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The Secret Rites/things And John 18:20


Doctor Steuss

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Just a bit of curiosity. How do individuals reconcile John 18:20 (text below) with the multiple references in the NT to the Mysteriōn/Musterion.

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Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.

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I think it has to do with Jesus saying he's made the same public claims he's always made and they know them, having heard them before and doesn't speak to the mysteries either positively or negatively.

In a nutshell, Jesus is saying, "I already told you, weren't you listening?"

It's his time to die. He's not going to prolong the agony by convincing these men with powerful preaching.

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Furthermore, Jesus has already completed his public teaching regarding himself (see comment on 12:34-35). Only one last statement of Jesus' teaching remains, but that is reserved for the Gentile Pilate (18:33-37; 19:11). So Jesus tells Annas to check with those who have heard him, since he has taught quite openly (v. 20-21).
http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/comm...p;seq=i.50.18.3

Perhaps Christ is referring to specific teachings that address the reason he was brought before the high priest, ie. his Sonship as opposed to other teachings such as what he taught through the parables, etc.

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Thank you for the replies.

Essentially, the way my thought-process is going in regards to reconciliation is that the main instances of reference to mysteriōn/musterion in a context that seems unmistakably a usage in the common/classic Greek sense (i.e. a â??secret riteâ? or â??something secretâ? [cf. Everett Ferguson, Backgrounds of Early Christianity, Third Edition, pg. 251]) occur after the event recorded in John (i.e. in epistles). But, as I'm no scripture master, I wasn't sure if this was a valid interpretation/reconciliation.

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Thank you for the replies.

Essentially, the way my thought-process is going in regards to reconciliation is that the main instances of reference to mysteriōn/musterion in a context that seems unmistakably a usage in the common/classic Greek sense (i.e. a â??secret riteâ? or â??something secretâ? [cf. Everett Ferguson, Backgrounds of Early Christianity, Third Edition, pg. 251]) occur after the event recorded in John (i.e. in epistles). But, as I'm no scripture master, I wasn't sure if this was a valid interpretation/reconciliation.

Are you thinking of the 40 days teachings? This occurred to me too, that this took place later.

But there are references to Christ telling his disciples and others not to speak of things....of course, healings at least are events and not teachings/doctrine so you could technically eliminate those instances as possible contradictions.

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Are you thinking of the 40 days teachings? This occurred to me too, that this took place later.

Essentially, yes. But mostly (if Iâ??m correct) simply that there are no references to the mysteriōn (at least in context of the common/classic Greek way) prior to the event in John. Itâ??s certainly a tasty possibility that they were bestowed within the 40 days, but for now Iâ??m just trying to see if it can be established that there arenâ??t any references prior to the John incident (which, thus far I havenâ??t been able to find anything).

But there are references to Christ telling his disciples and others not to speak of things....of course, healings at least are events and not teachings/doctrine so you could technically eliminate those instances as possible contradictions.

This just caused me to have a thought (*surprise*), can Jesus being the Messiah be considered a â??teachingâ? (I'm thinking of Matthew 16, in particular verse 20)?

-Stu

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This just caused me to have a thought (*surprise*), can Jesus being the Messiah be considered a “teaching” (I'm thinking of Matthew 16, in particular verse 20)?

-Stu

I don't know if giving him a title is a "teaching" since he's right there, but it's definitely defined by Christ as a revelation.

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Dear Herr Doktor,

I think trying to harmonize your passage from John with the conflicting passage from Matthew may be less than helpful.

My interpretation would be to simply add this to the scads of other instances where different gospel authors say different things about Jesus and have Jesus say different things about . . . things.

Now, I think an interesting secondary question is why the author of John's gospel would have Jesus say this in what is generally understood to be the gospel that presents Jesus at his most mystic.

Is this sort of like Joseph Smith's claiming the Book of Revelation to be the simplest book?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri (Italian for "Simplicity is my Middle Name")

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Hey Doc, which scripture references are referring to that use the term mysterion? If I recall correctly, most (if not all) of the usages refer to a mystery that was once hidden, but is now revealed. But I'm probably forgetting something.

Actually, Paul speaking about marriage might be an exception to what I'm thinking about, now that I think about it. Anyway, what examples of mysterion are you referring to?

Take care, everyone :P

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Hey Doc, which scripture references are referring to that use the term mysterion? If I recall correctly, most (if not all) of the usages refer to a mystery that was once hidden, but is now revealed. But I'm probably forgetting something.

