Sunday, June 3, 2018

I now consider the 2018-2015 model formally debunked.

At the start of Spring I made a post laying out what I felt needed to happen, even allowing some wiggle room on the details.

And it's June now and nothing happened.

So let it not be said I'm someone who denies when a theory I made turns out to be wrong.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Apocalypse of Peter

I don't consider any Apocryphal books Canon.  But I do talk about Extra-Biblical Prophecies on this Blog sometimes as a curiosity.

The Apocalypse of Peter is unique because of the Muratorian fragment.  That fragment dated to about 170 AD is frequently cited as evidence that our current Canon was basically agreed upon very early.  However a few books in out current canon aren't mentioned (James, both of Peter's Epistles an possible one of John's).  And it approves of there books not in our current Canon, though one of those is explicitly said not to be Scripture just that it isn't objectionable, the Shepherd of Hermas.  It mentions The Wisdom of Solomon, which seems odd to be mentioned here since it would be Old Testament Canon.  And lastly it defines as inspired Scripture the Apocalypse of Peter, yet strangely says how some think it shouldn't be read in Church.  According to Eusebius Clement of Alexandria also considered the Apocalypse of Peter canon.

The Apocalypse of Peter exists is preserved for us in two versions, a Greek Text found in Egypt, Akhmim specifically, and the Ethiopian version.  The translation Bart Ehrman included in his Lost Scriptures book is based on the Akhmim text, and in a 30 minute lecture on the book on YouTube he acts like only that version exists, claiming the book was lost until that manuscript was found when in fact the Ethiopian version was already well known.  So be aware that Ehrman is a liar.

Now I think I'd already said in a prior post how the Apocalypse of Peter supports the interpretation that the Fig Tree of Matthew 24 represents Israel.

The Ethiopic version contains a passage that explicitly promises the eventual Salvation of all Sinners.
"My Father will give unto them all the life, the glory, and the kingdom that passeth not away, ... It is because of them that have believed in me that I am come. It is also because of them that have believed in me, that, at their word, I shall have pity on men... "
There are a few reasons why I think this was in the original versions and not something added on the way to Aksum.

First of all that the surrounding context of this promise includes statements that it should be kept a secret from Sinners is the best explanation or why the Muratorian fragment says some felt it shouldn't be read in Church.  This attitude (also held by Origen) is part of why I don't support adding this book to the Canon, cause I disagree with it as a modern Evangelical Universalist, (who can argue for it from the Canon we have).  Maybe it made some practical sense in the circumstances of 2nd/3rd century Egypt, but today the perception that God is a Wrathful monster is purely an obstacle to The Gospel.

M.R. James who made the 1924 Translation for The Apocryphal New Testament expresses the opinion that the Ahkmim text isn't the proper Apocalypse of Peter at all but an Abridged version written to be included in a Gospel of Peter as it's Olivte Discourse.  The promise of Universal Salvation may have been removed for the above stated reason.

The Christian Sibylline Oracles which were influenced by the Apocalypse of Peter also include an equivalent promise.

And then lastly if we viewed it as God's Word, the Ethiopian version is the received text, so like my reasons for choosing the Textus Receptus Greek Text for the canonical New Testament, and why many Aramaic primacy supporter favor the Peshita over the Sinai Gospels,  the true version must be the one The Holy Spirit preserved, not something buried and forgotten for millennia.

Meanwhile the Ahkmim version still doesn't contradict the promise of Universal Salvation.  Chances are the word translated Eternal is Aionion/Aionios.  At face value what's said in chapter 13 of Ehrman's version might seem to rule out Universal Salvation, but that scene happened in the Ethiopian version as well, but then Peter pleads for them later.  That passage says they won't get released before their sentence is up based on their own repentance, like a modern Prison system.  But later it will be the Believers having mercy on them that will trigger their release.

