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#1    trublvr

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Posted 07 May 2004 - 04:51 AM

PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE WRITING ANYTHING!!!!
  All,

     Yes, I'm a Christian.  I'm starting this thread so that folks who are contributing to other threads can let out their pro-Jesus or anti-Jesus steam.  It has proved difficult to have Jesus as a temporary segway: If you mention Jesus in a creationism vs. evolution thread everything thereafter in the thread is consumed with stuff about Jesus.  And these usually-not-so-friendly conversations are usually held between a few people, with other folks who wanted to contribute to the original topic getting lost and left with no recourse.  

    I figure if you've got an out-of-control segway about this first century Palestinian Jew from Nazareth (yes, I'm still talking about Jesus), then you can just transfer it here, and we can have some measure of order in some of the more religiously-heated threads.  By the by, I've been guilty of contributing to the out-of-control segway syndrome myself (forgiveness, por favor!).  

    I hope this is an acceptable topic, and I hope this helps.

Edited by trublvr, 07 May 2004 - 04:59 AM.

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#2    crosswarrior

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Posted 07 May 2004 - 01:17 PM

You think it's difficult to witness? Well guess what? It's supposed to be. You do not light a candle in a sunlit room. You light it were there is darkness. Christ did not pomise a life full of happiness; he promised a life of persecution and rejection. A life of constant conflict.  

Fiat justitia ruat caelum.
(Justice, though heaven fall)

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#3    aquatus1

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Posted 07 May 2004 - 02:55 PM

My first disclaimer is that I have done absolutely no research whatsoever into Jesus.  I never knew his actual existance was in question, just his reputation.  I seem to recall an argument stating that he was actually a bit more aggressive than he is depicted in the bible, due to church interferance in order to promote a nicer image.  Something about stories of his accidentally killing a kid with his powers when the kid touched his robe.  I only remembered that because it seemed to me that at one point in the bible a woman touches his robe and gets healed, at which point Jesus asks who touched him because he felt his power moving.  This would seem to indicate that, if he did have some sort of power, he didn't have full control of it.


#4    trublvr

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Posted 07 May 2004 - 03:03 PM

QUOTE
Greek religion (You know, with Zeus and Herculese and all those) also mentions cities and stuff. Does that make it 100% correct?

The existance of Jesus has *NOT* been proven. You cannot argue otherwise because none of it has been proven.


   First, a little context for this quote.  It appeared in the thread about proof of creationism.  The quote was posted in the middle of a discussion about whether or not Jesus existed.  Some said that we don't even have proof that Jesus existed.  I argued the contrary, detailing some of the secular, ancient historians who believed that he existed, and I gave a short argument for the historical reliability of the New Testament.  Part of my argument was about the reliability of the geography and topography of the New Testament writers.  The quote above is a response to my argument.

   As for the Greek stories of Zeus and Hercules, yes actual places are mentioned at times, but not to lend historical credibility to anything involving those deities.  If you look at Greek religion, they (like many other civilizations) were not primarily concerned with whether or not these gods in these stories had ever actually done the things ascribed to them in space, time, and history.  Now, they believed in Zeus and the rest of the pantheon, but they did not build their religion around whether or not the exploits of Zeus really happened.  They looked at these stories like fables of some sort.  So, you don't find stories of Greek deities that are like the gospels in that no one wrote down, "In the year of king/governor/ruler so-and-so Zeus showed up and did this-and-that.."  There is no claim to historicity here.  Places are usually mentioned in these stories not to place the stories in space, time, and history, but as sacred sites that were frequented by religious devotees.  

  When I talked about the New Testament writers documenting places, I didn't just mean say the gospels are automatically true just b/c someone wrote down that something happened in Jersusalem or Samaria or some other place.  Their mention of these places, combined with their attempts to place the events in the flow of secular history (i.e., Luke's "..during the reign of Tiberius.." in ch 3 of his gospel), combined with their accurate descriptions of these places adds up to the fact that 1) they were attempting to communicate something historical; 2) that their record of geographical locations fits what we now know about them.  And this second point is really important when you're talking about pre-70 AD Palestine, b/c the Romans obliterated so many things in their razing of the temple.  This means that the gospel writers had very accurate knowledge of pre-70 AD Jerusalem that could have only come from either reliable witnesses (whom Luke and Mark relied on) or first-hand knowledge (John and Matthew).  

