Author Topic: Trailers from Christian movies  (Read 7995 times)

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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #90 on: September 09, 2018, 02:42:45 AM »
I think Simcha Jacobovici just enjoys trolling Christians.

The idea that Thomas is the BD clashes with the idea that it's James (though if I were to name somebody other than John as the BD, it would be James, since the "Son, behold your Mother" is admittedly difficult for me to reconcile with John being the BD). But it doesn't make a lot of sense as being James, since he seems to be named as an unbeliever in John 7, yet we get no "redemption narrative" for him at any point in the Gospel (like we find in the Apocryphon of James, in which Jesus appears to him specially after the Resurrection).

If the BD is the young man, why isn't he mentioned in John?

Thomas being Jesus's son sounds like a troll argument that doesn't make any sense. They would have to explain why Jesus having a son, if He did, would be hidden like that. "A son looks like a twin" also sounds pretty far-fetched to me. My guess is that Thomas was the twin of Thaddeus, who he gets paired with in later tradition. But apparently nobody in the Early Church cared all that much, maybe his twin never became a Christian or he died before Thomas's calling.


So, I don't really see any compelling reason to reject the tradition that John is the BD.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2018, 02:45:10 AM by Volnutt »
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #91 on: September 09, 2018, 08:58:34 PM »
Here is an interesting documentary:

Quote
The Acts of Thomas and the Mission to India

How did Christianity get to India? Did Thomas really travel across the Middle East and preach the gospel in South Asia? Historians debate these questions and more, but regardless of the literal truth, the Acts of Thomas provides spiritual guidance about humanity's place in the world and challenges us to liberate ourselves.
https://www.amazon.com/Gospel-Judass-Gnostic-Vision/dp/B077T65D2P/ref=sr_1_4?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1536540310&sr=1-4&keywords=gnostic+christian
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #92 on: September 09, 2018, 10:02:13 PM »
The Holy Mountain (1973, Directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky )
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVhuY66egeQ

I think that one of the ways they want you to watch this "Christian Gnostic" movie is while mixing beer with vodka and smoking a pipe with a native American tobacco mix ("Kinnikinnick") or cloves. You could instead have it playing to the side while you read Christian gnostic literature and you won't miss much of the movie.





Gospel of Thomas audio video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqQUHXfqR6I
(Polymorphic presentation: http://www.gospelofthomas.tv/)
You need to watch only 20 seconds of this to get the idea.
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Just looks like modern thinking by an author on his own about his own interpretations of Christianity. Not particularly gnostic or orthodox.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2018, 10:12:07 PM by rakovsky »
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #93 on: September 11, 2018, 05:34:38 PM »
In the Russian movie about Andrew the First-Called (https://azbyka.ru/video/apostoly-12-serij-2014-god), the narrator says that in the Russian Chronicles from medieval times there is a story that Andrew traveled from Crimea to Kiev and then north to Novgorod. In Kiev, he supposedly put a cross where the cathedral of Andrew the First-Called stands. The film says that a trade route existed from Kiev and Novgorod to Western Europe and so St Andrew really could have taken this route. What do you think is the likelihood that he did?





Cathedral and chapel of St Andrew in Kiev
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #94 on: September 11, 2018, 05:55:23 PM »
It's certainly possible. Kind of the opposite way he seemed to go on his travels, though (Greece and Asia Minor). I find it a lot more likely than him going to Scotland, at least.
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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #95 on: September 12, 2018, 01:36:10 PM »
In the Russian movie about Andrew the First-Called (https://azbyka.ru/video/apostoly-12-serij-2014-god), the narrator says that in the Russian Chronicles from medieval times there is a story that Andrew traveled from Crimea to Kiev and then north to Novgorod. In Kiev, he supposedly put a cross where the cathedral of Andrew the First-Called stands. The film says that a trade route existed from Kiev and Novgorod to Western Europe and so St Andrew really could have taken this route. What do you think is the likelihood that he did?





Cathedral and chapel of St Andrew in Kiev

well considering the church accepts the idea that saint Andrew the first called went to Kiev and put the cross up it is very likely and true!
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Bestowing life!- Paschal troparion

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #96 on: September 12, 2018, 03:48:35 PM »
In the Documentary Who Wrote the Bible?, the narrator visits the Shrine of the Book where the Isaiah scroll is kept and has the following discussion:
Quote
NARRATOR: During the exile, the Book of Isaiah was continued by someone else and in the process a new idea emerged, one of Israel redeemed through suffering and rejection. This idea was a way of dealing with the problem of how God allowed the exile to happen.

GUIDE: We suffer in order to atone for the sins of the nations. This is why we suffer. The sin of the nations is their worship of idols and we are punished for their sin. ... they have a mission and this is something we see in many verses in this scroll. 'I send you now my servant Israel to the nations to bring light to them to tell them about the God of Israel' and he continues the ideas of First Isaiah.

NARRATOR: The idea that your suffering can save not just yourself, but everyone is for many genuinely liberating.
I know that the idea of the suffering servant is in Isaiah 53, which we consider to be about the Messiah. But are there verses in Isaiah which, according to Christian Orthodoxy and our Tradition, teach that the ancient Israelite community suffered for the gentile nations, as the main view in modern rabbinical Judaism teaches?
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #97 on: September 12, 2018, 04:04:33 PM »
I would think that the idea that the Suffering Servant is both Israel and Christ on different levels would appeal to some of the Fathers, but I don't have specifics.
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #98 on: September 13, 2018, 06:18:50 PM »
According to the movie What Happened to the JC Bunch?, the followers of James were the Ebionites and didn't believe that Jesus was God. (https://www.amazon.com/Naked-Archaeologist-Episode-Happened-Tracking/dp/B00IQ3XQ90/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1536861210&sr=8-1&keywords=What+happened+to+the+JC+Bunch%3F) But it doesn't seem to provide enough proof for why they were Ebionites as opposed to Nazarenes. After all, the Talmud says that there were two groups of Christians, the Nazarenes and the Ebionites. The Nazarenes are mentioned by Jerome as Jewish Christians who follow Torah but also accept the Church's theology.

Next, he interviews Eisenman who says that James' movement was the Essenes and left their records at Qumran, and that they called their leader "The Just One" or "Righteous One" (Tzaddik). James was called "James the Just" (Tzaddik). But just because their leader is called Tzaddik doesn't prove to me that they were the same leaders, since Tzaddik was a common title of reverence in ancient Judaism.

Eisenman points to a letter called MMT in Qumran that is written to a foreign ruler and explains how to uphold righteouensness. However, I don't know why such a letter wouldn't be written by a nonChristian. He says that it has the same contents as James' letter in Acts 15 where he tells them to keep the Noahide rules. But even a nonChristian Jew writing to a foreigner would tell him to keep the Noahide rules. The Qumran scrolls also describe an unnamed enemy of their community.

He sees Paul and Paul's movement as being separate from and in conflict with James', and he points to the Clementine Recognitions for this. I remember reading that the 2nd or 3rd century AD Clementine Recognitions were Ebionite or Ebionite in some of their sources, but I don't know why this means that the Recognitions would be correct in separating Paul's from James' Christianity. The Recognitions do both respect James and Peter, and yet so does Paul in his writings. The Clementines speak of the Hostile Man or Enemy who throws James down from the Temple without killing him and who then gets a letter from the High Priest to chase them to Damascus. In Acts 9, Paul gets a letter to chase the Christians down to Damascus. The problem with equating Paul with this enemy such that Paul remained the enemy of a supposed Christian Qumran, as I see it, is that Paul reconciled with the Christians.

