"Son of Man" As Jesus From IDQ Deficiencies

While acknowledging that Jesus' usage of the term "son of man" has no consensus, this article shows how the term "son of man" was historically used to refer to mankind or Humans as a category, was never generally considered by the Jewish community to be a descriptive phrase for the Messiah, and therefore seems to be used incorrectly either by Jesus, by the authors and/or translators of the gospels as something like a personal pronoun for Jesus. In any case, presuming the Bible is the Word of God, the term still maps to two real world states fulfilling the criteria for Ambiguous Representation which is an Information and Data Quality (IDQ) design flaw.

This Article is part six of the series of articles applying Information and Data Quality (IDQ) Principles to the Bible. The purpose of the series is to show that the Bible is not a reliable or trustworthy source of information about God because it has problems identified in Information and Data Quality research as causing inaccuracy and unreliability. Links to the previous articles are listed below.

1. How Accurate is the Bible?
2. Applying Data and Information Quality Principles To The Bible
3. Applying IDQ Principles of Research To The Bible
4. Overview of IDQ Deficiencies Which Are Evident In Scripture
5. Jesus As God From IDQ Design Deficincies

A brief review of Ambiguous Representation and Mapping to a Meaningless State(1) follows.

Ambiguous representation
While it is permissible to use to a multiple datum to represent one real world state, it is not permissible to use one datum to represent two real world states. If multiple Real World states are represented by one datum there is not enough information with which to accurately represent either Real World state. This situation is called "Ambiguity". It is similar to incomplete representation because it can be considered an instance of missing information, even though one datum could incompletely represent two instances of a Real World state because it is not specific enough. It is analogous to using the term "she" in a conversation when discussing an event concerning multiple women. By not specifying which "she" is being referenced, the details of the event become unclear because the "she" being referred to is ambiguous.

Figure 1 illustrates this point by showing three instances of data represented by spheres in the column labeled RW (Real World) and two instances of Data in the D column. One instance of a Real World state is not represented by the Data in column D but instead, two instances of Real World states are represented by one instance of an information state.

Figure 1


Operation Deficiencies - Garbling: Map to a wrong state
In human terms, garbling occurs at the point of "consumption" or reading and interpretation. In Information Systems, it occurs at operation time or when the database is being accessed. Garbling occurs when a Real World state is incorrectly mapped to a wrong state in the Information System. Figure 2 illustrates this phenomena by showing two instances of data represented by spheres in the column labeled RW (Real World) and three instances of Data in the D column. One instance of an information state is not represented by or does not map back to a real world state and a Real World state in incorrectly interpreted as being represented by a valid however incorrect or unintended information state.

Figure 2


The son of man
In Hebrew, son of man can be used, generally speaking, as the word "Human". It originated in ancient Mesopotamia and was used to denote humanity or mankind in general especially when distinguishing between mankind and God (2, 3). In the Old Testament, "son of man" was used as the word "Human" would be used today. When the word "Human" is used to replace the phrase "son of man" in the Old Testament, the context retains its meaning. A list of instances where "son of man" appears in the Old Testament follows.

Old Testament instances
Numbers
-23:19
Job
- 16:18-21
- 25
- 35:6-8
Psalms
- 8
- 80
- 144
- 146
Isaiah
- 51:11-13
- 56:1-2
Ezekiel
- 2:1 - 47:6, used 97 times
Daniel
- 7:13-14
- 8:16-18

In Numbers, "son of man" is used to contrast God with Humanity showing how he is different using the example that he is above lying or repentance.

Numbers 23:19
God is not a man, that he should lie, Nor a son of man, that he should repent: Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not make it good?

In Ezekiel, the author is addressed as "son of man" in the context of addressing him by his type of being, emphasizing the difference between the author and God.

Ezekiel 2:1-10
1 He said to me, son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak with you.
2 The Spirit entered into me when he spoke to me, and set me on my feet; and I heard him who spoke to me.
3 He said to me, son of man, I send you to the children of Israel, to nations that are rebellious, which have rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me even to this very day.
.....

When the Book of Daniel was written the term turned up in chapter 7 verse 13. This instance of usage is believed by some to be a reference to the Messiah, and still it is consistent with the historical and cultural usage of the term. It is a reference to a being "like a son of man" which is believed, in Judaism and depending on the interpretation, to be either an Angel or a representation of the Messiah as a Human being. In either case though, it clearly is metaphorical and is not necessarily a reference to one single person that will get dominion forever because further on in verses 18 and 27, the text clearly states that "the Saints" and "the people of the Saints" (Plural) will have dominion. This is interpreted by some to mean the people of Israel will have everlasting dominion and that the human figure was representing a group.

Below are the relevant verses from Daniel discussing the "being like a son of man" and the plurality of who are going to get Dominion. I highly recommend that the reader look up the whole passage and read it in its entirety, in context. "Ancient of Days" is accepted as a reference to God in one of his constantly changing mystical anthropomorphic states.

Daniel 7:13-8:17
13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, there came with the clouds of heaven one like unto a son of man, and he came even to the Ancient of days, and he was brought near before Him.
14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
...
18 But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.'
...
22 until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High; and the time came, and the saints possessed the kingdom.
...
27 And the kingdom and the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; their kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey them.'

Daniel 8:17
17 So he came near to where I was standing, and when he came I was frightened and fell on my face; but he said to me, "son of man, understand that the vision pertains to the time of the end."

There is consistent usage of the term "son of man" within Daniel 7 and 8, and its usage denotes a type of Human being. In verse 8, the author is referred to as "son of man". While most Jews don't seem to generally consider 7:13 a Messianic prophesy, some do, however they do not consider "son of man" a specific title for the Messiah as Christians do or as the authors of the Gospels had Jesus use it. Most Jewish Scholars don't think it likely that Jesus would have used the Aramaic term in that way because in Aramaic it never had that meaning(3). In other words, it never mapped to the Messiah as a Real World state, it only ever mapped to the category of Human.

And though it is written that Jesus used the term to describe himself, it is not clear that he considered himself God or the Messiah. For example, in Mark 8:27-31, and John 7:26-31, Jesus has the opportunity to say clearly and unequivocally that he is the Messiah, the Christ and God on Earth, but he doesn't. Numbers 23:19 says that God is not a man that he should lie, nor like a son of man that he should repent. There is a distinction between humans and God, one characteristic of that distinction is that he would not lie. A lie is hard to define so its hard to defend a claim that Jesus was lying, however, a lie does fall into the category of deception so if nothing else, Jesus was deceptive, which is considered to be a characteristic of Satan and Humans but not of God.


Numbers 23:19
God is not a man, that he should lie, Nor a son of man, that he should repent: Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not make it good?

Here the gospels have Jesus using the term "son of man" incorrectly and using a deceptive rhetorical persuasion technique just as Numbers said God wouldn't. Here he uses the bandwagon fallacy because who the people say he is is not relevant to who he really is, and he uses an improper appeal to authority because since the disciples have never seen a God on earth, and since they have not attempted to distinguish between Jesus and a Con Man, they are not qualified to assess. Jesus uses a rhetorical persuasion technique where he gets the "mark" to verbalize a commitment which increases the likelihood that they will defend the commitment even against disconfirming evidence and then he told them not to tell anyone which insulates them from having to defend their commitment because it decreases the amount of instances where a defense will be needed.

