Holy Bulldust!

A TOWN in California (where else?) is going nuts over a religious relic – a hair that is claimed to have come from Buddha’s body. The Buddhist temple in Rosemead also has two teeth that it claims were once Buddha’s.

The relics are said to be capable of producing miracles for people who go near them.

Meanwhile, archaeologists claim they may have found a piece of the cross of Jesus in a stone chest that was uncovered during the excavation of a 1350-year old church in Turkey.

The reformer John Calvin noted a few centuries ago that that European Catholic churches housed enough “genuine” splinters from the cross on which Christ was crucified to rebuild Noah’s Ark.

Calvin listed several churches claiming to have the genuine crown of thorns, others claiming to have water pots used by Jesus to change water into wine, and even a remarkably well-preserved piece of broiled fish that the disciple Peter supposedly offered to Jesus 1500 years earlier.

Another great religious reformer Martin Luther was bothered by the existence of phony religious relics. Luther famously wondered how 26 of Jesus’ disciples could possibly be buried in German churches, when only 12 existed in the Bible.

A Roman church of the time exhibited the supposed crib of Jesus every Christmas Eve. Other well-known relics were the Messiah’s baby teeth, his father Joseph’s carpentry tools, bones of the donkey on which Jesus rode into Jerusalem, Pilate’s basin and the empty purse of Judas.

Constantinople was crammed with fake relics, including letters in Jesus’ own hand, the gold brought to the baby Jesus by the three wise men, the 12 baskets of bread collected after the miraculous feeding of the 5000, the trumpets of Jericho and the axe with which Noah made his ark. Even the
alleged foreskin of Jesus was displayed by French Benedictine monks of Charroux.

Superstition and idolatry continue to accompany so-called religious relics in the 21st century.

Thousands flock to exhibitions of such dubious items as a piece of wood from the table of the Last Supper. a towel that Jesus supposedly used to wash his face, the Virgin Mary’s breast milk, Buddha’s tooth, the cloak of Muhammad and Mary Magdalene’s arm in the hope that laying eyes on the relics would cure them of illness..

Today, the Vatican is in possession of two skulls, each claimed by a different Pope to be the disciple Peter’s.

The cult of venerating relics continues among the superstitious despite so many being revealed as fakes. Some bones that were at one time acclaimed as the bones of Catholic saints have been exposed as the bones of animals.

In Spain, a cathedral once displayed what was said to be part of a wing of the Angel Gabriel when he visited Mary. It was found to be a magnificent ostrich feather.

What do any of these supposed relics mean in terms of faith? The answer is nothing. You will learn nothing more from teeth, nails and bits of wood than you would from the 10-yearold grilled cheese sandwich with a image of the Virgin Mary that sold for $45,000 on eBay.

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30 thoughts on “Holy Bulldust!

  1. Back in my home country of Yugoslavia we had the skull of teenage John the Baptist. Which may be possible given that feminists cry “my body my choice” when discussing abortion. Multi-headed people do exist (at least in some section of the community)!

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  2. What about this one Bryan?

    2 Kings 13:21 Once while some Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s tomb. When the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet. 😉

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    • Time to be serious.

      RECOVERING THE AXE HEAD OF GENUINE ANOINTING
      By J. Lee Grady

      We’ve faked the power of Pentecost long enough. Let’s set aside the imitations and reclaim the real deal.

      Shortly after Elijah was carried to heaven in his fiery chariot, a group of young prophets asked Elisha to go with them to build new living quarters near the Jordan River. While one of the young men was cutting down a tree, the blade of his axe fell in the water and sank into the murky depths of the riverbed (see 2 Kings 6:1-7).

      The construction project came to an abrupt stop. This was before the days of flashlights and sonar devices. These guys were in trouble.

      Knowing that his friends could not replace this expensive iron tool they had borrowed, the young prophet cried to his mentor Elisha for help. The wise prophet threw a stick in the water where the axe head had sunk. Immediately the heavy iron blade floated to the surface—defying the laws of physics and proving that nothing is impossible with God. Elisha’s faith saved the day.

      We can gain so much comfort from this story. It reminds us that God has power over the natural world. It also proves that He cares about the seemingly trivial details of our lives—and that He is even willing to bail us out of the messes we make.

      As I have meditated on this passage in recent days I’ve also applied it to our current situation in the American church. It illustrates how desperately we need to recover what we’ve lost.

