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Once again I found a problem.... it's not funny anymore

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by xdisciplex, May 28, 2007.

  1. xdisciplex

    xdisciplex New Member

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    I have a problem.
    Today I just opened up the bible at Matthew 21 and there was the story of Jesus cursing the fig tree. I had already heard sermons about this. Some preachers base whole doctrines on this story. They say that Jesus cursed the fig tree and it didn't directly weather but only on the next day it was weathered and when the disciples saw this they were astonished. And they say that this means that when you speak to a problem then the problem will not directly vanish. I have heard this kind of argumentation many times. But when I read the verses in Matthew 21 I was flabbergasted and very confused because in Matthew 21 it says this here!

    Mat 21:19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.
    Mat 21:20 And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!
    Mat 21:21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.

    In Matthew 21 the fig tree withered immediately!

    But in Mark 11 it says this:

    Mar 11:13 And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.
    Mar 11:14 And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.
    Mar 11:15 And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves;
    Mar 11:16 And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.
    Mar 11:17 And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.
    Mar 11:18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine.
    Mar 11:19 And when even was come, he went out of the city.
    Mar 11:20 And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.
    Mar 11:21 And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.

    I have already thought about every possible scenario to bring these 2 different accounts together. One possible explanation which can also be found on the internet is that Jesus saw the fig tree, cursed it while his disciples only noticed it the next day. But this explanation fails in my opinion because of this:

    Mat 21:20 And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!

    This shows that the disciples directly saw it and they did not only see it on the next day because otherwise they could not have said:
    "How SOON is the fig tree withered away."

    Now how can this be explained? This is so confusing.
    And in Matthew 21 Jesus answers the same thing to his disciples as he answers in Mark 11 the only difference is that in Matthew 21 he answers it to them directly after he had cursed the fig tree but in Mark 11 he answers it to them on the next day!

    How can this be explained? Such things really drag me down. There are many of those things in the bible which do not seem to agree with each other and unfortunately I always find them without even searching for such things. I simply find them because when I read a passage which doesn't agree with my memory then I compare it to other gospels and then find those scenes and in this case I read Matthew 21 and remembered exactly that I had always heard that the fig tree did not wither immediately.

    This is not the only example. It's the same with the 2 demoniacs or the 2 blind at the wayside. In one gospel it's 1 demoniac and in another gospel it's 2 and in 1 gospels it's 1 blind at the wayside and in another gospel it's 2. Why is this?
    The bible must not contradict itself. But either the fig tree withered immediately or not. It cannot both be correct. How does this fit together with inspiration? If the bible is inspired it has to be 100% correct but why are there those differences? :tear:

    Do such things not also worry and confuse you or am I the only one who is petty enough to care about such details?
    But such details are important. Simply ignoring them can also not be a solution. I have a pretty good memory and it happens so often that I read in the gospels and come across a passage and then remember that in another gospel it was different. I really hate this.
     
    #1 xdisciplex, May 28, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2007
  2. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant Active Member

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    Matthew 21 doesn't say it withered away immediately. It says, "presently" Matthew is simply taking 2 situations and combining them for the purpose of his biography of Jesus. Matthew's purpose in the Gospel is not to present a time line of Jesus' ministry. Matthew 5-7 didn't occur immediately following Jesus' baptism and temptation. Matthew's purpose was to present Jesus as King of the Jews not a chronological record. Jesus saw the fig tree. He spoke and it withered. But they kept walking. And didn't see it untilt he next day. That was when Peter called it to Jesus attention.

    About the phrase "how soon...": The whole fig tree was withered overnight. This was different from a gradual withering and was miraculous. I put weedkiller on the weeds growing in the cracks on the sidewalk, and it takes 2 days for a lousy weed. This was a tree that withered in a time it should have been full and healthy.

    The Bible is Giod's Word and is totally accurate. But it was also written at a time when people were not as tied to a clock as we are. We tend to think as time in the concrete sense. To the people of this world, time was more fluid. That's why prophecies about the first coming of Christ and the 2nd coming of Christ are often in the same passage even though they are far aprt in "real" time.
     
