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Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:13 PM

do you believe there was a historical figure the Jesus story was built on?

I SO want to believe there was a true man the religion was based on.

Of course I don't believe in the virgin birth and the resurrection and all the biblical myths.....but I truly want to believe there was a man 2000 years ago who was so in tune to true progressive idealism that he inspired an entire religion based on his teachings.A following that has been twisted into a cult that insults the meaning of everything the man said.

I SO wish progressives could take back the church and turn it to what I believe the man...not the myth....wanted us to be...a people who believe in helping there fellow man...a people who look to the least fortunate in our society and say how can we help instead of pushing them under the bus...a society who stands up to the money changers in the temple.....a society who turns the other cheek and believes in lifting all instead of standing in judgement.

I SO wish we could be the society that the bible says we should be instead of the society the biblethumping moneygrubbers have turned us in to

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Reply do you believe there was a historical figure the Jesus story was built on? (Original post)
backwoodsbob Apr 2014 OP
Capt. Obvious Apr 2014 #1
backwoodsbob Apr 2014 #2
roguevalley Apr 2014 #98
RedstDem Apr 2014 #205
BlueStreak Apr 2014 #206
nomorenomore08 Apr 2014 #56
840high Apr 2014 #157
warrior1 Apr 2014 #3
customerserviceguy Apr 2014 #154
KurtNYC Apr 2014 #201
rrneck Apr 2014 #4
backwoodsbob Apr 2014 #11
RainDog Apr 2014 #133
colsohlibgal Apr 2014 #5
Jim__ Apr 2014 #6
backwoodsbob Apr 2014 #16
PassingFair Apr 2014 #74
El Supremo Apr 2014 #76
LuvNewcastle Apr 2014 #112
cleanhippie Apr 2014 #117
tazkcmo Apr 2014 #7
FiveGoodMen Apr 2014 #53
NuclearDem Apr 2014 #8
B Calm Apr 2014 #9
The Straight Story Apr 2014 #10
backwoodsbob Apr 2014 #12
NuclearDem Apr 2014 #15
edhopper Apr 2014 #109
nadinbrzezinski Apr 2014 #120
edhopper Apr 2014 #123
nadinbrzezinski Apr 2014 #125
nadinbrzezinski Apr 2014 #119
edhopper Apr 2014 #124
nadinbrzezinski Apr 2014 #132
edhopper Apr 2014 #134
nadinbrzezinski Apr 2014 #137
edhopper Apr 2014 #143
nadinbrzezinski Apr 2014 #147
edhopper Apr 2014 #153
eShirl Apr 2014 #186
nadinbrzezinski Apr 2014 #187
Calista241 Apr 2014 #162
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tularetom Apr 2014 #13
FarCenter Apr 2014 #14
1000words Apr 2014 #17
former9thward Apr 2014 #81
1000words Apr 2014 #83
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former9thward Apr 2014 #114
cleanhippie Apr 2014 #118
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tiny elvis Apr 2014 #195
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tiny elvis Apr 2014 #197
nadinbrzezinski Apr 2014 #18
roguevalley Apr 2014 #99
nadinbrzezinski Apr 2014 #121
roguevalley Apr 2014 #136
nadinbrzezinski Apr 2014 #138
snooper2 Apr 2014 #210
Wounded Bear Apr 2014 #19
backwoodsbob Apr 2014 #24
Blue_In_AK Apr 2014 #20
cthulu2016 Apr 2014 #21
theboss Apr 2014 #22
LuvNewcastle Apr 2014 #113
Cal33 Apr 2014 #23
Demo_Chris Apr 2014 #105
John1956PA Apr 2014 #25
Scout Apr 2014 #26
larkrake Apr 2014 #27
applegrove Apr 2014 #28
calimary Apr 2014 #165
applegrove Apr 2014 #169
Tierra_y_Libertad Apr 2014 #29
backwoodsbob Apr 2014 #33
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Hip_Flask Apr 2014 #30
rickford66 Apr 2014 #58
JoePhilly Apr 2014 #78
B Calm Apr 2014 #31
backwoodsbob Apr 2014 #35
okasha Apr 2014 #198
2pooped2pop Apr 2014 #32
mathematic Apr 2014 #34
backwoodsbob Apr 2014 #37
mathematic Apr 2014 #41
CJCRANE Apr 2014 #49
Demo_Chris Apr 2014 #38
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ananda Apr 2014 #40
cbdo2007 Apr 2014 #42
Wounded Bear Apr 2014 #54
countryjake Apr 2014 #43
AverageJoe90 Apr 2014 #44
edhopper Apr 2014 #111
yuiyoshida Apr 2014 #45
LadyHawkAZ Apr 2014 #46
Goblinmonger Apr 2014 #47
XRubicon Apr 2014 #48
CJCRANE Apr 2014 #50
A HERETIC I AM Apr 2014 #55
CJCRANE Apr 2014 #57
A HERETIC I AM Apr 2014 #60
CJCRANE Apr 2014 #63
nadinbrzezinski Apr 2014 #148
Name removed Apr 2014 #51
Lint Head Apr 2014 #52
Iggo Apr 2014 #59
Shrike47 Apr 2014 #61
Exposethefrauds Apr 2014 #62
Crunchy Frog Apr 2014 #64
arely staircase Apr 2014 #65
deutsey Apr 2014 #66
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Exposethefrauds Apr 2014 #68
CJCRANE Apr 2014 #71
Warren DeMontague Apr 2014 #69
Nye Bevan Apr 2014 #70
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John1956PA Apr 2014 #86
eShirl Apr 2014 #72
Squinch Apr 2014 #73
PassingFair Apr 2014 #82
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Dawson Leery Apr 2014 #152
sarisataka Apr 2014 #75
FranMonet Apr 2014 #79
B Calm Apr 2014 #93
wildbilln864 Apr 2014 #80
hrmjustin Apr 2014 #84
A HERETIC I AM Apr 2014 #89
hrmjustin Apr 2014 #92
Niceguy1 Apr 2014 #87
Raksha Apr 2014 #213
rug Apr 2014 #88
HooptieWagon Apr 2014 #90
Peacetrain Apr 2014 #94
RedRoses323 Apr 2014 #106
Peacetrain Apr 2014 #191
RedRoses323 Apr 2014 #199
calimary Apr 2014 #174
cleanhippie Apr 2014 #188
Peacetrain Apr 2014 #189
cleanhippie Apr 2014 #192
Peacetrain Apr 2014 #193
cleanhippie Apr 2014 #194
Peacetrain Apr 2014 #200
cleanhippie Apr 2014 #209
Peacetrain Apr 2014 #190
baldguy Apr 2014 #95
ZX86 Apr 2014 #96
WinkyDink Apr 2014 #97
muriel_volestrangler Apr 2014 #100
Petrushka Apr 2014 #101
mmonk Apr 2014 #102
John1956PA Apr 2014 #116
mmonk Apr 2014 #180
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intaglio Apr 2014 #104
tavernier Apr 2014 #107
otherone Apr 2014 #127
tavernier Apr 2014 #140
otherone Apr 2014 #179
Vashta Nerada Apr 2014 #141
tavernier Apr 2014 #145
Vashta Nerada Apr 2014 #155
tavernier Apr 2014 #161
Vashta Nerada Apr 2014 #163
tavernier Apr 2014 #164
Vashta Nerada Apr 2014 #167
tavernier Apr 2014 #168
840high Apr 2014 #159
nadinbrzezinski Apr 2014 #160
RedRoses323 Apr 2014 #108
99Forever Apr 2014 #110
Bigmack Apr 2014 #115
fadedrose Apr 2014 #122
otherone Apr 2014 #126
Exultant Democracy Apr 2014 #128
Tikki Apr 2014 #129
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RainDog Apr 2014 #131
merrily Apr 2014 #135
brooklynite Apr 2014 #139
Benton D Struckcheon Apr 2014 #149
MohRokTah Apr 2014 #150
lostincalifornia Apr 2014 #151
840high Apr 2014 #156
Vashta Nerada Apr 2014 #158
DirkGently Apr 2014 #166
Warren Stupidity Apr 2014 #170
mia Apr 2014 #171
BlueCheese Apr 2014 #172
mia Apr 2014 #173
leftyladyfrommo Apr 2014 #208
ladyVet Apr 2014 #175
cantbeserious Apr 2014 #176
Warpy Apr 2014 #177
LostOne4Ever Apr 2014 #178
Feral Child Apr 2014 #181
GoCubsGo Apr 2014 #184
johnlucas Apr 2014 #185
RedstDem Apr 2014 #202
bigendian Apr 2014 #203
el_bryanto Apr 2014 #204
KurtNYC Apr 2014 #207
Solomon Apr 2014 #215
KurtNYC Apr 2014 #216
nadinbrzezinski Apr 2014 #211
raccoon Apr 2014 #212
Raksha Apr 2014 #214

Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:14 PM

1. His name was David Koresh

Or was it Jim Jones?

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Response to Capt. Obvious (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:16 PM

2. wtf?

that is what you got out of that?

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Response to backwoodsbob (Reply #2)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 04:05 AM

98. wtf indeed. I agree. As for me, I personally believe that the rabbi

Jesus was real and taught with integrity and courage. That was remembered and his death was traumatic enough for those who loved him to remember him to history. The man who didn't know him, Paul was the one who festooned him with miracles and stuff. That is his burden, not that of Jesus.

I am as disgusted with the way dogma has sullied his teachings but to compare him to fuckers like Koresh or Jones even in jest is awful.

Consider how the founding fathers have been fucked over the by the right trying to appropriate what they said and did. Are those individuals to blame for that? Are they responsible for the idiots trying to make Tom Paine and Sam Adams one of them? How is it that Jesus can be heaped with scorn and bullshit for the actions of others and not them or anyone else who is butched by the actions and deeds of others? I believe he lived and that the gist of his teachings are framed enough in the Bible that I can know what he wanted for us to do to live in harmony with each other. That is enough for me. He has been a constant in my life forever and I love him intensely. I would not be me without his teachings.

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Response to roguevalley (Reply #98)

Mon Apr 21, 2014, 10:02 AM

205. thank you, you capture my thoughts on the man as well

Or at least close enough.

