Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Welby discusses Gnostic Noah and Kabbalah with Crowe


The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby was granted an audience yesterday with actor Russell Crowe. Mr Crowe, who is something of a Hollywood icon, is shown flanked in this photograph by two saints of the Church, at least one of whom is also something of an icon. Mr Crowe was in London to promote 'Noah' - his latest film based on.. well, it's kind of based on the biblical story, but there's some debate about the theology. And maybe a few questions about the spirituality. And possibly a few about the history.

It is reported that the two discussed faith and spirituality at Lambeth Palace, which is all very wholesome and proper, and much more edifying than arguing over whether it is Ham or Noah who gets the Edenic relic snakeskin when Tubal-Cain dies. His (present) Grace is clearly engaging with art and culture, and that is also very wholesome and good.

His (former) Grace has received quite a few emails about this film, and has been exhorted by a number of Christians (mainly from the United States) to repudiate its Gnostic themes and Kabbalah mysticism.

He will do no such thing.

Instead he exhorts believers everywhere to watch this film and enjoy it firstly as a work of great cinematographic artistry. And then reflect on its Manichean cosmology, and consider that it contains sufficient spiritual truth to be of enormous theological use in discussing certain key elements of the Judæo-Christian faith, if not the great themes of faith in general - good versus evil; light versus dark; order versus chaos. It is no secret that the film's director Darren Aronofsky is heavily influenced by Kabbalah - a highly esoteric branch of Judaism which has syncretised with what many Christians call 'New Age' spirituality. But Jewish mystics have much to teach us, not least about the great ontological questions about human existence and eschatological mysteries about spiritual revelation and temporal culmination.

The film is manifestly Jewish:
Mr. Aronofsky chose to pull together a variety of stories in this epic film to best position it for popular consumption. There are the love stories, there are battles waged between the forces for evil and goodness, there are the sacrifices made to save the future, and there even are “Watchers,” Transformer-like characters who aid Noah in fulfilling his mission. There is even a moment when we see an Abraham story element introduced. Mr. Aronofsky was quick to say he inserted it “as a way to characterize God … that he is going to wipe out humanity … his creation. We were trying to put that in human terms.” There are enough moral questions and theological issues detailed onscreen to allow for great post-viewing discussions and Bible study. We even are treated to a refresher course on Creation and Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden. “Noah” is pure enjoyment, though because of some of the brutality, it is not for the very young.
Indeed, you will find its Jewish roots discussed all over the internet, with The Tablet (not that one) calling it “the most Jewish biblical blockbuster ever made”:
Here we have Noah’s key theological innovation. For some Christian fundamentalists, Noah prefigures Jesus Christ as a savior who dies and is resurrected. (In this sense, the Flood can be seen as an extreme form of baptism in which the world’s sins are washed away.) It’s worth noting that Noahides, meaning children of Noah, is a Talmudic synonym for gentile. Aronofsky’s Noah is something else. He is recognizably Hollywood, with something of the hardness John Wayne displayed in The Searchers toward his Commanche-defiled niece and more than a bit of James Mason’s cortisone-induced mania in Bigger Than Life: “God spared Isaac but GOD WAS WRONG!!!” But he is also scarily Old Testament. The hero of Noah prefigures Abraham in that, however guilt-racked, he is prepared to slaughter an innocent child to demonstrate his fealty to God. Impossibly stubborn, his neurosis fueled by sexual competition, this Noah is not a savior but an all-too-human punitive patriarch.
And yet, according to The Jewish Daily Forward, "Evangelical Christians are right to be angry about Noah":
..all of Aronofsky’s mythmaking and magic is nothing compared to the radical psychological reading he provides of Noah. Here, he is absolutely in accord with Jewish traditions, and absolutely opposed to Christian ones.

Aronofsky’s Noah is a zealot. He obeys God too much, even to the point of threatening to kill his own family in order to extinguish the human race. He is troubled by the deaths of innocent people, but does not intervene to save them. For the rabbis, this renders him “righteous for his age” but not more than that: unlike Abraham, who argued to save the lives of the wicked, Noah just follows orders.

..In Christian tradition, however, Noah is a saint. He remains righteous amid a wicked society – just as early Christians did in Rome. He has absolute faith in God – just like Christians are called to possess. He is, in short, a paragon of virtue, quite unlike Russell Crowe’s complicated antihero.

“Noah,” then, is a film that fundamentalist Christians are right to abhor. It is midrashic, magical, and radical. Its characters are deeply flawed and deeply complicated. It questions the meaning of faith. It is, in the best senses of the word, quintessentially Jewish.
We can either condemn 'Noah' as theological heresy and ahistorical blasphemy (indeed, it has already been banned throughout the Middle East), or we sit down with others, as the Archbishop of Canterbury manifestly does, to discuss profound matters of faith and spirituality. Alternatively you can just watch the film for no other rational reason than to enjoy it, as Maimonides himself might exhort.

212 Comments:

Blogger Ivan said...


I suppose as a (re)working of a Flood Myth - which is shared by numerous other tribes - it has legs. There is more than one way to skin a cat.

2 April 2014 at 08:16  
Blogger Len said...

I saw the trailer to this film and thought it looked pretty fantastic.
Then I started looking into it a bit more and found out that in this film the fallen angels are 'the good guys''.
(These are the same fallen angels who came to Earth to contaminate human DNA so that the Messiah could not come through the line of men)
Noah(in true media tradition) seem to be some sort of 'nutter' who threatens to kill his grandaughter.

So expect some good special effects but no Biblical truth..
I suppose it will be much like' The Da Vinci code' a good yarn which the secular World will take as' truth'.

When will Welby get on with preaching the Gospel and establishing Biblical Truth?.

The Media (the film industry in this case) never let the truth get in the way of' a good story'.

2 April 2014 at 08:32  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Your Grace,

The film sounds good for only two things.

Firstly making a lot of money, they hope.

Secondly confusing the public as to what the story in The Bible actually says.

Whilst I have no objection to film makers producing a profit, I would rather that they didn't do so at the cost of distorting important things. The approach seems parasitical in that they gain publicity and an audience by seizing hold of a well known, famous, story from scriptures revered by three traditions, then distort it out of all recognition. Hardly responsible behaviour is it ? But then who ever expected responsibility from filmmakers ?
I suppose Welby was right, just about, to see this man otherwise he might have appeared off-hand, but I hope he didn't spend too long about it. He has much better and more important things to do regarding the growth of Christ's Church.

2 April 2014 at 08:46  
Blogger Busy Mum said...

I always dislike any films like this in that they perpetuate the idea among the young that, what many of us accept as Biblical and historical truths, are nothing but fiction.

2 April 2014 at 09:39  
Blogger Len said...

The real danger of films such as the 'Da Vinci Code' and now 'Noah' is that there is an audience today who have no foundational knowledge of biblical truth.
It seems like a new foundation of 'biblical History' is being built which is totally erroneous and I wonder if this a deliberate action to discredit the bible.

As it was with 'the watchers' the fallen angels who attempted to corrupt human DNA it seems the Media are corrupting Biblical Truth possibly with the same intention in mind.

Welby should be establishing Biblical Truth (as he should also be doing with SSM) not giving credence to humanist agendas.

2 April 2014 at 09:47  
Blogger Ars Hendrik said...

What this film does show – a point already made strongly by Gibson's 'Passion of the Christ' – is that there is a huge appetite among the public for Christian themed films. Yes, the film may present a Jewish (even Kabbalah) themed version, but this will not be why the majority of people go to see it.

The same audience made 'The Chronicles of Narnia' and 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy such an overwhelming success as well – proving that, contrary to the rantings of the 'God is Dead' brigade, a huge swathe of the population will still pay to see films that carry a Christian message. This is heartening.

Another American film with a Christian theme is 'God’s Not Dead', which has done well at the box office in America and has, in some quarters, been seen as an antidote to the bloated and rather 'unchristian' Noah.

'God’s Not Dead' stars Kevin Sorbo (he of Hercules fame) as an atheist university lecturer who demands that his students write 'God is dead' on a piece of paper and sign it. If they refuse to do so they will not graduate. What happens next is the theme of the film, which I won't spoil, but the message is resoundingly Christian and, these days, very refreshing.

I'm not sure if 'God's Not Dead' is going to be available in the UK – if it is, it is likely to be limited in release. Perhaps people who want to see it should contact Odeon and other chains to try and influence things.

Interestingly, Sorbo, who is a Christian who takes no particular party line, has claimed that there is a liberal blacklist in operation in Hollywood – actors who do not tow the liberal progressive line are simply overlooked for work. It has also been claimed that films like Noah deliberately distort the Christian message, as the studios are contemptuous of it.

2 April 2014 at 10:06  
Blogger Gary said...

Stuff "engaging the culture". All scripture twisting is satanic and Christians shouldn't be helping to sell Hollywood garbage like this.

2 April 2014 at 10:07  
Blogger Matthew said...

One difference between the "confusion" caused by the Da Vinci Code and Noah is that anyone wishing to clarify what the bible says about Noah can simply pick up a bible and read the whole biblical account in about 15 minutes. If anyone searching for truth opens a bible because of this movie surely that's a good thing.

2 April 2014 at 10:13  
Blogger The Explorer said...

There are those who read the book and see the film, and who realise that the one is never the other.

There are those who equate the two. "I've read the book because I've seen the film."

Where the Bible is involved, that can be a problem.

2 April 2014 at 10:20  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

SERIOUSLY Your Grace??

So when it states categorically that "These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God." we must presume this walk with God was only in his eyes?

"“Noah,” then, is a film that fundamentalist Christians are right to abhor. It is midrashic, magical, and radical. Its characters are deeply flawed and deeply complicated. It questions the meaning of faith. It is, in the best senses of the word, quintessentially Jewish. " and the Jews wonder why God ain't talking to them yet and it will take the Anti Christ to get them on their knees and repent of their ambivalence towards loss of faith?

Now imagine a new film (a work of great cinematographic artistry, think the term was?!) that gives as Jesus, an antihero, who uses violence and coarse behaviour to get his point across as the ungodly cannot know the things of God, he pockets some of the money given by the crowds for his own use and we see him going into ladies houses of ill repute, with a knowing glance back to see if anyone has sen him go in. He tells his followers what they must say about his life and work, to get the foolish to follow, so all that we know of his life is what he has stated should be written..He was good and bad, just like we are!!!

There, that should give an audience something to talk about when the church knocks on their door or tells a colleague at work or neighbour about the love of Christ for them.

Blofeld

"One difference between the "confusion" caused by the Da Vinci Code and Noah is that anyone wishing to clarify what the bible says about Noah can simply pick up a bible and read the whole biblical account in about 15 minutes. If anyone searching for truth opens a bible because of this movie surely that's a good thing." But will they, lad..and isn't the film only adding onto what we have from the Bible...Perhaps they will presume that modern scholars and archaeology have discovered new stories/tales from other sources about his life, that are given in the film? People are now loath to read unless it's throw away tripe..a modern disease!!!til it's

2 April 2014 at 10:21  
Blogger Len said...

Matthew
IF people compare Biblical films with the Bible that is a good thing ...but how many will do that?.
My brother in law thinks God is an alien and my nephew things the' Da Vinci code' is fact ...
It seems a film carries a good deal of 'authority' where the bible has already been discredited by 'evolutionists' and their theory.

2 April 2014 at 10:22  
Blogger The Explorer said...

The distant past. "You've read the book, now see the film."

The recent past. "You've seen the film, now read the book."

The present. "The book's got it wrong. It doesn't say what the film does."

2 April 2014 at 10:26  
Blogger The Explorer said...

There are those who say Tolkien got it wrong about Elves.

There are also those who say Tolkien got it wrong about Hobbits.

2 April 2014 at 10:31  
Blogger bluedog said...

Your Grace, the film Noah has clearly been released to coiincide with the IPCC's latest alarmist report on climate change. It's an exercise in conditioning the masses for the future, almost certainly financed by the EU.

2 April 2014 at 10:32  
Blogger Malcolm Smith said...

John C Wright, who is both a Christian and a science fiction writer attacks it from both theological and literary angles.
See http://www.scifiwright.com/2014/04/deluge-as-earthday/

2 April 2014 at 10:46  
Blogger Ars Hendrik said...

Len

'My brother in law thinks God is an alien and my nephew things the' Da Vinci code' is fact ...'

Christmas must be a laugh at your place!

2 April 2014 at 10:47  
Blogger The Explorer said...

bluedog @ 10:32

Very interesting thought.

The new 'Waterworld'?

2 April 2014 at 10:54  
Blogger bluedog said...

Sorry, Mr Explorer, one really should give up floating *chuckle* conspiracy theories for Lent.

No, it's just luck with the movie release date, but yes, maybe we have engineered our own Waterworld. This communicant takes the view that the scientists are now so emphatic in their warnings that only the very obstinate can fail to heed the message.

2 April 2014 at 11:05  
Blogger Guy Jones said...

Your Grace,

If you have sympathies with Jewish mystic tradition, which is heresy for Christians, then what is your view on homosexual-biblical-revisionism. That claims that Jesus was homosexual, that Eunuchs were transgender, that the Centurion whom Christ praised was in a homosexual relationship with his servant?

If we depart from the fundamental understanding of scripture that is so hated today then we are tossed to the waves without Noah's ark or Jonah's whale.

2 April 2014 at 11:22  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

A serious objection, to my mind, is that the whole of the historically authentic content, whether it is drawn from Genesis, Enoch, the Kabbalah, or any other known source, has (so I have read) been subordinated to an environmentalist message and has simply been fed in to the mincer to emerge as two long hours of warmist propaganda. I'm with bluedog on this one. I shall, however, take Your Grace’s advice and go and see for myself.

2 April 2014 at 11:28  
Blogger The Explorer said...

bluedog @ 1105

Let's combine HG's present post with the previous one.

1. It may be that scientists are unanimous about climate change.

2. It may be that scientists are NOT unanimous, but that those who dissent are simply denied a public voice.

2 April 2014 at 11:35  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Blofeld at 10:21

I’m not sure which bits of your comment are the questions and which bits are the answers, but complaining that Noah is “very Jewish” sounds a bit like complaining that Ivan the Terrible is “very Russian” or that The Seven Samurai is “very Japanese”.

2 April 2014 at 11:38  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Uncle Brian @ 11:38

Re the "very Jewish" bit, I took Blowers to be quoting from HG's penultimate paragraph, and to be then disagreeing with HG.

2 April 2014 at 12:09  
Blogger bluedog said...

Uncle Brian @ 11.28, afraid we are at cross-purposes.

'...only the very obstinate can fail to heed the message.'

Should be read as 'only very obstinate individuals can fail to heed the scientist's message'. In other words, these people are serious, and you get that feeling very strongly if you speak to some of them. It's not a political stunt.

