In Which Don Gets It All Back To Front

Let’s take a look at one of Don Camp’s latest contributions regarding the authenticity of the Jesus story and how it was all prophesied beforehand and explained after the fact:

Don: You mean all the Old Testament prophecies that spoke of the eternal continuance of the Messiah king were mistaken?

What prophecies, Don? You mean all those tenuously connected Old Testament stories that the gospel writers, especially Matthew, pressed into service to construct their Jesus stories? That this is how it happened is the scholarly consensus and once we exclude the possibility of magic, the only way ‘prophecy’ can later be ‘fulfilled’.

Don: “After he has suffered he will see the light of life and be satisfied; (Isaiah 53:11).

Which proves my point. You think this is a prophecy? It could mean anything about anyone!

Don: The prophecy about him not seeing corruption as a dead body was mistaken?

And again. Not mistaken: lifted from the OT around which to build the resurrection story.

Don: The words of Jesus as he repeatedly told his disciples of his resurrection were mistaken?

He didn’t. The stories were written long after Jesus supposedly lived. Those who created his story gave him this ‘foreknowledge’ long after the event.

Don: Paul made nothing up; his simply explained what it all meant.

Oh come on, Don. Why would God leave it to someone who’d never met Jesus, and appears to know nothing about him, to explain ‘simply’ what he was all about? Of course Paul made it all up, after he had some sort of vision, in his head, from which he developed a fanciful theology, one that was very much at odds with that put in Jesus’ mouth years later. Hence Paul’s disputes with the ‘pillars of the church’ whom he held in such disdain.

I know you’ll have some convoluted explanation about how everyone else has got it wrong, Don, but it’s you who’s got it all back to front!

15 thoughts on “In Which Don Gets It All Back To Front

  1. Neil re: the prophecies of the Messiah. “You mean all those tenuously connected Old Testament stories that the gospel writers, especially Matthew, pressed into service to construct their Jesus stories?”

    Actually, the Jews were generally expecting the Messiah and finding justification for that expectation in the prophecies of the Old Testament. Read Josephus as he describes these times. Almost every prophecy was somewhat indistinct until the event prophesied happened. At that point matching the event with the prophecy gave greater understanding of the prophecy.

    Neil re: Jesus’ prediction of his resurrection. “He didn’t.”

    Since we have no indication anywhere in either the Gospels, the epistles, or in any of the non-biblical literature, Christian or otherwise, of the period that Jesus said anything different, your claim that he did not say he would rise from the dead is without evidence.

    That means we should credit the reports we have. They are really overwhelming.

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    • Don: Almost every prophecy was somewhat indistinct until the event prophesied happened. At that point matching the event with the prophecy gave greater understanding of the prophecy.
      For once you’re right, Don. This, without your faith-based gloss, is how ‘prophecy’ works. At some point somebody says – as they do today of the ‘prophecies’ of Nostradamus – ‘hey, that sounds vaguely like something we’ve experienced. It must surely have been referring to us!’ Nebulous, non-specific OT statements, like the ones you quote, lend themselves to this kind of interpretation. More than this, we know Matthew in particular scoured the Septuagint for just such statements and then made up stories that showed Jesus fulfilling them. When I get time (I’ve just returned from holiday) I’m going to write a post that demonstrates his doing this time and time again.
      When we get to ‘prophecies’ that are rather more specific, the Bible has an abysmal success rate. No wonder the ‘prophets’ played safe and kept things, to use your word, ‘indistinct’.

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      • Prophecy was a hu8ge thi9ng in Israel. Some were foretelling of events that would happen in the near future. Others spoke of events in the distant future. And some actually did both. All had pretty much one common characteristic; they were meant for the people who would experience the event for the purpose of affirming that the event was of God.

        So, most of the prophecies whether about the Messiah or otherwise were indistinct until the event happened.

        I look forward to tour post.

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      • There are people today who are “prophesizing” that the Ukraine situation will result in World War III. If such an event occurs (and we live to tell about it), should people in the future claim these prophesies were foretold in the bible?

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  2. Neil: “Paul made it all up, after he had some sort of vision, in his head, from which he developed a fanciful theology, one that was very much at odds with that put in Jesus’ mouth years later. Hence Paul’s disputes with the ‘pillars of the church’ whom he held in such disdain.”

    Read a little closer. When Paul talks about “his” gospel, he is talking about the mission to the gentiles and that they have an equal share in the gospel. He is not talking about a gospel contrary to that taught by the Apostles. He did receive that gospel to the gentiles in a personal revelation (not necessarily a vision) and at a time different from his initial vision of Jesus.

