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When/what is the End of Days?

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.

Re: When/what is the End of Days?

Postby Secret Alias » Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:25 pm

My answer is that it wasn't EXACTLY the end of the world when Jesus showed up (i.e. 20 - 21 CE). It was the Jubilee immediately proceeding the destruction of the temple, which was the end times. That's why it's called the gospel, that's why he's a nice guy. But again, that's my take on it.
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Re: When/what is the End of Days?

Postby John T » Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:56 pm

The end of days is explained in the Book of Enoch.

"And in those days shall the earth also give back that which has been entrusted to it, And Sheol also shall give back that which it has received, And hell shall give back that which it owes. For in those days the Elect One shall arise,
And he shall choose the righteous and holy from among them: For the day has drawn nigh that they should be saved."
...Enoch, Chapter LI.

The righteous (saved) are the elect . The torah will not be used as the template for who is righteousness or who is elect. The word of the Lord in Isaiah 2:3 is not the torah. The Son of Man will teach his ways (not the torah) so that the elect may walk in his path.
"It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into."...Jonathan Swift
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Re: When/what is the End of Days?

Postby Secret Alias » Fri Jan 06, 2017 4:09 pm

What a surprise. Enter John T ...

'Hi John T, what's new?'
'Not much.'
'How long has it been?'
'My last post was almost half a year ago. Aug 26, 2016 4:45 pm to be precise.'
'Great. What brought you back.'
'Oh I don't know. My ears were burning because I heard you were accusing the other John of being a famous professor.'
'Isn't that amazing.'
'Yeah. It's kind of cool. We help each other in that way.'
'You know what amazes me.'
'No tell me'
'Most people would just say 'I am not that famous professor' and then reveal who they are. It's not like he's revealing anything embarrassing.'
'Whoa bro. He's not that famous professor.'
'Oh. You know that for sure?'
'Yes for sure. Because I am that famous professor.'
'Oh my mistake.'
'Just kidding.'
'Funny guy.'
'The truth is that there is an underground community of Eisenman fans who go online promoting his ideas.'
'You don't say.'
'No it's true. Look at my last post from six months ago.'
'Why don't we.'
@DCH,

I hope you recover from shoulder surgery quickly. Be sure to medicate a good hour before physical therapy. Those guys love to inflict pain and you are no Essene. Josephus wrote of one sect of Essenes that "although they were tortured and dismembered, burned and torn to bits, going through every kind of instrument of torture to make them blaspheme the Name of the Law-giver or to eat was forbidden them,..yet instead of shedding a single tear, Rather they smiled in their very pains and laughed scornfully at those inflicting these tortures on them, resigning their soul with great alacrity as expecting to receive them back again."

I now refer to Eisenman, Jame the Brother of Jesus, Part V, chapter 23: The 'Zealot' Essenes in Hippolytus' Josephus.

Esinmen sees Hippolytus of Rome 'four groups of Essenes' as differing from Josephus.

One group was the love your enemies group. e.g. James, John the Baptist, Jesus. Which was contrary to the 'hate the Sons of the Pit' group.
Another group carried no coin.
Another group would not even looked upon any graven image.
Another group would slay those who spoke of God but were not circumcised, this is the group known as Zealots or Sicarii.

However, I (John T) read the Community Rule having only two groups; the sons of light (Essene) vs. the sons of the darkness (all others).

So, I agree with DCH it depends on your point of view.

'So there's a whole community of you.'
'Yes. Me, John2, JohnJohn, JohnnyOnTheSpot, JohnJohntheLeprechaun-WenttoSchoolWithNothingon ...'
'And you're all named John?'
'Why I hadn't noticed that before, but yes.'
'Makes sense.'
'Exactly'
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote
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Re: When/what is the End of Days?

