Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Maimonides (1135-1204):  Show us a sign!

"It is forbidden to engage in a debate with one who prophesies in the name of idolatry, and he should not be asked for signs and wonders." - Mishneh Torah: Idolatry and Heathenism

This provides a bit of context to some of the accusations and mocking against Jesus.  This should provide a little more context to the following:

"The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven. He replied,  " ...  A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah." - Matthew 16:1-4

If the Pharisees and Sadducees believed Jesus was a prophet, then they certainly shouldn't have tested him.  Because they didn't believe Jesus was a prophet, however, they instead tested him contrary to their law.  

9 comments:

Delirious said...

Very interesting! That certainly does shed more light on that passage.

Dee Ice Hole said...

and eventually killed him in disobedience to their laws and they were given the chance to let him go and chose not to.

Max Coutinho said...

Hi Looney,

But Jesus did not prophesy in the name of idolatry; so how the accusations and mocking against him are not justified. The Pharisees and Sadducees were jealous of Jesus but at the same time they were part of the Plan.

In my opinion, we should never ask for signs nor test prophets or any other individual with paranormal abilities, because that request is a sign of doubt and lack of faith already.

Cheers

Looney said...

Max, I certainly agree that Jesus did not prophesy in the name of idolatry. Being the Word of God, Jesus really is the personified source of all prophecy that comes from God.

Yet we must look at what Jesus was accused of. Jesus was also accused of casting out demons in the name of Beelzebub. Beelzebub is just a Greek form of the Philistine God Baal-Zebub, which is mentioned in 2 Kings 1, which certainly looks like an accusation that Jesus was an idolater. Of course different people might have made different accusations!

But I agree with you on the bit about testing.

Max Coutinho said...

Looney,

"Being the Word of God, Jesus really is the personified source of all prophecy that comes from God."

Given how he was generated, I am inclined to agree.

"Yet we must look at what Jesus was accused of. Jesus was also accused of casting out demons in the name of Beelzebub. Beelzebub is just a Greek form of the Philistine God Baal-Zebub, which is mentioned in 2 Kings 1, which certainly looks like an accusation that Jesus was an idolater. Of course different people might have made different accusations!"

Accusations based on envy (for they make no sense at all). Jesus cast demons in the name of God (His Father). But knowing how humans are, I can imagine them ignoring what Jesus was all about just to spew their venom against him - I guess it was all part of the Plan.
Still, thank you for explaining me, Looney: I appreciate it.

Did you know that Baal means husband in Hebrew?

Looney said...

Max, thanks for point out that Baal means husband in Hebrew. I had learned that it meant "owner" or "Lord". The lexicon seems to allow all of these!

Max Coutinho said...

Looney,

You're welcome. And you learned it well, it also means master. In modern hebrew means husband.

Have a blessed weekend!

Looney said...

Max, have a good weekend also. This weekend is our Labor Day holiday where we get to celebrate the blessings bestowed upon mankind by unions.

Max Coutinho said...

Happy Labour Day!! :D

"(..) we get to celebrate the blessings bestowed upon mankind by unions."

LOL LOL LOL f-u-n-n-y!