      Perhaps you’ve noticed that our blade is missing. I don’t know exactly when it fell off the handle, but it seems as if we’ve been trying to build God’s house without the sharp edge of His genuine anointing. We’ve traded the real for the phony. We’ve cheapened Pentecost to the point that it’s been reduced to dry religious programs and circus sideshow antics.

      We’ve mastered the art of hype. We know how to fake the anointing. We push people to the floor during our altar times. We know how to manipulate music and crowds so that we can create the atmosphere of the anointing. But in so many cases the real anointing isn’t there. In its place is a hollow imitation.

      Some charismatic leaders today are even selling specially handcrafted oils that promise the Holy Spirit’s power. Others sell scented candles that claim to bring God’s presence. And last year one brother was traveling the country with feathers in a jar—claiming that these belonged to an angel with healing powers.

      Lord, forgive us for our charlatanism. We need the blade back! We must cry out to the God Who has the power to raise iron from the bottom of a river.

      We are not going to advance Christ’s kingdom, or build His victorious church, using scented oils, fake charms, ear-tickling prophecies and goofy charismatic gimmicks. This is all wood, hay and stubble destined for the furnace. What we need today is the sharp blade of the Word that is empowered by the Holy Ghost and fire.

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      • —-2—-

        In my world travels during the past few years I have met humble Christians who carry the genuine anointing of the Spirit. I’ve spent time with Chinese believers who see miracles inside their prison cells. I’ve met an Indian evangelist who has seen six people raised from the dead. I’ve met a Pakistani apostle who regularly sees Muslims healed during outdoor gospel meetings.

        Last week I interviewed an Iranian church leader whose ministry is leading 5,000 Iranians to faith in Christ every month. In the midst of persecution and political upheaval, a New Testament—style revival is erupting in that Shiite Muslim stronghold-all because the church in Iran is weilding the axe head of genuine Holy Spirit anointing.

        Where is the God of Elisha? There is a cry in the American church today that resembles the cry of the desperate young prophet in 2 Kings 6. We have not been good stewards of the Holy Spirit’s gifts, and now the precious power of God has eluded us. We dropped it. Yet we are beginning to acknowledge our blunder.

        Let’s fully humble ourselves. Let’s repent of fakery and fraud. Let’s ditch our counterfeits and our cheap substitutes, and ask the Lord to restore the axe blade. Let’s cry to Him for a pure, unadulterated, genuine, life-changing, planet-shaking revival.

        CHARISMA magazine

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      • oh come on Monica,
        That chap has dishonestly and unrealistically misquoted what the High Priest said to Jesus. What he is quoting is nothing but Christian Revisionism.
        Rian

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      • No he hasn’t Rian.

        He is allowed artistic license. He saying that if Jesus were to stand before us and ‘WE’ were to ask Him are you………..(just like the High Priest did). Well we know what the High Priest asked Jesus in Matthew 26….

        63 But Jesus held his peace, And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.

        64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

        65 Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.

        66 What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.

        But ‘WE’ are asking Him the rest “the Son of Man, the ruler of the universe, the Judge of all the earth before whom every man and woman must give an account?” So it’s okay.

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      • Monica,
        No, as I pointed out months back the report of the ‘trial’ before Caiaphas has major flaws in it. What Jesus is quoted as saying there was simply not any form of blasphemy according to any Jewish law. Such a ‘title’ as Son of God was far more familiar to the Pagan world than to the Jews. Every devout Jew was a son of God; and Christ meant the messiah which has never been to this day a forbidden claim. Josephus and others have reported on a number of persons who claimed to be the Messiah, and none of them was prosecuted for it. It still even happens today!

        The account was obviously composed a lot later when the Jews rather than the Romans were being held responsible for the execution. And it was also when the Christians in the Gentile church had insufficient understanding of the Jewish law. The Gospel accounts of the trial are couched in Christian language, and not Jewish language.

        Love Rian.

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      • Bryan,
        I dont doubt what you say there, but my bet is that they werent persecuted just for claiming Messiahship. Far more llikely that they caused upheavals and political problems. Not religious reasons.

        Rian

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      • Further there Bryan,
        You wont be able to point to any Messiah claimants who were persecuted or executed under religious laws.

        Anyway my comments refer as always to the First Century and beyond. Do notice that Josephus mentions claimants, and never reports that they were hunted down for religious reasons. They were very violent and shocking times in the BCE. You really ought to study Josephus and Jewish law during the Second Temple period.

        Rian.