Postby andrewcriddle » Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:08 am

Secret Alias wrote:I want to repeat, as someone who is intimately familiar with ALL of the early Christian sources, that there simply isn't an early or ancient witness who describes the existence of wholly observant 'Jewish Christians.' There's always an asterisk besides their 'Jewishness' insofar as they appear more Jewish that Pauline Christians insofar as - apparently - they stress that they are 'Jewish,' Israelite or some such concept. But again Christians resemble 'messianic' Jews of the seventeenth and eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (i.e. followers of antinomian type leaders). They read and interpreted the Jewish scriptures but in a highly mystical or allegorical manner. Indeed as far as I can see the only points of debate that ever emerges in the Patristic literature are (a) the calculation of Easter (b) abstention from certain types of foods and wine (c) some sort of observance of the Sabbath even as a fast (d) adherence to the Ten Commandments (e) recognition of Jewish holidays but again in a highly allegorized or 'spiritual form' (such as the examples of a Christian Festival of Unleavened Bread and (f) the covering of women. Maybe there are others. But circumcision isn't on that list certainly, nor animal sacrifices, nor again ritual mourning, birth observances, marriage contracts, divorce etc etc. There is simply no way to square core Jewish beliefs with the 'Jewish Christians' unless you assume that ALL of the Patristic sources are wrong and all the books of the Orthodox are forgeries which is a gross neglect of scholarship. The 'Jewish Christians' of early Christian literature weren't the yachad of Qumran nor directly related to that community.

According to Irenaeus http://gnosis.org/library/advh1.htm the Ebionites practised circumcision
Those who are called Ebionites agree that the world was made by God; but their opinions with respect to the Lord are similar to those of Cerinthus and Carpocrates. They use the Gospel according to Matthew only, and repudiate the Apostle Paul, maintaining that he was an apostate from the law. As to the prophetical writings, they endeavour to expound them in a somewhat singular manner: they practise circumcision, persevere in the observance of those customs which are enjoined by the law, and are so Judaic in their style of life, that they even adore Jerusalem as if it were the house of God.
(I agree that all Jewish Christians seem to have repudiated animal sacrifice in principle.)

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Re: When/what is the End of Days?

Postby John2 » Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:38 pm

Andrew wrote:

...all Jewish Christians seem to have repudiated animal sacrifice in principle.


I'm starting to take a fresh look at this issue, and yesterday I came across a statement by Luomanen regarding Irenaeus' comment about the Ebionites (on pg. 19):

What Irenaeus describes as the adoring of Jerusalem may reflect the Ebiionites' practice of saying their prayers while facing the Holy City. if so, this hardly was only a superficial rite that was carried on even after "the house of God" in Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 CE. Rather, the fact that Jerusalem was able to retain its central position even after the destruction of the temple characterizes the perseverance of Jewish ideas in the religion of the Ebionites and suggests that Jerusalem may also have had central role in their end time expectations.

https://books.google.com/books?id=ujIWl ... es&f=false


And Epiphanius notes in Pan. 29.7.4-5 that there were Jewish Christians who were:

...perfectly versed in the Hebrew language, for the entire Law, the prophets, and the so-called Writings—I mean the poetic books, Kings, Chronicles, Esther and all the rest—are read in Hebrew among them, as of course they are among the Jews. They are different from Jews, and different from Christians, only in the following ways. They disagree with Jews because of their belief in Christ; but they are not in accord with Christians because they are still fettered by the Law—circumcision, the Sabbath, and the rest.


That they accepted sacrifice is arguable from 29.8.1-2:

...persons like themselves are still 'under a curse,' since they cannot fulfill the Law. For how will they be able to fulfill the Law's provision, 'Thrice a year thou shalt appear before the Lord thy God, at the feasts of Unleavened Bread, Tabernacles and Pentecost,' on the site of Jerusalem? For since the site is closed off, and the Law's provisions cannot be fulfilled ...
Last edited by John2 on Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:51 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: When/what is the End of Days?

Postby John2 » Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:47 pm

This would be in keeping with James 2:10 ("For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it") and the presentation of Jewish Christians as spending time and/or offering sacrifices in the Temple in Acts, Hegesippus and Mt. 5:

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven ... if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
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Re: When/what is the End of Days?