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Response to roguevalley (Reply #98)

Mon Apr 21, 2014, 10:17 AM

206. Why wouold anybody believe that?

Not a single word of writing was ever attributed to Jesus. And nothing in the N.T. was written within decades of the time that Jesus was supposed to have lived. The actual texts that the religion are based on were mostly written hundreds of years later as the Catholic Church was founded and were edited over and over to create a story that would suit a powerful political organization. Practically none of that would have had any connection to a real person named Jesus.

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Response to Capt. Obvious (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 05:22 PM

56. What do their delusions of grandeur have to do with anything?

And no, I'm not a believer by any stretch.

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Response to Capt. Obvious (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 10:31 PM

157. Not funny.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:18 PM

3. Not trying to persuade you

This is what some speculate.

http://www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm

snip


THE BIBLE GOSPELS

The most "authoritative" accounts of a historical Jesus come from the four canonical Gospels of the Bible. Note that these Gospels did not come into the Bible as original and authoritative from the authors themselves, but rather from the influence of early church fathers, especially the most influential of them all: Irenaeus of Lyon who lived in the middle of the second century. Many heretical gospels existed by that time, but Irenaeus considered only some of them for mystical reasons. He claimed only four in number; according to Romer, "like the four zones of the world, the four winds, the four divisions of man's estate, and the four forms of the first living creatures-- the lion of Mark, the calf of Luke, the man of Matthew, the eagle of John (see Against the Heresies). The four gospels then became Church cannon for the orthodox faith. Most of the other claimed gospel writings were burned, destroyed, or lost."

Elaine Pagels writes: "Although the gospels of the New Testament-- like those discovered at Nag Hammadi-- are attributed to Jesus' followers, no one knows who actually wrote any of them."

Not only do we not know who wrote them, consider that none of the Gospels existed during the alleged life of Jesus, nor do the unknown authors make the claim to have met an earthly Jesus. Add to this that none of the original gospel manuscripts exist; we only have copies of copies.

The consensus of many biblical historians put the dating of the earliest Gospel, that of Mark, at sometime after 70 C.E., and the last Gospel, John after 90 C.E. . This would make it some 40 years after the alleged crucifixion of Jesus that we have any Gospel writings that mention him! Elaine Pagels writes that "the first Christian gospel was probably written during the last year of the war, or the year it ended. Where it was written and by whom we do not know; the work is anonymous, although tradition attributes it to Mark..."

snip

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Response to warrior1 (Reply #3)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 09:30 PM

154. Thank you for injecting some scholarship into this discussion

I would imagine that the Gospels (both those accepted and those considered heresies) were inspired by several itinerant street preachers of the time. Funny how many Christians think they are contemporary writings of a bunch of illiterate fishermen.

I clean and collect Roman coins of the 4th Century, they span from the first to the last decade of that century, and you can see the transition from Roman gods being depicted on the reverses to Christian symbols on the back sides of the coins. It's the transistion of the Roman Empire from paganism to Christianity, and it's helpful to explain to those who see my collection that THIS was the time when Christianity was "formed", in other words, people who lived many, many years after the events of the New Testament deciding without any sort of scientific method which texts were holy, and which were heresies. It helps to give them a perspective on where the leading religion of the West came from.

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Response to warrior1 (Reply #3)

Mon Apr 21, 2014, 09:58 AM

201. From Hebrew documents they theorize a date for Jesus' birth - Sept 23, 3 BC

Gabriel’s announcement to Mirium occurred on the last day of Hanukkah (Feast of Lights) I.E. 2 Teveth (3999) plus 280 day gestation period puts Yeshua's birth on Tishri 15 (Sept 23, 3 BCE ) which puts His birth on the Feast of Tabernacles. Lev. 24 tells us The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days to Yahweh. The seventh month was Tishri in the Hebrew calendar.


http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Hebrew_Roots/Neglected_Commandments/Idolatry/Birth_Christ

The Christian account of Jesus life mentions teaching sessions at Temple of Jerusalem around age 13 (like a bar mitzvah), but then there is the gap from age 13 to age 30. Many have theorized that Jesus traveled to the East and brought back Buddha-like teachings. It fits.


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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:19 PM

4. I don't think it matters.

The man is no longer important. He stopped important when the Bible was written. The only thing that matters now is the myth.

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Response to rrneck (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:24 PM

11. you're probably right and it's just day off idealism on my part

would just be nice if we could build a society based on the TRUE teachings of the bible instead of the twisted shit they serve up every Sunday to the sheep

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Response to backwoodsbob (Reply #11)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 05:51 PM

133. the bible teaches slavery is part of culture

slavery was not condemned in the bible - those are true teachings in the bible.

so, to me, none of it matters because they got one thing so wrong - that existed within the culture. iow, the bible is nothing more than the understandings of humans within a culture in a particular era.

nothing inspired about it if you can't even get beyond the most basic idea that it is not okay to own another human.

Jesus justifies beating slaves by using the example of human slaves as a metaphor for humans in their relationship to god.

nothing, absolutely nothing, about such teachings demonstrates any great awareness of humanity toward others. (Luke 12, btw.)

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:19 PM

5. I'm Pretty Sure Of it

And as John Fugelsang says, he was the original socialist who never asked for a co pay.

As for the virgin birth and resurrection, no.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:20 PM

6. Did Jesus exist?

Bart Ehrman is an atheist and a biblical scholar. In his book Did Jesus Exist he argues that he did:

In Did Jesus Exist? historian and Bible expert Bart Ehrman confronts the question, "Did Jesus exist at all?" Ehrman vigorously defends the historical Jesus, identifies the most historically reliable sources for best understanding Jesus’ mission and message, and offers a compelling portrait of the person at the heart of the Christian tradition.


More info at link.

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Response to Jim__ (Reply #6)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:29 PM

16. it just comforts me to think

there was a man...NOT a God ...2000 years ago who was so in tune to progressive idealism that an entire religion spawned around him.

We just have to figure out how to retake that religion and turn it to what the real mans (if he existed) teachings were

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Response to backwoodsbob (Reply #16)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 06:27 PM

74. Try Confucius. Lot of evidence that he existed.

Same with Seneca and thousands of other philosophers.

Be comforted that human idealists have existed across human experience.

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Response to Jim__ (Reply #6)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 06:31 PM

76. Bart says that he's agnostic.

Used to be evangelical.

I've read a couple of his books and watched several of his videos. Look it up.

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Response to El Supremo (Reply #76)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 10:26 AM

112. Yes, I've read a few of Ehrman's books, and I've never

heard that he was an atheist. He says that he was converted by evangelicals as a teenager, attended the very conservative Moody Bible Institute, and then went off to Princeton, where he a had another 'conversion' of sorts, and earned graduate degrees. He knows how to read several languages, including Hebrew and Greek, and now he's a professor at the University of NC at Chapel Hill. Last I read, he considers himself an agnostic.

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Response to Jim__ (Reply #6)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 11:54 AM

117. And yet that is all there is for an historical jesus: arguments. ZERO contemporary EVIDENCE exists.

Evidence, not apologetic, is what settles fact from fiction. YMMV

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Response to tazkcmo (Reply #7)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 05:09 PM

53. An entertaining read, like all of Chris Moore's books

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:21 PM

8. The Jesus of the Gospels was probably a Jewish rabbi at the time.

It's not uncommon for a popular leader to be mythologized after their death. In this case, it was done so with elements of other religions to attract as many followers from other beliefs as possible.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:22 PM

9. The christian religion is just a copy of many other older religions!

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:23 PM

10. I put a more stock in him existing than Moses (nt)

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Response to The Straight Story (Reply #10)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:26 PM

12. I would guess

both are mythical creations based on real people

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Response to backwoodsbob (Reply #12)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:29 PM

15. The Pentateuch is a nationalistic creation myth, like the Aeneid.

Not very likely anyone even remotely resembling Moses ever existed.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Reply #12)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 09:24 AM

109. Moses

is based on a Babylonian myth. Not even loosely based on a real person, as there were no Jewish slaves in Egypt and the whole Exodus story is imaginary.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #109)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 12:00 PM

120. But a good tale we tell every year.

You have no idea how many arguments derived from this. I want to see Noah, will go on my own. I am dying to know what parts of the mother Babylonian Myth made it to screen and why Fundies are screaming.

Oh and I forgot, king hosiah commissioned it in the seventh century BCE and the reason for Egypt being the bad boy in the story is because he was having am Egyptian problem. So this was a way to tell a nascent nation, see we beat them with the help of god once...hooray boys!!!!

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #120)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 02:12 PM

123. Well that depends on the moral of the fable

if it's that it is wrong for people to be slaves and they must always strive for their freedom, that is good.
If it's that God is a sociopathic killer that choose one particular group of people over another, even forcing those people to act in a way that will bring about harm to them (the whole hardening Pharaoh's heart thingy) then it is a bad tale.

If Jewish people celebrate it the way Christians open the presents Santa brought the night before that's okay. If they take it as a true story that proves they were chosen by God, not so much.

BTW brought up Jewish and Bar Mitzvahed.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #123)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 03:48 PM

125. Alas that depends on the Jew

Last edited Sat Apr 19, 2014, 05:46 PM - Edit history (1)

Me, the moral is freedom is good., slavery is had. I cannot stand matzah (I am truly allergic) to more Orthodox Jews we were selected.

The last one though is reinforced by a society that lives to remind Jews they are outsiders.

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Response to The Straight Story (Reply #10)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 11:58 AM

119. No Moses did not exist.

But Jesus, the historic figure that is, did not die on a cross either.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #119)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 02:15 PM

124. Who knows

it doesn't lend any credence to the stories in the NT either way.
It's like worshiping Dave Crocket because of the way he was portrayed on the Disney show.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #124)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 05:44 PM

132. Among people who study this as an academic pursuit, not a religious one, they

can tell you that the parables in the new testament are very close in flavor to the parables told by Rabi Akibah, for example, a contemporary. He just did not create a new religion. (And for the record, I don't believe either the Jesus or the many Joshua, the name is as popular as smith these days, wanted to create one either)

In fact, the opinion among scholars is that the real life jesus lived, anywhere in the first 150 years, perhaps even all the way to 200. Why the Gospels are "so late" and feel like second and third sources. They are stories told of stories.

The Gospels are not the only stories that mention Jesus, I am sure you have heard of the Gospel of Mary and the Gospel of the Wife of Christ. I am sure you have read of the Agnostic as well. All these happened and were written by people who knew A JESUS. It could be one of many.