    That idea of the gospel to the gentiles was not really a new thing, though it was not something most Jews in the first century understood or an idea they liked. Paul as a Pharisee would have had difficulty with it just as almost every Pharisee did. It is, however, quite biblical and is found in a variety of places in the Old Testament. Isaiah 49:8-12 is one. This passage is directed to the Jews, the “you” in these verses, but “the people” the “those” and “they” are the gentiles who will also come to the Lord from afar, from the north and the west and from the land of Sinim (perhaps a word for China).

    More directly, Isaiah 49:6 “: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” Gentiles is גּוֹיִ֔ם and transliterated is goyim. That is almost always a reference to people other than the people of Israel, but the context makes it obvious that is what is meant.

    I don’t think Paul held the leaders of the church in disdain. They simply were not as authoritative as Jesus.

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    • but “the people” the “those” and “they” are the gentiles who will also come to the Lord from afar

      the context makes it obvious that is what is meant.

      Ahhh yes. Totally obvious to those who want to believe the Hebrew Bible references Paul’s Christianity.

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      • I think Paul’s picture of the gentile church echoes what was long revealed in the Old Testament. See Romans 11. That which was new in Paul’spreaching was that the gentiles need not observe the ritual laws of the Jewish nation to be saved. Those rituals were a shadow of that was to come; the reality was in Jesus (Colossians 2)

        16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

        Jesus satisfied the requirements of the ritual law (Matthew 5: 18). “18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” At Jesus’ perfect life and death he accomplished that which the ritual law pointed to.

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      • Yes, you summarise Paul’s theology adequately enough but it’s beside the point, which is that he made it up. It is at odds with that of the gospel writers (and therefore, quite possibly, with Jesus himself) and with the early ‘pillars of the church’ who disagreed with Paul about it (eg. Galatians 2). Who knew best, Paul, who never met Jesus and, as RaPaR has told you, knows nothing of his background, teaching or miracles, or Cephas and company who supposedly spent three years trailing around with him? Clearly, you think it’s Paul.

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      • https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1XByu8v0RVEw5f-RgbCPb-KPwB2bfgV7z/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=100156393885084928838&rtpof=true&sd=true

        That is all wild speculation on the meaning of one verse taken completely out of context. Here’s the conclusion of the matter: “and having known the grace that was given to me, James, and Cephas, and John, who were esteemed to be pillars, a right hand of fellowship they did give to me, and to Barnabas, that we to the nations, and they to the circumcision…” (Gal. 2:9 Young’s Literal Translation)

        There really was no disagreement. Peter. James, and John after hearing the special message that Paul preached – that the gentiles were received on the basis of faith without following the ritual law – extended to them the right hand of fellowship and agreed that Paul should focus on preaching to the gentiles and they to the circumcision.

        The second wild speculation is that Paul knew nothing of Jesus’ teaching, miracles or background. Paul had spent perhaps several years pursuing Christian Jews and arresting them…for what? Wasn’t it for following Jesus whom they considered to be the Messiah?

        After he became a follower of Jesus himself he worked closely with Barnabas who was one of the early Christians. And the visited the Apostles in Jerusalem prior to the visit you note in Galatians 2. Are you arguing that in all that Paul knew nothing of Jesus? I find that to be absurd.

        Who knew best? Peter and company, of course, knew Jesus best. But they added nothing to Paul message (Gal. 2:6).

        If anything, what I read in Galatians 2 is agreement not disagreement.

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      • Wild speculation? Galatians 2:11: ‘But when Peter came to Antioch, I had to oppose him to his face, for what he did was very wrong.’ This, according to you, is agreement not disagreement? You only see your own rosy coloured interpretation here, Don, as you do with so much in the magic book.
        That Paul knows nothing of the earthly Jesus is attested to by the fact he mentions nothing of his teaching, miracles or circumstances even when reference to them would clinch his argument. Further, knowing of cult beliefs, as you suggest Paul ‘must’ have done prior to his conversion, is emphatically not the same as knowing Jesus himself.

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      • That’s right, knowing Jesus himself was certainly an advantage. And it would have been an amazing experience.

        Paul’s opposing Peter to his is opposition. But it is opposition because Peter was undermini8ng Paul’s message to the gentiles. (They were in gentile land, after all.) Ir was his duplicity that Paul corrected. If you read just the next verse, you’ll find that Peter had been eating with the gentiles. When some from James and Jerusalem (Jews) came he switched and ate only what they ate.

        The issue was not the core gospel. It was about whether the ritual laws of the Jews were essential. Pete in the meeting in Jerusalem had already agreed that they were not. And so had James, if we read Acts and the instructions James sent to the gentile, the leaders in Jerusalem had all agreed. . So Peter was sending a wrong message and deserved correction.

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      • Don: ‘The issue was not the core gospel.’ Really? And you know this how?

        Acts is not history and is unreliable. It can’t get Paul’s itinerary right, never mind his theology.

        Liked by 1 person

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