If I were to view this text as Scripture, how would I deal with any apparent contradictions?  Well first of all I see it being framed in a parable like fashion, so the details need not be something we build doctrine on, like with the Lazarus and the Rich Man in Luke 16, but is rather making the point that the punishments will fit the crime.  I certainly don't think it intends to say it's a Sin word Women to braid their hair, that sequence is probably meant to be about Prostitution, though I don't know if the word Porneia was used or not.

However I still do not view it as Scripture.  But that it was pretty popular with the Early Church shows that Universal Salvation was not something they had a problem with.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

My Olive Branch to Historicists

I've laid already why I can't accept The Day=Year Theory.

One Historicists argument I can relate to, is their rejecting the idea that God's Prophetic calendar simply paused from 30 or 70 AD till the some time still in the future.  I do think The Beasts of Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 as Kingdoms still exist in some form right now and always have.  I don't see Gaps in Daniel 2 and 7 just as I don't see any in Daniel 9 or 11 anymore.

In Revelation I think chapters 2-3 are about the conditions of the Church Age, but I have rejected the Seven Church Ages version of that.  In every period I feel there have been Churches that can fit into each of those Seven basic types.

I also view the "Non Signs" portion of the Olive Discourage as a description of the entire period between 70 AD and when the End Times scenario will truly begin.  And maybe the first 5 Seals can also correlate to that.

It's once you reach Revelation chapter 9 that arguing these conditions are already fulfilled and in the process of fulfillment I view as simply not workable.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Amillennial and Post Millennialism

If you have trouble telling the difference between these two eschatological models, it's not just cause they seem effectively the same to us Pre-Millenialists, even unbiased scholars are unsure which of these best describes the Eschatology of Augustine of Hippo.

The gist is, Amillenials believe there is no Millennium, while Post-Millenial means you believe the Parusia(Second Coming) happens after the Millennium.  Both however have a tendency to involve believing the Thousand Years of Revelation 20 are not literally that exact period of time.  And both tend to involve not taking the Chronology of Revelation at face value thus putting them in direct conflict with the premise of this Blog. 

My belief that the Resurrection is a literal physical bodily resurrection of the Flesh is core to my understanding of The Gospel itself.  And that is why I have long been opposed to any model saying the first 6 verses of Revelation 20 are already fulfilled.

But, I have recently become aware that some people feel you can believe in both.

Some believe the General Resurrection at the White Throne Judgment at the end of Revelation 20 is bodily, but Revelation 20:4 can be read as defining itself as of Souls not Bodies sitting on those thrones.  And I have been giving this view a very open-minded assessment.

That argument involves citing passages where Paul says we die in Christ and then are Risen in Christ when we become Believers, symbolically pictured in Baptism.  So believers have a spiritual Resurrection before we even die.  Which is why Revelation 20:4 isn't really describing the Resurrection event itself.  Basically Unbeleivers Spirits/Souls aren't resurrected before their bodies but Believers are.

This overlaps with a view on the Second Death that exists among Evangelical Universalists.  In the past I've taken the tactic of saying the Second Death is the death of death, but I've come to realize that only really fits one of the three verses to use the term.  I've now seen it argued by supporters of Universal Reconciliation that the Second Death is when unbelievers become Dead to Sin, which for Believers happened during our mortal life so that's why the Second Death has no power over us.

The first issue is that I am only open to an argument for Post-Millenialism that doesn't play games with the chronology of Revelation.  You're not going to convince me that Apollyon and Satan are the same entity.  The Book Revelation defined itself as a clear chronology.

Secondly even if I could accept that interpretation of Revelation 20:4.  Revelation 11 is still clearly depicting the Resurrection of the Two Witnesses as bodily, you're not going to convince me that is merely symbolic.  The various Preterist views on the Two Witnesses account for their Deaths but not their Resurrection.

And then there is the mater of the Rapture of The Man-Child which I've shown isn't Jesus but The Church, and the 144,000 being described as already Redeemed from the Earth and as Firstfruits in Revelation 14.  And the Armies following the Rider on the White Horse in Revelation 19.