The era is one that is fascinating in Jewish History. It is a time of great suppression and repression and Jews have always had that messianic feeling, especially since the last of the prophets, Daniel and Isaiah. But experts also believe this messianic story, one of many by the way, was about Rome. And going to this feeling of the messiah will come, in the passover table one setting is left open for Isaiah, and of course if a passer by decides to join you for the seder, that is fine as well. Isaiah will bring forth the son of the house of David. Why the last supper, is a Seder.

Regardless if you happen to be Christian, Jesus Christ as savior is a matter of article of faith. You either believe it or not, and to be Christian you need to believe it. It's like Moses, he is an article of faith in Judaism. Many of us secular Jews get in real trouble with the orthodox (our fundies) because we simply do not buy into some of this crap.

They cannot accept that the ethics and values portrayed in many of these stories. some much older than the bible, are valid even today. I just do not need a law giver to validate them. Or for that matter, the values of community and taking care of others in the NT (with a direct connection to the old one) are just as valid.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #132)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 06:21 PM

134. I think we are in agreement that

There was in probability, a person or persons that was Jesus. But he is not the figure portrayed in the NT and certainly not the son of a God. But we don't have enough information to know for sure.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #134)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 06:56 PM

137. The son of god is an article of faith

you either accept it or you don't. So nobody who deals with the historic Jesus or many of them, even argues whether this person was the son of god or not. That is akin to arguing how many angels dance on the head of a pin and not relevant. The OP asked if there was a historic Jesus. These days we believe there was one, unlike Moses, but the Last Super, and the stations of the cross never happened to the historic Jesus. That is kind of the common consensus emerging, and for some odd reason it is not popular because those two are also articles of faith.

Other parables are just that, parables. And they are very much in common with the era.

As to the existence of a historic Jesus, there is enough information to believe there was at least one that was proximate to the one in the NT. Joseph, the brother, his grave marker is believed to have been found. And if they found the right one, Jesus was not a carpenter, or poor. You do not get buried in Jerusalem in the first century of the CE, if you are poor, period. You had to have connections.

This is also controversial but they think they found the tomb of the real historic Jesus too. The link is to a reaction from a Christian perspective.

http://carm.org/has-tomb-jesus-been-found

I do not believe that person (or persons) wanted to create a religion to supersede Judaism. That came later. And that is where politics enter the scene in a nasty way. But if we could take a time machine back, and talk to this man, who spoke Aramaic, I am sure that superseding Judaism was not in the plans. Now fighting the priesthood was, but that was part of the Rabbinic movement. After the Temple was destroyed, the Priests did indeed go away, and the Rabies (meaning teacher) took over.

One clue that tells you about this happening in the first 200 years, is that he indeed went against the merchants in the Temple, but he also went to synagogues. The latter did not take off until after the destruction of the temple. So having a scene at the temple and then one at a synagogue are an interesting juxtaposition.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #137)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 08:29 PM

143. Probably more info than I needed

But a good read non the less.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #143)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 08:43 PM

147. I have been fascinated with the historicity of bible stories for a long time

And it has managed to get me in trouble a few times.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #147)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 09:10 PM

153. Well

When you start confronting people's belief, it can get you into trouble.
I've been there.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #147)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 11:36 AM

186. You've inspired me to get out my "Asimov's Guide to the Bible"



Somehow I only made it about halfway through the Old Testament in that, and none of the New Testament yet. I got distracted and never got back to it. What I did read was very good, though.

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Response to eShirl (Reply #186)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 12:59 PM

187. Good, there are newer reads on this

It is a speciality in archeology, and it is not that they are trying to prove the reality of the bible, that used to be the original intent, but like the discovery of Troy by Shlieman, there is some truth to this. So far, the consensus emerging is that the first person that actually existed was David, and he was no king, but a Chieftain. Why this gets the field in trouble with both Rabbles and Fundies alike.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #132)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 10:59 PM

162. The new covenant

Jesus's primary teaching was that their was a new covenant ("relationship") between God and his people. Previously, in order to be saved and go to heaven, you had to follow all these myriad of rules that the priesthood had come up with. Proper animal sacrifices on proper days, and proper personal conduct, proper diet, etc. Basically, the priesthood had a zillion rules which made it impossible to follow all of them, and since they were the final arbiters, they decided who was saved.

Jesus was trying to change the covenant from rule following and being saved by the priesthood, to a more personal relationship with God. Essentially, your own faith was what got you saved, not the impressions, or animal sacrifices, or words of some far off or corruptible priest.

Even today, many churches want to impose their own brand of faith on their worshipers, but they're still missing the point that Jesus was trying to make.

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Response to Calista241 (Reply #162)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 10:11 AM

183. And he was not alone.

The rabbies were doing the same, why specialists consider him a rabbi. The word means teacher by the way.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:26 PM

13. I sorta think there was

I'd hope that modern man is not starting wars based on some ancient fiction writers concept of Superman.

Like you I'd take all the "miracles", the walking on water, the healing of lepers, etc. as embellishments designed to get people to pay attention to the message of a charismatic preacher who actually did say all the right things.

I also think the hucksters and bullshitters have taken control of the message and distorted it so that the original intent of the biblical Jesus is no longer recognizable.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:29 PM

14. No

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:30 PM

17. Hard to say ...

I'm certainly not going to use the Bible (or any other religious text) as proof. I do find it odd that as meticulous as the Romans were about keeping records, there is no mention of a Jesus of Nazareth anywhere.

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Response to 1000words (Reply #17)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 06:48 PM

81. Except there are mentions.

Publius Cornelius Tacitus a Roman historian who was hostile to the Christian movement wrote about Christ. Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews, written around 93–94 AD contains references to Jesus. No serious scholar of the period disputes his existence.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #81)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 06:51 PM

83. I was referring to public records/administrative logs

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Response to 1000words (Reply #83)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 07:27 PM

91. Yes but very little of that exists.

The Romans wrote on papyrus, which for the most part has not survived. We know about some the texts because of copies of copies of copies. Usually by monks.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #91)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 07:39 AM

103. But that's the point; the greatest dude in history doesn't get a mention until a century after death

 

No one at the time, from his legion of followers to the Romans who supposedly executed him, cared enough to even write anything down until at least a century or more after his death. Not the Romans, not the local officials, not the guards who saw the dead rise and stroll around Jerusalem, no one. Not until a century or three later. And no, the problem wasn't papyrus, it's that no one at the time was writing about it-- the fiction had yet to be authored.

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #103)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 11:02 AM

114. It was not a century.

Tacitus was writing in the 1st century --less than 50 years later. Also you are ignoring the fact we don't know what was written because 99% has not survived. You expect illiterate guards to write things that survive 2000 years? Also you seem to forget that Roman writers did not operate on a 1st amendment philosophy. They worked for the Empire. Christians were a revolutionary group the Romans wished to put down. It was not in anyone's interest to promote or write about a revolutionary group.

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #103)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 11:58 AM

118. Most believers could care less about the total lack of evidence to support the idea.

It's "faith-based", remember? Evidence isn't required.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #118)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 08:31 PM

146. Name a historian of the period who rejects an historical Jesus.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #81)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 08:11 PM

142. "No serious scholar of the period disputes his existence."

Folks, when you see somebody write something like this - - "no serious scholar blah blah blah" --- guaran-damn-teed they're full of shit.

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Response to tabasco (Reply #142)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 08:30 PM

144. Then of course you will point to one.

Then we will see who is full of shit.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #144)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 07:13 PM

195. i see you have not been exposed to myth scholars

arthur drews

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Response to tiny elvis (Reply #195)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 07:42 PM

196. I was asking for serious historians.

Not obscure crackpot philosophers.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #196)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 07:50 PM

197. i begin to see what serious means

by your definition you are right

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:30 PM

18. Historians believe there was a historic Jesus

a member of the Rabbinic movement that was challenging the Temple Priests. He was part of the same movement as Rabbi Akiba was. The era of the first century is rather confusing since you had movements challenging Rome, but also challenging the Priests, and also groups of ascetics running around. It was a strange period in Jewish history, and to be brutally honest, the idea of the Messiah coming and the end of days... all that is a parable about Rome.

What I just wrote is not at all controversial among Biblical scholars, but it is among fundies.

Oh and I forgot to say, as to WHEN Jesus was around, anywhere in the first 150 years of the common era will do.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #18)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 04:08 AM

99. there are reports of his brother, James. There are also tales of his family being

interviewed down the line to see if 'sedition' was still possible from them.

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Response to roguevalley (Reply #99)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 12:01 PM

121. And he married.

Again, none of this is controversial among specialists.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #121)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 06:55 PM

136. I agree, Nadin. Did you hear about the Jesus wife parchment? It is ruled authentic. :D

I love the man so much. I love the MAN so much.

PS May I say that I am in awe that you are 100,000 posts ahead of me?

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Response to roguevalley (Reply #136)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 07:08 PM

138. I love the ideas

And don't be in awe, just been posting for 12 years.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #18)

Mon Apr 21, 2014, 11:10 AM

210. He also got in trouble all the time for pissing on the carpet

Long story but the Holy Spirit knows it happened first hand experience-

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:32 PM

19. I've always held that he didn't "exist" as an individual...

but that he is an amalgam of several, perhaps many, would-be reformists wandering around Palestine of the day.

The Bible kind of glosses over the secular history of the area in that era. The Greek/Macedonian conquest of the Persian Empire was only a couple of hundred years prior, and the Roman defeat of Macedon and subsequent annexation of the Western Ptolomaic kingdom was even more recent. There was a lot of unrest, even though the Romans never really demanded people change their religious beliefs. What they did do was demand sacrifices to their gods, which is, of course, anathema to strict Jewish traditions. Check out the first couple of laws in the 10 Commandments for reference.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #19)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:40 PM

24. very likely true

I just like to think there was an actual man who they decided to make there *God* who was an actual person who believed in a fair society.....a man who's words have been twisted by people who use the church to keep the people subserviant and working

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:32 PM

20. I do believe there was a historical Jesus,

although like you I can't buy into all the mythologies. This would be a much better world if people followed the teachings of this man (as well as the other great spiritual - not religious - leaders) which many of today's so called "Christians" most decidedly do NOT.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:33 PM

21. It is quite likely, though he may or may not have not much resembled the gospels

An historic Jesus is in the "unprovable but very, very likely" category.

The best evidence of his historical existence is that early critics (closer in time, and thus with all potential non-existence issues a hundred times sharper than two thousand years later) didn't seem to think his existence worth questioning.

