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#61 Grace

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Posted 03 October 2003 - 09:49 PM

And this is convincing, yes?


Absolutely. And I think I know where you're going on this.... Therefore, Jesus was showing the impotency of the demons that the people believed had some kind of power over them.

I definitely agree. But this does no harm to the belief that demons existed; it merely shows that Jesus was stronger and more powerful.

#62 Fortigurn

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Posted 03 October 2003 - 09:54 PM

Absolutely. And I think I know where you're going on this.... Therefore, Jesus was showing the impotency of the demons that the people believed had some kind of power over them.

Yes.

I definitely agree.  But this does no harm to the belief that demons existed; it merely shows that Jesus was stronger and more powerful.


Yes. So what do you do next?

You turn to the Old Testament, which says that demons don't exist, and suddenly the Old Testament sounds a lot more convincing than it did at first... :book:

#63 Evangelion

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Posted 03 October 2003 - 10:00 PM

:book:
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#64 Grace

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Posted 03 October 2003 - 10:15 PM

You turn to the Old Testament, which says that demons don't exist, and suddenly the Old Testament sounds a lot more convincing than it did at first...


You see, my problem with this argument is this; the shape and form of the demons of the New Testament was very, very different to the gods of the Old Testament. So using an argument from the Old Testament to say that gods didn't exist doesn't strike me as an effective argument against what a demon had evolved into in people's minds.

For example, the word 'net' has gained a double meaning. It can now mean two things; a device for catching a fish, or it can mean cyber space. Now I may make an argument that cyber space is merely a figment of people's imaginations (hmm, Matrix elements are forthcoming....), but my argument in no way implies that fishing nets are non-existant.

It seems to me, (and I could be completely off the mark on this one, but I'm sure you'll sort me out if I am!) that daimonion inherited another meaning in it's travels, particularly when Israel was in captivity. Daimonion could now be applied to two things: gods, and 'demons' or 'evil spirits'. The word is the same, but the understanding of the two things seem to be completely seperate.

This argument could be reinforced by the fact that by the time Jesus came on the scene, Israel was no longer fooling around with other gods. They were emphatically a "The Lord our God is One Lord" nation. So I would assume that therefore, they wouldn't just believe that daimonion meant 'gods' (as the existence of daimonion as real gods would go against everything they believed about God); they thought they were evil spirits. Interestingly, Paul's arguments against daimonion in Corinthians is for people from pagan backgrounds who's heritage was a belief in other gods. Which the Jews didn't.

Edited by Grace, 03 October 2003 - 10:20 PM.


#65 Fortigurn

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Posted 03 October 2003 - 10:19 PM

You see, my problem with this argument is this; the shape and form of the demons of the New Testament was very, very different to the gods of the Old Testament.

So using an argument from the Old Testament to say that gods didn't exist doesn't strike me as an effective argument against what a demon had evolved into in people's minds.

How? Why do you say this?

It seems to me, (and I could be completely off the mark on this one, but I'm sure you'll sort me out if I am!) that daimonion inherited another meaning in it's travels, particularly when Israel was in captivity.  Daimonion could now be applied to two things: gods, and 'demons' or 'evil spirits'.  The word is the same, but the understanding of the two things seem to be completely seperate.


The first century witness (including extra-Biblicals), is that the meaning of the word remained constant.

When the Jews wanted to refer to lesser supernatural agents of evil who were not demons, they referred to evil angels. This is well testified in the extra-Biblical literature. But the Bible never even speaks of evil angels.

#66 Grace

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Posted 03 October 2003 - 10:44 PM

How? Why do you say this?


I explained. Didn't you read my post? (Sorry, just trying to sound like you. Did I pull it off? :unsure: )

I'm trying to make an argument from logic.

However, I've just realised that 'Daimonion' is a greek word, and wasn't even used in the Old Testament, so my argument was complete rubbish!

However, let me repeat my last paragraph, which I still think has merit:

This argument could be reinforced by the fact that by the time Jesus came on the scene, Israel was no longer fooling around with other gods. They were emphatically a "The Lord our God is One Lord" nation. So I would assume that therefore, they wouldn't just believe that daimonion meant 'gods' (as the existence of daimonion as real gods would go against everything they believed about God); they thought they were evil spirits. Interestingly, Paul's arguments against daimonion in Corinthians is for people from pagan backgrounds who's heritage was a belief in other gods. Which the Jews didn't.