2 April 2014 at 12:20  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2 April 2014 at 12:21  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

I was going to ignore this film, suspecting it was to the Flood what '300' was to the Persian invasion of Greece - a 'Manga-ized' abomination. Hollywood doesn't know how to make religious films anymore. It knows it could make money if it could just figure out the formula, but one has an image of cinematic alchemists trying to transmute secular lead into sectarian gold. Hollywood films with religious themes are almost universally terrible, and are exceeded in their badness only by explicitly Christian films. Really now. Couldn't we Christians make a film where the hero prays, and the loved one still dies? Do all of our films have to portray spiritual victory through temporal prosperity and temporal triumph? My Kingdom for an unhappy ending.

However, if the film is a gnostic telling of the Flood - and that is by far the most credible explanation of the film I have yet encountered - then it might be worth seeing. We shouldn't be worried about people 'stealing' the story and presenting it in defiance of the biblical account. We should be interested in comprehending the worldview that forms its foundation, so that we can intelligently engage it. Read Irenaeus' work 'Against Heresies' before you see the film. Understand the difference between Creator and God from a gnostic point of view. Do not impose Christian expectations and you won't be disappointed.

Crowe is using the AoC btw. It's a marketing stunt to convince a certain segment of the audience that it is safe to watch this film. Just some more of that cinematic alchemy.

carl
Who really Really REALLY hated '300.'

2 April 2014 at 12:23  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Gosh. Guys, it's just a movie. I don't know how "Jewish" it's supposed to be, but it don't smell kosher to me and like other more adventurous Orthos of my ilk, if I bother to see it, I'll be doing so incognito, with a baseball cap on and ritual fringes tucked away into my pants and somewhere far from the ghetto, in one of the suburbia theatres.

2 April 2014 at 12:34  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

bluedog
Yes, I see now. When I wrote that comment, I had read yours at 10:32 but not your later one at 11:05. Nevertheless, my point stands, and I expect you probably agree with me on this: that the Biblical (and other historically authentic) input has been subordinated to the political (climate change or warmist) propaganda message. It’s the subordination that I object to. Although, as I said, I have yet to see the film and I’m keeping an open mind for the time being.

2 April 2014 at 12:37  
Blogger The Explorer said...

bluedog @ 12:20

I don't know enough about the science of climate change to have an informed opinion.

However, I have a horrible feeling that when The USSR collapsed, two things happened.

1. Marxism survived, and moved west as PC.

2. Those who hated Capitalism were deprived of its natural enemy, Communism. They latched onto Climate Change instead.

(I don't say that's true of scientists, but it may be true of some of the political camp followers who seem to know no more about the actual science than I do.)

2 April 2014 at 12:38  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Avi @ 12:34

"It's just a movie."

'Uncle Tom's Cabin' was just a book. And Lincoln said it started a war.

2 April 2014 at 12:40  
Blogger Martin said...

I've long been of the opinion that Justin Welby has lost the plot & is clearly not an Evangelical.

Just lately His Grace's tweets have driven me to the conclusion that he too has lost the plot.

Jewish mysticism has absolutely nothing to give to anyone, let alone Christians. Judaism has abandoned God, crucified their Messiah and adopted pharasaism as their religion. Such expressions of their religion as this film is purported to be are satanic. The only way these people will be saved is by a mighty act of God.

The only thing to lighten the gloom over the Noah film seems to be excellent YouTube video made by Living Waters "Noah Movie HD Official Full Version " featuring Ray Comfort.

If His Grace is hurt by all this negative comment I'm afraid he only has himself to blame.

2 April 2014 at 12:47  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Explorer

And Lincoln said it started a war.

Hyperbole. The war was triggered by the deep South's growing fear of being isolated in a nation increasingly moving away from slavery. The border slave States were seriously discussing manumission because the presence of slavery was hampering economic development. Lincoln's election meant that the salvation of new slave States from the territories would be denied. That was the vital Southern interest that led to secession. The roots of the American Civil War were deep and far predated Harriet Beecher Stowe's publication.

carl

2 April 2014 at 12:50  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Explorer. Seriously? You're comparing a flashy see-it-and-forget-it Hollywood flick with a seriously heavy book on a culturally and politically explosive subject?

2 April 2014 at 12:51  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Avi

Just another disaster movie?

2 April 2014 at 12:58  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Uncle Brian asked re "“Noah,” then, is a film that fundamentalist Christians are right to abhor. It is midrashic, magical, and radical. Its characters are deeply flawed and deeply complicated.(Tell me from any biblical story who is not..Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David etc but the difference is, should any choose to discover by knowing their Bible, is about man from God's perspective dealing with them through Grace and Love. This movie is about man sen through man's forgiving eyes with a humanist twist?) It questions the meaning of faith. It is, in the best senses of the word, quintessentially Jewish.(That moaning and groaning and saying Oy Vey a lot somehow means that what God states emphatically is still NOT ENOUGH?) "

"Blofeld at 10:21

I’m not sure which bits of your comment are the questions (Ernst's have NO inverted commas between them, dear fellow and come after those within them!! )and which bits are the answers (See answer in brackets!!), but complaining that Noah is “very Jewish” (quoted from The Jewish Daily Forward, in HG's post, dear fellow..Keep up ) sounds a bit like complaining that Ivan the Terrible is “very Russian” or that The Seven Samurai is “very Japanese” ( Do tell that to the above source in question that calls itself 'JEWISH.) "

" The Explorer said...

Uncle Brian @ 11:38

Re the "very Jewish" bit, I took Blowers to be quoting from HG's penultimate paragraph, and to be then disagreeing with HG." Isn't it nice to seee that 2 people are at least on the same page regarding the post from HG AND THE COMMENT FROM OLD ERNST!!!

Blowers

Marin

"If His Grace is hurt by all this negative comment I'm afraid he only has himself to blame." It seems HG has gone 'native' on us and the words of Alibhai Brown yesterday have gone straight over his noggin after posting them?!

{Archbishop Cranmer ‏@His_Grace 2h

There are days when His Grace would like to abort the blog comment facility. Today's thread on @NoahMovie is one such http://bit.ly/1ooLCjs } and {Archbishop Cranmer ‏@His_Grace Mar 30

Gosh. His Grace thought*he*had problems below-the-line: this @sajidjavid piece by @FraserNelson has shocking comments http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/fraser-nelson/2014/03/why-sajid-javid-could-end-up-at-the-top-of-the-tory-tree/ …} then no response but implied agreement as one is lacking {Rob Broome ‏@robvsnature Mar 30

@FraserNelson @His_Grace There were similar on the mail...knuckledraggers.} A knuckledragger, is old Ernst..Hmmm. How charming to those that oppose an opinion!!!

2 April 2014 at 12:59  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Carl and Avi:

Carl: Started it (as in triggered) not caused it. There's a difference. As in Sarajevo may have started WWI, but didn't cause it.

Avi. No I'm not. I'm querying, "Just a movie." A movie may be that to the intelligent and educated. To others, it's truth.

Some saw 'Titanic' as just a movie. A town in Scotland realised that others didn't, and wanted to sue James Cameron.


2 April 2014 at 13:01  
Blogger David Roseberry said...

The film is NOT a documentary. It uses a bible story to tell a story artistically.

Americans will know the children's series "VeggieTales". (Do Brits know this?) Same concept. Use bible stories as a frame to look at other issues. No one took offense that there wasn't a talking tomato in the story of David and Goliath.

The fact that SO MANY Christians are 'outraged' that their bible characters are rendered with an artistic style reminds me, sadly, of the Cartoon riots. Really?


2 April 2014 at 13:03  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

OK, where's the photo op with Chief Rav Ephraim Mirvis? Or is that "too Jewish" as well? Sounds very Mel Brookes like. I wonder what he would have done with the story of Noah?

But regardless, I can't really comment on how 'Jewish' the film is or not as I have no intention of spending a lot of money on film tickets (depending on the rating of the film, but then when you've got a large family...), I'd rather wait until the DVD comes out for £15.99. But what's the problem with a film about the narrative of Noah being driven from a Jewish, albeit from the mystical tradition, POV?

2 April 2014 at 13:10  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Uncle Brian, have to see it first, but that's what I'll be going for; special effects and disaster stuff. I like my books deep and my movies shallow and flashy.

His Grace is a bit off on the Maimonides assumption, though. The Rambam was a rationalist with a scientific bend and not a fan of kabbalah or Gnosticism. One could imagine he'd sneak in to watch it for the fireworks as well, though.

2 April 2014 at 13:14  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Avi wrote:

my movies shallow and flashy.

But you should see the plays he likes. Deep theater. Really deep.

carl

2 April 2014 at 13:18  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2 April 2014 at 13:34  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2 April 2014 at 13:35  
Blogger James said...

He remains righteous amid a wicked society

Errr...what? Goes out, gets plastered, passes out naked, and curses the son who saw him and told his two brothers (all in Genesis 9). What part of feet of clay do they not understand?

2 April 2014 at 13:48  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

David Roseberry,

"This film is not a documentary"

I agree, the way certain Christians are overreacting here one would assume it was and that it should fit the narrative of the evangelical alliance....anything else is 'heretical', of 'no use' and just plain 'satanic'.

Hollywood film makers are not paid to be in the business of being evangelists or protestants. There is a free market out there. If Christians have the numbers they could raise funds and do their own version. And give the profit money to charity.

2 April 2014 at 13:50  
Blogger The Explorer said...

James @ 13:48

A good point. Any view of Noah must take account of the wine incident.

He remained righteous - in comparison to others - before the Flood. That seems fair enough.


Not sure that he gets drunk deliberately. The implication seems to be that he experiments with wine and gets intoxicated.

The cursing bit is - admittedly - difficult. Needs someone with a better OT background than mine to explicate it.

I get two points from the wine episode:

1. A warning not to get drunk.

2. That we are all fallible, even virtuous people like Noah.

2 April 2014 at 14:12  
Blogger Hannah said...

Well I think His Grace is been unfairly treated here, I mean all he is saying in his conclusion is that we can learn from different interpretations and views of scripture, rather than Christians should be forced into the Jewish worldview. That proposition doesn't seen heretical to me.

If there is a film based on a Torah character which may or may not be via Jewish spectacles (note not every Jew is a mystic, some such as myself and Avi are rationalists, others like my bro take a mixture of the two approaches), what is the problem with that?

Or :

SINCE WHEN DID CHRISTIANITY NEED TO GET ONTO THE BACK OF HOLLYWOOD TO MAKE ITS CLAIMS OR USE IT AS AN EVANGELIST TOOL?

Anyways , thankfully, there is zero way the so called 'evangelists' on this site (or in the world) will get to any of us if you call us or our ancient religion satanic, evil etc(especially when historically, Christianity comes from a heretical sect of Judaism, grown by Paul into an non- Jewish religion on its own)... kinda blows Jesus for Jews/ messianic christians etc out of the water there. But please, carry on, you're doing a wonderful job for those of us who are trying to stop you poaching people from our faith.

2 April 2014 at 14:30  
Blogger john in cheshire said...

I'd suggest that there is enough information on the internet that one could conclude Hollywood leaders consist of a significant number of kabballists, zionists, atheists and satanists. If that is true then all that they produce should be viewed with that in mind.

2 April 2014 at 14:33  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Hi David, what's more, I would take this "from a Jewish mystical tradition" bit with a grain...nay, a lump... of salt. For sure it will offend some of our more earnest coreligionists and Christian friends. I expect competence in theology and intellectual history from Hollywood writers as much as I expect my cat to begin mewling-out Kuhn's scientific paradigms. Anyway, the only reason I'd watch it in a theatre on a large screen and with surround-sound rather than on DVD is that I only bother to drag myself to the movies for films with impressive effects. Which is why I saw Frozen in 3-D twice with my daughter and will probably take her one more time while it still plays in the theatres. Now, that's something for Carl to dig into.

2 April 2014 at 14:39  
Blogger Len said...

Almost all of the Patriarchs were fallible human beings.
But despite their imperfections they made themselves available to God and placed their trust in Him.
God did not look for' a perfect person' because up until Christ there wan`t one walking this planet.
Noah was perfect in his DNA (generations)and by placing his faith in God`s Word (making the Ark under God`s instruction despite the ridicule from all around)
'Availability' and 'Faith' were the key words then as they are today...

2 April 2014 at 14:40  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

John in Cheshire, you give Hollywood types too much credit. Me, I'd be happy to see anything remotely Zionist. One, because I'm a Zionist and two, just to piss you off. But fat chance of that happening with the shallow-minded creators, producers, owners and investors these days.

2 April 2014 at 14:45  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Greetings, Miss Hannah, good to see you here. Now that you fired a few shots across a few bows, I trust you'll stick around to handle the return fire, rather than leaving it to David and me? :)

2 April 2014 at 14:49  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Avi

So after two viewings of Frozen and after ample time for reflection, you must surely now agree that the movie would have been much better if Anna had remained frozen at the end.

carl

2 April 2014 at 14:52  
Blogger Len said...

The Jews were essential for the recording and the keeping of God`s Word.
It seems that some Jews do not seem to value the integrity of God`s Word enough to defend it?
The Jews talk from a historical background that has a foundation in the Torah so they know the truth (up to a point)
This means that(up to that point ) they have a foundational belief to discern Biblical truth.
The gentiles today have no such foundation so can be easily led astray ..but that seems of no concern to our Jewish friends on this site?.

2 April 2014 at 14:52  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Not at all Carl, I don't have your preference for unhappy endings. I like fantasy to have maudlin, happy and shallow endings that bring girlish tears to my eyes. Unlike real life.

Len, thou speaketh in riddles again. Speak plainly, fellow, hork it out, and we'll see if we can do something with it.

2 April 2014 at 15:01  
Blogger Hannah said...

Hi Avi,

Oh I'll be around, don't you worry (:

I really, really wanted to keep my mouth shut following various posts and then Martin's icing on the cake, but I'm too weak not to rise to the bait.That and as part of our daily Torah study, based on Seder ha-Mishmarah, we are reading, as well as the Torah portion, Proverbs and Zavim, about Ezekiel's cooking pot... Plus ça change, as they say.

2 April 2014 at 15:02  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

David Roseberry said...

The film is NOT a documentary. It uses a bible story to tell a story artistically.

Americans will know the children's series "VeggieTales". (Do Brits know this?) Same concept. Use bible stories as a frame to look at other issues. No one took offense that there wasn't a talking tomato in the story of David and Goliath.

The fact that SO MANY Christians are 'outraged' that their bible characters are rendered with an artistic style reminds me, sadly, of the Cartoon riots."

Really? It's because they can't be A&%&D to tell it from within a biblical story and use the correct imagery that entails...'The Bible' story recently released on TV had Gods messengers going into Sodom and slaughtering them with swords similar to the ones used by humans and attacked by the sodomites with the clash of swords back..Laughable or just plain wrong..