Mark 8:27 - 31
27 Jesus went out, along with His disciples, to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way He questioned His disciples, saying to them, "Who do people say that I am?"
28 They told Him, saying, "John the Baptist; and others say Elijah; but others, one of the prophets."
29 And He continued by questioning them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered and said to Him, "You are the Christ."
30 And He warned them to tell no one about Him.
31 And He began to teach them that the son of man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

According to the Authors of the Gospels, when Jesus starting using the phrase "son of man", he was using it as personal pronoun to describe himself. If anyone who heard Jesus use this term in this way challenged it or asked for clarification, it is not recorded. There is no explanation of why Jesus changed the meaning of this phrase, presuming he had the authority to do so. But presuming he had the authority to do it, a sound general principle is that "if something can be done, doesn't mean it should be done". To maintain coherence over time and to explain to knowledgeable Jews who would not be able to have contact with Jesus, an explanation of the new use of the word was warranted. As it stands now it looks like Jesus didn't understand what the term meant or he was intentionally using it in an ambiguous way or that the authors and or translators of the Gospels didn't understand how the term should be used which is one reason why there is no consensus on Jesus' usage of it to this day.

Since Jesus was supposed to be God, then the Old Testament was Jesus' Word, and he used the phrase "son of man" in the Old Testament in the traditional way and he validated the authority of the Old Testament as the Word of God by using it as a reference for his teaching (5), he is not likely to have used the phrase "son of man" in that way because it is a new mapping to a real world state creating ambiguity.

It looks like the the phrase "son of man" was misunderstood by Jesus or the original authors (or translators) of Gospel resulting in a mapping to a wrong state, or a meaningless state depending on the perspective of the critic. In any case, if Jesus was god, then referring to himself using a term which he re-defined but did not explain is deliberately ambiguous and confusing. Since it is irrational for a teacher to teach and communicate to her students using ambiguous terms and deception, it follows that it would be irrational for God to do so as well, therefore the ambiguous use of the term "son of man" was an IDQ design deficiency of Ambiguous Representation in the origin of the text.

References and Further Reading
1. Anchoring Data Quality Dimensions in Ontological Foundations
2. Wikipedia, son of man
3. JewishEncyclopedia, son of man
4. Mechon Mamre
5. How Accurate is the Bible?

41 comments:

Lvka said...

Daniel and the First Enoch are the first Jewish Apocalypses. You've already covered Daniel, so You might want to try the other one as well:

www.marquette.edu/maqom/

And a bit of knowledge of the Talmud wouldn't be so useless either:

R. Abbahu: "If a man say, 'I am God,' he lieth; and if he say, 'I am the son of man,' he will have to repent; and if he say, 'I shall go up to heaven,' he will not do it, nor achieve what he promises" (Yerushalmi Talmud, Tract Taanith, ii.65b).

Lee Randolph said...

Thank you Lvka,
I appreciate the contribution.
I'll look those up.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Thanks Lee, you do preform much research, so i know you're thinking things through...

Let me submit this to begin with on the "son of man" issue...Jesus often spoke in parables otherwise, and you can identify many parables in the gospel discourses...why would he change speed and speak any less distinctly in revealing himself within the culture of the 1st half of 1st century AD?

I've got more but I'd like to get your opinion on that first.

Thanks

Lee Randolph said...

Hi harvey

Jesus often spoke in parables otherwise, and you can identify many parables in the gospel discourses
- the hidden presumption is that equivocation of a phrase is like a parable.
> its not. Some people say that he used parables because the aramaic language wasn't robust enough to handle the concepts or the people weren't educated enough to handle the concepts. The term messiah, and christ, and the concept of a god in a human form pre-existed and he could have used them. When he said "who do you say I am?" he would have been more straightforward to have said "I am the messiah, the christ, god in a human form. Do you believe that?".

When I go to professional meetings, I introduce myself using my name and what role I have in the organization, and what role I will play in the process.

I don't go to meetings and say, "Hi there, my name is Lee, what role do you think I play in this organization?......Oh, good guess. Now, don't tell anyone."

why would he change speed and speak any less distinctly in revealing himself within the culture of the 1st half of 1st century AD?
hmmm, lets look at the underlying reasoning scheme you are using.
- it depends on the fact that jesus has used parables to get his point across before
- it depends on his usage of "son of man" to be similar to parables
- so the inference is that jesus would follow his pattern of behavior unchanged
- his pattern of behavior is based on the precedent that he set by using parables and metaphor to explain concepts.

So the reasoning scheme is "reasoning from precedent" or "inference from precedent, or experience".

Now ignoring that equivocation is not like a parable, but using reasoning from precedent,
- there were many instances of gods in human form, they were all found to be mythical.
- there were many instances of writings detailing those gods, but they were all found to be folklore
- there were many instances of dying and rising gods but they were all found to be mythical
- there were many instances of Human virgin births, but they were all found to be mythical

therefore using your reasoning scheme

Why would we change speed and think that this instance of god on earth is any different?

The Bible?

We have to stop the show and investigate if the bible qualifies as evidence to tell us anything about god.
But as I have shown in my previous articles,
- it doesn't qualify as an authoritative source using principles of research,
- and it has Information and Data Quality design flaws that we know empirically produce inaccurate results.

Therefore, you can't rationally say that it gives you any knowledge about God at all.

Jason said...

Lee,

I would agree the term "son of man" being applied to Jesus doesn't indicate he was the Messiah, however I'm sure you'd admit this wasn't the only term used to describe him. "Christ", "lamb of God", "son of God", king of the Jews", etc. were also frequently employed.

Having said that, I do understand what you're trying to get at here but your view seems a bit shortsighted and quite biased. I don't see any evidence suggesting Jesus used the term "son of man" specifically to describe himself as the Messiah. As you've already pointed out, the phrase is used to "denote humanity or self in a humble manner" so I'm not sure why you don't think Jesus, or the Gospel writers, were using it in this way.

Notwithstanding, the people who did believe Jesus was the Messiah did so not because of the titles he used and were given to him, but because of the things he did (the centurion at the cross, the Samaritan woman, the lame man, etc.).

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Jason,
"Christ", "lamb of God", "son of God", king of the Jews", etc. were also frequently employed.
Thats irrelevant. We're talking about "son of man" representing two distinct ideas as a design flaw in the bible.

As you've already pointed out, the phrase is used to "denote humanity or self in a humble manner" so I'm not sure why you don't think Jesus, or the Gospel writers, were using it in this way.
Jesus was using it to describe himself, regardless of whether it was a euphemism for messiah or not.

The messiah part of it is not relevant.

son of man = Human or Mankind
son of man = jesus referring to himself.

