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Source: (consider it) Thread: Change Up
Gramps49
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https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%2020:19-31

I have been looking at this passage most of the week, wondering what I am missing here.

Of course there is the story of doubting--or is it, believing Thomas, but I think I have found something that goes back even to John I.

Throughout John there is a motif of "come and see" See for yourself if this is the Lord. One person encounters Jesus and comes to faith. S/he share their experience with someone else who may be a little relunctant, but once that person experiences Jesus, is compelled to share it with yet another person. Andrew tells Peter. Phillip tells Nathaniel. The Samaritan woman tells her towns people. They call (go) and see for themselves and believe.

Then it is Mary Magdalene's turn. She encounters the Lord and runs to share her experience with the disciples who think it is an idle tale. Yet, later, when they are behind locked doors they also encounter Jesus and are compelled to tell one person who was not there, Thomas, who says he has to see it first before he believes. Eight days later he is with the disciples and lo and behold, he sees Jesus for himself. "My Lord and my God!"

Jesus then retorts: 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Notice the change up, in every previous case people are able to come and see for themselves who this Jesus really is; but now Jesus says blessed are those who do not see and yet believe!

I like the idea how John keeps encouraging those who encounter Jesus to share that encounter with someone else. Now it is our turn. If we have encountered the Lord, we need to share it.

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rolyn
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Is it correct that Jesus didn't present a bodily appearance to St. Paul, one of His most fervent followers? I suppose that is because He was ascended by then.

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Change is the only certainty of existence

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Lamb Chopped
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I don't know if he was tangible, but we get this in Acts 23:
quote:

The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.”

it sounds like more than a vision, but what do I know?

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Eutychus
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If it was anything more than a vision, that raises a whole host of theological problems.

(Although Paul's alignment of the "appearances" of the risen Christ immediately after the resurrection with his "appearance" to him in 1 Cor 15 is not without its problems too, discussed many times here previously...)

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
If it was anything more than a vision, that raises a whole host of theological problems.

Possibly, I'm not sure it would in some theological schemes though. What problems are you specifically thinking of?
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Eutychus
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Maybe it's just me, but it seems to me that the risen Christ popping back to earth prior to his return in glory rather goes against the understanding of the ascension and the giving of the Holy Spirit.

I've long understood Jesus' command to Mary not to hold onto him in the garden after his resurrection to indicate that she (along with everyone else) would have to get used to a new way of relating to God on a daily basis, through the Spirit rather than through the incarnate Son.

Paul seeing only a vision of the risen Christ fits in with his self-description, when referring to his apostleship, as "one untimely born".

The only downside is that it opens up the way for subsequent self-proclaimed apostles with a near-equivalent status, as in Restorationism (because it removes the precondition of having met the risen Christ in the flesh.

But that seems a small (and disputable) price to pay compared to the difficulties raised by the alternative.

[ 24. May 2017, 15:04: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Maybe it's just me, but it seems to me that the risen Christ popping back to earth prior to his return in glory rather goes against the

Okay - that's what I thought you meant - it's worth pointing out though that some of the sacramental traditions would indeed believe that the risen Christ 'pops back to earth' 'in a sense'. So those traditions would have a greater latitude in terms of their understanding of how Christ was present to Paul. Which could still be more than a vision even if - in most cases - short of a second coming.
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Eutychus
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They do? Can you give some examples?

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
They do? Can you give some examples?

I was specifically thinking about how some of the sacramental traditions view Communion - exactly what one receives and how one receives it - and how that might then have a knock on effect on the modes in which they believed Christ could present himself on the earth prior to the second coming.

Looking at the distinctions here:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15477a.htm

It would seem that the term 'vision' used in - say - evangelical circles would cover the second and third cases, but only partially cover the first.

Or reading the Formula of Concord here:

"the incomprehensible, spiritual mode of presence according to which he neither occupies nor yields space but passes through everything created as he wills ... He employed this mode of presence when he left the closed grave and came through closed
doors, in the bread and wine in the Supper"

Which as it groups these two types of things into the same kind opens the possibility that a post Ascension appearance could be made in the same way.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
Looking at the distinctions here:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15477a.htm

It would seem that the term 'vision' used in - say - evangelical circles would cover the second and third cases, but only partially cover the first.

Goodness, that brings home to me with force the fact that I'm not a Catholic...

Briefly, and without being by any means an expert:

- it doesn't look to me as though any of those definitions of "vision" would apply to the concept of "real presence" in the sacraments.

- I can't see any practical difference between type 2 of corporeal vision ("an agent superior to man directly modifies the visual organ and produces in the composite a sensation equivalent to that which an external object would produce") and type 2 of imaginative vision ("supernatural imaginative vision", in which "an agent superior to man acts directly either on the imagination itself or on certain forces calculated to stir the imagination"). (And by the way, I don't think evangelicals would have much problem with either of these).

- I don't understand how type 1 of corporeal vision ("a figure really present [emphasis mine] strikes the retina and there determines the physical phenomenon of the vision") is any different from, say, seeing my cat sitting in the room with me, where it now actually is.

It looks like an artificial category created precisely to deal with the problem we're discussing, and nothing more ("may be true of living persons and even, it would seem, of the now glorious bodies of Christ and the Blessed Virgin, which by the eminently probable supernatural phenomenon of multilocation may become present to men without leaving the abode of glory").

These definitions suggest the writers think that, say, the Emmaus road encounter with Christ is a type 1 corporeal vision ("produces external effects", broke the bread). But again, inventing such a category seems to me to create the even bigger problem of calling into question the resurrection of the body altogether.

Besides, when the risen Christ meets Mary in the garden, John has him explicitly stating that he has not ascended to the Father - in John's understanding at least, he was not yet "in the abode of glory", or indeed anywhere else other than right in front of Mary, just as my cat is in the room with me. Is this really nothing more than a "coporeal vision type 1" and if so, where in fact was Christ (not in the tomb, because that's empty, says John)?

The "corporeal vision type 1" category has the advantage of explaining 1 Corinthians 15 (Paul uses the same verb, opthe for all the post-resurrection "appearences" of Christ - and in doing so muddies the waters by using the same word for pre- and post-ascension "appearances"), but leaves all sorts of questions about the empty tomb.

[ 25. May 2017, 07:15: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:

- it doesn't look to me as though any of those definitions of "vision" would apply to the concept of "real presence" in the sacraments.

I wouldn't consider myself qualified to comment on the Catholic understanding. What I had in mind when I originally drew the parallel was a memory of that section from the Book of Concord as above - as it appeared that you could continue to apply it to Christ as he was after the ascension, because the two things were seen as part of the same process.

[Side Note: No, I wouldn't think evangelicals would have problems with either 2 or 3. I explicitly said so in my previous post]

That said, I think there is some parallels between scenario 1 and the accident/substance distinction, precisely in the passage you quote.

quote:

It looks like an artificial category created precisely to deal with the problem we're discussing, and nothing more
...
But again, inventing such a category seems to me to create the even bigger problem of calling into question the resurrection of the body altogether.

Sure, but I was claiming something more modest - namely that there were other possible ways of understanding Paul's encounter(s) allowed for by other traditions. Whether you or I think they are problematic, or whether they are actually problematic are largely different issues.
Posts: 3722 | From: Berkshire | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged


 
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