(Genesis 19:9-13

9 “Get out of our way,” they replied. “This fellow came here as a foreigner, and now he wants to play the judge! We’ll treat you worse than them.” They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door.

10 But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. 11Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door.

12 The two men said to Lot, “Do you have anyone else here—sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, 13 because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the Lord against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it.”)

The Lord did NOT divide the Red Sean but actually took the Israelites and Moses to shallow ground to cross and the chariots of pharaoh are merely symbolic of the destruction of Egypt by their loss of valuable slaves?

This is NOT enhancing but reducing it to ridicule!!!

Blofeld

2 April 2014 at 15:04  
Blogger Hannah said...

John In Cheshire bemoans

"conclude Hollywood leaders consist of a significant number of kabballists, zionists, atheists and satanists."

You know I always thought a conspiracy had to be secret and in the shadows... but it seems to me if there is "evidence" all over the 'net, then the conspiracy isn't a very good one or credible or plausible.

2 April 2014 at 15:10  
Blogger Hannah said...

Hi Len,

Whilst you arrange a response to Avi, I think you are suggesting that Jews should be prepared to defend the Christian interpretation of the Bible. Excuse me, but isn't that the job of a Christian, not a Jew? I'm quite confused, not least because I though we were more or less demonic anyways (according to some of your colleagues above that is) (:

2 April 2014 at 15:15  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Avi wrote:

. I like fantasy to have maudlin, happy and shallow endings that bring girlish tears to my eyes

Sigh. Another unwitting victim of the Disney Marketing Dept.

carl

2 April 2014 at 15:18  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Impressive, Miss Hannah. At the last shi'ur I attended, things got bogged down over whether to wear teheilet, the Murex trunvulus blue string on the ritual fringes. An important subject, but given the uncertainties, the differences between the Rambam and Rashi, and as most can choose either way without upsetting anyone too much, it's not something to get hot under the collar for and fling "heretic" back and forth. Worse, it's becoming a Haredi vs National Religious point of conflict, as if we don't have enough tsuris to go around. My wife thinks women's study sessions do better because they don't get into testosterone-fueled one-upmanship as guys do and prefer to find points of agreement.

2 April 2014 at 15:19  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Sigh. Another unwitting victim of the Disney Marketing Dept. (Carl)

Victim yes; unwitting, no. Just bought a small collection of Disney memorabilia from the 60s and 70s. It includes a ratty, one-eyed stuffed Mickey who is shedding some sort of malodourous yellow stuffing through the seams. I've been told to pack it in plastic, box it and keeping it in the basement by The One Who Must be Obeyed.

2 April 2014 at 15:24  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

David

"But what's the problem with a film about the narrative of Noah being driven from a Jewish, albeit from the mystical tradition, POV?"

Now that's like saying.. But what's the problem with a film about the narrative of The Holocaust being driven from a German, albeit from the Arayan tradition, POV?

Ernst doesn't believe that the vast majority of Jews think that the kabbalistic approach is anything other than 'disappearing up your own jacksie with intricate convoluted imaginary myths and tales' because the simple truth is, err, so simple.

Blofeld

ps

Noah was a believing gentile, so we can be just as concerned about the validity of his story remaining truthful as Jews are!

2 April 2014 at 15:27  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Fellow Christians

We shouldn't be telling people not to watch a movie for theological reasons. We should be teaching them how to watch it with their eyes wide open. If they so choose to watch it.

Tell people not to watch a movie if the movie is artistically bad. But don't try to isolate people from different theology. That is Fundamentalism (technically defined)at its theological worst.

carl

2 April 2014 at 15:34  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Greetings Avi,

I'd agree about taking the mystical bits of this film with a crate of salt. I've taken on my brother as a Torah study partner. Which is incredibly refreshing as he's 'been out for a while' as far as Judaism is cornered. So we are really getting back to basic, but extremely profound stuff. Plus, he is a very lively debater, so our study isn't boring or dry by any means

2 April 2014 at 15:38  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Hannah

Kabbalistic theology is unbiblical and that the philosophy cannot be verified.

In other words, hannah, there is no historical fact that verifies Kabbalah.

It borrows heavily from the accounts written in the first five books of the Bible, but it also radically reinterprets so many events and so many concepts in the Bible that it is quite foreign from what the Word of God actually says..

It teaches reincarnation, a type of karma, inner divinity, and no need for a Redeemer.

So where, oh where does the Kabbalist in the Kabbalist of history get their valuable information?

As Ernst has said to Avi, it comes from the Zohar, the Zoar, and the Sepher Yetzirah which are essentially mystical commentaries and interpretations of the biblical text as written and recorded by various Kabbalists throughout history.

Can we conclude that the philosophy or way of life, taught through Kabbalah is godly?

If it contradicts both OLD (Yours + Ours) and NEW (Ours but by your non belief, NOT yours) Testament teaching, then how can it be from God?

There is no way to verify the truth of the 10 aspects of God, that Kabbalah was given to the angels for the creation of the world, etc., so the Kabbalist is left to either believe or disbelieve based upon his preferences. Instead of believing what the Bible (OLD in your case!) actually says, the Kabbalist is left with following the baby and mystical interpretations of a few ancient Jews.

Ernst can only conclude that it is not from God but is in reality yet another deception that proceeds out of the Garden of Eden where Satan said "you will be like God," (Gen. 3:5).

The Edenic lie echoes through the hearts of mankind and has taken root in the philosophy of Kabbalah and seen as yet another revelation for whom the Word of God aint enough and cannot cut the mustard for the world, my dear...

Blofeld

2 April 2014 at 15:43  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Greetings, Mr Blofeld, truly good to see you in such fine combative form. I'm blessed with a number of project on the computer, with quite a bit of waiting in between frantic bouts of work, which will give me the opportunity to be a pest, at least today.

Not sure how you could compare a film about Noah neither of us has seen with a film on the Holocaust. Yes, films can be disturbing. I'm reminded of The Passion of Christ, which in my opinion went beyond scripting from Christian perspective, but plunged into gratuitous pornographic violence and anti-Semitic imagery...as in vicious Jews having a go at Jesus whilst wearing totally modern Zionist-style knit kippahs. For the record, I would be equally grossed-out by a film focusing on the gory details behind any of the Christian persecutions of Jews. One shouldn't try and wrap heavy messages in two hours of a production whose primary purpose is to make big bucks. I'm sure many Jews and Christians will disagree about this and that in the Noah film, but from what I read and hear, it doesn't seem to be big on a "message," nor does it aim to incite.

2 April 2014 at 15:44  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Blowers,

I've not said that Christians cannot have a view on Noah, I am saying that there are different viewpoints between Christianity and other faiths, as well as within them and that these should have an airing. If people's faith is so shallow it will collapse after a poorly theologically made up film, then that says a lot about the faith in question and the believer proclaiming the faith. I can think of worse things to happen to a man in life that will put him off God or religion that watching a block buster film.

As for your attacks of the mystical traditions of Judaism. Now, I'm not a fully paid up member of this tradition. I can appreciate it and have learned from it; there is a deep spirituality in some of the mystical traditions. You sort the wheat from the chaff. I dislike the oil snake salesmen pretending to be Rabbis and the popularised (e.g. Madonna) and popular misconceptions of mystical traditions. That does not mean I want to tell other Jews to shove it up the bum or for that matter to tell Christians to shove their Evangelical-Charismatic-waving their arms in the air, falling on the floor, speaking in tongues, Toronto Blessing type Fundamentalist Protestant Christians to shove that up their bum, even though after my encounters with such people and how they have done (in my view) serious harm to my brother and sister, I should feel entitled to do so.

Your analogy regarding the holocaust and this film is deeply flawed and out of order. I feel it requires not a jot of a sensible response.

2 April 2014 at 15:57  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

carl jacobs said...

Fellow Christians

We shouldn't be telling people not to watch a movie for theological reasons (Who is, it sounds a blockbuster the world will take fully to heart in this 10 second soundbite world..What little it remembers will be altered by poor memory as the wouldn't give a damn about a story of God and punishing wickedness by an historical act).

We should be teaching them how to watch it with their eyes wide open (Now how is THAT done?). If they so choose to watch it.

Tell people not to watch a movie if the movie is artistically bad (Strewth, we are now to be the Art Directors Guild/The Film Society/AMPAS rolled into one?). But don't try to isolate people from different theology (It's called a faithful rendition OF WHAT WE KNOW TRUTHFULLY FROM SOURCE!!). That is Fundamentalism (technically defined)at its theological worst (It's called adherence to a truthful representation of what we know as Christians, using the means stated of what ACTUALLY was recorded as happening...any deviation from a truthful and honest representation is to be abhorred or is truth irrelevant..Is this what we have come to??).

Ernst

2 April 2014 at 15:57  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Mr Blofeld, while I happen not to be a fan of kabbalah, my reasons are not that it's "unbiblical,"...which I take it you mean any non-Christian, non-literalist approach... but because it has become impossible to separate the chaff from the wheat as it were. As a record of mystical thoughts and practices, there are strains of authentic Judaism, but the tradition has been derailed by additions which are decidedly un-Jewish. The offending bits I have in mind are Pagan customs, non-Jewish Babylonian mythology, medieval Gnosticism and 16th and 17th century Christological theology and mythology.

It teaches reincarnation, a type of karma, inner divinity, and no need for a Redeemer.

The kabbalah doesn't "teach" such things. It's a record of mystical and philosophical forays, a mix of profoundly genuine and disturbingly heretical notions and there is no requirement to adopt any of these as part of one's hashgafah, or religious philosophy. Contrary to your assumption about "no need for a Redeemer," it's the strong, undisciplined and poorly defined strain of kabbalistic messianic speculation that got groups of Jews into trouble, veering off into Christianity and much later into Sabbatean and Frankist messianic movements. In other words, had all Jews kept their feet on the ground and stuck with Pharisaic and Hillel-based Torah, Talmud and halakhah, instead of delving in kabbalah, there would have been no Christianity. We may agree on the troubles with kabbalah, but for entirely different reasons.

2 April 2014 at 15:58  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Oh and I forgot to add, if I felt that particular brands of Kabbalah were going into a heretical direction, then I would not hesitate to combat that. But through argument and Biblical teaching.

2 April 2014 at 16:05  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

David, it seems to be trend of the past decade. Whereas twenty years ago it was mostly the Haredi who went to shiurim, now the Moder Orthodox and crowds of refugees from Conservative and Reform Judaism, and many who just drifted off, are now devoting one night a week for study sessions. Liberal Judaism is unravelling, losing quite a few to assimilation, but plugging many to orthodoxy. Jacob Neusner, a traditionalist Conservative who wrote from historical and sociological perspectives, predicted this phenomenon over twenty years ago. His hypothesis was that Judaism became intrinsically bound to the fortunes of Christianity in the Middle Ages, undergoing similar surges and crises, albeit with a lag of a century or two until the Modern Era, when secularism decimated and fragmented both faiths. This blog and many here show that traditionalist Christianity is still alive, although I can't tell whether the move towards orthodoxy is as pronounced as in Judaism right now.

2 April 2014 at 16:12  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

David

As for your attacks of the mystical traditions of Judaism. Now, I'm not a fully paid up member of this tradition. I can appreciate it and have learned from it; there is a deep spirituality in some of the mystical traditions (What exactly have you learned as Kabbalism is opposed to Torah distinctive statements revealed from God via Moses and enshrined in 5 books?).

You sort the wheat from the chaff (I don't see any sorting but pick and mix as you put it..can some wheat actually be chaff???). I dislike the oil snake salesmen pretending to be Rabbis and the popularised (e.g. Madonna) and popular misconceptions of mystical traditions. That does not mean I want to tell other Jews to shove it up the bum or for that matter to tell Christians to shove their Evangelical-Charismatic-waving their arms in the air, falling on the floor, speaking in tongues, Toronto Blessing type Fundamentalist Protestant Christians to shove that up their bum, even though after my encounters with such people and how they have done (in my view) serious harm to my brother and sister, I should feel entitled to do so (Dear Lad, you have said this regularly and Ernst agrees with you having a view to sttae anything as nonsense but the same could be said of Kabbalism that came way before the New Age nonsense over the last half century that has disturbed and harmed many..Are the Jews to blame or is Kabbalism. What has Toronto blessing rubbish got in common with the Bible except it's own interpretation through false tradition as Kabbalism..Don't see the early Christians doing a lot of naming it and claiming it, do you?).

Your analogy regarding the holocaust and this film is deeply flawed and out of order (The nonsense spouted by Kabbalism is as deluded and one sided in proving the world through their eyes as is the Aryan rubbish spouted if they devised a film along their lines of a 'truthful representation of an historical event..The aims are different to the outcome of the movie if truth is made of no worth whatsoever). I feel it requires not a jot of a sensible response.(Your prerogative)

Blowers

2 April 2014 at 16:14  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Kabbalah explains that the soul is comprised of 613 channels, which parallel the 248 limbs and 365 blood Vessels of the body. These 613 channels attain eternal elevation when all 613 Mitzvot are fulfilled by a soul in its earthly descent.

Usually a soul does not manage to fulfill all the commandments in one descent, and the Arizal writes that every soul must be repeatedly reincarnated until it has fulfilled all 613 Mitzvot in thought, speech, and action. In the previous chapter, the notion of purification through Gehinom was introduced.

Here the soul is cleansed in order to be elevated to the Garden of Eden. How is this concept reconciled with the possibility of reincarnation and a return to our world? The Kabbalists explain that when a soul returns to this world, the part of the soul that was elevated by its Torah learning and Mitzvah performance is not reincarnated, rather it is only the other parts of the soul that were not affected by the first incarnation that return. The possibility of a soul being divided and part of a soul being reincarnated is discussed at length in Kabbalah. The original idea stems from the fact that the soul of Adam was composed of all future souls, and the soul of Jacob was comprised of 70 parts which were then further subdivided into the 600,000 souls of Israel. These 600,000 were then subdivided further into another 600,000. Through various reincarnations all parts of the soul are elevated and once the entire soul has been elevated the soul is no longer reincarnated. This explains the strange phenomena of why certain people engage in a specific Mitzvah in which they excel. It could be that the person’s soul descended again for sake of that specific Mitzvah.

Souls may also be reincarnated to complete a certain task, repay a debt, or rectify a sin. In fact the concept of reincarnation as rectification for sin is well documented by the Kabbalists.http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/361889/jewish/Reincarnation.htm

Oh, me bad for doubting you or was I, Avi and David?

