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Did the Transfiguration try to prove 'Jesus' was NOT a 'False Prophet' ?

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posted on Feb, 27 2016 @ 12:11 PM
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The Transfiguration of 'Jesus' : Fact or Fantasy?

According to most modern biblical scholars, the so-called Transfiguration pericopes in the 3 synoptic Greek canonical Gospels (according to 'Matthew', 'Mark', 'Luke', whoever they were) are nothing more than a hotch-poth of midrashic legendary expansions from 'Old Testament' scriptural verses used by the Gospel writers to prove (in their minds) that R. Yehoshua bar Yosef ('ho Iesous') was not a 'false prophet' after all - despite his being summarily executed as a failed Messiah - an event which seems to have caught the disciples off guard and thrown them into a frenzy of midrashing ('searching') the 'scriptures' for proof that the whole thing was foretold in advance by 'God'.

But we moderns have to ask : Was such an event 'real' in the positivistic sense that bystanders could witness it (i.e. really happened), or was it more of a 'vision' that was 'manifested' by a select few of the disciples?

Countering the 'False Prophet' accusation of R. Yehoshua would (at least in the minds of the earliest Nazorean Christians) require 'proof' from eyewitnesses and propehtic scriptural texts in order to convince potential new converts that R. Yehoshua far from being a 'False Prophet' who died an untimely death by crucifixion, was rather the 'Prophet who was to come like unto Moses' - as Mosheh said, (Deut 18:15-20)

"YHWH your clan-god will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow sons of Israel. You must listen to him. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him...

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.
But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die..."

For reference purposes for this discussion, here is the English wording of the Transfiguration's 3 pericopes for comparison (all with their booming voice from the sky screaming 'You will listen to him !')

Matthew 17:1 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. 3 And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 4 And Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah." 5 He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him." 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them, saying, "Rise, and have no fear." 8 And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. 9 And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, "Tell no one the vision, until the Son of Man is raised from the dead."

Mark 9:2 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, 3 and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them. 4 And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. 5 And Peter said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah." 6 For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified. 7 And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, "This is my beloved Son; listen to him." 8 And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only. 9 And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead."

Luke 9:28 Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white. 30 And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they became fully awake they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. 33 And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah"--not knowing what he said. 34 35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!" 36 And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen. As he was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud..."

What are we to make of this pericope in the Synoptics?

First it is obvious that the writers were drawing upon several Old Testament verses e.g. 'you will listen to him !' and also stylised imagery e,g, of the Shekinah glory with reference to Moses on the mountain 'after 6 days' (although 'Luke' says 8 days) ]-

וַיְהִי, בְּרֶדֶת מֹשֶׁה מֵהַר סִינַי, וּשְׁנֵי לֻחֹת הָעֵדֻת בְּיַד-מֹשֶׁה, בְּרִדְתּוֹ מִן-הָהָר;
וּמֹשֶׁה לֹא-יָדַע, כִּי קָרַן עוֹר פָּנָיו--בְּדַבְּרוֹ אִתּוֹ

"And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of the testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mountain, that Moses knew not that the skin of his face sent forth beams of light while he spoke with him..."
Whereas Moses face shone only, in the Transfiguration, the whole body of 'ho Iesous' became as light, hearkening back to the axiom : something greater than Moses is here...

Later in the narrative, it is Kephah (= Peter) who mentions the Canopy (tent) to cover the members of the vision - see Isaiah 4:2, 5-6 which references the Nazir of YHWH (Daviddic Branch) being 'glorious'

"In that day the Branch (Nazir) of YHWH will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of the survivors in Israel. Then YHWH will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over everything the glory will be a canopy. It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain."

There are approximately 25 additional verses in the Old Testament and in the Apocypha/Pseudipigrapha which add source details for these pericopes.

In view of their midrashic content, what are we moderns to-day to make of this story?





edit on 27-2-2016 by Sigismundus because: stuttering computterr keyyyboarddddd




posted on Feb, 27 2016 @ 02:57 PM
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a reply to: Sigismundus


The Transfiguration of 'Jesus' : Fact or Fantasy?

