Senate Christianity Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Community' started by Jabba-wocky, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. I Are The Internets Chosen One

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    May I suggest that you settle down Skywalker421? You seem like an alright poster in general, so you just need to accept the fact that several of the users on here don't necessarily agree or share the same beliefs as you do.
  2. Point Given Mod of Literature and Community

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    No. Tell me what it means. We're having a conversation here after all. You had multiple opportunities to explain it but you persisted in talking down to me like you assumed I'd somehow be familiar with that aspect of Judaism. Heck even dp4m who is Jewish seems puzzled at your assertion.
  3. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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    So your rationale for weeks corresponding to seven years is that they have to be seven years to make the math work? o_O
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  4. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

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    im still waiting for an answer on nostradamus. i dont see how engaging in mental gymnastics over a prophecy in the bible is evidence but nostradamus' predictions of world war 2, the french revolution, the JFK assassination, etc arent valid
    Last edited by Rogue_Ten, Feb 14, 2014
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  5. I Are The Internets Chosen One

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    That, or everyone sucked at math back in the day.
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  6. dp4m Chosen One

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    It apparently took 70 years for the temple to be rebuilt (from the destruction of the First Temple to the start of the Second Temple period). That makes weeks years and not seven years, at best.

    Cyrus should be involved in the rebuilding the Temple, not necessarily all of Jerusalem. Also, that temple and Jerusalem were destroyed (again) by the Romans long before the theoretical Jesus was born. The Temple completed several centuries before.

    However, there is some potential evidence that Yeshua ben Yosef was actually alive when the Second Temple was still around (though this conflicts with the Roman occupation of Jerusalem, I believe) as it's widely thought that he was a rabbinical student under Rabbi Hillel, as the temple was destroyed 70 BCE and Hillel may or may not have been teaching following the destruction until his death in somewhere around 5-10 CE. It's certainly possible that Jesus was Hillel's student following the destruction of the Second Temple and there isn't that much of a time discrepancy.
  7. Skywalker8921 Jedi Grand Master

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    Jun 9, 2011
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    First, let me apologize to everyone who replied yesterday. My behavior was arrogant and presumptous, and for that I'm deeply sorry.

    Second, I'm not going to throw out a big block of text this time, but take it little by little and give people a chance to reply.

    Let me try this again.

    Some historical background to start with. The First Temple was built by King Solomon and stood until the destruction of Jerisalem by King Nebuchadnezzer's (just love that name, by the way) forces in 587/586 BC. As @dp4m noted, it was some time afterwards before the Temple was rebuilt. The 70 year captivity period is held to have ended around 538 BC, when Cyrus the Persian took the throne of Babylon. Running the time thread back to 587/586 BC only gives a timespan of about 50 years, BUT there were several partial captivities that started when the Temple was still standing, beginning with Nebuchadnezzer's first incursion against Jerusalem around 605 BC, when Jehoiakim was on the throne of Judah. From what I can tell, the 70 year period is generally considered to start around this time or a little later, even though the Temple and the city stood for some time after.

    @dp4m, is there anything you'd like to add to this? I admit I don't understand the intricacies of the ancient Jewish calendar myself, especially when it comes to acession/non acession year reckoning for the Divided Kingdom period.
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  8. dp4m Chosen One

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    From my understanding, just using "absolute" dates as a rough estimate so 70 = 70ish, the first temple was destroyed 586 BCE; there was a 70 year period of nothing / captivity / repatriation / etc., ending with Cyrus' call to rebuild.

    Two years after that, the Temple was completely rebuilt and lasted until 70 BCE. One presumes Jerusalem was fortified / rebuilt in that time of 516 - 70 BCE before second destruction by the Romans.

    What is interesting, I admit, is how often 70 comes up in terms of years. It's almost like the Temple was destined to be destroyed on a year of 70.
  9. Skywalker8921 Jedi Grand Master

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    Tell me, where are you getting the idea that the Romans destroyed the Temple before Jesus was born? You're making it sound like the Temple was destroyed for the second time in 70 BC, but it was actually 70 AD (CE). I think you're getting BC/AD (CE) mixed up.