Postby Secret Alias » Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:23 pm

But the idea that they kept sacrifices is confounded by the many statements in the Clementine Literature which is generally thought to come from this/these groups. As Jews didn't continue to sacrifice the fact that they did not sacrifice wouldn't have made them seem less Jewish.
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Re: When/what is the End of Days?

Postby John2 » Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:40 pm

But the idea that they kept sacrifices is confounded by the many statements in the Clementine Literature which is generally thought to come from this/these groups. As Jews didn't continue to sacrifice the fact that they did not sacrifice wouldn't have made them seem less Jewish.


But Epiphanius says that the origin of these kinds of Jewish Christians came "after the fall of Jerusalem" (Pan. 30.2.7). These were the ones he says used the Travels of Peter and the Ascents of James, which are thought to have been incorporated into the Clementine literature (Pan. 30.15.1-3 and 30.16.7).

The other ones, in chapter 29, kept the entire Torah and went back to the time of the disciples.

Pan. 29.1.2-3:

For these people did not give themselves the name of Christ or Jesus' own name, but that of 'Nazoraeans.' But at that time all Christians alike were called Nazoraeans. They also came to be called 'Jessaeans' for a short while, before the disciples began to be called Christians at Antioch.


Pan. 29.7.2-5:

For they do not repudiate the legislation, the prophets, and the books which are called Writings by the Jews and by themselves. They have no different views but confess everything in full accord with the doctrine of the Law and like the Jews, except that they are supposedly believers in Christ ... They are perfectly versed in the Hebrew language, for the entire Law, the prophets, and the so-called Writings—I mean the poetic books, Kings, Chronicles, Esther and all the rest—are read in Hebrew among them, as of course they are among the Jews.

They are different from Jews, and different from Christians, only in the following ways. They disagree with Jews because of their belief in Christ; but they are not in accord with Christians because they are still fettered by the Law—circumcision, the Sabbath, and the rest.


Pan. 29.7.7-8:

This sect of Nazoraeans is to be found in Beroea near Coelesyria, in the Decapolis near Pella, and in Bashanitis at the place called Cocabe—Khokhabe in Hebrew. For that was its place of origin, since all the disciples had settled in Pella after their remove from Jerusalem—Christ having told them to abandon Jerusalem and withdraw from it because of the siege it was about to undergo. And they settled in Peraea for this reason and, as I said, lived their lives there. It was from this that the Nazoraean sect had its origin.
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Re: When/what is the End of Days?

Postby Secret Alias » Sat Jan 07, 2017 3:06 pm

Oh well if Epiphanius says it it must be true.
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Cecil Roth on poss. relation of DSS charcters to War of 66-7

Postby DCHindley » Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:32 am

DCHindley wrote:
Lena Einhorn wrote:DCHindley: If you find your copy of Cecil Roth's book, could you specify some of the closer analogies between the DSS and Josephus? It sounds interesting, and online I can only find that Roth, and Driver, suggested that the Teacher of Righteousness would have been Menahem, or Eleazar ben Yair, but nothing about why they make that very interesting assessment (other than the fact that some parallel texts to those found at Qumran were also found on Masada)

I'll see if I can find it tonight. DCH


Lena,

I did find it, and OCR scanned it into PDF format.

Roth thinks that the Teacher of Righteousness of the DSS best fits Menahem, master of Masada, or possibly his relative Eleazar, the son of Jairus (War 2.447), who after the death of Menahem escaped back to Masada with the remnants of their fighting men and remained there until 73 CE when they took their own lives rather than surrender to the besieging Romans. Menahem himself was son of Judah the Galilean (War 2.433), who was the "sophist" who had created the "4th philosophy". To Roth, these figures were all relatives of the robber chief Hezekiah, a captain of a band of robbers active in Galilee on the borders of Syria who was caught and killed by Herod when he was starting his military career (Ant 14.159).

The Absalom of the sectarian DSS was the Apsalom who shared Menahem's unhappy fate (War 4.448).