  3. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O. Well-Known Member
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    xdx,

    I am hesitant to reply to you because you rarely come back and talk to me about my answers to you. I rarely know if I am helping you or not.

    Yes. And it isn't in your questioning nature. Every Christian questions God from time to time, but they find relief in His Word. You only seem to find more questions. I know that I am being nosey, but do you spend a lot of time at CARM? It's very unhealthy listening to all of those atheists and agnostics rip apart the Word of God when they have no idea of what they are reading in the first place. If I am wrong about you spending time there, then I apologize publicly in advance.

    You see, xdx, this is where I have a problem of my own. You keep saying that you just "stumble" across all of these alleged contradictions and impossibilities in the bible and you never seem to find any scripture that is meaningful to you. I have asked you many times in the past to give us just one scripture passage that is meaningful to you and you never respond to me.

    There's nothing wrong with basing a doctrine on two complementary passages of the bible.

    However, what the preachers that you have heard are saying....that "when you speak to a problem then the problem will not directly vanish" is not a doctrine, per se. It's an opinion.....an incomplete opinion.

    And they are interpreting incorrectly the meaning of the passage.

    Yes, in Matthew 21 the fig tree begins the withering process (death) immediately.

    But jump back to verse 18. They were walking back to Jerusalem. The bible does not even come close to saying that when this happened that they all stood around and watched it.

    They were walking that morning to Jerusalem and some of the disciples overhead Jesus cursing that tree while they walked. I'm sure that they believed Jesus and believed that the tree was now dead and would in a few weeks begin to show signs of death and withering. They had seen dead trees before....no big deal.

    But, what I see is that they had no idea that it was going to completely wither and die by the next morning and not the next few weeks and months as trees normally do.

    Apparently, according to the bible, the full effect of the withering was noticable the very next morning!

    Verse 20 does say "when the disciples saw it", but doesn't imply that it they noticed it right away.....Mark 11 gives more detail about the "when".

    The gospels aren't word-for-word exact accounts. Each man who wrote, wrote with a different audience and a different writing style.

    Matthew's style was to get a LOT of information out, but not always lot of details.

    Mark 11 is more descriptive. It tells us they on their way BACK out of Jerusalem the next morning when the disciples took note of the tree, were shocked that it was withered overnight and remembered Jesus' words.

    Here is where the bulk of your problem is.

    You are trying to force "How soon is the fig tree withered away" to mean that it happened in a few seconds. Matthew says that immediately it withered (died) and that the disciples noticed it.

    Mark says that when they noticed it was by the next morning (a miracle!)

    This line spoken by the disciples means, "How did the tree wither so quickly?!?!"

    Yes, I've noticed that and I am sorry.


    Things aren't always as they seem from the perspective of human nature.


    I'll only address this "contradiction" if you come back and tell me if I am helping you or not. If I am not helping you any, then there is no need for me to continue.
     
    #3 Scarlett O., May 28, 2007
    Last edited: May 28, 2007
  4. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Well said, Scarlett O.

    xdx, please tell us you are real and not a ringer. I've never interacted with you on the BB, but having read your posts off and on, I agree wth Scarlett O. You never bring blessings, only doubt. I certainly don't mean to be offensive, but I think we deserve an answer. Your very nom de guerre seems to indicate "Ex-disciple!" Are you a real believer or a ringer here to try to cause Christians to doubt the Bible?

    If you are a real believer, get on your knees and ask the Holy Spirit to interpret the Scriptures for you, since that's what He does. Then be a Berean and search the Scriptures. Don't be lazy and take your doubts to the BB.
     
  5. BobRyan

    BobRyan Active Member

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    In the "Answers" books that float around talking about "answers to difficult questions" this Matte 21 - Mark 11 scenario is always included.

