Mark 8:36 "What profit a man to gain the whole world...

by kepler 5 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • kepler

    ... and lose his soul." When JWs came to my house years ago to instruct me on "What the Bible Really Teaches", I gathered from the text that doctrine made a distinction between humans and spirits such as angels. The belief in a bodily resurrection made the notion of a soul either redundant or something that would be extinguished. And then there were various citations: some books of the Bible seemed to suggest that this was the only life and assumed that the Lord's pleasure with individuals was the fact that they had lived long lives or were rewarded with such. In some OT books the notion that there could be a resurrection never ( at least so far as the individual book narrative was concerned) entered the picture.

    In fact from a contemporary standpoint, it might be interesting to contrast the writings or beliefs of some Israel's neighbors on these matters. Egyptians seemed to favor an eternity after death and build accommodations for their thereafter; Mesopotamians, you live and then you die. Persians and Zoroastrians in the time of Cyrus were another kettle of fish, but difficult to document.

    Centuries after Christ, the Apostle's Creed speaks of the" resurrection of the body and life everlasting" - and Jehovah Witness lore seems to extrapolate on that to such a degree that one could wonder if pioneers are on neighborhood surveys for that morrow. Mark is also the Gospel where Jesus in 12:18-27 says:

    25 "When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven."

    This suggests that somehow we are to be transformed like caterpillars into butterflies.

    As to what glimpses we might have had into what that might be like - from the Bible, from medicine, from incidents in history or legend, near death accounts - we all have to judge for ourselves. Yet paradoxically, our conscious existence emerges from somewhere - and then it departs the body in which it was harbored. If it were to be extinguished like a candle as the tract WTBRT suggests, then there is still the problem of how it got lit in the first place. Most physical processes have some sort of conservation within an enclosure. We don't really understand the enclosure our consciousness is in. But if we take away a picture from the Bible or related texts, it is not as clear as sermons might suggest.

    Thus far, I have concentrated on the sayings in Mark, but there could be some variations not only from Old Testament to New, but also from each Gospel perspective. In Matthew 5:5, it is said that the "Meek shall inherit the earth." That's not conditioned on losing the soul but ... being "meek." Yet does that imply a different type of return than the one envisioned in Mark?

    If all this is consistent, then how?

  • waton
    kepler: "--This suggests that somehow we are to be transformed like caterpillars into butterflies.

    Excepts that is the reverse than the resurrection, which is butterflies into caterpillars, because

    Butterflies procreate, not the caterpillars. Angels have wings though, but to procreate they have to shed them to marry, like they did, before the flood.

    kepler be careful, your famous name forbearer Johannes K , was disfellowshipped for bible question quests.

  • venus

    True Christianity is all about social altruism (Mathew 25:31-46), and true Christians are found scattered in all religions--even among JWs. Interestingly, Jesus rejected all theological exercises (Mathew 7:21-23). Hence if make mistakes in theological details/understanding, it doesn't matter.

  • Fisherman
    When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven."
    This suggests that somehowy we are to be transformed like caterpillars into butterflies.

    Maybe not. Butterflies mate; caterpillars do not. I can't figure out what Jesus meant. I can't figure human beings resurrected as celibate eunuchs. And especially those that were castrated. Jesus resurrected Lazarus to the earth referring to himself as the resurrection and life and the context and references made to in that event had to do with a resurrection to human life ( "Lord I know he will rise on the last day." ) There is evidence in the Bible of resurrections to human life -and that of Jesus to life as a spirit, so both forms are doable. It is only a guess what Jesus meant unless the meaning was communicate by God. --One does not know for sure otherwise if resurrected humans will be able to marry and enjoy sexual relations, but sex and marriage is part of being human and I just can't see it any other way.

  • kepler

    Point understood now about caterpillars and butterflies. But what I meant was a complete transformation: from a form that we once were to something quite else. And I believe that as far as Biblical citations go, you could argue for either a very familiar form or something that transcends what we are. Or perhaps nothing.

  • Fisherman
    you could argue

    Ressurection again to human life from bare bones is shown in the bible so is living 900 plus years. The only transformation shown in the bible is Jesus resurrected to spirit.

Share this