beware of false prophets and Antichrists. No human can be trusted absolutely.

    God Blessed.
    "No one can claim absolute truth." - Then Christians should quit claim that God is an absolute truth.

    And there is one little logic problem with your proposition that "no one can claim absolute truth." That statement is an absolute, so it contradicts itself and cannot be true. Truth must be absolute if it exists.
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    "No one can claim absolute truth." - Then Christians should quit claim that God is an absolute truth.

    And there is one little logic problem with your proposition that "no one can claim absolute truth." That statement is an absolute, so it contradicts itself and cannot be true. Truth must be absolute if it exists.
    When I said "no one can claim absolute truth" means that we can never be sure what we said is the absolute truth. No atheist can prove absolutely God never exists and therefore they should quit saying that God did not exist but the imagination of the human mind. The fool says in his heart there is no God. And yet Jesus said based on Isaiah, "you are gods".....why? Will humans with their technological developments become like God in the far future able to create animals, trees, planets , moon, suns etc.? I have no doubt about that. Only then will we realized the wisdom of God and the foolishness of men's thinking.

    May god bless those fools who says there is no God.
    Ask and You shall receive,
    Seek and You shall find,
    Knock and the door will be open unto You.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by CWH View Post
    When I said "no one can claim absolute truth" means that we can never be sure what we said is the absolute truth. No atheist can prove absolutely God never exists and therefore they should quit saying that God did not exist but the imagination of the human mind. The fool says in his heart there is no God. And yet Jesus said based on Isaiah, "you are gods".....why? Will humans with their technological developments become like God in the far future able to create animals, trees, planets , moon, suns etc.? I have no doubt about that. Only then will we realized the wisdom of God and the foolishness of men's thinking.

    May god bless those fools who says there is no God.
    Great! We agree that limited humans should generally refrain from speaking as if they have absolute truth about things that cannot be known with certainty. There are plenty of topics that demand absolute statements, such as mathematical truths, but no religious believer has any warrant to ever say that their beliefs are true.

    As for atheists who say absolutely that there is no god of any kind - that would be foolish because humans can't prove such things. But any intelligent atheist would never say such a thing. They simply speak the truth that the god of the Bible is no more likely than Zeus, and there is a 99.99999999999999999999999999% probability that Zeus does not exist. But you don't know absolutely if Zeus exists or not, so you can't be sure if your religion is true.
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

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