    As with Genesis 1 and 2 the Biblically accurate way to read the text is to ADD the details given in BOTH summaries to get the total picture. Matt 21 does not say "that tree withered immediately" but both accounts tell us that the tree withered so fast the disciples were surprised. By "pressing Matt 21" to say something MORE than what it actually says - you can easily insert a contradition where none exists. Many also do that with Genesis 2 vs Genesis 1.

    The nature of the fig tree is that it produces fruit before the leaves are fully developed. In this case it was in full leaf but had no fruit. It was a symbol of the Jewish nation that SHOULD have been ready to tell the world about the Messiah as their "whole purpose in existing" - but instead was determined to kill the World's Messiah.

    The curse of the tree matches the Matt 23 curse of the nation.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  6. xdisciplex

    xdisciplex New Member

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    Hi!

    Carm is a christian apologetic site, it's not an atheistic site and I also do not spend much time there. It's definitely not the source of my confusion.

    I'm not sure if I understand you correctly, Scarlett. This whole stuff makes me feel totally dumb. Am I too dumb to understand the bible?
    It may sound dumb but it's really true. I am not looking for those "contradictions".Today I just wanted to spend some time with God and grabbed a bible and I wasn't even planning to read much in it I just opened it and then I saw Matthew 21 and I remembered the sermon which I had heard about the fig tree and then I read verse 19 and in my bible it really reads like it withered away immediately! And when I read this I became confused and then looked up the passage in Mark and compared them and I tried to find a solution for this but I couldn't and those explanations which you find on the internet don't convince me. I'm really not doing this on purpose and I have just been rebuked by somebody else who I asked the same question. He told me that I'm always looking for contradictions in the bible and that I don't believe the bible and so on. And then I ask myself what if he's right? But I can only say that I'm not looking for such things. I would rather just read the bible in a relaxed way and not worry but in many cases where I read the bible I find something which I cannot explain and then my whole peace is gone and I cannot go on reading because this question haunts me and I just have to ask it. :(

    In such situations I simply become scared and think what if there is something in the bible which simply doesn't fit together and cannot be explained? What do I do then? And then I feel really miserable and helpless and all of a sudden the whole bible loses its power because in such situations it seems to me like a simple book with errors. :(
    But rebuking me and telling me how doubtful I am doesn't help me because I don't do this on purpose.

    The word which is used in verse 19 can mean these things:

    par-akh-ray'-mah
    From G3844 and G5536 (in its original sense); at the thing itself, that is, instantly: - forthwith, immediately, presently, straightway, soon.

    I will try to sum up the action in both gospels:


    Matthew 21:

    I understand it this way.

    Jesus and his disciples are on their way into the city where Jesus will clean the temple.
    On their way to the city they see the fig tree. Jesus curses it and immediately it withered (verse 19). Then Jesus gives his answer, the same answer which he also gives in Mark 11.
    And then they go into the temple and Jesus cleans the temple.
    This is the action line in Matthew 21.

    Way to the temple - curses fig tree - fig tree witheres immediately - disciples ask him how it withered so quickly- Jesus answers - cleaning of temple

    Mat 21:18 Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered.
    Mat 21:19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.
    Mat 21:20 And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!
    Mat 21:21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.
    Mat 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
    Mat 21:23 And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?

    Now we go to Mark 11:

    In Mark 11 it seems to be different to me. I see it this way:

    They are on their way to the city, just as in Matthew 21.
    Then Jesus sees the fig tree and curses it. Then they go to the city and Jesus cleans the temple.
    And then on the next morning they pass by the tree again and then Peter reminds Jesus of the tree and is amazed because it withered. And then Jesus answers Peter the same thing which he answers in Matthew 21 to his disciples. But the bible is that in Matthew 21 Jesus gives this answer RIGHT AFTER he had cursed the fig tree and BEFORE they went to the city and BEFORE Jesus cleaned the temple. But in Mark 11 it's on the next day AFTER he cleaned the temple!
    And it's also Peter who asks Jesus this question.

