Theology An Examination Of The Question Of The Impeccability Of Jesus Christ

The New Testament authors had no qualms about declaring that Jesus was truly human and telling us that Jesus committed no sin. Bible passages such as 2 Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 4:15, 1 Peter 2:22 and 1 John 3:5 witness that He [Jesus] did not give in to temptation, nor violate the moral standards of God, nor was He inconsistent with the nature of his character. That is, Jesus was sinless. It is vital to our theology that Jesus was sinless.

For only if Jesus was sinless could His death have been a vicarious substitution and fulfil Gods redemptive plan for man. If Jesus had not been sinless, then it would mean that He died for His own sins and not those of mankind. Had Jesus died for His own sins then His death could not have been accepted by the Father as a vicariously substitution for the punishment and judgement each of us are entitled to receive. Even though there is no serious debate that Jesus was anything but sinless, theologians have discussed the question of whether Jesus could have sinned if He had wanted. This is called the peccability of Christ. The opposing argument, i.e., impeccability, being that even if He had wanted, Jesus could not have sinned. Upon first consideration, one might view this question as being trivial; something to simply keep the theologians out of mischief when they have nothing better to do. However, there are some very appropriate reasons for examining this issue. The first reason to examine the issue of Christs peccability/impeccability is so that we might obtain a better understanding and a more in depth knowledge about both Jesus Christ and God, just as God has invited us. This is the same reason that we study Theology proper. When we arrive at an answer to this question, we will have additional knowledge about Jesus preincarnate state and a better understanding of the meaning of the statement Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever .

Second, some theologians have argued that the peccability of Jesus has a direct impact on the humanity of Christ. That is, if Jesus was not peccable then just how human was he Could he have been true man if he were not able to sin like the rest of mankind (Note: this is a question of whether Christ could have sinned; not that Christ had to have sinned in order to be human.) Morris indirectly asks if Jesus impeccability implied that he was lacking a part of the human condition that the rest of mankind have, viz., the consciousness of past sin If this is the case, Christ may not have been truly human because he only took on most of the qualities of human nature but shielded himself from the consciousness of sin. Third, Sahl tells us that the virgin birth, the Incarnation, and the hypostatic union, are all influenced by the impeccability of Jesus Christ . Therefore, if we are to have a full understanding of these doctrines, we need to study the question of Christs peccability/impeccability. Fourth, an understanding of the peccability/impeccability of Jesus Christ will have an impact on our understanding of angels in general and Lucifer/Satan in particular . That is, by examining the peccability/impeccability of Jesus (and the related issue of the temptability of Jesus) we will come to have a better understanding of the realm of angels, especially the fallen angels. Furthermore, by examining the temptations that Satan makes to Christ, we will also have a deeper awareness of the powers of Satan and his followers. Fifth, because the Bible tells us that Jesus did not sin, the question of Jesus peccability or impeccability will have an impact on biblical inerrancy and integrity. As Sahl states, if it is possible that the Lord Jesus Christ could succumb to or be deceived by sin, then one must also conclude that it is possible for Him to have given inaccurate information about eternal things when He was growing in wisdom and stature and favour with God and man . And finally, Christs peccability/impeccability will have an impact on the victory over temptation and sin that the Redeemer accomplished .

For if it was impossible for Jesus to have ever sinned then it is indeed a hallow victory: there was no chance of his ever not winning the battle. Thus, the victory is a very mute point and raises the question if the victory has any real impact on mankind under these circumstances. Thus, we can see that the peccability or impeccability of Jesus is more than simply an academic debate. The outcome of such a debate could have far reaching implications on our view and knowledge of God, our doctrine of the humanity of Jesus, the doctrines of the virgin birth, the Incarnation and the hypostatic union, our theology of angelology, the question of biblical inerrancy and integrity and finally, our view of Jesus victory over temptation and sin. I would now like to turn to the arguments for the peccability of Jesus, i.e., Jesus could have sinned if he had wanted to sin. As stated earlier, a positive result of this investigation does not imply that Jesus had to have sinned during his earthly life. Only that it was possible for Jesus to have sinned. Our first argument that Jesus was peccable centres on the question of the temptations of Jesus. Charles Hodge has been quoted as summarizing this teaching in these words: This sinlessness of our Lord, however, does not amount to absolute impeccability. It was not a non potent peccare. If He was a true man, He must have been capable of sinning. That he did not sin under the greatest provocation … is held up to us as an example. Temptation implies the possibility of sin .