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    • Hi Bryan,
      I just have a nagging feeling that you are playing a game of Christian ‘one-up-manship’ on me.
      You made a recommendation to study further afield. And actually I have to confess that I haven’t myself read very much of friend Josephus at all. I’ve looked up a number of issues and references therein, only. However I have gone to numbers of specialist books in my library including crucial ones written by Jewish scholars for the major part of my information. (By the way, I blundered in my wording there. In my posting of October 17th at 10.40pm, I spoke of the ‘first Century and beyond’. I was meaning of course ‘first century and following’. Apologies there.)

      How about telling me just which ‘credible historians and scholars I should be looking up? And please for goodness sake, don’t just direct me to Christian apologists. Notice Bryan, that if there were any genuine injunctions against claiming to be the Messiah, why did a number of individuals do just that during the first century, without any religious interference from the Sanhedrin? Pseudo messiahs as I said before essentially were ‘persecuted’ or hunted down for political reasons, and it’s not at all surprising, really, is it? They were trouble makers and rabble rousers. Read it in Josephus.

      Those several months back, when I offered criticisms on the Gospel account of the ‘trial’ and condemnation of Jesus under Caiaphas, our old mate PG scoffed at me and pointed out that I had not quoted my sources. When I immediately did just that with three top Jewish researchers and authorities, he dismissed them very quickly. But interestingly just a couple of weeks later he must have checked on the matter. So, dropping his original argument, he offered a brand new idea of what ‘perhaps’ had happened. This was to demonstrate just how Jesus might actually have committed the capital crime of Blasphemy, an idea that was ingenious but utterly ridiculous, and easily disproven. If anyone is interested I can describe that again.

      You yourself have not explained how Jesus could have committed Blasphemy according to any religious laws of the Jews (or don’t you know the exact laws?) Do YOU believe that I was wrong about those laws? That is of course IF the lines attributed to him in the Gospels actually were uttered. It intrigues me that Christians have argued for ages that it had to have been an illegal and improper trial in the first place. And yet, despite that possibility which I grant, Christians have insisted that Jesus did ‘claim to be God’ and thus was guilty according to the Jews.

      Has it ever occurred to any Christian historian or theologian that if Jesus actually did speak blasphemously, then there was absolutely nothing else the High Priest could have done (within a legal trial or not) but to condemn Jesus to death? He had to obey the law, didn’t he? So he did nothing illegal or immoral or wrong. Keep in mind the clear fact that there was not and is not the single slightest provision or extenuating circumstance in the Jewish law and tradition for a living, walking and talking human being to claim to be (and/or actually to BE) either The God, or one of some kind of Holy Trinity. Caiaphas was correctly fulfilling his office there in that case

      Cheers, Rian. (trouble maker and dissenter as usual. – but not a messianic claimant though.)

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  3. Hi Kathleen,

    I said a prayer to God just now. Told Him that I wanted to encourage you and to please show me how I could. I can’t believe what He’s just given me. Is it any wonder that I shake in awe at Him? You gave a good answer back a few threads. You have every reason to hold your head up high. Don’t back down.

    Owning up to the truth
    BY John Piper

    From Minnesota, USA, in 1987, originates the tragic story of Shelly Cazin and Justin Bauer, two teenagers who had a pact to commit suicide together.

    They went to their spot in the woods and Shelly put the .44-Magnum rifle in her mouth and asked Justin to help her have the nerve to do it. He counted to three. But she couldn’t do it. Then he changed his mind and tried to talk her out of it. She would not give in. As he turned to walk away, she pulled the trigger. Instead of running for help, he covered her with brush and walked away.

    That was 1987 and Shelly was 61⁄2 months pregnant. Three years later, the jury acquitted Justin Bauer of murdering his girlfriend, but found him guilty of aiding a suicide, and of “inadvertently murdering the foetus during the commission of a felony.”

    At that time, the Minnesota foetal homicide law carried a much stiffer penalty than the penalty for aiding a suicide. Bauer could have received more than 12 years of prison for the foetal homicide but received probation for the assistance in the suicide.

    As I read this story, one sentence screamed from the page of the newspaper. Listen to this sentence and wonder! “THE LAW MAKES IT MURDER TO KILL AN EMBRYO OR FETUS INTENTIONALLY, EXCEPT IN CASES OF ABORTION.” Think about that for a moment. There are laws that condemn the killing of a foetus as murder, and laws that condone the killing of a foetus as abortion. Why is this?

