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karl 12

20 Common misconceptions about jesus.

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karl 12

According to this quite interesting Jesus police website,it appears that there are some quite common misconceptions about the big man:

Click on link to see explanation:

http://www.jesuspolice.com/

Most common errors:

His Name Was Jesus Christ

Born on December 25th

Born in Bethlehem

Lived in Nazareth

Joseph was a Carpenter

Jesus was a Carpenter

Mary Was a Virgin

Jesus Was An Only Child

Jesus' Ministry was Only 1 to 3 Years

Jesus Had a Small Following

Jesus' Family Was Not Supportive

Jesus' Family Was Poor

Jesus Had Long Hair and a Beard

Jesus Wasn't Married

Jesus Was Nailed to the Cross

Jesus Was Severely Beaten

Jesus Died in 30 A.D.

Jesus Was About 30 Years Old When He Died

The Gospels Were Written in the 1st Century

You Suggest a Topic

Mary of Magdala

The Empty Tomb

The Star of Bethlehem

The Magi Visit Jesus

Prince of Peace

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Bender Rodríguez
According to this quite interesting Jesus police website,it appears that there are some quite common misconceptions about the big man:

Click on link to see explanation:

http://www.jesuspolice.com/

Most common errors:

His Name Was Jesus Christ

Born on December 25th

Born in Bethlehem

Lived in Nazareth

Joseph was a Carpenter

Jesus was a Carpenter

Mary Was a Virgin

Jesus Was An Only Child

Jesus' Ministry was Only 1 to 3 Years

Jesus Had a Small Following

Jesus' Family Was Not Supportive

Jesus' Family Was Poor

Jesus Had Long Hair and a Beard

Jesus Wasn't Married

Jesus Was Nailed to the Cross

Jesus Was Severely Beaten

Jesus Died in 30 A.D.

Jesus Was About 30 Years Old When He Died

The Gospels Were Written in the 1st Century

You Suggest a Topic

Mary of Magdala

The Empty Tomb

The Star of Bethlehem

The Magi Visit Jesus

Prince of Peace

I've been there several times, its a pretty cool website.

You may also like this: http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/

And this is just hilarious: http://www.thebricktestament.com/

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Jonny Wonny

Yeah, but that whole of it is theory anyway.

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Lady Otterwynnd
Yeah, but that whole of it is theory anyway.

Gravity's a theory too, you know.

Just because something's a theory doesn't mean it doesn't have sufficient evidence to make a decision on whether it's true or false.

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Jonny Wonny

Exactly, so why are people being anal about it?

Especially about something as repulsive as the bible.

Reminds me of that quote

"The only people whom are christians,

are those who haven't read the bible".

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Paranoid Android

I'll just quickly address each of the issues with a short summation of my belief:

His Name Was Jesus Christ - I agree that his last name was definitely not "Christ". This was a Title - Christ, Messiah. His first name in Greek is pronounced "Yeshua", but in English it is "Jesus" and it is nothing more than a matter of semantics to try and make them sound the same. It's like saying that someone who's name is "Robert" is not being called the correct name because the French pronounce it "Roberre" (or something similar).

Born on December 25th - totally agree with this one. He was not born on December 25, most likely born somewhere in July. I think you'll find very few people who actually agree to a December 25 birthdate.

Born in Bethlehem - can't agree with this one. It's nothing more than the website's opinion based on a lack of information. I completely reject the notion that the birth in Bethlehem was an invention simply because the book of Mark did not mention it (Mark being the earliest of the gospels).

Lived in Nazareth - While I certainly appreciate the position that Matthew mistranslated "Nazarite", I personally don't agree with it. But even if it were absolutely true, is there anything inherent in such a view that says Jesus was not born in Nazareth then? I can't see anything. Nazareth did exist, though it was only a small town in the early part of the 1st Century.

Joseph was a Carpenter - Interesting hypothesis. Certainly a possibility, though nothing that would really change our knowledge and understanding of Jesus.