"31 And He began to teach them that the [HUMAN or MANKIND] must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again."

see it just doesn't work, it does not make sense.

and you know this isn't the only instance across three of the gospels.

Notwithstanding, the people who did believe Jesus was the Messiah did so not because of the titles he used and were given to him, but because of the things he did (the centurion at the cross, the Samaritan woman, the lame man, etc.).
this is not relevant either and it begs the question because the accuracy of the bible is exactly what is in question.

Jason said...

Hi Lee,

Jesus was using it to describe himself, regardless of whether it was a euphemism for messiah or not.

Yes, and I agree with this. As the definition you provided states, the term is used to denote humbleness. Christ is merely describing his humanity.

see it just doesn't work, it does not make sense.

You said Jesus used the term to describe himself. So here he's simply saying he would suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, etc. What doesn't make sense?

this is not relevant either and it begs the question because the accuracy of the bible is exactly what is in question.

It is relevant because people obviously considered Jesus to be the Messiah irrespective of whether or not he used the term "son of man". Nonetheless, you have yet to show that Jesus and the Gospel writers considered "son of man" to be synonymous with "Messiah", which, according to one of the definitions you provided, it isn't. My question therefore is why you're assuming Christ was using "son of man" in a way other then how it was intended to be used.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Jason,
as usual, your reading comprehension is terrible.

Nonetheless, you have yet to show that Jesus and the Gospel writers considered "son of man" to be synonymous with "Messiah", which, according to one of the definitions you provided, it isn't.
this is not the claim at all. It is a side issue that I'm not interested in because it is a matter of interpretation and this article is not about whether or not "son of man" refers to "the messiah" it is about an unreconciled change in usage of "son of man" by Jesus creating ambiguity. Going back to Harveys reasoning scheme, if Jesus was God and God used the term as we would use the term "human" and the cultural usage has always been as a reference to human beings as a category or mankind, then why would he suddenly change the way he used it just because he was in human form?

whether you accept it or not, it demonstrably introduces confusion and ambiguity, the incidence of ambiguous usage can be demonstrated, and the resultant controversy is very well documented.

If you've got it figured out out and it means that Jesus was expressing his humility, then you should write a book defending it and introduce it to your peers for consideration with the rest of them. I'm sure that the world will appreciate a resolution to this puzzle.

Now, I will just be content to agree to disagree with you and wish you well.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Jason, or anyone that takes Jasons path in the discussion.
hopefully the link will come through, but here is a link to Biblegateway.com (which I highly recommend) showing all the instances of "son of man" in the bible. They can be read one after the other, so that it can be easily seen how inappropriate Jesus' usage was compared to how he used it as God in the Old Testament.
BibleGateway.com, "son of man"

Jason said...

Lee,

I don't think you're understanding what I'm asking. Allow me to try again: Where is the evidence there was an unreconciled change in the usage of "son of man" by Jesus? You've already established the fact that most Jews "do not consider "son of man" a specific title for the Messiah" and that "most Jewish Scholars don't think it likely that Jesus would have used the Aramaic term in that way because in Aramaic it never had that meaning." Makes perfect sense. Jews don't think Jesus used the term "son of man" to show people he was the Messiah. I agree.

If you've got it figured out out and it means that Jesus was expressing his humility, then you should write a book defending it and introduce it to your peers for consideration with the rest of them. I'm sure that the world will appreciate a resolution to this puzzle.

What puzzle? You first provided a link showing the term was a description of humility, then you showed us "most Jewish scholars" agree because in Aramaic it never meant "Messiah". The puzzle is why you're assuming Jesus/writers/translators used this term to denote something other then what the meaning allows for...?

I know of no Christian religion that believes the term "son of man" is synonymous with "Messiah". Do you? E.g. "The early Fathers were of the opinion that the expression [son of man] was used out of humility and to show Christ's human nature..." (Catholic Encyclopedia) Maybe they should write a book...

BobCMU76 said...

Lee... I've not scrolled down yet to read how you might have responded in "Jesus in God" to my continued invitation to discuss the self-referential Gambler's God.

I see in the discussion here, as elsehere, your fetish for rationalism. Perhaps your hypothetical teacher uses ambiguity or the outlandish to draw students outside the constraints of the rational.

Let me try to summarize your point before addressing it. You say that the textual tradition of the Old Testament speaks (in English translation) of "son of man" as an attribute of a class, not a title of a specific prophetically proposed individual.

Now we are told by the Gospels that Jesus was not altogether shy about self-proclamation, from the repeated (reputed) "I AM" discourses in the fourth Gospel, to the first declaration of his prophetic role in Capaerneum, which opens the synoptic gospels.

One gets a sense, reading the Gospels, all 4 of the canonical ones, and perhaps several of the discarded ones, that Jesus initially came right out with it. "I AM HE OF WHOM THE PROPHET SPEAKS". But then he starts hiding that from the public at large and sharing it with his retinue. One can read between the lines what that's all about.

So, a passage of the Bible describes this vague public perception that Jesus is a man of destiny, a prophetic figure (like many assumed Geroge Bush to be). And "Son of Man" is reportedly what he named himself, with reference to prophetic (I ought say apocalyptic, as Ehrman makes the distinction, see the video posted here a week or so ago). tradition.

I bring up a couple points. Lvka directed you to some intertestamental non-canonical writing. Since the canon theoretically ended about 400 years before Jesus taught, and Numbers was written up to 1200 years prior, I see terminology introduced by Chaucer and Shakepeare differing from how it's employed by Stephen King and Isaac Azimov. No scandal there.

I have an idiosyncratic understanding of "son of man" as "that which man becomes" -- as a condition of transcendence over our heritage -- of the new man, the new atheist, Web 2.0, and all those other indications that we've grown up. I doubt it's all that idiosyncratic. But is it Biblical?

How Jesus used the term must be understood in the vernacular, though, not in the context of literature that was ancient even in his day. And that vernacular is probably best seen in the Qumran and other 1st century BCE literature, the embryonic Talmud of Jesus' time, and the apocryphal scriptures (the intertestamental writings included in the Catholic canon).

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Bob,
I still don't get this 'gamblers god" thing.
can you define it for me in simple terms please?

Lee Randolph said...

So its now and ever has been normal for people to refer to themselves in the third person using a term that normally was used for a class or group?

Is it not ambiguous?

the human will take on face value that you are right about Stephen king and isaac asimov using chaucers terms, but they weren't chaucer and they evidently understood the original meaning, or made a choice to use a modified meaning, in any case it wasn't modified by chaucer was it?

If chaucer was timeless and unchanging wouldn't he continue to use the term as it was understood? And is it normal that he would talk about himself in the third person?

and why didn't Jesus use it consistently if he used it all? He must have known it was ambiguous because its reported that he stood in front of his accusers and said
"Who do you say that I am?"
not
"Who do you say the son of man is?"
and in the example it may not have been Jesus using "the son of man" in that way at all but the narrator/author of the text. However, he is recorded as using it interchangeable to refer to himself throughout the other gospels.

and you, like Jason, seem to be certain that there is some agreement among christians on Jesus use of the term. Go look around, there isn't . This isn't an atheist vs christian debate this is christian on christian.

so regardless of where you or Jason come sit on the issue, it is not resolved.

