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Bogoliubtsy
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« on: November 28, 2008, 11:32:32 AM »

What are the indications in the Old Testament or Jewish tradition that pre-Christian Jews believed themselves (and the rest of humanity) to be unable to enter the kingdom of God?
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« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2008, 04:59:35 PM »

I'm not sure that I totally understand what you are asking here. By "kingdom of God" do you mean heaven in the afterlife? Sorry for my confusion! Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2008, 05:00:44 PM »

That's pretty much it, yeah. Doors of paradise closed, etc.
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« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2008, 05:24:16 PM »

I thought there were some passages in the Psalms which explicitly mentioned this, but I didn't come up with as much as I thought I would...

"For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?" (Ps. 6:5)

"Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand... Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulness in destruction? Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?" (Ps. 88:5, 11-12)
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« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2008, 05:26:25 PM »

I thought there were some passages in the Psalms which explicitly mentioned this, but I didn't come up with as much as I thought I would...

"For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?" (Ps. 6:5)

"Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand... Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulness in destruction? Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?" (Ps. 88:5, 11-12)

Thanks for the start. My question is leading up to this: Christ is presented in the NT as savior who has opened the door to paradise that was previously closed. We had cut ourselves off from the possibility of salvation through the sin of Adam.
My question is: was this really the belief/consciousness of the Jews before Christ?
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« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2008, 05:46:22 PM »

I really don't know. I know that in 2 Macc. 15 there was a dream about Onias and Jeremiah being alive, and there is also this in 2 Macc. 12:43-45:

"He then took up a collection among all his soldiers, amounting to two thousand silver drachmas, which he sent to Jerusalem to provide for an expiatory sacrifice. In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection of the dead in view; for if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death. But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from this sin."

We know that "Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind" (2 Ki. 2:11), and it was said of Enoch that he: "walked with God: and he was not; for God took him." (Gen. 5:24) We also see Moses and Elijah in the transfiguration, which is pre-resurrection (Matt. 17; Mark 9; Luke 9). Were Elijah and others exceptions? Were they in hades waiting for Christ? Did the Jews look forward to a future life, but only after a certain point in time (with the coming of Jesus being that point)? I don't know...
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Bogoliubtsy
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« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2008, 03:44:22 AM »

Thanks, Asteriktos, for your regularly good replies. I spent a little bit of time tonight googling contemporary Jewish replies to this question. They seem (quite naturally) to be at a loss to understand the Christian standpoint in this regard- i.e. they don't see themselves as somehow barred from God's kingdom after death by virtue of Adam's sin. The question remains, however, as to how or why this notion of the need for a savior to open the possibility of redemption came to exist. If it did not exist before Christ, then what is the "point" of Christianity? If the gates of heaven where open before, then what is the need for redemption?
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« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2008, 04:23:43 AM »

Although Judaism and Christianity agree that the Old Testament is the authentic and inspired word of God, they disagree about its interpretation. One cannot accurately figure out how and why Christians interpret the Old Testament differently than Jews unless the purely Christian scripture (NT) is read. Jesus in the Gospels claims that many passages in the Tanakh are essentially related to His teachings and actions. For instance, Jesus considers the lifting of the bronze serpent in the Pentateuch as a foreshadowing of His crucifixion (John 3: 14). Another example is that John the Baptist makes a direct association between the sacrifical animal given to Abraham and Jesus when he calls Jesus "the lamb of God" (John 1:29). In Peter's first epistle, the water used in baptism is likened to the salvation of the eight people in Noah's ark with the help of the flood ( 1 Peter 3:20-21).

Christianity, unlike Judaism, contends that human race needs redemption and a "spiritual" Savior as a consequence of the first man's fall and loss of preternatural grace. In Christian context the Kingdom of God does not refer to an earthly and universal kingdom bestowed on Israel, but to one's reconciliation with God through faith in Christ, who is believed to be the sole Savior and Prince of life. Since there was no redemption prior to Christ (only the promise and prediction of salvation through foreshadowing), the gates of Heaven were not opened until Jesus' saving death.

