The Jews and Elijah.

Discussion in 'Sacred Scripture' started by AnglicanAgnostic, Mar 31, 2023.

  1. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    I think there are problems with each interpretation. There’s nothing that actually says that one of the ‘two witnesses’ of the Apocalypse is Elijah, and the literal John the Baptist = Elijah interpretation implies reincarnation (and explicitly contradicts the Gospel of John), which leaves us with a symbolic fulfillment (and therefore a ‘symbolic prophecy’ of sorts, on the Christian interpretation), in the (first) advent. On the other hand, it seems doubtful that a symbolic interpretation of Malachi can be justified exegetically. It is a theological conundrum that cannot be solved by the historian.
     
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  2. CRfromQld

    CRfromQld Moderator Staff Member

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    When Jesus incarnated as man he apparently put aside some of his divine attributes since he claimed "But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Possible if Elijah returned as john the Baptist he returned without the knowledge of his previous identity.

    Another possibility is that Elijah returned in the transfiguration. "Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus."

    It's possible both are true since John was beheaded before the Transfiguration.
     
  3. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

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    Nice thought:hmm: but where does Elijah's actions in Malachi 4:6

    "He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.”

    come into the picture in your scenarios.
     
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  4. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

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    Well I must say I'm disappointed with all the Elijah explanations.

    Rexlion seems to be saying that Elijah will return in the future (along with temple building and attempts by some one to rule the world + other things) before Jesus returns. I don't buy this theory as to me it invalidates the "thief in the night" scenario. Surely the temple being rebuilt will be a hint that somethings in the wind.
    ---------------------
    CRfromQld said
    "When Jesus incarnated as man he apparently put aside some of his divine attributes since he claimed "But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Possible if Elijah returned as john the Baptist he returned without the knowledge of his previous identity.

    Another possibility is that Elijah returned in the transfiguration. "Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus."

    I think this is CRfromQld's attempt at Typology but he has so far unanswered my question as to where Elijah had turned the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents. For this reason I also don't buy CrfromQld's theory.

    -----------------------------------------
    I'm not sure what Invictus' views are!
    He says
    It was the post-resurrection conviction that Jesus was the messiah that led some Christians to read a prophetic understanding of the role of Elijah back into accounts concerning John the Baptist. But, it is not something that can now be considered as remaining in the future. It is the Church that embodies Jesus and his teaching now and in the future.-------------- (So he seems to be saying that JtB isn't Elijah)

    But he also says
    "I am primarily a Preterist" ------Of which Wikipedia says Preterism, a Christian eschatological view, interprets some (partial preterism) or all (full preterism) prophecies of the Bible as events which have already happened. So has Malachi's Elijah prophecy happened or not?


    Invictus also says
    I do not personally believe John the Baptist was Elijah in any sense, and I suspect that such traditions were later inventions that were subsequently read back into received accounts of Jesus’ life, in light of the Church’s post-resurrection experience of Jesus. The historical problem with the John the Baptist = Elijah thesis (leaving aside the question of reincarnation which the thesis also raises) is that it fails at least two of the criteria mentioned above: it isn’t independently attested, as the account in Matthew is clearly derived from Mark, and it doesn’t satisfy the dissimilarity criterion, as the early Church would have wanted to say that Elijah had come, as they were convinced that Jesus was the Messiah and knew from the Prophetic writings that Elijah’s return had to precede the coming of the Messiah. The weight of the historical evidence strongly suggests that Elijah did not come prior to the start of Jesus’ ministry, that the general population in Palestine was aware of this, and that this was a problem for the early Church, who developed various strategies for dealing with it.----------------------------------------So again what was Malachi's Elijah prophecy all about.

    Invictus also said in the Holy Spirit thread post #138 5/7/2022
    In traditional popular belief, the next event to occur is the return of Christ, together with the judgment of the world, etc. This event is supposed to be completely unpredictable and the timing of it is ‘unrevealed’. In the ‘preterist’ view, to which I am sympathetic, some/all of the statements of Jesus pertaining to the future were fulfilled in the 1st century. Modern Western man’s obsession with the “end times” is a waste of time in my opinion. It contributes nothing to the actual practice of Christianity nor does it lead to an increase of justice and peace in the world.--------So is the traditional popular belief, the next event to occur is the return of Christ correct? And if as you say "some/all of the statements of Jesus pertaining to the future were fulfilled in the 1st century" does this include Malachi's Lord/Elijah prophecy.


