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Old 12-25-2011, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Mississippi
6,715 posts, read 12,281,343 times
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When I was younger... Much younger... Maybe 6 or 7 years old... I was one of the odd kids in school whose parents didn't take him to church. So, feeling left out and not really understanding the whole concept of church, I asked my parents to bring me there. So they did. A Catholic Church. They also signed me up for Sunday School (which I was later kicked out of but that's another story).

The thing is that all this happened maybe three months before Christmas. As Christmas neared, I was chosen from the Sunday School class to play the part of one of the three Wise Men in the Christmas play. Either because I was the only kid who could elucidate or because I was the only one who wouldn't shut up, I had the only speaking part. My lines were to be delivered immediately after the birth of baby Jesus... "Come. Let's see what the angel of the Lord has brung to thee."

Shortly after Christmas, I was kicked out of Sunday School for continuously calling the Pope "The Poop." I know, very mature but I thought it was funny.

I guess what I'm getting at is from the viewpoint of a six or seven year old child, the Catholic Church put on a helluva show. It had all the things that would suck in any six or seven year old. But, that's not what got me sucked in. In fact, I always felt a little bored with the Jesus story.

What really fascinated me was Santa Claus. Not just because I was going to get presents but I was utterly fascinated with this man in the red suit who was watching me all the time to determine if I was good or bad. In fact, I remember constantly scratching my head to figure out how his reindeer flew, how precisely such a fat man was going to squeeze down the chimney, and I remember even wondering what kind of food he had to eat up at the North Pole.

But, I also remember looking at the Christmas tree, this portent bearer of candy canes, ornaments, and lights that would one day soon net me some more loot and wondering if it was "just right" for Santa Claus. You see, I am a meticulous person and I wanted things to be just right for the man so as to maximize my presents. I wanted the chocolate chip cookies to be done just right and the milk to be cold.

Looking back on it, at that age I appreciated Jesus because his "birth" enabled the fat man to give me presents. Yet I was definitely far more infatuated, mystified, and curious about Santa Claus than I ever was Jesus. Sure, a bit of it was a selfish desire to get more presents but I always felt the story of Santa was a fantastic one and, believe it or not, I always had this feeling that being able to fly to every single home in one night was more believable than re-animating from the dead.

Sadly, I think my belief in Santa died after that Christmas. I don't remember the exact moment of clarity but I do remember thinking that some of the claims about Santa seemed to change, that getting to every home in the world was a little bit impractical and that the chocolate chip cookies, our offering to this elfish deity, always happened to be my Dad's favorite cookies. It's a lot more than I can say for my thoughts on Jesus, whose story I never really grasped as a good one or even something I thought was fair and noble.

I do still look back at those years as a six or seven year old and wish I could have that magical belief in Santa Claus back. Those were far simpler and easier times and there seemed to be a certain sense of magic that few things in the world can bring. Perhaps a very good movie could do it but little else in reality seemed to me as powerful and fun a story as the Santa Claus story. Come to think of it, any belief I may have had in Jesus also died that year. I always assumed him to be the forebear and reason for Santa.
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Old 12-25-2011, 06:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pamelaBeurman View Post
Care to elaborate on that?
Jesus is not a Hebrew name.
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Old 12-28-2011, 02:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
Jesus is not a Hebrew name.
His name does have a rather complicated etymology.
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Old 12-28-2011, 02:14 PM
 
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Even though there is technically no evidence, I still recognize Jesus as a person, but he is just that. He was probably a cool guy with a handful of good ideas that garnered some attention........Good and bad attention, obviously, lol (too soon?).
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Old 12-28-2011, 02:36 PM
 
Location: TX
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Originally Posted by Aganusn View Post
Even though there is technically no evidence, I still recognize Jesus as a person, but he is just that. He was probably a cool guy with a handful of good ideas that garnered some attention........Good and bad attention, obviously, lol (too soon?).
Yeah, I always kinda figured if there ever was a man who angered two opposite sides of the proverbial political/religious coin, he must've been righteous. If there's one thing guaranteed to offend all kinds of people, it's the truth.
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Old 12-28-2011, 04:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Vic 2.0 View Post
Yeah, I always kinda figured if there ever was a man who angered two opposite sides of the proverbial political/religious coin, he must've been righteous. If there's one thing guaranteed to offend all kinds of people, it's the truth.
I don't actually believe that there was a man like this in history.

Did Jesus exist?

Quote:
What appears most revealing of all, comes not from what people later wrote about Jesus but what people did not write about him. Consider that not a single historian, philosopher, scribe or follower who lived before or during the alleged time of Jesus ever mentions him!