Blofeld

2 April 2014 at 16:28  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Avi Barzel

I don't think there is now a single orthodoxy in Christianity, at least in the West (but even also, I suspect, in the Eastern Orthodox Churches). There are certainly numerous Christians, both clergy and laypeople, who are discontented with what they see as a drift toward irreligion within all, or most, of the churches, certainly including both the Roman Catholic Church and the C of E, among others. But there is no single point at which orthodoxy is to be found. It looks more like a bunch or assemblage of (often conflicting) orthodoxies.

2 April 2014 at 16:30  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Avi,

Thanks for those posts, funnily enough, I was thinking of Yoma 35b, when it came to Torah study, especially re the situation on Haredi serving in the IDF...

I think that there is a wider move toward Orthodoxy and that people can and do come back to the fold, as the reform or liberal sections just don't offer challenge or realism, but platitude and no challenge, but then I'm biased & speaking to the converted. I think we all do get into heated discussions, but then providing it is done in the right spirit, it can be extremely productive.

2 April 2014 at 16:52  
Blogger Len said...

What I am saying (whether effectively or not?)is that if we are firmly grounded in Biblical truth it really doesn`t matter if we watch or read something that is biblical truth mixed with error(although I don`t recommend it)
But our youth today particularly in Europe have had the Judeo /Christian heritage demolished and 'humanism 'erected on the shattered foundations.
So how are our youth going to discern truth from error if no one speaks for the truth?.(This should have come from Archbishop Welby as he is in the pulpit at the moment with the spotlight on him)
There is a battle going on which is between biblical truth and error which is a reflection of the greater spiritual battle which is as old as time itself.

2 April 2014 at 16:56  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Blowers,

I'm withdrawing from this debate. I had a few other things to say, but to be honest I didn't initiate this conversation, I ask an honest question as to why a production should not be made from an alleged Jewish POV as opposed to the Evangelical Christian one and you came back with a diatribe/rant against Jewish mysticism (copied and pasted I might add).

But regardless, I said to my self a couple of days ago I am not going to get into these 400 page internet scrapes with people I don't know from Adam and who clearly have a particular agenda (arguing for it's own sake).

I feel from the general tone of your writing, this is getting more and more confrontational, with no purpose than to trash another's belief and misrepresent that belief that the same time, which is basically an argument for the sake of it. If Avi and Hannah wish to discuss these matters with you, then that is up to them. I don't have time for this anymore.

Oh, if you think comparing an apparent Jewish influenced production about a Biblical story is, for a Christian, akin to a German Nazi production about the holocaust and you can't see why a person might be a tiny bit angry or upset about that...

2 April 2014 at 17:03  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Avi, Happy Jack does not understand this:

"In other words, had all Jews kept their feet on the ground and stuck with Pharisaic and Hillel-based Torah, Talmud and halakhah, instead of delving in kabbalah, there would have been no Christianity."

Are you saying the early Christians were followers of Jewish mysticism and kabbalah? For sure Jesus and the first disciples were Jews and if they had stayed as a Jewish cult and kept to the Law of Moses there would have been no Christianity. But kabbalah followers - surely not? Maybe this is not what you meant.

Len, Happy Jack asks what's all this about " ... the fallen angels who attempted to corrupt human DNA"? Jack missed this in the bible, so can you provide a reference?

Uncle Brian, Happy Jack questions this observation: "But there is no single point at which orthodoxy is to be found."

Jack understood the catechism of the Roman Catholic Church provided this for its believers. True it is under challenge by all and sundry but doesn't it still remain a single source of orthodoxy for members of the Catholic Church?

2 April 2014 at 17:04  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

So, in this film then, 'Noah' lands near the White Cliffs of Dover having met Morgan Freeman in the Crusades, then as he makes his way North he paints his face Blue and White to show he has a brave heart, then taking hammer and nails builds the SS Poseidon (which ends in disaster) only to be saved by heavenly beings known either as X-men or Transformers. Sounds ripping...I shall buy popcorn...

2 April 2014 at 17:05  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Happy Jack @ 17:04

Glad you asked that question of Avi. I was going to, since I didn't understand what he was saying either.

I assume Len means the Nephilim of 'Genesis' 6: 1-4?

2 April 2014 at 17:22  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Mrs Proudie, Happy Jack says not forgetting building a plane from wreckage in the Gobi Desert and flying off to safety.

Another remake of this movie is in the pipeline with Crowe as the lead. This time, plans for rebuilding the plane are devised after a quick smoke of a cacti plant leads to instructions being given by a mystical voice. And the plane is lifted off the ground by creatures made of sand.

2 April 2014 at 17:40  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Explorer, Happy Jack really doesn't know if Len meant the Nephilim of 'Genesis' 6: 1-4. If so, he has certainly added some imaginative additions to scripture.

Later Len added "Noah was perfect in his DNA (generations)" and Jack is wondering if he is suggesting Mary and all of Jesus' human ancestors had some sort of protected DNA which the fallen angels failed to corrupt.

2 April 2014 at 17:49  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Happy Jack

doesn't it still remain a single source of orthodoxy for members of the Catholic Church?

For them, yes, in one sense of the word "orthodoxy". What I'm arguing is that there are other orthodoxies outside the Catholic Church. Not least in the Orthodox Church.

2 April 2014 at 17:54  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Mr Blofeld, you know your kabbalah better than I, which somehow doesn't surprise me. Don't get carried away and let me catch you with a red string around your wrist. In any case, any semi-serious movie seems to include some sort of philosophy, so if someone thinks rightly or wrongly that they are taking a Jewish perspective in a movie, I've no issue with that as I've no issue with Christian or secular ones, as long as they are not trying to incite or trash people. Much ado about nothing in this case.

Happy Jack: Are you saying the early Christians were followers of Jewish mysticism and kabbalah? For sure Jesus and the first disciples were Jews and if they had stayed as a Jewish cult and kept to the Law of Moses there would have been no Christianity. But kabbalah followers - surely not? Maybe this is not what you meant.

I don't believe it was called kabbalah at the timer or that it existed as a distinct body of teachings; that was formalized much later. It's clear though that a mystical approach to messianism was adopted. When, that's an entirely speculative matter. The simple, plain doctrine was that a messiah was anyoneone from the royal line of David who managed to chase out occupiers, subdue enemies, and restore the biblical borders (which ones was another issue) and the monarchy and reintroduce Torah law. No supernatural events were assumed.

This is why Rabbi Akiva concluded that Bar Kokhva, who he believed might be able to turf the Romans might be the Messiah and when Bar Kohva's rebellion failude concluded that he was not. In the plain interpretation, the messianic age last for 40 years, the span of a monarch's productive life.

Christianity and mystical Judaism assign supernatural and eschatological properties to the messiah and the messianic age. The Jewish messianic movements in Europe, those who followed Shabtai Zvi or Jacob Frank took an approach to messianism that was similar to Christianity. In fact, it's a sure bet that they freely borrowed from Christian eschatology, if you examine their beliefs in detail and compare them to Christian doscrines that were circulating at the time.

Len, since all popular media carries messages, there is no way to defend the ignorant from what may or may not be false doctrines. Even something like The Matrix, which introduced Gnosticism and other mystical ideas, including a metaphysical mishmash around quantum mechanics, had an impact on many people. Unaware of theology and history, they thought that they discovered new and profound ideas. Welcome to the secular world and to bad education.

When semi-learned Jewish kids go up to their rabbis and breathlessly recount their "interpretations" of Torah, it will be up to the rabbis to correct them or not. I imagine it will be the same for Christians. Jews really don't have a centralized authority of big brains who go around contacting movie makers, telling them what to produce or not. Same as with you people.

Uncle Brian, sorry for the lack of clarity. My small "o" orthodox merely implied a traditional, non-Modern or secular approach from a variety of sectors in a variety of religions.

2 April 2014 at 18:13  
Blogger john in cheshire said...

Avi Barzel @ 14.45, I'm not sure why you would think you telling me you are a zionist would 'piss' me off, because it doesn't. If you are assuming I am criticising Jews, well you are wrong on that too. I'm sure that you know better than I do that not all Jews are zionists and not all zionists are Jews. From what I have read there are quite a few founders and more recent leaders of Israel who are zionists. Some of their comments about us gentiles are far from complimentary and those views appear to be justified by the Talmud. I'd honestly be interested to be corrected if what I have read is fallacious. But ad hominems don't make a discussion.

2 April 2014 at 18:17  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Blofeld

Much of this thread has been complaint about the fact that 'Noah' isn't a Christian movie. My first reaction to that complaint is "No s***, Sherlock." It was made in Hollywood and Hollywood doesn't make Christian movies anymore. The non-Christian nature of this movie was a given from the beginning. Besides, we don't own copyright on the story. A non-Christian is perfectly free to make any movie he likes. He doesn't have to presume the truth of the Christian faith.

So, now what am I to do with this information? Should I stomp off into the corner and sulk that they didn't make the movie I would prefer? Yes, it offends truth. But God is not sitting in Heaven rubbing His hands nervously over this movie. And neither should I. There is simply no reason for me to be angry about this film. Unbelievers act like Unbelievers after all.

So what should I do? I could absent myself from it and I would do so if it was just a stereotypical action movie. But if it contains a serious religion message, and I want to engage that message, then I have to watch it. And I have to watch it with vision. I have to understand accurately the religious viewpoint presented. Then I can tell others about the viewpoint of the movie so they will likewise understand. In other words, I must understand the movie for what it is and not what it isn't. Too many here are concerned principally with what the movie isn't.

As an aside, I trust you reacted in a similar manner to "Passion of the Christ" which was far more theologically flawed than "Noah" because it was a far better counterfeit, and far more insidious in its corruption of the Gospel.

carl

2 April 2014 at 18:24  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Avi Barzel

My small "o" orthodox merely implied a traditional, non-Modern or secular approach from a variety of sectors in a variety of religions.

Me too, Avi. That's what I was trying to convey. Many of His Grace's regular communicants would, I believe, describe themselves as "orthodox" in that sense, although they would sometimes disagree quite radically with one another on the specifics of each communicant's own variety of orthodoxy.

2 April 2014 at 18:30  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

As an aside, I trust you reacted in a similar manner to "Passion of the Christ" which was far more theologically flawed than "Noah" because it was a far better counterfeit, and far more insidious in its corruption of the Gospel.

carl"

I have NOT watched it to this day as I KNOW the source Mel Gibson used to write a screenplay!

I don't need to watch what I find heretical from it's source, the ramblings of an RC mystic, no matter the name on the title of the film.

Blofeld

2 April 2014 at 18:36  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Now you're thinking, Carl. To save some money you and I should take our show on the road to synagogues and Calvinist churches. We can get a VW micro-bus, paint flowers, crosses and shields of David on it and road-trip the great U.S. of A. That's a comedy movie material, btw.

If we have to share hotel rooms, I'll need space in the bar fridge to keep my herring and you should expect those little bottles of rye, scotch, whiskey and bourbon to disappear. You can have the gin and the vodka. I'll share the Coors Light.

2 April 2014 at 18:39  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Avi, Happy Jack says Christianity certainly contradicted: "The simple, plain doctrine ... that a messiah was anyoneone from the royal line of David who managed to chase out occupiers, subdue enemies, and restore the biblical borders ... and the monarchy and reintroduce Torah law. No supernatural events were assumed."

However, Jesus taught that Judaism misunderstood the true nature of God's Messiah - it was not an earthly kingdom He was establishing. There is no link with Jewish mystical thinking that Jack can discern. Certainly, some of His teachings were 'mystical' in the sense that some of His parables contained hidden messages but that's as far as it went.

2 April 2014 at 18:39  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

The Inspector is a Christian. He believes in Christ almighty, accepts the NT, and tries to live his life as Jesus would have him do. That, in this man’s humble, is what it is to be a Christian.

There is no expectation to swallow whole any of the numerous obviously analogical stories in the OT.

It is said there is archaeological evidence in North America, of a vast land lake which by natural dams, had held back an unimaginable volume of water, before those dams crumbled, and in an instant this volume headed off to join the world’s oceans. The result of the big melt, 10,000 years ago. The sea level rose, so surely many coastal communities would have been flooded out, and for want of any better means of escape, they would have fled in their fishing boats. Taking with them as much livestock as possible. This must have been the fate of many thousands, tens of, possibly, of people all over the world.

But ONE family, chosen by God of course, couldn’t be otherwise, could it ? A floating menagerie ? Everyone else drowned. All dead ?

It’s this kind of guff that anti Christians pick up on and ridicule us with…

Anyway – let’s just enjoy the film as entertainment. That’s all it is...

2 April 2014 at 18:51  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

John in Cheshire, and I can say that there are quite a few Christians out there who are anti-Semitic and justify their sentiments with the Gospels and Christian scriptures. Fortunately they are in the minority and are unacceptable to the vast majority of Christians.

Ditto for Judaism. Yes, there are those who stretch parts in the Talmud to mean Christians, but they are in a small minority. A small minority of Christians and Jews also interpret some Talmud passages pertaining to Pagans, Canaanites and other neighbouring enemy peoples as anti-Christian. That's the way it is. The only Jewish literature to emerge that was hostile to Christianity was in new prayers composed during or after the Inquisitions, the Spanish Expulsion of the Jews and the Crusades, when Jewish communities were being wiped out all over Europe. These were either taken out of the liturgy fairly quickly or were generalized beyond recognition, without pointing fingers at anyone. Basically, don't buy into all the trash you see on the Web.

As for Zionism, of course I know that not all Jews hold to it. The secular Left and a sector among the ultra-Orthodox are hostile to it for entirely different reasons. The majority of normative Jews, though, support the creation and doings of the State of Israel. A broad definition of Zionism includes non-Jews who are friendly to the idea and reality of a Jewish state, even if they disagree with some policies or actions.

2 April 2014 at 18:56  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Blofeld

I have read "The Dolorous Passion" and I have watched the movie. Therefore I can speak with credibility when someone asks me about my judgments. How could I respond if I had done neither?

carl

2 April 2014 at 19:08  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Avi

...share hotel rooms ...

GAAAGH! My eyes! My eyes! Now what will I do for eyes?"

carl

Extra points if you can identify the source for the quote

2 April 2014 at 19:11  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

HJ: However, Jesus taught that Judaism misunderstood the true nature of God's Messiah - it was not an earthly kingdom He was establishing. There is no link with Jewish mystical thinking that Jack can discern. Certainly, some of His teachings were 'mystical' in the sense that some of His parables contained hidden messages but that's as far as it went.

You're going all doctrinal on me, Jack. Not knowing much about Christianity and not wanting to pointlessly and endlessly cross theological swords, it's clear that both Christianity adopted mystical beliefs about the nature of a Messiah, although from different perspectives. The very notion that a messiah would be more than an ordinary human of the proper lineage who fights battles in an ordinary way and successfully rules a kingdom like any other successful king is a departure into a mystical, eschatological approach any way you look at it. Whether such is hard-wired into your religion and mine is another issue entirely, but both are certainly more mystical than a belief in an ordinary mortal war and national leader.

