Part 1: How True Dialogue Takes Place

ISAIAH 1:18 NKJV: 18 “COME NOW, AND LET US REASON TOGETHER,” SAYS THE L_RD, “THOUGH YOUR SINS ARE LIKE SCARLET, THEY SHALL BE AS WHITE AS SNOW; THOUGH THEY ARE RED LIKE CRIMSON, THEY SHALL BE AS WOOL.”

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SHAKESPEARE - MERCHANT OF VENICE

SHAKESPEARE – MERCHANT OF VENICE Act III. Scene I by John Gilbert, comedy, ‘if you prick us do we not bleed’ speech by Shylock describing the lack of difference in humanity between Jews and Christians. (Photo by Culture Club/Getty Images)

You may wish to LISTEN to Act 3 of The Merchant of Venice: 

True dialogue 

It is sometimes employed in a narrative way in a play and rendered in a theatrical performance such as in The Merchant of Venice, Hamlet or Macbeth. Philosophic ideas may be explored and expressed, taking on an apologetic approach, while at other times it may be used as a didactic teaching technique. Philosophers such as Socraties and Plato made use of dialogue to share their ideas. It can make use of many different philosophic devices such as rhetoric, polemic and the use of irony, sarcasm and pathos.

The Merchant of Venice

SHYLOCK 

“I’ll use it for fish bait. You can’t eat human flesh, but if it feeds nothing else, it’ll feed my revenge. He’s insulted me and cost me half a million ducats. He’s laughed at my losses, made fun of my earnings, humiliated my race, thwarted my deals, turned my friends against me, riled up my enemies—and why? Because I’m a Jew. Doesn’t a Jew have eyes? Doesn’t a Jew have hands, bodily organs, a human shape, five senses, feelings, and passions? Doesn’t a Jew eat the same food, get hurt with the same weapons, get sick with the same diseases, get healed by the same medicine, and warm up in summer and cool off in winter just like a Christian? If you prick us with a pin, don’t we bleed? If you tickle us, don’t we laugh? If you poison us, don’t we die? And if you treat us badly, won’t we try to get revenge? If we’re like you in everything else, we’ll resemble you in that respect. If a Jew offends a Christian, what’s the Christian’s kind and gentle reaction? Revenge. If a Christian offends a Jew, what punishment will he come up with if he follows the Christian example? Of course, the same thing—revenge! I’ll treat you as badly as you Christians taught me to—and you’ll be lucky if I don’t outdo my teachers” (Act 3, Scene 1).”

Politicians often make use of dialogue to share their ideas, such as in the context of a political debate. The Brexit question continues to offer lively interaction between those who voted ‘leave’ and those who voted ‘remain.’ This question promises to give the British people and the European Union members continued cause to air their points of view in lively debate and dialogue for some time.

Dialogue is a spoken or written conversation between two or more people. It is often something that takes place in an informal way with the lively exchange of ideas, while at other times it may take on a more formal approach. This can be in the context of a literary or theatrical form that depicts such an exchange of ideas.

A NOTE TO THE LISTENER: THIS IS NOT A VERBATIM SCRIPT OF THE PODCAST, BUT DOES GIVE THE MAJORITY OF THE TEXT UPON WHICH THE PROGRAMME IS BASED

 

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Dialogue is used in forums such as Question Time the long-running BBC programme hosted by the British presenter David Dimbleby.

This is a good example of how dialogue in a public forum works and at times it is more successful than others. The thing can get out of hand with either other panel members not letting the one speaking share their point of view without interruption and sometimes members of the audience have continued to interrupt the speaker and have been told to leave the venue.

For dialogue to work, there are a number of factors that need to come into play, such as mutual respect, freedom of expression and the open interchange of ideas. Censorship, prejudice, and bias militate against true dialogue from happening. There is little or no place for aggression or giving of offense speech such trading insults, typecasting of others with stereotypes or the use of prejudicial language.

In contrast, good humour and curtsy are a vital component of those participating in a dialogue and all participants need to be a good listener, able to let others share their ideas without interruption or causing distractions to the one who is speaking.Body language, the tone of voice and the general composure of those participating will also contribute to the success or failure of an attempt at dialogue. There are clearly different ways to share and exchange ideas, but these may not be called dialogue in the true sense of the meaning.

