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Switch to Forum Live View Problems with Acts: Kicking of the Goads
2 years ago  ::  May 30, 2012 - 2:25PM #1
Son_of_Thunder
Posts: 326

"And when we had all fallen to the ground I heard a voice say to me in the Hebrew language, 'Saul, Saul,...To keep kicking against the goads makes it hard for you..."-Acts 26:14b NWT,emphasis mine

SOT: Once again I've caught the Lukan Tiger by his toe. And I submitt this scripture as yet another reason why we should doubt the reliability of Luke's knowledge about Paul.

Scholars are confident that this phrase didn't come out of Paul's mouth!

Why?

"I heard [Jesus] voice say in the Hebrew language..."- Acts 26:14 [] mine

SOT: Someone speaking in the Jewish language would of made no sense when saying this:

"kicking against the goads".....this phrase has a history worth considering friends.

It's basically an ancient greek proverb. It was made common by a play written by a greek pagan named Euripides.

In the Bacchae, The greek god Dionysus is being persecuted by a character named Pentheus.

Dionysus cries out to him "you disregard my words of warning...and kick against the goads" -line 794.

SOT: In Lukan version of Paul's conversion, Luke wants Jesus to assume the role Dionysus to his readers(Theophilus & family). In these overt literary efforts, Luke has revealed his hand.

I say "efforts", because there are more accounts in Acts that we can suspect Luke borrowed from Euripides and Dionysus....stay tuned!


 



-SOT  

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2 years ago  ::  May 30, 2012 - 6:58PM #2
Knowsnothing
Posts: 1,150

The Bible isn't immune to religious syncretism  Wink


Thanks for this, SOT, I had no idea what a 'goad' was.  Tongue Out

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2 years ago  ::  May 30, 2012 - 11:12PM #3
Theo
Posts: 4,691

Are you mad?


Do you imagine an ancient world where the people knew nothing of agrarian life but only spoke in terms of Greek theater?


Picture a team of Oxen pulling a wagon, and the driver using a long sharp stick to motivate the oxen, poking them in the buttOx - pun intended. And what do you think would happen to Oxen who kicked against the goads?


Answer: they would injure themselves by kicking into the sharp stick.


Jesus knew Paul's heart and that he persecuted Christians to the death because that is what his religious zeal demanded of him. And so He revealed to Paul that it was He (Jesus) who was poking Paul in the butt as it were, every time he ruined the life of another disciple of Christ... moreover, Paul fighting against the awareness that he was doing wrong, was wounding him.


Kicking against the goads was a well known metaphor and neither Luke nor Jesus blew it by using the phrase the way they did.


What truly confounds me is why unbelievers think tiny tidbits of info found in ancient pagan writings, that bear little resemblance to things found in the Bible, disqualifies the Biblical narratives. Do you really think the Bible would be more believable if we found nothing from the ancient world reflected in the Bible???  Just because the ancient Babylonians believed in a flood does not mean the Bible got the idea from them, or from any of the other ancient myths about the flood. It could be that the flood really happened, and various cultures around the world passed the story down, adapting it to their culture and religious beliefs as time passed.


Honestly Thunder, it take more faith to believe the nonsense you come up with than it does to just believe the Bible.


~ Theophilus

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2 years ago  ::  May 30, 2012 - 11:42PM #4
Kemmer
Posts: 16,603

Perhaps through some blemish in translation, the proper [off-color] phrase was, "Kicking in the gonads"?

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2 years ago  ::  May 31, 2012 - 11:29AM #5
Son_of_Thunder
Posts: 326

Theo:Do you imagine an ancient world where the people knew nothing of agrarian life but only spoke in terms of Greek theater?


SOT: Greetings Theo, it's been a long time. I hope you've been well. It's funny how faithful you are when it comes to defending Luke.


The basic thought behind your point is correct. But what you are missing is the exact wording. This is the similarity that E. Dodd is trying to point out in his book "Euripides: Bacchae".


In it, the Oxford grad in Classical Greek Literature lays a convincing arguement that indeed there is a probable chance that the anonymous author YOU CALL "Luke" was familar with the play.