And the fact remains that it isn't the White Throne Judgment but various events between the 7th Trumpet and first Bowl that resemble how The Olivte Discourse and the Thessalonian Epistles describe The Paursia.

Revelation 20:4 also defines itself as being specifically those Martyred for not taking The Mark.  So it could be they are are not Physically Resurrected yet because they were Post-Rapture Believers.

On the subject of rejecting The Millennium altogether.  I've read some anti Premilennial articles expressing how the face value chronology of Revelation 20 conflicts in their view with the plain reading of other passages on the Resurrection and the Parusia like 1 Corinthians 15 and 2 Peter 3.

The whole Premise of my Blog is how Revelation right from the first Chapter define itself as explaining what was unclear before.  The very first verse says that what even The Son didn't know before is being Revealed to us now, from the Matthew 24 we know the timing of events is specifically what that was.  So whenever there is an apparent conflict between other passages and Revelation on Chronology, Revelation is the one to be taken at face value.

What's interesting is that Pre-Augustine those uncomfortable with the very idea of the Millennium simply rejected Revelation altogether, wanting to say Revelation was really the work of Cerethius or John the Presbyter.  Pre-Nicea that was mostly a fringe minority, as the Muratorian canon shows Revelation's canonocity was not in question.  And from Ireaneus to Hippolytus to Methodius of Olympus, everyone to speak on Eschatology in the Pre-Nicene Church was clearly Pre-Millennial.

But post Nicea this Anti-Revelation camp got a prominent supporter in Eusebius of Caesarea.  In his discussions of what books to consider Canon what he says on Revelation is schizophrenic because of how his personal bias infests it.  He acknowledges it as universally being accepted Canon by all Churches, not even disputed the way Jude, 2 Peter or Hebrews were.  But he also talks about it under spurious books because that's how he viewed it for no good reason.

It was Augustine of Hippo who introduced the idea that you can simply allegorize The Millennium away, along with a lot of other bad doctrines.

Before him everyone who considered Revelation Scripture, (which was the vast majority of Christians, especially who weren't part of some alternative Gnostic of Ebonite cult) believed in a Millennium.  They of course were wrong when they predicted it to begin in the 500s AD, but that date setting mistake was the product of other bad assumptions and shouldn't be blamed on the Millennium doctrine itself.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

I don't think Nero Persecuted Christians

Few Extra-Biblical traditions of Early Church History seem as unquestionable.  Nero's supposed Persecution of Christians is treated as the next chapter of Church History right after the narrative of Acts ends.  Hollywood movies depicting it are classified as Biblical Epics, and I will continue to enjoy those movies in-spite of how fictional I now view them to be, there were also certain things I always felt they got wrong.

The thing is, the closer to Biblical History a tradition is, the more likely it is evidence in The Bible itself could work against it.  I already did a post arguing that Peter never went to Rome, which included my deconstructing the assumption that the Ascension of Isaiah was talking about Nero at all.  (And there was a follow up to that about Simon Magus.)  I even already there questioned the assumption that Paul was Martyred in Rome, though he certainly did go there.

Here is a fact that is somewhat little known, the Trail before Caesar (Nero was Caesar at the time because it's after Felix's time as Governor of Judea ended) Paul was awaiting when the narrative of Acts ended, is kind of recorded in Scripture elsewhere.  2 Timothy 4 verses 16-18, often considered the last of Paul's Epistles to be written.
At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.  Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.  And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
The implication of these verses is clearly that Paul was acquitted.

Now plenty of scholars are aware of this.  But some insist Paul returned to Rome a second time later and was killed then, by the very same Emperor who had acquitted him before.  Sometimes specifically saying 2 Timothy 1:16-17 refers to this second imprisonment, but to me the context of the letter clearly makes that the same imprisonment he records the resolution of quoted above.