Jesus was a Carpenter - he may or may not have spent his early years following in his father's footsteps. The Greek, however, does not support the hypothesis of the website - "tekton" does refer to one who works with wood - at least in the strictest sense. It could also refer to fabrics. Though as above, it wouldn't really change anything about Jesus' life or teachings.

Mary Was a Virgin - Sails very close to Christ-myther territory here, and though there are some similarities here, they do not apply to all who are referenced here, and I can only suggest a full and proper personal study on this to find your own understanding. The second issue (virgin/young woman issue) is a little tougher but I have seen arguments both ways, with compelling evidence used by both sides of the fence - I have also seen poor arguments by people from both sides of the fence. At the moment, I personally enjoy sitting on that fence, though I do tend to lean towards the standard virgin-view (naturally).

Jesus Was An Only Child - agreed! It's primarily a Catholic tradition to suggest Jesus had no brothers/sisters. Protestants have no problem with Mary having children after Jesus was born. This "misconception" does not address that wider view of Christian belief. Rather insular, actually.

Jesus' Ministry was Only 1 to 3 Years - interesting hypothesis again. I'll have to look further into it. I had always considered the ministry of Jesus to be approximately 3-3 1/2 years. I guess I haven't really thought it important to find out the exact length because it is not at all important to Jesus' life and teachings.

Jesus Had a Small Following - I guess this depends on your definition of "small following". I've never believed Jesus' followers to be limited to the 12 apostles and the insistence by this website that it does is rather strange to me. Whether it is a misconception by other Christians, I have not met any such.

Jesus' Family Was Not Supportive - I've never considered this aspect either way. I'd figured the continued reference to Jesus' relationship with his brothers, and also his mother, showed that they were a close-knit bunch. Of the family nucleus, only Joseph seems to drop off the radar after the birth, and nothing is said against him either. Whether the word is translated as family or friends or something else entirely, a disagreement in one instance does not equate to wholesale disagreement on other issues.

Jesus' Family Was Poor - I've heard arguments about Jesus' economic background, and quite frankly I have never really thought it important. I don't know what the "common belief" is on this, since it's never been a matter of importance to me.

Jesus Had Long Hair and a Beard - he might have, he might not have. He certainly wasn't White-skinned. It's a stereotype-rendering of his features based on the rise of European Christianity that Jesus is depicted as white. This is not historically accurate and I have never thought of him as such.

Jesus Wasn't Married - I wouldn't call this a "misconception" so much as I would say there is absolutely no evidence to suggest he was. Perhaps he was, perhaps he wasn't. It doesn't matter, nor does it change anything. I guess the prevalent belief is that he wasn't married, but there is no evidence that he was so we can't really call this a "misconception" then, can we?

Jesus Was Nailed to the Cross - there are a few views I take, either of which could be true. 1 - he could have been nailed through the wrists alone. 2 - he could have been nailed only through the palms of his hands, with lashings tied around the wrists to hold his body-weight. Or 3 (the least likely view) - he could have been nailed through both the palms and the wrists. Since the earliest biblical accounts of Jesus' crucifixion date to only a few decades after his death, the method of that death would have been popularly known by all. There is no reason to doubt the nails and it's a very large stretch to argue he wasn't.

Jesus Was Severely Beaten - he was beaten, that is certain. How severely, that is a different matter and appears to be one similar to the earlier "small following" issue raised before. What is meant by "severely" beaten? Without any real basis for comparison, to be beaten severely is rather ambiguous. I'll leave the Bible to describe the manner of his beating, which was quite clear on the matter - see the website for the passages discussing his beating.

Jesus Died in 30 A.D. - I don't think anyone can seriously give a direct statement of when Jesus died, nor do I think they attempt to. Since we don't know exactly what year it was when he was born, nor exactly how long he spent in his ministry, how can we give a date of his death?

Jesus Was About 30 Years Old When He Died - he was about 30 years old when he started his ministry. I guess if his ministry only lasted a year or three then a generalised comment that he was "about thirty" when he died might be near enough accurate.