"pros kentra laktizein"-Acts 26:15


"pros kentra laktizoimi"-line 794 Bacchae


The similarity is striking. Notice how Luke even chooses to leave "goads" [kentra] in the plural. Just like the play.


If Luke was merely translating Hebrew to koine greek, the wording would be different. 


This is the point I'm making Theo. I apologize for confusion. 


There's a literary dependence arguement to be made.


I'm here to make it.


Theo:Kicking against the goads was a well known metaphor and neither Luke nor Jesus blew it by using the phrase the way they did.


SOT: You're right Theo. Judging from this piece of evidence alone, I would say that I've got little to go on.


But I've got more...


"but if it is from God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God."-Acts 5:39 NAS


Here, Dodd points out a very rare verb chosen by Luke: "theomachoi". Dodd has personally read every manuscript copy we have of ancient greek writings. He says that only a few authors have used this verb.


One being Luke, the other Euripides in his play Bacchae line 45.


This isn't madness Theo. This is literary evidence.

"[And the angel said to him], 'Quick, get up' And the chains fell away from his wrists."-Acts 12:8 


When they approached the iron gate of the prison, it "opened for them of its own accord"-vs10


When Paul was imprisoned in Philippi, in the night there was an earthquake, and "all the doors burst open and all the prisoners found their fetters unfastened"-Acts 16:26


These events in Peter and Paul's adventures '"are traditional Dionysiac miracles"-E. Dodd Pg. 132


In the Bacchae, imprisoned followers of Dionysus find that the "chains on their legs snapped apart by themselves. Untouched by any human hand, the doors swung wide, opening of their own accord-Grene and Lattimore The Complete Greek Tragedies pg 560


You say it's coincidence. I say it's literary dependence.


I've got more Theo! You can't dismiss it all my friend. Look what your friends are doing on my other threads.


Problems with Galatians: Out of Sight, Upper has no where to go.


Problems with Numbers: CopperHead, Newt and MJ are forced to ignore commonsense reasoning to hang on to their christian traditions. It's problematic to the objective reader.


And now there's you, you who got pulled into a debate that you will lose...


-SOT 

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2 years ago  ::  May 31, 2012 - 12:54PM #6
cherubino
Posts: 7,277

SOT,


Here's a real-life, 20th century goading & kicking story. When I was a young Trappist monk in the early 60's, we worked a 1300 acre farm on which we raised Angus cattle to support ourselves. In one long day every October we rounded up all of the 250 brood cows and their calves from their various pastures into the corral, ran them one by one into the chute and weighed them. Then the vet took blood from the cows' jugular veins to check for various diseases, while all the calves got vitamin shots and the males got castrated with a bloodless duct crimper.

My day started on a horse at about 5:30 in the morning and ended that way at about 7:00 PM. In the meantime, I was the guy who had to get down into the chute and goad them into the yoke at the end of it. Can you picture it? By noon we're talking cowshit from shoulders to shoes, hips bruised and feet stepped on so many times they were numb.

Well, one time our farm manager sent a young clerical postulant from Outer Suburbia down to help us for the afternoon. Naturally he was terrified of the cows, so we sat him atop the fence out of harm's way with a long stick to wave so they'd go onto the scale. Hard to describe, but picture it if you can. About 5:00 PM, with only about a dozen head yet to go, a calf kicked me square in the shin. Excruciating pain shot through my leg, and rage triumphed at last. I grabbed his tail and hollered, "You will get your f***ing little ass in there NOW!"

Nobody, not even our extremely pious Brother Anthony, even looked up. But the kid went the color of a sheet when you've overdone the bleach. After supper he was first in line on the bench outside the abbot's office, presumably to report this egregious lapse in monastic etiquette. And when he saw me coming by, he pulled the hood further down over his face so that eye contact was impossible.

So I knew the kid was going to squeal, but I was unrepentant as I contemplated my possible impending doom. The usual amends when a monk has "given scandal" was to make a public apology to the whole community at meal time, and then having to eat one's dinner off one's lap sitting on a footstool in the middle of the refectory. As I rationalized it, though, that calf needed that vitamin shot for his own good (and for our profit too, of course) and therefore needed instructions in words he could understand. I mean, I was just doing my job, right? Right.

