If Abraham had gone to Kingdom of Heaven, why not John the Baptist?

by anointed1 14 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • anointed1

    Jesus rated John the Baptist as the greatest “among those born of women” (Luke 7:28) hence after his death he should naturally go to heaven—especially so lesser ones like Enoch, Abraham are already in the Kingdom of Heaven. (Hebrews 11: 5, 6; 13-16)

    In view of the direct statement of Jesus: “I say to you that many will come from the east and the west to share the banquet with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven” (Mathew 8:11), people like Abraham are definitely in heaven. Hence it is obvious that ‘the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than John’ must be a later adoption to project Jesus as the first-fruit (which is again meaningless as Jesus was already from heaven, and was only to return to heaven)

    The verse in Luke 7:28: “I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he” is like Nobel Prize committee saying: “We tell you, among all those living on earth there is no one who has contributed to world-peace as much like Juan Manuel Santos; yet there is no Nobel Prize for Peace for him this year or in any years to come.” Latter part of the sentence makes no sense.

    Interestingly, the writer of Hebrews had a clear understanding of life and what happens after life. For him it was like children coming out from their house on to play-ground, and returning to house from where they came. (Hebrew 11:13-16) Such a simple view of life was clouded by complicated teaching of grace or undeserved kindness through faith in the sacrificial death of Jesus (which is again meaningless as it is linked to some ancient myth borrowed from other cultures).

  • Half banana
    Half banana

    Anointed 1, a person could spend many human lifetimes trying to make the Bible consistent. It can't be done!

    You must forget reason and have faith brother..............

    As an alternative you could study in only one or two lifetimes, the background to the texts, mythos, ethnology, politics and cultic imperatives which are embraced by the Bible.

    The fiction of Jesus is demonstrated by the very ancient history of the tale of the God-man hero.

    In fact the very word 'hero' comes from the name of the son of the Egyptian Sun God 'Horus' who was as the myth relates, by virgin birth was born in midwinter of Osiris and his wife Isis Meri. Apart from Horus being an itinerant teacher, healer of the sick, raiser of the dead, he had twelve disciples and was baptised by his cousin Anup who was six months older than himself. The Egyptian name Anup not surprisingly translates as John in Hebrew.

    So when Jesus "says" something in the Bible it is not him speaking, he never spoke, he never existed, nobody remembered seeing him or recorded his words.

    No it was the Christ-cult leadership who embroidered and re-spun the old tales of the God-man hero.

  • Vanderhoven7

    Yes, verses 13 - 16 nail it.

    All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, He has prepared a city for them

    There is no verse of scripture that denies a heavenly hope to OT saints.

  • anointed1
    Half banana

    oK, Even when it is myth-linked, things tie in well with the fact that OT people also were going to heaven. The teaching that heavenly hope started with Jesus has no basis.

  • Half banana
    Half banana

    Vanderhoven, most of the OT saints are also mythological, clearly Abel, Noah, Melchizedek etc are. Isaak, Jacob and co. were all made up as a foundational myth to legitimise the nationhood of Israel. The Kings of Israel before Hezekiah were made up as were the conflicting genealogies of Jesus.

    Look, we are talking fairyland when we ascribe unknowable possibilities to fictional characters.

    The key to this matter is to find out when and how and where the idea of "heaven" entered the religious consciousness.

    Any reward by heavenly existence is certainly not given mention in the OT. To die old and satisfied (at an absurd age) was the ideal for patriarchs.The dream of the Jewish hope, as a landless people, lay in nationalism as a path to plenty, not in a mysterious afterlife.

  • anointed1
    Half banana

    That is true. When two time Jews' temple was destroyed, all their scrolls were also destroyed forcing them later to make their own story.

    It is interesting to see the evolution of theology. When their temple was destroyed along with the political establishment, they developed the theology of a redeemer. When the so-called redeemer came, he was also put to death. From this theological crisis arose the teaching that Messiah had to die a sacrificial death before he could restore the Kingdom.

  • Rattigan350

    "All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them."

    The promise to them was never heaven.

    But the problem with this belief in heaven is - why hasn't anyone who is in heaven contacted the people on earth?

  • Half banana
    Half banana

    From the most superficial look at the Jewish acceptance of heaven as a reward; by the time of 2 Maccabees the heroine mother of her seven tortured and executed sons refers to both the mythical Moses and to heaven's hope as a justification for suffering the most excruciating torture and death. Incidentally they were scalped, hands and feet removed and then fried to death still defending their faith. Over egging the cake somewhat to make the point that heaven is the answer to everything humans have to put up with.

    This Greek text comes from the late second century BCE well into the Classical period. By this time Judaism had become more cosmopolitan and less insular because of the exposure to foreign thought introduced by their political masters and in Greek speaking Egypt: the new Mediterranean philosophical discourse.

    Four and a half centuries earlier, the Jews were ruled by the Persians after 539 BCE and that would have introduced the polarized ideology of heaven and hell through Zoroastrianism. Those tenets would have been in the Jewish consciousness but not expressed as a canonical belief until the second century BCE. (If you will allow Maccabees to be canonical and that we are only talking about heaven).

    It was probably in Greek Alexandria on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt, the most cosmopolitan city in the world in the last centuries BCE, where the fusion of Greek thought and Jewish messianism met and melded. The population of Alexandria remarkably, was one third Jewish and like the rest of the city's inhabitants; progressive, open minded, intellectual in outlook and not at all traditional.

    There were a number of pre-Jesus messianic sects of Jewish origin and one of the threads of belief is seen in the Maccabees with reference to extreme suffering for immortal rewards in heaven. Jewish belief never originally looked to heaven or indeed masochism, yet these ideals were adopted with rigour in the early church.

    "Self-denial" became the model Christian ethos, become a slave of Christ, don't reason; grovel to your masters instead, and go to heaven.

    This new religious tack led to the creation of saints, self flagellation and eventually to Monasticism. Which reinforced its total power by hellish threats and heavenly rewards . By so doing it added an enormous damper to creativity and progress in the cloistered medieval world. Thank God for the Renaissance! (But I digress)

  • Vanderhoven7

    Adam Clarke's Commentary on Matthew 11:11b

    Notwithstanding, he that is least in the kingdom of heaven - By the kingdom of heaven in this verse is meant, the fullness of the blessings of the Gospel of peace; which fullness was not known till after Christ had been crucified, and had risen from the dead. Now the least in this kingdom, the meanest preacher of a crucified, risen, and glorified Savior, was greater than John, who was not permitted to live to see the plenitude of Gospel grace, in the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. Let the reader observe,

    1st. That the kingdom of heaven here does not mean the state of future glory. See Mat_3:2.

    2dly. That it is not in holiness or devotedness to God that the least in this kingdom is greater than John; but

    3dly. That it is merely in the difference of the ministry.

    The prophets pointed out a Christ that was coming; John showed that that Christ was then among them; and the preachers of the Gospel prove that this Christ has suffered, and entered into his glory, and that repentance and remission of sins are proclaimed through his blood.

    (Emphasis - mine)

  • Half banana
    Half banana

    What we need Van is not a commentary but facts. The personas of John and Jesus are fully pagan dating back perhaps to the origin of writing but certainly described in Egypt by two thousand four hundred BCE.

    Jesus has saved not one person from death and cannot, less still can any character arising from literature resurrect anyone.

    Sorry to try and burst your bubble but it's about time in the twenty first century we to come to terms with the fact that there is a yawning gulf between old wives' tales and truth.

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