The only authentic Epistle of Clement of Rome says in chapter 5 that Paul went to the "Extremity of The West" (or "limits of the west" in Bart Ehrman's translation).  Many ironically quote this passage as backing up Paul being martyred in Rome when in my view it does not, it seems on it's own without bringing our assumptions into it, to be saying the "Extremity of the West" is where Paul met his fate.

Now "extremity of the west" is an expression used in Secular Pagan Roman writings to refer to Spain, so this can be read as just confirming Paul fulfilled his stated desire to go to Spain from Romans 15:24&28.  I point this out because there is easily a temptation to see this as backing up fanciful theories that he went to Britannia or the New World.  I'm not against Paul in Britain theories, plenty of other popular claims about the Early Church in Britain I think are false, but I haven't read Paul in Britain yet so I can't firmly pass judgment on it.

I do however feel convinced that the Claudia and Pudens of 2 Timothy 4:21 are the same as the ones from Marital who are linked to Britain.  Some argue the Marital reference is to late for them to be the same as Paul's.  But there are other reasons people have for placing the letters to Timothy and Titus in the 90s, though I disagree with the aspect of that based on thinking the Pastoral Epistles support Monarchical Church Structure, the men those letters are named after are just the contacts those churches had with Paul.  That date is viewed as conflicting with Paul being the author only because of the assumption Paul died in 64 or 67.  But I can also say in response to another objection to this view, that 2 Timothy may have been written before they were married and so that's why they're not quite listed right next to each other.

Maybe if Paul was martyred by a Roman Emperor it was a later one.  The second Emperor tradition says persecuted Christians was Domitian.  And sometimes people use against the Domitian persecution the same argument I'll bring up later against Neronian persecution, that Christians and Jews weren't distinguished in Roman law yet.  However that ignores that Suetonius records Jews being persecuted under Domitian, and unlike many other things Suetonius talks about this he was an eye witness to.

An overarching theme of the Book of Acts is that the Roman Governmental authorities under Claudius and Nero are the good guys during this era, Christian Persecution came from local mobs, which in Judea were often riled up by the Sadducees.  Tradition has chosen to vilify a Caesar that Paul was confident would rule in his favor.

Under the Flavians, as well as the Nerva-Hadrian administrations, it served the new Dynasty to vilify Nero for the same reasons it served the Tudors and Stuarts to vilify Richard III during the time of Shakespeare.  And meanwhile during this same era many "Early Church Fathers" were trying to appeal to these same Roman Emperors, often addressing their Apologies to them directly.  So at some point I think Christians like Tertulian wanted to pin the blame on Nero for the illicit legal status they had, and then Suetonius and Tacitus listed persecuting Christians among the crimes they attributed to Nero because Christians were saying it.

The villainous reputation of Nero mostly comes from Roman Historians of the Senatorial Class (chiefly Tacitus, Suetonius and Cassius Dio), who loved to slander the Julio-Claudians as depraved because of their semi-plebian origins, but loved Vespasian-Titus and the "Five Good Emperors" because they came from their class and so were good to them.  Thing is the common people of the Empire were oppressed by heavy Taxes under those Senatorial Emperors.

There is plenty of evidence however that the common people were happy under Nero.  Even the Christian source John Crysostom acknowledged that.  Plutarch in his allusions to Nero is also more favorable, as well as Lucan.  The biography of Appolonius of Tyana also records how Nero was loved by the Greeks in the Eastern Provinces.  And the Talmud has a favorable memory of Nero also.  In fact the reason many later Christians started thinking the Antichrist would be Nero resurrected somehow was because before them those who liked Nero had started believing he would come back to save them from Flavian oppression, he became Greco-Rome's King Arthur.

One purely modern detail of the traditions about Nero's persecution is the tying it into the bad reputation of Poppaea Sabina his second wife, it seems the Hollywood versions needed a Jezebel figure.  Poppaea was depicted as a scheming Femme Fatale by the senatorial sources.  But Josephus who actually knew her personally paints a different picture in his autobiography.  Josephus depicts her as practically a Proselyte and mentions among her Jewish friends an actor Nero was a fan of.