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« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2008, 11:25:16 AM »

Although Judaism and Christianity agree that the Old Testament is the authentic and inspired word of God, they disagree about its interpretation. One cannot accurately figure out how and why Christians interpret the Old Testament differently than Jews unless the purely Christian scripture (NT) is read. Jesus in the Gospels claims that many passages in the Tanakh are essentially related to His teachings and actions. For instance, Jesus considers the lifting of the bronze serpent in the Pentateuch as a foreshadowing of His crucifixion (John 3: 14). Another example is that John the Baptist makes a direct association between the sacrifical animal given to Abraham and Jesus when he calls Jesus "the lamb of God" (John 1:29). In Peter's first epistle, the water used in baptism is likened to the salvation of the eight people in Noah's ark with the help of the flood ( 1 Peter 3:20-21).

Christianity, unlike Judaism, contends that human race needs redemption and a "spiritual" Savior as a consequence of the first man's fall and loss of preternatural grace. In Christian context the Kingdom of God does not refer to an earthly and universal kingdom bestowed on Israel, but to one's reconciliation with God through faith in Christ, who is believed to be the sole Savior and Prince of life. Since there was no redemption prior to Christ (only the promise and prediction of salvation through foreshadowing), the gates of Heaven were not opened until Jesus' saving death.



Yes, of course Jews and Christians interpret the OT/Hebrew Bible/Tanakh differently. Unfortunately for me, this wasn't really my question.

You write "Since there was no redemption prior to Christ (only the promise and prediction of salvation through foreshadowing), the gates of Heaven were not opened until Jesus' saving death."   According to whom? Did the Jews before Christ believe this and await a messiah to open the "gates of heaven" ?  When was this revelation given that there was no redemption before Christ?
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« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2008, 11:59:57 AM »

Although Judaism and Christianity agree that the Old Testament is the authentic and inspired word of God, they disagree about its interpretation. One cannot accurately figure out how and why Christians interpret the Old Testament differently than Jews unless the purely Christian scripture (NT) is read. Jesus in the Gospels claims that many passages in the Tanakh are essentially related to His teachings and actions. For instance, Jesus considers the lifting of the bronze serpent in the Pentateuch as a foreshadowing of His crucifixion (John 3: 14). Another example is that John the Baptist makes a direct association between the sacrifical animal given to Abraham and Jesus when he calls Jesus "the lamb of God" (John 1:29). In Peter's first epistle, the water used in baptism is likened to the salvation of the eight people in Noah's ark with the help of the flood ( 1 Peter 3:20-21).

Christianity, unlike Judaism, contends that human race needs redemption and a "spiritual" Savior as a consequence of the first man's fall and loss of preternatural grace. In Christian context the Kingdom of God does not refer to an earthly and universal kingdom bestowed on Israel, but to one's reconciliation with God through faith in Christ, who is believed to be the sole Savior and Prince of life. Since there was no redemption prior to Christ (only the promise and prediction of salvation through foreshadowing), the gates of Heaven were not opened until Jesus' saving death.



Yes, of course Jews and Christians interpret the OT/Hebrew Bible/Tanakh differently. Unfortunately for me, this wasn't really my question.

You write "Since there was no redemption prior to Christ (only the promise and prediction of salvation through foreshadowing), the gates of Heaven were not opened until Jesus' saving death."   According to whom? Did the Jews before Christ believe this and await a messiah to open the "gates of heaven" ?  When was this revelation given that there was no redemption before Christ?


Since what I know about Judaism is limited, I cannot answer you satisfactorily. However, I do not think that Jews believed in the notion of redemption as Christians. The idea of spiritual redemption through Christ's suffering was purely Christian.

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« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2008, 12:02:32 PM »

Although Judaism and Christianity agree that the Old Testament is the authentic and inspired word of God, they disagree about its interpretation. One cannot accurately figure out how and why Christians interpret the Old Testament differently than Jews unless the purely Christian scripture (NT) is read. Jesus in the Gospels claims that many passages in the Tanakh are essentially related to His teachings and actions. For instance, Jesus considers the lifting of the bronze serpent in the Pentateuch as a foreshadowing of His crucifixion (John 3: 14). Another example is that John the Baptist makes a direct association between the sacrifical animal given to Abraham and Jesus when he calls Jesus "the lamb of God" (John 1:29). In Peter's first epistle, the water used in baptism is likened to the salvation of the eight people in Noah's ark with the help of the flood ( 1 Peter 3:20-21).