If truth is not a matter of majority vote, neither is it a matter of minority dissent.        

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#5    trublvr

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Posted 07 May 2004 - 03:19 PM

QUOTE
I seem to recall an argument stating that he was actually a bit more aggressive than he is depicted in the bible, due to church interferance in order to promote a nicer image.  Something about stories of his accidentally killing a kid with his powers when the kid touched his robe.


  Actually, I think this is from the Infancy Gospel of Thomas.  The instance you mention takes place during Jesus's childhood.  It's been a while since I read it, but I think he just got mad at the kid (y'know how kids are!), and then he struck him dead in some way (forgot how).  

  As far as the church making stuff up to make him nicer, I don't know about this.  It seems to me that if they wanted to clean up Jesus' image they would've omitted a lot of stuff in the gospels.  Stuff they could've cut out to clean up his image:
      * The story you mentioned about the woman touching his cloak.  She has some strange menstrual disease, & she was therefore ritually impure.  After she touches Jesus to get healed, he commends her for her faith in front of everyone.  For Jews, Jesus should have been ritually impure himself after being touched by such a woman.  Also, they would've omitted his contact with lepers (ritual impurity again) and Samaritans.

      * Jesus's fury in the temple.  This did not win him any friends, and it doesn't make him or his movement look good.  

      * Jesus's heated conflict with the Jewish religious leaders.  Once again, this is not the kind of stuff you write down to make your messiah look good (especially when you consider that all the gospel writers were Jewish and that the Christianity was primarily a Jewish movement at its beginning.  

      There's other stuff to mention as well, but if the church wanted to clean up Jesus's image, they could've (and should've) omitted a lot of stuff that we have in the gospels.  

       And about Jesus's control of his power at the time the woman in the crowd touched him (Mark ch 5), could you elaborate on how does point to a possible lack of control?  

If truth is not a matter of majority vote, neither is it a matter of minority dissent.        

                                                --Douglas Groothius

#6    Seraphina

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Posted 07 May 2004 - 03:38 PM

QUOTE
It's been a while since I read it, but I think he just got mad at the kid (y'know how kids are!), and then he struck him dead in some way (forgot how).


...and you...like this guy? huh.gif  

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#7    chico del nacho

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Posted 07 May 2004 - 03:40 PM

QUOTE (Seraphina @ May 7 2004, 04:38 PM)
QUOTE
It's been a while since I read it, but I think he just got mad at the kid (y'know how kids are!), and then he struck him dead in some way (forgot how).


...and you...like this guy? huh.gif

how could you not? one less punk kid in the world  wink2.gif  

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#8    trublvr

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Posted 07 May 2004 - 04:59 PM

QUOTE
QUOTE
It's been a while since I read it, but I think he just got mad at the kid (y'know how kids are!), and then he struck him dead in some way (forgot how).


...and you...like this guy? huh.gif


  My fault, Seraphina.  The Infancy Gospel of Thomas is not an authoritative document by any standards.  No one uses it as a reliable source for anything other than to figure out how gnostics purposefully distorted the true Jesus.  The incident of Jesus killing kid (among other idiotic things in this so-called "gospel") reveal a Jesus that is alien to the New Testament portrait of him.  

If truth is not a matter of majority vote, neither is it a matter of minority dissent.        

                                                --Douglas Groothius

#9    Seraphina

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Posted 07 May 2004 - 05:08 PM

QUOTE
No one uses it as a reliable source for anything other than to figure out how gnostics purposefully distorted the true Jesus. The incident of Jesus killing kid (among other idiotic things in this so-called "gospel") reveal a Jesus that is alien to the New Testament portrait of him.


And the new testament protrayal of him is also utterly alien to God's apparant will....in fact, much of what Jesus preached utterly contradicted God - "eye for an eye" goes to "turn the other cheek", so to speak. In fact, what Jesus preached was so utterly unlike God's rather tyranical regime, it's difficult to image they had anything to do with each other.