    Invictus also says
    "It is a theological conundrum that cannot be solved by the historian."--------------I think you could add theologians to historians
     
  5. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    You are correct that this is one of the reasons Jews do not accept Christian claims. At least two things are clear from the texts as we have them:
    1. The prophet Malachi predicted that the prophet Elijah would return prior to 'the day of the Lord' (Mal. 4:5).
    2. John the Baptist was not Elijah (John 1:21).
     
  6. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

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    I know someone who has a theory about Elijah, John the Baptist and Jesus. I know the theory is wrong but he has trouble understanding why it is so. How would you go about correcting him?
    His theory is-

    John and Jesus jacked up their story about Jesus being the Messiah. Jesus was the clever one, and John the easily led type. Jesus may have thought he was "special" as he may have heard his mothers story about a virgin birth and John may have been into religion big time, because of his father (being a priest) it may have been in his "blood".
    Jesus realised for his claim to be the Messiah would need an Elijah and his cousin/relative John provided that person. Perhaps John was already living his camel hair wearing, locust eating, desert living Elijah like lifestyle.
    It is portrayed in the Gospels that Jesus almost stumbled upon John and meets him for the first time at the baptism.
    But he points out there are many clues to John and Jesus being intimately associated.
    Their mothers Mary and Elizabeth were kinsfolk and they knew each other well enough to spend 3 months together.
    Surely in those family orientated times John and Jesus would know each other. Even I (the writer) have met my 2nd cousin twice removed.
    Only two people in the Bible use the phrase "generation of vipers" Yes you guessed it John and Jesus. Perhaps it was a family saying.
    Now there is another reason for supposing that John and Jesus knew each other and it occurs when John and Jesus' -"Elijah and Messiah"- plan turned to custard when John was imprisoned. John must have thought, is Jesus really the Messiah for this to happen? So as we know -- When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”(Mat 11:2-3)

    John is clearly asking if Jesus is the Messiah. And Jesus says “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor".(Matt 11:4-5)

    Jesus is clearly quoting something messianic and my friend has asked me to give a free like to the person who can tell me where all of this is.:book:
     
  7. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    I don't think I would even want to go about 'correcting' his theory. It seems plausible, as a theory, based upon such scriptural evidence as we have for it. I would be inclined to ask how the owner of the theory views the character and motivation of the main characters involved, and whether he thinks they may have actually achieved, (in terms of making the world a better place to 'live' in, for us), what they had hoped to acheive.

    After all, THAT is basically what Christianity claims they did. Within 365 years the Roman Empire was considerably 'changed', somewhat for the better, perhaps.
    .
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2023
  8. Extra Nos 84

    Extra Nos 84 New Member

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    I think you need to understand that the way to interpret Scripture by the Apostles is called Pesher. Pesher is reading current events and giving them meaning with the Old Scriptures. It is like when Isaiah used the Exodus to talk about the return of the Babylonian captivity.

    https://www.evidenceunseen.com/bibl...-isaiah-use-the-exodus-motif-in-this-section/

    Now, were the Jews correct in waiting for Elijah? Yes. But Elijah did come:
    "But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist."
    -Matthew 17:12-13.
     
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  9. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

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    I suspect he thinks Jesus did really consider himself the Messiah, but coerced John into doing his Elijah impersonating act. As for the results of his actions it's a mixed bag somethings are better, some have been worse. If Jesus had been a Buddhist and influenced the parts of the world that are now Christian he feels the world would now be a better place.
     
  10. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

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    Is this like reading Nostradamas's prophecies and them searching for modern happening that may possibly fit in with them?
    So what are you saying Elijah did return and John was Elijah.- or
    John as just plain John fulfilled the roll of Elijah thus fulfilling Malachi's prophecy-. or
    Something else?
     
  11. Extra Nos 84

    Extra Nos 84 New Member

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  12. CRfromQld

    CRfromQld Moderator Staff Member

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    PESHER (Heb. פֵּשֶׁר), word meaning "interpretation." It occurs only once in the Hebrew Bible: "Who is as the wise man? and who knoweth the interpretation of a thing?" (Eccl. 8:1). However, the Aramaic word peshar occurs 31 times in the Aramaic portion of Daniel, where it mainly refers to dream interpretation.

    In Qumran texts, it usually occurs after a biblical quotation, introducing its interpretation. As such it refers to a particular technique of interpretation which may be paralleled to midrashic exegesis.

    What is distinctive of Qumran is both the systematic application of such a technique to a given prophetic work and its specific purpose. On the one hand, it had the result of creating a fixed literary structure, mostly known from the "continuous" pesharim. Those works quote one "prophetic" book verse by verse, each verse being followed by its interpretation, aiming at giving the plain meaning of the Prophet's words as a whole. On the other hand, their aim is to read historical and eschatological events into the biblical prophecies, understanding them as describing their own sect's situation on the verge of the eschaton.
     