Eisenman says Paul chased James from Damascus but missed him around Jericho, and so it means James' community went into the desert like the Qumran community. The Clementines say that James' community went to a tomb around Jericho and housed the remains of two brothers that whitened every year, and Eisenman takes the narrator to a cemetery 10 km from Jericho that points to a promontory of bright earth. Where do the Clementines talk about this? Do you agree that Qumran belonged to James' community? I am skeptical because it isn't overtly Christian.

The narrator then says that in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, the Jewish and Christian communities rejected the Jewish Christians because on one hand they followed Jesus as the Messiah and on the other hand they kept the Torah rules.

To me though, this kind of division between Pauline and James' Christian communities is too severe for reality, wouldn't you agree? In Acts, Peter had a vision annulling the food rules. And Peter founded Christian communities in Rome and Antioch. Clement was Peter's successor, and yet it looks like Flavians Clemens was both a Christian and an observant convert to Judaism at some point. Meanwhile, John the apostle was close to well known Christians like Papias and Polycarp who became Church leaders. And Paul respected James, Peter, and John as pillars of the Christian community in Paul's letters. Besides that, the 12 apostles were evangelizing the known world and helping set up churches. Yet the church that came out of their efforts in the 1st and 2nd century wasn't teaching Torah observance but a Pauline-style look at the Old Testament.

Besides that, already in about 70 AD there was the Council of Jamnia where the same rabbis who formalized the books of the Tanakh/Old Testament also placed a ban on Christianity, so there must have been a split between the Nazarenes and the rabbinical establishment already in the 1st century. Besides that, already in Matthew we see Jesus taking a critical stance to the pharisees and the standard observance of the Torah, like when he plucked grain on Sabbath or stopped an execution in John's gospel. The movie says that the MINIM means "Others" in Hebrew, and this is the name of the group cursed as "the Heretics" in the ancient Jewish synagogue reforms.

The movie wants to say that Jewish Christians didn't accept Jesus' divinity and supernatural qualities, yet in the gospel of the Nazarenes or Ebionites, Jesus is given divine or supernatural attributes like when he had light coming out of his eyes in the Temple or in Gethsemane to stop his captors IIRC.

The movie also proposes that the Jewish Christians were in Capernaum's synagogues in the 5th century AD because one of its columns mentions names that could be found in the Christian NT, like John, Son of Zebediah, etc. (Compare with John the son of Zebedee).

The narrator goes to a synagogue from about 300 AD in Tiberias. It has what looks like a mosaic of the Zodiac on its floor, as well as traditional Jewish symbols and pictures of pagan idols and maybe early Christian symbols. The narrator sees this as more evidence of Jewish Christians in synagogues. In the center of the Zodiac a picture looks like Sol Invictus, Helios, which the narrator says became Jesus resurrected for the Christians. In the picture, rays come out of his head and he has a halo. He says Roman emperors no longer wore a crown with rays once Christianity became legal. He says that this is a Christian symbol encrypted into the flooring because when the synagogue was built Christianity was still illegal. Do you agree with his view about this being a partly or fundamentally Christian synagogue?

Another drawing there on the floor is of an uncircumcised boy holding scales of justice. It looks like it is placed as one of the zodiac signs (It's probably Libra, the scales). He says that all the other signs of the Zodiac are fine except for 1. Aquarius standing next to the 2. fish, PISCES. He says that the word next to Aquarius is GLEE, meaning vessel in Hebrew, but that the words are written in reverse so that you need a mirror to read it, suggesting encoding. He refers to the story in the synoptics where Jesus says that the apostles should follow a man with a pitcher into the place where they will have the last supper. He says also that in PISCES' Zodiac symbol the G for the Hebrew word for fish is reversed, turning it into a symbol that looks like a Chevron. He suggests that it means that the viewer should flip everything - the viewer might think it's a pagan Zodiac but that the viewer should flip this idea and conclude that it's not pagan. Another archeologist whom he interviews named Motti doesn't believe that these are signs of Christian origins.

In the 1980's an archeologist named Dauphin found Christian-Jewish symbols in a village named Farj near the Golan that has early Byzantine ruins from c. 500 AD, such as a Menorah with a crossed bar in the middle making it look like a combination menorah and cross. The narrator finds a tree of life symbol on a door jam where in Judaism a mezuzah would be placed and he sees this use of the symbol as a sign of Jewish Christianity in the village.
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #99 on: September 13, 2018, 10:14:37 PM »
According to the movie What Happened to the JC Bunch?, the followers of James were the Ebionites and didn't believe that Jesus was God. (https://www.amazon.com/Naked-Archaeologist-Episode-Happened-Tracking/dp/B00IQ3XQ90/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1536861210&sr=8-1&keywords=What+happened+to+the+JC+Bunch%3F) But it doesn't seem to provide enough proof for why they were Ebionites as opposed to Nazarenes. After all, the Talmud says that there were two groups of Christians, the Nazarenes and the Ebionites. The Nazarenes are mentioned by Jerome as Jewish Christians who follow Torah but also accept the Church's theology.

Next, he interviews Eisenman who says that James' movement was the Essenes and left their records at Qumran, and that they called their leader "The Just One" or "Righteous One" (Tzaddik). James was called "James the Just" (Tzaddik). But just because their leader is called Tzaddik doesn't prove to me that they were the same leaders, since Tzaddik was a common title of reverence in ancient Judaism.

Eisenman points to a letter called MMT in Qumran that is written to a foreign ruler and explains how to uphold righteouensness. However, I don't know why such a letter wouldn't be written by a nonChristian. He says that it has the same contents as James' letter in Acts 15 where he tells them to keep the Noahide rules. But even a nonChristian Jew writing to a foreigner would tell him to keep the Noahide rules. The Qumran scrolls also describe an unnamed enemy of their community.

I'm leery of anybody who tries to claim that the Qumranites and the Essenes are the same group. How does he deal with the fact that the DSS have no mention of the celibacy that Philo and Josephus tell us were so important to the Essenes?

I haven't seen the movie, but I agree with you that some of the claims sound far fetched.

He sees Paul and Paul's movement as being separate from and in conflict with James', and he points to the Clementine Recognitions for this. I remember reading that the 2nd or 3rd century AD Clementine Recognitions were Ebionite or Ebionite in some of their sources, but I don't know why this means that the Recognitions would be correct in separating Paul's from James' Christianity. The Recognitions do both respect James and Peter, and yet so does Paul in his writings. The Clementines speak of the Hostile Man or Enemy who throws James down from the Temple without killing him and who then gets a letter from the High Priest to chase them to Damascus. In Acts 9, Paul gets a letter to chase the Christians down to Damascus. The problem with equating Paul with this enemy such that Paul remained the enemy of a supposed Christian Qumran, as I see it, is that Paul reconciled with the Christians.

Eisenman says Paul chased James from Damascus but missed him around Jericho, and so it means James' community went into the desert like the Qumran community. The Clementines say that James' community went to a tomb around Jericho and housed the remains of two brothers that whitened every year, and Eisenman takes the narrator to a cemetery 10 km from Jericho that points to a promontory of bright earth. Where do the Clementines talk about this? Do you agree that Qumran belonged to James' community? I am skeptical because it isn't overtly Christian.

I haven't read the Oh My Darlin' Clementines, sorry.

The narrator then says that in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, the Jewish and Christian communities rejected the Jewish Christians because on one hand they followed Jesus as the Messiah and on the other hand they kept the Torah rules.

Sounds about right. You can see the tensions even in St. Justin Martyr. Though I don't know how far back into the NT-era you can read a clean break.

To me though, this kind of division between Pauline and James' Christian communities is too severe for reality, wouldn't you agree? In Acts, Peter had a vision annulling the food rules. And Peter founded Christian communities in Rome and Antioch. Clement was Peter's successor, and yet it looks like Flavians Clemens was both a Christian and an observant convert to Judaism at some point. Meanwhile, John the apostle was close to well known Christians like Papias and Polycarp who became Church leaders. And Paul respected James, Peter, and John as pillars of the Christian community in Paul's letters. Besides that, the 12 apostles were evangelizing the known world and helping set up churches. Yet the church that came out of their efforts in the 1st and 2nd century wasn't teaching Torah observance but a Pauline-style look at the Old Testament.