Christianity, unlike Judaism, contends that human race needs redemption and a "spiritual" Savior as a consequence of the first man's fall and loss of preternatural grace. In Christian context the Kingdom of God does not refer to an earthly and universal kingdom bestowed on Israel, but to one's reconciliation with God through faith in Christ, who is believed to be the sole Savior and Prince of life. Since there was no redemption prior to Christ (only the promise and prediction of salvation through foreshadowing), the gates of Heaven were not opened until Jesus' saving death.



Yes, of course Jews and Christians interpret the OT/Hebrew Bible/Tanakh differently. Unfortunately for me, this wasn't really my question.

You write "Since there was no redemption prior to Christ (only the promise and prediction of salvation through foreshadowing), the gates of Heaven were not opened until Jesus' saving death."   According to whom? Did the Jews before Christ believe this and await a messiah to open the "gates of heaven" ?  When was this revelation given that there was no redemption before Christ?


Since what I know about Judaism is limited, I cannot answer you satisfactorily. However, I do not think that Jews believed in the notion of redemption as Christians. The idea of spiritual redemption through Christ's suffering was purely Christian.



So Christ came as the savior for a bunch of people who had no idea they needed to be saved?
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« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2008, 12:39:28 PM »

What are the indications in the Old Testament or Jewish tradition that pre-Christian Jews believed themselves (and the rest of humanity) to be unable to enter the kingdom of God?

I think you'd probably need some sort of scholarly works to answer this question as in depth as this question can become. I certainly am no scholar, nor even well read compared to many, however this is a subject I've always found interesting and spiritually enriching, considering that in my Protestant past I was deep into "the Jewish roots of Christianity", so quite a few points need to be kept in mind.

First, in the 1st century there was no single interpretation of Judaism. The Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Essenes, and later the Christians (who were mostly Jews originally) all had their own specific intepretations of what Judaism exactly was and meant to the world, as well as what it would be in the Messianic age. While there was a consensus of issues that bound them all together as Jews, there was also great diversity in theology, including Messianic theology.

Also, while modern day Rabbinic Judaism is certainly a really fine starting point to the study of Judaism, keep in mind that Rabbinic Judaism in many ways is very, very different than the Judaism of 2000 years ago. So while it is a good beginning point to understanding some basic Jewish concepts, and actually might help you to understand Christianity better, it is also far different in many ways from the Judaism of Philo and Josephus. For example I believe the Essenes had a theology of 2 Messiahs, one kingly and one priestly Messiah...of course Jesus (according to Christianity) fullfilled BOTH these roles. But the later Rabbinic idea of a purely secular Messiah was I believe a far later interpretation. (perhaps in response to Christianity?!)

I first heard of Margaret Barker on this forum, and I think she's got some extremely interesting points you might find interesting. This link might be of some interest to your particular question:

http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/11/1/8.aspx


She's also published quite a few books, and I'm reading one right now. There are also other books about Christianity's connection to Judaism and many are quite good and can be gotten at your local library or an interlibrary loan. However it's important to study ancient Judaism and not modern Judaism, because in many ways they are vastly different as Judaism had to be re-interpreted after the 2 revolts in the 1st and 2nd centuries. This is one of the biggest failures of Messianic Christian movements that they simply don't go far enough back in time when merging Christianity and Judaism, but rather merge 5th, 6th and 7th century Judaism with Christianity theology, rather than going back to the Judaism of the time of Jesus himself. Just my opinion however....

Hopefully that link will be helpful...


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« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2008, 02:37:17 PM »

Judaism doesn't teach much about the afterlife, so I doubt if you'll find any specifics about this.
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« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2008, 03:40:18 PM »

Fwiw, I did a little looking around today on Google, and while I didn't find anything scholarly to point to, quite a few of the sites I viewed referenced the book Life after death: A History of the Afterlife in the Religions of the West by Alan F. Segal.
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« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2008, 05:28:52 PM »


So Christ came as the savior for a bunch of people who had no idea they needed to be saved?

