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Re: [apologetics] re: O Jerusalem....

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  • R. Jane
    I just want to say how good it has been to read the exchanges in this topic without either party degrading into the ego contaminated boxing matches I see too
    Message 1 of 7 , Sep 1, 2001
      I just want to say how good it has been to read the exchanges in this topic
      without either party degrading into the ego contaminated boxing matches I
      see too often on apologetics lists. Seems to me you two have managed to
      stay polite and that is refreshing and makes it much easier to read the
      points being made. Thank you.

      Jane<----- who has learned a lot on this topic



      From: <AnneAKim@...>


      > I will this last time respond on "O Jerusalem", but after this I figure
      the
      > discussion on this one particular verse will have reached its useful
      limits.
      > The simple natural grammatical reading of the words is that Jesus was
      > addressing all of Jerusalem, not just the Pharisees, & so let's
      demonstrate
      > that one more time. After that, the only thing I would have to say is
      that
      > words have meaning (or "standardized definitions" for the
      post-modernists).
      > I will let your reply on the topic of "O Jerusalem" pass without comment,
      > figuring that your mind is made up regardless, and that the other people
      have
      > probably made up their own minds by now.
      >
      > Peter, please let me know whether you are also interested in discussing
      John
      > 17 or Romans 9 - 11 to whatever useful limit might be reached there as
      well.
      > Again, the interpretation should be based on what the author/speaker says
      his
      > point is & the categories & groupings made by the author/speaker. Or,
      maybe
      > a faster conversation for a change of pace, we could have a short
      > conversation on the federal representation of Adam. Perhaps you'd like to
      > start by describing the Calvinist doctrine of the federal representation
      of
      > Adam, and what that means to us, with a little emphasis on what Adam has
      to
      > do with us. From there, I'd like to discuss the implications.
      >
      > Peter said: << it is linguistically *IMPOSSIBLE* for the terms "you" and
      > "your children" to refer to the same people, especially given the fact
      that
      > the number changes from plural to singular. >>
      >
      > Look at the plain grammatical structure of what has been said. Picture me
      > making a similar statement, standing in downtown Houston, talking to a
      crowd
      > of Houstonians, & saying "Houston, Houston, how often I longed to lessen
      your
      > traffic problems, but y'all weren't willing." It is plain enough that the
      > "y'all" who wasn't willing is the same who had the traffic problems. Far
      > from being "linguistically impossible," it's the most natural
      understanding
      > of the words. In our text, are the "children" of a city someone other
      than
      > the inhabitants of that city? Was the audience someone other than the
      > inhabitants of the city (v 23:1, he was speaking to the crowds)? If he
      > addresses "Jerusalem," on what basis do we decide that he isn't really
      > talking to everybody, but only the Pharisees?
      >
      > Peter said << Those who killed the prophets had *ALWAYS* been those who
      were
      > in religeous and/or political power in Jerusalem. The average Hebrew
      living
      > in Jerusalem did not kill any prophets. >>
      >
      > >>> Was the way in which Jesus' death was accomplished in Jerusalem &
      > attributable to Jerusalem so different than all the prophets who had died
      in
      > Jerusalem? The whole city cried for his death -- but technically only a
      few
      > of the Roman & Jewish authorities had the power to pull it off & had their
      > names written down on the record.
      >
      > << I disagree that it is addressed to others too. Though it can be
      applied
      > to others, it was spoken directly to the Pharisees, and thus the passage
      was
      > addressed to them and no one else. >>
      >
      > >>> Pick up in 23:1. It says Jesus was addressing a crowd. Then certain
      > parts of the speech are addressed to the crowd in general, not being
      > designated any other way. Then certain other parts are addressed
      > specifically by name to the Pharisees & friends. Then we have a part
      > addressed to Jerusalem -- turning back to the whole city as the audience.
      > The words on the page, that he is addressing Jerusalem at that point, are
      > against the interpretation you suggest.
      >
      > << But you cannot prove something by saying it's not in one account, that
      is
      > an argument from silence. Again, look at who is being addressed in the
      > passage. That is the key. >>
      >
      > >>> It's an argument from *context*. Luke thinks the "O Jerusalem" bit
      can
      > be understood just fine without any speech to the Pharisees. It is
      special
      > pleading to take the one case and not the other. Especially given that,
      in
      > Matthew, he had stopped addressing the Pharisees in particular & was now
      > addressing Jerusalem.
      >
      > << It doesn't say Christ *DIDN'T* accomplish what He set out to do. You
      are
      > reading the passage as if it said, "How I longed to gather together your
      > children, but you were unwilling, therefore I could not." >>
      >
      > >>> No, just that he leaves it that he willed something and they weren't
      > willing, and there's no record of him gathering the inhabitants of
      Jerusalem
      > to Himself, & in fact there's a record the other way. We know the history
      of
      > Jerusalem: 40 years later it was laid waste. They weren't willing, and
      "all
      > the righteous blood from Abel to Zechariah" fell on that generation. Did
      the
      > Christians get away from the fall of Jerusalem? Sure, they'd listened to
      the
      > warning: "when you see the armies massing around Jerusalem, run for the
      hills
      > and don't turn back." (paraphrase obviously)
      >
      > Peter writes: << The passage is simply saying the same thing as if Christ
      had
      > said, "How I have longed to gather the Elected together, but the non-Elect
      > were not willing." >>
      >
      > >>> That elect / non-elect reading is 100% not in the text. It does not
      say
      > he has longed to gather the "elected" together, but the children of
      > Jerusalem, which he says without distinction of some versus others. It
      does
      > not say the "non-elect" were not willing, it says "y'all" weren't willing,
      > without any distinction of some and not others. And Jesus pronounces
      > judgment on Jerusalem. They weren't willing, and so even the Temple
      itself
      > would be laid waste, as in fact happened 40 years later as he had said.
      >
      > << We read the rest of Scripture and find out that God's will is always
      done,
      > >>
      >
      > >>> We read the rest of Scripture and find God enraged over sin, which is
      > against His perfect will. "Only those who do the will of my Father in
      > heaven" will be in heaven; therefore there are those who do not do the
      will
      > of God. God has not chosen to arrange His sovereignty in such a way as to
      > leave us no room to disobey His will or to resist His goodness. God's
      grace
      > comes through Christ, and people resist Him every day.
      >
      > Take care & God bless
      > Anne K.
    • Dude! bwowzter mein
      Hello all, I am a new member here. I was reading on the O Jerusalem posts, and I came up with a questions for y all : Does the Calvinist argue against the
      Message 2 of 7 , Sep 1, 2001

