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March 19, 2013

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Look up what legal chain of custody is and note the crucial differences between that and what is discussed here.

RonH

RonH

I actually think that for once you have a really good point. I don't think that the "chain of custody" is an appropriate analog here.

I think of it as a line of authority in the continuity of Truth through history.

God is so kind to us as He lays out His promise in the OT, fulfills His promise in the Gospels which gives us confidence that He will fulfill the fulness of His promise at the end of the age.


Praise God for the Words of Jesus speaking into our life today - Jesus gave the Church the Apostles teaching which are the words of Christ Jesus that whosoever believes in Jesus will have eternal life!

Please, watch the installation Mass of Pope Francis and hear the Apostles Teaching within the Church that for 2,000 years has believed and taught The Gospel of the Kingdom of God as Jesus handed down through the Apostles. Yes, there are weeds and wheat throughout the history, always remember it is through the Power of God that Jesus said, “I will build my Church.”

Ewtn 6pm EST, 3pm PST http://www.ewtn.com

Praying for John 17 Unity which only God can accomplish which Jesus our Intercessor continues to pray for us today!

Shalom

RonH,

I did look that up and, besides the differences one would expect between a 21st century procedure and one dating back hundreds & thousands of years, what major differences are you referring to which would refute Wallace's claim?

Darth Dutch

Let us pretend, for the sake of argument, that Mark is the earliest Gospel. I don't believe that for one second, but we're pretending. Critics of the early deity of Christ think Mark was earliest (largely because they falsely believe that Mark presents a less divine Jesus).

The first five verses of of Mark go like this:

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet:

Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You,
Who will prepare Your way;
3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness,
"Make ready the way of the Lord,
Make His paths straight."

4 John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
The reference is to Isaiah 40:3. John is the messenger calling to make straight the way of the Lord. Later on it becomes clear that He was preparing the way for Jesus. So Jesus is the Lord whose way was to be made straight in the wilderness. But Isaiah doesn't use Adonai when he speaks of that Lord. Isaiah uses YHWH. Thus in the opening sequence of Mark, supposedly the earliest Gospel, Jesus is identified as YHWH. You can't express the deity of Christ in a more bold-faced way than that.

Of all the distinctive principles of Trinitarian theology, the full deity of Christ is the one that is most easily established from Scripture. (Monotheism is obviously more easily established, but, though part of Trinitarian theology, it is not distinctive to it).

Darth Dutch

"I did look that up and, besides the differences one would expect between a 21st century procedure and one dating back hundreds & thousands of years,"

There are very specific guidelines in today's chain of custody.

* The evidence collector properly identifies the evidence.

* The evidence collector must be a neutral party who has no personal interest in the test results (e.g., a hospital, clinic, or laboratory staff person).

* The evidence collector tamper-proofs and secures evidence at the collection site.

The details in the legal definition of Chain of Custody disqualify it from consideration as a good analogy. I think our friend J dropped the ball on this one. We simply cannot apply the legal concept of the Chain of Custody to the historical evidence we have. To say that there was even any attempt at following the specific methods incorporated into that system under discussion, is just plain wrong. I think that our friend J has made the mistake of imposing modern criteria and methods on an ancient culture when he used the concept of Chain of Custody in his example. The Chain of Custody is appropriate in a criminal case, but it just does not work in this example. Having said that, I think that the faithful transmission of the scriptures is in no way in jeopardy if we move away from this method of explaining it. The flaw is in the explanation, not in the actual transmission of the documents and the historical breadcrumb trail left for us to follow.

I have given this a little more thought. I think the mistake here is really trying to make something look more sexy by dressing it up in the flashy garments that police investigation language brings to the table. I suppose it might appeal to the culture that drinks in the multitude of CSI shows now bombarding our airwaves through syndication and internet sources, but the love of things like that can often take away our attention from the prize to the point where we start tripping over our own feet.

Darth Dutch,

There is no procedure 'dating back hundreds & thousands of years' in view here. There is nothing TO differ from a legal chain of custody procedure.

What claim do you want me to refute?

The earliest writers were firmly committed to the Deity of Jesus?

I'm willing to believe there were truthers within minutes of 9/11.

Some offered arguments and evidence.

Some did so early and stick to their story to this day.

Shall I therefore think 9/11 was an inside job?

RonH

"The earliest writers were firmly committed to the Deity of Jesus?"

Yes. that's the claim JWW is supporting here. The Chain of custody bit is kind of a sideshow.

"I'm willing to believe there were truthers within minutes of 9/11."

You are probably right about that.

"Shall I therefore think 9/11 was an inside job?"

That's not the address of JWW's argument here. The question is whether the Deity of Christ was a late addition to Christianity. The question is not whether there is proof for the Deity of Christ....that's an important, though separate, question.

Your foil in the 9/11 debate would be someone who later said that the 9/11 truth movement started 50 years after 9/11...that early on no one believed that.