#67 Grace

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Posted 03 October 2003 - 10:46 PM

I've got to go; I'll come back to this later....

#68 Evangelion

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Posted 03 October 2003 - 10:46 PM

How? Why do you say this?


I explained. Didn't you read my post? (Sorry, just trying to sound like you. Did I pull it off? :unsure: )


:worthy:
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#69 Cool Spot_*

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Posted 03 October 2003 - 11:06 PM

Hey, Evangelion, I am taking issue with a number of things you said.

First, in your second reply in this thread, you use Job 25:7 as an example where the bible comments about science and gets it right. I don't know what bible you're using, but Job 25:7 doesn't exist in either the NIV or NRSV. :nono:

Second, you mentioned a point where the bible is always correct about matters of history. This may or may not be true, depending on your interpretational hermeneutic. If you view the bible as recollection using literary conventions, then yes, you are correct. However, if you view the bible as literal history, then I cannot see how this position is indefensible.

Consider the book of Daniel. Who is Darius the Mede? According to Daniel, Babylon is overthrown, Darius moves in, and Persia takes charge. The only problem is that history knows of no such Persian ruler as Darius the Mede. There is a Darius Hystapes later on, but he was the father of Artaxerxes, not the other way around like Daniel 9:1 suggests.

:oops:

Finally, with regards to scientific accuracy, today's inerrantists take creative liberty with the texts. One patently obvious example of this is Isaiah 40:22a

It is He who sits above the circle of the earth...

We are then told "Look! The bible teaches that the earth is round! How amazingly accurate is that?"

This is a convenient position to take in order to strain to hold to inerrancy. The ancient view of the world was a flat earth, over top of which was a circular dome (the sky) supported by four pillars. Heaven was a place just beyond the sky. So, when we read things like the "windows of heaven opened and the waters poured forth" it makes sense if we actually viewed the earth this way.

This sitting above the circle of the earth is a reference to God sitting just above the circle (ie, the dome) just beyond the sky in heaven. That's how the ancients would have viewed this passage.

Modern day inerrantists who use the bible's comments on science typically pull things out of context and put a modern spin on it. It's really annoying, and I don't think it's intellectually honest. :fury:

Edited by Cool Spot, 03 October 2003 - 11:09 PM.


#70 Evangelion

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Posted 03 October 2003 - 11:34 PM

Hey, Evangelion, I am taking issue with a number of things you said.

What a surprise! :hilarious:

First, in your second reply in this thread, you use Job 25:7 as an example where the bible comments about science and gets it right.  I don't know what bible you're using, but Job 25:7 doesn't exist in either the NIV or NRSV.  :nono:


It's the Piglet Revised Version. :piglet: (OK, so the correct quote is Job 26:7.) :doh:

Second, you mentioned a point where the bible is always correct about matters of history.  This may or may not be true, depending on your interpretational hermeneutic.  If you view the bible as recollection using literary conventions, then yes, you are correct.  However, if you view the bible as literal history, then I cannot see how this position is indefensible.

Consider the book of Daniel.  Who is Darius the Mede?  According to Daniel, Babylon is overthrown, Darius moves in, and Persia takes charge.  The only problem is that history knows of no such Persian ruler as Darius the Mede.


Of course not. I wouldn't expect history to know of Darius the Mede as a Persian ruler - I'd expect history to know him as a Median ruler. :woot:

is a Darius Hystapes later on, but he was the father of Artaxerxes, not the other way around like Daniel 9:1 suggests.

:oops:


OK... I'm no expert on this one, but I'll see what I can dig up for you. :book:

Finally, with regards to scientific accuracy, today's inerrantists take creative liberty with the texts.


Well, nobody else is going to do it for us. :whistle:

One patently obvious example of this is Isaiah 40:22a

It is He who sits above the circle of the earth...

We are then told "Look! The bible teaches that the earth is round! How amazingly accurate is that?"


*snip*

But my epistemology allows for errors of science in the Bible, remember? So I don't really care if Isaiah 40:22ff is wrong or right.