I agree. There was some tension, but I think it's easy to make too much of it (like Fr. Paul Tarazi does, for example). I don't see anything more than innuendo to suggest that either Paul or James (or Peter) thought of the other as anything close to as bad as a Gnostic or other heretic like Cerinthus or Hymenaeus. They probably just had a few spirited debates like any other Rabbis of the day would.

Besides that, already in about 70 AD there was the Council of Jamnia where the same rabbis who formalized the books of the Tanakh/Old Testament also placed a ban on Christianity, so there must have been a split between the Nazarenes and the rabbinical establishment already in the 1st century. Besides that, already in Matthew we see Jesus taking a critical stance to the pharisees and the standard observance of the Torah, like when he plucked grain on Sabbath or stopped an execution in John's gospel. The movie says that the MINIM means "Others" in Hebrew, and this is the name of the group cursed as "the Heretics" in the ancient Jewish synagogue reforms.

As I understand it, it's better read as the "school of thought of Jamnia" since it took place in several places over the whole span of the closing decades of the first century. It was the results of many different Rabbis and Pharisees trying to come to grips with the destruction of Jerusalem (perhaps with some of them helping to lay the groundwork for the 135 Bar Kochba Rebellion).

The minim thing sounds right.

The movie wants to say that Jewish Christians didn't accept Jesus' divinity and supernatural qualities, yet in the gospel of the Nazarenes or Ebionites, Jesus is given divine or supernatural attributes like when he had light coming out of his eyes in the Temple or in Gethsemane to stop his captors IIRC.

The idea that Judaism has always been completely impervious to anything like a plurality in God or an Incarnation seems like an anachronism to me (see all the weird stuff that goes on in the Pseudoepigrapha regarding "Metatron-Enoch," Moses getting to sit on the Throne of God, etc). Even if some Jewish Christians might have been timid regarding, eg. Logos Christology, that doesn't automatically mean that Jesus was "just a Prophet" or "just a great teacher" to them. Sounds to me more like modern secular liberals reading their biases into ancient history.

The movie also proposes that the Jewish Christians were in Capernaum's synagogues in the 5th century AD because one of its columns mentions names that could be found in the Christian NT, like John, Son of Zebediah, etc. (Compare with John the son of Zebedee).

Interesting. But are Zebedee and Zebediah actually cognates, or is that just a coincidence?

The narrator goes to a synagogue from about 300 AD in Tiberias. It has what looks like a mosaic of the Zodiac on its floor, as well as traditional Jewish symbols and pictures of pagan idols and maybe early Christian symbols. The narrator sees this as more evidence of Jewish Christians in synagogues. In the center of the Zodiac a picture looks like Sol Invictus, Helios, which the narrator says became Jesus resurrected for the Christians. In the picture, rays come out of his head and he has a halo. He says Roman emperors no longer wore a crown with rays once Christianity became legal. He says that this is a Christian symbol encrypted into the flooring because when the synagogue was built Christianity was still illegal. Do you agree with his view about this being a partly or fundamentally Christian synagogue?

Another drawing there on the floor is of an uncircumcised boy holding scales of justice. It looks like it is placed as one of the zodiac signs (It's probably Libra, the scales). He says that all the other signs of the Zodiac are fine except for 1. Aquarius standing next to the 2. fish, PISCES. He says that the word next to Aquarius is GLEE, meaning vessel in Hebrew, but that the words are written in reverse so that you need a mirror to read it, suggesting encoding. He refers to the story in the synoptics where Jesus says that the apostles should follow a man with a pitcher into the place where they will have the last supper. He says also that in PISCES' Zodiac symbol the G for the Hebrew word for fish is reversed, turning it into a symbol that looks like a Chevron. He suggests that it means that the viewer should flip everything - the viewer might think it's a pagan Zodiac but that the viewer should flip this idea and conclude that it's not pagan. Another archeologist whom he interviews named Motti doesn't believe that these are signs of Christian origins.

In the 1980's an archeologist named Dauphin found Christian-Jewish symbols in a village named Farj near the Golan that has early Byzantine ruins from c. 500 AD, such as a Menorah with a crossed bar in the middle making it look like a combination menorah and cross. The narrator finds a tree of life symbol on a door jam where in Judaism a mezuzah would be placed and he sees this use of the symbol as a sign of Jewish Christianity in the village.

Well, given that there are Crypto-Christian Muslims, etc. even today, it's certainly possible that there there were pseudo-Christian Jewish groups kicking around into the Early Middle Ages (though the expulsion after the Bar Kochba Rebellion probably would have made it a lot harder for them to survive). I think it's going to need a lot more than some Dan Brown-y readings of ambiguous architecture, though. And again, none of that is the same as "they didn't believe Jesus was God."
« Last Edit: September 13, 2018, 10:17:29 PM by Volnutt »
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #100 on: September 13, 2018, 10:41:38 PM »
How does he deal with the fact that the DSS have no mention of the celibacy that Philo and Josephus tell us were so important to the Essenes?
He doesn't.

Quote
The movie also proposes that the Jewish Christians were in Capernaum's synagogues in the 5th century AD because one of its columns mentions names that could be found in the Christian NT, like John, Son of Zebediah, etc. (Compare with John the son of Zebedee).

Interesting. But are Zebedee and Zebediah actually cognates, or is that just a coincidence?
Yes, they are cognates:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zebedee

Quote
Well, given that there are Crypto-Christian Muslims, etc. even today, it's certainly possible that there there were pseudo-Christian Jewish groups kicking around into the Early Middle Ages (though the expulsion after the Bar Kochba Rebellion probably would have made it a lot harder for them to survive). I think it's going to need a lot more than some Dan Brown-y readings of ambiguous architecture, though. And again, none of that is the same as "they didn't believe Jesus was God."
LOL
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #101 on: September 13, 2018, 10:47:15 PM »
How does he deal with the fact that the DSS have no mention of the celibacy that Philo and Josephus tell us were so important to the Essenes?
He doesn't.

Quote
The movie also proposes that the Jewish Christians were in Capernaum's synagogues in the 5th century AD because one of its columns mentions names that could be found in the Christian NT, like John, Son of Zebediah, etc. (Compare with John the son of Zebedee).

Interesting. But are Zebedee and Zebediah actually cognates, or is that just a coincidence?
Yes, they are cognates:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zebedee

Oh, ok. Thanks.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #102 on: September 14, 2018, 12:27:24 AM »
I was looking for:
National Geographic | THE STORY BEHIND THE BIBLE | HD Full www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8VyRNztREA

But now the movie is missing since it's blocked on copyright grounds and I can't even find more information about it online elsewhere in order to get it at a library or buy it. The title must have been made up by the Youtube user. Too bad.  :( :-[ :-\ :'(
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #103 on: September 14, 2018, 10:58:32 PM »
In "How Should We Then Live: Episode 2", AKA "The Middle Ages", Frank Schaeffer says:
Quote
1. The early Christian church had turned away from the old Roman music because of its associations with the Roman social practices and the pagan religious rites. There were strong human elements in some of the music of the early church. [People dressed in robes singing]..."In excelsis De--"...

2. We can think of Ambrose of Milan in the 4th century who wrote hymns and taught his people to sing them. This was an innovation in his day.

3. Under Pope Gregory there was a change to the Gregorian chant. Impersonal, mystical, and otherworldly.
He just seems to be thinking up some descriptions. There are strong human elements in all three periods of Christian music. Writing hymns and teaching them to people was something done in all three periods. All three periods had mystical and otherworldly singing.