A "dog that didn't bark."

As to what he was like, what he said, did, etc... nobody knows. I'd guess he had a small following and was crucified. Pretty plainly suffering from bipolar disorder. Probably said some of the things attributed to him, though most of it is attribution of an larger body of thought to one somewhat fictionalized figure.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:35 PM

22. Jesus almost certainly existed....in some form

There seem to be very few serious scholars who argue that he was created wholecloth by Christians. Exactly who he was and what he did is a subject for debate.

There seems to be no doubt that John the Baptist existed. And it seems likely that Jesus had some contact with John the Baptist. Pontius Pilate clearly existed. Again, what role he played in Jesus' life is a subject for debate.

Whether the details of the Gospels are accurate, well, that's a different discussion.

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Response to theboss (Reply #22)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 10:55 AM

113. I think John the Baptist and Jesus might have been the same person.

There could have been another preacher who carried on some of John's work, and/or could have been a disciple of John's. I believe there was some confusion over who originally said the things spoken by Jesus in the Gospels. I think that there is some important part of the narrative that was lost before the stories were recorded.

So I believe the stories in the Gospels have some basis in fact. There was someone or maybe a group of people who were saying the things attributed to Jesus. But I believe there is probably more fabrication than fact in the Gospels. Too many of the stories, especially about the birth and resurrection of Jesus, are too similar to other mythologies that were being spread over different parts of the Roman Empire at the time.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:37 PM

23. There was a Roman historian, named Josephus, who lived at the time of Jesus, and had written about

Jesus being crucified. Josephus was a Jew, but a Roman citizen. He had never met Jesus
personally, nor was he a follower of early Christianity. Outside of having written about Jesus,
Josephus had nothing more to do with Him.

There might have been other historians (contemporaries of Jesus) who had written about him.

So, Yes, I think Jesus really did exist.

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Response to Cal33 (Reply #23)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 07:52 AM

105. He was not a contemporary, he made only two references, and they are disputed...

 

Historians might not challenge the Christian myth, but that which is asserted without evidence can and should be dismissed the same way. We are told that this Jesus fellow was the greatest man to ever live, a font of wisdom and compassion and miracles, a guy so fucking awesome that he wasn't even a man at all, but a GOD...

But no one at the time bothered to write anything about it. They didn't write about Jesus or the legions of walking dead plaguing Jerusalem at the time, nothing.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:40 PM

25. No. Within the past ten years, I abandoned my belief in the historical figure.

Difficult for me to overcome is the absence of evidence (other than the Bible accounts) of his existence. Also, I do not believe that the town of Nazareth existed in the first century.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:46 PM

26. perhaps. read "When God Was A Woman" by Merlin Stone

i'd like to believe there was a real person, whose story was "stolen" and enhanced....

not going to bet on it though.

I did like Merlin Stone's take on the "Virgin Birth" shenanigans.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:46 PM

27. An idiot savant maybe, no virgin birth. Power hungry men wrote the bible

to control the population, laughing all the way to the bank .

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:47 PM

28. Yes. I believe in him. And he was one good egg. And made the world a much better place.

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Response to applegrove (Reply #28)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 11:35 PM

165. Well put. I believe in Him too.

Last edited Sun Apr 20, 2014, 02:08 PM - Edit history (3)

I believe He died for all our sins. And I love the messages He left behind, or is credited in whatever way with leaving behind or extending in different words. Life-long Catholic, here. LOVE LOVE LOVE post #94 from Peacetrain to be exact, that shows the BIG message including the Christ's - each one of which kinda boils down to what we know in secular convention as The Golden Rule:

Many if not most people who claim to be Christians.. are not.. they pick and choose biblical statements out of context or delve back to Old Testament texts to prove a point they want to put forward..ignoring all the rest.

All things that you would want done for you, Do for others.. Matt. 7:12
Christianity

What is hateful to you, do not to your fellowman...Talmud: Shabbat 31a
Judaism

Hurt not others in ways that you would not find hurtful Udana-Varga 5,18
Buddhism

This is sum of duty, Do naught unto others, which would cause you pain if done to you.. Mahaebharata 5,1517
Brahmanism

Surely it is the maxim of loving kindness: Do not unto others that you would not have them do unto you
Analects 15,23
Confucianism

Regard your neighbors gains as your own gains and your neighbors loss as your own T'ai Shang Kan Yingp P'ien
Taoism

That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good for itself
Dadistan-I-Dinik 94,5
Zoroastrianism

No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother which he desires for himself. Sumnah
Islam


A most excellent and creative way to illustrate the observation: "bears repeating", 'eh?!

Happy Easter everybody!!!!! Whatever your beliefs or lack-there-of may be!!!!

On edit - I apologize for getting preachy, but meh - what the heck? Today seems like a particularly well-suited day for such things! Love you guys!

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Response to calimary (Reply #165)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 12:16 AM

169. I believe he walked the earth. I don't believe

in miracles except for the intuition and insight Jesus shared with the world.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:53 PM

29. Yes. But, in those times, he wasn't particularly unique.

There was no lack of itinerant holy men, healers, prophets, around in those days. He stirred up trouble for the established religion to the point the Roman Occupiers were called on to quell the disturbances. They did.

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Response to Tierra_y_Libertad (Reply #29)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 03:04 PM

33. that is my take

a Holy man who caused enough trouble to get himself killed.
Someone who had enough of a following that a religion sprung up around the myths people created about him

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Response to backwoodsbob (Reply #33)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 03:06 PM

36. And, ironically, was spread by the very people who crucified him.

Without Rome, Christianity would probably be limited to a small group in the Middle East which would probably have died out in a century or two.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:58 PM

30. Reading this right now...

 

Last edited Fri Apr 18, 2014, 04:26 PM - Edit history (1)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/140006922X?pc_redir=1397801473&robot_redir=1

Zealot : Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

The short answer seems to be, from his pov, that the man physically existed but all the rest developed in later generations of doctrine.

He was one of many rabble rousing politically motivated Messiahs. His name just happened to stick.

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Response to Hip_Flask (Reply #30)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 05:34 PM

58. A good read

if only to get familiar with the history of the times.

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Response to Hip_Flask (Reply #30)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 06:34 PM

78. Karen Armstrong's books are also worth reading ...

... she examines the social realities that existed around Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 02:59 PM

31. Mirtha of the older Pagan religion had a virgin birth too.

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Response to B Calm (Reply #31)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 03:05 PM

35. What part of

I don't believe in the Virgin birth didn't click?

Slow on the uptake?

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Response to B Calm (Reply #31)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 08:50 PM

198. Mithras was born

as a fullgrown adult from a rock.Even though rocks don't have sex, I don't think that qualifies as a virgin birth.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 03:01 PM

32. I'm a non believer, but I do believe there was a man named Jesus

that started the story. Then his story was used and abused and became the joke that the fundies have made it. But yes, I do think a Buddha like man existed with a message of peace and hope. And I think his name was Jesus.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 03:05 PM

34. The life advice of a man that's so delusional

that he thinks he's the son of god should not be trusted.

The only way Christianity has any credibility as a moral philosophy is if Jesus didn't exist.

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Response to mathematic (Reply #34)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 03:08 PM

37. but what if

he never claims to be the son of God and the fundies made him out to be......you know...exactly what happened.

IF he existed his divinity wasn't decided until almost 400 years after his death by a bunch of fundies who wanted to control a population

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Response to backwoodsbob (Reply #37)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 03:17 PM

41. What justification is there to disregard those statements of his?

And not the other ones pertaining to moral philosophy? The bible is the source for all of it.

If you're asking if there was a guy named Jesus that may or may not have had a cult 2000 years ago, then ok. My sense was that if you were asking if there was a guy named Jesus that preached that stuff in the bible 2000 years ago. The source for what he preached is the same source that says he claimed to be the son of god. So it seems odd to attribute one to a historical Jesus and not the other.

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Response to mathematic (Reply #34)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 04:48 PM

49. Jesus also referred to himself as "The Son of Man".

"The expression "the Son of Man" occurs 81 times in the four Canonical gospels, and is used only in the sayings of Jesus. However, the use of the definite article in "the Son of Man" in the gospels is novel, and before its use there, there are no records of its use in any of the surviving Greek documents of antiquity."


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Son_of_man

Apparently there is no agreed definition of what he meant by that.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 03:09 PM

38. Not in any interesting way. The Jesus of myth is just, that and no more real than Santa.

 

These fictions might have had a single individual at their foundation, or they might as easily not. We will never know for sure, but note that even the earliest 'experts' -- the authors of the Bible -- were not there, never knew him, and couldn't get their stories straight. Nor is the Christian message virtuous and uplifting or worthy of following, and it is certainly not divinely inspired.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 03:13 PM

39. There may have been a person or persons on who the Biblical Jesus was based upon

But the Jesus of the Bible did not exist.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 03:15 PM

40. I believe that "Jesus" is a composite...

.. partly based on real people;

.. partly imagined by the writers...

.. as is ANY character in a novel.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 03:20 PM

42. Probably...

Many people/places/items in the New Testament have been proven accurate, so why would they have used all these facts and then at the very center of it all use a fictional person? I doubt during his lifetime he was really worshipped and revered, he was probably just some dude, but then after he died the story started to spread and the myth began to grow.

Like another poster said though, the truth or fiction of a historical Jesus figure is irrelevant and will probably never be proven beyond a shadow of doubt, but really his message is the important part.

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Response to cbdo2007 (Reply #42)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 05:13 PM

54. Meh...

Sam Spade lived and worked in San francisco. Doesn't make him a real person, though the settings are somewhat factual.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 04:22 PM

43. Nope.

Do I believe that there have been enlightened people exhorting a golden rule, who actually lived throughout the history of the planet...of course.

