The question was: how were Jesus words at Luke 9:27 fulfilled?
“But I tell you truthfully, There are some of those standing here that will not taste death at all until first they see the kingdom of God.”
It was multiple choice! The options were (with hints from the blogmaster):
A. The Transfiguration (already widely refuted by Christian scholars)
B. Jesus' Resurrection (has nothing to do with seeing Jesus come in His Kingdom)
C. Jesus' Ascension into Heaven (has Jesus going somewhere else, not coming in His Kingdom)
D. Pentecost (has nothing to do with seeing Jesus or His Kingdom*)
E. When the Gospel message was preached to the world (has nothing to do with seeing Jesus come in His Kingdom with power*)
F. When the Roman legions, under the command of Titus, crushed the Jewish rebellion and destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE (has nothing to do with seeing Jesus come in His Kingdom)
G. When Jesus established His "mediatorial" Kingdom (which nobody can actually see)
Of course, I can't resist multiple choice, especially on the internet! I jumped in both feet and said: “A! It's A!" What clinches it is that “A” is "already widely refuted by Christian scholars. If these guys refute it, it must be so.”
The blogmaster caught my drift: “Always the contrarian, huh tom? Do you run a hedge fund, by any chance?”
I don't. But it is a fact that when all the experts are screaming “sell,” that's the time you buy. And so with choice “A.” All the 'experts' are selling it. I'll buy.
Alright, alright, so it's a little more involved than that. We must look at why the experts refute the transfiguration, which Luke goes on to describe (Luke 9:28-37)
“In actual fact, about eight days after these words, he took Peter and John and James along and climbed up into the mountain to pray. And as he was praying the appearance of his face became different and his apparel became glitteringly white. Also, look! two men were conversing with him, who were Moses and Elijah. These appeared with glory and began talking about his departure that he was destined to fulfill at Jerusalem. Now Peter and those with him were weighed down with sleep; but when they got fully awake they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. And as these were being separated from him, Peter said to Jesus: “Instructor, it is fine for us to be here, so let us erect three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah,” he not realizing what he was saying. But as he was saying these things a cloud formed and began to overshadow them. As they entered into the cloud, they became fearful. And a voice came out of the cloud, saying: “This is my Son, the one that has been chosen. Listen to him.” And as the voice occurred Jesus was found alone. But they kept quiet and did not report to anyone in those days any of the things they saw. On the succeeding day, when they got down from the mountain, a great crowd met him.”
Frankly, how could anyone not take this as the fulfillment of Jesus words. It's the very next event to follow! Luke even throws in a transitional phrase: "in actual fact." ("And it came to pass that"....KJV) Talk about connecting the dots! How could anyone miss it?!
The answer to how anyone could miss it is that “we don't see things like this happening today.” Thus, if the “scholars” and “experts” give “A” as their answer, they will be laughed off the stage by those intellectuals whom they so desperately want to be counted among. This is but an NT manisfestation of the OT “we are wise and learned adults, far too clever to be sold Adam and Eve. What's next, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck?” syndrome. Far better to choose from answers “B” through “G,” options which can all be presented as “inspiring” or at least “open to many interpretations” (both the province of intellectuals) rather than “miraculous” (the province of dunces).
These guys are spineless. And faithless. They ought not label themselves Christian experts, but something more along the lines of “deistic-flavored philosophers.” Why wouldn't Jesus' words just prior to Luke 9:27 apply to them?
“For whoever becomes ashamed of me and of my words, the Son of man will be ashamed of this one when he arrives in his glory and that of the Father and of the holy angels” Luke 9:26
The laugh is that these Christian experts ignore the scripturally obvious answer to Luke 9:27, to suggest less miraculous and thereby more respectable interpretations, only to find that these choices also are ridiculed by today's intellectuals, who lean increasing atheistic. They sell out faith, and gain nothing in return! I'll side with Paul any day, who was “not ashamed” of the good news. (Rom 1:16)
This sucking up to the world is by no means a modern development. Rather, it's a recurrent NT theme, expressed here, for example: “For there will be a period of time when they will not put up with the healthful teaching, but, in accord with their own desires, they will accumulate teachers for themselves to have their ears tickled.” 2 Tim 4:3
To be sure, not “putting up with healthful teaching” was to happen for a variety of reasons. Not all could be chalked up to currying favor with intellectuals, but a lot of it could.
For example, the New Encyclopedia Britannica (remember encyclopedias?) writes: “Christians who had some training in Greek philosophy began to feel the need to express their faith in its terms, both for the own intellectual satisfaction and in order to convert educated pagans.” The Trinity teaching wormed in this way. It's not to be found in scripture, unless you take rather obvious metaphors literally. At various church councils, according to scholar Charles Freeman, those who came to believe Jesus was God “found it difficult to refute the many sayings of Jesus that suggested he was subordinate to God the Father.” So they began to elevate intellectual opinion (the sayings of Church Fathers) over the scriptures themselves!
Now, everyone knows that Christianity began as a working-class religion, not an educated intellectual religion. From the former come folk who can call a spade a spade. From the latter come folk who can lift scripture to a loftier plane, make it respectable, and monetize it. Get a load of this snooty comment from theologian Gregory of Nyssa, mocking the 'lowlife' that were dumb enough to take scripture at face value:
“Clothes dealers, money changers, and grocers are all theologians. If you inquire about the value of your money, some philosopher explains wherein the Son differs from the Father. If you ask the price of bread, your answer is the Father is greater than the Son. If you should want to know whether the bath is ready, you get the pronouncement that the Son was created out of nothing.”
The above three paragraphs incorporates much that was presented in the Jan 15, 2012 Watchtower, including the quote from Gregory. JW detractors apparently accused the Watchtower of making up this quote out of thin air, since they couldn't find it themselves on the internet, and figured if it's not such low-hanging fruit, it must not exist! But Weedhacker [!] would have none of it and tracked down Gregory's words in Greek, Latin, and obscure places. So there.
Back to my “Transfiguration” answer, the one "already widely refuted by Christian scholars."......this is a beaut: the blogmaster summarizes their attitudes thus (with apparent agreement): they “dismiss it by mentioning it in passing, as if it was not worth their effort to rebut because it is already known to be false.” Of course! There's my mistake! I'd overlooked how substantial their talents and valuable their time must be that they cannot deign to waste them analyzing the verses that immediately follow Jesus' words with regard to coming into his kingdom.
The important thing is for scholars to intellectualize the subject. Armchairify it. Steer far away from any interpretations that give credence to miracles, and especially any that might suggest commitment or action is required. Analyze the words....make a living off analyzing them, in fact. But don't be dumb enough to trap yourself into having to do any of them. Just like at Ezek 33:32: “you are to them like a song of sensuous loves, like one with a pretty voice and playing a stringed instrument well. And they will certainly hear your words, but there are none doing them.” They love to hear them. They love to debate them. They love to discuss them. But they don't love to do them. Not the experts. That's not their gig.