Jesus did not come as the Savior for a bunch of people. He is the Savior of all those who believe in Him. Jesus taught His disciples that He must die for the remission of sins. He opened their minds so that they could understand the scripture. Without Jesus' teachings, His apostles and disciples knew nothing about His passion and their redemption through it.
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« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2008, 06:56:23 PM »

You might try:
http://www.jewfaq.org/moshiach.htm
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« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2008, 05:19:30 AM »


So Christ came as the savior for a bunch of people who had no idea they needed to be saved?

Jesus did not come as the Savior for a bunch of people. He is the Savior of all those who believe in Him. Jesus taught His disciples that He must die for the remission of sins. He opened their minds so that they could understand the scripture. Without Jesus' teachings, His apostles and disciples knew nothing about His passion and their redemption through it.

As I noted before- who was looking for a savior? Was it not until well after Jesus's death and resurrection that the idea of his salvific work became solid? Why, if Jesus is our savior, was it not even an idea in the mind of contemporary Jews that they were in need of salvation?
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« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2008, 05:37:17 AM »

Was it not until well after Jesus's death and resurrection that the idea of his salvific work became solid?
How long is "well after"?
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« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2008, 10:43:09 AM »

Quote
Why, if Jesus is our savior, was it not even an idea in the mind of contemporary Jews that they were in need of salvation?

It could be argued that many of the Jews of the time misunderstood the purpose of the coming of the Messiah. Take for example the Apostles, even after Jesus had been with them and explained things to them, they were still waiting for Jesus to set up an earthly kingdom: "When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" (Acts 1:6) Even after all the teaching, all the miracles, and so forth, they were still not quite getting it. How much less might your ordinary Jew of the period not get it?  I think that at least some did get it though, such as the angel of the Lord, and Simeon, and certain Samaritans:

"And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." - Luke 2:10-11

"Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel." - Luke 2:29-32

"And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. And many more believed because of his own word; And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world." - Luke 4:39-42

Now, I realise that Luke is generally dated rather later, and this isn't proof of the idea being there early in the texts. But I am not arguing that this is proof that the idea was there early in the texts. I am only arguing that if Luke faithfully records the words of people at the time, then the idea is there early. So I guess it comes down to whether you trust that Luke faithfully recorded what was being said at the time. And really, when we talk about an idea being in the early texts, which texts are we talking about? Which texts do you personally consider to be the oldest, in which we are looking for these ideas in? Probably Mark, which I'd agree with. I'd also agree with an early dating of James, though not everyone would. What books past these? What about a book like Galatians, could it also not be from around 50AD? And what other books? We aren't working with much material here, IMO.
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« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2008, 11:00:35 AM »


As I noted before- who was looking for a savior? Was it not until well after Jesus's death and resurrection that the idea of his salvific work became solid? Why, if Jesus is our savior, was it not even an idea in the mind of contemporary Jews that they were in need of salvation?

Your argument makes almost no sense to me. The Gospel was preached to the Gentiles although the Gentiles knew nothing about Judaism or the God of Israel less about the concepts of sin and salvation.

Needing salvation and knowing that there is need for salvation are not identical. The idea of salvation is not based on what people think or need, but on what GOD decides. This is because salvation through faith in Christ is a part of God's plan and a result of God's grace.

Do you think that Moses KNEW about Abraham and the covenant of circumcision when he was an infant brought up in the Pharaoh's place? How many of the Israelites knew that their forefathers had been promised the land of Canaan? Did the Israelites know that they needed the Law as the elect of God after the Exodus?

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« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2008, 01:10:27 PM »


As I noted before- who was looking for a savior? Was it not until well after Jesus's death and resurrection that the idea of his salvific work became solid? Why, if Jesus is our savior, was it not even an idea in the mind of contemporary Jews that they were in need of salvation?

Your argument makes almost no sense to me.



First, it's not an argument. Second, I'm not surprised.
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« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2008, 08:24:10 AM »


As I noted before- who was looking for a savior? Was it not until well after Jesus's death and resurrection that the idea of his salvific work became solid? Why, if Jesus is our savior, was it not even an idea in the mind of contemporary Jews that they were in need of salvation?