    Way to the temple - curses fig tree - cleaning of temple - on their way back on the next day - fig tree has withered - Peter asks Jesus why - Jesus gives answer

    Now tell me am I too dumb to understand this?
    In my opinion both gospels are different and I don't know how to explain this.


    Mar 11:12 And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry:
    Mar 11:13 And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.
    Mar 11:14 And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.
    Mar 11:15 And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves;
    Mar 11:16 And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.
    Mar 11:17 And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.
    Mar 11:18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine.
    Mar 11:19 And when even was come, he went out of the city.
    Mar 11:20 And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.
    Mar 11:21 And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.
    Mar 11:22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
    Mar 11:23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
    Mar 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

    Here again both events in comparison:

    Matthew 21

    Way to the temple - curses fig tree - fig tree witheres immediately - disciples ask him how it withered so quickly- Jesus answers - cleaning of temple

    Mark 11

    Way to the temple - curses fig tree - cleaning of temple - on their way back on the next day - fig tree has withered - Peter asks Jesus why - Jesus answers

    In Matthew 21 it witheres immediately and the disciples recognize it and ask Jesus and then they go to the city and Jesus cleans the temple.
    In Mark 11 the disciples recognize that it's withered on the next day after Jesus cleaned the temple and then they ask Jesus.
     
    #6 xdisciplex, May 28, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2007
  7. xdisciplex

    xdisciplex New Member

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    Where is the difference between presently and immediately?

    In my bible it means immediately. And I also looked up the greek word and it also means immediately. The greek word has different possible meanings but they all mean something like immediately,right away and so on. I think that saying that presently does not mean immediately is not correct. Think about it. If it had not withered immediately the disciples wouldn't even have asked Jesus right away but they did! They asked him right away he had done it and then they went into the city.
    But in Mark 11 Jesus curses the tree, they go into the city and on the next day Peter sees it and then asks Jesus.
    This is simply not the same.

    So you see even if the word immediately is a wrong translation we still have the problem of the different order!

    In Matthew 21 they ask Jesus right away on the same day but in Mark 11 they ask him on the next day. This shows that the problem is not only about the correct translation of the greek word but also about the order of actions.
     
  8. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    It's a matter of attitude, a spiritual problem. Christ cured Doubting Thomas' doubts and He can cure yours. What you need to to is keep your eyes on Jesus like Thomas learned to do and quit thinking about the supposed contradictions in Scripture. Just leave them alone, and don't even worry about them! When you do that, often times the next time you read the passage you see no problems there.

    A wise preacher (H. A. Ironside, I think) once said, "Studying the Bible is like eating fried chicken. The meat is delicious, but sometimes I run across a bone. When I do, I just set it aside and keep on eating." So when you find something you don't understand, just set it aside and look for the blessings.

    This matter of the fig tree is the same. You are grasping after knowledge, not wisdom. "Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth" (1 Cor. 8:1). Pray for wisdom and God will supply it to you (James 1:5). Seek only knowledge and you will never grow.
     
  9. Eliyahu

    Eliyahu Active Member
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    As Scarlet and John pointed out rightly, I think XDX must change the way of approach and the attitude to get the answers to his questions. Often XDX threw some useful questions then disappeared or wasn't serious enough to understand the answers.

    Matthew 21:19 "presently" is translated from Paraxrema, which is normally " immediately" The writer used this word in contrast to the due time in season. He was neutral in writing and didn't indicate that the fig tree was withered in a second so that the disciples might see it at the very time. Matthew meant that it was withered in the meantime between the time of Jesus saying and the next day.
    The verse number was not given by the writer Matthew and the verses were not divided until 16 century AD, though some part may have been divided earlier. In any case, the writer didn't divide the verses and number them while he was writing Gospel matthew.

    Now back to Mark, 11:20 shows the same time of Matt 21:20. So there is nothing contradictory between Matt and Mark. If Matthew and Mark were the same in describing this situation, Anti-Christian people would have claimed that Disciples copied each other when they wrote the Gospel. Often today I hear from Anti-Christian saying the disciples did cunning act in copying each other. This may disprove such claim.
    Bible complement each other without contradiction. Matthew didn't mention it happened in one day, Mark mentioned it happened in 2 days.

