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Old 08-20-2013, 11:24 PM
 
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let me see if i got this right this guy jesus is the son of man the prince of peace and son of god, has a faith based on him and all he did was HANG OUT on a friday. in put please.
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Old 08-21-2013, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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I'm sure a Christian would say he did a lot more than get crucified, he was resurrected and currently is everyone's invisible friend. The problem is not that the story isn't compelling for many (the Christianity meme is exceedingly well developed and enduring, after all). It's that it's not rationally believable because there is no evidence that it's true, yet people choose to believe it anyhow for various reasons -- agency inference, fear of death, a desire to justify a self-absorbed worldview that life is all about you and how special you are, etc.
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Old 08-21-2013, 07:19 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Using the gospels with a discriminating eye for later agenda material, and the two books by Roman historian Josephus about 1st Century Palestine, it is possible to construct reasonable guesses as to what Jesus was actually doing with his ministry.

The scholar constructed Q concept postulates that evangelical gospels used a common, but since gone missing source to write their narratives, and that the common material found in the evangelicals represents that Q source material. This allows scholars to trim away the additives, the agenda fueled modifications which were inserted during the struggle for hegemony over the cult between the James led Jewish oriented faction, and the Paul led ministry to the gentiles.

The Paul faction triumphed when the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE wiped out the base of the James/Jesus as a Jewish prophet Christian faction. Thus the Jesus we wound up with in the gospels, written some 30-60 years after the death of Jesus, is the Paul invented Christ, the divine entity. The Jesus that was lost when James and his faction were exterminated, was most certainly a great deal closer to the historical man than Paul's self invented notions about a man he never met. (James was the brother of Jesus, and as such, certainly knew a great deal more about Jesus than did Paul.)

That Jesus that has been lost to history is best reconstructed, based on the available evidence, as some sort of Jewish radical with his major purpose being first the overthrow of the Temple leaders who were cooperating with Rome in exchange for lives of great comfort, and ultimately the overthrow of the Roman occupiers, all of which would be replaced with the vaguely defined "Kingdom of Heaven" or "Kingdom of God" where the greedy and wicked would now be found on the bottom of society and the oppressed on top. These events were to take place within the lifetimes of those hearing the voice of Jesus. Jesus does not appear to be calling for an armed rebellion, rather he expects the revolution to be executed by the hand of God.

His ideas were clearly influenced by his meeting with John the Baptist who was a former high priest turned anti-Temple rebel after the Sanhedrin got into bed with their Roman masters. After meeting John, Jesus embarked on a two year preaching ministry, cautiously keeping to Galilee and avoiding the political reach of the Sanhedrin who ruled in Judea only. Then Jesus seems to have turned a corner, decided that he was indeed the Messiah, and made an extremely provocative entrance into Jerusalem during Passover Week, the time of year when would be Messiahs came out of the woods and swarmed to Jerusalem to make their claims. Jesus then deliberately threw down the gauntlet when he attacked the money lenders at the Temple, an unmistakable challenge to the authority of the Temple leaders, and thus, to their Roman masters as well.

To the Romans he was nothing, one more religious trouble maker in an annoyingly bothersome backwater province of the empire. They executed him for the crime of sedition, something they did on a routine basis. That there was a trial at all for this non Roman citizen, much less one presided over by the Roman prelate himself, lacks credibility. Romans did not waste time trying "bandits" which was their collective title for all any any engaged in anti Roman activities. They caught them and they killed them, using the cross to send a gruesome message to all who might think to emulate the condemned man's behavior.

And that was the life of Jesus the man, Jesus of Nazareth, a failed Mesisah, a failed prophet, whose main concern was purifying the Jewish religion, not launching a replacement religion. Jesus the Christ, Jesus the Divine, Jesus the lover of peace and pacifist philosopher, that was entirely the invention of Paul who was marketing his message to the Roman world and had to modify it considerably to avoid offending the Romans. The failure of the Kingdom of God to materialize as predicted by Jesus, also meant that Paul had to rework the message to explain away that embarrassment.

