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trublvr

Jesus

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Posted (edited)

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

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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?

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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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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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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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Posted (edited)

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.

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

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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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Posted (edited)

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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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trublvr: I was refering to Saucy's post. As for the scrutiny thing, I'll see if I can get a friend to explain it here or if I can post for him... he has a good, long, thourough explanation, and i dont wanna get in trouble for copying it here. The Roman Emperors Agustus and Tiberius of Jesus' lifetime were well documented in ancient history by dozens of historians and chroniclers who lived through or immediately after the events which they wrote. However, Jesus was not mentioned AT ALL. Odd, that someone who supposedly created such an uproar would not be mentioned AT ALL. Also, Flavius Josephus' book The Jewish War mentions a man named Jesus who worked great wonders, founded christianity, and was crucified by Pontius Pilate, and then rose again. However, this does not appear on his original copy. The new edition published 200 years later was edited by a Christian fanatical monk named Eusebius. The original editions do not mention Jesus at all, and Josephus, a prominent Jew who lived through Jesus' preaching, never heard of him.

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The thing that keeps me close to my faith is Jesus. I many not be able to prove a global flood happened or anything else written in the bible, but I know for a fact that Jesus lived and performed the miracles that he did. The disciples mentioned things and did things after Jesus' death that makes it all real. First of all, the disciples wrote that they were scared and in hiding during the three days after Jesus' death. They were upset because they thought Jesus was the Lord Messiah and he was dead. Who would admit that especially back in that day? Also, they took the word of women who weren't widely believed back in the day, that they saw that the grave was empty and the new risen Jesus. Paul, after the death, started to scrutinize any Jew who believed in Jesus, because he thought Jesus was a fake. He even participated in crucifying in anyone who mentioned Christ. He was walking down the road one day and saw Jesus. Paul, after that, founded Christianity and all the disciples walked around, knowing that telling their stories would get them killed, which it did. Most of the disciples ended up crucified. Many years later, a rather brutal and non-believing Caesar saw a cross in the sky and started to change around the Roman empire. This is known to of happened because it can be proven in the history books. Jesus is why I believe in God. Jesus is why I have faith. You non-believers tell me I can't prove he exists. That's right. If God Almighty can't make you believe, then neither can I. All I can say is to wait and see. Jesus promised to come back for his church and when that happens, you'll all see. I'm not preaching doomsday or anything, but we (Christians) believe this to happen. There's just too many miracles and knowledge around him for him to be fake. Some of what he said has happened. Jesus promised to his disciples that Israel will be returned to the Jewish nation and it happened in the 1940's exactly how Jesus said it would.

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the way i see it, the mentions of jesus by ancient historians are passing comments in relation to the christian movement, and not direct references to jesus himself

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the way i see it, the mentions of jesus by ancient historians are passing comments in relation to the christian movement, and not direct references to jesus himself

Bathory,

This is exactly my point. When historical research is done, there is great merit attached to incidental testimony. The fact that these ancient historians (most of whom had no love for Christians at all) incidentally mentioned events involving Jesus or the early Christians means that they were not trying to further a Christian agenda. In fact, Pliny the younger mentions Christians in his correspondence with the Roman emperor Trajan. Here, Pliny and Trajan are trying to hammer out the extent to which Pliny should punish or not punish Christians. Pliny mention many things about Christian practice and the teachings of Jesus. Pliny wrote this in AD 112. He would have been in position to say whether or not Jesus actually existed, being that less than a century has past, and being that Pliny has access to all the Roman documentation about Jesus. I will admit, Pliny does not say, "Yes, Jesus existed, and he looked like this or did that.." Pliny takes Jesus' existence for granted.

But Tacitus does write of Jesus (he calls him "Chrestus") in his Annals circa AD 115. In speaking about Nero's persecution of Christians, he traces the Christian movement back to this Chrestus, who was crucified under the orders of Pontius Pilate during the reign of Tiberius. Furthermore, he writes that the Jesus movement had been stopped temporarily b/c of Chrestus' death, but that the movement broke out again soon thereafter in Judea (which is where the boys and girls pick up the ball after Jesus' ascension in Acts 1-2). This fits the New Testament description of Jesus' death; the ruling parties at the time of his death; the initial effect that Jesus' death had on the movement; the breaking out of the movement in Judea. Writing in AD 115, Tacitus has access to good accounts of who Jesus was.