Show me where an aramaic scholar says that it was commonly used as Jesus used it. And then show me the consensus. You can't because there is no consensus, exactly because it was used incorrectly. Even Jason keeps demanding that son of man was not a term used for the messiah.
Jason: I know of no Christian religion that believes the term "son of man" is synonymous with "Messiah".
the human thinks he was wrong, the human thinks a small percentage of jews considered that term to refer to the messiah, even today.

it is an add ambiguous use of the term, and it was a poor design via divine revelation that we have many ambiguous instances of data of which this is one.

in case you are confused, I used the phrase "the human" above in place of "I". Looks stupid doesn't it?

I invite you and Jason to go around tomorrow referring to yourself in the third person and see what happens.

Lee Randolph said...

another thing,
since when are non-canonical texts qualified to be used to support christian arguments?
If they are qualified to be used to support christian arguments, then they are qualified to be used to refute them.

Their potential to refute is exactly why some were canonized in the first place.

BobCMU76 said...

You really are adept in clarifying a point, Lee. The human could learn a few things.

There are contexts in which THIS human refers to itself as such. Contexts in which subject/object relations are purposely violated. But never THE human. Point well made.

You say -- Jesus introduced a novel meaning to "Son of Man." within the closed system of the Biblical canon. And this means....

This could mean many things. And you would have it mean one thing and only one thing. And the one thing that makes the most sense is that Jesus didn't know his Bible, so he can't be who we claim him to be. The thing that makes sense to me is that it was indeed a novelty, because the Biblical canon is not a closed system, and novelty is permitted.

Now this discussion seems to have turned to "How dare you say the Bible is not a closed system?" and that is not your argument to make. And I'm not here to defend your straw men from your slings and arrows. Talk to someone who insists that the Bible is a closed system. They abound, but they're even harder to draw into fruitful discourse than me.

Jason said...

Lee said: Show me where an aramaic scholar says that it was commonly used as Jesus used it.

We've already been through this. You think Jesus used the term to tell people he was the Messiah (instead of using it to describe his humanity as the accepted definition goes) but you haven't actually shown anything that supports this. Where's your evidence? Why isn't Jesus simply using the term to "denote humanity or self in a humble manner"?

the human thinks he was wrong, the human thinks a small percentage of jews considered that term to refer to the messiah, even today.

My question was which Christian religions argue the term "son of man" was used by Christ to tell the people he was the Messiah? Can you answer that?

AdamKadmon said...

Actually, the first mention of Christ is Genesis 3:15 where it speaks of "brusing the serpent in the head, and bruising the 'son of the woman' in the heel" speaking of the imprisonment of many of the fallen angels and the death of Christ. But, then Christ always said, "his Kingdom is NOT of this Earth." Also, its only considered a 'bruise' since he does only die for 3 days and not forever or dying until the resurrection.

AdamKadmon said...

Also, the Bible doesn't say "Jesus spoke OFTEN in Parables," it says "Jesus spoke ONLY in Parables." (Matthew 13:34)

AdamKadmon said...

First off (and I apologize for the separate posts, it won't happen again!) Christ (meaning Messiah or Anointed One) NEVER thought of himself as semi-divine. He thought of himself as A MAN. In fact, he didn't even KNOW of his pre-existance until he was baptized at the age of what? Thirty or so? So, no, Christ was a humble person who didn't think he was a God/man, he simply tought of himself as a man. Its others who attribute the divinity/god to him, not him. Jesus always said, over and over, God is greater THAN I AM, and pray to the Father (not him.) In fact, in his own words, the night before he died, he taught an example prayer, leading with "HALLOWED BE THY NAME" which was/is Yahweh or Jehovah, NOT LORD. Lord is a Title, not a name, just as God is a title, not a name. So, Christ was saying, don't pray to me, but to our Father, Yahweh/Jehovah. However, you can only go to the father THROUGH ME. Meaning, as the Lamb of God, the intercessor, even though I am not his equal, I am important in the heirarchy of Heaven.

And one of the reasons he's denoted as the "Lamb of God" is the fact that he died on Nisan 14 of the Jewish Calendar (or in our terms, "the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox (Feb. 22)) So, the fact that he died on Nisan 14 (a.k.a. PASSOVER) shows that every year the Jews would kill a "perfect Lamb" and spread the blood over the door frame to symbolize the time in history when they were slaves to the Egyptians and the Angel of Death "passed over" those with their doors marked. They were to do this until the Lamb of God came, releasing them. Christ, as that Lamb was to be the "last perfect Lamb slaughtered whose blood would be for eternity" so that after his death, no more animal sacrifices would be needed for the yearly sacrifice on behalf of the people for their sins. When Jesus died, he took the place of that Lamb, "once and for all times."

Great site, love it!

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Lee,

As I stated I've been watching this post to see if you would put any correct information on the page and as I expected I haven't seen it.

Maybe you overlooke d ahighly critical point to the subject matter and I'll introduce some research from a friend of mine to hopefully enlighten you.

There seems to be 2 things on the line: did the Jews use this prase as referring to the developing concept of the "Messiah" and did they also refer to the messiah as being divine in particular?

Jesus used the quote "Son Of Man" when referring to himself almost exclusively with 2 exceptions. 1- his questioners quote Jesus words (John 12:34) and 2- Stephen when being stoned sees heaven opened and the "son Of Man" standing at the right hand of God) Acts 7:56 H. Stevenson in "Titles Of The Triune God" Westwood, NJ. Fleming H. Revell 1956 pg.120 said "...it is clearly a messianic title as the Jews recognized."

Why,

The title Jesus referred to was derrived from the distinctly messianic phrase in Daniel 7:13-14. Unlike the prases used elsewhere , "Son Of Man" in Daniel (and Ps. 144:3) was "bar enash" which was a derivative of ancient Babylonian, and not the usual "bar 'adam" .

Herein is the key to overturning your assertion:

"What is the significance of this difference? The combination bar enash and its parallels in Old Babylonian carry the meaning of an heir or successor to royalty, or of a free man of the highest class. A "man" here is not just any man, but as we might say, "THE MAN" as in royalty. Herzfeld notes an example of this usage in the Code of Hammurabi." ~ courtesy (My friend)J.P. Holding and Tekton Apologetic Ministries.

Did the Jews understand that prase to be indicitive of messianic promise...ABSOLUTELY and without question.

Further, Jesus spoke of himself as being seated at the "Right Hand Of God". Later Stephen denotes deity when he exclaims that the "Son Of Man" was "Standing" at the "Right Hand of God" these terms indicated power, authority, majesty and splendor.

To say that Jesus DIDN'T know the implications of his teachings regarding himself begs the questions of why others in his immediate vicinity, both friend and foe, did.

Therefore we have a non achronistic title which meets the criterion of multiple attestation, and at a minimum is confirmed to be something Jesus said of himself and that others understood him to say and teach.