        Hello all,

        I am a new member here.

        I was reading on the "O' Jerusalem" posts, and I came up with a questions for "y'all":

        Does the Calvinist argue against the plain meaning of "but you were not willing" because the words have an obvious predestination sense to them, or because the plain meaning contradicts another part of the bible?

        I don't understand how a person could cling so tenatiously to a doctrine of absolute biblical harmony on all things, when there would be no way to ascertain that the bible is perfectly harmonious in all it's statements unless each and every contention among denominations were settled once and for all forever with the bible.

        What causes Christians to cling so much to biblical inerrancy that they would rather adopt strained interpretations of biblical passages?

        I know of two passages that totally contradict each other:

        "if you obey the LORD your God to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this book of the law, if you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and soul.  "For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach. "It is not in heaven, that you should say, " Who will go up to heaven for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?' Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, "Who will cross the sea for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?' But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it."  (Deuteronomy 30:10-14)

        "For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:) (Hebrews 12:18-21)

        In Hebrews, the author says that they could not endure that which was commanded, talking about the mountain and scene in which Moses received those commands. But in Deuteronomy, Moses himself says that the commands he had were not too difficult for the people.  Well?  Was it too difficult for them or not?

        I believe that the statements are in perfect contradiction, because they both reference to same "law of Moses".

        I am not here to start arguments about how to reconcile biblical "difficulties", rather, I am here to inquire into the motivation of those who would rather adopt strained interpretations of certain passages for the sake of preserving an inerrancy doctrine, instead of just admitting that certain biblical passages contradict each like even most Christians admit.

        And:  Did you learn that the bible was inerrant after you made a full investigation of all alleged errors and provided answers to all such problems?  OR, did you learn to believe the doctrine of biblical inerrancy because that was the view that you adopted from your church peers and spiritual leaders?

        If you believe in the full inerrancy of the originals, then you believe in something which cannot be tested (cuz the originals don't exist so we can't have a look see), and thus, inerrancy is a doctrine that must be taken on faith. 

        Here is a neat way to look at it:  Imagine that John Calvins writings were somehow regarded by the entire church as equivilent to the bible.  Do you think that Arminians WOULDN'T be able to make unlikely interpretations of Calvin's words in order to "reconcile" them with his other statements?

        In closing, I find it the uttmost of irony that the doctrine which says the bible cannot contradict itself, is not only believed mostly by those who haven't investigated the entire matter, but is also the sole doctrine responsible for hiding the true meaning of Jesus' words.

        "Jesus cannot have believed that man has a free will in the gospel of John, because that would contradict what Paul said in Romans!"