If, indeed, the Gospels portray a historical look at the life of Jesus, then the one feature that stands out prominently within the stories shows that people claimed to know Jesus far and wide, not only by a great multitude of followers but by the great priests, the Roman governor Pilate, and Herod who claims that he had heard "of the fame of Jesus" (Matt 14:1)". One need only read Matt: 4:25 where it claims that "there followed him [Jesus] great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judea, and from beyond Jordan." The gospels mention, countless times, the great multitude that followed Jesus and crowds of people who congregated to hear him. So crowded had some of these gatherings grown, that Luke 12:1 alleges that an "innumerable multitude of people... trode one upon another." Luke 5:15 says that there grew "a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear..." The persecution of Jesus in Jerusalem drew so much attention that all the chief priests and scribes, including the high priest Caiaphas, not only knew about him but helped in his alleged crucifixion. (see Matt 21:15-23, 26:3, Luke 19:47, 23:13). The multitude of people thought of Jesus, not only as a teacher and a miracle healer, but a prophet (see Matt:14:5).

So here we have the gospels portraying Jesus as famous far and wide, a prophet and healer, with great multitudes of people who knew about him, including the greatest Jewish high priests and the Roman authorities of the area, and not one person records his existence during his lifetime? If the poor, the rich, the rulers, the highest priests, and the scribes knew about Jesus, who would not have heard of him?
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:42 PM
 
Location: On the Edge of the Fringe
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Kind of like Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone, Teddy Roosevelt...all great men, all larger than life, and all at least 110 years in the past....SO it would be so easy for a legend to evolve around them. Especially today when we have the internet, TV , movies widespread printing of books, all available to further the mythology around these men. Mythology can make these men BIGGER Than life!!!!
Think about how that would have worked in a few generations in a lnad under excile, iunder the heavy hand of Rome, without the aforementioned media (which would have been under Roamn cencorship anyways) What would people have wanted? The mythic "Messaih" an old Ancient Hebrew legend of a famed warrior who would appear from God and rally the Jewish People to not just freedom but Domination !!! Many people came who were thought to be the "Messiah" Some Matthias, some his son Josephus...remember, this is an ncient mythic story which defined Jewish culture. They believed that this Messaih was really going to appear and lead them in an armed uprising to freedom ! And to read the hsitorical accounts of the uprisings and wars of this era cannot be fully understood without an underlying knowledge of the mythology which shaped the jewish people as well as the politics behind Rome, one which favored Herod, a king who was not in line to succeed rule over Judea.
By the time of Jesus, Rome had become wary of revolts and was on the lookout for whomever the jewish people might point to as the next Messiah..... even though all the others had failed.
Jesus, the Narazene, or Gallilean or perhaps a mythic combination of several people, was not seen as significant enough at the time to warrant historical commentary from the Jews or the Romans either.
He did have a spinter group of follwers, and it was a later hate-Monger, Saul, a Roman citizen who was opposed to Christians who under mental diress, hallucinated that he was "all knowing and all enlightened" and sought out aa claim for Christianity.
I cannot help wonder to this day what the depths of Paul's mental illness was, reading and re-reading his writings we gather a probable siezure disorder (which can cause a person to fall over and see bright lights) as well as a high degree of what we call a bipolar disorder, not to mention some anxiety disorders as well. Things that in this century, we can treat with prozac and Xanax and Tegretol, but in his time, could be mistaken by the medically superstitious as "signs from God"
Interesting too, that no where in antiquity do we have any viable accound of this "Jesus" trying to start a new religion, although we see Paul doing jsut that. And I have to wonder to this day how much Paul's teachings and Jesus' teachings mesh? Seriously, what is recorded in the four gospels (and I admit is highly innacurate from a point of prooving that Jesus was the author of what is attributed to him,) is often antithetical to the legalistic dogma of Paul. I would wonder if what happened when Paul was blinded by the Light on The Road to Damascus was this "AHA!" Moment hwere Paul said "I GOT IT! I CAN DESTROY THIS RELIGION FROM WITHIN BY CHANGING EVERYTHING THAT JESUS SAID AND DID! YIPPEE!!! HOTDOG!!!"
Anyway, I would not put Paul ever on a spiritual teaching plane, on reserved for figures like the Buddha, Confuscious, Augustine, St Francis, Yogananda, and even Carl Rogers and Ayn Rand !!!
And back to what I said, about Davy Crockett. I am sure that when he was 3 years old, which is the time most toddlers are learning about the world around him, he had no problem taking aim and killing a black bear which weighted 20 times what he did. After all, if Disney tells it, it has to be true. Right ? As true as his coon-skin cap !
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