Sahl states this as if a person has no susceptibility to sin or if sin has no appeal for him, the temptation is a farce . In short, this means that if Jesus was not capable of being tempted by sin and capable of sinning and then He was not truly human. For temptability and the ability to sin are part of being human. In order to fully understand and respond to this argument based on temptability we must examine the nature of temptability. Sahl argues that the problem with this argument is that we have a misconception of the nature of temptability. Specifically, he says, the Greek word to tempt does not mean to induce evil. The word means to try, make a trial of, put to the test … to signify the trying intentionally with the purpose of discovering what of good or evil, of power or weakness was in a person or thing, or to have an appeal. In this regard, Sahl concludes that the temptations of Christ were real: Christ faced real challenges in the desert where he proved the good that was in Him and also in the Garden of Gethsemani and on Calvary where he demonstrated His power. Towns notes that temptability may be defined as Generally understood as the enticement of a person to commit sin by offering some seeming enticement. … In this sense our sinless Redeemer was absolutely untemptible and impeccable. That is, because Jesus was God and possessed the attributes of God, there was nothing that Jesus could be enticed to have or obtain. Therefore, he could not be tempted. However, on the opposite side of the question, Towns also notes that [t]he nature of Christs temptation was that He was asked to do the things He could do and the things He wanted: the results of which would have come from doing what Satan asked. The nature of His temptation was … the fact that He as God was tempted to do the things He could do. The things Christ is asked to do … appear to be valid requests . Therefore, because Satan asked Christ to do the things he was capable of, e.g., turning stones to bread, etc., we can see that the temptations Christ faced were real. However, the temptations Jesus faced were different from those other men would endure; [Jesus] was tried as no other was ever tried. Added to the nature of the temptation itself was the greater sensitivity of Christ . It is possible that the ultimate and most severe temptation of Jesus came in the Garden of Gethsemani. Here Jesus was tempted to abandon the plan of God and to let this cup pass from me (Matthew 26:39). Clearly, Jesus experienced worse temptations than we do. Hence, the temptations Christ faced were real precisely because they were tests of and trials to His power. That is, when [the Bible tells us Jesus] was tempted … it implies He was tempted in all His thinking, desires (emotions) and decision-making ability. Christ was tempted in every part of His being as a person is tempted in every part of human nature .

Another point we must remember in disputing the argument of peccability from temptability is that temptation to sin does not necessitate susceptibility to sin . The impossible can always be attempted. While success may not be likely, or the attempt may be impractical this does not in and of itself mean that such an attempt cannot be done. Walvoord states while the temptation may be real, there may be infinite power to resist that temptation and if the power is infinite, the person is impeccable . As an example, Walvoord quotes Shedds example of an army: [it is not correct] to say that because an army cannot be conquered, it cannot be attacked. There is also Biblical evidence that Jesus was truly tempted as we read in Hebrews for we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but one who was tempted in every way that we are (4:15). In summary then we can see that the argument of Jesus Christs peccability cannot be supported by the temptation argument. For one to be tempted does not necessarily imply that one must be susceptible to the temptation. Furthermore, Jesus was tempted in every aspect of the term. True, His temptations were different from those we experience, but they were none the less real temptations. And Finally, just because Jesus was tempted does not imply that He was capable of sin. It is possible for Satan to try the impossible, i.e., tempt Jesus, even though there is no chance of success.