But for you to try and reject the claims of birth and death that walk firmly hand and hand with the tales espoused by the various churches of Christ, ignoring similar stories told of Buddha, Krishna, Apollonius, Tammuz, Dumuzi, or even Dionysus and Adonis, or Horus and Osiris, tells me that you really do believe that the bible (including the addenda of a new testament) was an amazingly "revolutionary" and totally "original" good book. As opposed to it being a work of fiction, written by a tiny group of men, in order to persuade, promote, and plant a distinct philosophy into the minds of the masses of people of their time. Preachers back then could be just as conniving and convincing as they are now, for the same reasons.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 04:24 PM

44. There was! Roman records mentioned him.

He may have been called "Yeshua ben Yosef" or something, though(my sincere apologies if my translation is incorrect, though). '

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #44)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 09:30 AM

111. Which Roman records

have you discovered something historians have yet to uncover. Josephus is the only one I know and that was 60 years later and reporting about what Christians were saying, not documenting the actual man.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 04:27 PM

45. Believe it or not....

Not everyone here is interested in being a Christian,... taking back the church or otherwise. I am happy being a Buddhist, though a non practicing one. I get tired of people telling me whats good for me...or that I MADE a wrong decision. I am an adult, and can make up my own mind...and heart. Thank you.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 04:42 PM

46. almost certainly, although I doubt it was based on just one person

More likely that they built a composite based around several people, just like the mythology was based around several deity myths.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 04:46 PM

47. No. Clearly based off old myths.

As an English teacher, I found The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark a very interesting read.

Disclaimer: I'm an atheist. Jesus is a good story right up there with the others.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 04:47 PM

48. No.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 04:54 PM

50. Evidence of a real Jesus is the last thing most people want.

Evidence of a real Jesus, who lived and died in this world, is the last thing most people want.

Christians and Muslims believe that Jesus ascended bodily into heaven, so evidence that he lived and died as a real man would undermine one of their strongest beliefs.

Jesus is irrelevant in Judaism and other religions which don't recognize him, therefore they are probably indifferent to finding out if he was a real man and would probably prefer that there is no evidence of his existence IMO.

The more assertive atheists also don't seem to like the idea of him being a real man either, as that might undermine their idea that there is no value in religion.

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Response to CJCRANE (Reply #50)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 05:17 PM

55. Nonsense.

The more assertive atheists also don't seem to like the idea of him being a real man either, as that might undermine their idea that there is no value in religion.


Bollocks.

I'm with Bill Maher on this one, who said something to the effect "If Jesus Christ floated down from heaven onto the fifty yard line at the super bowl, I'd go 'huh....look at that....I was wrong'. But he isn't and he won't so it doesn't matter".


It isn't that some Atheists "don't seem to like the idea" in the least. It is more that, and I am speaking only for myself, I recognize a parable, a play, a fable, a myth and a made up story when I see them.

The story of Jesus who is the Christ is CLEARLY a fable. It is a play. His story is a fable that relates the movement of the sun and the moon through the skies. THAT'S IT! The only reason it is even remotely suggested that he was a real person is because it is needed to perpetuate the entire myth based religion that is Christianity. The idea that mankind is inherently flawed and needs redemption. As soon as more people start realizing they aren't flawed, just human, the sooner we can shed these absurd, intellectually primitive belief systems.

"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false and by the rulers as useful."
Attributed to Roman Philosopher Seneca the Younger

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #55)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 05:29 PM

57. Jesus never mentioned Original Sin. Jesus and Christianity are two different things.

You instantly reacted against the idea of Jesus because he is the basis of Christianity.

But there are other religions which acknowledge Jesus as a man, and do not have the concept of Original Sin.

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Response to CJCRANE (Reply #57)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 05:37 PM

60. First of all, those "other religions" are merely different versions of the same product.....

aimed at different demographics.
What I "instantly reacted" to was your definitive statement suggesting you know what some or all Atheists think.

Jesus and Christianity are two different things.


Yeah...one is a mythical figure and the other is a mainstream cult, built on that mythical figure.


Ah...to hell with it. I got tired of these dopey, stupid, pointless arguments 15 years ago. Have a great day.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #60)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 05:46 PM

63. I think it would be interesting to find out if Jesus was a real person.

The reactions to finding his apparent tomb were what makes me believe the things I wrote in my previous post.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lost_Tomb_of_Jesus#Content

ETA: I read Holy Blood, Holy Grail about 20+ years ago which is all about the heresy/conspiracy theory that Jesus was married and had a family etc. as popularized by Dan Brown in this century.

I was also interested in stuff about the Templars and their heresies and the Gnostics etc.

So I'm not really pushing any particular religion, I'm just interested in the different interpretations and possibilities.

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Response to CJCRANE (Reply #50)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 08:46 PM

148. Actually you are right and wrong at the same time

there is a healthy field of study into the bible as a guide to history, and not in the sense you think.

And that field of study has been around for over 100 years, and as you said, it is not very popular among fundies of either Judaic or Christian faith. It is literally killing sacred cows as it were. Moses did not exist, Jesus existed and married and never died on a cross.

Neither of these two is controversial among specialists. Don't try this info at your local fundie church or orthodox synagogue though.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)


Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 05:07 PM

52. Could have been a great man who people loved. Maybe, when he was killed by the Romans, the common

people kept his name alive by attributing miracles and a resurrection to him. They didn't have video tape or film back then to prove what he did. Considering most people believed in gods and attributed natural phenomena to their gods, Christians felt they needed to to do this by saying, 'You can't kill our savior. No matter what you do you cannot kill him." Just guessing.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 05:36 PM

59. Nope.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 05:39 PM

61. Yes, but like you, I don't believe in the virgin birth or the resurrection.

People are born, from time, who inspire others in profound ways. I think he was one.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 05:42 PM

62. If one believes

 

If one believes that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father, can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a woman who was made from a rib was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree...one will damn near believe anything.

Was there a dude named Jesus, why not; besides good old Paul ended up killing most if not all the original Christians so what the guy named Jesus said or not said is pretty much BS, no one was taking dictation at the time. The earliest book in the NT was by Mark and was written between A.D. 50 and 75, 17 – 42 years AFTER the death of Jesus. Most people can’t remember WTF happened 1 week after an event happened today now add years to when Mark decided to write down the story. I won’t even get into the whole “Divine Inspiration” thing either.

The Jesus guy running around town doing magic tricks and what not was a big draw, no tv, radio, or even books to occupy the locals time did not exist so when anyone showed up in town to entertain the masses they got a good crowd. Hell the show was even free. As the Story goes Jesus even fed the crowd who showed up. Free dinner and a show!

If David Blaine lived back in the day, everyone would have thought he was the Messiah too.

Me I am cool with ......Here comes Peter Cotton Tail Hopping Down the Bunny Trail............

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 05:49 PM

64. Yes. n/t

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 05:51 PM

65. Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth is pretty interesting read on the historical Jesus

I don't completely agree with all of his conclusions but it is a great book. The author, Reza Aslan, is the antiquities scholar that the Fox talking head kept badgering about being a being a Muslim and writing a book about Jesus.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #65)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 05:52 PM

66. Agree 100%

Not sold on all his particulars, but his overall case is very strong.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 05:57 PM

67. Yes, I believe there was a historical Jesus

We probably will never know for sure exactly who he really was, but there's a lot of great scholarship out there (non-evangelical/unorthodox) that provides us with an idea of who he might have been and what he was really about.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 05:58 PM

68. Excellent Frontline on this very subject

 



This FRONTLINE series is an intellectual and visual guide to the new and controversial historical evidence which challenges familiar assumptions about the life of Jesus and the epic rise of Christianity.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/


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Response to Exposethefrauds (Reply #68)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 06:15 PM

71. Thanks, that looks interesting. Bookmarked for later viewing. nt

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 06:04 PM

69. No. I believe early Christianity was a "Mystery Cult" typical of the era

and the early Christ was a wholly redemptive, spiritual/mythic figure who was only retroactively given an objective historical narrative.

...but I'm not terribly interested in convincing anyone of that position.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 06:14 PM

70. "Most modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed...."

Most modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed, but scholars differ on the historicity of specific episodes described in the Biblical accounts, and the only two events subject to "almost universal assent" are that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and was crucified by the order of the Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate. There is a significant debate about his nature, his actions and his sayings, but most scholars agree that Jesus was a Galilean Jew who was born between 7-4 BC and died 30–36 AD, that he lived in Galilee and Judea and did not preach or study elsewhere, and that he spoke Aramaic and perhaps also Hebrew and Greek.

....

Bart D. Ehrman states that the existence of Jesus and his crucifixion by the Roman is attested to by a wide range of sources including Josephus and Tacitus.John P. Meier views the crucifixion of Jesus as historical fact and states that based on the criterion of embarrassment Christians would not have invented the painful death of their leader. Meier states that a number of other criteria, e.g. the criterion of multiple attestation (i.e. confirmation by more than one source), the criterion of coherence (i.e. that it fits with other historical elements) and the criterion of rejection (i.e. that it is not disputed by ancient sources) help establish the crucifixion of Jesus as a historical event. Biblical scholar John Dominic Crossan, highly skeptical with regard to the Gospel accounts of miracles, wrote in 1995 "That (Jesus) was crucified is as sure as anything historical can ever be, since both Josephus and Tacitus... agree with the Christian accounts on at least that basic fact.".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus




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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #70)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 06:33 PM

77. If you look at the footnotes of that wikipedia link, you will see that in actuality

what you have there is repeated citiations that "scholars are not putting forth assertions that he did NOT exist" which is not the same thing as agreeing he DID.

Proving a negative is a giant pain in the ass.

The fact is, the "historical existence of Jesus" is really of only a concern to Biblical historians, a group which has a vested interest in the Bible as a historical source, for obvious reasons.

There is no credible* evidence for a historical Jesus outside of the Bible, so non-biblical historians don't generally weigh in on the topic, in addition to not wanting to poke their head out of that particular foxhole and draw fire for a debate which has essentially no point outside of "Biblical History" circles.

Obviously, additional non-biblical evidence would or could change that situation, but that's how it stands. If "historians (non-Biblical) agree he existed", they're not doing so on the basis of any actual evidence.


*The Josephus account is widely believed to be a forgery created several centuries after the start of Christianity, for a number of reasons including the glaring narrative problems contained therein.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #70)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 07:06 PM

86. I have read that Wikipedia account. I am glad you posted it, but I disagree with it.

I hesitate to post something that might start a debate, since I agree with a poster on anther thread who wrote that we have House and Senate elections to win in a mere 200 days and that we can debate religion after that.

