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Thread: Did Jesus make reference to the Testament of Solomon?

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    Default Did Jesus make reference to the Testament of Solomon?

    The Testament of Solomon is an Old Testament pseudepigraphical work, the authorship of which is ascribed to King Solomon. It describes how Solomon was enabled to build the Temple by commanding demons by means of a magical ring entrusted to him by the Archangel Michael.

    A large portion of the book describes Solomon not only as a King but as a someone who commands and has power over the demons.

    When a demon named Ornias harasses a young lad (who is favored by Solomon) by stealing half his pay and sucking out his vitality through the lad's thumb on his right hand, Solomon prays in the temple and receives from the archangel Michael a ring with the seal of God (in the shape of a Pentalpha having the name of God inscribed within) on it which will enable him to command the demons (c.f. Seal of Solomon). Solomon lends the ring to the lad who, by throwing the ring at the demon Ornias, stamps him with the seal and brings him under control. Then Solomon orders the demon Ornias to take the ring and similarly imprint the prince of demons who is Beelzeboul/Beelzebul.

    With Beelzebul under his command Solomon now has the entire race of demons at his bidding to build the temple. Beelzebul reveals he was formerly the highest ranking angel in Heaven.

    In Matthew 12 the Pharisees accuse Jesus of using Beelzebub to cast out demons....

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew 12
    22Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. 23All the people were astonished and said, "Could this be the Son of David?"

    24But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, "It is only by Beelzebub,[d] the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons."
    Were they refering to the Testament of Solomon here....

    "Then I summoned Beelzeboul to appear before me again. When he was seated, I thought it appropriate to ask him, 'Why are you alone Prince of the Demons?' He replied, 'Because I am the only one left of the heavenly angels (who fell). I was the highest-ranking angel in heaven, the one called Beelzeboul. There is also accompanied me another ungodly (angel) whom God cut off and now, imprisoned here, he holds in his power the race of those bound by me in Tartarus. He is being nurtured in the Red Sea; when he is ready, he will come in triumph."

    "I said to him, 'What are your activities?' He replied, 'I bring destruction by means of tyrants; I cause the demons to be worshiped alongside men; and I arouse desire in holy men and select priests. I bring about jealousies and murders in a country, and I instigate wars." - TSol 6:1-4
    Jesus rebuked them saying ......

    25Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. 26If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? 27And if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 28But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

    29"Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man's house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can rob his house.

    30"He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. 31And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

    33"Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. 35The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. 37For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."
    The Sign of Jonah
    38Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, "Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you."
    Jesus then refers to himself however as being greater than Solomon.....

    39He answered, "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one[e] greater than Jonah is here. 42The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon's wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here.
    After refering to himself as greater than Solomon, he then speaks about his power over the demons......

    43"When an evil[f] spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44Then it says, 'I will return to the house I left.' When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation."
    Are we to assume from this that Jesus is making reference to the Testament of Solomon? If he wasn't refering to these writings then why did the Pharisees refer to Beelzebub and he answered them saying that he was greater than Solomon? The only answer in my opinion is that both the Pharisees and himself was familiar with the Testament of Solomon and familiar with the concept that Solomon was known as a man who had power over the demons.

    These writings would have been familiar in the 1st Century.....

    Josephus makes reference to the ring of Solomon (VIII 45-49). In the Antiquities of the Jews 8: 2 :5 refering to Solomon he writes....

    God also enabled him to learn that skill which expels demons, which is a science useful and sanative to men. He composed such incantations also by which distempers are alleviated. And he left behind him the manner of using exorcisms, by which they drive away demons, so that they never return; and this method of cure is of great force unto this day; for I have seen a certain man of my own country, whose name was Eleazar, releasing people that were demoniacal in the presence of Vespasian, and his sons, and his captains, and the whole multitude of his soldiers. The manner of the cure was this: He put a ring that had a Foot of one of those sorts mentioned by Solomon to the nostrils of the demoniac, after which he drew out the demon through his nostrils; and when the man fell down immediately, he abjured him to return into him no more, making still mention of Solomon, and reciting the incantations which he composed.
    Other early writings refer to Solomon as having power over the demons too.....

    In the Nag Hammadi texts, The Testimony of Truth 70.6-30 notes that Solomon built Jerusalem by means of demons, "because he received [power]."

    The Hellenistic Magical Papyri (second century B.C.E.-fifth century C.E.) also reveal interesting material relating to Solomon. PGM IV.3041 mentions the seal of Solomon, which is mentioned throughout the Testament as the instrument of Solomon's power over demons, and which is also mentioned elsewhere, notably in bGittin 68a in the Babylonian Talmud.

    Even in later centuries the Quran makes reference to Solomon having power over the demons. (Sura 34:12-14; Sura 38)

    It is evident that in the 1st Century the Testament of Solomon would have been a familiar writing. The Pharisees being educated in Jewish writings would have been familiar with this, so when questioning whether Jesus was the prince of the demons, i would argue that they were refering to the Testament of Solomon. Which is why Jesus rebuked them saying....'The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon's wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here.'