    Is it because some foetuses are human beings and some aren’t? Is it because some have done something to deserve killing and some haven’t? Is it because some are tragically deformed and some aren’t? No. None of those suggestions explains why the law calls some killing of foetuses illegal murder and some legal abortion.

    Only one thing explains the paradoxical laws: in the one case the mother has chosen for the foetus to live, and in the other case the mother has chosen for the foetus to die. The reason it is a crime to kill a foetus in the one case is because the mother doesn’t want it killed. The reason it is not a crime to kill the foetus in the other case is because the mother chooses to have it killed. In the one case the law treats the foetus as a human with rights; in the other case the law treats the foetus as non-human with no rights. The difference? Nothing in the foe- tus. The foetus is the same in both cases. The difference is the choice of the woman who bears the foetus.

    Do you see what this means? It means that according to the laws in Minnesota the humanness of a foetus is determined from case to case not on the basis of its qualities but on the basis of the choice of the woman who carries it. Or to put it another way: the killing of this foetus is murder or not murder, legal or illegal, right or wrong NOT on the basis of anything in the foetus but solely on the basis of one person’s choice to call it right or wrong. According to these laws if she says it is right for the foetus to be killed, it is right. If she says it is wrong for the foetus to be killed, it is wrong. You can see, can’t you, that the end of this road (laid out in our laws) is anarchy: each one defining what is “right” on the basis of what he or she wants to be right?

    Now here’s the point: no one who endorses this way of thinking lives by it. No one who makes her choice the criterion of another’s humanness or rights will let you make your choice the criterion of her humanness or rights. No one who says, “My foetus is not human and has no rights because I don’t want it around,” will let you say to her, “You are not human and have no rights because I don’t want you around.”

    Deep down everyone knows this truth – that the difference between right and wrong, true and false, murder and justified killing is rooted in something greater and more objective than an individual’s choice. We knew this truth.

    We might suppress and deny it while we are the strong. But as soon as we are the weak victim, we demand that it be so. When our lives or our comforts are at stake, we demand that right and wrong be defined by our humanity, our dignity, our rights, not by another’s desire or choice. We know the truth.

    No matter how we may conceal it (even from ourselves) because it threatens our personal plans, we know it.

    If you could ask Jesus Christ directly, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us: Are these fetuses human? Do they have the right to live?” I think Jesus would say, “You have said so. Your laws cry loudly. Your lives reveal what your words conceal.” My heart’s desire is that you would own up to the deep sense of Christ’s truth that is already in your heart.

    I am persuaded that if Jesus were to stand forth visibly before you and you were to ask Him, just as the High Priest did in Matthew 26, “Are you really the Messiah, the Son of God, the Son of Man, the ruler of the universe, the Judge of all the earth before whom every man and woman must give an account?” He would answer you as He did then, “You have said so.”

    We do not need more proof. We need to yield in every part our life to what we already know.

    CHALLENGE the good news paper—No. 332

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    • Why do I sometimes think you deliberately pick the most stupid of people to quote, Mon?
      …..Oh wait!…I know!…It’s because you deliberately cite the most stupid of people.

      This John Piper yo-yo is yet another one.

      He can’t decide whether to blame the Law or the mother for deciding the fate of a fetus.
      Moreover, he ~ like a good few others ~ confuses the ‘Law’ with ‘Morality’ (‘right and wrong’); they’re entirely different issues with entirely different value-bases.

      And then he asks the most stupid of questions ~ this one for example:- “There are laws that condemn the killing of a foetus as murder, and laws that condone the killing of a foetus as abortion. Why is this?”
      The answer is simple:- It’s because any fool with any whacko proclivity (aka ‘the ‘electorate’) chooses the people who create said laws …… and support the (lawful!) concept of taxation to pay vast sums to maintain themselves and the system which decides such matters. (Oh yes!…and to maintain the roads, as Bryan keeps reminding us 😉 )

      ….after which he wanders off into realms of irrelevancies ~ and, not surprisingly, arrives at entirely false (if self-satisfying) conclusions. eg:-
      His rambling self-serving MISQUOTE of the Matt.26 homily has, in any case, NOTHING to do with the question of abortion. (In fact one might wonder at Jesus’ acceptance, and that of every christian, of HIS father’s decision to abort him at the tender age of 33!)

      ….neither does his answer “Thou sayest” have ANY relevance to the question:- “If you could ask Jesus Christ directly, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us: Are these fetuses human? Do they have the right to live?”

      Judging from the record, Jesus’ answer would much more likely have been: ‘Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s……my kingdom is NOT of this world.’