The second argument in support of the peccability of Jesus rests on the humanity of Jesus, i.e., [i]f He was a true man He must have been capable of sinning . This argument rests on two fallacies. First, it fails to recognize that while Jesus was true man, He was also true God. He was the God-man. Even though a man, Jesus still retained all of the attributes of His divine nature (even though through the kenosis, or self-emptying, He willingly did not exercise all of His divine attributes.) Jesus Christ possessed all the divine attributes of the Father … In humanity, Christ was totally human; in deity, Jesus was unalterably God. Yet in Jesus Christ was a single, undivided personality in whom these two natures are vitally and undividedly united, so that Jesus Christ is not God and man, but the God-man. The second fallacy is that, Jesus was first God and subsequently took on human manhood. The second Trinitarian person [Jesus Christ] is the root and stock into which the human nature is grafted or God in becoming man did not diminish His deity, but added a human nature to the divine nature. >From these two rebuttals we can see that even though Jesus was truly man, He maintained His divine attribute of holiness. It was this holiness which supplied the strength and will power to ensure that Christ avoided sin and could not sin. In other words, [t]hough Christ was of both human and divine desires, He had only one determinative will. That determinative will is in the eternal Logos. Thus, even though Jesus was truly human, His divine will was more powerful and prevented Him from sinning because a holy will may be perfectly free, and yet determined with absolute certainty to the right. Such is Gods will . Therefore, as God, Christ is certain to do only good, and yet He is a moral agent making choices. He need not have the capacity to sin . The third argument in support of the peccability of Jesus is based on the Scriptural statements that Jesus is the second or New Adam and corresponds to the first Adam. Thus, if Jesus was the second Adam he had to have all the qualities and characteristics of the first Adam. The proponents of this argument then proceed to conclude that one of the characteristics of Adam was the ability to sin. However, in actual fact, this argument misses the point. The first Adam was a perfect man when he was created by God. Adam was created in holiness without the inward compulsion toward sin that now characterizes his progeny or Jesus did not possess a sin nature because it was not a part of the original nature of man . In the garden Adam knew neither sin nor the consequences of sin. [Adam] had no experience of sin before the Serpent and Eve presented him the apple from the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. It was only when Adam disobeyed God that Adam added sin to his perfect nature. This is a case of arguing from the present condition to a past condition which is then applicable to Jesus. It make[s] the mistake of taking our imperfect lives as the standard, and regarding Christ as human only as He conforms to our failures. [Rather,] He is the standard, and He shows us what a genuine humanity can be . Thus, the perfect human is without sin and is capable of not sinning (even though the perfect human will still have inherited a sin nature and original sin from Adam). Therefore, Christ can be the second or New Adam and still not have a peccable nature. In the chapter entitled The Sinlessness of Christ in Berkouwers book The Person of Christ, the author presents three unique arguments for the peccability of Christ. I did not find mention of these arguments in any other source and, therefore, am sceptical of the weight they carry. However, I have decided to summarize them below in the interest of completeness. All three of his arguments are based on Biblical passages. Berkouwers first argument centres on Christ words Why do you call me good None is good but God alone (Luke 18:19, Mark 10:18 and a similar reference in Matthew 19:17). According to Berkouwer, this statement brings the peccability of Christ into question because people have inferred that Christ himself did not proceed from his absolute sinlessness or holiness but rather places himself in the rank of sinful human beings. However, to read this passage in this manner is clearly a case of poor interpretation. The Jerome Biblical Commentary tells us that the phrase good teacher is a rarely used epithet for a rabbi and that Jesus answer implies that the epithet good being proper to God, should not be used indiscriminately and casually .

Berkouwer, on the other hand, suggests that this is a different type of misinterpretation. He argues that in the early church and at the time these three Gospels were written, there was no question of the sinlessness of Christ. The sinlessness of Christ is a theological concept which developed later in history: an explicit attestation to [Jesus] sense of sinlessness we do not find until we encounter them, as the fruit of the Logos-theology, in the pronouncements of the Johannine Christ . While I am not personally convinced with Berkouwers interpretation and prefer to base the rejection of this argument for Jesus peccability on the correct interpretation of the passage, I will grant that Berkouwer presents a logical and plausible argument given what we know about the development of the New Testament writings. The second argument Berkouwer presents is based on the story of the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. In Matthews account of this incident, John the Baptist recognizes the holiness of Christ and tries to avoid baptising Him. However, Christ instructs John the Baptist to give in for now ? (Matthew 3:15). From this, the argument arises that if Jesus was sinless why was it He had to be baptized and repent His sins? The Jerome Biblical Commentary points out that the dialogue between John the Baptist and Jesus is not found in the accounts of either Mark or Luke and proposes that it is an addition by Matthew because ?it was necessary to explain how Jesus could submit to a rite of repentance and confession of sin .? Berkouwer has a more fuller explanation saying ?Christ was obedient to the divine law in precisely this manner … To this law Christ was already subject in his circumcision and in his presentation in the temple and in nothing was he distinguished from the other children of his [i.e., the Jewish] people. ?He was born of a woman, born under the law? (Gal. 4:4) ?. In other words, Jesus was simply fulfilling the Judaic law and being a good Jew. Like all other Jews of His time, He was keeping the precepts and following the rules. It was not an attempt to deny his holiness or to claim that He was sinful. It was simply a rite of passage. Had He not followed through with the baptism it is possible that Jesus would have been condemned by the Jewish leaders and banned from the Temple. Therefore, we can see that the baptism of Jesus does not carry any weight as an attempt to prove the peccability of Jesus. Berkouwer?s third unique approach of the peccability of Jesus is based on Hebrews 5:7-8. In this passage we are told by the apostolic author that [Jesus] learned obedience from what he suffered.? This statement has lead people (at least according to Berkouwer) to question if there was ?a stage in which Christ was not yet obedient … a stage antedating Christ’s obedience.?

