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Manna, Cannibalism, Sin, and Redemption.

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  • Manna, Cannibalism, Sin, and Redemption.

    Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

    John 6:53-58.

    . . . Surely this is one of, if not the, most intriguing scriptures in all the bible. It seems clear that the author of the words above is either a crackpot (smoking crack or pot) or else a man condensing one of the greatest compendiums of bible symbols into one of the most compact packages the scripture has ever known?



    XR

  • #2
    Originally posted by Xtian Rabinovich View Post
    Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

    John 6:53-58.

    . . . Surely this is one of, if not the, most intriguing scriptures in all the bible. It seems clear that the author of the words above is either a crackpot (smoking crack or pot) or else a man condensing one of the greatest compendiums of bible symbols into one of the most compact packages the scripture has ever known?
    . . . If the latter be the case, it should be possible to unpack symbolism wrapped so tightly It's suffocating?

    In this vein we have the strange language in the early chapters of Genesis. Adam and Eve are told to be "fruitful" פרי and to multiply. In another place they're told not to eat the "fruit" of the tree of knowledge. Later we find out that Adam comes (so to say) to "know" ידע Eve: Adam gains "knowledge" (comes to know) Eve, in the biblical sense, when he eats the "fruit" פרי of the tree of knowledge.

    The branches of Jewish and Christian theology where the fruit from the Tree of Life resides are aware that the sin in the Garden is of a sexual nature. The result of the sin is the birth of Cain, the punishment for the sin is painful childbirth, and Adam and Eve cover their sexual organs such that to this day their offspring tend to keep the place of the original sin under wraps. Furthermore, a Hebrew word for "knowledge," ידע, is used to speak of what Adam gains through intercourse with Eve.

    The first parents are told to be "fruitful" פרי, while the product of the tree of knowledge is called "fruit." The tree is called the tree of "knowledge" דעת, while Adam is said to come, to "know," ידע Eve, after eating from the tree in the middle of her Garden.

    . . . None of which appears to share any knowledge about Jesus' hyperbolic language in John chapter six.



    Dan

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Xtian Rabinovich View Post
      The first parents are told to be "fruitful" פרי, while the product of the tree of knowledge is called "fruit." The tree is called the tree of "knowledge" דעת, while Adam is said to come, to "know," ידע Eve, after eating from the tree in the middle of her Garden. . . None of which appears to share any knowledge about Jesus' hyperbolic language in John chapter six.
      Biblically speaking, if you eat fruit, you produce fruit. Sex is eating fruit of the tree of knowledge, and the result of eating this fruit is the "fruit of the womb" פרי הבטן (Psalm 127:3).

      Jesus appears to be conflating three concepts related to "fruit" פרי: "eating," that which is eaten, and the product of the act of eating.

      Unwrapping his symbolism would be almost impossible without two clues: Adam and Eve "eating" to produce sin and death, and Israel eating (before and after the Passover) to produce redemption and life:

      For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

      John 6:55-58.


      XR

      Comment


      • #4
        Interesting to follow this where it leads.
        Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
        Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
        But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

        go with the flow the river knows . . .

        Frank

        I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

        Comment


        • #5
          Well it does not move from the Bible, nor does it move to any accurate understanding of Christianity. It is garbage.
          Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi shunyadragon,

            Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
            Interesting to follow this where it leads.
            I'm attempting to unpack symbolism that's often unknown to Christians unfamiliar with Jewish and Christian mysticism. I like to do it in a public place where people can call it garbage or critique it within the context of their own understanding of the bible. In this way it helps me think it through from a broader context than my own understanding.

            The problem I have considered for some time is the relationship between ritual circumcision (symbolizing emasculation: and thus a virgin pregnancy) and the symbolism of the Passover. For a long time I've conflated the symbolism thinking it represented the same thing. In Jewish midrashim it's taught that two bloods were placed on the doorposts, circumcision blood, and the blood of the lamb.