The Gospels Were Written in the 1st Century - they were written in the 1st Century! To say otherwise is an abuse of history (note the source list the website gives for their "proof" - Christ-mythers included, and they are also rejected by the majority of mainstream scholars). Even the website seems confused that the majority of scholars stick with a 1st Century authorship. They are not scholars and their evidence has been reviewed and rejected by the majority of scholars (who are not "Christian", by the way).

You Suggest a Topic - Jesus drew on the ground and proclaimed "he who is without sin cast the first stone". Since they are asking for our suggestions, I think it is somewhat of a misconception that Jesus spoke to the adulterer brought before him (John 7:53-8:11). Many Christians accept this without looking at the likelihood of these particular verses being an addition. While what they proclaim is nothing that takes away or changes our understanding of who Jesus is, it is unlikely these verses were part of the original text.

Mary of Magdala - interesting hypothesis. Tells us nothing of who Mary who is called Magdalene was, and certainly sheds no light on any other issue of the Bible - but interesting nonetheless.

The Empty Tomb - Sounds again a little like semantics - was it "empty" completely, or was there maybe an angel waiting. The point is lost in such details - it is empty as far as the narrative is concerned: ie, Jesus was no longer there.

The Star of Bethlehem - indeed it is a very important issue. The star did not happen at his birth in the manger, but rather quite later on. This is probably one of the few true misconceptions I have noticed about Jesus. I have argued as much myself, as have a few others I have met. Most Christians seem surprised when they realise this little issue though.

The Magi Visit Jesus - I agree that there were not three of them (the number generally being dictated by the number of gifts brought to Jesus). But I don't agree with much else that is mentioned in the link - it's an unproven hypothesis that these did not happen. However, I do appreciate the scholarly view on this - without the backup of historical records, there is no way to ascertain the validity of Matthew's account. For this, I take it on Faith (Trust) that what Matthew has written is a realistic account.

Prince of Peace - Jesus preached non-violence. Since I am only addressing a paragraph on each issue raised on this site, I can't address each and every Bible passage quoted. However, most of them are easily explainable by just the slightest understanding of context. However, I will agree to an extent that Jesus did indeed have a harsh side. There is this impression from many that Jesus (and by extension, the New Testament God) is a big loveable teddy bear that wants the best for all and wouldn't hurt a fly. Many Christians seem to hold this view, so I guess it is a misconception, since it is a patently wrong view. Jesus preaches condemnation and death for those who go against God's commands. It's not all love and roses. But I don't think this takes away from Jesus' position as the "Prince of Peace".

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Just my immediate observations on those issues :tu:

Regards,

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Rosewin

I quit reading when it listesd 'Mary was a Virgin' as a misconception...

..so I went to the linked site and read why it held this view. It seems the webmasters there assume that one must accept either faith or reason and reject one but when the human condition calls for both being used at different times for different reasons and when I myself have used both to their fullest why would I see the world so black and white? It is true though Mary being a Virgin is not a historical fact. It is taken on faith. That does not make it 'false' it makes it something believed using a different belief system which is in turn incorporated into a larger world view. Some are simply unable to differentiate.

Edited by Rosewin

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The Bapao Guy

I don't believe that Jesus would have been a wizard-alike guy who walks on water and turns some water into wine.

I believe that if he really existed, he would have been a guy who had some remarkable talents and stories about a god and that people just made stories up about him, made it into the bible and people started to believe in it.

And please don't give the 'You can't prove the bible isn't real' because i will return it with practically the same 'You can't prove it is'

Doesn't matter how huge and literate your argument is, if it comes down to the 'You can't prove'-thing, i have a very simple answer.

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Rosewin

It is simply something to be believed for those who choose to believe. Not everyone has to nor be expected to. But for those who do believe have a right to do so without any form of persecution.

Edited by Rosewin

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zandore
Prince of Peace - Jesus preached non-violence. Since I am only addressing a paragraph on each issue raised on this site, I can't address each and every Bible passage quoted. However, most of them are easily explainable by just the slightest understanding of context. However, I will agree to an extent that Jesus did indeed have a harsh side. There is this impression from many that Jesus (and by extension, the New Testament God) is a big loveable teddy bear that wants the best for all and wouldn't hurt a fly. Many Christians seem to hold this view, so I guess it is a misconception, since it is a patently wrong view. Jesus preaches condemnation and death for those who go against God's commands. It's not all love and roses. But I don't think this takes away from Jesus' position as the "Prince of Peace".