Actually, Paul speaking about marriage might be an exception to what I'm thinking about, now that I think about it. Anyway, what examples of mysterion are you referring to?

Take care, everyone :P

1 Corinthians 2:6-7 [6-10]. Here is how the standard Lexicon weighs in on the subject:

BADG 530

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Just a bit of curiosity. How do individuals reconcile John 18:20 (text below) with the multiple references in the NT to the Mysteriōn/Musterion.

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Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.

I am curious as to where these verses, John 18: 19-27, come from. We are told in the preceding paragraph that Simon Peter went with Christ, as did another disciple, yet they both stayed outside. Where did the information presented here come from? Is it accurate?

Regardless, Christ's response to Caiaphas was honest and true. The question was in regards to his teachings, Christ taught everything openly. The issue is to depth of presentation. If I stated to the world that we do work for the dead following our own temple work in the temple, I would be able to answer the unbeliever as Christ did when asked concerning the doctrine of temple work. "I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing." But, does this imply a thorough understanding of the concept by the unbeliever? No, but the unbeliever knows what the doctrine of temple work is.

As to not having kept things secret:

Matthew 17: 1-9

1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,

2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.

4 Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.

5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.

7 And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.

8 And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.

9 And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.

We know that this was not stated in the open until after Christ had risen from the dead. Here we have evidence of a "secret" in the presence of Christ's statement.
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Hey Doc, which scripture references are referring to that use the term mysterion? If I recall correctly, most (if not all) of the usages refer to a mystery that was once hidden, but is now revealed. But I'm probably forgetting something.

Actually, Paul speaking about marriage might be an exception to what I'm thinking about, now that I think about it. Anyway, what examples of mysterion are you referring to?

Take care, everyone :P

Hi Rhino,

The main one I had in mind is the references in Ephesians 3 (namely verses 3-9). Although these things were "once hidden, but now revealed," the context suggest (at least to me) that they are still "mysterion" (i.e. "secret") from those who have not been made privy to them/it.

Also, Colossians 1 (26-27) seems to limit knowledge of the â??mysterionâ? to only those who are initiates (i.e. the â??saintsâ?). Although it does speak about making them known to the Gentiles, it is in a future tense, making it seem that they are still â??secretâ? in regards to others who are not initiates.

Then of course there is MormonMasonâ??s reference as well. There are a few more instances in Colossians and Ephesians (and I believe one in 2 Thessalonians) that donâ??t seem to allow for the â??mysterionâ? to be something that was once hidden, but was made completely public by Christ. They seem to refer to something that was not only a â??mysterionâ? when it was given to them by Christ, but continues to be such in regards to sharing with the rest of the world.

At least thatâ??s how Iâ??m understanding it. Even if one removes the potential for one of the classic/common Greek usages of â??mysterionâ? (i.e. â??secret rite,â? which Iâ??m sure my mainstream brothers/sisters would prefer ;) ), and goes for the secondary classic/common usage (i.e. â??something secretâ? without any ceremonial associations), it still seems that there was something that was only being shared with those who were â??Christians.â?

-Stu

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Thank you MormonMason (very much!). According to this, it is only used in one context/instance within the Gospels. So it does indeed appear that the main references to the â??mysterionâ? occur outside of the Gospels, and likely after Christâ??s main public ministry (and the event in John).

I am curious as to where these verses, John 18: 19-27, come from. We are told in the preceding paragraph that Simon Peter went with Christ, as did another disciple, yet they both stayed outside. Where did the information presented here come from?

Good queston. I've often wondered about this type of thing in regards to Christ's prayer in the Garden.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey Doc, which scripture references are referring to that use the term mysterion? If I recall correctly, most (if not all) of the usages refer to a mystery that was once hidden, but is now revealed. But I'm probably forgetting something.

Actually, Paul speaking about marriage might be an exception to what I'm thinking about, now that I think about it. Anyway, what examples of mysterion are you referring to?

Take care, everyone :P

You might find this: http://strongreasons.blogspot.com/2008/01/...ristianity.html helpful.

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See:

J. Perry, Exploring the Messianic Secret in Mark's Gospel (1997)

W Wrede, Messianic Secret (1987)

Raisanen, H. The Messianic Secret in Mark's Gospel (1994)

C. Tuckett (ed) The Messianic Secret (1983)

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