A Monologue

Hilary Mantel

A monologue is a speech delivered by an individual using various literary devices such as those used in a dialogue with the only difference being that it is a single individual speaking. There may or may not be the opportunity to interact with the speaker during question time at the end of the talk. The famous Rieth Lectures are a good example of an expert on a given field of endeavour delivering the lectures. The prominent author Hilary Mantel of Woolf Hall fame gave a recent series on being awarded The Mann Booker Literary Prize.

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A Diatribe  

A diatribe is a most unpleasant and unfortunate speech delivered by someone who is often mentally unbalanced or consumed with a pathological hatred. Adolf Hitler is the most famous or should I say ‘infamous’ example of an individual who worked himself up into a frenzy. The particular danger of such a oration is that the phenomena of mass hysteria comes into play and this was particularly the case during the Nazi era, when large sections the German people gave leave to their senses and cast aside all moral decency and constraint and participated in the mass murder of the Jews, often following one a The Nazi rallies.

The most terrible Nuremberg Rally is such an example. While Hitler and his cohorts were consumed by hubristic maliciousness in their ‘final solution,’ they couldn’t have succeeded without the mass participation of the German and occupied populations of other European nations, such as the Vichy Government and Marshall Paton and his fellow French compatriots in occupied France.

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“Today I will once more be a prophet. If the international Jewish financiers in and outside Europe should succeed in plunging nations once more into a world war, then the result will not be the bolshevization of the earth and thus the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe!”

—Hitler’s Speech to the Reichstag, January 30, 1941

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Be aware that this clip is an example of  no-hate-speech

“Today I will once more be a prophet. If the international Jewish financiers in and outside Europe should succeed in plunging nations once more into a world war, then the result will not be the bolshevization of the earth and this the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe!”

—Hitler’s Speech to the Reichstag
January 30, 1941

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Confutation/ Disputations 

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DISPUTATIONS

By: Richard GottheilKaufmann Kohler 

In order to have a great spectacle to excite the passions of the ignorant masses, John Capistrano, the Franciscan Jew-baiter, arranged in 1450 a disputation at Rome with a certain Gamaliel called “Synagogæ Romanæ magister,” but otherwise very little known (see Vogelstein and Rieger, “Gesch. der Juden in Rom,” 1895, ii. 14).

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Disputations of a friendly character were held at the court of Ercole d’Este I. at Ferrara by Abraham Farissol with two learned monks, the one a Dominican, the other a Franciscan, the matter of which is produced in Farissol’s “Magen Abraham” and “Wikkuaḥ ha-Dat” (see Grätz, l.c. ix. 45). In Germany it was the Jewish [convert] Victor of Carben who, under the direction of Herrman, the Archbishop of Cologne, and in the presence of many courtiers, ecclesiastics, and knights, held a disputation with some Jews of the Rhine provinces about 1500, accusing them of blasphemy against the Christian religion; the consequence of this disputation was that the Jews were expelled from the lower Rhine district (ib. lx. 70).

An Eighteenth Century Disputation.Quite different in tone and character were the disputations held by the Jews, both Rabbinites and Karaites, with Christians of various denominations in Poland at the close of the sixteenth century. Here the Jews, untrammeled by clerical or state despotism, freely criticized the various religious sects, and it was considered a difficult task for a Christian to convert a Jew (ib. ix. 456; see Isaac b. Abraham Troki).

Occasionally disputations for conversational purposes were arranged at German courts. One is reported to have taken place at the ducal court of Hanover, about 1700, in the presence of the duke, the dowager-duchess, the princes, clergy, and all the distinguished personages of the city, between Rabbi Joseph of Stadthagen and Eliezer Edzard, who had had been the instigator of the disputation. It ended in the complete victory of the rabbi, who not only counter all the arguments of his antagonist from Scripture and the Midrash but under the full approval of the court declined to answer under oath the question as to which religion was the best. He said: “We condemn no creed based upon the belief in the Creator of heaven and earth. We believe what we have been taught; let the Christians adhere to what they have been taught” (Bloch in “Oesterreichische Wochenschrift,” 1902, p. 785).

(Reference: Regarding the disputations between the rabbis and the Frankists before Bishop Dembowski at Kamenetz in 1757, and before the canon Nikulski at Lemberg in 1759, see Frank, Jacob).