Your argument makes almost no sense to me.

First, it's not an argument. Second, I'm not surprised.
Your argument that your statements above do not constitute an argument only makes sense if one uses these definitions (from dictionary.com):

Quote
1.    an oral disagreement; verbal opposition; contention; altercation: a violent argument.
2.    a discussion involving differing points of view; debate: They were deeply involved in an argument about inflation.

But there are many other definitions, including the following:

Quote
3.    a process of reasoning; series of reasons: I couldn't follow his argument.
4.    a statement, reason, or fact for or against a point: This is a strong argument in favor of her theory.
5.    an address or composition intended to convince or persuade; persuasive discourse.
6.    subject matter; theme: The central argument of his paper was presented clearly.
7.    an abstract or summary of the major points in a work of prose or poetry, or of sections of such a work.

By definitions 3-6 above, your statements most definitely constitute an argument.
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« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2008, 09:25:10 AM »

From what I have read (just miscellanious sources for lay people, not a "hardcore" theology), Judaism in the first century A.D. had no elaborate teaching about afterlife. It was generally believed that a human being after his/her physical death is simply rottening in the grave ("sheol"), where God is not present and from where no rescue is possible at the moment. Salvation was thought about in merely eathly terms, as the delivery of the God's chosen people from their oppressors - particularly, from the Roman Empire. In a due time, God would also raise the remnants of those who "sleep in the dust of the earth" and make them alive again, joining them to the crowd of those who haven't yet died on the "Last Day" (the moment of the delivery). These teachings found their support in the famous scenes from the last chapter of Daniel and from the book of Ezekiel ("the valley of bones"). Some rabbis, however - notably the Pharisees - taught that humans have immortal souls and, while their bodies after death are in the "sheol," their souls are with God if they are righteous. This was not a maninstream teaching though. The Pharisees were a small minority popular among the oppressed poor masses, but they had virtually no say in the official teachings of the Jewish faith.

As for when exactly did the Christian teaching about salvation emerge, I think it's a tremendously complicated question. Perhaps it is safe to say that it was shaped to a large extent in the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D. under the influence of the Neoplatonist philosophy. Plotinus and his disciple Porphyry were very popular and influential in those days. Their ideas about salvation as "restitution" or "restoration" (anakatastasis) of the world by its ridding of the immanently evil matter found their place in the writings of Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and perhaps even the Great Cappadoccians.
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« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2008, 10:47:23 AM »


As I noted before- who was looking for a savior? Was it not until well after Jesus's death and resurrection that the idea of his salvific work became solid? Why, if Jesus is our savior, was it not even an idea in the mind of contemporary Jews that they were in need of salvation?

Your argument makes almost no sense to me.

First, it's not an argument. Second, I'm not surprised.
Your argument that your statements above do not constitute an argument only makes sense if one uses these definitions (from dictionary.com):

Quote
1.    an oral disagreement; verbal opposition; contention; altercation: a violent argument.
2.    a discussion involving differing points of view; debate: They were deeply involved in an argument about inflation.

But there are many other definitions, including the following:

Quote
3.    a process of reasoning; series of reasons: I couldn't follow his argument.
4.    a statement, reason, or fact for or against a point: This is a strong argument in favor of her theory.
5.    an address or composition intended to convince or persuade; persuasive discourse.
6.    subject matter; theme: The central argument of his paper was presented clearly.
7.    an abstract or summary of the major points in a work of prose or poetry, or of sections of such a work.

By definitions 3-6 above, your statements most definitely constitute an argument.



Every line of mine quoted by Theophilos ends in a question mark. And no, they are not rhetorical, argumentative questions.
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« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2008, 11:20:08 AM »



So Christ came as the savior for a bunch of people who had no idea they needed to be saved?
A lot of people aren't looking for a savior, but they do feel lost.  More don't even realize they are lost.

Jesus did not come as the Savior for a bunch of people. He is the Savior of all those who believe in Him. Jesus taught His disciples that He must die for the remission of sins. He opened their minds so that they could understand the scripture. Without Jesus' teachings, His apostles and disciples knew nothing about His passion and their redemption through it.