Next he says:
"In the early church, the authority rested on the Bible alone. But in the Middle ages there gradually became a change, with authority divided between the Bible and the Church". This is ridiculous to me while I am researching the early church in depth, because the canon wasn't even set until the 3rd to 4th centuries AD. The oldest list that comes to mind is the Muratorian fragment from 200 AD. In fact, before the setting of the canon there were differences in which books were considered sacred, and the authority did in fact rest on the church leaders such as the "bishops"("overseers") of the church.

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Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #104 on: September 14, 2018, 11:11:48 PM »
This is ridiculous to me while I am researching the early church in depth, because the canon wasn't even set until the 3rd to 4th centuries AD.

If you don't mind, what sources are you using? Primary texts? Excerpts on places like bible-researcher.com? Apologetic works? Popular works like those of Met. Kallistos?

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #105 on: September 14, 2018, 11:38:33 PM »
If you don't mind, what sources are you using? Primary texts? Excerpts on places like bible-researcher.com? Apologetic works? Popular works like those of Met. Kallistos?
All of those would count.
Among primary texts, the latest books, like Revelation or John (with the addition of John 21), were written around the end of the 1st or beginning of the 2nd century AD. Therefore the canon as we know it would not be complete until then, and as such the Bible could not be the highest authority in the Church up to that period.

As for modern commentary, they say things like this:
Quote
The Emergence of the New Testament Canon

Marcion formulated part of the question in his attempt to determine a collection of authoritative books. His answer was very wrong, but he forced the church to consider the question of what books should be included in the canon as Marcion's was clearly too small. It left out too much of the Christian message.
...
St. Irenaeus, who was previously mentioned in connection with the Oral Gospel, produced the first known catholic canon. He was the first to adopt Marcion's notion of a new scripture. He used this idea to fight heresies, including Marcion's. He recognized the four gospel canon as an already established entity and championed it as "an indispensable and recognized collection against all deviations of heretics." Thus, sometime in the last half of the second century, the four church gospels began to be viewed as a single unit. ... St. Clement of Alexandria (c. 150-c. 215) made use of an open canon. He seemed "practically unconcerned about canonicity. To him, inspiration is what mattered."(29) In addition to books that did not make it into the final New Testament canon but which had local canonicity (Barnabas, Didache, I Clement, Revelation of Peter, the Shepherd, the Gospel according to the Hebrews), he also used the Gospel of the Egyptians, Preaching of Peter, Traditions of Matthias, Sibylline Oracles, and the Oral Gospel.
...
The Muratorian Canon written c. 200 by a private theologian states that the New Testament canon consists of the following:
http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/ntcanon_emergence.aspx
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #106 on: September 15, 2018, 01:02:39 AM »
In "How Should We Then Live: Episode 2", AKA "The Middle Ages", Frank Schaeffer says:
Quote
1. The early Christian church had turned away from the old Roman music because of its associations with the Roman social practices and the pagan religious rites. There were strong human elements in some of the music of the early church. [People dressed in robes singing]..."In excelsis De--"...

2. We can think of Ambrose of Milan in the 4th century who wrote hymns and taught his people to sing them. This was an innovation in his day.

3. Under Pope Gregory there was a change to the Gregorian chant. Impersonal, mystical, and otherworldly.
He just seems to be thinking up some descriptions. There are strong human elements in all three periods of Christian music. Writing hymns and teaching them to people was something done in all three periods. All three periods had mystical and otherworldly singing.

Next he says:
"In the early church, the authority rested on the Bible alone. But in the Middle ages there gradually became a change, with authority divided between the Bible and the Church". This is ridiculous to me while I am researching the early church in depth, because the canon wasn't even set until the 3rd to 4th centuries AD. The oldest list that comes to mind is the Muratorian fragment from 200 AD. In fact, before the setting of the canon there were differences in which books were considered sacred, and the authority did in fact rest on the church leaders such as the "bishops"("overseers") of the church.

Yeah, it seems like that all winds up implying that St. Basil was a heretic for upholding unwritten tradition (as well as St. Vincent of Lerins for not referring specifically to Scripture alone as the standard?).

Aside from the fact that neither of them are really medieval, unless you're playing super loose with your terms, I'd need to see some good argumentation that they were wrong.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #107 on: September 15, 2018, 02:58:49 AM »
In the documentary on St. James in the "Apostles" series (Dir. Konstantin Golenchik), one scholar says that in the Epistle from St. James, the saint emphasizes that faith without works is dead. The scholar says that this is a polemic against Paul's emphasis. I see Paul and James' positions as easily reconcilable.

It also says that St James' liturgy is the basis for the liturgies of St Basil and St John Chrysostom that are used in all Orthodox churches. So the Roman Catholic mass doesn't come from St. James' liturgy but developed independently?
« Last Edit: September 15, 2018, 03:00:30 AM by rakovsky »
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #108 on: September 15, 2018, 03:14:38 AM »
In the documentary on St. James in the "Apostles" series (Dir. Konstantin Golenchik), one scholar says that in the Epistle from St. James, the saint emphasizes that faith without works is dead. The scholar says that this is a polemic against Paul's emphasis. I see Paul and James' positions as easily reconcilable.

Yeah, I don't really see it, either. It's only irreconcilable if you assume that Paul was an Antinomian, which he clearly wasn't (1 Cor. 6 and Galatians 5).

It also says that St James' liturgy is the basis for the liturgies of St Basil and St John Chrysostom that are used in all Orthodox churches. So the Roman Catholic mass doesn't come from St. James' liturgy but developed independently?

It's probably all from the same broad source. There's quite a bit of overlap between the Liturgy of St. James (and the Liturgy of St. Mark) and the Old Roman Rite, though the Old Roman is a lot shorter (the Tridentine Mass is a fusion of the Old Roman and the Gallican, IIRC).
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #109 on: September 15, 2018, 09:23:47 AM »
It also says that St James' liturgy is the basis for the liturgies of St Basil and St John Chrysostom that are used in all Orthodox churches. So the Roman Catholic mass doesn't come from St. James' liturgy but developed independently?

It's probably all from the same broad source.

Yeah: Jesus.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #110 on: September 15, 2018, 09:50:18 AM »
It also says that St James' liturgy is the basis for the liturgies of St Basil and St John Chrysostom that are used in all Orthodox churches. So the Roman Catholic mass doesn't come from St. James' liturgy but developed independently?

It's probably all from the same broad source.

Yeah: Jesus.

Natch. But I was just thinking in terms of the broad textual traditions, if that's even something that can be traced.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #111 on: September 16, 2018, 12:52:32 AM »
In the History Channel episode Apocalypse in the series Decoding the Past, Professor David Barr says:
Quote
John refuses to follow his models [ie other apocalyptic literature] in some key areas... the final battle between good and evil never occurs... For John the battle is assembled and then declared to be over. I think that in John's mind the battle is already over because Jesus has declared victory by his death.
Do you agree with this description of the battle between Good and Evil in Revelation?

The movie also says that although the battle is fought at the plain of Har Mageddon, the battle strategically and in practice would be fought for the capture of Jerusalem. This brings to mind Zechariah 12:
Quote

8 In that day the Lord will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem;
the one who is feeble among them in that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the Angel of the Lord before them. 9 It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

10 “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. 11 In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo.
In this passage, the Lord is defending Jerusalem, but the mourning is compared to the mourning in the plain of Megiddo (like Armageddon), where Josiah was slain in battle and for whom the Book of Lamentations was written.