Now some have suggested Poppaea's Jewish associations are why her influence would have been against Paul.  But that would be the case only if the Jews who had her ear were Sadducees.  But based on Josephus being a Pharisee, and that I think his Shipwreck was the same as Paul's, I doubt that. Plus Gentile Proselytes might have been inclined to like Paul's message.

Some histories are confused by how Josephus could possibly be talking about the same woman the other sources are, even if one or both is exaggerated to suit their bias.  I say just look at Anne Boleyn, to the Catholics of Tudor England she was explicitly compared to Jezebel, but Protestants sometimes paint her as a saint in for example the film Anne of the Thousand Days.

Acte was a mistress of Nero, archeology has shown there were Christians in her household as either slaves or freedmen, leading some to speculate she herself may have been one.  Modern fictionalizations often place her in conflict with Poppaea, wanting to make her the Betty to Poppaea's Veronica.  But politically they were on the same side when trying to influence Nero, being pro Seneca and anti Agrippina.  So for all we know they could have had a threesome.

Some secular scholars have already questioned the historicity of the Neronian persecution.  But in a way they're not going as far as I am here, as they do think something happened, but distinguish it from a systemic persecution.

One of the arguments they do bring up is the lack of legal distinction between Jews and Christians before the time of Trajan, the early second century correspondence between Pliny and Trajan clearly show there was no prior policy on what to do about Christians.  And the Roman persecution they did face before was a product of persecutions the Jews suffered under Domitian.  But since the evidence from the Talmud and Josephus show The Jews had it good under Nero, there is no reason to think Nero killed any Christians.

And these Secular critics have also pointed out that Tacitus account must be derivative of something he heard from Christians and not Roman legal records since he got the kind of Governor Pilate was wrong (he said Procurator when Pilate was a Prefectus).  And Suetonius was certainly willing to record things based on pure rumor.  His account of the death of Caligula and Claudius becoming emperor is clearly based on Jospehus's account (he mentioned Josephus so was aware of him) but the differences are all the tabloid style scandals he spices it up with.

Why am I talking about this on the Prophecy blog?  Well for one thing it effects Preterism.  In one sense not that much since a lot of their arguments focus on Vespasian and Titus.  But Nero is the only of these Emperors where any plausible way to make their name's Gemetria equal 666 exists, and even that is tortured.  But also the assumption that Nero persecuted Christians is necessary to make it possible that John's exile to Patmos was under Nero, yet even the traditional view of the Neronian persecution makes it local in Rome only.  All the facts I laid out above make John's exile far more plausible under Domitian's Jewish persecution.

Persecuting Christians isn't the only evil thing attributed to Nero that I think is slander.  I think Poppaea probably died of a miscarriage and the claim Nero kicked her to death was probably another of Suetonius's tabloid rumors. But he is someone who became ruler of the world at a young age, and so at so could have cracked under the pressure a few times.

If the rumors of the Incest with Agrippina were true, he'd be the victim in that case, he was probably still a minor by modern standards when that started since he was only 17 when he became Emperor.  However a book called Women of the Caesars (I'm not sure which book on Amazon with that title I read) argues for a more positive portrayal of Agrippina, but it did so supporting the negative view of Poppaea.

If you're familiar with my other blogs you may find yourself thinking "hmm, an Otaku Christian who's expressed a lot fondness for Fate/ suddenly trying to rehabilitate Nero's reputation in Christendom, that's suspicious."  This stuff has all been floating around in my head for years really, it just took awhile for me to bring it all together.  It's again kinda derivative of what I'd already talked about regarding Peter.  I started watching Fate Animes in 2016 and hadn't even heard of the Extra games and their Waifu version of Nero till over half way through 2017.