Oh, and could we just stick to the arguments and positions to which I subscribe, please? Because I'm really not interested in defending other people's views.

Ta. :hadassah:
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#71 Evangelion

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Posted 03 October 2003 - 11:41 PM

International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia



Darius



The name of three or four kings mentioned in the Old Testament. In the original Persian it is spelled "Darayavaush"; in Babylonian, usually "Dariamush"; in Susian(?), "Tariyamaush"; in Egyptian "Antaryuash"; on Aramaic inscriptions, d-r-y-h-w-sh or d-r-y-w-h-w-sh; in Hebrew, dareyawesh; in Greek, Dareios; in Latin, "Darius." In meaning it is probably connected with the new Persian word Dara, "king." Herodotus says it means in Greek, Erxeies, coercitor, "restrainer," "compeller," "commander."



(1) Darius the Mede (Daniel 6:1; 11:1) was the son of Ahasuerus (Xerxes) of the seed of the Medes (Daniel 9:1). He received the government of Belshazzar the Chaldean upon the death of that prince (Daniel 5:30,31; 6:1), and was made king over the kingdom of the Chaldeans.



From Daniel 6:28 we may infer that Darius was king contemporaneously with Cyrus. Outside of the Book of Daniel there is no mention of Darius the Mede by name, though there are good reasons for identifying him with Gubaru, or Ugbaru, the governor of Gutium, who is said in the Nabunaid-Cyrus Chronicle to have been appointed by Cyrus as his governor of Babylon after its capture from the Chaldeans. Some reasons for this identification are as follows:



(a) Gubaru is possibly a translation of Darius. The same radical letters in Arabic mean "king," "compeller," "restrainer." In Hebrew, derivations of the root mean "lord," "mistress," "queen"; in Aramaic, "mighty," "almighty."



(b) Gutium was the designation of the country North of Babylon and was in all possibility in the time of Cyrus a part of the province of Media.



But even if Gutium were not a part of Media at that time, it was the custom of Persian kings to appoint Medes as well as Persians to satrapies and to the command of armies. Hence, Darius-Gubaru may have been a Mede, even if Gutium were not a part of Media proper.



(d) Since Daniel never calls Darius the Mede king of Media, or king of Persia, it is immaterial what his title or position may have been before he was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans. Since the realm of the Chaldeans never included either Media or Persia, there is absolutely no evidence in the Book of Daniel that its author ever meant to imply that Darius the Mede ever ruled over either Media or Persia.



(e) That Gubaru is called governor (pihatu), and Darius the Mede, king, is no objection to this identification; for in ancient as well as modern oriental empires the governors of provinces and cities were often called kings. Moreover, in the Aramaic language, no more appropriate word than "king" can be found to designate the ruler of a sub-kingdom, or province of the empire.



(f) That Darius is said to have had 120 satraps under him does not conflict with this; for the Persian word "satrap" is indefinite as to the extent of his rule, just like the English word "governor." Besides, Gubaru is said to have appointed pihatus under himself. If the kingdom of the Chaldeans which he received was as large as that of Sargon he may easily have appointed 120 of these sub-rulers; for Sargon names 117 subject cities and countries over which he appointed his prefects and governors.



(g) The peoples, nations and tongues of chapter 6 are no objection to this identification; for Babylonia itself at this time was inhabited by Babylonians, Chaldeans, Arabians, Arameans and Jews, and the kingdom of the Chaldeans embraced also Assyrians, Elamites, Phoenicians and others within its limits.



(h) This identification is supported further by the fact that there is no other person known to history that can well be meant. Some, indeed, have thought that Darius the Mede was a reflection into the past of Darius Hystaspis; but this is rendered impossible inasmuch as the character, deeds and empire of Darius Hystaspis, which are well known to us from his own monuments and from the Greek historians, do not resemble what Daniel says of Darius the Mede.


(2) Darius, the fourth king of Persia, called Hystaspes because he was the son of a Persian king named Hystaspis, is mentioned in Ezr (4:5, et al.), Hag (1:1) and Zec (1:1). Upon the death of Cambyses, son and successor to Cyrus, Smerdis the Magian usurped the kingdom and was dethroned by seven Persian nobles from among whom Darius was selected to be king.