In countering this argument Berkouwer points out that Hebrew 5 is related precisely to the suffering of Christ in Gethsemani where Christ is tempted to derail the divine plan, His cross, death and resurrection. However, Christ was obedient in the sense that He accepted the divine will and accepted the will of the Father. This passage does not relate to the whole life of Christ, but merely to a single episode.. Therefore, this passage is not supportive of the peccability theory. In summary therefore, we have seen that the question of the peccability of Jesus, i.e., Jesus could have sinned if He had wished to sin, cannot be supported by appealing to the following arguments: a) that in order to have a true human nature Jesus had to be able to sin; b) that in order to be really tempted as man is tempted Jesus had to be able to sin; c) that temptability necessitates susceptibility to sin; d) that if Jesus were a true man he would have to be able to sin because sin is part of the human condition; e) that if Jesus were really the Second or New Adam he had to have been able to sin; f) that Jesus statement in Luke 18:19, Mark 10:18 and Matthew 19:17 (?None is good but God alone?) implies that Jesus had to have been able to sin; g) that Jesus baptism by John the Baptist implies Jesus? sin nature and hence the ability to sin; and h) that Biblical passage of Hebrews 5:7-8 implies that Jesus was not always obedient and thus, able to sin. Therefore, we can conclude that there is no argument that would require us to admit or concur with the peccability of Jesus. Having determined the lack of evidence to support the peccability of Jesus, I now wish to examine the arguments in support of the impeccability of Jesus. The first argument to support the impeccability of Jesus is based on Jesus? divine nature. Towns tells us ?Jesus was unalterably God ? and to back up this statement he presents nine proofs. Sahl tells us that it is precisely because Jesus is God that ?it is not possible for Him to sin ?. Pannenberg explains this more fully, saying, ?if sin is essentially life in contradiction to God, in self-centred closing of our ego against God, then Jesus? unity with God in his personal community with the Father and in his identity with the person of the Son of God means immediately his separation from all sin .? That is, ?the concept of peccability in the person of Christ is contradicted principally by the attributes of immutability .? Pannenberg notes that ?for Tertullian, Jesus is … sinless … because he is one with the sinless God .? In other words, both Pannenberg and Tertullian conclude that it is impossible for Christ to be peccable because to do so would fly in the face of God’s (including Jesus?) immutability. For Christ to be able to sin there would have to be a substantial change to the very nature of God. However, God himself has clearly revealed that ?Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever? (Hebrews 13:8) and ?you [Jesus] are the same, and your years will have no end? (Hebrews 1:12). Walvoord has extrapolated these verses to imply, ?it is unthinkable that God could sin [in] eternity past, it must also be true that it is impossible for God to sin in the person of Christ incarnate. The nature of His person forbids susceptibility to sin .? Towns states this as ?To rob God of any attributes would be to rob God of deity. It would mean that God is no longer immutable (unchanging), and therefore, causes Him to be less than God .? Therefore, based on the above, it is clear that Jesus could not have been able to sin.

Second, it has also been argued that since Jesus was God, His omnipotence, even though he chose not to exercise this attribute through the kenosis, would guarantee His impeccability: ?peccability always implies weakness on the part of the one tempted. … On the part of Christ, this is clearly out of the question . Bechtle states this argument as ?falling to temptation shows moral weakness or lack of power and ability. Christ had infinite power, and was therefore not susceptible to sin .? Third, it is argued that because Christ was omniscient He could not have sinned: sin frequently appeals to the ignorance of the one tempted. … In the case of Christ, the effects of sin were perfectly known, with all the contributing factors. It was impossible for Christ having omniscience to commit that which he knew could only bring eternal woe to Himself and to the race. Having at once infinite wisdom to see sin in its true light and at the same time infinite power to resist temptation, it is evident that Christ was impeccable. Towns takes this argument based on the definition and attributes of God one step further and presents a fourth argument which includes the fact that Jesus was omnipresent as a proof of His impeccability: ?Christ is omnipresent (His presence in heaven at the time of the temptation disallows sin), therefore, Christ could not sin for He lived a perfect life in heaven at the moment of the temptation .? The fifth argument in supporting the view that Christ was impeccable appeals to the statement ?God cannot be tempted with evil ? which is found in James 1:13. However, this is an inaccurate translation of the original manuscript. A more correct translation would be ?Surely God, who is beyond the grasp of evil, tempts no one .? This latter interpretation is supported by the Jerome Biblical Commentary . Thus, the passage in James 1:13 is not appropriate to the current discussion and does not prove either the peccability or impeccability of Jesus. The sixth argument in support of the impeccability is what Sahl refers to as the ?unique person of Jesus ? or the hypostatic union. Under the doctrine of the hypostatic union Jesus ?had one intellect, one set of emotions, and one volitional ability to make decisions .? However, some theologians, such as Shedd, believe that ?the divinity [of Jesus] is dominant in his person. … the divinity is the dominant factor in Christ?s complex person.