    Please note this was very much argued by Bertland Russel in his book " why am I not a Christian" complaining that Jesus was quick to anger despite the time was not the due season.
    This act was not just due to the plant -fig tree, but we must remember the Fig Tree is the national flower of Israel and in Bible it often represented the nation of Israel. Jesus saw a lot of works and activities of the Jews but no fruits at all because their works are not based on the faith, their works were just the human behaviors and traditions, and the legalism. Therefore Jesus wanted to show the Anger of God against such legalism teaching us that we should have the Fruits at any time.

    Note! some translation mention that the disciples asked the question to Jesus in Mark 11:21 and Matthew 21:20. But they are wrong because it was the exclamation by the disciples. Again KJV is correct. Otherwise, Jesus didn't answer the question and why but answered how it can happen, would have made a silly answer.

    Again I sincerely advise you, XDX to listen to the advices from the faithful friends here, not to go away after the question.
     
    #9 Eliyahu, May 28, 2007
    Last edited: May 28, 2007
  10. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O. Well-Known Member
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    Oh, I am aware of what CARM is because I spent two-three years there myself. Yes, it is a Christian apologetics site, but there (or at least were) many, many athetists mingling and interacting with the Christians there posing the exact same questions that you sometimes pose. Just a coincidence I guess. I thought perhaps they were confusing you.

    You are most definitely not dumb. And there is no such thing as "too dumb to understand the bible." However, not everyone is at the same place of understanding at the same time.

    Be very careful of the bible "explanations" that you find on the internet!

    Let me pose a question.

    Why do these two list of events have to be contradictory? One would only find them contradictory if they were looking to make the gospels exact copies of each other. The accounts are the same, just not in the same sequence and there not being told in the same sequence does not make them contradictory.

    Let me give an example. Let's say that I dropped a jar of jelly and broke it. I didn't have time to clean it up, because I was late work. At work I talked to my supervisor about a raise. After work I cleaned up the jar and mess at my house. While cleaning it up, I cut my hand.

    I could tell this story in two different ways:

    a.) I dropped a jar of jelly this morning and broke it.
    b.) I cleaned it up and cut my hand.
    c.) At work, I asked my supervisor about a raise.

    OR

    a.) At breakfast, I dropped a jar of grape jelly and broke it.
    b.) I went straightaway to work and talked to my supervisor about a raise. He said that he would think about it.
    c.) That afternoon, when I got home from work, I cleaned the broken jar and I cut my hand. I went to the emergency room and got five stitches.

    I told the story in a different order depending on several factors. Who was I talking to? Did they need to know specific details? What was my story-telling style?

    It's the same with these two accounts. They say the same thing. The events are the same, just not told in the same sequence. The accounts are both true and do not contradict each other.

    xdx - I just don't know if I am helping you any.
     
    #10 Scarlett O., May 28, 2007
    Last edited: May 28, 2007
  11. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards <img src=/Ed.gif>

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    Xdisciplex's Trailer:
    Perchance you believe your trailer too much?

    1. The trailer just isn't true. It is an example of a false
    paranoia ('paranoia' is a mental illness). It is an example of
    ascribing the work of God to the devil :(

    2. If you believe you beliefs based on a false premise -
    you can have false conclusions.

    3. Here is a better statement upon which I base my belief:

    And here the statement I use IN FAITH that explains variations:

    Yes, it is no longer funny that some people can't have a bit of
    faith in God and figure out these two statements are a lot more
    true than the trailer noted above.

    Isaiah 26:3 (KJV1611 Edition):
    Thou wilt keepe him in perfect peace,
    whose minde is stayed on thee;
    because he trusteth in thee.