One question is whether the Battle of Armageddon is meant as a literal battle in Revelation, using modern tanks today or ancient Roman horses in the 2nd century AD. Or is it meant as a spiritual battle between angels and spiritual forces. Prof. Barr says that this is not meant as a literal vision of the End, but as a symbolic struggle between Good and Evil.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2018, 12:53:14 AM by rakovsky »
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #112 on: September 24, 2018, 12:57:14 AM »
In the Russian documentary on Luke (2014), Andrey Desnitsky says that the apostle himself must have been one of the two travelers on the road to Emmaus who saw Jesus, since the author only names one of the two travelers, and it was written as if by an eyewitness. What do you think?

It also says that there is a tradition that an ikon of the Theotokos in Moscow was drawn by Luke. And it says that scientists tested relics in Italy that tradition considers to be Luke's and they turned out to be from an elderly Syrian man (about 83-84 years old IIRC) who died from the flu.
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #113 on: September 24, 2018, 02:10:58 AM »
In the Russian documentary on Luke (2014), Andrey Desnitsky says that the apostle himself must have been one of the two travelers on the road to Emmaus who saw Jesus, since the author only names one of the two travelers, and it was written as if by an eyewitness. What do you think?

Probably, if circumstantial.

And it says that scientists tested relics in Italy that tradition considers to be Luke's and they turned out to be from an elderly Syrian man (about 83-84 years old IIRC) who died from the flu.

Tradition tells us that Luke was from Antioch, yep. Apparently the body is in Padua and the skull is in Prague. Dating narrowed it down to 416 BC-72 AD (which also fits interestingly with the idea that Luke-Acts was written before the destruction of the Temple in AD 70). I mean, you could likely never absolutely prove that it is Luke, but there's nothing concrete to say that it isn't him, either,

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/1360095/DNA-test-pinpoints-St-Luke-the-apostles-remains-to-Padua.html
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #114 on: September 24, 2018, 02:15:10 AM »
In the History Channel episode Apocalypse in the series Decoding the Past, Professor David Barr says:
Quote
John refuses to follow his models [ie other apocalyptic literature] in some key areas... the final battle between good and evil never occurs... For John the battle is assembled and then declared to be over. I think that in John's mind the battle is already over because Jesus has declared victory by his death.
Do you agree with this description of the battle between Good and Evil in Revelation?

For Armageddon itself, I suppose that works. Depends on how it connects with the description of the war in Heaven with a third of the stars falling, I guess, and to what extent Revelation treats these as the same protracted conflict.

The movie also says that although the battle is fought at the plain of Har Mageddon, the battle strategically and in practice would be fought for the capture of Jerusalem. This brings to mind Zechariah 12:
Quote

8 In that day the Lord will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem;
the one who is feeble among them in that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the Angel of the Lord before them. 9 It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

10 “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. 11 In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo.
In this passage, the Lord is defending Jerusalem, but the mourning is compared to the mourning in the plain of Megiddo (like Armageddon), where Josiah was slain in battle and for whom the Book of Lamentations was written.

One question is whether the Battle of Armageddon is meant as a literal battle in Revelation, using modern tanks today or ancient Roman horses in the 2nd century AD. Or is it meant as a spiritual battle between angels and spiritual forces. Prof. Barr says that this is not meant as a literal vision of the End, but as a symbolic struggle between Good and Evil.

My guess would be "all three, to one extent or another." Scripture has multiple meanings and applications. Doesn't guarantee that there will be a single future Armageddon, but I guess it can't be ruled out.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #115 on: September 25, 2018, 07:36:01 PM »
In the Russian film on Matthew, Mathias, and Judas, Professor Gritz says that Judas' main sin was that he killed himself, not in that he betrayed Christ, because all the disciples abandoned Christ at His arrest and Peter denied knowing Jesus. Prof. Gritz quotes St. John Chrysostom to the effect that if Judas had confessed his own sin, he would have been reinstated as an apostle.
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #116 on: September 25, 2018, 07:51:36 PM »
In the Russian film on Matthew, Mathias, and Judas, Professor Gritz says that Judas' main sin was that he killed himself, not in that he betrayed Christ, because all the disciples abandoned Christ at His arrest and Peter denied knowing Jesus. Prof. Gritz quotes St. John Chrysostom to the effect that if Judas had confessed his own sin, he would have been reinstated as an apostle.

I don't doubt that Judas would have been forgiven if he repented but I have a hard time believing that Jesus is saying that suicide is a greater sin than crucifying Him:

Quote from: John 19:10-11
So Pilate said to Him, “Do You refuse to speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You and authority to crucify You?” Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed Me over to you is guilty of greater sin.”

Also, the timelines of John and Matthew are hard to reconcile, but it seems like John has this conversation taking place before Judas could have gone and hung himself that next day, as Matthew says.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2018, 07:52:37 PM by Volnutt »
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #117 on: September 26, 2018, 02:36:56 PM »
In the Decoding the Past episode "The Anti-Christ", the narrator says that some Evangelicals see the creation of the Israeli state and mass immigration of Jews to Zion as a sign of the End Times and apocalyptic events of the Bible, such as Revelation.

1. Is this really the case, and if not, why?
Specifically rabbinical Jewish governments held power over Jerusalem in c. 70 AD (when the temple was destroyed), in c.135 AD (under Bar Kokhba who declared himself Messiah), in the 6th century AD when the Persians and their Jewish allies conquered Jerusalem, and now since 1948/1967 for the last 50 years. Yet we did not see the End of the World and Second Coming as the Evangelicals would expect it. Further, there were Christian states holding power over Jerusalem in Byzantine and Crusader times, and sometimes then there were sizable Jewish populations in Palestine, yet the End and the Second Coming didn't occur then either. So I think that having an Israeli State or aliyah doesn't mean that the End is happening.

Further, the interpretation that such prophecies that those Evangelicals take to be about Jewish rule would have in mind a nonChristian rabbinical state is also in question. Christian theology sees the Church as carrying on ancient Israel's spiritual legacy.

2. If the creation of the State and Aliyah are real End Times events, does this mean that we should support and advance those events as those Evangelicals do?
In the Evangelical scheme according to the movie, the antiChrist may be Jewish and the End Times and Second Coming will include Tribulations and destruction for the nonChristians. Wouldn't this kind of "support" for the SOI be in effect a setup knowingly directed at the state's and community's destruction?

3. How does Orthodoxy interpret the passages that Evangelicals use to see the creation of a specifically Jewish state to be apocalyptic?

Zechariah 12 says:

Quote
6 In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.

7 The Lord also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah.

8 In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them.

9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

I take this passage to be Messianic and apocalyptic, in part because the inhabitants of Jerusalem are looking at God, whom they pierced. The passage could mean that the inhabitants of Jerusalem at this point are Christians because they are mourning for the pierced one. Could this passage be speaking of the world's Christian nation, those with the spiritual legacy of ancient Israel, as being defended in Jerusalem from the foreign "nations", the pagans who are not Christian?

Otherwise, what does the passage refer to when it talks about Jerusalem's rulers consuming its neighbors and God destroying those nations who attack Jerusalem? Is this some event in the pre-Christian era, or is this a reference to God attacking a Jewish state's political opponents and military invaders?

St Cyril of Alexandria says that the rulers of Jerusalem in the passage are the holy apostles and rulers of the church. Their consuming of the neighbors is their spreading of the sacred word to them and warming them spiritually with divine fire. He gives as an analogy Jeremiah 1, which he sees as God's word consuming the prophet's audience:
Quote
9 Then the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.

10 See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.
St Cyril points to Matthew 3 and Romans 12 as speaking of spiritual fire. He also cites Isaiah 6 and 47 as speaking of the firey coal on the prophet's mouth that helps spread God's word through the prophet Isaiah.

St Cyril sees this metaphorical interpretation as explaining how the rulers are "like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf".
SOURCE: Commentaries on the Holy Scriptures, http://bible.optina.ru/old:zah:12:06

St Jerome also equates Jerusalem in the passage with the church and finds in Numbers 20 where those who go by the left and right instead of the middle are those who sin by either indulgence in riches or else excessive restraint. He sees those on the right being those of whom it says in Ecclesiastes 7:
Quote
15 All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness.