"To an extent"?

Whats your opinion of the Apocrypha associated with your religion?

Thomas the Israelite Philosopher's Account of the Infancy of the Lord.

EDIT: Fixed link :blush:

Edited by zandore

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karl 12
But for those who do believe have a right to do so without any form of persecution.

Yes I agree-having said that people also have the right ´not´ to beleive it without the any form of persecution too (conversions by the sword;murder and intimidation of non beleivers down the years;derogative terms for non beleivers such as kuffars,infidels,goys,heretics,heathen,blasphemors etc..) I realy do think that freedom ´from´ religion is just as important as freedom ´for´ it.

As for the list its interesting that you said you stopped reading as soon as the Mary issue came up.

Is it not fair to ask why you stopped reading?

I mean this respectfully but was it more to do with not shattering your preconceived ideas?

Is maintaining faith more important than possible factual truth?

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Guyver
According to this quite interesting Jesus police website,it appears that there are some quite common misconceptions about the big man:

Is this some kind of a benchmark in a "twelve steps to Satan" program or something? You know, you don't score any points in hell with this garbage. Or, maybe you do? Maybe they'll upgrade you to a corner with less heat and fewer episodes of anal probing.

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Lady Otterwynnd
Is this some kind of a benchmark in a "twelve steps to Satan" program or something? You know, you don't score any points in hell with this garbage. Or, maybe you do? Maybe they'll upgrade you to a corner with less heat and fewer episodes of anal probing.

Um, you do realize that about half of the stuff on that list is legitimately incorrect or questionable based on historical evidence and accounts from the Bible itself, don't you? If following the rest of Christiandom like lost little sheep with no brain to decide upon what's true or not about your own religion gets you into heaven, I'd rather go to hell, personally. Sorry if that sounds kind of snobby, but it's true; most Christians need to take more time to actually LOOK at theology and study the Bible itself instead of just believing misconceptions that other people spout. I think that should be a requirement of ANY religion, really :\

Just to be more specific:

things that are NOT true about Jesus based on historical & biblical evidence:

-His Name Was Jesus Christ (Christ is a title, NOT a name)

-Born on December 25th (inaccurate date; most likely born in the spring/early summer, NOT december 25th)

-Joseph/Jesus was a Carpenter (tekton doesn't mean carpenter)

-Jesus' Family Was Poor (bloodline of princes & nobility)

-Jesus Had Long Hair and a Beard (Bible NEVER describes his appearance at all, actually)

-Jesus Died in 30 A.D. ( considering the most accurate date we have of Jesus' birth is approximately 3/4 b.c.e., and since he was around 30-33 years of age, he'd have to have died later, unless we're willing to concede that he was younger when he died, making another of those point invalid)

-Jesus Was An Only Child (had step-siblings)

Questionable stuff:

-Born in Bethlehem (see P.A.'s post)

-Jesus Wasn't Married (it was socially unacceptable for someone of his age to be unmarried during that time)

-Mary Was a Virgin (gee, considering she would have been stoned to death if she said she got pregnant otherwise, I think all we need is common sense here...she obviously would have chosen to lie and live than be stoned to death)

-The Gospels Were Written in the 1st Century (most were written decades after the apostles knew Jesus, and many were potentially written much later and after the death of those people. It was also a common practice of the time to name stories after famous people, so they very easily could have been named after the famed apostles and not written by them at all)

-Mary of Magdala (need I say more?)

-Prince of Peace (I only include this because historically Jesus preached rebellion against the politics of his age, and technically rebels don't count as princes of peace very often, unless he's God, in which case he could kill babies and still be considered divine and pure :\)

Edited by Lady Otterwynnd

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Paranoid Android
"To an extent"?

Whats your opinion of the Apocrypha associated with your religion?