I didn't see the abbot until we both arrived late for lunch the next day and almost collided in the doorway of the refectory. The abbot smiled and winked, and the following Sunday the kid went home to his family. Evidently we had all failed, abbot included, to live up to the young man's standards of piety & virtue. The incident never came up in any conversation. My only regret is that I'll never know exactly what the abbot said to him, and in a way I'm still sorry I missed it.

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2 years ago  ::  May 31, 2012 - 3:20PM #7
Kemmer
Posts: 16,603

May 31, 2012 -- 12:54PM, cherubino wrote:


SOT,


Here's a real-life, 20th century goading & kicking story. When I was a young Trappist monk in the early 60's, we worked a 1300 acre farm on which we raised Angus cattle to support ourselves. In one long day every October we rounded up all of the 250 brood cows and their calves from their various pastures into the corral, ran them one by one into the chute and weighed them. Then the vet took blood from the cows' jugular veins to check for various diseases, while all the calves got vitamin shots and the males got castrated with a bloodless duct crimper.

My day started on a horse at about 5:30 in the morning and ended that way at about 7:00 PM. In the meantime, I was the guy who had to get down into the chute and goad them into the yoke at the end of it. Can you picture it? By noon we're talking cowshit from shoulders to shoes, hips bruised and feet stepped on so many times they were numb.

Well, one time our farm manager sent a young clerical postulant from Outer Suburbia down to help us for the afternoon. Naturally he was terrified of the cows, so we sat him atop the fence out of harm's way with a long stick to wave so they'd go onto the scale. Hard to describe, but picture it if you can. About 5:00 PM, with only about a dozen head yet to go, a calf kicked me square in the shin. Excruciating pain shot through my leg, and rage triumphed at last. I grabbed his tail and hollered, "You will get your f***ing little ass in there NOW!"

Nobody, not even our extremely pious Brother Anthony, even looked up. But the kid went the color of a sheet when you've overdone the bleach. After supper he was first in line on the bench outside the abbot's office, presumably to report this egregious lapse in monastic etiquette. And when he saw me coming by, he pulled the hood further down over his face so that eye contact was impossible.

So I knew the kid was going to squeal, but I was unrepentant as I contemplated my possible impending doom. The usual amends when a monk has "given scandal" was to make a public apology to the whole community at meal time, and then having to eat one's dinner off one's lap sitting on a footstool in the middle of the refectory. As I rationalized it, though, that calf needed that vitamin shot for his own good (and for our profit too, of course) and therefore needed instructions in words he could understand. I mean, I was just doing my job, right? Right.

I didn't see the abbot until we both arrived late for lunch the next day and almost collided in the doorway of the refectory. The abbot smiled and winked, and the following Sunday the kid went home to his family. Evidently we had all failed, abbot included, to live up to the young man's standards of piety & virtue. The incident never came up in any conversation. My only regret is that I'll never know exactly what the abbot said to him, and in a way I'm still sorry I missed it.




Cherub, you've got a fabulous, best-seller book in your head, although I wouldn't request an Imprimatur or Nihil Obstat from your local ordinary upon its completion.

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 01, 2012 - 12:14AM #8
Upperlimits
Posts: 3,056


May 31, 2012 -- 11:29AM, Son_of_Thunder wrote:


The basic thought behind your point is correct. But what you are missing is the exact wording. This is the similarity that E. Dodd is trying to point out in his book "Euripides: Bacchae".


In it, the Oxford grad in Classical Greek Literature lays a convincing arguement that indeed there is a probable chance that the anonymous author YOU CALL "Luke" was familar with the play.


"pros kentra laktizein"-Acts 26:15


"pros kentra laktizoimi"-line 794 Bacchae


The similarity is striking. Notice how Luke even chooses to leave "goads" [kentra] in the plural. Just like the play.


If Luke was merely translating Hebrew to koine greek, the wording would be different.


This is the point I'm making Theo. I apologize for confusion.


There's a literary dependence arguement to be made.




So what if he did?