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A Dialogue between Justin Martyr and Trypho the Jew

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INTRODUCTION

It has been suggested that Justin Martyr actually created this ‘so called’ dialogue between himself and a Jew called Trypho, as someone would create a ‘straw man’ that one could pull apart or burn down, a bit like an effigy of Guy Fawkes that is first carefully made and set a blaze to celebrate the foiling of the ‘gun powder plot’ by English Catholics to destroy the Protestant monarch and his parliament. In this case it was the Jew Trypho who was put up as an opponent of ‘Christ the King’ who Justin sought to win to Christ. Trypho’s supposed arguments were then considered, countered and refuted (confuted).

An analysis of the text dispalys a zealousness on the part of Justin and his approach to Trypho is delievered in a polemical style in which Justin earnestly endeavours to “convert” Trypho to Christ.

Trypho & Justin

This encapsulates the core of what Justin hope to achieve as an Evangelist and he unashamedly shared his faith with Jew and Gentile alike.

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Confutation/ Disputations   

Confutation_2

DISPUTATIONS

By: Richard GottheilKaufmann Kohler 

In order to have a great spectacle to excite the passions of the ignorant masses, John Capistrano, the Franciscan Jew-baiter, arranged in 1450 a disputation at Rome with a certain Gamaliel called “Synagogæ Romanæ magister,” but otherwise very little known (see Vogelstein and Rieger, “Gesch. der Juden in Rom,” 1895, ii. 14).

Disputations of a friendly character were held at the court of Ercole d’Este I. at Ferrara by Abraham Farissol with two learned monks, the one a Dominican, the other a Franciscan, the matter of which is produced in Farissol’s “Magen Abraham” and “Wikkuaḥ ha-Dat” (see Grätz, l.c. ix. 45). In Germany it was the Jewish [convert] Victor of Carben who, under the direction of Herrman, the Archbishop of Cologne, and in the presence of many courtiers, ecclesiastics, and knights, held a disputation with some Jews of the Rhine provinces about 1500, accusing them of blasphemy against the Christian religion; the consequence of this disputation was that the Jews were expelled from the lower Rhine district (ib. lx. 70).

An Eighteenth Century Disputation.Quite different in tone and character were the disputations held by the Jews, both Rabbinites and Karaites, with Christians of various denominations in Poland at the close of the sixteenth century. Here the Jews, untrammeled by clerical or state despotism, freely criticized the various religious sects, and it was considered a difficult task for a Christian to convert a Jew (ib. ix. 456; see Isaac b. Abraham Troki).

Occasionally disputations for conversational purposes were arranged at German courts. One is reported to have taken place at the ducal court of Hanover, about 1700, in the presence of the duke, the dowager-duchess, the princes, clergy, and all the distinguished personages of the city, between Rabbi Joseph of Stadthagen and Eliezer Edzard, who had had been the instigator of the disputation. It ended in the complete victory of the rabbi, who not only counter all the arguments of his antagonist from Scripture and the Midrash but under the full approval of the court declined to answer under oath the question as to which religion was the best. He said: “We condemn no creed based upon the belief in the Creator of heaven and earth. We believe what we have been taught; let the Christians adhere to what they have been taught” (Bloch in “Oesterreichische Wochenschrift,” 1902, p. 785).

(Reference: Regarding the disputations between the rabbis and the Frankists before Bishop Dembowski at Kamenetz in 1757, and before the canon Nikulski at Lemberg in 1759, see Frank, Jacob).


A Dialogue between Justin Martyr and Trypho the Jew

INTRODUCTION

It has been suggested that Justin Martyr actually created this ‘so-called’ dialogue between himself and a Jew called Trypho, as someone would create a ‘straw man’ that one could pull apart or burn down, a bit like an effigy of Guy Fawkes that is first carefully made and set ablaze to celebrate the foiling of the ‘gunpowder plot’ by English Catholics to destroy the Protestant monarch and his parliament. In this case, it was the Jew Trypho who was put up as an opponent of ‘Christ the King’ whom Justin sought to win to Christ. Trypho’s supposed arguments were then considered, countered and refuted (confuted).

An analysis of the text displays a zealousness on the part of Justin and his approach to Trypho is delivered in a polemical style in which Justin earnestly endeavours to “convert” Trypho to Christ.