16 Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself ?
I take this to mean people who are judgmental and self-righteous.

The usual rabbinical reading of this passage sees this in terms of Jewish rulers in Jerusalem fighting their adversaries, although I suppose that even nonChristian Jewish thinkers could give this a metaphorical interpretation:
Quote
Jewish Eschatology

The house of David shall be as God (Zechariah 12:8)[8]
God will seek to destroy all the nations that go against Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:9, Isaiah 60:12)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_eschatology
A marginal note of one ms. of the rabbinical targum to Zechariah 12 says:
Quote
    ...the Messiah son of Ephraim will go out to do battle with Gog, and Gog will slay him in front of Jerusalem. And they shall look to Me and inquire of Me why the nations pierced the Messiah son of Ephraim.

In the book "Why the End of the World is Not in Your Future", Gary DeMar relates Zechariah 6 and 9 to the Jewish attack on their Persian enemies in the time of Esther, and finds it as describing events that have happened in the past.

Verses in the Bible matching the combative ones in Zechariah 12:6 and 12:9 include:
Quote
like a firepot among pieces of wood: Isa 10:16,17 Ob 1:18 Rev 20:9
so they will consume: Zec 9:15 Ps 149:6-9 Isa 41:15,16 Da 2:34,35,44,45 Mic 4:13 5:5-8 Rev 19:19,20
on the right hand and on the left : Isa 9:20 54:3 2Co 6:7
I will set about to destroy: Zec 12:2 Isa 54:17 Hag 2:22

The documentary also interviews Dispensationalists who see Matthew 24 as using the image of the fig tree to describe the Jewish political community beginning to flourish and serve as a sign of the End Times:
Quote
32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:

33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
I checked a few church commentaries on the Optina monastery website and they didn't equate the fig tree in this passage with the Jewish nation. They just saw the tree in the verse as a metaphor of how one knows that summer is coming, although one writer saw it as a metaphor for the Church and its successes.

Isn't the image of the fig tree in the gospels a reference to the Jewish political community, which did not accept Jesus as the Messiah when he came and hence was not found fruitful in the gospel stories in Matthew 21, Mark 11 and Luke 13?
Quote
The "Fig-tree" is a fit emblem of Israel. Its peculiarity is that the blossoms of the fruit appear before the leaves. Naturally, therefore, we should look for fruit on a tree in full leaf. This accounts for why Jesus cursed the Fig-tree that had on it nothing but leaves. Matt. 21:18-20. The presence of the leaves led Him to expect fruit, and when He found none He cursed the tree for its fruitlessness. Mark gives us another version of the incident. Mark 11:12-14.
...
In the Parable of the "Barren Fig-tree" (Luke 13:6-9) we have another picture of Israel. The "Fig-tree" is the Jewish nation. The "Fig-tree" was planted in a "Vineyard," which we have seen stands for the land of Palestine. The owner of the Vineyard and of the Fig-tree was God. He came in the person of His Son Jesus, and for three years of Jesus' ministry He had sought for fruit from the Jewish nation and found none.
https://www.blueletterbible.org/study/larkin/dt/29.cfm

Do Orthodox writers see the fig tree itself in Matthew 24:32 as having any meaning?


Luke 21 is another apocalyptic passage that some Dispensationalists take as referring to the times when the Jewish nation will have political rule over Jerusalem. Do you agree?:
Quote
23. How miserable those days will be for pregnant and nursing mothers. For there will be great distress upon the land and wrath against this people.
24. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive into all the nations. And Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
Seeing this verse as making Jewish political rule to be apocalyptic seems to run into the same problems that I listed at the beginning of this post: Such rule has existed several times already since Jesus made this prediction. Further, in Orthodox Christian theology, the Byzantines were not "trampling" Jerusalem as hostile forces. The "time of the gentiles" could be "fulfilled" once the Romans accepted the Christian and Israelite God.
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Offline biro

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #118 on: September 26, 2018, 02:47:47 PM »
Um, isn't that a TV show?  :o
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #119 on: September 26, 2018, 02:56:10 PM »
Um, isn't that a TV show?  :o

Yeah, the title of this thread drifted a long time ago lol.
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #120 on: September 26, 2018, 02:57:37 PM »
In the Decoding the Past episode "The Anti-Christ", the narrator says that some Evangelicals see the creation of the Israeli state and mass immigration of Jews to Zion as a sign of the End Times and apocalyptic events of the Bible, such as Revelation.

1. Is this really the case, and if not, why?
Specifically rabbinical Jewish governments held power over Jerusalem in c. 70 AD (when the temple was destroyed), in c.135 AD (under Bar Kokhba who declared himself Messiah), in the 6th century AD when the Persians and their Jewish allies conquered Jerusalem, and now since 1948/1967 for the last 50 years. Yet we did not see the End of the World and Second Coming as the Evangelicals would expect it. Further, there were Christian states holding power over Jerusalem in Byzantine and Crusader times, and sometimes then there were sizable Jewish populations in Palestine, yet the End and the Second Coming didn't occur then either. So I think that having an Israeli State or aliyah doesn't mean that the End is happening.

Further, the interpretation that such prophecies that those Evangelicals take to be about Jewish rule would have in mind a nonChristian rabbinical state is also in question. Christian theology sees the Church as carrying on ancient Israel's spiritual legacy.

2. If the creation of the State and Aliyah are real End Times events, does this mean that we should support and advance those events as those Evangelicals do?
In the Evangelical scheme according to the movie, the antiChrist may be Jewish and the End Times and Second Coming will include Tribulations and destruction for the nonChristians. Wouldn't this kind of "support" for the SOI be in effect a setup knowingly directed at the state's and community's destruction?

3. How does Orthodoxy interpret the passages that Evangelicals use to see the creation of a specifically Jewish state to be apocalyptic?

Zechariah 12 says:

Quote
6 In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.

7 The Lord also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah.

8 In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them.

9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

I take this passage to be Messianic and apocalyptic, in part because the inhabitants of Jerusalem are looking at God, whom they pierced. The passage could mean that the inhabitants of Jerusalem at this point are Christians because they are mourning for the pierced one. Could this passage be speaking of the world's Christian nation, those with the spiritual legacy of ancient Israel, as being defended in Jerusalem from the foreign "nations", the pagans who are not Christian?

Otherwise, what does the passage refer to when it talks about Jerusalem's rulers consuming its neighbors and God destroying those nations who attack Jerusalem? Is this some event in the pre-Christian era, or is this a reference to God attacking a Jewish state's political opponents and military invaders?

St Cyril of Alexandria says that the rulers of Jerusalem in the passage are the holy apostles and rulers of the church. Their consuming of the neighbors is their spreading of the sacred word to them and warming them spiritually with divine fire. He gives as an analogy Jeremiah 1, which he sees as God's word consuming the prophet's audience:
Quote
9 Then the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.

10 See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.
St Cyril points to Matthew 3 and Romans 12 as speaking of spiritual fire. He also cites Isaiah 6 and 47 as speaking of the firey coal on the prophet's mouth that helps spread God's word through the prophet Isaiah.

St Cyril sees this metaphorical interpretation as explaining how the rulers are "like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf".
SOURCE: Commentaries on the Holy Scriptures, http://bible.optina.ru/old:zah:12:06

St Jerome also equates Jerusalem in the passage with the church and finds in Numbers 20 where those who go by the left and right instead of the middle are those who sin by either indulgence in riches or else excessive restraint. He sees those on the right being those of whom it says in Ecclesiastes 7:
Quote
15 All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness.

16 Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself ?
I take this to mean people who are judgmental and self-righteous.