I know from my own writing that I often use phrases that are popular in current media culture. If you read through my posts carefully, you may periodically notice a few lines from popular movies and TV shows. I've seen the same in other posters as well. It happens. People will use and remember/rephrase things to conform to their current life situation. It's just human nature to do so.


At the beginning of Lukes gospel, and in Acts, he mentions that this collection is a summary of events as he has come to hear and know them.


I would suspect that there would have been a lot of people around that time who were familiar with the play. Chances are pretty high that the record given here was a simple recollection of an event between two people. One would ask, "How did he say that?" and the other replies, "Oh, I think it was..." and then gives the common line as used in the popular play.


Was it the exact words used by Paul? Possibly. But, probably not.  Is it really all that important? I don't think so. We're reading an account as remembered by (and likely coloured by)  individual personalities.


What is important is that we get a basic understanding of the event. That doesn't require video tape accuracy. There is enough light contained in the record that I can safely use the event for my personal guidance. My salvation doesn't hinge on Pauls exact words being recorded.


May 31, 2012 -- 11:29AM, Son_of_Thunder wrote:


I've got more Theo! You can't dismiss it all my friend. Look what your friends are doing on my other threads.


Problems with Galatians: Out of Sight, Upper has no where to go.





Bull!!!


I've not replied for three reasons.


1) I have been extremely busy with my own construction projects (garage, back yard, etc) and simply do not have a lot of time to devote to the board at the moment.


2) My internet service provider recently discontinued service in my area and I am currently without an internet connection. Thus, Internet access (borrowed, or otherwise) is sporadic and limited. Frankly, for the moment, I am enjoying my new found freedom and have no plans to find an alternate service until the snow flies. I'll get back to you when it is convenient for me. (See 1)


3) You are so full of your own ideas that you cannot see past your own logical fallacy. There is enough information in my initial post to figure things out... If you really wanted to do so.... But I plan to give you a little more time to gloat before replying again.


May 31, 2012 -- 11:29AM, Son_of_Thunder wrote:


And now there's you, you who got pulled into a debate that you will lose...


-SOT




 


What a kidder...

According to 2nd Corinthians 3:2, there are five gospels in the world. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the Epistle of ones own life.  Most people will probably never read the first four.

God desires that our lives would bear spiritual fruit - not religious nuts.
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2 years ago  ::  Jun 02, 2012 - 2:30PM #9
Son_of_Thunder
Posts: 326

May 31, 2012 -- 12:54PM, cherubino wrote:


SOT,


Here's a real-life, 20th century goading & kicking story. When I was a young Trappist monk in the early 60's, we worked a 1300 acre farm on which we raised Angus cattle to support ourselves. In one long day every October we rounded up all of the 250 brood cows and their calves from their various pastures into the corral, ran them one by one into the chute and weighed them. Then the vet took blood from the cows' jugular veins to check for various diseases, while all the calves got vitamin shots and the males got castrated with a bloodless duct crimper.

My day started on a horse at about 5:30 in the morning and ended that way at about 7:00 PM. In the meantime, I was the guy who had to get down into the chute and goad them into the yoke at the end of it. Can you picture it? By noon we're talking cowshit from shoulders to shoes, hips bruised and feet stepped on so many times they were numb.

Well, one time our farm manager sent a young clerical postulant from Outer Suburbia down to help us for the afternoon. Naturally he was terrified of the cows, so we sat him atop the fence out of harm's way with a long stick to wave so they'd go onto the scale. Hard to describe, but picture it if you can. About 5:00 PM, with only about a dozen head yet to go, a calf kicked me square in the shin. Excruciating pain shot through my leg, and rage triumphed at last. I grabbed his tail and hollered, "You will get your f***ing little ass in there NOW!"

Nobody, not even our extremely pious Brother Anthony, even looked up. But the kid went the color of a sheet when you've overdone the bleach. After supper he was first in line on the bench outside the abbot's office, presumably to report this egregious lapse in monastic etiquette. And when he saw me coming by, he pulled the hood further down over his face so that eye contact was impossible.