Walvoord concurs with this opinion: In the person of Christ, however, the human will was always subservient to the divine will and could never act independently . While such an argument would seem to support the impeccability of Christ, I am not sure that it does not erroneously interpret the two natures of Christ. Under the doctrine of the hypostatic union we know that the two natures [of Jesus] are bound together … by a bond unique and inscrutable, which constitutes them one person with a single consciousness and will . This means that the human and divine natures did not mingle or merge together into a third nature with a different expression . However, if Christ had only one single will (a position which the Third Council of Constantinople in 681 condemned ) which was in fact dominated (and hence controlled) by his divine will, does this not imply that there is a blending of the wills or the creation of a third nature Accordingly, while I would like to say that this argument supports the claim of Christs impeccability, to do so would be to accept an inaccurate definition of the hypostatic union. Therefore, this argument is not applicable to this discussion. The seventh argument in support of the impeccability is that Christ could not sin because he was doing the will of the Father, i.e., arguments from Jesus omnipotent desire [and] His submission to the divine will. We know that Christ was doing the will of the Father because the Bible clearly states this: Then [Jesus] said, As is written of me in the book, I have come to do your will, O God (Hebrews 10:7); Jesus explained to them: Doing the will of him who sent me and bringing his work to completion is my food (John 4:34) and I have come down from heaven, but to do the will of him who sent me. (John 6:38). The will of the Father is also clearly stated in the Bible: [God] has sent his Son as an offering for our sins. (1 John 4:10). As an offering for our sins, Christ is a substitute for sin . However, the only way that Christ could be a substitute for our sin would be if Christ had no sin himself. It would only have taken one sin to make Jesus a sinner. … In that case, he would be unable to save Himself, let alone be the sinless substitute for the sins of the world .Therefore, if Christ were to fulfill the will of the Father, there would have to be an assurance that He remained sinless throughout his entire life.

The only way to guarantee that Christ would remain sinless would be if Christ could not sin. Therefore, Christ had to be impeccable. The eighth argument for the impeccability of Christ is presented by Sahl and is based solely on the Biblical statements of Christ and the fact that the Bible is inerrant, accurate and authoritative. Sahl extracts the following verses: Mark 2:1-12 (the account of the Paralytic at Capernaum), John 7:18 (Whoever speaks on his own is bent on self-glorification. The man who seeks glory for him who sent him is truthful; there is no dishonesty in his heart.), John 8:29 (The One who sent me is with me. He has not deserted me since I always do what pleases him.), and John 14:6 (Jesus told him: I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me) and then concludes Jesus is the impeccable Saviour who saves His people from their sins . In summary therefore we have seen that: i) the fact that Jesus, who is God, is holy means that He his impeccable because for Him to sin would mean that God is capable of change; j) the fact that Jesus, who is God, is omniscient implies that He is impeccable; k) the fact that Jesus, who is God, is omnipotent implies that He is impeccable; l) the fact that Jesus, who is God, is omnipresent implies that He is impeccable; m) the fact that Jesus is a unique person who has an omnipotent desire and is submissive to the divine will implies He is impeccable; n) the fact that Jesus is the offering and sacrifice for mans sin implies that Jesus is impeccable; and o) the fact that Jesus own statements concerning Himself in the Bible, which is inerrant, implies that Jesus is impeccable. Thus we can conclude that Jesus was impeccable, i.e., he could not sin. This assignment requires that after having examined the question of Christs peccability or impeccability that the author select a view and defend it. There is no doubt that I would like to take the view that Jesus is peccable and could have sinned if he had wanted to sin. For some reason, I cannot fully express why the peccability of Jesus is very comforting for me. Perhaps it is because such a view would mean that it might be possible for me to also live my life without sin. That is, if the perfect man, Jesus Christ, could live his life without sin, then there is at least the possibility that I could do likewise. There may also be comfort in the fact that it always easier to deal with another person who is similar to ourselves and who is not superior, i.e., without sin. Or maybe, it is because I find myself being tempted so often the idea of a Saviour who can also undergo temptation and who is peccable seems to be less threatening and more approachable than the alternative. However, after reviewing the above material and searching my heart, I would have to select the view that Christ is impeccable as my stand on this issue. While the Bible passages which proclaim Jesus sinlessness and His impeccability are compelling, the ultimate arguments which convince me is the nature of Jesus, the God-man. For me, Jesus is clearly both God and man; fully the two natures and never separable.

If Jesus is God then it means that He must be holy, omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresence. Given these attributes and the fact that God is, by definition, immutable then I must conclude that Jesus is impeccable. In conclusion therefore, we have seen that there are several arguments which attempt to prove peccability of Jesus. However, all of these arguments fail to be convincing and have inherent fallacies. On the other hand, we have seen that there are several arguments which prove beyond a doubt that Jesus Christ is impeccable. Each of these arguments, by their very definition and by logical conclusions they lead to, show us that Jesus was impeccable. For myself, while I would like to believe that Jesus is peccable, the evidence and weight of conviction is clearly proves that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Second Person of the Trinity, the true God-man, is impeccable.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