That being said, I will say that do not place a lot of weight on the writings of Josephus and Tacitus, since they wrote during in the latter part of the first century and the beginning of the second century. As for Josephus's two mentions of Jesus in Antiquities of the Jews, I believe that first one was a later-century interpolation and the second one refers to a certain Jesus who differs from the central figure of the New Testament. Last year, at the time Bill O'Reilly's book about Jesus was published, I had a debate on the Amazon.com page concerning that book. My opponent was the holder of a Ph.D. in the field of religion studies and ancient languages. A Roman Catholic, she staunchly supported the status of the second Josephus clause as a reference to Jesus Christ and his brother ("cousin" in Catholic teaching) James. I felt she had a good bit of emotion invested in the subject. Neither of us changed the other's mind.

As for Tacitus who wrote Annals about the year, 107, his reference to early Christians has to do with Nero supposedly cracking down on them in the mid-first century because they were insurrectionists starting fires in Rome. To me, that reference seems to be another example of a later-century interpolation.

We will never definitively answer the question of whether Jesus Christ existed. For me, debate on the subject can wait until after the 2014 elections.



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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 06:16 PM

72. probably a blending of more than one

like Robin Hood or King Arthur

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 06:26 PM

73. Gandhi existed. And, leaving out the virgin birth, walking on water, cheating death, etc,

Gandhi had a similar effect on his times that the Gospels say Jesus had on his. Done through civil disobedience and a massively stubborn adherence to the correct path.

I believe it is possible that Jesus could have existed, and was a person like Gandhi. I believe that there were probably a bunch of enlightened people like that who showed up over the ages, who pushed those same enlightened principals, and it doesn't really matter whether Jesus existed. We know the principals, and we have seen them working, so I'm happy to leave it at that.

I think the marketing job of miracles and resurrection and virgin births and aligning a character to the characteristics of gods of previous religions only amounts to a lot of Vegas glitter that actually take away from the great ideas that are taught by an enlightened person.

I am impressed by the Gospel of Thomas, which is purported to be a list of the words of Jesus. There is no magic, no razzle-dazzle, just a bunch of very deep, very logical statements.

Of course, when you take my attitude toward it, you don't get the "resurrection" "we never die" comforting aspect of Jesus religions. As for what happens after we die, I have my thoughts on that, but they are separate from my beliefs about the periodic appearances of enlightened people.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #73)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 06:51 PM

82. Gandhi....nt

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Response to PassingFair (Reply #82)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 06:52 PM

85. Thank you. Correcting!

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Response to Squinch (Reply #73)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 09:03 PM

152. +1

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 06:28 PM

75. So believe it...

I SO want to believe there was a true man the religion was based on.

What you believe is independent of what any other person says.

You can then try to live up to the ideals of your belief and work towards creating a world in the image you paint. It is a pretty good one.
If you encounter a person who has the same ideas and goals but does not believe there was a man named Jesus, you have found an ally and kindred spirit.
If you find a person who believes there was a Jesus but doesn't support those ideals you have found a hypocrite and need not waste any time on them.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 06:42 PM

79. zeitgeist the movie might explain a few things

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Response to FranMonet (Reply #79)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 08:19 PM

93. +1 Common Sense

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 06:43 PM

80. no. n/t

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 06:52 PM

84. Yes I believe in Jesus and in his resurrection.

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #84)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 07:21 PM

89. I was raised Epicopalian too.....

But unfortunately, my reason trumped their dogma.

I will say this for the Episcopalians though, you have Bishop John Shelby Spong on your side.

If only more men of the cloth had his perspective, this would be a much better world.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #89)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 07:36 PM

92. I love and respect him.

I disagree with him on some things but he is refreshing for clergy.

Then again most of the clergy I know are rather liberal.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 07:11 PM

87. yes I do believe he existed

Plus theer is plenty of historical record to indicate that he did.... which is unusual as most people from that time are forgotten. ..

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Response to Niceguy1 (Reply #87)

Mon Apr 21, 2014, 12:00 PM

213. You couldn't be more wrong. There is almost no documentation that Jesus existed,

and the one direct reference to him in Josephus is widely believed to be a later Christian interpolation. There is more credible evidence for the existence of his brother James, who became head of the Jerusalem church after his death, than there is for Jesus himself.

If you believe the New Testament is a "historical record" of any kind, you are sadly mistaken.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 07:19 PM

88. If he was not God, the question of his existence is much less interesting.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 07:25 PM

90. Probably not.

The Romans were extensive record-keepers... about everything. Certainly a "rabble-rouser" Jew named Jesus, or someone closely resembling him, would have turned up in the Roman Archives. Doesn't exist. More than likely, the story of Jesus is assembled from bits and pieces of several figures, some real some fictional.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 08:41 PM

94. Yes I believe Jesus lived..

Many if not most people who claim to be Christians.. are not.. they pick and choose biblical statements out of context or delve back to Old Testament texts to prove a point they want to put forward..ignoring all the rest.

All things that you would want done for you, Do for others.. Matt. 7:12
Christianity

What is hateful to you, do not to your fellowman...Talmud: Shabbat 31a
Judaism

Hurt not others in ways that you would not find hurtful Udana-Varga 5,18
Buddhism

This is sum of duty, Do naught unto others, which would cause you pain if done to you.. Mahaebharata 5,1517
Brahmanism

Surely it is the maxim of loving kindness: Do not unto others that you would not have them do unto you
Analects 15,23
Confucianism

Regard your neighbors gains as your own gains and your neighbors loss as your own T'ai Shang Kan Yingp P'ien
Taoism

That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good for itself
Dadistan-I-Dinik 94,5
Zoroastrianism

No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother which he desires for himself. Sumnah
Islam

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Response to Peacetrain (Reply #94)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 09:09 AM

106. Thank you...



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Response to RedRoses323 (Reply #106)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 05:03 PM

191. It really makes a person hopeful

to read the shared values.. I just wish we could live up to those truths as human beings..

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Response to Peacetrain (Reply #191)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 10:40 PM

199. Absolutely

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Response to Peacetrain (Reply #94)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 01:47 AM

174. Like these! The message of Jesus is a Universal Truth.

Happy Easter everybody!

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Response to calimary (Reply #174)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 01:27 PM

188. Universal Truth? The natural laws of the universe are the only UNIVERSAL TRUTHS.

And today, millions are celebrating the absurdly unlikely suspension of those natural laws of the universe.



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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #188)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 05:01 PM

189. The laws of nature do not address love of another being..

The message of Love thy neighbor as thyself is a universal truth found in so many religions and faiths.. It is the one point where the truth of spirit crosses all boundaries of faith bodies..

Now if you do not believe is a higher spirit or being.. that is fine.. no one can argue that with you.. You have the right to believe that, likewise those who believe in a higher spirit are not absurd beings..

If you could prove God does not exist then we could have a conversation about that , but you can't anymore than I can prove God does exist.

And yes for Christians this is a blessed day of renewal and beginning. Not for you, but for us.

And in that spirit.. I wish you well..


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Response to Peacetrain (Reply #189)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 05:19 PM

192. A being that exists outside the natural laws of the universe?

And it has love for us?

Those are YOUR beliefs. I reject such nonsense as patently absurd. The rejection of said nonsense is not, in any way, a belief, no matter how you try to rephrase it.

If rationalizing an absurdly unlikely supernatural event as having actually happened makes you feel better, more power to you. But please, don't get upset when said belief is criticized when proclaimed here in OUR community space. This is not an echo chamber. The Interfiath group is a better suited place for that.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #192)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 05:39 PM

193. As you stated this is "OUR" community space

and I am a part of that.. I am free to say and stay.. I wish you well today.. Those are my beliefs.. just as I believe that people deserve a working wage.. just as I believe we all have access to the vote equally.. Just as I believe an individual has the right to define themselves as they see fit.. this is a finite life and no one has to be forced to live by another's belief system or lack there of.. just as I believe that discrimination is evil.. should I go on.. I do not have to be relegated to a group and only that group.. I am a free being..

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Response to Peacetrain (Reply #193)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 06:24 PM

194. Which is fine and dandy, but have nothing to do with the objections you raised.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #194)

Mon Apr 21, 2014, 09:30 AM

200. Objections to what?

believing that all people have value? that no one has a right to impose a belief system, lack of belief system or philosophy on another human being? hmmmmmm you seem rather confused my friend..

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Response to Peacetrain (Reply #200)

Mon Apr 21, 2014, 11:07 AM

209. Oh, yeah, it's me thats the confused one here.

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Response to calimary (Reply #174)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 05:01 PM

190. Happy Easter

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 08:43 PM

95. Of course there was. But his message was corrupted beyond recognition by Paul & Peter

almost immediately after his death. And that corruption has continued for 2000 yrs.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 09:15 PM

96. My opinion on the matter.

Replace "Jesus" with "Superman" and the "Bible" with "comic book" and you see how silly the arguments sound. "Yeah I believe in Superman, I just don't think he could run faster than a speeding bullet or could leap buildings in a single bound".

The story of Jesus is a package deal. There's only one Jesus and he's got supernatural powers. If there was some guy hanging around walking on water and turning it into wine somebody would have wrote about it at time. Even with out the magic his exploits would have garnered attention.

As cool as the story of Jesus is, it's still just a story. No more real than Zeus or Apollo or any of the thousands of other gods humans have worshiped over the centuries.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 09:17 PM

97. Why not? The Buddha and Mohammed existed.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 05:56 AM

100. For your wishes expressed in the OP:

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 06:24 AM

101. Yes.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 06:47 AM

102. Read Bart Ehrman's books. He is an agnostic scholar of all the texts.

He said yes, he was an historical figure.

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Response to mmonk (Reply #102)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 11:34 AM

116. Kenneth Humphreys presents a strong rebuttal to Ehrman.

Ken Humphreys' rebuttal is at the following link:

http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/ehrman.html

I am inclined to accept Humphreys' assertion that the central figure of the New Testament did not exist.

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Response to John1956PA (Reply #116)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 07:59 AM

180. I tend to agree with Ehrman based on other non-Christian scholars I've also read.

I've also read books written by mythicists as well. But a Jewish scholar named Vermes sort of pushed me into the Ehrman camp. Roman emperors, for example, were supposedly born of virgin mothers for instance and derived from deities, but of course no rational mind accepts that as fact but they accept those emperors existed. George Washington "never told a lie" and chopped down a cherry tree isn't credible, but he existed. There is more information of the possibility he existed than say, Moses, for example.

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Response to John1956PA (Reply #116)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 08:32 AM

182. I would question Humphrey's claim that Ehrman engages in

Christian apologetics lite.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 07:44 AM

104. The Jesus of the Gospels? - nope

There is an excellent chance that there was one or more minor "prophets" whose name might be transliterated as Jesus. Firstly because Yeshua (normally written by Greeks and Romans as Joshua) was a very common name in Judea and Galilee and secondly because apocalyptic street preachers were 2-a-penny in that area.