      If Caesar’s law is what matters, then there can be no case against abortion (or murder, for that matter) under any particular terms and conditions Caesar sees fit to impose.

      ….unless one is a (shock!-horror!) anarchist….;)

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      • When in the history of this blog have you ever agreed with any Christian Apologetic, or for that matter, just about anyone who comments here Dabs?

        I sometimes wonder if my mate Dabs is really the Antichrist. 😆

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      • I’ve got nothing against christian apologetics, Mon; it’s people who make the most stupid, unsustainable and often self-contradictory assertions that get me started.

        For example:- How on earth ~ or even elsewhere ~ does “Thou sayest” have ANY relevance to the question:- “If you could ask Jesus Christ directly, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us: Are these fetuses human? Do they have the right to live?” ??

        That’s about as coherent as someone asking “isn’t it a nice day?” and the person being asked replying “my cat has a pink nose”.

        And even the reference source (Matt.26) is dopey as, (even allowing that it may lose something in the translation) ~ and because nobody that mattered challenged it when it was first ‘recorded’. There’s no way that Cai’aphas would’ve asked: (NKJV) “…tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.”. Not only do jews to this day deny the ‘son of god’ tag (except perhaps as it relates to Adam), but I’ve never seen any reference that says that the ‘messiah’ is supposed to be the ‘son of god’ anyway.

        However, feel free to point out any flaws in my ‘dis-agreements’ with blatant nonsense spouted by self-interested ‘apologists’; it IS supposed to be a debating-ground.

        But please don’t confuse the Devil’s Advocate (the DA as the Americans call him!) with any ‘antichrist’. In fact, my boss reckons there’s no such thing ~ it’s but an inside job to keep christians enthused; says that the best way to destroy christianity is to give the christians free reign….and as many denominations as they can dream up. 😉

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      • hi Dabbles,
        just one quick comment here. Like you, I thought that the Messiah was never known or anticipated to be known in any sort of wording as the Son of God. I had never seen any reference to that until just yesterday, I read through the Encyc. Britann. reference to Messiah and found the statement that ‘though not in any sense divine, the annointed king (the essential individual who would be ‘it’) would be called the “son of God”, and messianic hopes and functions would be ascribed to him.’

        For me though, the biggest problem in the quoted charge of the High Priest in the Gospel account is the use of the ‘title’ Christ. This is a highly charged word that simply begs the question, and blithely assumes the loaded meaning ascribed to Jesus by Christianity since Paul. Substitute the term ‘annointed’ for it in the ‘trial’ and the ambiguity dies away.

        Still I repeat, in Jewish law, it was never a religious offense to claim to be the Messiah (the annointed one). And regardless of what sort of divine backing or origin the person might have, he could simply NEVER be The God or an incarnation of same. Jesus did not offend against the religious law since he neither spoke the forbidden Tetragrammaton name of God, nor did he promote or practice Idolatry. Sure he might have offended people, and disgusted the pious, but he did not commit Blasphemy. Anyone who disagrees just go ahead and do some research. (Look up some reputable scholars!)

        And as I have said, if Jesus did or had actually committed Blasphemy whether as reported in the Gospel accounts or not, then the High Priest and the Sanhedrin had absolutely no alternative possible to them, than to condemn him to death. It was their legal and religious duty. They did nothing evil. But of course the Roman Governor was not the slightest bit interested in such blasphemy. He was interested purely in the political danges attached to any Messianic claimant; and if Jesus really was condemned and crucified as described, it was for political reasons.

        Rian.

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      • Both the terms sons of God and “son of God” appear in Jewish literature and leaders of the people, kings and princes were called “sons of God”, predating the New Testament. However, the Messiah, the Anointed One, was uniquely called the Son of God, as in Psalm 2:7: The “Lord hath said to me: Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee”. This psalm can obviously be seen as referring to a particular king of Judah, but has also been understood of the awaited Messiah.

        In the New Testament, the title “Son of God” is applied to Jesus on many occasions. It is often used to refer to his divinity, from the beginning of the New Testament narrative when in Luke 32-35 the angel Gabriel announces: “the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee: wherefore also the holy thing which is begotten shall be called the Son of God.”

        The declaration that Jesus is the Son of God is echoed by many sources in the New Testament. On two separate occasions the declarations are by God the Father, when during the Baptism of Jesus and then during the Transfiguration as a voice from Heaven. On several occasions the disciples call Jesus the Son of God and even the Jews scornfully remind Jesus during his crucifixion of his claim to be the Son of God.”