Allegory Of American Pie By Don Mc Lean

Ask anyone what was the defining moment in the rock history of the 1960s was and all you will get is a one word answer: Woodstock. The three day rock festival that defined an era was only one of many music festivals of the '60s. But Woodstock has come to symbolize, "an era of peaceful, free- loving, drug- taking hippie youth, carefree before harsher realities hit..." (Layman 40). The Woodstock festival ended a century filled with many metamorphoses of rock'n'roll, from the era of pop music to the rebirth of folk music to the invention of acid rock. But some cynics say that rock'n'roll died with the death of Buddy Holly before the 60s even began. One such person is Don McLean. The poet behind the haunting epic song about the death of 'danceable' music, McLean wrote the ever popular song, "American Pie" (appendix 1). The most important song in rock'n'roll history, "American Pie", is the song about the demise of rock'n'roll after Buddy Holly's death and the heathenism of rock that resulted. Although McLean himself won't reveal any symbolism in his songs, "American Pie" is one of the most analyzed pieces of literature in modern society. Although not all of its secrets have been revealed, many "scholars" of the sixties will agree that the mystery of this song is one of the reasons it has become so successful- everyone wants to know the meanings of its allegories. Proof of "American Pie's" truth lies in the allegory of the song. Many People enjoy the song but have no idea what it means- Who is the Jester? What is the levee? When the deeper story is found, the importance of the song is unearthed. "American Pie" is not only a song, it is an epic poem about the course of rock'n'roll...

Carl Orffs Philosophies In Music Education

While Carl Orff is a very seminal composer of the 20th century, his greatest success and influence has been in the field of Music Education. Born on July 10th in Munich, Germany in 1895, Orff refused to speak about his past almost as if he were ashamed of it. What we do know, however, is that Orff came from a Bavarian family who was very active in the German military. His father's regiment band would often play through some of the young Orff's first attempts at composing. Although Orff was adamant about the secrecy of his past, Moser's Musik Lexicon says that he studied in the Munich Academy of Music until 1914. Orff then served in the military in the first world war. After the war, he held various positions in the Mannheim and Darmstadt opera houses then returned home to Munich to further study music. In 1925, and for the rest of his life, Orff was the head of a department and co-founder of the Guenther School for gymnastics, music, and dance in Munich where he worked with musical beginners. This is where he developed his Music Education theories. In 1937, Orff's Carmina Burana premiered in Frankfurt, Germany. Needless to say, it was a great success. With the success of Carmina Burana, Orff orphaned all of his previous works except for Catulli Carmina and the En trata which were rewritten to be acceptable by Orff. One of Orff's most admired composers was Monteverdi. In fact, much of Orff's work was based on ancient material. Orff said: I am often asked why I nearly always select old material, fairy tales and legends for my stage works. I do not look upon them as old, but rather as valid material. The time element disappears, and only the spiritual power remains. My...

Johann Sebastian Bach Biography

Throughout the history of music, many great composers, theorists, and instrumentalists have left indelible marks and influences that people today look back on to admire and aspire to. No exception to this idiom is Johann Sebastian Bach, whose impact on music was unforgettable to say the least. People today look back to his writings and works to both learn and admire. He truly can be considered a music history great. Bach, who came from a family of over 53 musicians, was nothing short of a virtuosic instrumentalist as well as a masterful composer. Born in Eisenach, Germany, on March 21, 1685, he was the son of a masterful violinist, Johann Ambrosius Bach, who taught his son the basic skills for string playing. Along with this string playing, Bach began to play the organ which is the instrument he would later on be noted for in history. His instruction on the organ came from the player at Eisenach's most important church. He instructed the young boy rather rigorously until his skills surpassed anyone?s expectations for someone of such a young age. Bach suffered early trauma when his parents died in 1695. He went to go live with his older brother, Johann Christoph, who also was a professional organist at Ohrdruf. He continued his younger brother's education on that instrument, as well as introducing him to the harpsichord. The rigorous training on these instruments combined with Bach?s masterful skill paid off for him at an early age. After several years of studying with his older brother, he received a scholarship to study in Luneberg, Germany, which is located on the northern tip of the country. As a result, he left his brother?s tutelage and went to go and study there. The teenage years brought Bach to several parts of Germany where he...


