procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

ooooooh. ghosts!!!

fatima asked an interesting question about ghosts. well, that was basically the extent of the question, posed in response to my first (and yes, still only) review of Enoch. coincidentally, at the same time i was pondering what the bible has to say on the topic, i happened upon a talk on 2 Peter, which, as does Jude, refers implicitly (Jude explicitly), to Enoch.
this section in particular was telling:

    2 Peter 2:10-15 Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones, whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a blasphemous judgment against them before the Lord. But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction, suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, they feast with you. They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray.

the point the speaker was making, was those who go on about the supernatural, described as "angelic ramblings", are perhaps those who are possibly not the best examples of Christian leadership.

that in mind (!), on to ghosts.

as far as i can tell, there are 3 words translated "ghost" in the good book:
obe (ghost, spirit of a dead one), as found in Isaiah 29:4,
    And you will be brought low; from the earth you shall speak,
    and from the dust your speech will be bowed down;
    your voice shall come from the ground like the voice of a ghost,
    and from the dust your speech shall whisper.

fantasma (apparition, apparition, spectre), seen in Matthew 14:26 (c/f Mark 6:49),
    But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear.

pneuma (spirit), found twice in Luke 24:36-43,
    As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit (ghost). And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit (ghost) does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them.

now i'm sorry, but all this says is that people were, just as today, aware of ghosts. i mean heck, even i "know" that ghosts have neither flesh nor bones. just as i "know" leprechauns wear green and have little beards and fairies have wings and wands.

all this proves nothing (nor disproves, i might add).
what i'm still not sure of is what the saul/samuel narrative (1 Sam 28), nor the transfiguration with jesus chatting with moses and elijah (Mark 9:2vv) adds to this question. can God retrieve people from sheol? why not! and they were all highly symbolic appearances, God obviously appropriating them for good cause.

so i don't know. did you think i would? the bible is silent, and how am i to dispute people's own experiences? i can imagine the conversation now:
    i saw a ghost once
    no you didn't
    oh. but-
    -no, you didn't
    ...oh. ok.

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Blogger samgirl said...

Well Doug, here is your commment, although I will preface it with this
"I am pretty tired and not sure I am thinking too clearly...and I had just typed up a long reply! but I lost it!! nooooo!!!"

Ghosts? I always thought that they were "related" to evil/ unclean spirits... although from these verses it does not seem so...and unclean spirits seem to be another matter entirely... more "spirits" that possess people/ animals yet they still obey Jesus' commands!!!

Mark 1:27 - And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.

Do Ghosts obey Jesus?? Are they under his authority? I assume so as ALL things are under his authority?

What we can know from these verses is not a picture of something I would like to meet - no flesh/bones and a voice that whispers from the ground... ooooooh!!

God can do anything he desires.. raise people from the dead? Give new life!!! What point in giving something "half a life" in a manner of speaking.

Well.. I guess there are just some things we do not know (and do not need to know?)

11:01 pm  
Blogger psychodougie said...

haven't you seen casper? i always pictured them as friendly little critters!

how are they going to harm you with neither flesh nor bones?

and i thought evangelical tradition was that you either went to heaven or hell. the description of samuel doesn't sound like he's got wings or a halo, and he was reputedly a God-fearer.

so (and i think this is my biggest question), where did he come from? sheol? was he reanimated?

7:00 pm  

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