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      • Ah Bryan,
        Yep I am fully familiar with the verse in the Psalms that you quote there. But note very carefully that the second line of it runs ‘this day have I begotten thee.’ This can only apply to a newly begotten being, not an eternally pre-existing divine being. I am aware of the verse’s messianic slanting, and as you say it was most likely applied to the Kings of Israel, and may well have been recited as part of the crowning ritual. I didn’t know however, that it was a commonly used term for a/the coming Messiah – (sorry, Anointed one).

        It might not be known to you, but in an early version of one of the Gospels quoted in the 2nd Century, the voice from heaven at the Baptism and the Transfiguration stated that whole section and did not say anything like ‘in whom I am well pleased’ or any variation on it. Presumably because that full version from the Psalms represented too much of a justification for the theory of Adoptionism. This was a popular early heresy which stated that Jesus only became the ‘Christ’ (AND thus the Son of God) on the occasion of the Baptism.

        As far as the proclamation attributed to the Angel at the Annunciation is concerned, the wording refers to ‘the holy thing’ which is begotten shall be CALLED the Son of God;’. Not even any ambiguity there. No suggestion at all that the begotten one must actually be ‘the God’. And for that matter this ‘holy thing’ (strange terminology) will only be CALLED the Son of God. Mightn’t even BE the Son of God! As well, no extra-special meaning to the attributed use of the word Holy by the Angel. Christianity commonly has used the term as in – Holy Church, Holy Virgin, Holy Saints, Holy Bible, Holy City, etc.

        As I’ve pointed out many times, there is a veritable world of difference between the terms Son of God and God the Son. That latter phrase could never have come from any Jewish origin. What you have expounded is a standard bit of Christian exegesis. Nothing is proven thereby about the ultimate nature of Jesus.
        Clearly, the account of the Sanhedrin’s condemnation for blasphemy became absolutely necessary in order to back up the story that Jesus really claimed to be ‘the God’ in any unmistakeable terms. (But again, Jesus never claimed to be God the Son, did he?)

        Rian.

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      • The Gospel of Mark begins by calling Jesus the Son of God and reaffirms the title twice when a voice from Heaven calls Jesus: “my Son” in Mark 1:11 and Mark 9:7.

        In Matthew 14:33 after Jesus walks on water, the disciples tell Jesus: “You really are the Son of God!” In response to the question by Jesus, “But who do you say that I am?”, Peter replied: “You are Christ, the Son of the living God”. And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 16:15–17) In Matthew 27:43, while Jesus hangs on the cross, the Jewish leaders mock him to ask God help, “for he said, I am the Son of God”, referring to the claim of Jesus to be the Son of God. Matthew 27:54 and Mark 15:39 include the exclamation by the Roman commander: “He was surely the Son of God!” after the earthquake following the Crucifixion of Jesus.

        In Luke 1:35, in the Annunciation, before the birth of Jesus, the angel tells Mary that her child “shall be called the Son of God”. In Luke 4:41 (and Mark 3:11), when Jesus casts out demons, they fall down before him, and declare: “You are the Son of God.”

        In John 1:34 John the Baptist bears witness that Jesus is the Son of God and in John 11:27 Martha calls him the Messiah and the Son of God. In several passages in the Gospel of John assertions of Jesus being the Son of God are usually also assertions of his unity with the Father, as in John 14:7–9: “If you know me, then you will also know my Father” and “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father”.

        In John 19:7 the Jews cry out to Pontius Pilate “Crucify him” based on the charge that Jesus “made himself the Son of God.” The charge that Jesus had declared himself “Son of God” was essential to the argument of the Jews from a religious perspective, as the charge that he had called himself King of the Jews was important to Pilate from a political perspective, for it meant possible rebellion against Rome.

        Towards the end of his Gospel (in 20:31) John declares that the purpose for writing it was “that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God”.

        In Acts 9:20, after the Conversion of Paul the Apostle, and following his recovery, “straightway in the synagogues he proclaimed Jesus, that he is the Son of God.”

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      • Bryan,
        Yes, I’m perfectly familiar with the many verses in the Christian Testament that describe Jesus as Son of God. But no texts there ever describe him as God the Son; and that just has to be a title never to be attested by any faithful Jew. Neither John the Evangelist or even the Christ-posessed Paul says it . Despite the habit of Christians to see them as meaning the same thing, – they dont!