The usual rabbinical reading of this passage sees this in terms of Jewish rulers in Jerusalem fighting their adversaries, although I suppose that even nonChristian Jewish thinkers could give this a metaphorical interpretation:
Quote
Jewish Eschatology

The house of David shall be as God (Zechariah 12:8)[8]
God will seek to destroy all the nations that go against Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:9, Isaiah 60:12)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_eschatology
A marginal note of one ms. of the rabbinical targum to Zechariah 12 says:
Quote
    ...the Messiah son of Ephraim will go out to do battle with Gog, and Gog will slay him in front of Jerusalem. And they shall look to Me and inquire of Me why the nations pierced the Messiah son of Ephraim.

In the book "Why the End of the World is Not in Your Future", Gary DeMar relates Zechariah 6 and 9 to the Jewish attack on their Persian enemies in the time of Esther, and finds it as describing events that have happened in the past.

Verses in the Bible matching the combative ones in Zechariah 12:6 and 12:9 include:
Quote
like a firepot among pieces of wood: Isa 10:16,17 Ob 1:18 Rev 20:9
so they will consume: Zec 9:15 Ps 149:6-9 Isa 41:15,16 Da 2:34,35,44,45 Mic 4:13 5:5-8 Rev 19:19,20
on the right hand and on the left : Isa 9:20 54:3 2Co 6:7
I will set about to destroy: Zec 12:2 Isa 54:17 Hag 2:22

The documentary also interviews Dispensationalists who see Matthew 24 as using the image of the fig tree to describe the Jewish political community beginning to flourish and serve as a sign of the End Times:
Quote
32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:

33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
I checked a few church commentaries on the Optina monastery website and they didn't equate the fig tree in this passage with the Jewish nation. They just saw the tree in the verse as a metaphor of how one knows that summer is coming, although one writer saw it as a metaphor for the Church and its successes.

Isn't the image of the fig tree in the gospels a reference to the Jewish political community, which did not accept Jesus as the Messiah when he came and hence was not found fruitful in the gospel stories in Matthew 21, Mark 11 and Luke 13?
Quote
The "Fig-tree" is a fit emblem of Israel. Its peculiarity is that the blossoms of the fruit appear before the leaves. Naturally, therefore, we should look for fruit on a tree in full leaf. This accounts for why Jesus cursed the Fig-tree that had on it nothing but leaves. Matt. 21:18-20. The presence of the leaves led Him to expect fruit, and when He found none He cursed the tree for its fruitlessness. Mark gives us another version of the incident. Mark 11:12-14.
...
In the Parable of the "Barren Fig-tree" (Luke 13:6-9) we have another picture of Israel. The "Fig-tree" is the Jewish nation. The "Fig-tree" was planted in a "Vineyard," which we have seen stands for the land of Palestine. The owner of the Vineyard and of the Fig-tree was God. He came in the person of His Son Jesus, and for three years of Jesus' ministry He had sought for fruit from the Jewish nation and found none.
https://www.blueletterbible.org/study/larkin/dt/29.cfm

Do Orthodox writers see the fig tree itself in Matthew 24:32 as having any meaning?


Luke 21 is another apocalyptic passage that some Dispensationalists take as referring to the times when the Jewish nation will have political rule over Jerusalem. Do you agree?:
Quote
23. How miserable those days will be for pregnant and nursing mothers. For there will be great distress upon the land and wrath against this people.
24. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive into all the nations. And Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
Seeing this verse as making Jewish political rule to be apocalyptic seems to run into the same problems that I listed at the beginning of this post: Such rule has existed several times already since Jesus made this prediction. Further, in Orthodox Christian theology, the Byzantines were not "trampling" Jerusalem as hostile forces. The "time of the gentiles" could be "fulfilled" once the Romans accepted the Christian and Israelite God.

I feel like this could all be a thread in and of itself... and one that I don't feel like I have enough specialist knowledge to help with, sorry.
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #121 on: September 28, 2018, 04:03:55 PM »
I wrote a short review in the Romanian language section on some issues in the movie The Second Coming of Christ in the Romanian section, since it's a Romanian Orthodox movie and I want to ask about the Romanian language scene:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,74625.new.html
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Offline Alpha60

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #122 on: September 29, 2018, 02:09:45 AM »
According to the movie What Happened to the JC Bunch?, the followers of James were the Ebionites and didn't believe that Jesus was God. (https://www.amazon.com/Naked-Archaeologist-Episode-Happened-Tracking/dp/B00IQ3XQ90/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1536861210&sr=8-1&keywords=What+happened+to+the+JC+Bunch%3F) But it doesn't seem to provide enough proof for why they were Ebionites as opposed to Nazarenes. After all, the Talmud says that there were two groups of Christians, the Nazarenes and the Ebionites. The Nazarenes are mentioned by Jerome as Jewish Christians who follow Torah but also accept the Church's theology.

Next, he interviews Eisenman who says that James' movement was the Essenes and left their records at Qumran, and that they called their leader "The Just One" or "Righteous One" (Tzaddik). James was called "James the Just" (Tzaddik). But just because their leader is called Tzaddik doesn't prove to me that they were the same leaders, since Tzaddik was a common title of reverence in ancient Judaism.

Eisenman points to a letter called MMT in Qumran that is written to a foreign ruler and explains how to uphold righteouensness. However, I don't know why such a letter wouldn't be written by a nonChristian. He says that it has the same contents as James' letter in Acts 15 where he tells them to keep the Noahide rules. But even a nonChristian Jew writing to a foreigner would tell him to keep the Noahide rules. The Qumran scrolls also describe an unnamed enemy of their community.

I'm leery of anybody who tries to claim that the Qumranites and the Essenes are the same group. How does he deal with the fact that the DSS have no mention of the celibacy that Philo and Josephus tell us were so important to the Essenes?

I haven't seen the movie, but I agree with you that some of the claims sound far fetched.

He sees Paul and Paul's movement as being separate from and in conflict with James', and he points to the Clementine Recognitions for this. I remember reading that the 2nd or 3rd century AD Clementine Recognitions were Ebionite or Ebionite in some of their sources, but I don't know why this means that the Recognitions would be correct in separating Paul's from James' Christianity. The Recognitions do both respect James and Peter, and yet so does Paul in his writings. The Clementines speak of the Hostile Man or Enemy who throws James down from the Temple without killing him and who then gets a letter from the High Priest to chase them to Damascus. In Acts 9, Paul gets a letter to chase the Christians down to Damascus. The problem with equating Paul with this enemy such that Paul remained the enemy of a supposed Christian Qumran, as I see it, is that Paul reconciled with the Christians.

Eisenman says Paul chased James from Damascus but missed him around Jericho, and so it means James' community went into the desert like the Qumran community. The Clementines say that James' community went to a tomb around Jericho and housed the remains of two brothers that whitened every year, and Eisenman takes the narrator to a cemetery 10 km from Jericho that points to a promontory of bright earth. Where do the Clementines talk about this? Do you agree that Qumran belonged to James' community? I am skeptical because it isn't overtly Christian.

I haven't read the Oh My Darlin' Clementines, sorry.

The narrator then says that in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, the Jewish and Christian communities rejected the Jewish Christians because on one hand they followed Jesus as the Messiah and on the other hand they kept the Torah rules.

Sounds about right. You can see the tensions even in St. Justin Martyr. Though I don't know how far back into the NT-era you can read a clean break.

To me though, this kind of division between Pauline and James' Christian communities is too severe for reality, wouldn't you agree? In Acts, Peter had a vision annulling the food rules. And Peter founded Christian communities in Rome and Antioch. Clement was Peter's successor, and yet it looks like Flavians Clemens was both a Christian and an observant convert to Judaism at some point. Meanwhile, John the apostle was close to well known Christians like Papias and Polycarp who became Church leaders. And Paul respected James, Peter, and John as pillars of the Christian community in Paul's letters. Besides that, the 12 apostles were evangelizing the known world and helping set up churches. Yet the church that came out of their efforts in the 1st and 2nd century wasn't teaching Torah observance but a Pauline-style look at the Old Testament.