2 April 2014 at 19:11  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

The Asian geneticist in Blade Runner?

2 April 2014 at 19:12  
Blogger Martin said...

Re: the righteousness of Noah.

The righteousness of Noah, Abraham, Moses, David or any other believer is based not on our behaviour but on Christ for as Jeremiah says, the Lord is our righteousness.

2 April 2014 at 19:13  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Oh, Carl, and if I'm right, double points if you can remember the name of the android. Hint: Starts with "R."

2 April 2014 at 19:14  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Carl, Happy Jack asks what you base this statement on:

"As an aside,I trust you reacted in a similar manner to "Passion of the Christ which was far more theologically flawed than "Noah" because it was a far better counterfeit, and far more insidious in its corruption of the Gospel."

Have you seen "Noah" already to make such a comparison? And "The Passion of the Christ" a counterfeit and an insidious corruption? Come now.

As Father Augustine Di Noia of the Vatican's Doctrinal Congregation said: "The film is not a documentary but a work of artistic imagination .... Gibson's film is entirely faithful to the New Testament."

Jack thinks it is a great film despite some of its artistic additions. It's been criticised for being too Catholic, for being anti-Semitic and for being too violent but where is it "theologically flawed"? Flashbacks to the Eucharist as Christ is on the Cross? Or maybe the role of Mary supporting and suffering with her son? Or is it the very brief depiction of the Resurrection?

2 April 2014 at 19:20  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

“And that dearly beloved, concludes the story of Noah”

“We shall now sing hymn 963, God wants me dead

“Let us all prostrate ourselves on the floor afterwards, and give thanks that he has not yet done us, albeit deserving wretches that we are”


2 April 2014 at 19:21  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Ps

Carl - very little of the movie is actually derived from the "The Dolorous Passion". One or two scenes at most.

2 April 2014 at 19:24  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Avi

Nope.

PDQ Bach. Oedipus Tex.

"Howdy there I'm Oedipus Tex.
You may have heard of my brother Rex.
Oedipus Tex, that's what I said.
But my friends just call me Ed."

carl

2 April 2014 at 19:24  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

You see, Carl, I am shallow fellow.

Good to see the Inspector getting into the, um, spirit of things. Just as well that we can't hear him sing. On the other hand, if he were a jolly good chap, he could upload a YouTube vid of himself doing so from the Mouse and Wheel after sufficiently refreshed.

2 April 2014 at 19:44  
Blogger Hannah said...

Hi David,

And Avi thought I was going to be the one to disappear (: Seriously, though I think you've got reasonable grounds to dispute Ernsty's POV and I'd reconsider coming back into the fray.

2 April 2014 at 19:54  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Ah, it’s you Avi. The Inspector has rolled up his sleeves and is pacing around his manor just waiting for one of the ‘devout’ to have a go at him. Something in the way of “You are NOT a member of Christian club if you don’t believe Genesis is God’s truth”

Still, as a member of the RCC, one is actually most thankful for the Reformation. You see, all the religious weirdos and loons ended up on the protestant side. And a good thing too, what !

2 April 2014 at 19:56  
Blogger Hannah said...

Hi Ernsty,

As I said I am not really a follower of Jewish mystical tradition, but I do have respect for it. I don't see the need to come onto this blog and repeatedly trash Christianity, although I could do so quite easily. The reason why I don't is because I feel as a guest in a house; the guest is a devout Christian and therefore one should respect that. If, however, at it seems there is a different view on this and his Grace's party is being gate crashed by loonies, then don't worry, you'll get a no holds barred conversation...

2 April 2014 at 19:57  
Blogger Hannah said...

Hi Avi,

@ 15.19

I think all of us try and do daily Torah study. We weren't bought up in a culture of Yeshivas etc, so our learning is community and family based, alongside secular study & work. Not to make us look more pious or anything, but that's our culture.

2 April 2014 at 20:00  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Inspector

For a good and plausible "scientific" account of the flood see Secret of Atlantis by Otto Muck

An old book but many of the ideas are still perhaps valid

Phil

On reviewer from Amazon sketches out the bare bones

Phil


The book begins with the Plato account of Atlantis, situated beyond the Pillars of Hercules, west of the Gibraltar straits, Muck suggests that Plato's account was couched in mythological language because belief in a far western continent was sacrilegious in ancient Greece. The most convincing argument however is the one first advanced by Muck; that during the ice age, when Atlantis was thriving, there was a barrier island which blocked the flow of the North Atlantic Drift. This barrier island was Atlantis. There are a few rather poetic accounts of the flora and fauna on Atlantis, based on the Plato passage. Obviously Atlantis would have received the full advantage of the warm water flowing from the tropical western Atlantic regions, whereas Europe would have been under ice. After the destruction of Atlantis, the North Atlantic Drift brought it's warm waters to Europe, and brought an end to the ice age.

The end of Atlantis, in 8498 BC was brought about by a collision of Earth with an asteroid. This event was truly cataclysmic, and left the human race permanently scarred. Civilization was brought to an end and there were thousands of years of darkness on Earth, during which the white race was created. The book is packed full of statistics regarding cataclysms in historical times. Muck also references the Bible and the Gilgamesh epic to back up his claims of an ancient apocalypse.

2 April 2014 at 20:01  
Blogger Esther Shabo said...

Hello Dave,

Hannah is correct, get a pair and fight your bloody corner! Shesh and they say Orthodox Judaism is sexist...

And the best comment so far is Carl Jacobs at 2 April 2014 18:24*.

*I dunno if Avi Barzel follows Rav Slifkin's blog, but there was a thread a couple of weeks ago which started to discuss 'Calvinist Judaism'. Made me think of Carl...

2 April 2014 at 20:51  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I'm not sure I dare read the comments in case I want to see the film and there are spoilers about the ending.

2 April 2014 at 20:53  
Blogger Esther Shabo said...

Avi/Carl,

I've just bought "frozen" for £11.99 for my children. Well worth the money I hope (:

2 April 2014 at 21:01  
Blogger Esther Shabo said...

Martin

"Jewish mysticism has absolutely nothing to give to anyone, let alone Christians. Judaism has abandoned God, crucified their Messiah and adopted pharasaism as their religion. Such expressions of their religion as this film is purported to be are satanic. The only way these people will be saved is by a mighty act of God."

Jewish mysticism , in it's broadest sense does have something to give people.No Judaism has NOT abandoned God; we did NOT cruxify our Messiah (The Romans executed Jesus of Nazareth, if that's what you mean) as he wasn't the Jewish Messiah, but the Christian version of.... No Judaism is NOT satanic and mainstream Judaism didn't need to create an intermediary/middle man/broker for access to the divine : we go to HIM directly.

2 April 2014 at 21:06  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Explorer @ 12.38, agreed. The Lib-Dim wing-nuts of politics everywhere have hijacked the study of climate-change for their own ideological purposes. It is a great pity that objective study of the topic has been swamped (oh dear) by subjective noise.

2 April 2014 at 21:08  
Blogger bluedog said...

Thank you for your sensible comment @ 18.51, Mr Inspector

2 April 2014 at 21:11  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Jack

Yes, the Passion was too Roman Catholic, but I could mostly live with that. What I could not abide was the Madonna/Anti-Madonna struggle between Mary and Satan that so denigrated the Passion itself. The movie was a Triad that diminushed the Lord Jesus and made Him an object in His own Passion even as it functionally deified Mary. It is His story and His work and His alone. Mary has nothing to do with it. I almost came out of my chair when I saw Mary splattered with blood at the foot of the Cross. That wasn't artistic license. That was Co-Redemtrix theology and it is the most offensive corruption of the Gospel that Rome has yet developed.

carl

2 April 2014 at 21:18  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Phil Rogers @ 20.01, does Otto Muck go into the etymological parallels between the ancient name for Brittany, Armorica, the modern name for Mauretania, Morroco, and the name America? This communicant has always wondered how an entire continent was allegedly named after the Christian name of a single explorer, Amerigo Vespucci. Vespucciland one might expect, or the name of his sponsor or country of origin, but the corruption of a commoner's Christian name? Could have been Fred or Bertland.

2 April 2014 at 21:22  
Blogger Esther Shabo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2 April 2014 at 21:25  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Oh and Jack

I read the 'Dolorous Passion' within days of watching the movie when the movie was still fresh in my mind. I was shocked at how much of the movie was taken directly from that book. Considerably more than one or two scenes. I invite the reader to read the book and make his own judgment.

carl

2 April 2014 at 21:25  
Blogger Esther Shabo said...

In respect of rationalist Judaism and the mystical tradition, in some respects Jews are always both. I'd think of Rabbi Yosef Caro, who whilst sometimes characterised as a mystic, actually bridged both traditions. His Shulcham Arukh, a codification of Jewish is still held in high esteem by us Spehardi Jews, as much as Moses Maimonides (I'm currently reading through 'The guide for the perplexed', btw). Also the Lecha Dodi has its origins in Sehpardi mystical tradition, but is pretty much sung in practically every Shul the world over; there is also the tradition of the two Angels of Shabbat, which even my Reform Jewish friends accept as a part of our tradition!So the gulf is one of degree and media spin, as David notes re celebs apparently embracing 'Kaballah' [As one of our Rabbis used to quip 'half of it may be nonsense, but at least it is Jewish nonsense!'].

As for Christians mocking the apparent mystical or spiritual; the Christian believes in many a supernatural event, not least the apparent miracles of and rising from the dead of Jesus of Nazareth as a man/god/human sacrifice for sin. So I fail to understand why Christians have a problem with the mystical strands of Judaism, in sense of appreciating another's belief in the mystic and spiritual.

2 April 2014 at 21:30  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Hannah/Esther,

Oh for shame! OK, OK, I'll have a think and respond to Blowers in due course. And I'm beginning to think Orthodox Judaism IS sexist. Like Mrs K earlier on :

'David, David!' came the shout of Mrs K,from another part of the house. 'You don't have time to post on Cranmer', you've got things I need you to do'...

2 April 2014 at 21:45  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Carl, ah, so it was the depiction of Mary above all else.
Mary was there and she was at the foot of the Cross before Jesus died, witnessed His death and held His body when He was taken from it. Should she have been left out of the film?

Jack missed this: "Madonna/Anti-Madonna struggle between Mary and Satan." Maybe it was symbolic of the first Eve and the satanic corruption of humanity. Are you saying the film was conveyed the message that if Mary had waivered at Calvary then Jesus' death would have been diminished, even unsuccessful? Jack didn't see that. And just where was Mary "deified" in the film? Again, Jack didn't see that. Just a suffering mother feeling the pain of her son and understanding and accepting the prophecies she had received at His conception and at His presentation at the Temple.

Avi, Happy Jack isn't going all doctrinal. We have different faiths and beliefs, he appreciates that.

No, Jack was just saying Christianity is not linked with kabbalah and its mysticism. Maybe we're getting mysticism and belief in supernatural intervention confused.

2 April 2014 at 21:51  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

David,

Miss Shabo brings out good points. The kabbalah is a complex tradition, with much of it in the mainstream. But Mr Blofeld's trashing of the kabbalah in a post to Ms Hannah as a demonic is way overboard and rather silly. In the spirit of his extremist and silly charge, here's mine:

(Mr B)Kabbalistic theology is unbiblical and that the philosophy cannot be verified.

New Testament theology is unbiblical and its philosophy cannot be verified.

In other words, hannah, there is no historical fact that verifies Kabbalah.

In other words Mr B, there is no historical fact that can verify Christianity's authentic beginnings apart from writings composed well after the purported events.

It borrows heavily from the accounts written in the first five books of the Bible, but it also radically reinterprets so many events and so many concepts in the Bible that it is quite foreign from what the Word of God actually says.

It borrows heavily from the Torah and the Talmud, interprets everything from its own perspective in search of "proofs" of Christianity and similar validations, but introduces shockingly Pagan concepts utterly opposed to to biblical theology.

It teaches reincarnation, a type of karma, inner divinity, and no need for a Redeemer.

It teaches Hellenistic notions of gods walking the earth and interacting with humans, Babylonian ideas of Hell and Heaven, a heretically dualistic universe with demons in war with God, a tri-partite God and revives Nordic legends of man-gods sacrificed on the Tree of Life, Yggdrasil, and their rebirth.

And I won't get into venerations of saints and objects, terror of witches, miraculous visions by young girls and such.

There you have it, David. Now, I really need to get back to work.

2 April 2014 at 21:57  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

David, David, David

You don't have time to post on Cranmer', you've got things I need you to do'.

Tsk. Here is what you should have said.

"Be still, Woman! Come sit at my feet until I bid you to make me a sandwich."

carl
Fighting to uphold the Patriarchy

2 April 2014 at 22:02  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Jack, with Christinity emerging from first century Judaism and its then-kabbalistic traditions and later, kabbalah's absorbtion of Greek and Christian mystical ideas in the Muslim East and Christian Europe, starting with the Middle Ages, the two are hopelessly intertwined. Miss Shabo is right that we don't need to (and in fact can't) chuck all of our mystical traditions because of the confusion. We wouldn't have much left.

2 April 2014 at 22:03  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Carl, with all that machismo and control, all you can ask for is a sandwich?

2 April 2014 at 22:05  
Blogger The Explorer said...

David:

How about Mrs K's response to Carl's advice @ 22:02?

2 April 2014 at 22:06  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Pfft! That's the way to do it, Inspector, get under everyone's skin and trust that they'll start with the fisticuffs among themselves before they even get to your door!

2 April 2014 at 22:07  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Avi

The sandwich is a universal metaphor for so much more.

carl

2 April 2014 at 22:08  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Especially if it's a baguette.

2 April 2014 at 22:26  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Phil, thanks for introducing this man to Muck. Will investigate tomorrow. Can’t say one has heard of him before, but is well used to reading about an idea pushed to credibility. But a whole string of them together – that’s a first !

2 April 2014 at 22:28  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Avi, come now. Kabbalah as we know it today wasn't around in the time of the Second Temple. Jack understands there were minority Jewish mystical traditions but nothing like the system that emerged later.

Jack agrees, all religions based on revelation from a Supreme Being are, by definition, 'mystical' in some sense of the word. The eating of the forbidden fruit has to be interested and Christians and Jews see it differently. Think of the burning bush and God's disclosure of His name and nature. Or, to stay on topic, God's command to Noah to build the ark and the flood. What's different is that all these events, real or analogical, are explicitly recorded in scripture and regarded as divinely inspired and authoritative. We can disagree about their meaning but at least there is a shared text that can be rationally discussed.

2 April 2014 at 22:29  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Jack, kabbalah, which means tradition, was around, but was not formalized. Mr Blofeld accurately covered the texts it was eventually confined to and some of his criticism is valid.