This encapsulates the core of what Justin hope to achieve as an Evangelist and he unashamedly shared his faith with Jew and Gentile alike.

Though the arguments laid out in the dialogue are lengthy, I will present only a few quotations from Justin’s dialogue with Trypho which will have to suffice and convey a sense of what he endeavoured to communicate. At times it is very direct and hard hitting with the type of language used there is little subtlety in the tone. However, looking beyond what may appear as a harshness, there is a genuine loving concern being expressed by Justin for his ‘friend’ to enable him to see the light.

Justin’s own journey to faith began as a quest for the meaning of life through the work of philosophy. He had been aided by others who pointed him towards God and then he discovered God’s grace in Christ (He came from a pagan background) — [CHAP. I – VII describes that journey].

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*(1)( conversationdialogue is a colloquy between senators; a high-level serious discussionor it is a conference  between the trial judge and defendant).

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Along the journey he meets Trypho in the public square and they fall into a conversation:

Chap. I—INTRODUCTION

Justin: While I was going about one morning in the walks of the Xystus, a certain man, with others in his company, having met me, and said, “Hail, O philosopher!” And immediately after saying this, he turned round and walked along with me; his friends likewise followed him. And I in turn having addressed him, said, “What is there important?”

And he replied, “I was instructed,” says he “by Corinthus the Socratic in Argos, that I ought not to despise or treat with indifference those who array themselves in this dress but to show them all kindness, and to associate with them, as perhaps some advantage would spring from the intercourse either to some such man or to myself. It is good, moreover, for both, if either the one or the other be benefited. On this account, therefore, whenever I see anyone in such costume, I gladly approach him, and now, for the same reason, have I willingly accosted you; and these accompany me, in the expectation of hearing for themselves something profitable from you.”

“But who are you, most excellent man?” So I replied to him in jest.

Then he told me frankly both his name and his family. “Trypho,” says he, “I am called; and I am a Hebrew of the circumcision, and having escaped from the war lately carried on there I am spending my days in Greece, and chiefly at Corinth.”

“And in what,” said I, “would you be profited by philosophy so much as by your own lawgiver and the prophets?”

“Why not?” he replied. “Do not the philosophers turn every discourse on God? and do not question continually arise to them about His unity and providence? Is not this truly the duty of philosophy, to investigate the Deity?”…

CHAP. VIII.—JUSTIN BY HIS COLLOQUY*(1) IS KINDLED WITH LOVE TO CHRIST.*

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*(2)–[JUSTIN BY HIS COLLOQUY IS MOTIVATED BY LOVE FOR CHRIST]

Justin writes: “When he had spoken these and many other things, which there is no time for mentioning at present, he went away, bidding me attend to them; and I have not seen him since. But straightway a flame was kindled in my soul; and a love of the prophets, and of those men who are friends of Christ, possessed me; and whilst revolving his words in my mind, I found this philosophy alone to be safe and profitable. Thus, and for this reason, I am a philosopher. Moreover, I would wish that all, making a resolution similar to my own, do not keep themselves away from the words of the Saviour… If then, you have any concern for yourself, and if you are eagerly looking for salvation, and if you believe in God, you may— since you are not indifferent to the matter—become acquainted with the Christ of God, and, after being initiated, live a happy life.”

When I had said this, my beloved friends those who were with Trypho laughed; but he, smiling, says, “I approve of your other remarks, and admire the eagerness with which you study divine things;…And you, having accepted a groundless report, invent a Christ for yourselves, and for his sake are inconsiderately perishing.”

CHAP. IX.—THE CHRISTIANS HAVE NOT BELIEVED GROUNDLESS STORIES.

Justin: “I excuse and forgive you, my friend,” I said. “For you know not what you say, but have been persuaded by teachers who do not understand the Scriptures; and you speak,…I shall prove to you as you stand here that we have not believed empty fables, or words without any foundation but words filled with the Spirit of God, and big with power, and flourishing with grace…

“CHAP. X.—TRYPHO BLAMES THE CHRISTIANS FOR THIS ALONE—THE NON-OBSERVANCE OF THE LAW.