I agree. There was some tension, but I think it's easy to make too much of it (like Fr. Paul Tarazi does, for example). I don't see anything more than innuendo to suggest that either Paul or James (or Peter) thought of the other as anything close to as bad as a Gnostic or other heretic like Cerinthus or Hymenaeus. They probably just had a few spirited debates like any other Rabbis of the day would.

Besides that, already in about 70 AD there was the Council of Jamnia where the same rabbis who formalized the books of the Tanakh/Old Testament also placed a ban on Christianity, so there must have been a split between the Nazarenes and the rabbinical establishment already in the 1st century. Besides that, already in Matthew we see Jesus taking a critical stance to the pharisees and the standard observance of the Torah, like when he plucked grain on Sabbath or stopped an execution in John's gospel. The movie says that the MINIM means "Others" in Hebrew, and this is the name of the group cursed as "the Heretics" in the ancient Jewish synagogue reforms.

As I understand it, it's better read as the "school of thought of Jamnia" since it took place in several places over the whole span of the closing decades of the first century. It was the results of many different Rabbis and Pharisees trying to come to grips with the destruction of Jerusalem (perhaps with some of them helping to lay the groundwork for the 135 Bar Kochba Rebellion).

The minim thing sounds right.

The movie wants to say that Jewish Christians didn't accept Jesus' divinity and supernatural qualities, yet in the gospel of the Nazarenes or Ebionites, Jesus is given divine or supernatural attributes like when he had light coming out of his eyes in the Temple or in Gethsemane to stop his captors IIRC.

The idea that Judaism has always been completely impervious to anything like a plurality in God or an Incarnation seems like an anachronism to me (see all the weird stuff that goes on in the Pseudoepigrapha regarding "Metatron-Enoch," Moses getting to sit on the Throne of God, etc). Even if some Jewish Christians might have been timid regarding, eg. Logos Christology, that doesn't automatically mean that Jesus was "just a Prophet" or "just a great teacher" to them. Sounds to me more like modern secular liberals reading their biases into ancient history.

The movie also proposes that the Jewish Christians were in Capernaum's synagogues in the 5th century AD because one of its columns mentions names that could be found in the Christian NT, like John, Son of Zebediah, etc. (Compare with John the son of Zebedee).

Interesting. But are Zebedee and Zebediah actually cognates, or is that just a coincidence?

The narrator goes to a synagogue from about 300 AD in Tiberias. It has what looks like a mosaic of the Zodiac on its floor, as well as traditional Jewish symbols and pictures of pagan idols and maybe early Christian symbols. The narrator sees this as more evidence of Jewish Christians in synagogues. In the center of the Zodiac a picture looks like Sol Invictus, Helios, which the narrator says became Jesus resurrected for the Christians. In the picture, rays come out of his head and he has a halo. He says Roman emperors no longer wore a crown with rays once Christianity became legal. He says that this is a Christian symbol encrypted into the flooring because when the synagogue was built Christianity was still illegal. Do you agree with his view about this being a partly or fundamentally Christian synagogue?

Another drawing there on the floor is of an uncircumcised boy holding scales of justice. It looks like it is placed as one of the zodiac signs (It's probably Libra, the scales). He says that all the other signs of the Zodiac are fine except for 1. Aquarius standing next to the 2. fish, PISCES. He says that the word next to Aquarius is GLEE, meaning vessel in Hebrew, but that the words are written in reverse so that you need a mirror to read it, suggesting encoding. He refers to the story in the synoptics where Jesus says that the apostles should follow a man with a pitcher into the place where they will have the last supper. He says also that in PISCES' Zodiac symbol the G for the Hebrew word for fish is reversed, turning it into a symbol that looks like a Chevron. He suggests that it means that the viewer should flip everything - the viewer might think it's a pagan Zodiac but that the viewer should flip this idea and conclude that it's not pagan. Another archeologist whom he interviews named Motti doesn't believe that these are signs of Christian origins.

In the 1980's an archeologist named Dauphin found Christian-Jewish symbols in a village named Farj near the Golan that has early Byzantine ruins from c. 500 AD, such as a Menorah with a crossed bar in the middle making it look like a combination menorah and cross. The narrator finds a tree of life symbol on a door jam where in Judaism a mezuzah would be placed and he sees this use of the symbol as a sign of Jewish Christianity in the village.

Well, given that there are Crypto-Christian Muslims, etc. even today, it's certainly possible that there there were pseudo-Christian Jewish groups kicking around into the Early Middle Ages (though the expulsion after the Bar Kochba Rebellion probably would have made it a lot harder for them to survive). I think it's going to need a lot more than some Dan Brown-y readings of ambiguous architecture, though. And again, none of that is the same as "they didn't believe Jesus was God."

Frankly I am leery of watching a series entitled “The Naked Archaeologist.”  I very strongly prefer archaeologists who are fully clothed.  ;)
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #123 on: November 02, 2018, 06:11:49 PM »
At 2:15 into the documentary "Persecutions of the Jews against the First Christians", the documentary talks about the two arrests of Peter and Paul by the Sanhedrin, whereby the Sanhedrin was unsure of how to punish them for preaching the gospel. What is curious for me about this part of the documentary is that it shows a Greek written document whereby the words on the page are both centered and squeezed in descending order,
whereby there are fewer and fewer words on a line as the document gets closer to the end.
What is the meaning of this writing format?
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #124 on: November 09, 2018, 04:55:46 PM »
The Missing Years of Jesus (Top Documentary Films)
https://topdocumentaryfilms.com/missing-years-jesus

The Missing Years of Jesus (National Geographic)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rxkz_ygndLU

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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #125 on: November 14, 2018, 05:25:30 PM »
In the 2001 Polish movie Quo Vadis / Kamo Gryadeshi, the betrayer of the Christians repents and gets baptized by Paul, and if I understand the movie correctly, it's the third time that the traitor is baptized because he kept falling into sin. This is at 1 hour 49 minutes into the Russian-dubbed version (https://ok.ru/video/265705884277). How could there be such a thing as a third baptism, even if the baptised person was insincere (eg. as a traitor) in the first two times?

At 1 hour 56 minutes into the movie, a power Christian servant grabs a bull in the Colosseum by the horns and twists the animal's head slowly and the bull dies. It doesn't make sense to me how this would kill the bull. Couldn't the bull just turn over if it needs its head to be always aligned with its body? Maybe the answer is that it's just artistic license in a movie.

The movie ends with Peter saying to his companion that they are going back to Rome, and it then shows them walking towards modern day Rome. I wondered if there was supposed to be some inner meaning hinted at when they showed modern Rome. Maybe they just mean that it's the same city in some ways many centuries later.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2018, 05:25:43 PM by rakovsky »
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #126 on: Yesterday at 10:26:26 PM »
Miracle of Faith: 2,000 Years of Christianity in the Holy Land (2000, on Amazon)
Quote
1. The Biblical Heritage
The first entry in this 3-part series tells the story of Jesus in his younger years, and how he came to become one of the most influential Jews in history.
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Trailers from Christian movies
« Reply #127 on: Today at 12:22:02 AM »
44 minutes into the 3rd episode on the Apostles of Ancient Roads from Christ to Constantine, a professor says that normally under Roman standard practice, the Roman Magistrate would have given Paul a chance to run away to avoid being executed but that Nero prevented this from occurring by saying that accepting Christianity was enough of a crime for a death sentence. What Roman standard practice about magistrates letting people run away is he talking about?
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20