Michelangelo was pessimistic in his poetry and an optimist in his artwork. Michelangelo?s artwork consisted of paintings and sculptures that showed humanity in it?s natural state. Michelangelo?s poetry was pessimistic in his response to Strazzi even though he was complementing him. Michelangelo?s sculpture brought out his optimism. Michelangelo was optimistic in completing The Tomb of Pope Julius II and persevered through it?s many revisions trying to complete his vision. Sculpture was Michelangelo?s main goal and the love of his life. Since his art portrayed both optimism and pessimism, Michelangelo was in touch with his positive and negative sides, showing that he had a great and stable personality. Michelangelo?s artwork consisted of paintings and sculptures that showed humanity in it?s natural state. Michelangelo Buonarroti was called to Rome in 1505 by Pope Julius II to create for him a monumental tomb. We have no clear sense of what the tomb was to look like, since over the years it went through at least five conceptual revisions. The tomb was to have three levels; the bottom level was to have sculpted figures representing Victory and bond slaves. The second level was to have statues of Moses and Saint Paul as well as symbolic figures of the active and contemplative life- representative of the human striving for, and reception of, knowledge. The third level, it is assumed, was to have an effigy of the deceased pope. The tomb of Pope Julius II was never finished. What was finished of the tomb represents a twenty-year span of frustrating delays and revised schemes. Michelangelo had hardly begun work on the pope?s tomb when Julius commanded him to fresco the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel to complete the work done in the previous century under Sixtus IV. The overall organization consists of four large triangles at...

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born in Dublin Ireland on October 16, 1854. He is one of the most talented and most controversial writers of his time. He was well known for his wit, flamboyance, and creative genius and with his little dramatic training showing his natural talent for stage and theatre. He is termed a martyr by some and may be the first true self-publicist and was known for his style of dress and odd behavior. Wilde, 1882 His Father, William Wilde, was a highly accredited doctor and his mother, Jane Francesca Elgee, was a writer of revolutionary poems. Oscar had a brother William Charles Kingsbury along with his father's three illegitimate children, Henry, Emily, and Mary. His sister, Isola Emily Francesca died in 1867 at only ten years of age from a sudden fever, greatly affecting Oscar and his family. He kept a lock of her hair in an envelope and later wrote the poem 'Requiescat' in her memory. Oscar and his brother William both attended the Protora Royal School at Enniskillen. He had little in common with the other children. He disliked games and took more interest in flowers and sunsets. He was extremely passionate about anything that had to do with ancient Greece and with Classics. Wilde during school years In 1871, he was awarded a Royal School Scholarship to Trinity College in Dublin and received many awards and earned the highest honor the college offered to an undergraduate, the Foundation Scholarship. In 1874, he also won the College's Berkley Gold Medal for Greek and was awarded a Demyship to Magdalen College, Oxford. After graduating from Oxford, Oscar moved to London with his friend Frank Miles, a well-known portrait painter of the time. In 1878 his poem Ravenna was published, for which he won the...

The History Of Greek Theater

Theater and drama in Ancient Greece took form in about 5th century BCE, with the Sopocles, the great writer of tragedy. In his plays and those of the same genre, heroes and the ideals of life were depicted and glorified. It was believed that man should live for honor and fame, his action was courageous and glorious and his life would climax in a great and noble death. Originally, the hero's recognition was created by selfish behaviors and little thought of service to others. As the Greeks grew toward city-states and colonization, it became the destiny and ambition of the hero to gain honor by serving his city. The second major characteristic of the early Greek world was the supernatural. The two worlds were not separate, as the gods lived in the same world as the men, and they interfered in the men's lives as they chose to. It was the gods who sent suffering and evil to men. In the plays of Sophocles, the gods brought about the hero's downfall because of a tragic flaw in the character of the hero. In Greek tragedy, suffering brought knowledge of worldly matters and of the individual. Aristotle attempted to explain how an audience could observe tragic events and still have a pleasurable experience. Aristotle, by searching the works of writers of Greek tragedy, Aeschulus, Euripides and Sophocles (whose Oedipus Rex he considered the finest of all Greek tragedies), arrived at his definition of tragedy. This explanation has a profound influence for more than twenty centuries on those writing tragedies, most significantly Shakespeare. Aristotle's analysis of tragedy began with a description of the effect such a work had on the audience as a "catharsis" or purging of the emotions. He decided that catharsis was the purging of two specific emotions, pity and...

Scholarship Essay About Goals

Ever since I was a young kid I have always been interested with aircraft. I was so curious of how airplane's fly. I remember taking my toys apart to see how it works. As a kid I wanted to go to the airport to watch the airplanes land and fly and pondered how this happens. Other kids wanted to go to the amusement places. As I grew older I became more and more interested in aircraft and the technology behind it. I always involved myself with aviation early on. I read books and magazines on aviation, took museum tours, built model airplanes. When I was younger my father would take me to aircraft repair facilities where I would watch in great fascination. In my teens, went up to the military bases and befriended many soldiers involved with aircraft and asked them numerous questions. I got to meet many aeronautics engineers and borrowed their old textbooks and read them till the wee hours of the morning. As technology improved with information superhighway, I logged on the web. Stayed up for hours and hours searching through web pages and web pages of information about aircraft and technology. I started my elementary school in the Philippines, then we moved to U.S. and continued my high school education and graduated. Enrolled at the CCSF to pursue my college education and now I am in the 2nd year in CCSF taking aeronautics. My goal now is to obtain my AS degree from the City College of San Francisco (CCSF) so I can transfer to a University and get a Bachelors degree and to continue for my Masters degree in Aeronautics Engineering. I will strive hard to reach the peak level of my career which is a Professor and hopefully to be an aeronautic professor so...