        It has been recognized for centuries that Philo Judaeus made no mention at all of Jesus. (He was a contemporary and we have loads of his writings) In all his works that have come down to us, it’s strange he never mentions a word about the Messiah concept or the popular belief in any coming Redeemer either, not once in his Scripture expositions. That really surprised me, I must say.

        Anyway, you have no need to deliver me a series of verses about the title Son of God in the Christian Testament. I know them well. I quite cheerfully admit that though I was familiar with that verse in Psalms, I didn’t realize that among the earlier Jews ‘The Son of God’ was a popular term for the coming Messiah. We live and learn. But now, do you acknowledge the accuracy of my material on the Blasphemy laws?

        While we are on that subject of textual quotes from Scripture to prove a point, (and observe again that I’ve immediately acknowledged those YOU have posted) – In return, are you prepared to acknowledge the list of verses I posted to demonstrate that the first and early church was not at all in a state of unity? They do come out of your infallible Scripture. And so my comments after all, were NOT just opinion.

        Since Jerusalem was destroyed about the year 70, that first Jerusalem ‘church’ simply didn’t last much over thirty years at the most, and the differences over Paul’s ideas were clearly divisive at least for a while right in the middle of its existence. And quickly then, the ‘Gentile’ church outside Jerusalem was well and truly riddled with dissent, heresies, and deserters, as I showed directly out of Paul. I would suggest that a truly united church didn’t really show up until the fourth century, under Constantine and Theodosius. And its ‘unity’ then was enforced by law and the sword.

        (Oh, just coming back to my copy of Philo Judaeus, he states that the WORLD itself was sometimes referred to as ‘son of God’ among the Jews too. Quite remarkable)

        Cheers, Rian.

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      • You are aware of the gospel verses you initially said didn’t exist…but you now choose to ignore them. I believe your premise is wrong and you seek to justify it with opinion rfather than facts.
        Well, believe what you want BUT the evidence points otherwise Rian.

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      • Hi Rian,

        Creation Ministries were taken to task for consistently referring to Jesus as ‘God the Son’ instead of the ‘Son of God’. They answered thus:

        “We do confess Jesus to be “the Son of God”, as is clear in many of our articles. But we stand by our use of the term “God the Son”, because this is a logical deduction from Scripture, so it is not negotiable. The two terms are hardly mutually exclusive. E.g. Hebrews 1:8 says (and it’s God talking about Jesus): ‘”But of the Son He says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.”‘ So there is a person who is God and is also “the Son”, ergo He is “God the Son”.”

        The Son is God

        Hebrews 1:3 says that Jesus “is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being.” Humans are created in the ‘image and likeness’ of God, meaning that we are like God in some ways, but far more than that is attributed to the Son. The Greek translated “exact imprint of his nature” is χαρακτὴρ τῆς ὑποστάσεως αὐτοῦ, (charactēr tēs upostaseōs autou), and means basically that Jesus is exactly identical to the Father—there is no attribute of the Father that the Son does not have in equal measure. There is no way in which Jesus does not resemble the Father. Jesus teaches the same thing when He said, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9), and Paul says, “In him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” (Colossians 2:9). The writer of Hebrews reinforces this a few verses later when he quotes God himself, “But of the Son he says, ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,” (Hebrews 1:8), showing that God addresses the Son also as God.

        Jesus, unlike mere human beings, existed before His birth. Speaking of Jesus the Son, the Gospel of John starts out with, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). He is called “the one and only (μονογενῆς, monogenēs) God who is in the bosom of the Father” (John 1:18).

        Paul says, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him” (Colossians 1:15–16). Anti-Trinitarians point to this verse to claim that Jesus was only a created being, even if He was exalted. But this same verse says “by him all things were created,” meaning that Jesus Himself could not have been created, or else He would come under ‘all things’. ‘Firstborn’ in this instance simply means that Jesus has the privilege of the firstborn, something that was very meaningful in a time when the firstborn expected to receive a double portion of the inheritance. So in this case ‘firstborn’ (Greek prototokos ) does not mean ‘first created’ (Greek protoktisis ), but simply denotes His superior position.

        In many places, characteristics that only God can have are attributed to Jesus. Hebrews 13:8 says that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” In John 5:26, Jesus claims, “For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in Himself.” But only God is self-existent.