This need became even greater after the destruction of the Hebrew state in 70 CE with the Jews becoming pariahs in the eyes of the rest of the empire. Paul worked to divorce Jesus from his Jewish roots to the greatest degree possible. a process most readily seen in the progression of the trial and execution narratives. Between Mark's gospel, the earliest, and John's the last written, the story of the trial changes so that with each new telling, the Roman prelate Pilate appears to be trying harder and harder to save Jesus, an utterly preposterous notion given the attitude of Rome toward trouble making peasants. The idea was to fix the blame on the Jews and not the Romans.

Jesus Christ is the reformulated, divinely anointed product of Paul's imagination. Jesus of Nazareth remains elusive, the best we may do is to make educated guesses which are consistent with the available evidence.

Last edited by Grandstander; 08-21-2013 at 08:03 PM..
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Old 08-24-2013, 08:46 AM
 
278 posts, read 255,906 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Using the gospels with a discriminating eye for later agenda material, and the two books by Roman historian Josephus about 1st Century Palestine, it is possible to construct reasonable guesses as to what Jesus was actually doing with his ministry.
Ughhhhh.......Am I missing something? It is bothersome that Josephus is still considered evidence that jeebus existed.
Josephus' account of Jesus is a known forgery, also known as flavious testimonial, and was likely interpolated by Catholic Church historian Eusebius in the fourth century. It should be bothersome to christians that Josephus, who laboriously chronicled the lives of everyday jews, such as petty thieves, was 'somehow' unaware of his contemporary, the greatest miracle man that would ever exist. In fact, there were 30 or so Jesus contemporary historians, and none of them, to my knowledge, mention 'the son of god'.


Josephus on Jesus | Forgery and Fraud? | Flavius Testimonium
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Old 08-24-2013, 09:20 AM
 
12,540 posts, read 12,556,252 times
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Originally Posted by pendleton42 View Post
let me see if i got this right this guy jesus is the son of man the prince of peace and son of god, has a faith based on him and all he did was HANG OUT on a friday. in put please.
If I'm reading this right, it belongs in the atheist joke thread.
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Originally Posted by SteelDragon View Post
Ughhhhh.......Am I missing something? It is bothersome that Josephus is still considered evidence that jeebus existed.
Josephus' account of Jesus is a known forgery, also known as flavious testimonial, and was likely interpolated by Catholic Church historian Eusebius in the fourth century. It should be bothersome to christians that Josephus, who laboriously chronicled the lives of everyday jews, such as petty thieves, was 'somehow' unaware of his contemporary, the greatest miracle man that would ever exist. In fact, there were 30 or so Jesus contemporary historians, and none of them, to my knowledge, mention 'the son of god'.


Josephus on Jesus | Forgery and Fraud? | Flavius Testimonium
In "Antiquities" Josephus tells the story of the death of James the Just in 62 CE who is sentenced to be stoned to death by the High Priest for his blasphemy, and mentions that James was .."..the brother of Jesus, the one they call messiah." That of course is not a confirmation that Jesus did exist, but at least a confirmation that the Jesus cult existed and that this James fellow was believed to be the brother of the founder. Beyond that, the absence of any legitimate mention of Jesus tells us that if he was real, he failed to make a big splash on the Romans while alive. Clearly James has done a better pr job than Jesus ever did because by writing about the death of James, Josephus is affirming him as the head of the cult movement which was annoying the Sanhedrin members.

Josephus is critical to scholars not for confirming or dis-confirming the person of Jesus, but rather for providing the historical and cultural background of the world in which Jesus lived. If we look only at the gospels we see a miraculous, unique individual. If we view the gospels in the context of the history of Josephus, we learn that messiahs were a dime a dozen in this era, that the annual Passover Feast in Jerusalem always drew the religious fanatics who stirred up trouble, and that frequently things got out of hand and the Romans wound up having to send in the legion to restore order, which in Roman practice meant killing everyone they could catch until the trouble stopped.