We have instance that the "enemy" acknowledged Jesus use of this title toward himself, and we have refrence that the followers of Jesus understood the implications of this title and accredited and associated deity to the phrase and ultimately to Jesus.

We have instance of the specific use the the word "bar enash" being used extrabiblically to indicate royalty, and the ultimate successor to royalty all which are various applications and uses of the term that Jesus indicated of himslef.

I haven't dealt with the development of the "Son Of" terms within the Jewish Targums that clearly give messianic substance to OT refrences that develop messiahship from Abraham, Issac and Jacob or the FATHER'S of Israel.

In essence if you were looking to debunk anything regarding deity and Jesus claims to deity through use of the "son Of Man" title...you failed your mission...NEXT!

By the way,

AdamKadmon ~ Mt. 13:34 says Jesus spoke to the "multitude" in parables, as a part of his didasko type of discourse. This does not indicate that he only spoke in parables, that's a silly notion. A parable came with the preaching. Preachers often speak using such analogous phrases. That's not unusual. It was the type of phrases that he used that were so significant in his case.

Later Lee.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Harvey,
I might have to take this in pieces due to time constraints.

did the Jews use this prase as referring to the developing concept of the "Messiah"
the online Jewish Encyclopedia saysthat "Among Jews the term "son of man" was not used as the specific title of the Messiah.

I'll take a jews word on that over a christian any day.

and did they also refer to the messiah as being divine in particular?
No, and here's some jewish material telling why.
Rabbi Simmons, "Jesus as the Messiah"
About.com, "Jewish View of Jesus"
The Anti-Missionary Gateway
The short answer, is "NO" the Jews did not the think the messiah would have any divinity about him.

Who Knows Christianity better than an expert on christianity? Harvey, I presume you are an expert on Christianity.

Who Knows Judaism better than an expert on Judaism? I presume Jewish Rabbis are experts on Judaism.

You guys seem NOT to grasp the logic in defending criticism of the Bible.
When someone doesn't trust something and is pointing out flaws in it, using the "something" under criticism to refute the criticism gets you nowhere.

Here's the logic explained by example.
If Bobby pushes Muhammad off the slide, and then we go ask Bobby if he did it, then we can expect Bobby to say that he did not because it is in his interest not to. When Bobby says no, then not only has he confirmed our predictions, but we would be negligent not to find some external corroborating evidence.

Bobby's testimony is what is in question, therefore using Bobbys testimony to support his claim is circular and irrational.

The title Jesus referred to was derrived from the distinctly messianic phrase in Daniel 7:13-14.
Is that the only place harvey? are you sure?
in any case, you seem to think your argument is a sealed deal, like Jason and Bob, but it demonstrably is not, and you'd all seem more rational if you at least admit it rather than trying to hide the controversy.

It also appeared in the book of Enoch, but if you want to start pulling non-canonical writing into the mix, then you are going to lose ground, because my claim above all is that the christian cannot gain knowledge about god from the christian scriptures because they are too ambiguous and open to multiple interpretations. The best you can do is believe with evidence not required.

But enough rhetoric, i'm sorry, lets look at the evidence
"13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, there came with the clouds of heaven one like unto a son of man, and he came even to the Ancient of days, and he was brought near before Him."
see like unto means he was similar to, he looked like, he seemed like, etc

now lets replace "son of man" with its traditional meaning of "HUMAN" or "mankind"
"13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, there came with the clouds of heaven one like unto a [HUMAN] and he came even to the Ancient of days, and he was brought near before Him."

and not only is it *like* a human, and interpreted historically by the Jews as being an angel, the whole passage is metaphorical, therefore, INHERENTLY AMBIGUOUS, and then there is an explanation of it CONTAINED IN THE TEXT WHERE THIS PASSAGE IS FOUND. Thats why I wanted the reader to go read the text in its entirety because you christians leave out the parts that self-refute.

the one like the son of man is likely to have been gabriel, since god tells gabriel to interpret for the other son of man laying on the ground
"15 When I, Daniel, had seen the vision, I sought to understand it; and behold, standing before me was one who looked like a man.

16 And I heard the voice of a man between the banks of Ulai, and he called out and said, "Gabriel, give this man an understanding of the vision."

17 So he came near to where I was standing, and when he came I was frightened and fell on my face; but he said to me, "Son of man, understand that the vision pertains to the time of the end."

18 Now while he was talking with me, I sank into a deep sleep with my face to the ground; but he touched me and made me stand upright.

19 He said, "Behold, I am going to let you know what will occur at the final period of the indignation, for it pertains to the appointed time of the end."

now granted, the one like a son of man, may not be Gabriel is not clear from the text which is another example of the IDQ DESIGN DEFICIENCY of ambiguity.

focus on how the son of man is used here, it is used to identify the class of being, a descriptive term to differentiate it from God. It is used like the word HUMAN consistently throughout the passage. And you don't need any hoity toity scholars to see that, especially those of the caliber of [burst of angel chorus] *JP HOLDING*.

and there's more, the interpretation is just as metaphorical as the other one demonstrating really crappy communication skills.

21"The shaggy goat represents the kingdom of Greece, and the large horn that is between his eyes is the first king.

22"The broken horn and the four horns that arose in its place represent four kingdoms which will arise from his nation, although not with his power.


And then to top it off, do you want to tell me that there is ever going to be a "king of Greece" that will participate in the "apocalypse"? Is greece going to become globally influential enough to pull something like that off? PUHLEEZE!

But they sure were when Daniel was written, so if it is a prophecy about the end times like it says it is, the end times have come and gone.

26 "The vision of the evenings and mornings
Which has been told is true;
But keep the vision secret,
For it pertains to many days in the future."


the end times have come and gone more than once if you want to consider Matthew 16:28
"Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”

And thank you for helping to prove my point about ambiguity in the bible as a design flaw by pointing out how silly AdamKadmon's interpretation was. We all know there there are other True Christians that regard your interpretation as silly as well.

With all of you refuting each other, because of ambiguous scriptures how do any of you KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT YOUR GOD?

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Lee~ Who Knows Judaism better than an expert on Judaism? I presume Jewish Rabbis are experts on Judaism.

[Lee, I can offer any number of Jewish Scholars that believe that Jesus fulfilled messianic prophecy and that the messianic prophecy referenced a divine messiah. For instance Jews For Jesusnot only makes a powerful argument demonstrating that Jesus as Messiah but also address the progression in messianic thought over the divine nature of the messiah . So if gaining sources proves anything we can do that.