There's some other stuff too, but hopefully this sufficiently illustrates my point. Incidental testimony, especially by the persecutors/detractors of Christians, is of great weight as evidence for Jesus' existence.

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Posted (edited)

no, just because Pliny mentions christians does not validate the existance of Christ. It would be like a modern day historian mentioning Christians and their belief in Christ and some how saying that this means Christ exists.

Pliny is simple making reference to a religious movement which is drawing some attention, it would simply make sense to make mention of what their object of worship is.

But Tacitus does write of Jesus (he calls him "Chrestus") in his Annals circa AD 115. In speaking about Nero's persecution of Christians, he traces the Christian movement back to this Chrestus, who was crucified under the orders of Pontius Pilate during the reign of Tiberius

everything i can find about him says that he still doesn't directly mention the existence of Christ but is doing nothing more than describing Christians. I must remind you, a description of Christians is not evidence of Christ.

But, despite kindly influence, despite the leader's generous handouts, despite appeasing the gods, the scandal did not subside, rather the blaze came to be believed to be an official act. So, in order to quash the rumour, Nero blamed it on, and applied the cruellest punishments to, those sinners, whom ordinary people call Christians, hating them for their shameful behaviour. (15.44.2) The originator of this name, Christ, was sentenced to torture by Procurator Pontius Pilate, during the reign of Tiberius, but although checked for a moment, the deadly cult erupted again, not just in Judaea, the source of its evil, but even in Rome, where all the sins and scandals of the world gather and are glorified. (15.44.3)

well heres the excerpt from Tacitus, hardly evidence of Christ.

Edited by bathory

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Posted (edited)

I do believe that Jesus lived as a man who was maybe incredibly insightful for his time and a great story teller. BUT that is where it ends. The bible is nothing more than a story. I cannot believe that this man Jesus performed miracles, even in this day and age there is no scientific evidence to support that anyone can do this.

For me Jesus the son of man has been manufactured by the political church in order to keep the people in their places and to make a huge amount of money in the process. There is absoloutely no scientic evidence that god created this planet and that he created Jesus.

I feel increasingly worried for people who have such a huge and strong belief in something that has never been proven and the same goes for the paranormal. It is fine to remain sceptical because that is what I would call sensible and logical thought.

For example, Electromagnetic fields are real they have been scientifically proven.

Someone prove me wrong, show me that evidence that there is this almighty man called God because until there is some very evident scientific proof, than I am still viewing [and will forever more by the looks of things] the church as just another Occult group.

Edited by Lottie

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Lottie, within the space of ten minutes, I've looked in three topics where I've agreed with you 100%, word for word...therefore, please accept the "6 horsemen of the apocalypse seal of approval" *takes a crayon, and doodles a sasmokin.gif on her forehead*

You're certainly right though...I've yet to see any evidence to support the existance of god, scientific or otherwise. All I hear is "but you can't prove he doesn't!"...he's a character in a book, I'm not required to proof he doesn't exist tongue.gif When a person who exists solely on the pages of a badly translated pile or dribble cannot be proven to exist, then I'm afraid we're forced to revert to default on the "work of fiction" part.

It can't be proven Raistlin Majere from Dragonlance doesn't or didn't exist tongue.gif Does that mean there's even the slighest possibility that he did?...Religion's mad...

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Lottie, within the space of ten minutes, I've looked in three topics where I've agreed with you 100%, word for word...therefore, please accept the "6 horsemen of the apocalypse seal of approval" *takes a crayon, and doodles a  on her forehead*

Sera,

I am deeply honoured..lol

I will never ever wash my forehead again! grin2.gif

Lottie

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p.s

All I hear  "but you can't prove he doesn't!".

Not one genius in the scientific field has ever come up with anything to support these revelations. And you would think that after this amount of time and with all the technological and scientific advancements in our world, someone, somewhere would have that proof. For the person with rational thought without proof there is nothing.

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For me, it's less the lack of proof, and just the whole idea is utterly ridiculous...that's why I'll often be heard to equate my dismissal of God with my realisation that the Easter Bunny and Santa weren't real either tongue.gif

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