It's fantasy/mythology, which tends to borrow from previous mythology. Jesus might have existed, but the biblical version of him most certainly did not. He would probably be pissed at what has been written and done in his name.



posted on Feb, 27 2016 @ 07:22 PM
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a reply to: Klassified

You wrote (ref: the Transfiguration) "It's fantasy/mythology, which tends to borrow from previous mythology. Jesus might have existed, but the biblical version of him most certainly did not. He would probably be pissed at what has been written and done in his name. "

That the early Church borrowed heavilly from previous pagan mythologies in order to 'sell the product' to Gentiles is certainly welll-established. But we do not have necessarily to look at the earlier pagan parallels to find the literary source material for these pericopes for the Transfiguration in the synoptic Gospels :

We only have to look at some of the midrashic source material in the Old Testament and Pseudipigrapha for the base materials out of which the stories circulated e.g. the appearance of Moses ('the Law') and Elijah ('the Prophets') in the pericopes seems to indicate to the audience listening to these stories being read in the churches that 'ho Iesous' was the fulfilment of the Law and the Prophets, in other words, the Messiah.

See Psalms 27:1, 4-5

יְהוָה, אוֹרִי וְיִשְׁעִי--מִמִּי אִירָא;
יְהוָה מָעוֹז-חַיַּי, מִמִּי אֶפְחָד.
אַחַת, שָׁאַלְתִּי מֵאֵת-יְהוָה-- אוֹתָהּ אֲבַקֵּשׁ:
שִׁבְתִּי בְּבֵית-יְהוָה, כָּל-יְמֵי חַיַּי;
לַחֲזוֹת בְּנֹעַם-יְהוָה, וּלְבַקֵּר בְּהֵיכָלוֹ.
כִּי יִצְפְּנֵנִי, בְּסֻכֹּה-- בְּיוֹם רָעָה:
יַסְתִּרֵנִי, בְּסֵתֶר אָהֳלוֹ; בְּצוּר, יְרוֹמְמֵנִי

"YHWH is my LIGHT and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
One thing have I desired of YHWH, that will I seek after; that I may DWELL in the house of YHWH all the days of my life, TO BEHOLD THE BEAUTY of YHWH and to enquire in his temple.

For in the time of trouble he shall hide me IN HIS PAVILION - yea, in the secret of his TABERNACLE shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a MOUNTAIN.

See also Isaiah 4:2, 5-6

בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא, יִהְיֶה צֶמַח יְהוָה, לִצְבִי, וּלְכָבוֹד
וּבָרָא יְהוָה עַל כָּל-מְכוֹן הַר-צִיּוֹן וְעַל-מִקְרָאֶהָ, עָנָן יוֹמָם וְעָשָׁן, וְנֹגַהּ אֵשׁ לֶהָבָה, לָיְלָה: כִּי עַל-כָּל-כָּבוֹד, חֻפָּה.
וְסֻכָּה תִּהְיֶה לְצֵל-יוֹמָם, מֵחֹרֶב; וּלְמַחְסֶה, וּלְמִסְתּוֹר, מִזֶּרֶם, וּמִמָּטָר

"In that day shall the Nazir ('branch of David') of YHWH shall be BEAUTEOUS and FULL OF GLORY...and YHWH will create over the whole habitation of mount Zion, and over her assemblies, a CLOUD OF SMOKE by Day and THE SHINING OF A FLAMING FIRE by night; for OVER ALL THE GLORY SHALL BE A TABERNACLE,.."

or Isaiah 2:5 & 2:10-12

בֵּית, יַעֲקֹב--לְכוּ וְנֵלְכָה, בְּאוֹר יְהוָה
בּוֹא בַצּוּר, וְהִטָּמֵן בֶּעָפָר, מִפְּנֵי פַּחַד יְהוָה, וּמֵהֲדַר גְּאֹנוֹ
וְנִשְׂגַּב יְהוָה לְבַדּוֹ, בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא
וְנִשְׂגַּב יְהוָה לְבַדּוֹ, בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא

"O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the LIGHT of YHWH...enter into the MOUNTAIN and hide thee in the dust, from before the TERROR of YHWH and from the GLORY OF HIS MAJESTY...for YHWH alone shall BE EXALTED in that Day. "

See also Exodus 24:9-12

וַיַּעַל מֹשֶׁה, וְאַהֲרֹן--נָדָב, וַאֲבִיהוּא, וְשִׁבְעִים, מִזִּקְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל
וַיִּרְאוּ, אֵת אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל; וְתַחַת רַגְלָיו, כְּמַעֲשֵׂה לִבְנַת הַסַּפִּיר, וּכְעֶצֶם הַשָּׁמַיִם
וַיַּעַל מֹשֶׁה, אֶל-הָהָר; וַיְכַס הֶעָנָן, אֶת-הָהָר
וּמַרְאֵה כְּבוֹד יְהוָה, כְּאֵשׁ אֹכֶלֶת בְּרֹאשׁ הָהָר
וַיָּבֹא מֹשֶׁה בְּתוֹךְ הֶעָנָן, וַיַּעַל אֶל-הָהָר; וַיְהִי מֹשֶׁה