So far as grasping logic, you seem to overlook the substance of my arguments and go on to make several more illogical conclusions. To recap my argument:

1- “bar enesh” as opposed to “bar ‘adam” was used to refer to the Messiah in Daniel.
2- The use of “bar enesh” is consistent with how Jews thought of the Messiah. This is partially confirmed according to the Jewish Targums (Pre and Post Christian paraphrases of Hebrew Scriptures discovered in 500AD) especially as it pertained to the interpretation of the “Son Of God” (Ps. 2, I Chron. 17:11-14, and 2 Sam. 7:12-16), “Seed Of Abraham” (Gen. 12:2-3 and 22:18), “Son Of Isaac” (Gen. 22:12) "Son Of Jacob" (Num. 24:17) and family of Jesse (Is. 11:1). In Targum Jonathan Gen. 35:11 and Targum Onkelos Num. 24:17 Messianic thought is given a import within those paraphrased texts and further defines Jesus thought of being equal with royalty or covenant makers not mere mortal men.
3- There is a divine connection within messianic teachings that developed and as was ultimately rendered by Jesus himself as he stood before the Sanhedrin after he was apprehended what were the 2 questions he was asked?:
a- "Tell us if you are the Christ," he was prodded. " Even a minority of the rabbis accepted his claim to be messiah. There was no debate over this statement of Jesus response.
b- [Tell us if you are] the Son of God." This was the problem. Jesus exclaimed that he was really the Son of God. How?
c- Jesus responded with Daniel 7:13, applying it to himself: "But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man” (bar enesh) sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven." This phrase was an idiomatic Jewish expression that identified DEITY not a mere mortal man. To “sit on the Right hand” in the “clouds with God" was a statement of deity. as was confimed by Luke as being Stephen's testimony.
If Jesus was so ambigious to the hearers there would have been no reason to have Jesus crucified according to their understanding of the Law.

Your arguments to the contrary regarding this and for Gabriel being referred to as “bar enesh” is highly unconvincing and the play on words are inconsistent with scholarship and views of how words and phrases were used in Judaism.]



Lee~ And then to top it off, do you want to tell me that there is ever going to be a "king of Greece" that will participate in the "apocalypse"? Is greece going to become globally influential enough to pull something like that off? PUHLEEZE!

[So far as Greece is concerned, if you are aware of the attributes of apocalyptic literature then you would know the metaphorical sense in which Greece was used. That’s a totally different subject, and as I advised you before, restrict yourself to losing only ONE argument at a time as you have lost this one.

Ambiguity only exists in the minds of them who do not read in context and who do not seek the deeper meaning of why Jesus was crucified based on his answers to the Sanhedrian. So in short Lee, The NT scripture is clear about it’s useages of the “Son of Man” and Jesus’s references toward himself were clearly understood by them that heard it, so much so until they thought he should die because of it.]


Later Lee!

David said...

Great article, it is indeed a clear contradiction.

Lee Randolph said...

HI Harvey,
This article was never intended to PROVE anything about the son of man. I borrowed a play from the book of the ID group. I'm teaching the controversy. The delicious irony is that I have the truth on my side.
;-)
So I'm going to take it one step beyond now, and I'm going to use some "coulda, shoulda, woulda's" but they are based on sound principles demonstrable in the Real World regardless of what LEE wants (cause I know you're going to go there!).

Lee, I can offer any number of Jewish Scholars that believe that Jesus fulfilled messianic prophecy and that the messianic prophecy referenced a divine messiah.
is it a consensus? or are they some odd offshoot of christians that trying to make it look like Some Jews have come to their senses? Speculation on my part but it fits.

No, its not a consensus of experts, not even close.

Harvey, asserting that I've lost this argument is absurd, surely you can see that. If I were arguing the contrary position of a resolved issue, then you'd have every right to say I've lost.

be reasonable.

I'm not going to debate this topic that smarter people than you and I have debated for over a century and have not resolved. I'm done. I have accomplished what I set out to do. I have so far DEMONSTRATED TWO RECURRENT DESIGN FLAWS IN THE DIVINELY REVEALED WORD OF GOD.
Doesn't it seem absurd that there would be design flaws in DIVINELY REVEALED WORD?

I have soundly demonstrated the Information and Data Quality design flaw of Ambiguity in the Bible. But be honest, you know there's lots more where that came from.

With a demonstrably ambiguous bible, you have to admit that the ambiguity came from the revealer, or he didn't think it was important enough to ensure it was preserved for later generations or he was incapable of devising a strategy to ensure it was preserved as intended.

this is consistent of there not really being any Divine Revealer at all.

Now the "one step beyond" part.

Blame it on mankind all you want, but if you'd like, I can show you using the mathematical equation for figuring the odds of a roulette wheel ("Gamblers Ruin"), how someone that could know all possible outcomes in a game of roulette, could choose the most profitable outcome and NEVER UNDERMINE PROBABILITY OR FREEWILL. All he has to do is be omniscient and pick the right series of events out of (for example) something like 27million*(4000*(365*however many tries per day)) and pick the ONE series out of 3.942e+13 that pays off the best. I'll show you where I get those numbers below.

If you consider each iteration of a transfer of bible information over time as a spin of the roulette wheel, either it gets transferred perfectly (as in a win) or it doesn't. And if you like, you can weight the transfer with percentages of corruption such that a small percentage of corruption equates to a large win, etc.

You can probably download a little computer program to play a game of roulette that you could tweak to be representative of every single person on the planet in 2000 bc (commonly accepted time for abraham), lets say 27 million (according to the U.S. Census Bureau), and then simulate it running over 4000 years. At least one of those series will never go bust before you stop (but it will go bust eventually) and far and away out perform the rest.

Now I know that roullette is a poor analogy for god, but god should be able to do better than roulette don't you think? He's the House for Gods Sake and the outcome is in his interest so he should be able to make the odds be whatever he wants them to be. It should be a no-brainer.

That would be the series for an omniscient being to choose, the one with the most successful outcome for the preservation of his word.

He should have chose someone to write it all down in the beginning and preserve it in a community using quality control techniques. Surely this is not out of reach of something omniscient, and surely if he has any influence at all, and we presume he does because the bible is intended to influence us to believe in him, those that he chose would have been the absolutely best choice to preserve his word unaltered to this day.

He should have chosen some group like the pythagoreans that gave so much mathematics to us that is so ubiquitous today. The pythagorean theorem is accepted my more people than christianity is, exactly because the theorem is useful and demonstrably true.

But he didn't. He gave his word to a bunch of bunglers that couldn't keep it straight to save their lives, and now 66% of the world is paying for it.

Reconcile that.
:-)

RichD said...

