scott_stedman — 2014-09-13T18:33:47-04:00 — #1
I was reading through the book of Acts and was re-reading the story of Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8:26-40), and I read something interesting. In verse 39-40, after Philip baptised the Eunuch, it says that the Lord took him instantly, and that he appeared in Azotus. Could Philip, through the Spirit, be the first person to travel through time?
jonathan_srock — 2014-09-13T19:12:36-04:00 — #2
I always understood that Philip was moved to that place very quickly. I think the idea of the text is that if he were not put there at that moment the opportunity for this man's salvation would've been lost.
I never thought about it as the possibility that he time travel. I considered it more of a distance travel and more of the understanding that the Holy Spirit knows where we need to be, and puts us there at the proper moment for divine appointments.
But today's understanding. I suppose this would have been a time travel because time and space work together. Thus, a geographical movement of speed would also mean time was changed to get there so quickly. I'm not sure. This is a very interesting approach to this! I will have to think about this! God bless!
brian_poad — 2014-09-14T00:33:54-04:00 — #3
John 6:21 is another miracle of the same nature, as soon as Jesus stepped in the boat, immediately the boat was at land.
lu1 — 2014-09-14T01:01:35-04:00 — #4
Word study of Phillip, travel and Ethiopian ... doesn't come up with anything notable concerning Time Travel. The assumption is for me then is that it was not of great importance to the writer or the Holy Spirit, the main point is the conversion narrative as it relates to the Great Commission, because right after this we see the Samaria conversion narrative with Peter & John.
Since we are talking about Time and Space... What about Joshua 10:12 Then Joshua spoke to the Lord on the day when the Lord gave the Amorites over to the Israelites, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, be silent and stand still at Gibeon, and you, moon, in the Valley of Ajalon!
13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the nation took vengeance upon their enemies. Is not this written in the Book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of the heavens and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day.
14 There was no day like it before or since, when the Lord heeded the voice of a man. For the Lord fought for Israel.
The Amplified Bible (La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1987), Jos 10:12–14.
Stopping time o_0
scott_stedman — 2014-09-14T08:27:16-04:00 — #5
What I find interesting about this story and others you mention is the concept of time and space. In the church we always seem to say that it is about God's timing and not our own. This is true in these stories because if God wanted Philip to go to Azotus but wanted him to stop so he can convert the Eunuch, then God was going to do whatever he could to make sure Philip could do both things regardless of distance and time.
brian_poad — 2014-09-14T08:31:00-04:00 — #6
Good thought Scott! We serve a great God! He can do whatever is necessary, He is not limited, sounds like you are on a good train of thought!
wolfgang_schneider — 2014-09-15T01:40:28-04:00 — #7
what actually is "time travel" ? or more accurately asked, how do you use the term "time travel" here and what do you understand it to mean?
scott_stedman — 2014-09-15T14:07:21-04:00 — #8
Good question Wolfgang! Some people would consider Time travel as we see in Dr. Who, Back to the Future, etc., where a person can travel years into the past or future. The way I interpreted time travel in Acts 8:39-40, it would be considered traveling only in a matter of hours.
However, since we serve a God who works outside of our concept of time. I beginning to think that in God's point of view it was merely divine placement than time travel. If God wanted Philip to be with the Eunuch and be in Azotus at the right time to help build the Kingdom, then God has the power to do it, because he can work outside of our time.
wolfgang_schneider — 2014-09-15T15:13:03-04:00 — #9
Scott, thank you for your further comment and clarification.
As for Acts 8:39-40, I do not see any time travel, even "only in a matter of hours". Reading the record carefully, I note that it simply states that Philip was "carried away by the Spirit of the Lord", that the eunuch "did not see him anymore and went his way rejoicing" and that Philip "found himself at Azotus" (ESV) ... yet there is no reference to any "time factor" in the record, is there? Does it say that "Philip disappeared on the spot"? Does it say that Philip was one moment in one place and the next second in another? I know, people have such ideas ... but the text itself does not state what is often interpreted into the record.
The scenario could perhaps even be that Philip was directed by means of an inspiration/revelation via the spirit of the Lord to leave the eunuch and that place, which he did immediately and he got on his way to Azotus, where he arrived at some time afterwards in time to accomplish the next work which God had in store for him to do. No info is given how long the travel from the one place to the other place took ... the text only states that Philip was with Philip in one place and then by divine "intervention" at some time later was at the next place.
The scenario could be that Philip was "transported" miraculously by spirit power (described in the text by the expression "carried away by the spirit of the Lord") from one place to another ... which may have then happened either instantaneously or in extraordinary short time. But even if this was the case, I would not call this a "time travel", because Philip was not transported "forward in time", rather he was transported miraculously in an instant, in a moment, in whatever short time it took ...