            I've dealt with the two bloods for many years assuming that the Passover was mostly just another symbolic referent to Jesus' virgin conception and birth. In Judaism the "bride" or "wife" is called the "home" or "house" of the bridegroom/husband (Yoma 2a). So if the bridegroom is circumcised under the chuppah (as etymology of certain Hebrew words and practices suggests), then the blood that proves the bride's virginity is not the blood of the bride's torn membrane of virginity (which would be niddah)---- per standard Jewish practice and ritual --- but the blood of the circumcision (where in periah, the male hymen is actually torn by nails in a Jewish hand [the mohel])--- suggesting that the Jewish firstborn must be conceived of virgin mechanics since the bridegroom is unmanned in the wedding ceremony. The blood on the doorposts is blood on the thighs of the bride when her and her newly circumcised groom embrace under the chuppah. It's gets on the proof of virginity sheet shown to the community after the consummation of the marriage such that this blood is proof positive not only that the bride was a virgin throughout the betrothal, but that she will be a virgin when the firstborn son is born. It's the ultimate "proof-of-virginity" sheet in that it proves the bride can't but be a virgin since here groom is unmanned as part and parcel of the marriage ceremony.

            . . . I've dealt with this symbolism inside out for years. But only recently, while meditating on John chapter 6 (particularly verses 53-58), has the incredible distinction between the symbolism of circumcision and that of the Passover become apparent. I believe Jesus is speaking precisely of this earthshattering distinction in John chapter 6. He leaves the symbolism and the meaning tightly packaged knowing that no one at the time was likely to be prepared to unpack the symbolism. . . To this very day the symbolism remains wrapped up tight as a knot for lack of an audience ready to receive it as anything more than garbage.



            XR
            Last edited by Xtian Rabinovich; 02-03-2015, 04:11 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Xtian Rabinovich View Post
              I like to do it in a public place where people can call it garbage . . .
              You are welcome.
              Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Jedidiah,

                . . . Assuming that's your daughter, she's very beautiful. You must be very proud.



                XR

                Comment


                • #9
                  Though I've no doubt exceeded the patience of anyone reading this thread, since I've not given a clear context to what I'm trying to express, I've neverthless been thinking out loud trying to get my head around John 6:53-58 within the Jewish context that Jesus definitely intended his statements to be interpreted within.

                  Jesus and his interpreters fancy him the lamb of God, and thus the Passover lamb. So the cannibalism he preaches is obviously related to the fact that he's presenting himself as the Passover lamb. But why is the lamb's blood placed on the doorposts of the house? What's the symbolic significance of that?

                  In the past I've suggested that per the Talmud, and Jewish scripture, the Jewish "house" is both a type of the temple/synagogue, and also a symbol of the bride, or wife, of the Jewish groom. . . And since Jewish midrashim claims that circumcision blood is mingle with the blood of the Passover lamb --- placed on the doorposts ---- I've been under the illusion that the Passover is just another symbolic reference to Jesus' virgin birth.

                  But there's a huge problem with conflating the blood of the limb with the blood of the lamb at Passover since if Jesus is the Passover lamb, born of a circumcised pregnancy (the very product of the circumcision), how could his blood be mingled with the blood of the limb whose removal signifies his birth? In other words, how can circumcision blood be mingled with the blood of the one born of the circumcision before his birth?

                  Clearly it can't without some serious abstracting of the symbols.

                  The Jewish sages claim that the blood of the Passover lamb reminds Israel of Abraham's circumcision. So if Abraham's circumcision is ritual emasculation, then Isaac is (symbolically, ritually) the Passover lamb who Abraham brings to the altar of sacrifice. . . But another lamb, with his head surrounded with thorns (Gen. 22:13) takes the place of Isaac as the sacrificial offering.

                  When Jesus speaks of eating his flesh he's clearly using Passover terminology (ergo his claim that he's the bread of life within the same passage). But then if he's the Passover lamb (in the symbolism) his blood can't be the fertilizing agent of his own birth such that the Passover is not speaking of the virgin birth of the lamb of God but the birth of the bride of the lamb.

                  First the serpent must be "cut" out of the pregnancy of the lamb of God (Isaac as the symbolic representative of the lamb), then the lamb must himself be sacrificed to purchase his bride from the sitra ahra (the realm of death) where she's been enslaved.