Circus Circus Enterprises Case Studies

Executive Summary: Circus Circus Enterprises is a leader and will continue to be in the gaming industry. In recent years, they have seen a decline in profit and revenue; management tends to blame the decrease on continuing disruptions from remodeling, expansion, and increased competition. Consequently, Circus has reported decreases in its net income for 1997 and 1998 and management believes this trend will continue as competition heightens. Currently the company is involved in several joint ventures, its brand of casino entertainment has traditionally catered to the low rollers and family vacationers through its theme park. Circus should continue to expand its existing operations into new market segments. This shift will allow them to attract the up scale gambler. Overview Circus Circus Enterprises, Inc founded in 1974 is in the business of entertainment, with its core strength in casino gambling. The company?s asset base, operating cash flow, profit margin, multiple markets and customers, rank it as one of the gaming industry leaders. Partners William G. Bennett an aggressive cost cutter and William N. Pennington purchased Circus Circus in 1974 as a small and unprofitable casino. It went public in 1983, from 1993 to 1997; the average return on capital invested was 16.5%. Circus Circus operates several properties in Las Vegas, Reno, Laughlin, and one in Mississippi, as well as 50% ownership in three other casinos and a theme park. On January 31,1998 Circus reported net income of 89.9 million and revenues of 1.35 billion, this is a down from 100 million on 1.3 billion in 1997. Management sees this decline in revenue due to the rapid and extensive expansion and the increased competition that Circus is facing. Well established in the casino gaming industry the corporation has its focus in the entertainment business and has particularly a popular theme resort concept....

Effect Of Civil War On American Economy

The Economies of the North and South, 1861-1865 In 1861, a great war in American history began. It was a civil war between the north and south that was by no means civil. This war would have great repercussions upon the economy of this country and the states within it. The American Civil War began with secession, creating a divided union of sorts, and sparked an incredibly cataclysmic four years. Although the actual war began with secession, this was not the only driving force. The economy of the Southern states, the Confederacy, greatly if not entirely depended on the institution of slavery. The Confederacy was heavily reliant on agriculture, and they used the profits made from the sale of such raw materials to purchase finished goods to use and enjoy. Their major export was cotton, which thrived on the warm river deltas and could easily be shipped to major ocean ports from towns on the Mississippi and numerous river cities. Slavery was a key part of this, as slaves were the ones who harvested and planted the cotton. Being such an enormous unpaid work force, the profits made were extraordinarily high and the price for the unfinished goods drastically low in comparison; especially since he invention of the cotton gin in 1793 which made the work all that much easier and quicker. In contrast, the economical structure of the Northern states, the Union, was vastly dependent on industry. Slavery did not exist in most of the Union, as there was no demand for it due to the type of industrial development taking place. As the Union had a paid work force, the profits made were lower and the cost of the finished manufactured item higher. In turn, the Union used the profits and purchased raw materials to use. This cycle...

Evaluation Of The Effectiveness Of Trade Embargoes

Although I am a strong critic of the use and effectiveness of economic sanctions, such as trade embargoes, for the sake of this assignment, I will present both their theoretical advantages and their disadvantages based upon my research. Trade embargoes and blockades have traditionally been used to entice nations to alter their behavior or to punish them for certain behavior. The intentions behind these policies are generally noble, at least on the surface. However, these policies can have side effects. For example, FDR's blockade of raw materials against the Japanese in Manchuria in the 1930s arguably led to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, which resulted in U.S. involvement in World War II. The decades-long embargo against Cuba not only did not lead to the topple of the communist regime there, but may have strengthened Castro's hold on the island and has created animosity toward the United States in Latin America and much suffering by the people of Cuba. Various studies have concluded that embargoes and other economic sanctions generally have not been effective from a utilitarian or policy perspective, yet these policies continue. Evaluation of the effectiveness of Trade Embargoes Strengths Trade embargoes and other sanctions can give the sender government the appearance of taking strong measures in response to a given situation without resorting to violence. Sanctions can be imposed in conjunction with other measures to achieve conflict prevention and mitigation goals. Sanctions may be ineffective: goals may be too elusive, the means too gentle, or cooperation from other countries insufficient. It is usually difficult to determine whether embargoes were an effective deterrent against future misdeeds: embargoes may contribute to a successful outcome, but can rarely achieve ambitious objectives alone. Some regimes are highly resistant to external pressures to reform. At the same time, trade sanctions may narrow the...