  13. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

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    Well Extra Nos 84 I read/skimmed your article and it all sounds a bit John Shelby Spongish to me ( which is not necessarily a bad thing). You are probably going to be called a leftish liberal by some people here because-- if I may quote your reference'

    Biblical prophecies of varying date and reference are to apply uniformly to the commentator's own day immediately preceding and following--- that is, to the period introduced by the ministry of the Teacher of Righteousness and the emergence of the eschatological community of the elect. The biblical text is atomized so as to.bring out its relevance to the situation of the commentator's day; it is in this situation, and not in the natural sequence of the text, that logical coherence is to be looked for.. (c) Variant readings are selected in such a way as: best to serve the commentator's purpose. Where a relation cannot otherwise be established between the text and the situation to which it is believed tg refer, allegorization is pressed into service.

    And by saying and possibly splitting an infinitive.
    "Today, we too, need to boldly with confidence proclaim the message as we have found it. This means studying the Scriptures and proclaiming it boldly, especially as it is to be adapted to our situation today."

    But I'm still confused as to your view about Elijah and John the Baptist?

    Also in your article it says
    "Over and above what is shown in the quotation in 27:9, the LXX character here is remarkable. It indicates that the school which has here been at work had in view a Greek rendering of the prophecy".

    This is referring to Matt 27:9-10 which says
    "Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled, saying, "They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him upon whom a price had. been set, whom some of the children of Israel priced, 10 and they gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord commanded me."

    I know it's not a contradiction, because I have been told it can't be, but it appears to be Zechariah's (11:13) and not Jeremiah's prophecy.

    In your article the "Teacher of Righteousness" sounds a bit like a Pope wannabe.
     
  14. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

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    Well I seem to have no takers on my Matt 11:4-5 challenge to you Christians. If I don't get any answers in the next few days, I'll learn ya'all something about it.:preach:
     
  15. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Remind me what the question is again please? :news:
     
  16. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

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    Now there is another reason for supposing that John and Jesus knew each other and it occurs when John and Jesus' -"Elijah and Messiah"- plan turned to custard when John was imprisoned. John must have thought, is Jesus really the Messiah for this to happen? So as we know -- When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”(Mat 11:2-3)

    John is clearly asking if Jesus is the Messiah. And Jesus says “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor".(Matt 11:4-5)

    Jesus is clearly quoting something messianic and my friend has asked me to give a free like to the person who can tell me where all of this is.:book:
    post#46
     
  17. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    According to the Hermeneia Commentary on Matthew, the OT passages acting as background are:
    Isaiah 61:1
    Isaiah 29:18-19
    Isaiah 35:5-6
    Isaiah 42:18
    1 Kings 17:17-24
    2 Kings 4:18-37
    2 Kings 5:1-27

    Bear in mind there is no scholarly consensus whether this saying can be traced back to the historical Jesus or to the early church.
     
  18. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

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    Earlier I asked Invictus.

    and he said
    Now all these references are spread out, and to my mind they aren't Messianic. So to me they are not the passages Jesus was referring to, to convince John that he was the Messiah.
    So where was Jesus referring to? Where are all the events in Matt 11:4-5 mentioned in a Messianic context.
    The answer is Isaiah 61! No not the Isaiah 61 that you may be tempted to look at on Biblegateway, but a nonbiblical manuscript version of Isaiah 61 from the Dead Sea Scroll collection written in Hebrew about 30 B.C. This manuscript is called 4Q521 and is Messianic in nature.
    This is another reason why I think Jesus and John knew each other well. How else would Jesus know that John knew about the 4Q521 version of Isaiah?
    Perhaps they both hung out with the Dead Sea Community.
     
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  19. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I think I found what you're referring to; is this page representative of the concept? It's interesting.
     
  20. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

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    Well yes it seems to be the same topic but I got my info from Lee Strobel's book "The Case for Christ" He and your articles disagree though. He [Strobel] says the document was written about 30 B.C. ie not by Jesus, and your article says "For example, the scroll known as 4Q521 (signifying that it was found in cave 4 at Qumran — the region where the scrolls were discovered — document or fragment 521”) shows that Jesus did in fact proclaim himself as Messiah, despite claims to the contrary by many moderns". It's not the actual document that says Jesus proclaimed himself the Messiah but it is an assumption drawn by the author from Math 11. inferences.

    This info was given (by me) merely to support someone I knows theory that Jesus and John knew each other intimately and concocted their Elijah & Messiah story.