RE: [SBS] Nate Ramsayer's "The New Testament" Wed Night U Lectures

From: dale b.
Sent on: Saturday, June 19, 2010 7:03 AM
Thanks for the good discussion on genealogies.  A couple of websites have been suggested and after a cursory view I feel they will be good to study so thanks for the suggestions.  Keith raises a good point about what is really important for us to focus on in life.  Endless genealogies will not make us a better person.  But we realize the gospels used genealogies as a basis of support for Jesus Christ.  So it is just one piece of the puzzle, but with a purpose.  Today there are people who will not accept the Bible by faith so a study of the facts will help create the faith that is needed.  Thanks again for the good input.
 
Dale
--- On Fri, 6/18/10, Keith Johnsen <[address removed]> wrote:

From: Keith Johnsen <[address removed]>
Subject: RE: [SBS] Nate Ramsayer's "The New Testament" Wed Night U Lectures
To: [address removed]
Date: Friday, June 18, 2010, 11:19 PM

An easy reference is within the Bible itself referencing other "false teachers" with their "mythologies".  In the Pastoral epistle attributed to Paul, 1 Timothy 1:3-5:

"As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God's work���which is by faith."  

From this we can see that in the days of the early church itself that genealogies played an important part of claims of legitimacy, not just for themselves but their detractors.  To lay claim to the past was to validate oneself, as novelty was considered dangerous to the stability of society.  The purpose of origin myths is to put oneself in the past and create a sense of continuity of their group from the past with a long history.  In essence, 'We're not some new idea, but an ancient tradition'.  

The challenge here by the later Paul is to those who focus on claims of genealogy against the early Christians and the rebuff that the importance should not be on genealogical claims, to not get wrapped up in arguments to historical facts (my interpretation), but on how one lives.  I personally see this as a shift away from the early legitimatizing of the movement with genealogies and other means, to a focus on good moral behaviors as what legitimizes them.  Going down the road of continuing tying to defend the movement with the same sorts of things the Jews were with their history and traditions, became tedious, distracting, and self-defeating.

But the point being, genealogy did play a part in the stories of a people.  If you wish extra-biblical references beyond the Abrahamic religions, a start would be this reference here and its several trees in each one of its subcategories: http://www.timelessmyths.com/classical/genealogy.html

Keith

From: [address removed]
Subject: RE: [SBS] Nate Ramsayer's "The New Testament" Wed Night U Lectures
To: [address removed]
Date: Fri, 18 Jun[masked]:51:37 -0400

Thanks to Dean and Keith for responding to this question.  Keith stated that the use of genealogies was not uncommon.  However, I have not been able to find any.  Would anyone have any suggestions as to where I could find out if they really exist?  Thanks, Dale



--- On Fri, 6/18/10, Keith Johnsen <[address removed]> wrote:

From: Keith Johnsen <[address removed]>
Subject: RE: [SBS] Nate Ramsayer's "The New Testament" Wed Night U Lectures
To: [address removed]
Date: Friday, June 18, 2010, 1:18 PM

Since Dean offered his thoughts I see no reason at the moment to not have a group-discussion sort of thing via email on this question from the other night if that's of interest. 

The thing I pick up on from the question below is 'which one was first?'.  I think the point is not so much which was the original as including genealogies was not uncommon.  Creation myths are about tracing back a people's or person's origins, to "the beginning".  The Gospel of John takes this theme and extends Christ's genealogy all the way back into the Cosmos itself, before creation, before all history. 

I wouldn't say any of these inclusions are copycats in the sense of directly duplicated where you can point to the original and say, "this came first and takes the preeminent position, all the rest are copies."  Rather many use common themes like genealogies in the origin stories, but each use of them will be unique to each religion/culture.  So it is expected that the Christian genealogy will be unique.  Each has something unique to the others.  If they weren't unique to each group, then they wouldn't serve much purpose to uniquely identify themselves; to distinguish themselves. 

To me, rather than an emphasis on which one was first (which is likely impossible to ever be able to really tell), I see it more a question of looking at both the general and unique ways in which these genres were used.  These seem more telling questions as to the conditions and mindsets revealing the ways in which they used them to view themselves; their image of themselves, what they were facing, what they wanted to be, and how they created themselves through their stories and traditions. 

My two cents...

Keith 


From: [address removed]
Subject: Re: [SBS] Nate Ramsayer's "The New Testament" Wed Night U Lectures
To: [address removed]
Date: Fri, 18 Jun[masked]:04:49 -0400

Frank,
I don't know if this goes out to all SBS but I have a follow up to my question to Nate last meeting.  I asked if other creation stories had a genealogy which are similar to the Bible.  Nate was quick to answer yes, to establish their right to the crown they did trace their roots.  My question really was, is there another genealogy of the scope of the Bible, which goes from the time of Christ through David, Abraham and on to Adam.  In my limited research I have been unable to find something similar.  My interest is driven by the discussion of which story was the original.  If the Bible copied another account I would believe that there would be a genealogy there as well. 
Frank, can you pass this along for me as I find this discussion fascinating.
Dale

--- On Wed, 6/16/10, Frank Burton <[address removed]> wrote:

From: Frank Burton <[address removed]>
Subject: [SBS] Nate Ramsayer's "The New Testament" Wed Night U Lectures
To: [address removed]
Date: Wednesday, June 16, 2010, 7:13 PM

Although not part of our formal biweekly Tuesday night SBS Meetups, SBS wanted to tell you about a parallel lecture series we recommend!

Nate Ramsayer, prior to his departure for grad school in Boston, will be teaching five free lectures on The New Testament through the Experimental College of the Twin Cities (www.excotc.org).

Nate's course will be FREE.

It will begin Wednesday, June 23rd and go through Wednesday, July 21st (5 Wednesday nights), from 6:30-8:30 pm. It will be held on the University of Minnesota campus (East Bank) in Ford Hall, room 150 (the building on the Mall, at its SE corner on the north side of Washington Ave. SE.)

Pay-parking is available (at an hourly pay rate) in the Washington Ave Parking Ramp, one block east of Ford Hall (http://www1.umn.edu/twincities/maps/FordH/)

SBS endorses Nate's class -- so if you'd like to learn more academic details about The New Testament, check out Nate's Lecture Series!




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