"Then went up MOSHEH and AARON, NADAB and ABIHU (cf: James, John and 'Peter') along with seventy of the elders of Israel; and THEY SAW THE CLAN-GOD OF YISRO'EL; and there was under His feet the like of a paved work of sapphire stone, and the like of the very heaven for clearness...and Moses went up into THE MOUNTAIN and THE CLOUD COVERED the MOUNTAIN. And the GLORY of YHWH ABODE ON THE MOUNTAIN called Sinai and the CLOUD COVERED IT FOR SIX DAYS and ON THE SEVENTH DAY, he CALLED OUT TO MOSHEH out of the MIDST OF THE CLOUD. And the APPEARANCE OF THE GLORY of YHWH was like a DEVOURING FIRE on the TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN...And Moheh ENTERED INTO THE MIDST OF THE CLOUD and WENT UP INTO THE MOUNTAIN..."

There are more than 20 additional passages in the Tanakh and the Pseudipigrapha/Apocrypha which speak of such scenes which by the way are known as 'Theophanies' - usually with Bright Light surrounded by a Cloud of Glory after a period of waiting (e.g. 'after 6 days') but you can see from the capitalised words above some of the parallels in our discussion of the Transfiguration pericopes in the Gospel material.

We could also add the passage found in John 1:14 (the 4th canonical Greek gospel does not have a Transfiguration story per se)

καὶ ἐθεασάμεθα τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ δόξαν ὡς μονογενοῦς παρὰ Πατρός

"And we have SEEN HIS GLORY - which is the GLORY of the ONE & ONLY SON NEXT to the FATHER..." which language also recalls the Transfiguration stories in the Canonical Synoptic Gospels in the New Testament.





edit on 27-2-2016 by Sigismundus because: stutteringgg commputterr keyyyybboarddddddd



posted on Feb, 27 2016 @ 08:29 PM
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a reply to: Klassified

Many Christians do not wish to dwell on the uncomfortable verses below which seem to be clear enough about what the early Church had to refute when persons came forward to claim that R. Yehoshua was in fact a 'false prophet who led Yisro'el astray' i.e. by prophesying falsely about his fate...

When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Bar Enasha ('Son of Man') comes. (Matthew 10:23)

I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Bar Enasha coming in his kingdom. (Matthew 16:28)

I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. (Matthew 24:34)

And what about this from Mark 9:1ff

And he said to them, “I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.”

So we can begin to understand why the Church went to such lengths to try and wrest 'Jesus' from accusations of False Prophecy...and the Transfiguration pericopes are just one method by which this could be achieved when addressing god-fearers or Messianic Jews who were understandably confused about the unexpected demise of the Master...



posted on Feb, 27 2016 @ 08:33 PM
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Actually, the entire bible is metaphoric and an inner journey with a few astrological and cyclical information added. Some rules to the royal classes added as well.

The transfiguration is gnosis for transformation of mind/body/soul signified in the apostles and greats mentioned from Peter, natural man born into lower mind, influenced by his body/beast, to John who represents Higher Mind and it is what it is, all the stories are added stuff, in all the religions, though the Christian one is preserves the way back home, the inner work without the girmms fairy tale old testament that presents inner love messages and growth messages in outer language depicting smiting murdering god that is the god of war and division, that is not God at all. Just a trap for a lower mind.

www.spiritofthescripture.com...

www.spiritofthescripture.com...
The Esoteric Significance of Jesus’ Inner Circle
edit on 27-2-2016 by Unity_99 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 27 2016 @ 08:46 PM
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originally posted by: Unity_99
Actually, the entire bible is metaphoric and an inner journey with a few astrological and cyclical information added. Some rules to the royal classes added as well.

The transfiguration is gnosis for transformation of mind/body/soul signified in the apostles and greats mentioned from Peter, natural man born into lower mind, influenced by his body/beast, to John who represents Higher Mind and it is what it is, all the stories are added stuff, in all the religions, though the Christian one is preserves the way back home, the inner work without the girmms fairy tale old testament that presents inner love messages and growth messages in outer language depicting smiting murdering god that is the god of war and division, that is not God at all. Just a trap for a lower mind.

www.spiritofthescripture.com...

www.spiritofthescripture.com...
The Esoteric Significance of Jesus’ Inner Circle




Yes




posted on Feb, 27 2016 @ 09:59 PM
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a reply to: Sigismundus

Very likely. Accounts of supposed historical events have to be scrupulously examined for evidence of revision and elaboration. Every generation re-tells old stories in new ways to make them support the religious, moral and political agendas of the day. It is very dangerous to take historical ‘evidence’ at face value.