I'm actually pretty annoyed by Fate/Extra's take on Nero. 1 Artoria works because Arthur is a figure who's very existence is questionable so of course their gender could have been remembered wrong.  2. They could have at least kept Nero plus sized, or as we say in Anime Meme circles THICC.  3.  I'd like Fate/ to start doing less random gender swapping and more bringing attention to actual historical/mythical women.  For example the characterization Fate/Extra gives Nero could have been perfect for how I view Poppaea and Anne Boleyn.  But also as a Christian I'd love to see the Arab Queen Mavia brought into the Nasuverse.

If someone's gonna write a fictionalization of Nero based on my theories, I may have to do it myself.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

25-22 BC Nativity Date

I’m going to talk about a theory I’d been contemplating for awhile but only recently found the final key puzzle piece for.

I have become convinced Jesus was born on Kislev 25th, or very close to then. But what year Jesus was born I’ve been going back and forth on.

I stumbled upon a book arguing Jesus was born in 25 BC, heralded by a Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in Regulus in 27-26 BC. This Book was not from a proper believer but someone who just called parts of The Bible they felt didn’t suit their theory wrong. I am not willing to do that, however I did look into to how well this could fit a literal interpretation of The Gospels.

What I found was, the only real problem was reconciling Luke with Matthew. If someone wanted to consider only one Nativity narrative Canon, either one could fit a 25 BC model. And the main reason for that is Luke’s story about Jesus when He was 12. Since Interpreting Matthew this way would have the family still in Egypt all through Jesus tween years. The word for “young child” used at the time they return to Egypt, can simply mean not fully an adult yet, and in a sense you weren’t fully an adult in Jewish thinking until 30. Mark 5:40-42 and Luke 8:42-43 uses it of a 12 year old, the daughter of Jairus.

The first error of how we commonly view Luke 3 is saying it placed the Baptism of Jesus when he began to be about 30 in the 15th Year of Tiberius. But it doesn't, the reference to the 15th Year of Tiberius at the start of the Chapter is totally unconnected to the Baptism account. Paul in Acts 13 says John "Completed his course" before he Baptized Jesus. I'm not sure what that means exactly, but I think it's good evidence against assuming the Baptism was the same year John began his ministry or any other key event of Luke 3. But doesn't rule it out entirely either.

BTW, I've become convinced of an argument that what Luke meant by the Greek phrase translated "Began to be about 30" was that Jesus was "almost" 30.

Luke 3 is clearly not being purely strictly Chronological since verse 20 has John put in Prison then verse 21 describes his Baptism of Jesus.

Luke 3:1-2 tells us that the "Word of God" came unto John in the wilderness in the 15th Year of Tiberius. Then we get a basic account of who John was and what he was doing. Then it talks about him preaching against Antipas and Herodias and getting imprisoned for it.

It could be the 15th Year of Tiberius is when he preached against Herod Antipas marriage to Herodias, (perhaps because that was the year he married her) and was imprisoned for it. And that this doesn't tell us when John began his ministry at all. And so both that and Jesus Baptism could have preceded the 15th year of Tiberius.

John 8:57 can be interpreted as implying Jesus was near 50 years old when that event transpired.  And since I place John 8 on the Eighth Day of Tabernacles, Jesus probably had one more Birthday before his Crucifixion.  One can also see a Biblical symmetry to Jesus dying in his 49th or 50th year.  And there is that controversial quote of Irenaeus saying Jesus was about 50 at the Crucifixion.  Milestone ages in The Torah go from 20 to 30 to 50.  But a 49th year can be interesting because of the Jubilee.

The Slavonic version of Josephus is a big part of this theory for a few reasons. One is it placing the beginning of John The Baptist’s ministry in 6 AD, near the other famous events of that year, thus making it possible to also put Jesus Baptism in that year, or later. Slavonic Josephus also seems more consistent with The Gospels in saying Herodias first husband was Philip son of Cleopatra of Jerusalem, rather then Herod Boethus.

Another reason is that it seems to describe the Magi coming to Jerusalem, but places that event between 27 and 22 BC.