However, that aside....you claim the bible is accurate, because it uses historical places, names, dates etc, though it lacks any evidence whatsoever. Why then should the Gospel of Thomas not be valid for the same reasons?

Or is it just because it "makes him look bad"?

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#10    trublvr

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Posted 07 May 2004 - 05:39 PM

QUOTE
you claim the bible is accurate, because it uses historical places, names, dates etc, though it lacks any evidence whatsoever. Why then should the Gospel of Thomas not be valid for the same reasons?

Or is it just because it "makes him look bad"?


  The Infancy Gospel of Thomas is not taken seriously neither by Christian or non-Christian scholars.  Among other things, it was composed so late (mid- to late-second century) that's it's little use when it comes to figuring out who Jesus was.  Actually, it's a gnostic document, so the author is not too keen on issues of historicity; gnostic doctrine gets very anti-historical because they didn't really glom on to the notion of any deity or spiritual being entangling him/her/itself in the material world.  If you read the other gnostic document attributed to Thomas--the gospel of Thomas--you'll note that it contains absolutely no historical references at all. It's all sayings.  This is b/c the gnostics sought to de-historicize Jesus as much as possible.  B/c gnostic spirituality is rooted in a dichotomy between the spiritual and the material, historicity is not all that important to them.   The very nature of gnostic doctrine precludes historicity simply b/c they were not very concerned with it.

  Additionally, the gnostic Jesus is out of step with the Jesus of the gospels.  And I speak here of the gospels not as divinely-inspired documents (wh/ I know you would take exception with) but as the best historical documents we've got telling us anything about Jesus.  Whether people agree with the theology or not, all scholars are compelled to start with the gospels.  As I've said before, invalidating them simply b/c the authors were Christians with a vested interest in writing them is a false starting point b/c all people record history b/c of some passion about that wh/ they write.  And discounting the validity of their testimony simply b/c they record miraculous events has little (if anything) to do with historical methodology; that is a philosophical concern.  

If truth is not a matter of majority vote, neither is it a matter of minority dissent.        

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#11    saucy

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Posted 07 May 2004 - 05:43 PM

Outside of his birth, nobody knows what Jesus was doing up until the time he started choosing the disciples for his journey, so him killing the kid was purely speculation by those trying to damage his reputation.  I see how Seraphina is going to use the information like she did, being that she'll never admit in a million years that Jesus has ever lived.  It's a fact that Jesus lived.  It's in the history books, not just the bible.  It's in Roman history.  Many, many people have written about his life and none of the stories contradict, except for the ones that try to damn him.  


#12    Seraphina

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Posted 07 May 2004 - 05:47 PM

QUOTE
And discounting the validity of their testimony simply b/c they record miraculous events has little (if anything) to do with historical methodology; that is a philosophical concern.


It's because of a philosophical concern that I feel inclined to discount them tongue.gif I veiw the "miracles" that Jesus is said to perform as a lie - nothing more, nothing less.

Although the dead sea scrolls have established some of them as a mistranslation (the fish and the loaves story for example, which had nothing to do with making so little food spread among many people, but just basically meant "spreading foot to the people") that certainly doesn't account for all of them.

When I believe a source has lied about something, it has somewhat far reaching consequences for the validity of the rest of the source tongue.gif

However, I suppose the subject of the topic isn't to prove or disprove whether the bible is the most widely believed work of fiction in history, but rather to decide, unless I'm mistaken, whether or not Jesus existed?

If that is the case, I believe he did. However, I believe the church has greatly exagerated what he was, did, and claimed to be.

QUOTE
being that she'll never admit in a million years that Jesus has ever lived


Oh how well you know me rolleyes.gif I believe Jesus lived, in the same context I believe Osama Bin Ladin lives; I believe both of them to be religiously crazed lunatics.

Edited by Seraphina, 07 May 2004 - 05:49 PM.