    Phillipians 4:6-7 (KJV1611 Edition):
    Bee carefull for nothing: but in euery thing by prayer
    and supplication with thankesgiuing,
    let your request be made knowen vnto God.
    7 And the peace of God which passeth all vnderstanding,
    shall keepe your hearts & minds through Christ Iesus.
     
    #11 Ed Edwards, May 28, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2007
  12. xdisciplex

    xdisciplex New Member

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    Hi everybody! I read all your replies but somehow I am still not getting it. :confused:

    I mean the order of events is important in order to know if the fig tree withered immediately or not. And I want to add that if it did not wither immediately then my bible is simply wrong because in my bible is says something like "right away".

    And because of this I understood it this way:

    Jesus sees the tree, curses it and it directly withers within seconds and his disciples see this and they are amazed and ask Jesus. Then Jesus gives his answer and then they go to the temple.

    But in Mark it's like this. They are on the way to the temple. Jesus curses the tree. They go to the temple and the next day they see the tree and are amazed and then ask Jesus and Jesus answers.

    I'm not so sure he did. Look at the verses.
    If you are correct then the order was like this:

    Jesus curses the tree - they go to the temple - they return the next day and find the withered tree and then they ask Jesus

    But in Matthew the order is like this:

    Jesus curses the tree - the tree withers - the disciples ask Jesus - Jesus answers and then they go to the temple (see verse 23)
    If you are right and the tree withered within 24h then this doesn't make sense because if the tree wasn't already withered before they went to the temple then why did they ask him in verse 20 and later in verse 23 they go to the temple? The whole order would be mixed up.

    Mat 21:20 And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!
    Mat 21:21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.
    Mat 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
    Mat 21:23 And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?


    @ John

    Unfortunately your strategy doesn't work for me. I wish it would. But once I find a problem I cannot simply ignore it. It simply doesn't work. The problem simply chases me and I cannot find peace anymore. Today after coming across this problem my mind was too busy and I was too confused to even spend time with God. In such a moment it's like everything is unsure all of a sudden and I cannot simply do as if everything is fine and not be affected by it. :(
     
  13. gekko

    gekko New Member

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    hehehe. the baptistboard.com is on the internet... and so is everything that everybody else says here.

    even what i just said. :p

    i just had to point that out. it was funny. :p
    ---------

    xdx... you're still thinking chronologically. think from a different perspective - from the writers perspective. what were they trying to say? what if matthew and mark were close friends - what would they have said to eachother as they both wrote that passage?

    but don't always think chronologically.

    God bless!
     
  14. Eliyahu

    Eliyahu Active Member
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    You must know that the Bible is not written in time sequence. Especially the Gospel Luke is not written in time sequence. As far as I know, only Gospel John is written in time sequence. For this event I think Mark wrote in the time sequence.
    Here are the sequnce of what happened:

    Jesus stayed in Bethany - went to the City- on the way He cursed the fig tree- went to the temple,- Rebuked the people and overturned the tables inside the temple- returned to Bethany and stayed there- next mornig went to City - on the way, disciples found the tree was withered and exclaimed about it! - Jesus explained that such miracle is possible.

    Matthew mentioned that the tree was withered immediately and didn't mention that the disciples exclaimed the next day but just mentioned that IN THE MORNING. Matthew stated that the tree was withered presently ( without need to wait for the season)
    Jesus went from Bethany to the Temple in the city every day during the last week. I don't find any contradiction at all.
     
    #14 Eliyahu, May 28, 2007
    Last edited: May 28, 2007
  15. Steven2006

    Steven2006 New Member

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    I can think of two explanations, that both satisfy me. The first one and the one I tend to lean towards is this. Have you ever watched a tree wither and die? It takes a long time, it is a process. I have had trees in my yard that have started to wither, and took years before it died completely. First you can see that it is unhealthy then slowly it starts to die off section at a time. At some point part of the tree is dead and dry while other parts still are green and alive. It take a long time for the entire tree to dry up, die and become brittle. I believe in this miracle Jesus speeded up that entire process. In Matthew a once vibrant lush healthy tree instantly withered and became unhealthy right before their eyes. Then by the time they returned the tree had died completely with no life left at all just dry as a bone. Notice in Mark it makes the distinction "withered from the roots up." At this point all of the tree was now dead. I think anyone would marvel at both moments. This to me is the best interpretation, but if you don't see it as I do, I also can think of another interpretation.

