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Understanding the Historical Yeshua

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posted on Jun, 18 2005 @ 05:56 PM

Originally posted by Al Davisonthis is really great stuff! Many thanks for continuing to present this information and perspectives. Of course, even you (Smadewell) encourage us to read and study rather than simply accept, without question, your materials.

Absolutely! Study to show yourself approved. I wish more people had the time and praxin (Grk. "mode of being") to engage in study. The sages ask, "Who is wise?" And the sages respond, "He who learns from all men." Of all the authors I've read ... each had something to teach me and even if I disagreed with things they had to say ... I still learned from them and that's the important thing. I'm the last to say that I'm 100 percent correct. It's all speculation - truth be told. I could well be wrong, but ... all I'm looking for is a working model that sounds a little more logical that the other "Jesus models" that are floating around out there.

While we're on the subject of books.... I strongly recommend the following:

Akiba: Scholar, Saint and Martyr by Louis Finkelstein

Why? Because even though Akiba (50 - 135 C.E.) was a sage living immediately after Yeshua's time Finkelstein does an outstanding job of painting a picture of the life and times of this rabbi from what can be gleaned about him from the rabbinic literature. It truly gives one an idea of what life was like in that period and it's an easy read and flows nicely. Further, it shows just how easy it was for a Jew to be swept away by the messinaic fervor of that period.

The Pharisees: The Sociological Background of Their Faith by Louis Finkelstein

Why? Because it's the best book out there for understanding who the Pharisees were and what they believed, etc. It goes deep into the history of Bet Hillel and Bet Shammai; it flows well and is an easy read, espeically for those interested in the history, culture and religious currents of the Common Era. R. Finkelstein taught at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, the main seminary of Conservative Judaism. You can read the FORWARD to this book here:

Hidden Revolution: The Pharisee's Search for the Kingdom Within by Ellis Rivkin

I'd hunt for a cheaper copy than the above link. The book is awesome, but not worth paying $40 to own. $25 maybe.... Anyway, ... there isn't a better book out there that focuses on the Pharisaic agenda to advance the Kingdom of Heaven and if the historical Yeshua doesn't scream out at you through these pages, then ... I don't know what book will.

[edit on 18-6-2005 by smadewell]

posted on Jun, 19 2005 @ 12:32 AM
In his book, "PA UL AND RABBINIC JUDAISM: Some Rabbinic Elements in Pauline Theology," W.D. Davies has an entire chapter devoted to understanding the concept of the Good Impulse & Evil Impulse as disguised in the Gospels and the Pauline letters. Disguised? Yep! This proto-rabbinic concept about the nature of man is dressed in Greek words (pnuema = spirit & sarx = flesh ), but there's no doubt that Yeshua and Paul were alluding to it, IF one places their words back into the proper historical, linguistic and cultural context.

For those who are willing to learn more about this rabbinic concept of the two impulses I recommend you click here to read a different post of mine and/or click here and scroll down to the section entitled "The Dual Nature" or read "Everyman's Talmud" by A. Cohen, Chapter 3, section IV. "The Two Impulses", pp. 88ff.

The sages of the Common Era believed that man was born with an Evil Impulse, which isn't evil in and of itself, because it basically amounts to our Survival Instinct and Sex Drive. Nevertheless, these are the agents through which evil works. However, the Good Impulse only comes "online" at the age of thirteen for a boy and twelve for a girl, when the child becomes a "Son/Daughter of the Commandments"; thereafter being held accountable for their own actions, which the parents had hitherto been obliged to shoulder.

"The Evil Impulse is thirteen years older than the Good Impulse. It exists from the time of a person's emergence from his mother's womb; it grows with him and accompanies him through life. It begins to desecrate the Sabbath, to kill and act immorally, but there is nothing (within him) to prevent it. After thirteen years the Good Impulse is born" - Avot d'Rabbi Nathan 16.

When Yeshua speaks of being "born again" and states, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of G-d" (John 3:3) and "That which is born of the flesh, is flesh; and that which is born of the spirit, is spirit" (John 3:6), he is speaking about the Evil Impulse (sarx/flesh) and the Good Impulse (pneuma/spirit).

Further, Yeshua more or less chides Nicodemus (Nakdimon) for not knowing this fundamental teaching of the proto-Rabbinic Separatists (Pharisees). That one must become a "Son/Daughter of the Commandments" via the activation of the Good Impulse in order to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven (i.e., the Rulership of G-d), and thereby tame one's Evil Impulse, was axiomatic by Yeshua's day and age.

How does one combat their Evil Impulse? Well, given that the sages equated the Evil Impulse with Satan and the Angel of Death (cf. my aforementioned post), let's read how Yeshua responded to the Adversary during his "temptation in the wilderness" (Mat. 4:1-11) and compare it to the following excerpt from the rabbinic literature:

< When he (the Evil Impulse) desecrates the Sabbath, it (the Good Impulse) warns him, "Good-for -nothing! Behold it is said, 'Every one that profaneth it shall surely be put to death' (Exod. 31:14)." If he thinks of committing a murder it warns him, "Good-for -nothing! Behold it is said, 'Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed' (Gen. 9:6)." If he proposes to act immorally it warns him, "Good-for -nothing! Behold it is said, 'Both the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death' (Lev. 20:10)" - Avot d'Rabbi Nathan 16. >

Notice that in both Mat. 4:1-11 and the excerpt above there were three temptations made by the Evil Impulse and three responses delivered from the Sacred Text by the Good Impulse. I don't know about the reader, but ... all I see here is Yeshua being a Son of G-d (i.e., Son of the Commandments) and using the Good Impulse to combat the Evil Impulse. More examples to come! Stay tuned!