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#13    Stellar

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Posted 07 May 2004 - 08:16 PM

Ahh, see, if its to damage his reputation, they consider it fake... sounds fair and unbiased....
Its *NOT* A fact that Jesus lived ffs.
There is nothing written about Jesus from the time he lived, everything is written post death. How about the Roman texts written during Jesus' life time dont mention him, and then 200 years later when the books were edited, suddenly theres a mention of Jesus, and people claim that thats historically accurate proof?  Oh and how about Crestus being a popular name back then which only meant "Good" and doesnt *prove* Jesus' existance? And btw, besides that, theres only 3 other non-biblical mentions of Jesus, and none of them hold up to scrutiny.

Go preach your lies about the Christian religion being *proved* elsewhere. And dont throw away evidence just because you dont like what it says.

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#14    trublvr

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Posted 07 May 2004 - 09:50 PM

[/QUOTE]
QUOTE
Ahh, see, if its to damage his reputation, they consider it fake... sounds fair and unbiased....


  If you read the arguments I posted I did mention that the gnostic documents to which you are referring don't meet historical criterion for authenticity.  Not just some Christian critierion, but universal criterion.  I did not merely say, "Oh!  This is not consistent with MY Jesus, therefore it cannot be true!"  Your critique has nothing to do with my argument.

  
QUOTE
There is nothing written about Jesus from the time he lived, everything is written post death. How about the Roman texts written during Jesus' life time dont mention him, and then 200 years later when the books were edited, suddenly theres a mention of Jesus, and people claim that thats historically accurate proof?


   If you look at the way ancient people recorded history, most historical records of people's lives were written post death! Remember, they were not like us when it came to who they deemed worthy of having something written about them.  B/c writing was not the primary mode of communication (b/c the technology wasn't widespread yet), people only wrote about someone whose impact had been very great.  Additionally, they usually wrote about them AFTER they died, b/c then you'd be able to get a healthy perspective on their entire life and the impact of that life (very different from our speed- and information-addicted culture!).  By the by, Tacitus wrote about Jesus in AD 120, which is hardly "200 years later."  When you complain that there's no hot-off-the-presses material written about Jesus while he was alive, please know that most people were written about "post death" in the ancient world.  Their mindset and technology necessitated as much.  Your complaint has nothing to do with the truthfulness of the New Testament as much as it does with an assumption that these folks (and NOT just the Christians) should've thought and acted as we do.  

   You accuse me of assuming that a document is not true simply b/c it presents a portrait of Jesus that is different from the Jesus I follow.  However, you seem to believe that a document is suspicious or false if it in some way verifies the Jesus of the New Testament!  If you would, please explain how documents were falsified/edited to fit the New Testament testimony.  

QUOTE
Oh and how about Crestus being a popular name back then which only meant "Good" and doesnt *prove* Jesus' existance? And btw, besides that, theres only 3 other non-biblical mentions of Jesus, and none of them hold up to scrutiny.


  Crestus was a popular name, but it doesn't mean that we've got the wrong guy.  Look at the context in which that quote appears.  If it's not referring to the Christ of the New Testament, then who are we talking about?  And the fact that there are three extra-biblical texts that mention Jesus is great when you consider that ancient folks didn't write as much as we do!  Please show why the texts in question do not hold up to scrutiny.

QUOTE
Go preach your lies about the Christian religion being *proved* elsewhere. And dont throw away evidence just because you dont like what it says.


   What is this "evidence" to which you are referring?  If it's any of the gnostic gospels could you please apply the same scrutiny to them as you do to the New Testament, and let's see if they stand up.  Peace to you, Stellar.

Edited by trublvr, 07 May 2004 - 09:51 PM.

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#15    aquatus1

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Posted 07 May 2004 - 10:07 PM

I got  this from net.  I'm not sure how accurate it is.

QUOTE
25A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years.  26She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.  27When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak,  28because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed."  29Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
30At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who touched my clothes?"
31"You see the people crowding against you," his disciples answered, "and yet you can ask, 'Who touched me?' "
32But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."


One assumes that having control of your powers would mean that you decide when and how they are unleashed.  It would seem, however, the powers in Jesus released themselves when they felt the sick woman.  Jesus knew that the power had activated, but he didn't know for who.  He had to search out the person that had been healed, indicating that it was not a case of himself intentionaly healing the woman.





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