Hi lee,
I guess it's time to chime in. First, I am with Harvey on theson of man issue, even though it really doesn't matter here since we will never resolve anything about it between all of us. So on to the important part.
You say that I have to admit that because there are design flaws in the bible, it is the flaw of the revealer. That is where I will disagree, and yes it is the human element.
So lets use your roulette example and see if we could apply it to this and find some alternatives. lets say you can speak to god, and you are playing roulette. Since God knows on each spin where the ball will land he could tell you on each spin what to pick and you would win every time. So why wouldn't you listen to him every time? It would take only once, maybe twice, for you to no pick what you were told and loose to see that you made a mistake. That is something that has imediate results. But things that are part of the gospel that bring us slavation or not are not always like this, they don't bring imediate results so it make the decision now harder. Now if you were told to place several bets, including say red, and you were still winning but didn't follow every instruction on where to place you bets, how much easier would it be to claim that you were not speaking to God but actually were winning based on mathematical probabilities instead? And remember that we also have trials of faith to enter into the picture here. So maybe every once in awhile you were not told the winning bet but god purposely let you lose, adding more weight to math over revelation? Since it's likely that you could win without help, you may get to the point where you don't listen anymore. Could you still go on winning? Yes and as you pointed out eventually you will lose, even though you outperform the rest.
Lets even take this a little farther. before the game lets say you are given a set of rules to follow and God tells you the if you follow them you be a winner and you can join him in the presidential suite. Does that mean you will leave the game with more money than you started with? It could, but coulnt't also mean you leave with nothing and still be a winner? Yes because the purpose of sending you to the game was to go and play while following the rules. That has no bearing whether you win money or not. One rule might be that you are kind to the other players regardless of how they treat you. Does that affect you winning money? Maybe it can, but more times than not it won't.
tell me then lee, which of these senarios interfers with free will the least. Because remember you are playing for a chance to live in the presidential suite and it's not based on quantity but quality.
1. Everyone is playing the same game with the same rules. As rules are broken nothing happens to anyone but the game continues. Those that break rules are left so they can correct their behavior or they can choose to continue to break rules.
2. Everyone is playing the same game with the same rules. When someone breaks one of the rules they are imediately removed from the game and taken to another room. They are not given the chance to correct behavior and forfeit their chance to live in the PS.
it should be obvious that free will still remains in both cases. But aren't those in #2 less likely to break a rule? I would say that your free will is greatly impeded in the second case.

Part of IDQ is to be able to have more than one place to check to verify claims right? It also makes for a more sound principle if you can show more than one source yes?So if God then knows this and only uses the bible to tell of him and Christ, that wouldn't seem like the actions of an omniscent being. Since we are not and we can understand this, we should expect that God certainly would. So to allow translators freedom to mistranslate His word doesn't impede their free will, but to not allow them to does. It may not erase free will but it does impede free will. But to counter that why shouldn't we expect that God would reveal to more people, outside the bible, the same truths contained within? Shouldn't we expect that if God exists and he wants us allto believe in him, that he would follow principles that we can easily see are sound?
If then God only expects us to use the bible and no other source, then We should certainly expect that the bible would be flawless. It is because of free will that there are flaws in the bible. If there weren't flaws then there would have only been one choice on what words to use in the translation.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Handel'em RichD, I'm through with Lee on this one...Mathematics, Chaos, probability bow graduated to gambling, I'm certainly outta my league here...

Later Lee...

PhilipK said...

Harvey and Rich seem to believe in a very restricted and limited God.

My children still have the free will to obey me or disobey me when I'm clear about what I demand. Seems God can't even accomplish something a human can do: make Itself clear.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Harvey,
sorry I lost you.
take care and see you around.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Rich,
thanks for the thoughtful response. You packed a lot in there so I might have to take this in pieces.

I'm not surprised you side with harvey on this. I am quite sure a majority of non-near eastern language speaking people would be on the side of Harvey.

Did you ever wonder why christians are so few far and between in palestine, israel, and in that region in general? If the evidence were so strong, you'd think that they'd all be christian wouldn't you? They know the language, the culture, the customs, its their heritage. Unless they are all just idiots and have decided that Jesus and God are real but they've chosen a lifestyle that guarantees them, at the very least, an eternity of separation from god.

Since God knows on each spin where the ball will land he could tell you on each spin what to pick and you would win every time. So why wouldn't you listen to him every time?
Ignoring the fact that ambiguity is introduced in the bible, which is different than data corruption or Garbling,
We are debating the problem of Data Integrity. I think you are helping me work out an argument for another article, I'm not sure, it depends on how this idea plays itself out.

Leaving ambiguity, and proceeding to preservation of Data Integrity.

Your scenario Presumes that God thinks its prudent to play games with peoples salvation, and presumes that he doesn't care if each person gets a fair chance at that salvation.

I'm showing how probability would allow an omniscient god to ensure the integrity of his data without interfering with anyones freewill.

The best strategy would be to not interfere with humans freewill at all but just simply "run the program" and watch for the series of events that guarantees the best outcome (least corruption) for scripture. In my scenario, the person wouldn't even know they are being "played". All the decisions would come from them and they would be the ones that perpetuate the series that God Chose out of all the 27 million naturally occurring ones.

Then assuming that each of the 27 million points of origin starts a series of events with one scripture transfer a day (spins the wheel) then each of the 27 million people would start 27 million series of events with each event having 1,460,000 chances over time at some percentage of integrity/corruption. As I said before there are 3.942e+13 chances for one of them to get the Idea to stop the madness and derive a way to preserve the integrity. In hebrew, over time, someone assigned numbers to each character giving someone the chance to invent the cyclical redundancy check, or the parity bit. Yes these are computer technologies, but I don't think they started out that way. I think they are technologies developed before computer technology.

And if god was going to reveal his word (an obvious influence and interference on mankinds freewill) it would have followed that he gave them a method to preserve its integrity, then humans can exercise their freewill to do it or not.

but we know that since the Bible is not a garbled mess, and that the grammar, and sentences and stories are more coherent than not, then most of it is intact. That means that how it originated is more than less how it was intended. Ambiguity and all.

I have to go now, i'll finish this later.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Rich,
I'll just finish this up real quick.

If Gods Goal is to reveal his word, to everyone, then everyone should get a chance to see it the way it was revealed, yes or no?

one of the key elements in your scenario is the ability of the previous player
to hinder the subsequent player. In this scenario, the free will problem that
christians always seem to overlook is that the free will of one agent intrudes in the free will of another.

If one agent is allowed free will enough to mess up scripture, then all the agents following won't get the same chance that the first agent had. That sounds like poor way to set up an organization.

Your scenario introduces uncertainty and ineffieciency rather than minimizes it and puts other people in jeapordy unecessarily.

Using his omniscience god could choose the best outcome without intruding anyone free will.

Just imagine if he had given his word to someone that could carve it in stone. No impediment to free will there, and the stone mason probably would have thought to carve it in stone.

Simple elegant, from the mind of a human, but not from a god.

why not?

RichD said...

Hi Lee,
I will respond but likely later today or maybe even tomorrow. It seems that my intent wasn't coveyed very well so I will try to explain better.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Rich,
okay, I look for it. But I wanted to add another way that the bibles integrity could have been preserved using a letter system where each letter has a numeric value.
The checksum. Every sentence or every line has a sum value.
The cyclical redundancy check doesn't fit because the medium is not the right type.
so thats two ways,
- checksum,
- and parity.

Some other ways would be writing it in stone, like the egyptian books of the dead, and writing them on cave walls or on the walls of buildings (such as temples). I'm sure there are other ways I could dream up but I'll leave that for other people to play around with.

if god revealed his word to me, but he didn't reveal the best way to preserve it for the next person, I'd wonder why, but then I'd do my best to use methods that I know about that have been effective in the past.

I'd get a friend to help me make two sets of clay tablets, and bury one of them, using a letter/number system, checksum and parity numbers.

RichD said...