As for the rest of it, that's my point; mystical traditions are integral to religions and lines are blurred. I don't know how you personally deal with yours, but I tend towards the more rationalistic approach on the spectrum and prefer to cross-check them with Torah, Gomorrah, Middrash and the earlier Sages. I take a more jaundiced look at things from about the 16th century on. Bottom line for me is that kabbalah cannot contradict Torah. You have to remember that in Judaism observance of the commandments is central and that one can sail through life without having to explain kinds and levels of faith, these being more between God and the individual, rather than the community's business.

2 April 2014 at 22:39  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Carl, Happy Jack asks how far the film departed from scripture? If it was heavily based on 'The Dolorous (Sorrowful) Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ' then the question is whether these recorded visions departed from scripture.

Jack says it's a Catholic film. What did you expect? A Calvinist theology? The charge that it is "theologically flawed (and) a counterfeit, and ... insidious in its corruption of the Gospel" is simply your Calvinist view of Catholicism and, in particular, the reverence it has for Mary. The most you can say is that it saw many parts of the Passion through the eyes of Jesus' mother and conveyed her suffering at witnessing the brutal death of her child.

2 April 2014 at 22:46  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Avi, Happy Jack says really Christianity is essentially 'mystical'. It teaches that salvation depends on an individual spiritual relationship with Jesus, offered by grace, as an undeserved gift by the Holy Spirit. Thereafter, it all gets more complicated and denominational.

It's different for different folk, but Jack thinks this means developing one's personal friendship with Christ, interiorly, as well as exteriorly following His commandments and being in a worshipping community to praise Him. Again, just how this all works is disputed between Christians.

2 April 2014 at 23:01  
Blogger Integrity said...

Hi Guys and Gals,
I don't know what you all grew up reading? You must have started at two with volumes bigger than yourselves. As for me, I grew up wit the Eagle, Beano, Dandy and any of the other comics of the day and had fun reading them. Particularly Dan Dare and all his heroic escapades.
As for this film, I think Mrs Proudie got it about right.

2 April 2014 at 23:09  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Avi,

2 April 2014 21:57

Thanks for that erudite & informative post.

Explorer,

Well, ahem, I have no idea about this sandwich thing. I do know that I wasn't upset with the 'more important task' that Mrs K wanted me to do, ahem.

Carl,

Oh, I'd agree. Christianity and Judaism are really very matriarchal religions and we need a man's group to balance matters out,, sandwiches included!

Happy Jack,

"It's different for different folk"

Indeed. That is the point being made here about Judaism and mystical traditions...

2 April 2014 at 23:22  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Mr Integrity,

Yes, I lapped up Torah, along with my mother's milk...who began my foundation into the Jewish world. I also liked the Beano and other kids comics too (:

2 April 2014 at 23:29  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3 April 2014 at 00:15  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Ernsty,

‘Dear Lad, you have said this regularly and Ernst agrees with you having a view to sttae anything as nonsense but the same could be said of Kabbalism that came way before the New Age nonsense over the last half century that has disturbed and harmed many..Are the Jews to blame or is Kabbalism. What has Toronto blessing rubbish got in common with the Bible except it's own interpretation through false tradition as Kabbalism..Don't see the early Christians doing a lot of naming it and claiming it, do you?’

You can hardly blame Judaism or Kabbalism on the ‘new age’ movement; in fact the Rev Nicky Gumble himself has offered a critique of this in a pamphlet* and not once does he (an Anglican Evangelical-Charismatic himself) once blame Jewish mysticism for New Age movements. You don’t see early Christians naming and claiming it[?], except that the current Charismatic movement is into being ‘slain in the spirit’ and ‘being born again’ and point to various New Testament passages to justify speaking in tongues, healing, prophecy & the rest; google provides a reservoir of sources to this effect[& their argument is strikingly similar to Protestant reformers 500 years ago- they wish to take ‘the church’ back to its very beginnings]. I have seen this charismatic stuff for myself and it makes Jewish mysticism utter rational by comparison. There are about 584,000,000 Charismatic Christians in the world, so quite a lot of heretics to put on the bonfire; too Catholic no? (:


“The nonsense spouted by Kabbalism is as deluded and one sided in proving the world through their eyes as is the Aryan rubbish spouted if they devised a film along their lines of a 'truthful representation of an historical event..The aims are different to the outcome of the movie if truth is made of no worth whatsoever”


Except that Nazi propaganda was about demonising Jewish people, how we are a stain on humanity and need to be exterminated en masse. All this film does is to put a different view onto a Bible myth; hardly the same, in that the odd nut aside, I doubt no-one is going to suddenly build an ark in Hyde Park. But Nazi films incite violence and hatred toward a particular group of people, which could be easily be used to whip up hatred again ‘das Juden’. It is strange you are unable to evaluate the difference.

As for the rest, I was going to respond in more detail later, but looking back at this thread, Avi, Esther & Hannah have all given you a decent account to most of the other problems you've raised. As for the issue of reincarnation and Judaism, I think it has been discussed before on various threads, that there is a very broad set of beliefs in respect of death and what happens to you after death. As I've said before Judaism - unlike Christianity- isn't so much obsessed with death & the quest for 'eternal life', but what you should be doing in this life. I don't have much more to add really.

*Gumble N, ‘How Does the New Age Movement Relate to Christianity ?(Kingsway Publications , Alpha International edition ,2010). I got several pamphlets courtesy of the various 'street preachers' and 'door knockers' who 'evangelize' our neighbourhood.

3 April 2014 at 00:40  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Jack

The most you can say is that it saw many parts of the Passion through the eyes of Jesus' mother and conveyed her suffering at witnessing the brutal death of her child.

No, it goes considerably beyond that.

We begin with the presence of Satan in the movie. Why does he tempt the Lord Jesus in the Garden about bearing the sin of the world? This is not a biblical concept at all. Satan was the motivator behind Jesus' death.

As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” John 13:27

Satan had no clue why Jesus was going to die. Satan had no clue that Jesus' death would effect the very thing he sought to prevent. So why does it exist in this story line?

Because it enables the interplay between Jesus and Mary that forms the foundation of this presentation of the passion. There is a mystical spiritual communion between the two that is presented in the movie, and explicitly stated in the book.

She walked along with her head veiled, and her arms frequently stretched forth towards Mount Olivet; for she beheld in spirit Jesus bathed in a bloody sweat, and her gestures were as though she wished with her extended hands to wipe the face of her Son. I saw these interior movements of her soul towards Jesus, who thought of her, and turned his eyes in her direction, as if to seek her assistance. I beheld the spiritual communication which they had with each other, under the form of rays passing to and fro between them. DP - Chapter 1

THE Blessed Virgin was ever united to her Divine Son by interior spiritual communications; she was, therefore, fully aware of all that happened to him—she suffered with him, and joined in his continual prayer for his murderers. DP -Chapter 11

In the movie, Mary wakes up when Jesus is arrested thus displaying supernatural knowledge. Mary states "It begins Lord" at the start of his trials. Mary kisses the stones above the spot where Jesus is held in prison.

So we have this mystical communion between Son and Mother. The third member of the Triad is Satan - curiously presented as female, but no so curious when you see the anti-Madonna image that is perhaps the most memorable scene in the movie. These two - Mary and Jesus - are the only two who can only see Satan. That sets Mary apart and displays her spiritual role in the passion. They together manifest the spiritual struggle of Jesus going to the Cross. Mary provides her assistance while Satan tries to stop Him. She is omnipresent throughout. In the movie she even chases away demons.

I could add all the detail about Mary and the Blood of Christ, and "Would that I could die with you." But I think you get the idea.

carl

3 April 2014 at 01:37  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

carl jacobs, Happy Jack

I think I agree with just about everything carl said at 01:37. That may sound like lukewarm assent, but there are reasons for that.

In the first place, I saw the film just once, on first release, and I simply didn't like it enough to want to watch it again. Not Mel Gibson's best film, to put it mildly.

Also, I remember reading at the time about this book you've both mentioned but I wasn't motivated to get hold of it. It wouldn't make the top 100 titles on my "must read" list. The Passion narrative is dramatic enough already, it doesn't need beefing up with pseudo-mystical add-ons, which is what Gibson seems to have been trying to do.

3 April 2014 at 02:25  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Carl, Happy Jack says of course there was a close union between Mary and Jesus. She was His mother. She had been told He was the Messiah at His conception and forewarned of His fate at the Presentation in the Temple. She was blessed amongst women - full of grace. And of course she suffered with Him during His death in a unique way. And why wouldn't she support Him?

As for Satan being female, Jack didn't particularly notice this but guesses it was to do with the first Eve and the Catholic idea of Mary as the second Eve.

Satan may not have known for sure who Jesus was but His temptation in the desert was certainly a Messianic temptation and there are other sections in scripture suggesting the demons knew Him. This isn't entirely unbiblical, is it?

And deification of Mary? You are going too far.

3 April 2014 at 02:38  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Christianity has a lengthy tradition of magic and mysticism, some but not all of which is derived from Kabbalah. Other parts go back to Ancient Egyptian religion, Hermes Trismegistus and the like.

"New Age" as a term is something of a red herring. It originated in the sense we understand it with 19th century Theosophy, combined with an enormous amount of romanticism - the same romanticism which gave birth to neo-pagan revivalism, Margaret Murray, Garahm Gardner and Wicca later on. Other strands gave birth to the Golden Dawn movement, harking back to the Rosicrucians, which runs alongside the Freemasons. Aleister Crowley began within Golden Dawn but then founded his own strands.

Organised Churches have tended very much to play down the magical and mystical traditions within Christianity, which I think is a pity, because whatever one thinks of this stuff it consistently speaks to people.

3 April 2014 at 02:45  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Inspector / Bluedog

Muck was a Nazi. The original book was in German. The book is over 60 years old so some of his theories have been disproved but most 90% or more have not. What I find fascinating is his hypothesis of why there are so many frozen mammoth that died so quickly and in good health and his reasoning for the migration of eels (fascinating) He has not in my mind found the recognition he deserves simply because he is disliked because of his wartime role and his theories tend to support the Bible (Although I don't think he was a Christian)

You can get the English version second hand. In my view it could do with a reprint

Translated from the German Wiki

Otto Muck (engineering)

Otto Heinrich Muck (* August 5 1892 in Vienna , † November 7 1956 ) was an Austrian engineer and scientist. He published about biological and geological issues and worked as a design engineer and inventor. Otto Muck is considered one of the most influential Atlantis researchers of the 20th Century. [1]


Life

Otto Muck studied at the Technical University in Vienna , then in Munich electrical engineering. During the First World War he was a lieutenant. He then continued his studies in Munich and completed in 1920, the Institute of Technology as a graduate engineer. He then studied physicsat the suggestion of Arnold Sommerfeld as well as geophysics and Early History. Muck corresponded later scientifically inter alia with Sommerfeld and with Albert Einstein ( About the structure of the light quanta ).

As an engineer, Muck worked among others for the Siemens-Schuckert or Siemens & Halske. During the Third Reich he studied explosive forces and missile technology and participated in World War II at the Peenemünde rocket site. He lived after the war in Uffing am Staffelsee (Upper Bavaria). [2] the same time he was also a painter and graphic artist. [3] Otto Heinrich Muck died in Vienna in 1956 after an accident.

Otto Muck had numerous patent applications, many of which also led to effective patents and inventions. You can find patents and publications on dry shavers, remote controlled clocks , double flash in portrait photography (Red eye reduction), handling of frozen and flammable gases, generation of ultrasound , vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, electrical equipment, thermal massager, LNG tanker and telegraph.

The best known was Otto Muck of the general public with its detailed elaborate theories about Atlantis . Its downfall to have been triggered by the impact of a celestial body, according to Muck and this caused a huge flood that ended the ice age very quickly and changed the climate. In this context, Muck also provides hypotheses on movement of the poles and continental drift , death of large numbers of ice age animals, prehistoric human races, early migrations, early civilizations and the migration of eels .

A good book if you find one from second hand sellers on Amazon you won't be disappointed.

Phil



3 April 2014 at 02:45  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Phil Roberts

Why postulate Atlantis? If the "impact of a celestial body", presumably a meteorite, could have precipitated the end of the ice age by falling on Atlantis, surely it could have had the same effect by falling anywhere else. Occam's razor.

3 April 2014 at 02:53  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Uncle Brian, Happy Jack says he can understand your position but there are a lot of Roman Catholic themes in 'The Passion of the Christ' which are rejected by protestants.

In one sense, the film is a depiction of the Catholic Mass as well as the Stations of the Cross. Understand the Catholic Mass and you'll better understand the concept of Mary joining her sufferings with Christ's at Calvary.

3 April 2014 at 02:55  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Happy Jack

Whatever it's a depiction of, Jack, I didn't think much of it as a film.

3 April 2014 at 03:05  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Jack

of course there was a close union between Mary and Jesus.

A close union between mother & son is not the same thing as the supernatural communion presented in the movie. You might for example try to explain why only Mary and Jesus could see Satan. That simple fact places her in a different realm from every other man and woman in the movie.

it was to do with the first Eve and the Catholic idea of Mary as the second Eve.

Same thing, only different. It parallels Mary with Christ.

For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. Rom 5:15

Christ, the second Adam, redeems men. Mary the second Eve co-redeems men. But this doesn't explain the anti-Madonna image with that grotesque child. In context, it must be the anti-Christ. No, that image establishes the parallel.

Satan may not have known for sure who Jesus was...

Yes, he did. Matthew 4 clearly demonstrates that Satan knew who Jesus was.

... but His temptation in the desert was certainly a Messianic temptation and there are other sections in scripture suggesting the demons knew Him. This isn't entirely unbiblical, is it?

It's completely irrelevant to an alleged temptation in the Garden to avoid bearing the Sin of the World. Satan was trying to get Him killed. Satan didn't understand what Jesus was doing. There is no biblical foundation for this.

And deification of Mary?

I said 'functional deification.' One has to be God Incarnate to fulfill Jesus' redemptive role. That's where you have to go if you start talking about Mary as Co-Redemptrix.

carl

3 April 2014 at 03:36  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Darter Noster

Christianity has a lengthy tradition of magic and mysticism, some but not all of which is derived from Kabbalah. Other parts go back to Ancient Egyptian religion, Hermes Trismegistus and the like.

Ummm... What? Why would we have a tradition of magic that traces back to the very gods of Egypt that were judged by the ten plagues? Why would we need magic when its purpose is to give men power over the natural and supernatural worlds? And why we engage in such things when they are explicitly prohibited.

Organised Churches have tended very much to play down the magical and mystical traditions within Christianity...

With good reason.

... because whatever one thinks of this stuff it consistently speaks to people.