In this model the Census could be Augustus first Empire wide Census, the Monumentum Ancyranum inscription combined with other records about Roman Censors tells us this Lustrum was from 28-24 BC.  And the wording of Luke 2:1 can be interpreted as saying it was the very first Census of Augustus reign.

And I already talked about reasons to doubt Quirinus was mentioned in Luke 2.

For the movements of Jupiter and Saturn in Regulus I mentioned. Just download stellarium and look through this period. It’s like the Jupiter-Regulus alignment made such a big deal out of by 3 BC theorists, but the involvement of Saturn makes it both even more impressive and far more rare. Jupiter and Saturn conjunction ever 20 years about, but only do so anywhere near Leo every 800 years or so, and the times they have since and the last time before this came nowhere near fully aligning with Regulus how they did this year. Venus was also involved.

That Herod began building Herodium about 23 BC is interesting. It seems odd if he didn't know about Bethlehem's Messianic associations till 12-2 BC, which Matthew implies he didn't till the Magi visited.

These are all pretty compelling evidences. I’m not willing to throw out Matthew or Luke however. So unless an answer to that one issue can be found, I can’t support this theory.

But here is the final piece, the solution to the one problem this theory had.

I think it’s possible the Greek word for Twelve, might have sometimes been used by Luke and Mark with the intent of saying Twenty.  (The Greek word usually translated Twenty or Score  is used only as a part of larger numbers.)  It’s basically combing the Greek words for two and ten.  That includes both Luke 2 and the daughter of Jairus mentioned above.

The thing I noticed recently that would become an issue to me honestly even without its relevance to everything laid out above.  Is that around 12 or 13 as the age of adulthood isn’t supported by The Torah, it’s a Rabbinic Custom and one that may not have developed till after 70 AD. 

The Torah talked about 20 years old as the minimum age requirement for the census and the Pilgrimage festivals, in Leviticus 27, Numbers 1, 26 and 32:11,  though Number 8:24 makes 25 years old an important date for Levites.

Commentators already think Luke singling out Thirty years old for the Baptism has relevance to Numbers 4 (where Fifty years old is also important).  So it also makes sense in this context that the Torah significance of twenty years was implied in Luke 2.

Now you may at first feel that the story makes less sense if Jesus was that old.  But again some words translated “child” in Biblical Language can be shown to apply to older then you’d think.  And in Jesus day Jewish men usually didn’t leave their father’s house to get married till they were 30.  Frankly I can argue the fact that it took Mary and Joseph so long to notice Jesus wasn’t with them is odd if he was as young as 12.

I’m going to be returning to this subject in the future.  I haven’t decided the exact dates I’d go with yet.  The only way to maintain my Nisan of 30 AD Crucifixion date with it is if Jesus was born between Tabernacles of 22 BC and Nisan of 21 BC.  An argument for the Crucifixion happening the first Passover Pilate was Governor can be logical.  But a 70 Weeks model making the 69th week end with the Nisan of 26 or 27 AD I haven’t seen yet.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Adopted Son of Joseph Son of David

Another objection to the Genealogy of Jesus as presented in Matthew and Luke is that Jesus couldn't become an Heir to the Throne of David by Adoption.  Now I still stand by my past arguments for Luke's genealogy actually being Mary's, and even without that nothing anywhere says Mary wasn't a descendant of David.  But considering the value I place on Adoption both morally and theologically, it's about time I said "so what".  Because after all there must be a reason we're given Joseph's genealogy.

But first, before I even get into that argument. I should address what may sometimes be an internal debate among Christians.  Does Jesus qualify as an adopted son of Joseph?

Because in the story at the end of Luke 2 when Mary finds Jesus she refers to Joseph as Jesus father, but some people like to say what Jesus goes on to say about doing his Father's business as correcting her.  That has it's origins as an over reaction to how some seek to use what Mary said against The Virgin Birth.