WL,

The question is whether the Deity of Christ was a late addition to Christianity.

If so, then WHY is that the question?

Well.

If a belief about 33 CE originated in 33 CE, then the belief is more likely to be true than if it originated in Laodicea in 363.

So, the question IS 'whether there is proof for the Deity of Christ' and I will stick with my choice of foil. Thanks.

(You mean evidence, don't you?)

If nobody HAD suggested that Jesus was God until 363 CE, then you can rely on it: Apologists would today be 'explaining' why that took so long for people to discover.

Otherwise, things would be much as they are.

Sure people believed Jesus was God before 363 CE.

They believed all kinds of other things too.

Heresies. Romanism. Etc.

RonH

So, the question IS 'whether there is proof for the Deity of Christ'
No. Sorry Ron. That's not the question no matter how many capitals you use. JWW is examining the question of what early Christians thought about Jesus. I know that because JWW gave me a subtle hint to that effect insofar as the title of the post is "The Early "High Christology" of Jesus".

The fact that the answer to that question can be used in arguing for answers to other question is not material.

Here's some Late Ron

If a belief about 33 CE originated in 33 CE, then the belief is more likely to be true than if it originated in Laodicea in 363.
But here's some Early Ron
I'm willing to believe there were truthers within minutes of 9/11.

Some offered arguments and evidence.

Some did so early and stick to their story to this day.

Shall I therefore think 9/11 was an inside job?

Late Ron thinks that beliefs closer to the events they are about are more likely to be true than later beliefs. Early Ron appears not to think that at all.

Of course both Late Ron's and Early Ron's thoughts on that subject are, strictly speaking, off-topic in this thread, since we are talking about whether the beliefs are early...whatever that may imply about their truth.

If nobody HAD suggested that Jesus was God until 363 CE, then you can rely on it: Apologists would today be 'explaining' why that took so long for people to discover.
Actually I can't rely on that at all. If that were the case Christianity would be as relevant today as all the irrelevant religions people like to compare it to, like Mithraism.

This argument works for me. But the Catholics I know seem to still have that same 'higher Christology' as those in the early church. They treat him as if the words in those wonderful bible verses you quote are really true.

One of the crises for me now is the issue of when, or if, there was 'a great apostasy', and the idea that there was is beginning to wear thin the more I read into the issue.

When was the apostasy that took the Catholic Church off the rails and who lead it?
If we can't point to one specific event or person, isn't our view of history somewhat ambiguous, and therefore unreliable?

The Roman Mass, to me, now seems to reflect that Christology you outline, and I'm beginning to think about it when I go to church on Sunday with all the chitter-chatter before it begins as if it's just a special sort of social event or ball game, rather than being in the presence the Lord of the Universe where I would prepare myself and bow and humble myself like Catholics do.
It seems like their worship, even though I don't understand it, embodies the Christology we should represent in our worship.

Just sayin...'

Thinking something is more likely, whether it's because it was believed early of for some reason, is not the same thing as believing it is true.

You don't set your belief (Bayesian probability) based on one piece of evidence, you adjust it.

You can think that, other things being equal, an early belief is more likely to be true than a late one without thinking that every early belief is true.

The early timing of a belief change the probability of one proposition from 10% to 99% or from 0.00001 to 0.00005.

In both cases, early belief raised the odds of the truth of the proposition.

Only in the first case, could you say it made the difference between belief and non-belief.

Actually I can't rely on that at all. If that were the case Christianity would be as relevant today as all the irrelevant religions people like to compare it to, like Mithraism.

There's nothing contradictory about the idea that a new and airtight argument gets made in 363. I had a hypothetical like that in mind.

RonH

"There's nothing contradictory about the idea that a new and airtight argument gets made in 363. I had a hypothetical like that in mind."

I think that airtight arguments without having the accompanying airtight evidence has sprung a leak. It would seem to me that manufacture of quality evidence (one without leaks) some 300 years later is problematic.

Now it is just a question of how you determine the integrity of the early evidence. This is a question that has already been answered many times and many ways since it reeks of integrity.

Peter-

I don't think JWW's target here is Catholicism.

The issue is whether the belief in the Deity of Christ is early or late. Not whether Christ is God, and how we should react if He is.

But FWIW, I agree with you about Divine Service where the real Body and Blood of the God-Man are going to be given and received. It is a sacred, not a profane, thing and should be treated accordingly.

Of course, like everything that should be done, many people don't, and those that do are often faking it. I know that's me most of the time. That's Sin for you.

Ron-

Of course, I agree with what you say about early beliefs an probability and all that. It's nice to see you state that fairly and honestly, rather than going for a gotcha line (as you seemed to be doing in the first few posts).

Given that, then, you can see why it's an interesting and important question whether the deity of Christ was an early or late belief. It has an a relatively important, if somewhat complex, relationship to Christian apologetics.

But like all premises it has to be investigated first...without considering the impact it has on any conclusions you may want to draw from it.

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