After many rebellions and wars he succeeded in establishing himself firmly upon the throne (Ant., XI, i). He reorganized and enlarged the Persian empire. He is best known to general history from his conflict with Greece culminating at Marathon, and for his re-digging of the Suez Canal. In sacred history he stands forth as the king who enabled the Jews under Jeshua and Zerubbabel to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem.



(3) Darius, called by the Greeks Nothus, was called Ochus before he became king. He reigned from 424 to 404 BC. In the Scriptures he is mentioned only in Nehemiah 12:22, where he is called Darius the Persian, probably to distinguish him from Darius the Mede.



It is not necessary to suppose that Darius Codomannus who reigned from 336 to 330 BC, is meant by the author of Nehemiah 12, because he mentions Jaddua; for



(a) Johanan, the father of this Jaddua, was high priest about 408 BC, as is clear from the Aramaic papyrus from Elephantine lately published by Professor Sachau of Berlin, and Jaddua may well have succeeded him in those troubled times before the death of Darius Nothus in 404 BC.



(b) that a high priest named Jaddua met Alexander in 332 BC, is attested only by Josephus (Ant., XI, viii, 5). It is not fair to take the testimony of Josephus as to Jaddua without taking his testimony as to the meeting with Alexander and as to the appeal of Jaddua to the predictions of the Book of Daniel.



But even if Josephus be right, there may have been two Jadduas, one high priest in 404 BC, and the other in 332 BC; or the one who was alive and exercising his functions in 404 BC may still have been high priest in 332 BC. He need not have exceeded 90 years of age.


According to the Eshki Harran inscription, which purports to have been written by himself, the priest of the temple in that city had served for 104 years. In our own time how many men have been vigorous in mind and body at the age of 90, or thereabouts; Bismarck and Gladstone, for example?



R. Dick Wilson



Source.
[/list]
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#72 Grace

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Posted 04 October 2003 - 12:07 AM

I have the feeling that Fort and I are :topic:, but anyway, continuing on:

What follows is my Logic-O-Xaminer™ of daimonion:

A: The Greeks believed in two kinds of daimonion: one as a god, the other as some kind of evil spirit. Whether they believed that the two were one and the same, I don't know. It doesn't make much difference to my argument.

B: The Jews didn't believe that idols had any power. Why do I say this? As I said in my previous posts, by the time Jesus came on the scene, the Jews were strictly monotheistic. They were insistent, jealous guards of the letter of the Law. They really believed in 'thou shalt have no other gods before me', and I'm sure they knew the Old Testament verses better than we do about gods being nothing. It's interesting that they were never accused of whoring after other gods in the New Testament. They were accused of following the letter of the Law, not the spirit. There's not even a hint of an accusation of them 'following after other gods' in the NT. So I think we can safely say that the Jews didn't believe that daimonion were 'gods' in the same sense that the Greeks did.

So what did the Jews believe daimonion was? It is my argument that the Jews believed that demons and evil spirits were one and the same; and that the two were interchangeable terms. itinerant has already produced enough verses to prove this, so I won't bother. So the Jews used the term daimonion simply as a term of the day to mean 'evil spirit'.

As I pointed out previously, the argument against demons by Paul in Corinthians is addressed to Gentile converts, not Jewish converts. Paul was addressing people who in a past life had believed that idols had some kind of power. That idols really were some kind of living god. So to use this passage to refute the existence of 'demons' in the evil spirit sense isn't logical.

Edited by Grace, 08 October 2003 - 03:52 PM.


#73 Evangelion

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Posted 04 October 2003 - 12:14 AM

Grace, I know I'm interrupting :sorry: but I'd be interested to know what you make of this...

John 9:1-3.

And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.

And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?

Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
[/list]:book:
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#74 Fortigurn

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Posted 04 October 2003 - 12:34 AM

However, I've just realised that 'Daimonion' is a greek word, and wasn't even used in the Old Testament, so my argument was complete rubbish!

The word daimonion was a Greek word used in the Greek translation of the Old Testament. It is used in every place to refer to heathen gods.

This argument could be reinforced by the fact that by the time Jesus came on the scene, Israel was no longer fooling around with other gods. They were emphatically a "The Lord our God is One Lord" nation.