    If Jesus did in fact refer to these writings in the bible what does this say regarding all the books of the bible that have been omitted?

    What implications would Jesus refering to this book have on the make up of the books of the bible?

    Should other books have been included in the bible as we know it?

    Wolvo
    Last edited by Wolvo; 12-28-2009 at 04:48 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolvo View Post
    The Testament of Solomon is an Old Testament pseudepigraphical work, the authorship of which is ascribed to King Solomon. It describes how Solomon was enabled to build the Temple by commanding demons by means of a magical ring entrusted to him by the Archangel Michael.

    A large portion of the book describes Solomon not only as a King but as a someone who commands and has power over the demons.

    When a demon named Ornias harasses a young lad (who is favored by Solomon) by stealing half his pay and sucking out his vitality through the lad's thumb on his right hand, Solomon prays in the temple and receives from the archangel Michael a ring with the seal of God (in the shape of a Pentalpha having the name of God inscribed within) on it which will enable him to command the demons (c.f. Seal of Solomon). Solomon lends the ring to the lad who, by throwing the ring at the demon Ornias, stamps him with the seal and brings him under control. Then Solomon orders the demon Ornias to take the ring and similarly imprint the prince of demons who is Beelzeboul/Beelzebul.

    With Beelzebul under his command Solomon now has the entire race of demons at his bidding to build the temple. Beelzebul reveals he was formerly the highest ranking angel in Heaven.

    In Matthew 12 the Pharisees accuse Jesus of using Beelzebub to cast out demons....



    Were they refering to the Testament of Solomon here....



    Jesus rebuked them saying ......



    Jesus then refers to himself however as being greater than Solomon.....



    After refering to himself as greater than Solomon, he then speaks about his power over the demons......



    Are we to assume from this that Jesus is making reference to the Testament of Solomon? If he wasn't refering to these writings then why did the Pharisees refer to Beelzebub and he answered them saying that he was greater than Solomon? The only answer in my opinion is that both the Pharisees and himself was familiar with the Testament of Solomon and familiar with the concept that Solomon was known as a man who had power over the demons.

    These writings would have been familiar in the 1st Century.....

    Josephus makes reference to the ring of Solomon (VIII 45-49). In the Antiquities of the Jews 8: 2 :5 refering to Solomon he writes....



    Other early writings refer to Solomon as having power over the demons too.....

    In the Nag Hammadi texts, The Testimony of Truth 70.6-30 notes that Solomon built Jerusalem by means of demons, "because he received [power]."

    The Hellenistic Magical Papyri (second century B.C.E.-fifth century C.E.) also reveal interesting material relating to Solomon. PGM IV.3041 mentions the seal of Solomon, which is mentioned throughout the Testament as the instrument of Solomon's power over demons, and which is also mentioned elsewhere, notably in bGittin 68a in the Babylonian Talmud.

    Even in later centuries the Quran makes reference to Solomon having power over the demons. (Sura 34:12-14; Sura 38)

    It is evident that in the 1st Century the Testament of Solomon would have been a familiar writing. The Pharisees being educated in Jewish writings would have been familiar with this, so when questioning whether Jesus was the prince of the demons, i would argue that they were refering to the Testament of Solomon. Which is why Jesus rebuked them saying....'The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon's wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here.'

    If Jesus did in fact refer to these writings in the bible what does this say regarding all the books of the bible that have been omitted?

    What implications would Jesus refering to this book have on the make up of the books of the bible?

    Should other books have been included in the bible as we know it?

    Wolvo
    Great questions. I think Jesus referenced all but 2 of the books in the septuagint. Jude referenced the book of Enoch which is also pseudipigraphal and Paul quoted a Greek poet. Since no one would put the Greek poet's work in the Bible I'd say neither the book of Enoch nor the Testament of Solomon should be added. It's interesting to me that Jesus didn't challenge ancillary beliefs. When the apostles thought he was a ghost he didn't say, "There's no such thing as ghosts." For that reason, Jesus refernecing the book wouldn't even make it necessarily a true story.

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    We have most of those books at the bottom of the forum menu page!
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    We have most of those books at the bottom of the forum menu page!

    Just click on them & you will find a link to each of the books.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nobby
    We have most of those books at the bottom of the forum menu page!

    Just click on them & you will find a link to each of the books.

    Nobby
    I see you have the Wisdom of Solomon, but not the Testament of Solomon which is a different book.

    Wolvo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolvo View Post
    Did Jesus make reference to the Testament of Solomon?
    Probably but that doesn't mean he was legitimizing the myth or the writings. Beelzebub was a false god of Ekron. He wasn't real except in the minds of some Jews and, apparently, some modern day Christians.

    Personally, I believe Jesus was genius in his use of popular Jewish mythology of the day to not only debunk myths but, at the same time, using them to elucidate an important message. This is one example. Another example is the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, which I believe is based largely on the "Apocalypse of Zephaniah."

    Sometimes the most effective course is to work with what the audience understands and build from there - even when their base understanding is wrong.
    "Never miss a good opportunity to shut up." - Will Rogers

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