Thomas the Israelite Philosopher's Account of the Infancy of the Lord.

EDIT: Fixed link :blush:

To an extent! As in he did not solely preach "be nice to each other" That's a big misconception about Jesus. There's this view by many that Jesus' entire ministry on earth revolved solely around teaching people to be nicer to one another. This is wrong. Jesus also preached the coming Kingdom of God, warning everyone to repent of their sins or else they may not reach that Kingdom. While his mode of teaching this was a loving one - Repent and be saved, rather than repent or die (a subtle difference in emphasis), he still nevertheless made this a key part of his teachings. Some of the actual passages used in this link are completely out of context and do not in any way advocate that we kill people or gouge out our eyes, and I laughed that they would even try to use this. I was just saying that there is a side to Jesus' teachings that is not solely one of "be nice to each other and good things will happen". Jesus laid out the hard truth - if you follow him, you will suffer pain and persecution, cause division within your family and often cause hardship. It's the honest truth - cold and harsh.

As to the Infancy Gospel, I see it the same as all the other gnostic gospels - written far far far too late to be considered anything but later narratives. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and to a lesser extent, John are all traceable to the 1st Century AD (John is a little more ambiguous and could be anywhere from the late 1st Century to the early 2nd Century). The Infancy Gospel on the other hand is most likely traced to the mid-late 2nd Century, which puts the Infancy Gospel at least 50 years older than the oldest canonical gospel (removing John pushes an extra 20 years on top of that date, making 70 years at least).

The non-canonical gospels were omitted because it was universally understood that they were later additions rather than written by those who had access to the earliest of documents - Mark, for example, bases his gospel on a now-lost copy of a narrative scholars call "Q". Since Mark was written around 70 AD, Q must have been written even earlier, though we do not have any copies of that text existing. Luke and Matthew also base their writings on Q to a lesser extent, but also have access to other texts which are also lost (scholars refer to these as "L" and "M" - though M is only theoretical and not all scholars believe there was an M gospel).

The non-canonical texts cannot boast this link to the earliest accounts. This doesn't mean they are useless - far from it. Historically they provide a great deal of information about early Christianity. But as far as documenting Jesus' life and teachings, they are not the most reliable. For that, we look to the texts written closest to the date of the actual event.

Regards,

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karl 12
Is this some kind of a benchmark in a "twelve steps to Satan" program or something? You know, you don't score any points in hell with this garbage. Or, maybe you do? Maybe they'll upgrade you to a corner with less heat and fewer episodes of anal probing.

Guyver,Thanks for the reply.

If I didn´t think you were being perfectly serious I would probably giggle quite a lot.

Edited by karl 12

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stargazer123
According to this quite interesting Jesus police website,it appears that there are some quite common misconceptions about the big man:

Click on link to see explanation:

http://www.jesuspolice.com/

Most common errors:

His Name Was Jesus Christ

Born on December 25th

Born in Bethlehem

Lived in Nazareth

Joseph was a Carpenter

Jesus was a Carpenter

Mary Was a Virgin

Jesus Was An Only Child

Jesus' Ministry was Only 1 to 3 Years

Jesus Had a Small Following

Jesus' Family Was Not Supportive

Jesus' Family Was Poor

Jesus Had Long Hair and a Beard

Jesus Wasn't Married

Jesus Was Nailed to the Cross

Jesus Was Severely Beaten

Jesus Died in 30 A.D.

Jesus Was About 30 Years Old When He Died

The Gospels Were Written in the 1st Century

You Suggest a Topic

Mary of Magdala

The Empty Tomb

The Star of Bethlehem

The Magi Visit Jesus

Prince of Peace

For a moment I thought I was reading about Mithra my bad. :)

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ambelamba
For a moment I thought I was reading about Mithra my bad. :)

That's kinda debatable. Originally Mithra was born from a rock.

Still, it's quite possible that Jesus in the bible is a composite of all different people, including the great rabbi Hillel. Sermon of the mountain was practically a rip-off of Hillel's teachings. Hillel said the same things a generation before Jesus.

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