Phillip,

My children still have the free will to obey me or disobey me when I'm clear about what I demand. Seems God can't even accomplish something a human can do: make Itself clear.

First I never said free will was removed. I am saying the same thing, although from a different viewpoint, that many have said here, that even though your kids have freedom to act you have an effect on that freedom. Let me put it this way, You want you kid to clean his room and you make your demand very clear and send him on his way. Still free will intact. Or you come to the child's room and tell him he needs to clean his room. Still free will intact. He can still choose to not obey in either scenario, but from experience I can say that being in the child's room and making the demand, the child is far less likely to obey and begin cleaning the room. There is no need to assume that the demand was any less clear in either situation or made any differently. Both times a simple request clearly understood demand but different results. No change in the existence of free will.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Rich,
now how bout that punishment for not obeying?
What is appropriate?
death burning in hell, burning in the bed in a house fire or something else, like restriction, or privileges taken away? Instruction, remediation, guidance, teaching, FACE TIME, real time consequences, INTERACTION, coherence, LACK OF AMBIGUITY,
you know, the stuff we take for granted except when trying to figure out why God doesn't do the rational thing, then we say that we shouldn't expect god to play by our rules. Mankinds rules for dealing with disobedient children are corrupt, except in a rationally moral way, Gods are better. The ad hoc reasoning scheme is far superior to inference from evidence and experience. (sarcasm)

He can let children in the sudan starve to death and get eaten up by parasites because it serves the greater good.

or let children get locked in rooms, living in their feces because it serves the greater good.

Or let some little harmful fact get overlooked when some drug intended to help ends up doing more harm than good because it serves the greater good.

Or any old HORROR you can find in the newspaper which details the suffering of one for the benefit of the greater good of the other. Who suffers for the benefit of the sufferer? Why is the non-suffering, and the free will of the non-sufferer more important? simply because the non-sufferers and the are in the majority and are the ones doing the ad hoc reasoning?

The child parent analogy is so bad that christians should stop using it. Go ahead and try to make a list of things in common shared by a parent/child and God/person. You can't with out stretching the limits of credulity, then you see how the analogy breaks down.

Its more of that poor quality in the creation of the data in the bible. God revealed a poor analogy *to a person, corrupt, sinful, untrustworthy, deceitful, yada, yada, yada* and people just took in on authority with out questioning its origin.

Lets see, obvious and appropriate critical questions.....Hey, dude, how do you know it was god? And how do you know which god? And why does your revelation not support that other guys? And how do you know it is not some malfunction in your mental state? And how do I know you are not mistaken because after all, you are only human and sinful and untrustworthy.

Sorry I couldn't resist, free will and the problem of evil so obviously refute the existence of the God of the Bible (not a god in general) that I just can't resist getting a dig in where I can.

From now on I'll stick to the article.

Think about it,
God reveals his word to humans that he criticizes for being untrustworthy, and expects it to get propogated CORRECTLY over the course of 4000 years,

then in RichDs case, he comes back TO FIX IT, *REWORK*, USING THE SAME CRAPPY METHOD and SURPRISE!!!!! it fails again, the muslims are taking market share away!

It is absurd on its face.

Lee Randolph said...

Here's a thought,
if gods existence is demonstrated by the mountains, and the little bunnies,
if he was willing to go that far,
why not put his revelation written on the side of one of those mountains such that it never weathers away, or in the genetic sequence of that little bunny so that there is no possibility of curruption by MANKIND.

The mountain would be the better choice because then the Cro Magnons could have benefited from it.

There is no violation of free will there any more than there is a violation of free will due to the existence of mountains and bunnies.

Lee Randolph said...

I'm going to concentrate on my next article now, IDQ deficiency of meaningless representation, it will cover God as Being Good, when God has just as many characteristics of Being Evil and suggest that he may be using deception to appear good or only appear good through wishful thinking on the part of Humans, and of course, a little Adam Bombing.
;-)
I'll check back periodically to close out with anyone and leave the final word to them.

RichD said...

Hi Lee,
The child parent analogy is so bad that christians should stop using it. Go ahead and try to make a list of things in common shared by a parent/child and God/person. You can't with out stretching the limits of credulity, then you see how the analogy breaks down.

Maybe it is crappy but is any analogy good? It seems like every one can be torn down in some way. So there are cases, like this one, where I think it serves its intended purpose, to show that while free will can be present, you are less likely to do the wrong thing when the demander is present as opposed to absent. And further more doing the right thing regardless of the presence of a parent for example, shows that you are truly out to do the right thing. On the other hand if you only obey when someone is watching, that is a different story. There is no change in the existence of free will, NONE. Only difference is someone watching over your shoulder so you feel more compelled to obey than you would otherwise.
Now you can make the case that we should think God is always watching, but I really doubt people believe that entirely. I think you would agree, and you have stated this, that if you could see God you would act differently. So I am agreeing with you that this would change a lot of people, we would act differently. So if that is true, and I am sure it is, then how can you be sure that someones behavior is true? How do you know they aren't putting on a show for the boss? I see this every day, and I am sure many people do. I know you like your shots at the PofE, but really, does this make sense or am I crazy? (Actually it could make sense and I'd still be crazy so lets just stick with does it make sense;))

Now on for a poke at the Son of man. I have on crazy step beyond Harvey to add. If it is true that there are different spellings of son of man, and it appears to be so, then why not different meanings also? For one God is different to the LDS, he is an exalted man, complete with body. As such he was the spirit father of Christ, who was the first born. He also was the father of the human Christ, the only person to every have this, only begotten ring a bell? So his usage of this term would be to set him apart as The Son of God, in both instances. This term is exclusively applied to Christ in the new testament and he is continually announcing himself through words and deed to be the messiah, the chosen one, the savior, the only begotten son of God the Father. So the change in usage is for the express purpose of indentifying himself as The Son of Man. A title that he has repeated in what LDS consider modern day revelation. Christ is using that title with exclusive rights to announce himself as the son of his father in heaven on earth.

RichD said...

To further my case of it being a title. The is used prior to son of man in most, if not all, the NT uses. If I say George Bush screwed up the country, that's not real clear who I am talking about. But if I say The George Bush screwed up the country, it becomes more clear that I am speaking about the President of the USA. We use the in front of many such titles.

Lee Randolph said...

Just checked back. I'll respond within the next 24hrs.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi rich
the trick with analogies is choose those that are similar enough to be relevant to the point.

God permits excessive suffering, or he doesn't care. Parents that do that are "bad parents".

only difference is someone watching over your shoulder so you feel more compelled to obey than you would otherwise.
exactly, which is one way christianity shoots itself in the foot.

those that are moral and don't believe are more deserving of any reward there is to be had.

You are helping my ambiguity case and you still haven't refuted the liklihood that it was a misunderstanding of scripture by those generatiosn that followed resulting in Jesus using that term inappropriately.

If you speak two languages you understand how easy it is to make this kind of mistake in interpretation switching between the two.

I know because I can handle more than one language though not fluent in all.

sorry so short but lots of things to do these days.