There is plenty of evidence that the story was rewritten by what are now the Jews after the rise of the Church.  Even in the Medieval period there is a down playing of the Messiah, saying that he won't be the equal of Moses (and hence the latters law).

As I noted before- who was looking for a savior?

Besides the Sadduccees, perhaps, basically everyone.

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Was it not until well after Jesus's death and resurrection that the idea of his salvific work became solid?

Well, things are always seen better in hindsight. That's why we read the OT in the light of the NT (and btw, the NT is a Hebrew religious work which predates another Hebrew religious work, the Jewish Talmud, and is contemporaneous with another, the Dead Sea scrolls.  None of the three agree exactly on all points with the other two).

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Why, if Jesus is our savior, was it not even an idea in the mind of contemporary Jews that they were in need of salvation?

The OT Apocrypha, Dead Sea Scrolls, bits in the Talmud, etc. show that they did.  The Church did start as a movement by Hebrews, among Hebrews, for Hebrews.
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« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2008, 05:00:05 PM »


Besides the Sadduccees, perhaps, basically everyone.




The OT Apocrypha, Dead Sea Scrolls, bits in the Talmud, etc. show that they did.  The Church did start as a movement by Hebrews, among Hebrews, for Hebrews.

Yes, but the Jews were not looking for some kind of cosmic saver of souls. They anticipated an earthly messiah, a God-appointed ruler who would regenerate spiritually the people of Israel, while materially making them a great nation. Jesus was not the type of messiah they were expecting.
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« Reply #26 on: December 01, 2008, 05:25:02 PM »

^^ And so we would say that they misunderstood, as Asteriskos pointed out.  St. Paul did say that those who read the OT without the Holy Spirit given through faith in Christ read with a veil over their face.  When faith in Christ comes, the veil is taken away.

Christ told his disciples straight up that He was going to be killed, and that He would rise three days later.  They still misunderstood Him and ran like scared rabbits.  The two men on the road to Emmaus were not looking for a divine Savior who would rise from the dead; they were looking for a savior from Roman rule, most likely, and these were people who were supposedly His followers.  Christ then shows them from the OT how it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer, die, and be raised three days later.  Without His illumination on the matter, these men never would have seen this, and this is the important part.  The dramatically increased role that resurrection of the dead (and, thus, eternal salvation) plays in Christianity is due, not to a couple of later centuries of Neoplatonist philosophy, but to the concrete reality of a flesh-and-blood Man Who had shown Himself to be the Firstfruits of those in the graves and had promised those who follow Him the same destiny.

So I think you could say that, no, the Israelites prior to the Advent of Christ had no idea what the Messiah would actually accomplish.  They certainly had no one, pervasive idea within their religious identity that would lead them to anticipate liberation from mortality and being clothed with immortality.  However, this was the idea that would be put forth incessantly by the Apostles after Pentecost--so much so that some pagans thought that these Christians were preaching about a new goddess named Αναστασια.  The Holy Spirit came and "brought all things to their rememberance," took away their veils, and allowed them to see the entire landscape of the OT solely in the light of the crucified and risen Lord -- something which they never would have seen apart from illuminating faith in Christ.

I think the same could be said today; lots of people need to be saved who weren't looking for salvation.  Not even having the "inside track," so to speak, is a guarantee of having an accurate anticipation of what's to come.  Hindsight in this case is 20/20, but only if you use the right lens.
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« Reply #27 on: December 02, 2008, 01:40:10 PM »

So Christ came as the savior for a bunch of people who had no idea they needed to be saved?

That is essentially the situation portrayed in the gospels. The Jews expected a prophecied Messiah. Then, as now, there were multiple interpretations as to what the purpose of this Messiah would be (see for example Acts 1:6, when even after the Resurrection the Apostles asked "Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?" - believing the 'restoration of the kingdom' to be a temporal activity relating to the political entity Israel.)

Large sections of Christ's teachings as well as a book like the Epistle to the Hebrews are devoted to explaining how the Jews were misunderstanding the overall work of God in History (the purposes of the Old Testament, the Chosen People, and the Messiah).


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« Reply #28 on: December 03, 2008, 01:07:28 PM »

Welcome, Witega!
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