    From Wikipedia:

    "Second Temple Judaism[edit]

    Main article: Second Temple Judaism

    The period between the construction of the Second Temple in 515 BCE and its destruction by the Romans in 70 CE witnessed major historical upheavals and significant religious changes that would affect most subsequent Western (or Abrahamic) religions. The origins of the authority of scripture, of the centrality of law and morality in religion, of the synagogue and of apocalyptic expectations for the future all developed in the Judaism of this period."
    Last edited by Skywalker8921, Feb 15, 2014
  10. dp4m Chosen One

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    That's certainly possible. I may be mixing up CE/BCE.

    Realistically, even were that the case, I did note that Hillel was teaching in Jerusalem, Second Temple or no, still covering that theoretical-period where Yeshua would have been studying under him. It's somewhat immaterial, overall, no?
  11. Skywalker8921 Jedi Grand Master

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    B.C.E. means "Before Common Era" or "Before Christ" while CE stands for "Common Era" or alternatively AD, "Anno Domini." So the Temple was destroyed in 70 AD. Since Jesus' birth took place during the rule of Herod the Great and Herod's death is usually dated as 4 B.C.E, Jesus was 30 when He began His 3 1/2 year ministry that ended with the Crucifixion, He was long dead by the time the Second Temple was destroyed.

    Interestingly enough, even though the Temple that was destroyed in 70 was called the Second Temple, it was actually a third Temple of sorts, since Herod reconstructed it in the years before his death and it continued into Jesus' lifetime.

    @dp4m, yeah, it's a little hard trying to remember that BCE years go backward while CE years go forward.
    Last edited by Skywalker8921, Feb 15, 2014
  12. dp4m Chosen One

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    I know what BCE and CE mean. :p I may just have misremembered which end of the scale it was on!
  13. Ghost Chosen One

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    Since when are there two Senate Christianity threads? Was this retagged recently or something?
    Last edited by Ghost, Feb 15, 2014
  14. harpua Chosen One

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    Yeah, this one should stay JCC... the senate has a pretty long-standing Christianity thread.

    @GrandAdmiralJello ?
    Last edited by harpua, Feb 15, 2014
  15. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

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    That doesn't make any sense, harps. This is a topic falls under the purview of the Senate, so it gets a Senate tag. Just like there aren't separate JCC and Amph movie threads anymore. Any discussion about one thing gets one thread with one tag to designate it.

    This thread dates from the JCC/Senate schism. Now that we've restored the proper balance of the boards with a merger, I think the simplest solution would be to merge the threads as well.
  16. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    I don't think it makes sense to keep it tagged as a JCC thread -- it's operating as a serious discussion thread, and so per the merger decision it ought to be tagged a Senate thread. The Senate also has a pre-existing Christianity thread. I would say that the sensible thing to do is close one down and divert all discussion to the other one (merging the threads would just be a mess). The Atheist/Theist Thunderdome thing, of course, is a third thread but that thread will stay JCC because it's not a serious discussion thread.

    I'll let the users decide which of the two threads they'd prefer to keep -- doesn't make a difference to me. If there are serious objections to closing one of them, let me know and suggest a different option.


    Ontopic: yeah, the second temple was destroyed during the early principate -- 70 CE, under the overall command of Titus, son of the newly-minted emperor Vespasian. There was also Roman activity in the area in the first century BCE as well, but that mostly involved Pompey kicking the snot out of the Seleucids. He was also a bit of a jerk and entered the holiest of holies inside the Jerusalem temple as well, which I believe the locals weren't too happy about. Then of course there was the Bar Kochba thing at the beginning of the second century CE as well.
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  17. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

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    Just to be fair to SkywalkerNumbers, she was trying to make things simple for you. The longer calculation is supported by the text itself. Daniel 9 explains a pause in sacrifices because "by an overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate." This is said to occur in the middle of the week, and it must be the 70th, since 69 have previously been exhausted in the other two verses (7 to rebuild Jerusalem, 62 from the reconstruction to the cutting off of the Messiah). After 70 weeks in total, the prophecy says that righteousness will be "everlasting," so nothing else can really happen.