And when they ceased, I again addressed them thus:—

“Is there any other matter, my friends, in which we are blamed, than this, that we live not after the law, and are not circumcised in the flesh as your forefathers were, and do not observe sabbaths as you do? Are our lives and customs also slandered among you? And I ask this: have you also believed concerning us, that we eat men; and that after the feast, having extinguished the lights, we engage in promiscuous concubinage? Or do you condemn us in this alone, that we adhere to such tenets, and believe in an opinion, untrue, as you think?”

“This is what we are amazed at,” said Trypho, “but those things about which the multitude speak are not worthy of belief; for they are most repugnant to human nature. Moreover, I am aware that your precepts in the so-called Gospel are so wonderful and so great, that I suspect no one can keep them; for I have carefully read them. But this is what we are most at a loss about: that you, professing to be pious, and supposing yourselves better than others, are not in any particular separated from them, and do not alter your mode of living from the nations, in that you observe no festivals or sabbaths, and do not have the rite of circumcision; and further, resting your hopes on a man that was crucified, you yet expect to obtain some good thing from God, while you do not obey His commandments…”

CHAP. XI.—THE LAW ABROGATED; THE NEW TESTAMENT PROMISED AND GIVEN BY GOD.

Justin: “There will be no other God, O Trypho, nor was there from eternity any other existing” (I thus addressed him), “but He who made and disposed of all this universe. Nor do we think that there is one God for us, another for you, but that He alone is God who led your fathers out from Egypt with a strong hand and a high arm. Nor have we trusted in any other (for there is no other), but in Him in whom you also have trusted, the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob. But we do not trust through Moses or through the law; for then we would do the same for yourselves. But now—(for I have read that there shall be a final law, and a covenant, the chiefest of all, which it is now incumbent on all men to observe, as many as are seeking after the inheritance of God…Isaiah says: ‘Hearken unto Me, hearken unto Me, my people; and, ye kings, give ear unto Me: for a law shall go forth from Me, and My judgment shall is for a light to the nations. My righteousness approaches swiftly, and My salvation shall go forth, and nations shall trust in My arm?’…If, therefore, God proclaimed a new covenant which was to be instituted, and this for a light of the nations, we see and are persuaded that men approach God, leaving their idols and other unrighteousness, through the name of Him who was crucified, Jesus Christ, and abide by their confession even unto death, and maintain piety…”

CHAP. XIV.—RIGHTEOUSNESS IS NOT PLACED IN JEWISH RITES, BUT IN THE CONVERSION OF THE HEART GIVEN IN BAPTISM BY CHRIST.

Justin: “By reason, therefore, of this laver of repentance and knowledge of God, which has been ordained on account of the transgression of God’s people, as Isaiah cries, we have believed, and testify that that very baptism which he announced is alone able to purify those who have repented; and this is the water of life…And because this is what this new Lawgiver demands of you, I shall again refer to the words which have been quoted by me, and to others also which have been passed over. They are related by Isaiah to the following effect: ‘Hearken to me, and your soul shall live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, even the sure mercies of David. Behold, I have given Him for a witness to the people, a leader, and commander to the nations. Nations which know not Thee shall call on Thee; and peoples who know not Thee shall escape unto Thee, because of Thy God, the Holy One of Israel, for He has glorified Thee. Seek ye God; and when you find Him, call on Him, so long as He may be nigh you. Let the wicked forsake his ways, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and he will obtain mercy because He will abundantly pardon your sins. For my thoughts are not as your thoughts, neither are my ways as your ways; but as far removed as the heavens are from the earth, so far is my way removed from your way and your thoughts from my thoughts…And the Lord shall be for a name, and for an everlasting sign, and He shall not fail!’ Of these and such like words written by the prophets, O Trypho,” said I, “some have reference to the first advent of Christ, in which He is preached as inglorious, obscure, and of mortal appearance: but others had reference to His second advent, when He shall appear in glory and above the clouds; and your nation shall see and know Him whom they have pierced, as Hosea, one of the twelve prophets, and Daniel, foretold.”

Due to the length and complexity of the dialogue, in Part 2 I will continue to address issues raised in between Trypho and Justin.

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Part 2:  True Dialogue of Equals…

Due to the importance of this subject of Dialogue, the next podcast will continue to explore this theme.

 

MTMI

Messianic Teaching Ministry International – MTMI

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http://www.hotrodronisblog.com

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