The Wicked Priest was Eleazar, the son of Ananias the high priest, who was at the time of Menahem's attempt to seize power the Captain of the Temple (War 2.409), and had persuaded his fellow priests not to accept any gift or sacrifice from foreigners to start the rebellion in 66 CE.

The Lion of Wrath may be John, son of Levi, of Gischala (War 2.585 etc.).

The Man of Lies may be same as the Wicked Priest (Eleazar ben Ananias), or may be Simon son of Gioras (War 2.652 etc.).

Roth, followed by S G F Brandon, Jesus and the Zealots (1967), called all followers of the 4th philosophy of Judas the Galilean "Zealots" despite the fact that Josephus does not give this name to a defined revolutionary group until the beginning of the rebellion in 66 CE.

Since the book is still under copyright, I will refrain from posting citations directly here, but if you or anyone else wants to use it for research, please send me a Private Mail (PM) with your e-mail address through the board interface and I'll forward you a copy.

DCH

For a quick orientation of the Chronology Roth proposes, here is a modified form of a table he provides in the front matter of the book:

B.C.
CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE FOR THE HISTORY OF THE ZEALOTS AND QUMRAN SECT
46Hezekiah’s revolt suppressed by Herod, and Hezekiah is executed.
31Earthquake destroys Qumran.
4Judah ben Hezekiah’s revolt at Sepphoris, which is recaptured by the Romans and sacked; Judah and his followers find refuge in Damascus ?
A.D.
4-6Judah introduces Zealot ideas into Judaea. Qumran reoccupied, i Revolt and death of Judah.
46-8Execution of Jacob and Simon ben Judah. Menahem ben Judah becomes head of the sect.
52-60Sicarii begin activity.
66Menahem seizes Masadah. Menahem takes command in Jerusalem and defeats Romans.
66 (Sept.)Menahem goes to the Temple and is assassinated by priestly party; his kinsman Eleazar leads his followers back to Dead Sea area.
67?Simon bar Giora joins Zealots at Masadah but sub* sequently leaves them.
67 (Passover)Zealots storm Engedi.
68 (June)Vespasian captures Jericho and visits Dead Sea.
70 (summer)Fall of Jerusalem.
?Fall of Herodium and Machaerus.
73Fall of Masadah and death of Eleazar ben Jair. Repression of Zealots in Egypt and Cyrene.
114/5-116/7Zealot revolts in Egypt, Cyrene, Mesopotamia, Cyprus.


Here is Hugh Schonfield's (not quite "orthodox") Chronology of NT times, which might help put the whole matter in better relative perspective.



"How can you follow the show without a program?" shouts the Usher.

APPENDIX J

THE CHARACTERS OF THE QUMRAN DOCUMENTS

The following is a summary of the characters mentioned in the Qumran literature, with what is stated about them. Sometimes the same person may be referred to under two slightly different characteri- sations (e.g. The Man of Lies and the Preacher of Lies) but no account is taken of this here. On the other hand, occasionally an epithet may be omitted when a person has just been referred to: e.g. the Wicked Priest seems to become The Priest immediately afterwards. Though this is assumed here, the differentiation is clearly indicated. No attention has been paid to hypothetical reconstructions however persuasive.

ABBREVIATIONS

D Damascus Covenant
H Habakkuk Commentary
Ho. Hosea Commentary fragment
Ps. Psalms Commentary fragment
N Nahum Commentary fragment
M Micah Commentary fragment
T.S. Thanksgiving Psalms

TOR Teacher of Righteousness.
• Has communications from God which are not credited by the Treacherous with the Man of Lies (H. 2: 1-3):
• is in opposition to Man of Lies but not helped by the House of Absalom (H. 5:10-12):
• told by God all the secrets of the prophets (H. 7:4-5): belief in him will save those in the House of Judah who fulfil the Law (H. 8:1-3):
• for the sin committed against him and his counsel, the Wicked Priest will be punished (H. 9:4-7):
• is attacked by the Wicked Priest on the Day of Atonement &c. (H. 11:4-8):
• (Teaches?) those who voluntarily join the chosen (M).
• The Teacher is a Priest (?) who built a community . . . (Ps):
• is raised up by God 410 years after ‘Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon’ to teach those who know righteousness and to instruct the last generations what would happen in the last generation (D. 1:11-2):
• arises in the End of Days (D. 8:12-3):
• the men of the Brotherhood ( יחד ) will listen to him (D. 9:20-28).