[edit on 19-6-2005 by smadewell]

posted on Jun, 19 2005 @ 12:48 AM
Someone asked, "I would very much like to know the meaning of 'But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth' (Matt 6:3). Can anyone help me?"

Well, I've heard all manner of takes on this one, but it's most likely talking about "the Good Impulse vs. Evil Impulse" where charity is concerned. How so? Well, the rabbis speculated that there was a physiological location for the Good Impulse and the Evil Impulse.

"The evil impulse is like a fly that dwells between the two entrances of the heart. There are two reins in man, on prompting him to goodness, the other to evil. It is probable that the good is on the right side and the bad on the left; for it is written, 'A wise man's understanding is at his right side, but a fool's understanding at his left'" (Eccles. 10:2) - Ber. 61a.

If you think about the function of the right and left hemisphere of the brain - there might be some truth in this. In short, I think Yeshua is saying, "Don't let your Evil Impulse know what your Good Impulse is doing." In other words, keep the Evil Impulse in the dark about your charitable doings, because if you don't - it'll say, "Hey! We could have used that money for ME, ME, ME, ME, ME!" Don't let your Evil Impulse have a voice in the matter - just give and do so with a cheerful heart.

posted on Jun, 21 2005 @ 12:15 AM

Originally posted by smadewell…It's pointless to respond to someone who claims I have a "lack of knowledge on this subject" and come "unarmed" and yet rejects the source material I've either presented, quoted and/or given references for from the rabbinic literature, which is obviously too "Judaistic" for him/her to stomach and which, in any case, "is worth diddly" in his/her opinion.
Yes it is pointless for I have no regard for anyone who chooses to not think for themselves and can at will pick and choose the authors whose works represent their own thinking. In fact I have a downright disregard for said posters

It's also pointless to respond to someone who demands that I not present "a myopic pseudo-thesis based on fatuous, irreconcilable, and unsubstantiated remarks by unknown authors"…
Of course you conclude so, for were you capable of thinking for yourself you would not be reliant on others to try and make your point.

and yet states that he doesn't read "the biased thoughts of others"….

Well, which is it? Do I quote and reference all authors or not? If so, why? He/she isn't going to accept their biased thoughts anyway.
Need I say more? Are you or are you not capable of researching and thinking for yourself? This topic does not represent a requirement for genius IQ, after all, we had numerous idiots for many centuries represented in accepted doctrine.

Getting back to SomewhereinBetween.... What can one expect from a person who thinks “Jesus was seeking to kill those who disagreed with his teachings, whether they were Jew or Roman, he really was not prejudiced" ... ?
You can expect to be met by a studied train of thought that is not represented by the one-sided references you seek to offer.

Yes, Yeshua tells others to buy a sword. And why does he do this?
Because he was an armed seditionist. If you can prove me wrong then do so, just stop whining, I detest weakness.

Because he and the other prophets from the School of Hillel KNOW the Temple is going to be destroyed by the Romans in due course and because they've warned others to flee from the "wrath to come".
Knew my behind! The inference to said temple for you and all gullible sorts like you, speaks not to stones and mortar, but to himself at best, and secondly, there is no information to show that the scriptures were explicitly written before 70ACE, and thirdly, you take it at face value that some fools named; Matthew; Mark; Luke and John actually wrote that nonsense when in fact were you not reliant on other authors but sought truth, you might very well note that the writings of the church elders when compared to known scripture do in fact suggest a later creation of said scripture.

Since, these proto-Rabbinic sages have rejected "Jewish pacifism" and enacted halakhot (religio-legal rulings) regarding the use of deadly force and self-defense -- buying a sword is only prudent given what's about to come down the pike. This falls far, FAR short of Yeshua forming a Zealot army or a gang of religio-political assassins like the Sacarii (Dagger Men).
Such witless technical terms; pseudo this and religio that, what do they mean exactly? You have yet to respond to Maccabees, instead offering unsubstantiated and broad claims about what was and was not accepted. Show me something that supports your position at least.

In short, SomewhereinBetween isn't debating, let alone dialoguing. He/she appears to be trolling and I don't respond to trolls. So, there will be no more heat from me. You gotta love that IGNORE option.
Well now I am crushed, what can I say? You have invoked that losing argument referring to me as a troll, that is after all the ultimate internet argument on which many hang their hats.

Have you crowed enough yet about your short-comings, and through with your appeal for support, or do you need more time to ready yourself to address the topics at hand? Do press ignore, I particularly revel in knowing how weak is my adversary, so much so they must advertise same.

I will monitor this thread for a few days in the event I actually see something of substance hailing from your font, in which case I will grant you the honour of a response. I give you the benefit of the doubt to actually muster a thought of your own, if I respond know that I take pride on pushing you past your level of comfort, and if I do not, then know that you lack fortitude.

[edit on 6/21/05 by SomewhereinBetween]

posted on Jun, 21 2005 @ 12:51 AM

Originally posted by SomewhereinBetweenin which case I will grant you the honour of a response.

No need to bother. I'll pass on that honour.

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