                  The earlier messages in this thread were concerned with the symbolism of eating fruit from the un-pruned tree in the Garden to produce death, sin, murder, etc.. The tree of knowledge grows (according to Jewish symbolism) from the same root as the Tree of Life. The tree of knowledge forms an orlah, or barrier, to the fruit of the Tree of Life, such that Adam and Eve eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge which is uncircumcised sex.

                  Therein they produce death, and sin, murder, and all the hardships associated with this current world and it's slavery to the serpent.

                  But when Abraham symbolically emasculates himself, he births Isaac, who, when he (Abraham) goes to sacrifice him, as the first-fruits of the Tree of Life (having pruned the tree of knowledge to get to the Tree of Life), is replaced by the Passover lamb with his head in thorns.

                  Eating the Passover lamb is eating the first-fruit of the Tree of Life. The Passover lamb is being juxtaposed against the first-fruit Adam and Eve ate in the Garden, phallic-sex.

                  In Exodus chapter 12 the "Ordinance" of the Passover is set forth. First comes circumcision (and thus the circumscribed birth of the Passover lamb -----as the first-fruit of the circumcision) then comes the Passover meal (where the first-fruit of the Tree of Life is consumed).

                  Speaking concerning the Ordinance of the Passover, Moses says:

                  And thou shalt shew thy son [his circumcision] in that day [bar mitzvah], saying, This is done because of that which the Lord did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt [I was circumcised so that I could eat the Passover meal]. And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine yad, and for a memorial [zikkaron] between thine eyes, [so] that the Lord’s law may be in thy mouth [since you have the mark qualifying you to eat the Passover meal]. . . ..

                  Exodus 13:8-9.​

                  The mark of circumcision is the qualification for eating the Passover lamb. But Exodus 13:8-9 makes the strange statement that by eating the Passover lamb you will be putting the Lord's law in your mouth?

                  In Jewish symbolism the Torah (the law) is wrapped around a "rod" or wooden ferula, a staff of sorts, God's commander's rod, literally called: the Tree of Life. The symbolism is peculiarly fitting since the words of the law are written on lamb's skin, while the lamb's skin is coiled around God's commander's rod in a manner similar to a serpent.

                  When, in the Ordinance of the Passover, Moses sets forth the fact that circumcision is the prerequisite for eating the law of God, and if we remember that the wimpel wrapped around the Torah scroll is adorned with circumcision blood, it becomes apparent that the Torah scroll itself is being compared to the very organ God himself will use to consummate his relationship to his bride.

                  Since the intercourse that consummates the mating between bride and groom is symbolized by "eating" from a "tree" . . . and since the tree of knowledge and the Tree of Life grow from the same root . . . it's not difficult to see that in the symbolism Moses presents, God's own tree must be pruned before the fruit can be eaten by his bride.

                  Which is to say, the lambskin scroll, coiled as it is around the Tree of Life, is the source of death, punishment, toiling in the soil, crawling on the belly, and a host of other symbols. The written words on the shatnez (linen and wool, lamb and serpent) coiled around the Tree of Life (God's commanders rod) must be bleed in order to gain life from the Torah rather than death and slavery to commandments and laws . . . which can't Save.


                  XR

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    XR, while I agree that it is good to look at the deepest mysteries of the faith, I want to remind you that not all are ready to search so for meaning, and that all symbols mean much, and more than one thing. Further, one must be careful to not apply meaning more than is intended, there is danger there indeed. I do not know your habits, but I hope that you also indulge in the simpler readings of Scripture, and delight in the simplicity of Jesus physically being raised from the dead and so likewise we will be. I think there is more beauty to be found there than any more abstract teaching. God bless you man.
                    Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith? -Galatians 3:5

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi Pentecost,

                      Originally posted by Pentecost View Post
                      XR, while I agree that it is good to look at the deepest mysteries of the faith, I want to remind you that not all are ready to search so for meaning, and that all symbols mean much, and more than one thing. Further, one must be careful to not apply meaning more than is intended, there is danger there indeed. I do not know your habits, but I hope that you also indulge in the simpler readings of Scripture, and delight in the simplicity of Jesus physically being raised from the dead and so likewise we will be. I think there is more beauty to be found there than any more abstract teaching. God bless you man.
                      . . . Yes. I agree with the gist of what you're saying. It's true that the deeper meanings come through simple faith and love (particularly for the Word of God) rather than faith and love coming from the deeper meanings.