        Well!  Should you seek to avoid contradictions, or seek to avoid strained interpretations of words?

        skepticbud



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      • peterpike@thecalvinist.com
        JANE WROTE:
        Message 3 of 7 , Sep 5, 2001
          JANE WROTE:
          <<<Since Jesus connects the Pharisees to those, their forefathers
          who killed
          the prophets, the use of the word "children" could be referring
          to them as
          the children of these forefathers who stoned the prophets.>>>

          Actually, I had previously experimented with that idea, but I don't think it does apply here. While it may be in other places, I don't think it fits in the context of this passage, for the reason you state next:

          <<<Jesus is
          connecting the present Pharisees with their forefathers who
          killed the
          prophets because the Pharisees would be involved in Jesus'
          death, Jesus
          putting himself in the same class of people as the prophets in
          terms of
          people sent by God who not only are rejected but killed.>>>

          Exactly so. In this case, the Pharisees would be linked back to the forefathers, and the rest of the people of Jerusalem would remain the "children" of Jerusalem. My reasoning comes from the phrase "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets" (I'm paraphrasing right now, as I don't have my text with me!). The ones killing the prophets were the Jewish leadership, located since the time of David in Jerusalem. In any case, those who represent "Jerusalem" are NOT the same as "Jerusalem's children."

          <<<Also I think Jerusalem is a symbolic city : The metropolis of
          Judea, the
          seat of the kings of Judah, the city of the great king; the
          place of divine
          worship, once the holy and faithful city, the joy of the whole
          earth. And
          after Jesus' resurrection he told them to first go to Jerusalem.>>>

          Yes, I too agree here. I think it is akin to having Washington DC represent the US, or more specifically, the US Government. (How often have you heard the phrase, "Washington passed such and such law" or some similar phrase?) As such, I personally think the translation is broader than just Jerusalem. It refers to the Jewish leadership as a WHOLE, and the people of Israel (the children) as a WHOLE too. It is, therefore, a generalization. We know not ALL the Jewish leadership was evil--look at Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea. But *generally* speaking, the leadership was evil. The opposite is true of the people. *GENERALLY* speaking, they accepted Jesus as a rabbi (although fewer accepted Him as Christ until after the resurrection), and it was only a few who outright rejected Him amongst the people. As such, I don't translate this as a literal passage referring to *ALL* of the Pharisees and *ALL* of the people of Israel (in terms of Jerusalem, & Jerusalem's children, !
          respectively). This is why I suggested the meaning of the non-Elect & Elect being demonstrated here, because I think that is the ULTIMATE meaning of it, and the generalization is used to illustrate the point.

          <<<Also, there was a relationship between the Pharisees and the
          common person
          where the spiritual leader was given the honored title of
          "father" and the
          commoner, the child. Jesus turns it around here, already having
          said to
          call no one father because there is only one father, God, and
          then calls the
          so called exalted leaders, 'children.' : it being usual to call
          such as
          were the heads of the people, either in a civil or ecclesiastic
          sense,
          "fathers," and their subjects and disciples, "children":
          besides, our Lord's
          discourse throughout the whole context is directed to the
          Scribes and
          Pharisees, the ecclesiastic guides of the people, and to whom
          the civil
          governors paid a special regard.>>>

          Yes, and that very well could have been part of what Jesus was thinking too. The Pharisees were considered the spiritual "fathers" of Israel (amongst others, like the Sadducees, etc.). But more than that, the political realm has been likewise considered "father." We consider George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, etc. to be Founding *FATHERS* of our country (assuming, of course, that you are also in the USA!). The political leaders are often considered the father of a country, especially in patriarchal societies. The children of a city would be the non-political inhabitants of that city.

          This is why I believe that Jesus, speaking generally, is making a distinction between the Scribes and Pharisees and the people of Israel. Again, I would paraphrase it as: "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who stone the prophets and kill those sent to you, how I have longed to gather the Jewish people together, as a hen gathers her chicks, but you Scribes and Pharisees were unwilling!" It is a final pronouncment of judgement against the Pharisees, after all the woes Jesus has already pronounced. Here, basically, Jesus is repeating what He said when He proclaimed, "You search the whole world for a prostylite, and when you have converted him, you make him twice the child of hell that you are!" This, to me, is the ULTIMATE condemnation of the Jewish leadership. The one's who were supposed to shepard the flock of Israel and give spiritual guidence were the very ones that were leading people on the path to hell. The judgment against false teachers is always greater than against those!
          who keep their err to themselves....

          PWP
          http://www.thecalvinist.com
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