So I would assume that therefore, they wouldn't just believe that daimonion meant 'gods' (as the existence of daimonion as real gods would go against everything they believed about God); they thought they were evil spirits.


Contemporary textual witnesses indicate that daimonion were still considered deities.

Interestingly, Paul's arguments against daimonion in Corinthians is for people from pagan backgrounds who's heritage was a belief in other gods. Which the Jews didn't.


But the Jews themselves had traditionally used this word to refer to the gods of the pagans. I think this meaning is preserved in the New Testament.

#75 Fortigurn

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Posted 04 October 2003 - 12:35 AM

How? Why do you say this?


I explained. Didn't you read my post? (Sorry, just trying to sound like you. Did I pull it off? :unsure: )

I've read it through again, but it still doesn't sit well. The evidence is that the word still maintained the Old Testament usage in the New Testament.

#76 Fortigurn

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Posted 04 October 2003 - 12:39 AM

Outside of the Book of Daniel there is no mention of Darius the Mede by name, though there are good reasons for identifying him with Gubaru, or Ugbaru, the governor of Gutium, who is said in the Nabunaid-Cyrus Chronicle to have been appointed by Cyrus as his governor of Babylon after its capture from the Chaldeans.

I have read the 'Gubaru' argument before, but I can't say I subscribe to it. When I investigated this issue a couple of years ago, I had a good look at it, but found that the argument for Astyages was stronger.

I'll get back to this, but perhaps it should be in a new thread?

#77 Evangelion

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Posted 04 October 2003 - 12:48 AM

I'll get back to this, but perhaps it should be in a new thread?


Well, it's all a part of the "inspiration/exegesis" picture, so I didn't see how I could justifiably exclude it. :shrug:

But I certainly don't intend to get bogged down with a Darius/Cyrus/Gubaru argument. :book:
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#78 Fortigurn

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Posted 04 October 2003 - 12:50 AM

A: The Greeks believed in two kinds of daimonion: one as a god, the other as some kind of evil spirit. Whether they believed that the two were one and the same, I don't know. It doesn't make much difference to my argument.

Yes.

So I think we can safely say that the Jews didn't believe that daimonion were 'gods' in the same sense that the Greeks did.


No we cannot. The ones who wrote the LXX did. And so did certain of the first century Jews, as testified in the extra-Biblical literature.

So what did the Jews believe daimonion was? It is my argument that the Jews believed that demons and evil spirits were one and the same; and that the two were interchangeable terms. itinerant has already produced enough verses to prove this, so I won't bother. So the Jews used the term daimonion simply as a term of the day to mean 'evil spirit'.

The problem was that they weren't quite the untainted monotheists they once had been. Neither were they united in their beliefs:

  • The Saduccees didn't even believe in the resurrection - or any supernatural beings other than God, including angels


  • The Pharisees in both angels (for good or evil), and spirits (the departed souls of the dead), and in Beelzebub, himself a daimonion who commanded other daimonioi

The confusion of their leaders, would naturally lead to the confusion of the people.

As I pointed out previously, the argument against demons by Paul in Corinthians is addressed to Gentile converts, not Jewish converts.  Paul was addressing people who in a past life had believed that idols had some kind of power.  That idols really were some kind of living god.  So to use this passage to refute the existence of 'demons' in the evil spirit sense isn't logical.


But the first century Christian Jews used the LXX, which used the word daimonion in precisely this way. If their understanding of the word had altered so radically, the LXX would not only have been incomprehensible in this, it would have been downright contradictory to their beliefs.

#79 Fortigurn

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Posted 04 October 2003 - 12:51 AM

I'll get back to this, but perhaps it should be in a new thread?


Well, it's all a part of the "inspiration/exegesis" picture, so I didn't see how I could justifiably exclude it. :shrug:

Yes, fair enough. I just think that perhaps we need another thread for dealing with inerrancy issues.

But I certainly don't intend to get bogged down with a Darius/Cyrus/Gubaru argument.  :book:


No, that's fine, it's CoolSpot who needs the argument. :clap2:

#80 Evangelion

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Posted 04 October 2003 - 12:56 AM

No, that's fine, it's CoolSpot who needs the argument. :clap2:


^_^
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.




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