        Jesus is also viewed as a proper recipient of worship in the New Testament. After the Resurrection, Thomas calls Jesus, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). A righteous person who received praise due only to God would deflect it immediately (see how Paul and Barnabas reacted in Acts 14:8 ff.)—but Jesus didn’t, indicating that he thought it was proper. He even says, in effect, “You finally believe in me!” Titus 2:13 calls Jesus “our great God and Savior”, as does 1 Peter 1:1. Paul refers to “Christ, who is God over all” (Romans 9:5). Every time Jesus is worshipped in Scripture, it is cited with approval. Indeed, He demands equal honour with the Father:

        … that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. (John 5:23).

        So there! 🙂

        Like

      • Oh Bryan Bryan Bryan,
        Why is it that you have to misquote me so readily and so blatantly? I NEVER said that the Gospels didn’t mention the fact that people were tossing around the observation that Jesus was claiming to be the Son of God. Of course they were, and I’ve known it well for 70 years.

        But there is not the slightest mention in the Gospels, of people and human authorities using the term OTHER THAN in protesting that Jesus said or claimed that he was the son of God. I honestly stated that I had not come across any reference to the hoped for Messiah being termed IN COMMON JEWISH PARLANCE as the Son of God, – and I added specifically ‘among earlier Jews’ (see my post at 00.28 on October 21 in third paragraph). As soon as I learnt that, I acknowledged immediately. N’est ce pas? On the other hand, in return you apparently have never read authoritative information about the Jewish Blasphemy laws. You still have things there to learn.

        If you can point to any of my postings where I said that Gospel mentions of the term ‘Son of God’ simply don’t exist, (or that I had no knowledge of them) then I shall be prepared to pay $1000 to any charity you mention, or to you yourself if you prefer. (anyone else like to try?)

        And again, since you have deliberately avoided answering my challenges over the Blasphemy laws, and about disunity in the early church, (where I quoted over thirty Scripture texts as the ‘real evidence’ you charged me with omitting) then I can only assume that you have no answer and that you are acknowledging I am right and am not just citing personal opinion. In that case, I guess that on those questions at least, it’s ‘Game Set and Match’ to me!

        I must say I’m disappointed in you. Why is it just so necessary for you guys to misquote me on this blog? Very sad!
        Cheers Rian.

        Like

      • Hi Mon Honey,
        Thanks a million for that brilliant little summary of the Biblical texts that support the Divinity of Christ doctrine. I am printing it out and keeping it among my Christian papers. It has to be the best coverage on the subject that I’ve come across.

        Now what can I say about it? Well, for starters of course, there are two factors about the Bible that have to be kept in mind. Non-believers do not take the word of the Bible as being literally accurate on many or most of the events and sayings that it contains. So the non-believers will not be swayed or convinced by Bible quotes. Secondly it is only Christians who believe that there is one consistent God-inspired and united message being delivered by the 66 (or more) books in the Bible. But those non-believers just see multiple writers and editors there, each of whom brought his own ideas and motivations to the text, none of which could possibly carry an imprimateur of Inerrancy. Probably none or very very few of them ever intended or conceived of the idea that their writings might be treated as ‘Scripture’; and anyway, to the eye of the infidel, a great proportion of the ideas and concepts simply contradict each other.

        A further point to be made is that though the texts your source quotes, appear to give a pretty convincing argument when they are matched together, nevertheless an equally convincing argument can be put together from another set of legitimate Bible quotes that demonstrate Jesus NOT to be divine. (the word Divine meaning of course that he was/is the God.) Then on top of that, the so-called Prophecies about the Messiah and about Jesus just collapse very quickly when examined with scholarly Jewish eyes, (whose books they come from!) So there!!! (sorry, just had to put that in.)

        Anyway, thanks again Mon,
        Cheers Rian.

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      • Bryan,
        I’m really disappointed in you there.

        You failed to answer any of my most essential points. And you obviously have no suitable argument to counter the 30 odd Scripture texts I quoted to demonstrate that the early church was severely divided from very early. So I can only imagine that you are scared to concede that you are wrong about anything. You had a chance to prove your statement about my ignorance on the Gospels, but you evaded it.

        Very sad about that,

        cheers, Rian.

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      • No Rian. I’m just over arguing against obviously foolish notions. But, as I said, believe what you want. If you want to think you I’m “scared” then go ahead if it makes you feel better. Personally I find your notions not only laughable but puerile

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  4. ….and what’s to wonder? –> “Luther famously wondered how 26 of Jesus’ disciples could possibly be buried in German churches, when only 12 existed in the Bible.”

    You want more bread, or fish or wine: a little wave of the Miracle-Wand turns few into more.
    Why should disciples be any different?

    Like

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