Well, yes. But that doesn't mean it speaks a good word. People love the idea of power and magic promises power - especially supernatural power that allows action independent of God. But this alleged power does not originate in God. If there is any actual power behind it, then it must be demonic. Which would be a really good reason to suppress it.

carl

3 April 2014 at 03:57  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Carl @ )3:57

Quite. The magicians at Ephesus burned their books.

3 April 2014 at 07:50  
Blogger Ivan said...


For what it is worth, I might as well point out that Noah, and this I believe is in conformity with the RC Church is for me an archetype of Christ. His forty day sojourns over the waters, recall both Jesus' baptism, immersion and subsequent temptation in the desert over forty days. The number four seem to have some numerological significance.

Yahweh misled the Habiru in the desert for forty years, when a beeline to Jerusalem would have put them among the Canaanites in weeks. All four of my credit cards were maxed out. The are four seasons, four cardinal directions. The pious Muslim is allowed four wives. Chinese numerology however considers this an unlucky number, the phonetic sound of the number four in Mandarin(?) sounds like the word for death.

The book When the Earth Nearly Died gives persuasive evidence, if one is of the mind of an Immanuel Velikovsky, that the Earth was shattered and flooded by certain cosmic occurrences thousands of years ago, the memory of which is preserved in the tribal minds of countless peoples. Isaac Newton (according to an essay by SJ Gould) was inclined to accept catastrophism as force in history, until he could do away with the "God of the gaps" through superior physics. If a comet like Shoemaker-Levy ever makes it here, then my request is that the end be quick and painless.

3 April 2014 at 08:27  
Blogger Ivan said...

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse...

3 April 2014 at 08:29  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

David, Hannah, Esther.

Old Ernst has not run away from a discussion but has been dealing with EDF and his daughters property's lack of electricity at her property since Monday evening and being messed around by them.

As soon as I have time I will happily respond to your arguments as the whole point of what Ernst is driving at is THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH and NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH. This seems to be blinding you to what you state as if an opinion in itself corresponds to this. It does not!!

Your arguments are as weak as somebody postulating that Christians can learn much from Christian spiritualism and talking with dead spirits, as you suppose that Kabbalism can be equated with Torah Judaism and much can be learned from it!
Itchy ears and all that?

Mysticism is the interpretation of something by deep philosophy from a source higher than man, but NOT God directly.It's all secret but NOT to those in the know, who cannot prove HOW they know!!

Blofeld

3 April 2014 at 08:46  
Blogger Len said...

Where does one begin to unpick the tangled mess that religion has got itself into?.

Two trees.

There are two spiritual beings which one can derive their spiritual energy and information from God or Satan ,there is no 'middle ground 'and Satan is the default option we all start from.
There is a battle going on between God and Satan to see who can win the hearts and minds of men, we see this in 'the book of Job'.
Satan counterfeits everything that God does with the intention of deceiving men into following him.
So how do we know what is truth and who do we follow?.
When we see attempts to replace Christ with 'other figures' as we see in Catholicism and with Islam we can know these are false religions.
The Jews have been blinded to the reality of Christ(by God) and will be so until 'the times of the Gentiles' are fulfilled (which must be quite soon?)
So when Christ is the absolute centre we see God`s Hand on that religion.Christ is absolutely central to God`s Word right from the beginning to the end... Alpha and Omega.

3 April 2014 at 08:58  
Blogger Ivan said...

Len give us a break, well the Catholics call on Christ. Suppose I refuse to have anything to do with saints and bleeding madonnas, am I among the saved? I have not called on the prayerful intermediaries in a while. Am I doing alright?

3 April 2014 at 09:17  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Ivan @ 09:17

For what it's worth, I'm with Wesley. The faith of Protestants and Catholics alike contains all that is necessary for salvation.

3 April 2014 at 09:45  
Blogger Ivan said...


Explorer, I too accept this. Anyone who accepts the Nicene Creed or some slight variation of it is a Christian.

3 April 2014 at 10:29  
Blogger Len said...

'Christ alone' certainly sorts out the religious from the followers.

Christ plus nothing =everything.
Christ plus something= nothing.

Paul tried to tell the Galatians this and called them fools, I think that still stands.

Ivan,Explorer, It is Christ who defines a 'Christian' I might respectfully comment that I will take his view over yours.

3 April 2014 at 10:49  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Len @ 10:49

The name 'Christian' was given at Antioch (Acts 11:26) to one who accepted the teaching of the apostles. That is the definition I go by.

I also accept the Nicene Creed as a statement of what I believe; with 'catholic' as 'universal' and 'apostolic' as 'following the teaching of the apostles' (as in the definition above).

3 April 2014 at 11:23  
Blogger Ivan said...


Christ said: Anyone who confesses Me, I will confess to the Father. Whatever accretions we add does not materially impact this, for nothing is being substituted in His place.

3 April 2014 at 11:34  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Carl,

"This alleged power did not originate in God"

Yes it did, that was the whole point of Mysticism, magic, Alchemy, and the beginnings of what became science.

God created the world; by looking beyond the visible world, and by understanding how it worked, we could come closer to God and develop a better understanding of him. Christian magicians, astrologers and alchemists through the ages looked to the knowledge of the ancient world, including Alchemy which began in ancient Egypt with Hermes Trismegistus. Sir Isaac Newton, amongst other prominent early scientists, wrote a lot more alchemical works than he did scientific ones.

Of course, practitioners of Alchemy, astrology, magic etc. had to be very careful how they went about it in the early modern and mediaeval period in case they were accused of witchcraft, but famous practitioners like John Dee, Pico Della Mirandola and Roger Bacon were well known. Magic is not the same as witchcraft.

3 April 2014 at 11:41  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Darter:

Were those who burned their books (Acts 19:19) misguided to do so?

3 April 2014 at 11:51  
Blogger Ivan said...

do not materially.. instead of does. Always had a problem with grammar.

3 April 2014 at 12:00  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Explorer,

Possibly; they acted out of frustration and and sorrow at having been proved wrong, but without knowing what was in the books we don't really know do we?

The key point here is that Paul succeeded through Christ where they had failed, but they were both trying to do the same thing! It wasn't what the magicians were trying to do but the way they were going about it that was wrong.

Mediaeval and Early Modern Christians believed that the the works of Ancient Greeks and Romans contained much valuable wisdom and knowledge. They saw the ruins of the Greeks and Romans, and the great histories of their empires, and sought to learn from them, and to apply their knowledge correctly, in a Christian and non-pagan way. The rediscovery of many classical texts, from the period which Mediaeval people took as the ultimate in power, majesty, knowledge and general greatness, way above and beyond their own time and knowledge, was at the heart of the Renaissance.

Today we are very used to believing that progress lies in front of us; in the Mediaeval world it lay behind them, in the lost world of Greece and Rome.

3 April 2014 at 12:19  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Carl, Happy Jack doesn't think Satan is a woman in the movie. Rather Satan is a non-human, neither man nor woman,
androgynous. In the movie Satan exhibits neither male nor feminine qualities.

In the Garden Satan appears when Jesus is praying to His Father. Satan here represents Jesus' struggle with accepting His fate and His temptation not to go through with His crucifixion.

As for the ugly baby, some see this as symbolising humanity steeped in sin, being fed daily by Satan. Here's what Mel Gibson had said: “...it's evil distorting what is good. What is more tender and beautiful than a mother and child? So the Devil takes that and distorts it just a little bit. Instead of a normal mother and child you have an androgynous figure holding a 40-year-old 'baby' with hair on his back. It is weird, it is shocking, it's almost too much - just like turning Jesus over to continue scourging Him on His chest is shocking and almost too much, which takes place the exact moment when this appearance of the Devil and the baby takes place.”

It is an "anti" Madonna and Child scene, granted. But so what? It is Satan mocking Jesus and Mary and the coming of Christ into the world. The baby stroking Satan's face symbolises the love of evil.

The movie was, for the most part, Biblically accurate. Okay, so there are a few scenes in which "artistic license" was taken. It is an essentially Roman Catholic meditation on the Passion. Accepted, Mary's role was overemphasized beyond what the Bible states. However, saying it is "theologically flawed", a "counterfeit" and an "insidious ... corruption of the Gospel", is going way, way overboard.

3 April 2014 at 12:28  
Blogger Len said...

The Mother and Child images are straight out of Babylonian religion.

To try and to incorporate them into 'Christianity' was an attempt to placate the pagan Goddess worshipers and to make it easier for Constantine to produce a' Universal religion'.

3 April 2014 at 12:46  
Blogger Len said...

In Egypt , the mother and child were worshiped as Isis and Osiris or Horus, in India as Isi and Iswara, in China and Japan as the mother goddess Shing-moo with child, in Greece as Ceres or Irene and Plutus, in Rome as Fortuna and Jupitor-puer, or Venus and Adurnis, and in Scandinavia as Frigga and Balder. The mother and child were worshiped in Babylon as Ishtar and Tammuz, and in Phoenicia, as Ashtoreth and Baal. Moreover, the child was worshiped as both husband and son of the mother goddess.

Would you want this pair in your Christian religion?.

3 April 2014 at 12:50  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Len,

Jesus was God made flesh by virtue of being born; it doesn't seem a terribly great leap to revere his mother as human side of the duo that made salvation possible.

Maternity has been a revered institution throughout humanity because, if you think about it Len, we've all been through it; it's how we got here. It shouldn't really be terribly surprising therefore that many world religions have revered motherhood and represented it in their pantheons; it hardly constitutes evidence that Catholicism is pagan. Protestants display the Cross as a symbol of death and resurrection; the very-similar ankh was the Ancient Egyptian symbol of the death and resurrection of Osiris.

Oh my God!!!! Quick Len, tear down your pagan cross!!!!!!

Or perhaps people could just calm down, take some pills, and stop using the fact that world religions, utterly unsurprisingly, have many basic concepts in common as evidence that Catholicism is actually pagan.

If you strip out of any religion every idea, principle or image that has ever been in some way shared by another religion, you pretty much haven't got anything left. Stars, natural cycles, birth, death, regeneration, the world around us - of course these are going to feature in religions.

3 April 2014 at 13:13  
Blogger Len said...

Catholics do a tad more than revere Jesus`s Mother 'darter' your studies should have at least shown you that?.
Do you really want me to spell it out for you?.

3 April 2014 at 13:41  
Blogger Len said...

Darter , I really think you should have got around to the Catechism by now perhaps you skipped a few pages when it got to Goddess worship?.I realise there is a lot to plough through, purgatory the infallibility of he who sits in the golden Chair etc, so here is a brief reminder of some regarding the Catholic 'Mary'(as distinct from the christian mother of Jesus Christ)






Mary (there are many false doctrines concerning Mary found in Roman Catholicism, here are a few)

Mary is Mediatrix, CCC 969, "Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.'"
Mary brings us the gifts of eternal salvation, CCC 969, "Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation..."
Mary delivers souls from death, CCC 966, "...You [Mary] conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death.

The Catholic 'Mary' sounds like quite a god -ess doesn`t she?.(More to follow if you require them?)


3 April 2014 at 13:52  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Ernsty,

Honestly I wasn't expecting anything further from this, I think the circus has moved on to Catholic bashing, giving us Jews a bit of a breathing space.

I see you believe you have the monopoly of the TRUTH etc. I don't think any of us have been 'blinded' by satan or whatever, we just aren't Christians and therefore do not see the world via that prism. Is this and that we have different truths, such a shocker for you?

'Your arguments are as weak as somebody postulating that Christians can learn much from Christian spiritualism and talking with dead spirits, as you suppose that Kabbalism can be equated with Torah Judaism and much can be learned from it!'

None of us (me, Avi, Esther, Hannah) have actually argued for this, so stick to what's being said not invented 'straw men'. Also you seem to claim that you know more about 'Torah Judaism' that anyone else here, Jews especially (gasp)...

Well naturally,I never doubted this was fact. Anyway, I'm an expert on Protestantism and on Roman Catholicism, far more than Darter Noster (regardless of his PhD /Deacon / bus driver 'up norf for the Pope status).

You see I can do Chutzpah...

3 April 2014 at 13:57  
Blogger Len said...

Catholic Bashing ?. I think it is the Catholics who did all the bashing and worse?.

Anyway back to 'the Catholic delusion' if any Catholics sense that their ship is heading for the rock(the rock which is Christ which will shatter all the kingdoms and religions created by men)

perhaps this my help;

http://amazingdiscoveries.org/S-deception_end-time_Babylon_salvation_grace

3 April 2014 at 14:27  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Darter, some of our friends are starting to wrap their heads around the shocking fact that all religions are syncretistic to some extent, usually more than assumed. Not to mention that many ideas and symbols are universal simply because things like the circle and other basic geometric forms, a mountain or a raised platform, clean versus dirty, pain versus pleasure, plenty versus deprivation, leadership, the mother and child relationship and such are universal as well. Do break it to them gently, though.

3 April 2014 at 15:21  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Len,

No. She doesn't. She sounds like a human being whose unique characteristics made human salvation possible, for which task she was destined by God and afterwards given a unique place amongst the ranks of the saints, who may intercede with God for us. The Orthodox too give Mary a unique and essential role in human salvation, as Theotokos.

The odd ones out are certain Protestants, so completely obsessed with how Christ departed this life that they seem to believe that how he came into it, through the Incarnation, is of little or no relevance.

3 April 2014 at 15:38  
Blogger richardhj said...

Len

Perhaps you should put down any religious books for a little while, stop looking at dodgy websites (not this one) and pick up an ordinary dictionary.

Look up the meanings of some of those words. Advocate. Mediator. (By your) Prayer. Intercession.


3 April 2014 at 16:11  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Darter @ 15:38

I have no problem with Mary's unique role as the mother of Christ.

I DO have a problem with 'Hebrews' 4: 14-16. Jesus is our great high priest because he has been human. We can therefore boldly approach the throne of God. Did the author 'Hebrews' get it wrong?

3 April 2014 at 16:32  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Explorer, Happy Jack says best not don't Len about Hebrews as he believes Paul's writings were inspired by a demon.

Does that passage rule out Mary's special place in our salvation history or assistance from her? Jack believes Paul urges believers to encourage and help one another. This doesn't diminish Christ, does it?

3 April 2014 at 17:19  
Blogger Charles Frith said...

Yaldabaoth comes across as a bit of a douche.

3 April 2014 at 17:23  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Uncle Brian

"Why postulate Atlantis? If the "impact of a celestial body", presumably a meteorite, could have precipitated the end of the ice age by falling on Atlantis, surely it could have had the same effect by falling anywhere else. Occam's razor. "

Muck never said that the meteorite struck Atlantis. He said it struck near the mid Atlantic ridge. Splitting the crust and boiling the a large segment of the ocean, hence the rain. Atlantis sat (floated if you like on the magma) on the same ridge but further north. The volcanic material flowed out onto the sea after the strike and the magma from under Atlantis was released. Atlantis then sank (As Plato said it did in a single day and night, well it went beneath the sea in a single day and night but continued to sink further for many weeks) presumably a few boats managed to get way to tell the tale.