Ehrmann, other "agnostic" scholars and most of the non-fundementalist researchers will admit that the vast majority of stories about Jesus were stolen from other religions and legends, and also many parables attributed to Jesus were common currency long before the supposed ministry. What the scholars who accept that there was a inspirational figure leading a new religious movement forget is that the religion we have was actually founded upon the theology and efforts of Paul. Problem, Paul never met Jesus (and neither did any of the Gospel writers), never admitted his reality in the early epistles and only spoke of him as an ideal in those epistles.

Interestingly we have very little information about Paul either. The epistles that are not much later forgeries were, stylistically, written by one hand in the 1st Century CE but the accounts of Paul's journeys are, frankly, impossible. There is also no contemporary record of Paul or Saul of Tarsus, which for a man who (supposedly) attracted enough attention from an Emperor to warrant him being transported to Rome with a Centurion and a couple of other soldiers is - err - problematic.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 09:13 AM

107. It never ceases to amaze me

how many ppl on this site always find pleasure in denigrating everything that is related to Christianity. I often feel like I stand here with three heads while all you wiser men point at me and laugh at my ignorance and naïveté.

I don't think you care a bit about the genesis of my religion, other than using the topic as a reason to take potshots at those of us on the site who choose to be Christians, through your snide asides or blatant smears. I never see this kind of ugliness toward other beliefs or religions here, because they all seem to deserve respect and hushed reverence, lest someone accuse a DUer of being insensitive to a minority (in this country).

Having said that, here is my story: Christianity is the faith that my mother and father passed on to me. It inspired them to be kind and generous people; it comforted them through countless hardships: loss of home and country during a war, loss of family and friends, loss of health. But they never lost their ability to follow the teachings of the Christ that you snicker at. They gave to the poor, they comforted the sick, they treated others with fairness and kindness and generosity, and they taught their daughter to do the same. I keep their faith because I honor them, and I believe that the spirit of goodness can come from a loving Creator. Keep in mind please, not all Christians are wild eyed goofballs looking to cash in from the poor and unsuspecting.

Shame on you for choosing this particular weekend to once again find delight in spitting on our beliefs.

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Response to tavernier (Reply #107)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 05:02 PM

127. I thought that the OP is timely

Thanks for sharing your story.
Heres mine-
Parents are Catholic. They don't "practice". My mom volunteers at a shelter.
I'm Catholic. I attend mass but don't participate in the Eucharist because I have not gone to confession. I consider myself part of the Christian Left.

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Response to otherone (Reply #127)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 07:50 PM

140. Thank you for pointing out

that the OP was not intending to be insulting, but that it was perhaps 'timely' to the Easter celebration. I too am far left of the preachers who profit from the scriptures by using faith as a means to fill their pockets and control their followers. I suppose I just resent the fact that every Christmas and and Easter I have to listen to what an ignorant fool I must be to continue to follow my chosen faith.

In my almost seventy years of life, I have discovered that prayers do work, and that blessings are quite common, but that it is faith - not religion - that brings us our greatest miracles.

I believe, because I choose to. I don't belittle anyone else for choosing a different path. I just would like the same respect from the people I call friends.

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Response to tavernier (Reply #140)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 06:58 AM

179. Have a great holiday tavernier!

peace and low stress!

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Response to tavernier (Reply #107)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 08:03 PM

141. Well lucky for you I denigrate all religions.

 

Oh those poor persecuted xtians.

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Response to Vashta Nerada (Reply #141)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 08:30 PM

145. I'm neither poor nor persecuted,

as my faith has little to do with religion. But I expect just as much respect from you x-men as I have for you.

😄

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Response to tavernier (Reply #145)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 10:25 PM

155. Can I be Magneto?

 

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Response to Vashta Nerada (Reply #155)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 10:56 PM

161. Sure, if you think you're up to it

Ian is my soulmate, but Michael is really hot. What are your qualifications??

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Response to tavernier (Reply #161)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 11:08 PM

163. Um

 

I'm really intelligent and I can manipulate iron down to the subatomic level.

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Response to Vashta Nerada (Reply #163)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 11:31 PM

164. I don't believe you have the flexible substrates

to do this.

But I'm up for seeing you prove me wrong.

Twenty quid?

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Response to tavernier (Reply #164)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 11:43 PM

167. Sorry.

 

The only quid I had, one that I received from Geoff Noble, I used it to purchase a lottery ticket for Donna Noble as a wedding present.

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Response to Vashta Nerada (Reply #167)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 11:48 PM

168. A noble gesture. N/T

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Response to tavernier (Reply #107)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 10:37 PM

159. Hapy Easter.

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Response to tavernier (Reply #107)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 10:41 PM

160. Have a blessed Easter

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 09:18 AM

108. I do believe he lived..

Raised a Catholic however, I am struggling with the Catholic dogma - I'm on a spiritual journey.

Thank you for the post

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 09:27 AM

110. Perhaps.

Not that it matters, considering the damage done by "his" followers since.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 11:21 AM

115. Jerimiah Johnson.....

Huh...? WTF does that have to do with Jesus?

Well, I'll be as brief as I can.

After seeing the movie with Robert Redford, I researched a bit, and read "Crow Killer", by Raymond Thorpe. It seems there was a "John Johnston" who was a mountain man. He ate the livers of the indians who came after him.

But there was some others, guys like him, and the stories got a little mixed in. After 100 years, they blended into one man.

And that's after only 100 years. Oral traditions are like that.

I believe that after 1,000 years or so, lots of stories of desert holy men got blended, and the mythical Christ came from that.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 12:05 PM

122. Yes

And he had children and at least one grandchild...

Try reading "Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls" by Margaret Thiering, an Austrailian professor.....

There's another about the Apocalypse...

Alibris has inexpensive used copies...

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 04:57 PM

126. Yes

I believe that Jesus did exist and that he died for my sins.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 05:19 PM

128. I think there were two main real historical humans and then a handful of myths

There was the Jewish gnostic mystic and the cult that followed him, preaching a very radical anti authoritarian message the core. Then you have the Roman remake that came shortly afterwards that basically threw everything out and grafted in some Ptolemy in order to made a handbook designed to encourage a subservient and weak willed population as a mechanisms for allowing the elites even greater control over their brainwashed sheep.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 05:24 PM

129. Well, the fact that he may or may not have existed doesn't seem to matter as much as...

the fact the end is near and he is responsible for this joyous event.

Tikki

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 05:26 PM

130. Hell no.

 

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 05:37 PM

131. I don't care

one way or the other.

I don't believe in a resurrection, or any other miracles/special interventions claimed by any religion regarding their beliefs.

I think the resurrection story co-opts nature myths that were the basis for nature deities.

I am insulted by religions that attempt to make these stories male-centered, when this is such an obvious lie and an attempt to destroy any sacred female attributes. Because they do this, I tend to view such religious beliefs as a form of "evil" in this world that is upheld by those who benefit from them.

Because I think codifying hatred/enslavement for one gender through religion is a form of evil. It is practiced with impunity, and by those who claim they speak for a deity. So, by extension, I see those who practice those religions as people who, whether intentionally or not, perpetuate evil in this world. I don't think most do it intentionally, however.

All forms of slavery are evil because they perpetuate inhumanity toward others, no matter the "difference" that justifies such actions.

Jesus never spoke against slavery, fwiw.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 06:25 PM

135. I do believe that there was a person who said the things that the New Testament

attributes to Jesus. But I think the debate over whether a historical figure existed or not matters only in the context of religion. No matter what, we know some person or persons did come up with those ideas 2000 years ago and those ideas have come down to us reverently over centuries.


I SO wish progressives could take back the church


How do you propose taking the Christian church without a belief in the resurrection of Christ? I am not saying that you should believe that Jesus existed and was God, but, if you don't believe that, you are not going to take the church. Maybe you could establish some other kind of entity, but you are not going to take over Christianity while denying the divinity of Christ

Don't Unitarians believe that Jesus was a good example? If so, maybe you could work with them.

As far as taking "back" the church, I think the church has always been controlled by authoritations--and not only the Christian Church, but all three religions "of the the book."

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 07:19 PM

139. Too many people here are doing what they blame conservatives for doing...

...picking out the "good" parts of the Jesus message and ignoring anything that doesn't fit with their personality.

Personally, I have no idea if Jesus existed, but I don't need his voice to build a moral framework for living.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 08:47 PM

149. First, what muriel_volestrangler said.

Second, he obviously existed. There's some folks here saying there's no record of him, which is kind of odd, considering. The person at the center of all those Gospels was, pretty obviously, a person of tremendous charisma, who was able to persuade enough people to his way of thinking to start a religion that is now I think second to Islam in the number of its adherents?
So he may have been one of many, but he was, somehow, better at getting his message across and better at getting people to actually follow through on acting on that message.
In conclusion, maybe not flogging a banker, but tickling them until they give in might be something to try.
Also, Another Roadside Attraction is way better than that Brown person. And it'll make you laugh to boot.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 08:52 PM

150. Possibly multiple historical figures.

There could have been multiple actual historical figures that became a composite character in the books we currently know as the gospels. This becomes more possible if you read the Nag Hamadi texts, especially the Gospel of Thomas.

Though it is possible, even probable, a single historical figure was the basis for the Christian myths, we cannot discount the possibility of this mytho-historical figure being a composite.

Please keep in mind, even by the time of Yishua ben Yusef, naming children after the most significant mytho-historical warrior king of the Judaic peopls was still a very common practice, making Yishua one of the most common names of the time.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 08:54 PM

151. I know Ted Cruz thinks he is the Messiah

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 10:30 PM

156. I believe Jesus was

a wise rabbi.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 10:32 PM

158. I don't know why Christians think Jesus is coming back.

 

It's not like he was nailed to a boomerang.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 11:35 PM

166. Probably. Probably was a Hercules, too.


The stories were written so long after though that there's nothing resembling a record of an actual man's life.

The core message was nice, wherever it came from. Not the sacrifice part. The peace and forgiveness part. Nice bit, that.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 12:35 AM

170. It was a slave religion that was used by rulers of a slave economy to keep their slaves in line.

Later it morphed into the equivalent for feudal societies.