    Now move to Daniel 12. The angel is explicitly said to be explaining things to Daniel. At this point, in verse 11, he explains, "And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days." Presuming this refers to the same event,* there is no half week calculation whereby one half a week is equivalent to 1,290 days. Using the Jewish calendar calculation she was proposing basically does hold up. Consequently, this would be unique from Nostradamus in that the text provides its own basis for mathematical conversions.

    *Not said explicitly, I guess. But I don't think it a hugely unreasonable leap, either. Both are described as pretty near preludes to what seems to be the end of world. Weird if it happened twice in rapid succession like that, especially since its resolution involves something one of the prophecies claims will be totally unique in human history. Having something similar happen is sort of, you know, the opposite of that.
    Last edited by Jabba-wocky, Feb 15, 2014
  18. harpua Chosen One

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    Yeah... that wasn't condescending, at all. :p
    Last edited by harpua, Feb 15, 2014
  19. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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  20. harpua Chosen One

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    Oh... quote failure... fixed it.

    It was just the "thing" bit that I found humorous. :p
  21. Ghost Chosen One

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    The other Christianity thread was supposed to be more about understanding it, not debating if it's true or not.

    Not a place for either Christians or Atheists to discuss who's right.

    Keep both open, but make sure each serves a distinct purpose. No Christian/Atheist fights in the other thread, which should just be about understanding Christianity.
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  22. Skywalker8921 Jedi Grand Master

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    Well, to be fair, @Jabba-wocky, I made an error in not posting the entire section dealing with the 70 weeks prophecy yesterday. I should have, but I didn't.

    Verses 24-27 (ESV):

    "Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.
    Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time.
    And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed.
    And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator."

    One thing I would point out now, most translations of the Bible render the entire period as simply 70 weeks. The NIV version, however, as I indicated yesterday, renders it as 70 'sevens.' @d4pm is correct that there is nothing explicit in the text that calls for it to be a week of seven years. However, if one looks at the dates for the decrees and what happens afterwards, it should be obvious that the numbers do not mean a literal timeframe of weeks. (See Jabba-wocky's post above as well.)

    Cyrus' decree is generally dated about 538 BC and marks the end of the 70 year captivity. The possibility for this decree being the one that starts the 70 weeks is slim, but still merits some consideration. There is no indication in the Bible about any significant activity in Jerusalem in the two years or so after this decree was issued. In fact, Nehemiah explicitly puts the nail in the coffin here.

    "In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was before him, I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence." (Neh. 2:1)

    "I said to the king, "Let the king live forever! Why should not my face be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' graves, lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?" (Neh. 2:3)

    Artaxerxes' decree to Nehemiah was given in the 20th year of his reign, which is generally considered to fall in 445/444 BC. A earlier decree by Artaxerxes was given to Ezra the scribe 13 years prior, in 458/457 BC. Either one would seem to work as the decree mentioned in verse 24. (Note: The chronology of Ezra and Nehemiah seems to skip back and forth at times, so please don't bug me with questions about it; I don't have any answers.)

    After Cyrus died in 530, his son Cambyses followed him as King; then Smerdis briefly, followed by Darius I. Darius I's rule began in 522 BC according to Wikipedia. It was during his reign that the Temple was finally rebuilt. Xerxes I and then Artaxerxes I succeeded him, with Artaxerxes' reign beginning in 465/464 BC.

    Why, do you ask do I think that 70 weeks refers to a period of years and not literal weeks? First off, if it was meant to be literal weeks, than I have no doubt it would have been written so, probably as a period of days. As Jabba-wocky points out, Daniel 12 has several specific instances of an exact amount of time being recorded. A closer look at verse 25 indicates there are certain things that have to happen before the first 69 weeks end, and a specific event, the coming of the Anointed One (rendered "Messiah" in some versions of the Bible) to mark the end of the first 69 weeks.
    Last edited by Skywalker8921, Feb 15, 2014
  23. I Are The Internets Chosen One

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    I find it interesting that the apple is considered the fruit of temptation, yet in Genesis, the fruit in question is never specified as to what it is. Several scholars think it was actually a fig.
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  24. Skywalker8921 Jedi Grand Master

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    True. The fruit could have been anything.
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  25. I Are The Internets Chosen One

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    I'm curious as to why the apple was considered that in the first place? Was it because of the paintings during the Renaissance period?