Seems a good theory

Phil

3 April 2014 at 18:14  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Phil Roberts

OK, not a direct hit but near enough to cause detruction. I'd never heard of Muck (what a name!) until now and normally I wouldn't stick my neck out by commenting on an author I hadn't read, but from what you say he seems to be trying to kill two birds with one stone, or to destroy two civilizations with one meteorite. That the meteorite should have destroyed just one of the two is enough for our present purpose: flooding the Black Sea-Euphrates region and giving rise (presumably) to Gilgamesh and Noah. What difference would the conjectural Atlantis make to the prehistory of Mesopotamia and Canaan?

Regards
Brian

3 April 2014 at 19:02  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Darter

I am somewhat at a loss for words. None of these things you talk about have Christian roots. The knowledge they might contain is not in any sense divine.

The Egyptian religion was explicitly built around magic. The writings in the tombs and on papyri wrapped around bodies are magical spells that allow the dead to control the gods. Indeed the Egyptians believed that if one knew the secret name of a god, then that god could be bound to act. That is one of the reasons I believe God revealed His name to the Egyptians - to prove their utter powerlessness. What have we to learn from pagan spells chanted before dead gods?

Astrology is a form of divination. It purports to tell the future such that men may walk by their own sight instead of trust in God. But who puts the message in the stars? Don't say God for man's destiny is not written in the alignment of stars and planets. There is no wisdom here. Only a search after pagan insight.

And why should we credit alchemy and its search philosophical perfection? Is it given to man to change the fundamental nature if existence? Can a man find immortality? Can he remove the sting of death by his own effort? Perfection is found in God, and not an imaginary philosopher's stone. This is vanity and human pride.

There is nothing in any of this that is worthwhile.

carl

3 April 2014 at 19:15  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Carl,

"But who puts the message in the stars? Don't say God for man's destiny is not written in the alignment of stars and planets."

"In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.”"

"What have we to learn from pagan spells chanted before dead gods?"

We? Probably not much, except for academic interest. For the Mediaeval and Renaissance peoples, it wasn't just spells they were after but the ways in which the Ancients believed the world worked and was related to the divine; for them, there was no distinction such as we have today between magic, alchemy and science. There was no "secular" science as we know it. They believed that by understanding God's creation and the ways it worked they could come closer to perfecting themselves; it was a cross between scientific experiment and spiritual exercises. Of course many alchemists and the like were either frauds, or sought the power of alchemy through their own greed, but many others were genuine. Alchemical experiments were not like modern science experiments, which must be repeatable by other scientists; the outcome of alchemy depended upon the spiritual strength and worthiness of the experimenter, and experiments would be preceded with days of spiritual preparation, prayer and fasting.

The philosopher's stone was the substance which could turn base metals into gold; when alchemy was done properly the search for this this was not just greed but an attempt to understand purification and renewal.

Likewise with sorcery and spells; angels and demons were very real to people then, and many demons were associated with ancient Gods. The theory behind Sorcery, otherwise known as Goetia or Theurgy, was that demons could be summoned and their power harnessed to do good, because a faithful and spiritually strong Sorcerer with Christ on his side could command them as the Apostles had done. The danger, of course, was that the demon would end up controlling the Sorcerer, or that the Sorcerer could use the demon to do evil, so Sorcery was controversial and restricted.

You say none of this is Christian, but things like alchemy did not belong to any religion; alchemy was part and parcel of ancient science, suffused with magic and superstition because they did not know how the world worked. Sorcery and astrology very much do have roots in Jewish and hence Christian tradition, as does Kabbalah, which Christians adopted with other elements of Jewish and Greco-Roman Neo-Platonic mysticism from it's very earliest days. "En arxe en ho logos" begins the Gospel of John; "In the beginning was the Word". Greeks and Romans, steeped in Neo-Platonism, would have known exactly what was meant by "Logos" - the fundamental guiding and controlling force of the Universe.

Magic, demons, spirits, astrology and alchemy were were part and parcel of Christianity from the start. I'm not endorsing any of this; it's just the way it was. I do, however, think that the Church could engage more with its mystical elements, which are many, and that fewer people might be attracted to Neo-paganism as a result.

3 April 2014 at 21:33  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Darter, are you confusing mystery and mysticism with magic and paganism? Didn't the Church fight against the spread of Kabbalah, Gnosticism and pagan superstitions for centuries?

3 April 2014 at 22:23  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

David said

"You see I can do Chutzpah..." Smashing, what with summer just round the corner.

Now is me Chutzpah better done barbecued, grilled or fried and should we serve it with root vegetables as a side dish with it or is a summer salad preferable?

So what? So sue me. That’s not chopped liver? Enough already. This you call a definition for 'food for thought'?

Your Chutzpah is nisht getoygen, nisht gefloygen und ongepotchket mish-mosh.

To continue conversing with old Ernst, you don’t have to be frish, gezint, und meshugge but it helps! . And a bisel open-mindedness can’t hurt when discussing principles of Emmes. Hokay??

Blofeld

3 April 2014 at 23:29  
Blogger Len said...

Carl has it right.
The object of alchemy was to turn base metal into gold.
This was the goal of all false religion to turn a base human into a god...
The pyramids were a 'Resurrection machine' and they were all over the World.False religions try to bypass Christ by a system of works in exactly the same manner.
Our culture has turned away from God and we are returning to paganism.I am astonished at the amount of books on spells in our shops and the portrayal of occult themes in the Media..
This is what happens to a culture that turns from God..

4 April 2014 at 07:37  
Blogger Ivan said...


Len, if you knew your Gospels as well as you seem to believe, then you will know that:

a) Without Mary's consent, Jesus would not have been born in the manner presented in the infancy narratives. Her "be it done unto me" is a delicate reminder, that God does not impose Himself on us. We are to nurture the faith, as she herself did the Infant. The relationship between Mary and the Holy Spirit, has nothing of the ribaldry or earthiness of Zeus and Leda, or other such myths.

b) In relation to parallel myths such as the Virgin and Child and so on, this does not present any difficulty whatsoever for the Catholic or Orthodox, as it follows that the other faiths being at best only partial revelations, would correspondingly have a limited or even twisted understanding of the matter. For example, in the Koran, Allah declaims that he does not a Son, as in its limited understanding something like the Virgin Birth is foolishness.

c) In all her appearances in the Gospels, she had never once contradicted Her Son, she is the very model of obedience. As she told the wedding steward - "do as He says..."

d) She along with the "disciple whom Jesus loved" were the only ones left at the foot of the Cross. As captured in the Pieta and numerous other works of art, a mother's love is the organic link. In as much as Jesus was human, this was the person who journeyed with Him from birth to death, who may not have understood everything, but "kept everything in her heart."

She is the Morning and Evening Star, the model of Christian perfection.

4 April 2014 at 08:07  
Blogger Len said...

Bible verses please Ivan...

4 April 2014 at 08:20  
Blogger Len said...

If the Catholic Mary is all that the Catholic church claims why did she call Jesus her Savior?.

'and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,'(Luke 1 47)

4 April 2014 at 08:28  
Blogger Len said...

The Word of God is super natural as is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is totally from God.

False religion is an attempt to reproduce what God does through illegitimate means.This is the entire history of the occult practices (to by- pass God and to grab spiritual power for oneself). This is the means which Satan manipulates and controls religions and people.Once you submit yourself to occult practices you become a slave to the master Satan..

We see' magic' working in transubstantiation and in other pagan practices and religions.

4 April 2014 at 08:41  
Blogger IanCad said...

Ivan wrote, in reference to Mary:

"She is the Morning and Evening Star, the model of Christian perfection."

And the Bible tells us in Revelation 22:16:

"I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the root and offspring of David, and the bright and morning star."

Given my understanding that the "Antichrist" is to stand in place of Christ, may I conclude that you have assigned this role to Mary?

4 April 2014 at 09:30  
Blogger Ivan said...


You have to check it up yourself Len, I am not a Protestant savvy with verse numbers. Except for the last lines on Venus, everything should line up.

IanCad - root and offspring of David - is the AntiChrist - this does not scan. The morning evening star is something I recall from the Litany to the Virgin Mary. Professor Charlton expressed it luminously in his blog post.

http://charltonteaching.blogspot.sg/2014/02/venus-and-crescent-moon.html


4 April 2014 at 11:55  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Happy Jack,

"Darter, are you confusing mystery and mysticism with magic and paganism?"

When I say the Church should make more of its mystical side I do mean specifically its mystical side, and not that it should be encouraging the whole range of Mediaeval and Renaissance magic, alchemy and sorcery (although that does conjure up some interesting images :oD).

"Didn't the Church fight against the spread of Kabbalah, Gnosticism and pagan superstitions for centuries?"

Yes and no; the relationship of Christianity to magic, sorcery, divination, alchemy and the like is much more of a mixed bag than the relentless focus on witchcraft trials would have us believe.

Alchemy was common; individual alchemists or alchemical practices may have been criticised but it remained the basis of what we would call scientific endeavour until the late 17th century (Both Robert Boyle and Isaac Newton were alchemists as well as scientists; it wasn't until after them that magic came to be seen as the effective opposite of science).

Magic is used by many Christians today (think of the Harry Potter controversy) as a negative term, but for most of Christian history it wasn't. Magic is simply the use of spiritual practices to achieve physical results; faith healing is actually a form of magic. If I said that at a healing service I'd be thrown out but, as I said earlier, when driving out demons to cure sickness Paul and the Magicians were trying TO DO THE SAME THING; it doesn't stop being magic just because Paul was a Christian.

For ancient and Mediaeval Christians, magic was part of everyday life; if you went to even the most respected physician, much of your treatment would involve prayers, consultation of your horoscope, and the use of sympathetic magic - say, a poultice made with dog fur, or blood, to help soothe a dog bite. You would get this from doctors, not just quacks or cunning folk. One can find Mediaeval domestic spell books, with prayers and incantations for all sorts of household problems - Christian prayers and incantations, not prayers to demons or devils, but we're so used to thinking of magic as un-Christian that we forget about this.

The Renaissance was when things began to change and the belief developed that any magical practice was, even if used for benign purposes, effectively Satanism. The fear of witches grew, spurred on by loonies like Kramer and Sprenger who wrote the Malleus Maleficorum (the witch hunter's manual) in the late 15th century. Those two were considered loonies by many Churchmen at the time but their ideas were spreading. The Inquisition had been given responsibility for witchcraft as well as heresy in the 13th century- the two were coming to be seen as the same thing.

At the same time, however, Renaissance High Magic was reaching its peak; this was the age of the Grimoires, like the Lesser Keys of Solomon, books supposedly based on ancient texts telling how to summon and control demons, and magicians like John Dee, who left us the supposed Enochian language. This was also the age of humanism espoused by Pico della Mirandola, a natural philosopher and magician who wrote the Oration on the Dignity of Man, defending magic and the search for knowledge of the world as part of mankind's innate connection with God. It was also the peak age of Alchemy and Hermeticism (the philosophy based on Hermes Trismegistus) thanks to newly discovered ancient texts from the East.

Many Christians today might think that magic is evil by definition and always associated with paganism, but that is simply wrong. The Pentagram in a circle, the now ubiquitous "Pagan" symbol, was originally the Magic Circle believed to afford protection to Christian sorcerers from the spirits they conjured. Belief in demons, evil spirits and the power of prayer to effect physical transformation is everywhere in the New Testament, yet we are told today that such things are un-Christian and pagan.

Essay over :oD

4 April 2014 at 12:22  
Blogger Len said...

Best thing when you are down a hole Darter is to stop digging..

4 April 2014 at 12:43  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Len,

What hole? The fact that most Christians throughout history have not shared your views, not just on magic but on practically anything, and that your views are at odds with historical reality, is your problem, not mine.

4 April 2014 at 13:25  
Blogger IanCad said...

Ivan, @ 11:55

Not doubting your sincerity or your faith in Christ Jesus.

I am questioning though, your seeming acceptance of The Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary."

Although this paen, so beloved of Catholics, begins and ends as a petition to our Lord, it is what is in between that is so disturbing.

Completely contrary to Bible teaching it assumes that Mary, who is dead and in the grave, is able to hear our prayers and act as intercessor.
To compound that blasphemy it further claims that her status has been exalted to, among other acclaims:


Mirror of Justice,
Seat of wisdom,
Cause of our joy,
Singular vessel of devotion,
Tower of David,
Tower of Ivory,
Queen of confessors,
Queen assumed into Heaven,
Gate of Heaven,
Morning Star!!!
Ark of the Covenant!!!

It does however, also claim for her the title of:

"Queen conceived without Original Sin."

Now, given that the notion of Original Sin is nowhere taught in the bible, it may be the one claim made on behalf of Mary that is accurate.

4 April 2014 at 13:36  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Darter, no, no and, again, no!

There's a big difference between faith in Christ bringing transformation and healing and the use of magic. In the former, God acts through us, with our cooperation. In the latter God's hand is supposedly forced by the use (misuse) of special spells, words and formulae.

There's a big difference between the two.

4 April 2014 at 15:08  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Ivan/Ian C @ 13:36

"The notion of Original Sin is nowhere taught.."

'I Corinthians' 15:22: "For as in Adam all die..." I take that to mean that we all inherit the consequences of Adam's action: at least in respect of mortality.

5 April 2014 at 10:35  
Blogger Ivan said...


IanCad, (sorry for the delay I am in another time zone), the response to each invocation of the litany is pray for us . She is constantly praying for us; in the Hail Mary prayer, pray for us now and at the hour of our death , ie in the everlasting present and at death.

As for being - Conceived without Original Sin - I do not have any opinions on this one way or another.

5 April 2014 at 13:23  
Blogger Colin Morrison said...

That film is not listed for release in UK according to IMDB, and if it were to, it would bomb horribly.

In reviews, even Christians express embarrassment at the portrayal of non-Christians as amoral or stupid.

The trailer was enough to tell me it fed into the Christian misconception of atheism as anger at God. Atheists are angry at God in the same way as the Japanese are angry at Godzilla.

6 April 2014 at 01:59  
Blogger Colin Morrison said...

That film is not listed for release in UK according to IMDB, and if it were to, it would bomb horribly.

In reviews, even Christians express embarrassment at the portrayal of non-Christians as amoral or stupid.

The trailer was enough to tell me it fed into the Christian misconception of atheism as anger at God. Atheists are angry at God in the same way as the Japanese are angry at Godzilla.

6 April 2014 at 02:01  

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