Historians have always understood this. Livy, a contemporary of Jesus, put it this way in his history of the Roman Republic: quis enim rem tam veterem pro certo adfirmet?

In his book Dynasty, Tom Holland shows us how the supposedly scandalous deeds of the Caesars, as reported in ancient writers like Suetonius and Tacitus, may have been made up, exaggerated or distorted for propaganda purposes by those who served their Imperial successors; so in fact Caligula may not have been mad but instead a populist who ingratiated himself with the people by humbling the Roman aristocracy by making senators kiss his feet; perhaps Messalina was not a scheming, traitorous nymphomaniace but instead the victim of a palace coup organized by a trusted slave, Narcissus. We shall never know: as Livy says, it is impossible to speak with confidence of events that happened long ago.

There is no doubt whatsoever that the books of the Bible, particularly those of the New Testament, have undergone heavy amendation and modification down the centuries. One would think that a definitive version of the text should have emerged by now, but of course it hasn’t. New translations of the Bible appear still appear with some frequency. Usually, the reason for their appearance is that someone disagrees with all the current translations. So yes, not only has the Bible (and yes, the Transfiguration account) been amped-up and retooled to make it more impressive, but it’s still being revised.

What was the actual Transfiguration? A mystical experience shared by three or four men on a mountaintop. Mystical experiences on mountaintops are not uncommon, especially among the susceptible — and we need not doubt that the Disciples were susceptible, or they would never have become Disciples. But mystical experiences tend, by their very nature, to be hard to describe and report accurately. This alone should make us suspicious of the Transfiguration story as told in the Bible.

Whatever happened up on that mountaintop was known only to the four men who experienced it. We need not doubt that the account of the Transfiguration given in the Bible was constructed well after the fact, and that it has been heavily redacted to make it fit with changing interpretations of Christian mythology over the centuries.


edit on 27/2/16 by Astyanax because: of Caesar.



posted on Feb, 27 2016 @ 11:47 PM
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the real question is ....

why do you ask?

find that answer, and you'll know



posted on Feb, 28 2016 @ 06:58 PM
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a reply to: Astyanax

You wrote QUOTE : "Accounts of supposed historical events have to be scrupulously examined for evidence of revision and elaboration. Every generation re-tells old stories in new ways to make them support the religious, moral and political agendas of the day. It is very dangerous to take historical ‘evidence’ at face value..."

It would be difficult to ascertain the series of elaborations from a core story in the Transfiguration Pericopes. We can see that the three synoptic accounts give three variants of the story but do follow a similar story-line.

l. 'after 6 days' (or 'around 8 days later' in Luke) R. Yehoshua ('Jesus') takes his inner circle of 3 disciples ('James', 'John', 'Peter') alone up a 'high' mountain
2. Suddenly his clothes become brilliant (result of a lightning flash?) and his face glows (like Moses upon Sinai).
3. Suddenly Elijah and Mosheh appear speaking with him
4.'Peter' suggests that three tabernacles be made (one for ho Iesous, one for Elijah and one for Mosheh)
5. A cloud overtakes the group and a qol ('voice' or 'thunderclap') exclaims 'This is my Son, Listen to him..." (with variations)
6. The Disciples are terrified
7. The vision vanishes
8. R. Yehoshua commands them not to talk about it.

To say that later elaborations existed is possible - but one would have to provide an Ur-scene which omitted them...

If one wanted to reduce the story to positivistic historical elements, It is very possible that the disciples were in fact half asleep (Luke wrote: 'and Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep' immediately before the vision - and in a half trance state watched their Rabbi while praying on a mountain top, when a flash of lightning followed by a thunderclap (the word קוֹל 'qol' in Hebrew can mean either 'voice' or 'thunder') caused the disciples to see their Rabbi in a glowing light. The following thunderclap would then have to be translated (there is a Scroll among the Dead Sea Scrolls called the 'Brontologion' (from the Greek 'βροντή (bronte) which means thunder) which lays out specific rules and instructions for interpreting thunderclaps and the spaces between them as if they were a kind of divine Morse Code).

To fill out the story, the writers seem to have made use of midrashic expansions from the Tanakh (old testament) to give it breadth and to fill out the story line.




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