For illustration: Perhaps a person walks a distance of a mile from their house to a small park with a pond to watch ducks and it takes him/her 20 minutes to get there. Now, one day, a neighbor was on his way to the same place with his car and took the person along and the person was at the park in 3 minutes. Would we say that this latter experience was a "time travel", just because the person arrived at the park in a much quicker time? No ... because in each case, the person was always in the present, never "traveled" in any way "in time to the past or the future" ...
gao_lu — 2014-09-22T18:55:19-04:00 — #10
You will probably think I am crazy. If so you would not be the first person. But what if....in eternity there is a sort of timelessness and we can move back and forth in time? In eternity time sort of exists and sort of doesn't, maybe? What if time was temporarily created just for our benefit as God's creation? Or what if time is real in eternity and has been going on for a gazillion years--only longer, so long that there was no beginning--and the batteries in the clock never wear out. Or get replaced every few years as needed. What if we think about events within the framework of time, but God thinks about events in the framework of eternity. Then perhaps Phillip could go skipping all over the place regardless of time. Perhaps someday we will too--zipping here and there in time to go see ducks in the park. Or perhaps we could now, if God made it happen, or opened out eyes to work within the framework of eternity?
Back in grammar school we studied about sets and subsets using all kinds of diagrams and brackets and braces ad nauseum . Maybe time is a subset of Eternity.
That's just plain crazy, huh!
One of these days we will be done speculating and know.
scott_stedman — 2014-09-25T18:41:06-04:00 — #11
Gao, You're not the only one who has these crazy ideas. I had a buddy who thinks that the transfiguration when Jesus is talking to Moses and Elijah is actually time portals where moses and Elijah where talking to God on the mountain, that they were actually talking to Jesus in the future. I don't know if there are any resources to support his claims, but it's a pretty interesting idea.
wolfgang_schneider — 2014-09-26T01:21:53-04:00 — #12
when coming down from the mountain, Jesus called what happened on the mount "a vision" when he commanded his apostles concerning it (cp. Mt 17:9 KJV -- 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.). What was shown them in this vision concerned a future time, but they themselves had not experienced a time travel and were not living in that future time, nor were Moses and Elijah actually present there in person on the mountain on that day ...
As for vision, the book of Revelation, the apostle John was also shown in a vision things which were in his imminent future (cp Rev 1:1), but he himself was still living in the present and was on the island of Patmos, and was not living in that future and in those places which were part of the vision.
Could there be a misunderstanding of what a vision and what the reality is, and some people call such a vision "time travel" ?
gralan — 2014-10-14T16:07:37-04:00 — #13
I'm in awe and thankful for the milieu of dialogue here. Responding at this point yet addressed to all. I'm convinced we only have ectypal knowledge, so God already set the boundary for knowing what we may(we are finite, God infinite). But I am one who bloodies my forehead banging against the mystery, and sometimes a door opens.O:-)
Some think eternity means no time at all!? I agree w/ the concept we have limits to analogy for processing. Yet another bit of God's wisdom in the Logos sarx engeneto[Jn1.14]. Yet re : eternity we cannot now conceive of no time, since we think in terms of cause/effect, eh? Consider Jesus appearing in the locked room. He did not use trickery, so?
Thanks be to God! For who has known the mind of THE LORD JEHOVAH, or who has been a counselor to him?
Your fellow suffering servant, ga
bruce_edward_pritcha — 2017-10-31T14:48:48-04:00 — #14
Time travel opens up a vast array of possible answers to Bible questions. It also accounts for the inference's of quantum physics and the movement of matter through solid objects. The time travel example that comes to my mind and gives me the best picture of the type is Matthew 4:8. Here the devil takes Jesus to the top of a high mountain where he shows Jesus all the kingdoms of the world. Of course in Human natural terms or in our 3 dimensional existence we would not be able to see all the kingdoms of the world. But, if God created time and He exists outside of time, sort of like a clock maker who stands back from his creation and can see the beginning of the clock and the end of the clock and everything in between, able to concentrate on any spot as he pleases. Forward and backward in time, the ability to see time as an object complete and dynamic, past and future going on at the same time. From their place beyond time, the high mountain, Jesus could see it all, for all time. I believe this is the same high mountain where the prophets could see and visions where realized. A man like Phillip could be plucked out of time and placed into time somewhere else. If that is possible, perhaps it would be possible for EVE's seed of a woman to be plucked out of her womb before the fall and placed in another womb, at a time of Gods choosing. Malachi 2:15. Forgive me if I offend in anyway.
dave_l — 2017-10-31T15:09:55-04:00 — #15
So then salvation might exist apart from Christ?
bkmitchell — 2017-11-01T07:43:45-04:00 — #16
Thank you for your fascinating response to the OP. I believe you have given us all some food for thought.