TOTB Teacher of the Brotherhood ( מורה היח)י(ד ).
• Those who defect will not be included, between the time of his gathering in and the rise of the Messiah of Aaron and Israel (D. 8:35-20:1):
• it will be 40 years from his gathering in to the end of the warriors who went with the Man of Lies (D. 30:14-5).

WP Wicked Priest.
• Was originally called by name of truth (H. 8:8-9):
• after he ruled Israel he became proud, abandoned God, betrayed commandments for gain, stole, collected wealth of the men of violence who rebelled against God, took the wealth of Gentiles (H. 8:9-13).
• (The Priest) rebelled, and in retribution was tried by the wicked and tortured (H. 8:16-9:2):
• pursued the Teacher of Righteousness to swallow him up &c. (H. 11:4-8).
• (The Priest)’s shame greater than his glory:
• he drank the cup of anger and was disgraced (H. 11:12-5):
• was punished for his maltreatment of the poor and the simple ones of Judah who carry out the Torah (H. 12:2-6):
• performed abominations in Jerusalem, defiled the Sanctuary, stole from the poor (H. 12:8):
• sent (?) to kill . . . but was punished (Ps.).

MOL Man of Lies.
• With the treacherous (does not believe) the instruction of the Teacher of Righteousness from the mouth of God (H. 2:1-2):
• publicly rejects the Torah, and is not opposed by House of Absalom (5:11):
• leaves with Men of War (D. 20:14-5).

POL Preacher of Lies.
• Misleads many to build a city of vanity in blood and to establish a community in falsehood:
• their labour will be in vain as they will be judged in fire to punish their insults to God’s chosen (H. 10:9-13):
• preached falsely (D. 8:13).
• Mentioned (M).

MOS Man of Scoffing.
• Preached falsely to Israel (D. 1:14-5).

LOW Lion of Wrath,
• Smote with his great ones and counsellors (N.):
• hung men up alive (N.).
• Mentioned (Ho).

LP Last Priest.
• Put forth his hand to smite Ephraim (Ho).
• With his Counsel, the Priest will be attacked by the Wicked of Ephraim and Manasseh in the approaching time of trial, but will be redeemed by God (Ps.).

LPOJ Last Priests of Jerusalem.
• Gather wealth from booty of Gentiles, but it will ultimately be captured by the armies of the Kittim (H. 9:12).

EP Ephraim.
• Attacked by the Last Priest (Ho):
• became ruler above Judah (?) (D. 7:13)

E&M Ephraim and Manasseh.
• Their Wicked Ones will stretch forth their hand against the Priest and his counsellors at the time of testing (Ps.).

MOSI Makers of Smooth Interpretations.
• Invite . . . tros King of Greece to Jerusalem (N):
• persecuted by Lion of Wrath (N.):
• persecute writer of Thanksgiving Psalms (T.S.);
• the making of smooth interpretations will be punished (D. 1.18-19).

HOA Absalom, House of.
• With their counsellors did not help the Teacher of Righteousness against the Man of Lies (H. 5:9-13).

HOJ Judah, House of.
• Those in it who perform the Torah will be saved from the House of Judgement for their belief in the Teacher of Righteousness (H. 8:1-3):
• there will be no further admission to it (D. 4:11).

SOOJ Judah, Simple Ones of.
• Sentenced to destruction by the Wicked Priest (H. 12:4).

WOJ Judah, Wicked of.
• Will be cut off from the Camp with others who broke the boundary of the Torah (D. 20:26-7).
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