Still later it once again resumed its traditional role with the new world slave economy.

Later still it morphed into the equivalent for industrial societies.

Why are we celebrating this nonsense?

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 01:14 AM

171. i believe.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 01:28 AM

172. Echoing those who cite Prof. Ehrman

By historians' usual standards of evidence, it is very likely the man we know as Jesus lived and died as outlined in the New Testament. Obviously whether he was or is divine is a matter of faith. But as Ehrman says, the multiple, somewhat independent accounts of his life, and the inclusion of details that are contrary to what early Christians would like to believe, lead almost all scholars to believe he existed. (As an example of the latter, the Jews at the time believed the messiah would be a great leader--a king, a judge, a warrior-- who would do great things, such as expel the Romans from the Holy Land. He was certainly not supposed to be arrested, tried, and executed by the Romans. That accounts of his life say that this happened make it more likely that it did-- who would want to say that their messiah was squashed so easily?)

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Response to BlueCheese (Reply #172)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 01:36 AM

173. "-- who would want to say that their messiah was squashed so easily?)"

I'll say it. He was.
Might trounces right, after all. We live in a physical world.

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Response to BlueCheese (Reply #172)

Mon Apr 21, 2014, 10:59 AM

208. Marvin Meyer thinks he was a "Wisdom Teacher"

which is a form of rabbi. There is a long history in Judism of Wisdom Teachers.

I don't know of any of the top experts in early Christianity that don't think he existed. There is still a lot of debate about just what he was.

The Gospel of John was very early and it recounts a mystical Jesus that was one with God. Meyer includes that Gospel and the Gospel of Thomas with the other Gnostic Writings.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 05:30 AM

175. I don't.

Made up from imagination, stories stolen from other religions, and possibly enhanced by bits and pieces of the lives of actual lay preachers of the day (when the tales were actually written, and then pre-dated).

Nothing attributed to Jesus was new, but were logical reasons for good behavior stemming from centuries of communal living since the beginning of mankind's ancestors. People were "good" before Christianity, people were "good" after, people are "good" without any religion at all, if they chose to be. Whatever "good" means can be debated.

You can be a good person because you believe in Jesus, or Allah, or the Buddha, and so on, or just because you're a good person.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 05:42 AM

176. No - Manufactured By Man To Control The Sheeple

eom

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 05:54 AM

177. There was likely a man or group of men who came up with the idea

of following the golden rule and caring for the poor and rejecting the legalistic Judaism of the day.

The Jesus Myth is something else again, cobbled out of many hero myths from the eastern Mediterranean.

The problem with most current followers is that they seem to groove on the myth without even a nod to the teachings and their implications for what has again become a legalistic type of religion which has been polluted by the outrageous heresies of John Darby and Rushdoony, to name but two. It's why they're able to quote chapter and verse of Genesis and Leviticus but are completely ignorant about the Sermon on the Mount.

If they actually paid any attention to Jesus, they might not be able to keep all their money.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 05:58 AM

178. Yes and no

Yes, I believe there were probably several people going around preaching at the time and that the christian gospels are telling an amalgamtion of their various legends. One of said people could have been named Yoshua, and one or more of which might have been crucified.

If you are saying do I believe that the gospels depict a singular man who the gospels more or less follow and mythicize? I am a bit more skeptical.

That said, be careful what you wish for. In general we lose sight of the fact that the people we admire are human and have flaws. If there truly was such a man he might not be the shining pillar of progressism and virtue you hope him to be.

The myst of time have a way of glossing over the truth...and there is a reason they say you should never meet your heroes.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 08:16 AM

181. nope. n/t

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 10:30 AM

184. That's pretty much how I see it, too, Bob.

I think there really was such a guy, but that his history was re-written and mythologized to a point where he's now a deity. I like your Jesus, too. It's his fan club I can't stand.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 11:07 AM

185. The truth is that HISTORY contains the word 'story'

What we are told to be history most likely is not what happened or a distortion of what happened.
In truth we can't really know the past.
All we know is what people TELL us the past was like.

Historians shape the views of the future.
And what they put in or leave out create the picture of what we see.

In the present we know that George W. Bush was an abomination.
But what if 500 years from now, historians paint a picture that he was a great leader?
500 years ago might as well be 1,000,000 years ago so how will most people know any different?

In the year 2014, how much do you care about the people who lived in 1514?
Don't you take the story of people from that time for granted?
Don't you pretty much accept what you're told?
And that's just for the people who actually HAVE an interest in history.
Others won't even care about THAT!

Hell, you don't even have to go back 500 years to get this effect.
Just 50 years ago & people are doing this.
How many people only think of Martin Luther King Jr. as the "I Have A Dream" guy?
How many people have already forgotten what the Civil Rights Act of 1964 did to the political parties?

If you're already seeing this effect in the span of a half-century, then imagine the effect of about 2 millenia.

It's better today than it was in the past, thanks to modern recording technologies.
The printing press, movies, radio, TV, & computers make it much easier to accurately record the realities of the times.
And EVEN THEN you're not gonna get the full picture!
You still have to watch for the inherent human bias & what's omitted & added into reports.
But you'll get a better sense of things today than you would 100 years ago, 1,000 years ago, 2,000 years ago.

Details about people may be different but the themes remain the same.
It may be near-impossible for current people to relate to people of the past who they didn't see in life.
You even see this with people 1 generation apart.
Adult kids usually can't see their parents as sexual beings.
Logically they know that exists but their minds chooses to see their parents in a different way.
To know that your parents really ain't that much different from you.
To know that the things your parents were scolding you from partaking in, they themselves partaked in when they were younger.
Image. That's all it is.

There MAY have a been a person or persons that the figure Jesus Christ was based on.
It COULD have been an entire fabrication to motivate/suppress/control a populace.
It COULD be a bit of both.
Today the end result is a LEGEND.

That's why I worry about the fickleness of the internet, the World Wide Web.
I see so much valuable historical resource with people's words on isolated blogs, random forums & dedicated websites.
But as soon as that web hosting bill lapses, it's 404. Gone forever.
An opinion with so much factual knowledge that it could shape the way people think about an issue forever...
...and when you go back to find it, it's gone.

That's why I put so many sites into my favorites.
But I NEED to print these things out for posterity before they inevitably disappear.

Most people's thinking about a forum is that if it isn't new, it doesn't matter.
People don't like old threads resurrected. They don't like zombie threads.
How much knowledge exists in Democratic Underground since its inception?
The "Old Obsolete DU" as well as the new DU?
How many people appreciate it? How many people look in those old threads?

It just emblematic of how most human beings are.
They don't really care about the past.
So only the historians control the keys to the past.
And once they decide how the STORY of HISTORY will be told, you'll just have to take their word for it.
Whether it's truth, half-truth, or outright lie.
That's how things become Legends.

All you're left with is the Legend of Jesus much like the Legend of Zelda.
You may derive useful lessons from this legend.
Just because something is fable doesn't mean it can't inspire you or teach you something.
I learned "Work Smarter Not Harder" from a cartoon character named Scrooge McDuck from 1987's Ducktales.
Even fiction can be useful.

That might be all we're left with.
Maybe none of us will ever REALLY KNOW the Past.
John Lucas

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Mon Apr 21, 2014, 09:58 AM

202. yes, I believe he was real, walked among others

He wasn't god on earth, but he was a real man.

I am atheist and believe this to be so.
He also was a trailblazing liberal...

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Mon Apr 21, 2014, 09:59 AM

203. My belief.

God is the OS. Jesus is the GUI.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Mon Apr 21, 2014, 10:00 AM

204. Yes I do. nt

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Mon Apr 21, 2014, 10:21 AM

207. a surprising number of "no"s on this thread -- Wow.

The Old Testament is ancient Jewish text. It is full of genealogy, one person "begatting" another in long chains. Ancient people were even more obsessed with recording who was a direct descendant of whom than we are. Some claim now to be able to trace Jewish families back to Moses and further. Written languages have existed for at least 6,000 years. People wrote stuff down and some of that original writing is still in existence.

The Romans kept records also. There is not special consideration for Jesus as he is one of many that were persecuted for a variety of transgressions to Roman law but he's there. An Oxford professor detailed the case for Jesus being persecuted because his religion was viewed as intolerant of other religions. In a nutshell (over simplified): the Romans assimilated conquered lands by making the conquered aspire to be Roman. Since the Romans were pantheists they did not put many limits on what kind of religion one could practice (as long as you assimilate) but the early group which Jesus assembled were considered to be trouble makers (for Rome) because their views on religion were divisive. Long after Jesus death at their hands, they decided that Christianity was a way to codify their culture and it went from outlawed religion to the official religion of Rome. When the military empire collapsed, the Holy Roman Empire lived on and helped control the hearts and minds of those in the formerly conquered lands.

There is ample historical record (outside the Bible) to establish the existence of Jesus and to establish the timeline of his life from birth to 13, and from age 30 to crucifixion. The records of rabbis and Roman authorities firmly establish the existence of Jesus -- they don't document miracles or the resurrection but they establish the person from birth to death.

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #207)

Mon Apr 21, 2014, 12:46 PM

215. Lol. And I'm just as surprised by the number of people

who believe he existed. There is no " historical record " whatsoever, despite your claims to the contrary.
The only people claiming "there is ample historical record" are believers.

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Response to Solomon (Reply #215)

Mon Apr 21, 2014, 12:55 PM

216. Nero. Pliny the Younger. The writings of Josephus. The Babylonian Talmud. Lucian.

All mention Jesus. None of these are biblical sources. Josephus was a jewish historian from the 1st Century AD, a non-believer.

There is part of my evidence. WHERE IS YOURS?

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Mon Apr 21, 2014, 11:35 AM

211. For background read this into Reb Akiba

He was a contemporary insofar as both men lived in the first 200 years of the common era. And both were rabies.

Some of akiva's parables are similar with good reason

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akiva_ben_Joseph#God.27s_two_attributes

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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Mon Apr 21, 2014, 11:37 AM

212. No. I think there were some wandering preachers at the time, but no one historical figure.


Same as I believe in medieval England, there were certainly outlaws, but no one outlaw that the
Robin Hood legend was based on.


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Response to backwoodsbob (Original post)

Mon Apr 21, 2014, 12:03 PM

214. K & R - this looks like a really good discussion, and I wish I'd gotten involved in it sooner,

but I didn't even open the topic until this morning.

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