Most importantly it is from Josephus that we learn of the the single biggest, and longest running source of trouble in Palestine in the 1st Century CE. That was the sell out of the Temple Faction to the Romans. They exchanged their legitimacy as the chief keepers of the Hebrew faith for lives of Roman provided comfort and wealth, spawning six decades of rebellion by figures like John the Baptist and Jesus. The major concern of these dissidents was less the Romans themselves than it was the "traitors", the priestly class who had abandoned the true faith in order to receive the favors of Rome.

Josephus relates many tales of self proclaimed messiahs who came to bad ends at Roman hands over the years. There was the bandit chief Hezekiah beheaded by Herod, Judas the Galilean (not that Judas) who with Zaddok the Pharisee initiated what was called "The Fourth Philosophy", a movement dedicated to freeing Israel from foreign influence, executed by the Romans, Theudas the Wonder Worker (Jesus had no monopoly on miracles) who set up a rebellious ministry on the Jordan River and promised to part the waters a la Moses. The Romans ruined this event by sending in the legions, putting the arm on Theudas and lopping off his head.

Then there was Jacob and Simon, the sons of executed Judas the Galilean, who upon reaching age, launched their own version of their father's revolt and wound up being crucified by the Romans for their efforts. The last of these "bandits" (what Rome called everyone who tried to operate outside Roman authority) mentioned by Josephus was Eleazar son of Dinaeus, another messiah wannabe who was sent to Rome to be crucified.

After Eleazar the anti Temple/anti Rome faction coalesced around the Sicarri (Daggermen) who operated as clandestine assassins under the leadership of a youth named Menahem, the grandson of ...guess who...Judas the Galilean. It was their movement which eventually emerged as the full blown Jewish revolt in 66 CE, the one which resulted in the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE. It was the Sicarri who were the final holdouts on Masada and who committed mass suicide rather than be captured by Rome when the legions finally managed to take Masada in 73 CE.

Those were just the major messianic figures of the era, the pages abound with minor ones as well. That Jesus didn't even make that list tells us a great deal about how inconsequential the Romans viewed the Jesus incident.
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,198 posts, read 9,109,074 times
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Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
... Josephus is critical to scholars not for confirming or dis-confirming the person of Jesus, but rather for providing the historical and cultural background of the world in which Jesus lived...
Can't rep you, so just wanted to thank you for the excellent overview.

<RANT>In an alternate reality where I had more time I'd write a much better algorithm for permitting reps. I can't help it that most of the good content comes from a few people most of the time. All a system like this should prevent a user from doing is acting as a toady by repping every single post a particular person writes. I should be able to rep, say, up to 10% of any one person's posts, end of story.</RANT>
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Can't rep you, so just wanted to thank you for the excellent overview.

<RANT>In an alternate reality where I had more time I'd write a much better algorithm for permitting reps. I can't help it that most of the good content comes from a few people most of the time. All a system like this should prevent a user from doing is acting as a toady by repping every single post a particular person writes. I should be able to rep, say, up to 10% of any one person's posts, end of story.</RANT>
Thanks...and if multiple reps for individuals was possible, you would have received a truckload from me.
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Old 08-24-2013, 06:51 PM
 
278 posts, read 255,906 times
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Thanks for your detailed response, Grandstander. I also can't rep you anymore =)
So if messiahs were ubiquitous during this era, why do you think Jesus' legacy(rather real or fictitious) stands out instead of some other *******'s?
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Old 08-24-2013, 07:03 PM
Status: "Watching America made small." (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
25,955 posts, read 13,481,092 times
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Dang.

I thought (via the subject line) that maybe this was going to be a thread about one of my heroes - The Dude - of The Great Lebowski fame.

The Dude was, and continues to be, righteously cool indeed.

So...nevermind.

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