    If you choose to believe that the tree completely died instantly (which I don't see how one cou.lld be dogmatic about that). Then why wouldn't the marvel both times the passed it. I know if I witnessed a miracle, and then later passed the site of that same miracle, I would once again stop in awe, and comment some more. Two writers both telling parts of the same story form their perspective. I'll give you an example.

    Say a few friends are playing golf. They are playing on a nine hole course, but will play it twice to get in a full round of eighteen. On hole three which should be a par four, in some freak impossibility one of the guys hits it so far it is a hole in one, something that defies logic. It just shouldn't happen, but it does, and they all witnessed it. They all are shocked and scratch their heads in disbelief. Later in that day they are now playing that same hole. They all have to take a moment to try and understand, To one fellow this is the moment it really sinks in what his friend did. Afterwards two of the friends each write a letter telling about what happened. One writes about it from his perspective and how it happened immediately and how he felt. The other man who didn't really have it sink in until he revisited the scene, talked more about his feelings when they were there for the second time. Same event two peoples reaction. No difference in the facts of what happened.

    I hope these explanations might be of a help to you.
     
  16. billwald

    billwald New Member

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    I planted a cherry tree thinking they were self polinating. This one wasn't. Should I have cursed it? Whatever way one reads the bible story, it isn't the reasonable response of a rational person.

    I planted a "3 on one" tree and a week later the older tree had fruit.
     
  17. Gayla

    Gayla New Member

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    Posted by Xdx in post number six:
    "The word which is used in verse 19 can mean these things:

    par-akh-ray'-mah
    From G3844 and G5536 (in its original sense); at the thing itself, that is, instantly: - forthwith, immediately, presently, straightway, soon."


    Matthew is using the word "presently" as "soon". This would be much faster than normal. Not necessarily "immediately".
     
  18. gekko

    gekko New Member

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    huh? are you saying that Jesus isn't a reasonable rational person?

    you jus' crazy boy. :p
     
  19. xdisciplex

    xdisciplex New Member

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    I don't know but I still cannot bring this in one harmonic order.
    The problem is that Mark also pays attention to the time and the order of events.
    If he didn't want to pay attention to it why did he say this:

    Mar 11:11 And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve.
    Mar 11:12 And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry:

    He doesn't just say: Well one day Jesus was in the temple and then on some other day he came to a fig tree.

    It's a clear order of events.

    And if you are right Eliyahu then in Mark 11:11 Jesus should have cleaned the temple because in verse 12 Mark says that on the next day he was hungry and in verse 14 he curses the fig tree.

    Basically it's about when Jesus cursed it. Did he curse it BEFORE or AFTER the cleaning of the temple?

    In Matthew he does it after the cleaning of the temple see here:

    Mat 21:12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,

    Mat 21:18 Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered.
    Mat 21:19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.

    In Mark he does it before the cleaning of the temple:

    Mar 11:11 And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve.
    Mar 11:12 And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry:
    Mar 11:13 And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.
    Mar 11:14 And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.

    Mar 11:15 And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves;

    The argument that it's in both cases in the morning isn't the solution to the problem because in Mark 11:11 Jesus was also in the temple. But this was another occassion! It was not the cleaning of the temple! The cleaning happens later in verse 15.
    Both Matthew and Mark refer to a morning but the problem is that they do not appear to be the same mornings. The one morning is before, the other is after the cleaning of the temple. :(
     
  20. Amy.G

    Amy.G New Member

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    XDX, what do you think is the meaning of these passages? Why did the fig tree wither? What was the Lord's purpose in cursing it? What does this have to do with Israel and the Messiah?
     
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