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Old Today, 10:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Wardendresden View Post
Well, I can respect your decision on Jesus as NOT being the Messiah. You are hardly the first and most certainly will not be the last.

With regard to being a zealot seeking overthrow of the Roman government ( I don't think so), Reza Aslan, a Muslim converted to Christianity then back to Muslim, wrote a book a few years ago that was a fascinating take on just how many "messiahs" were roaming all over Judea in Jesus' time. And it mimics your ideas on a "revolutionary" Jesus.

https://www.amazon.com/ZEALOT-Life-T.../dp/140006922X

https://www.theatlantic.com/entertai...-jesus/278410/

You can read an interview with Aslan at this website, where he describes the most influential author on his own thinking -- Fyodor Dostoevsky inThe Brothers Karamazov
https://www.theatlantic.com/entertai...-jesus/278410/
One of the stories in the Karamazov is frequently a sounding board for atheists who like the idea that Jesus who returns to earth during the Inquisition and is imprisoned gets visited by the Grand Inquisitor who speaks to him at length about how the church doesn’t really need Jesus anymore. And that, frankly, his return at this point is just disruptive to the overall meaning of the church. In other words, the Grand Inquisitor says that the church’s mission in preaching Jesus has become more important than Jesus himself. And the great line, the quote that I really gravitated towards is this one here:

“Anyone who can appease a man’s conscience can take his freedom away from him.”

Read the short article to get a surprise response from Jesus.

Aslan's credentials include a B.A. in religious studies from Santa Clara University, a Master of Theological Studies (MTS) from Harvard Divinity School, a Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in fiction writing from the University of Iowa's Writers' Workshop, and a PhD in sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Zealot is a fine book balancing religious views, political realities, and describes in detail the context and culture into which Jesus was born.
We (those who are interested in the topic) have been aware for some time of the 'messiah' idea. It seems to have really been formed up in the Maccabean revolt where, almost miraculously, the Greeks rule was broken and the Hasmoneans formed a rulership, taking both the kingship and the priesthood. This was the clearest proof for the jews that God would deliver them. Regrettably ( regret it, too) they fell into family feuding which allowed Pompey to intervene and allowed the Edomite Herodians to eliminate the Jewish family.

The interesting thing is that the Hasmoneans revolutionaries were the original zealots, and Zealotry had links with not only driving out unpopular rulers but foreign rulers. So by Jesus' time, zealotry, kingship, the Pharisees and faithfulness to God's laws in hoped to get God's help to restore proper Messianic rule was part of jewish political thought in Jesus time.

When Jesus' story looks so much like a Messianic element and, what's more, the roman reaction looks so much like it, too. The question of a Jewish Failed Messiah as opposed to the Christian concept of a messiah is the central one. Since there is almost nothing in contemporary history about it, we have to look at the gospels themselves. And we can see already the was the concept of messiah' has been changed from a human Jewish ruler succeeding with god's favour to a god incarnated, which was of course the greco-Roman view, and anathema to the Jews. As much as to the Muslims, which is why they can do such a hot job of debunking Christianity.

We can see it first in Matthew where the magi turn up at Herod's palace and ask where the Messiah is, because they want to worship him. To Herod, this would have meant a hasmonean or at least the son of a Noble or officer who might challenge his rule. But instead, he goes to scripture and says that he wants to worship him too. This is imposing on Jewish ideas of the messiah the christian idea which would have been foreign to both the magi and to Herod.

We see it again in the Blasphemy charge. To claim to be the messiah is at most rebellious. It isn't blasphemy, unless the term is taken to be the christian concept of God incarnate. So never mind later evolution of a human driven about by the spirit of God in Mark to the God present with a near transparent human skin as in John, right from the first overlaying of the Jesus story with Pauline Greek -Christian Theology as the proto synoptic gospel, the Christian messianic definition 'God incarnate' was backdated to Jewish thinking, which they could never have actually thought.

It is rather amusing that, as soon as the Blasphemy charge is pinned on Jesus. he is hustled off to Pilate and the Blasphemy charge is dropped and the charge and the sentence is rebellion, which is what it had really been right from the start.

I won't go into (again) the action that condemned Jesus as a Zealot rebel and therefore was the only charge NOT levelled at Jesus either by the Sanhedrin or by the Romans. the charge pinned on the cross and the "Robbers" ( acommon epithet for zealots) crucified along with Jesus, nor the links with Barabbas' insurrection. But I will, if need be.
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