So I knew the kid was going to squeal, but I was unrepentant as I contemplated my possible impending doom. The usual amends when a monk has "given scandal" was to make a public apology to the whole community at meal time, and then having to eat one's dinner off one's lap sitting on a footstool in the middle of the refectory. As I rationalized it, though, that calf needed that vitamin shot for his own good (and for our profit too, of course) and therefore needed instructions in words he could understand. I mean, I was just doing my job, right? Right.

I didn't see the abbot until we both arrived late for lunch the next day and almost collided in the doorway of the refectory. The abbot smiled and winked, and the following Sunday the kid went home to his family. Evidently we had all failed, abbot included, to live up to the young man's standards of piety & virtue. The incident never came up in any conversation. My only regret is that I'll never know exactly what the abbot said to him, and in a way I'm still sorry I missed it.




Hahaha. You have lived an eventful life! I'm a city slicker myself, can't hack it a day on the farm.


-SOT

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 02, 2012 - 2:38PM #10
Theo
Posts: 4,691

You're right Theo. Judging from this piece of evidence alone, I would say that I've got little to go on. But I've got more...



More evidence of what? That the NT date backs to the first century, as evidenced by the fact that they contain references to places and even Greek plays that existed and were popular in the first century???


Or maybe you think you have evidence that the Books of the NT were fabrications of early Christianity, cunningly devised fables, just as St. Peter said, devised by men of corrupt minds looking for a means to control others... etc. But in reality, your evidence when presented with all your bravado only manages to warrant a "So what?" from the likes of people like me and Upperlimits, who actually believe the Books of the Bible are exactly what they represent themselves as...


You see Thunder, we know and understand that the Bible is a product of its times, and that the Books of the NT actually contain quotes and indirect references to both Jewish and Pagan practices and beliefs and quotes. Heck, Luke even has St. Paul quoting Greek poets, and using the quote to preach Jesus... imagine that! Acts 17:26-29 > And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring.'


Something unbelieving academics never consider, in their mad scramble to publish or perish, is that their conjectures, though they be inspired by similarities between the NT and pagan mythologies of Dionysus and Mitheris and on and on... is how these myths and stories of the past were rooted in the fabric of humanity, and the things ancient people know and commonly believed to be true. Birth, Life and Death are things they knew about. The nobility of men who loved others so much that they sacrificed themselves in their stead. Speculations about planting seeds, and does the new life mean something more to us than - that is simply how plants reproduce? Is death the end of us, or do our spirits live on in another place? What about evil people and justice, when evil people die, what becomes of them? Is there any justice to human existence, or are we different than the plants, and simply cease to exist when we die?


The Gospel of Christ did not fall out of heaven from the hand of God, certainly I believe it is from God, but what I am saying is that... just as Christ did not merely appear on the earth, but was born into the human family, grew up in a culture and understood things from His very human perspective... so the Gospel He preached reflected the life He knew. He spoke about the Kingdom of God being like a mustard seed, like 3 measures of meal, like a field and a treasure hidden in the field... etc. Jesus even taught things that can be shown to have pre-dated Him, Jewish teachings that Jesus agreed with, that stood in opposition to things other Jews and groups believed in... etc.


So the idea that it fundamentally undermines the authority of the NT because St. Luke quoted a phrase or two similar to those used in a Greek Play, or because Paul quoted a Greek Poet, or because similarities exist between aspects of Christianity and the mythologies of the ancient world... simply does not fly. It is a logical fallacy... it is like saying A + B = C, when we have nothing but huge assumptions to associate the letters as representing anything that can be added or equaled. In math you need to know the value of any 2 letters of the equation before you can deduce the nature and value of the third. But in this case, you need to demonstrate that the NT authors barrowed their religion from paganism... instead of just showing certain similarities, all rooted fundamentally in the essence of humanity, and then concluding that Christianity borrowed everything from pagans. And then, if you could do such a thing, then you need to show how Christians are simply deluding themselves, and that God is nothing more than an imaginary friend for adults... and does not really exist.


I have had very profound experiences with God in my life that correspond directly to Scripture... and nothing you know or can say can undercut what I know to be true. I believe in a Gospel that works... you believe in nothing that works... it's as simple as that.


~ Theophilus

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