But I feel many American Conservative Christians have dug their heels in on that because of their obsession with the nuclear family.  They feel an Adopted father is only needed if the physical sire is a deadbeat or just plain dead, because you can't have "two daddies" that would be horrible.  This is also why so commentaries refuse to acknowledge that Jacob is referring to Leah as Joseph's mother in Genesis 37.

Luke 4:22 and John 1:45 clearly show that Jesus was legally regarded as a Son of Joseph.

In the past I'd focused more on Luke's Genealogy because even though I've always valued Adoption I felt that Jesus had to be a Blood descendant of everyone Prophecy required Him to descend from so that by His shed Blood gentiles can become Abraham's Seed and Mortals can become Sons of God.  And I still think he was, but I've come to realize that Jesus is himself an adopted Son for a reason.

Now when this comes up as a Jewish objection to Jesus, it's not because Jews oppose Adoption or anything, The Torah clearly says anyone Circumcised who follows The Torah is to be considered an Israelite.  It's a claim that Royal Inheritance specifically has to be biological.

II Samuel 7:12 does specifically say Seed.  But it'd be hypocritical to use that against Jesus since these objectors to Jesus often reject dual fulfillment elsewhere.  The immediate context of that verse was clearly the Seed of David who took the throne right after David died.  What's interesting is verse 14 talks about this Son of David being an adopted Son of God.  So the New Testament brings it full circle, The Son of God becomes a Son of David.  And that is why David calls The Messiah his Lord in Psalm 110.

The last verse of Jeremiah 33 seems to say that Israel won't be ruled by the Seed of David anymore when they return from Captivity.  The Root in Isaiah 11 is of Jesse rather then David.  Some Psalms speak of David's Seed, but there is room for interpretation there too.

I stumbled recently unto an online book by a Jew who argues that The Messiah will not be a Son of David but David himself Resurrected, arguing that the Branch is an idiom for a Resurrected Body and looking specifically at Ezekiel 34&37.  As a Christian I obviously disagree with that overall premise, but I do agree that Ezekiel is describing David himself Resurrected as the future Nasi, not using the name David as a code for Jesus as some Christians prefer to look at it.  And that subject has also come up in my unconventional interpretation of Revelation 19.

I think David himself would take offense at excluding adopted sons from Royal Inheritance, since he was a Son but not by Blood of Saul.  In 1 Samuel 24:9-11 David calls Saul "father" and in 1 Samuel 24:16 and 26:17-21-25 Saul calls David his Son.

Now David's Kingship ultimately came from God choosing his line over Saul's.  But likewise the Creator of The World incarnate doesn't need to descend from anyone to be the rightful ruler of The World.  David became a Son of Saul regardless.

Now you may respond that David was the Son in Law of Saul because he married Michal.  To which I first would say, "like how Christian apologists argue Luke genealogy sometimes means Son in Law when it says Son".  This is also a good time to bring up The Bride of Christ, who is also the Daughter of Zion The City of David.

What Moses says of Joseph in Deuteronomy 33 is one of the foundations of the Messiah Ben Joseph doctrine that's become popular in Rabbinic Judaism.  It's the basis for saying it's the Son of Joseph not David who will be killed and then Resurrected.  Something I brought up in my Human Sacrifice in The Torah post, which in turn referenced back to my Nazareth post where I suggested that Mary could have been of the Tribe of Manasseh.  For the sacrificial offering alluded to in that blessing it's being a Maternal Firstborn that mattered, the first to Open the Womb.

But the Messiah Ben-Joseph doctrine also needs it to be a Son of Joseph who's pierced in Zechariah 12:10, even though the context of that verse is all about the House of David.  Chapter 12 begins with a new "The Word of YHWH came unto me saying" so no it's not a continuation of the previous three chapters where Joseph and Ephraim came up a lot.  These three chapters seem to be strictly about the Southern Kingdom.  So the only way the one Pierced can be a Son of Joseph, is if he's a Son of Joseph adopted into the House of David.