                      That's said, the stuff in this thread is not quite as abstract as it may appear. There are very many symbols in Judaism and Christianity that are taken for granted, or utterly unknown, which, with the slightest study, reveal simple truths that are of tremendous value.




                      XR

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Xtian Rabinovich View Post
                        Hi Pentecost,



                        . . . Yes. I agree with the gist of what you're saying. It's true that the deeper meanings come through simple faith and love (particularly for the Word of God) rather than faith and love coming from the deeper meanings.

                        That's said, the stuff in this thread is not quite as abstract as it may appear. There are very many symbols in Judaism and Christianity that are taken for granted, or utterly unknown, which, with the slightest study, reveal simple truths that are of tremendous value.




                        XR
                        I am not sure how much I agree to their value, but I was not seeking to rebuke you or anysuch, only to say what I said. God bless.
                        Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith? -Galatians 3:5

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Xtian Rabinovich View Post
                          Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

                          John 6:53-58.

                          . . . Surely this is one of, if not the, most intriguing scriptures in all the bible. It seems clear that the author of the words above is either a crackpot (smoking crack or pot) or else a man condensing one of the greatest compendiums of bible symbols into one of the most compact packages the scripture has ever known?


                          XR
                          ## I think it's illuminating to look at the use of phrases like "eat the flesh [of]", particularly in the OT. In several contexts it means something like "destroy". Taken with the desire of His followers to make Him a king (6.15), Jesus seems to be saying (among other things) that those who seek to make Him (Messiah-) King, must destroy Him. That seems a pretty shocking thing to say.

                          It is also interesting that in three places in this chapter the verb *trogein* is used - "eat" is an under-translation; "gnaw", "chew", "chomp", "munch", would be closer to what is meant. If the flesh of Jesus is to be "munched", and the "munching" of it is emphasised, real eating, not eating in a figurative sense, seems to be indicated. The flesh of Jesus is to be eaten in a manner that words in Psalms & Ezekiel (& Revelation) are not. The flesh of Jesus must be "munched", & it seems at least possible that St John is combating a Gnostic or Docetic tendency that denied the reality of the Incarnation & the Eucharistic Presence - errors that St Ignatius of Antioch (c. 110) also had to fight. He cannot deny the significance of the Holy Spirit, so he guards against one-sided spiritualising of Christ by using strongly realistic & vulgar language for the eating of His Body.

                          There is a spiritual aspect to this eating, because this gospel is interested in Baptism & the Eucharist - St John has sacramental interests, presumably on behalf of the church for which he was writing. This would explain the emphasis on the S/spirit, since it is through the action of the Holy Spirit that water, wine, & bread have sacramental effects. ISTM that the passage reflects the notion that the Lord Jesus is known in the "breaking of the bread" - and those who do not know Him, do not "discern the Body of the Lord", so, they are scandalised.

                          A feature of St John's gospel is the "Johannine misunderstanding". The JM is the misunderstanding of Jesus' Identity - His Identity, like the Kingdom of God, is a major theme in the gospels. Pilate misunderstands His Kingship, just as here His followers misunderstand His words about eating Him.

                          Passages which in other gospels are united in a single episode are sometimes in St John found in a variety of episodes. St Peter's confession of Jesus' Identity comes in John 1.42, after some other identity-stories; & this section of John 6 seems to be the Johannine equivalent of St Peter's rebuking Jesus for foretelling His Passion. It also functions as (in part) the Johannine equivalent of the Last Supper.

                          I don't know how anyone could call St John a "crackpot". If readers don't have a clue about the OT background to St John's Christology, that is not the fault of St John, but a defect on the part of those who presume to criticise him even though they have no understanding of what he means. That sort of objection can therefore not be taken seriously; many can, but not that.

                          ISTM that St John is writing for a church, and is rebuking a Gnosticising, anti-sacramental tendency that imperilled the faith of Christians by presenting the Jews of Jesus' time who rejected His Kingship as being similarly undiscerning. This might, if correct, be a hint that the Evangelist & the Apocalyptist are the same man.

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