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Old 02-05-2024, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roodd279 View Post
Not totally following...

"..if the claims of the Gospels aren't true..."


Then there was no Jesus.


End of question.
The totality of the gospel claims are that Jesus was a miracle-working god-man who could raise the dead and was himself raised from the dead and flew up to heaven.

That fabulist narrative not being 100% true just means that there's no miracle-working god-man, but it doesn't prohibit there being an actual historical Jesus to whom all this turgid nonsense was attributed.

Other alternatives include that the gospel narrative was based on on a composite drawn from multiple individuals and/or from other legends (e.g., Mithras, etc); or that they were simply made up.

Historicity is a low bar, consisting basically of "what is least likely to be untrue based on the (potentially very sparse) evidence we have". It is not scientific. Also a lot of people who have expertise in the history of religion and of ancient history of that period, are trained by, funded by, or otherwise beholden to, the Abrahamic religions and their narratives. For the most part they aren't going to openly bite the hand that feeds them.

We could debate the historicity of Jesus until the cows come home (and have in the past). Personally I am, like thrill, a mythicist on this matter (which is the minority opinion) ... but if I'm wrong it presents zero problem for me because as you suggest the real question is whether Jesus was far more than another dime-a-dozen itinerant preacher of that era. There is SOME (not much in my view, but some) basis to believe in a historical Jesus on which the mythos is based; there is NO basis to believe the mythos itself.
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Old 02-05-2024, 12:42 PM
 
Location: TEXAS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavenese View Post
Today I want to give a discussion on what could still be gleaned from Jesus' life, if the claims of the Gospels aren't true. This is a take from the scholarly view of what they call the "Historical Jesus". First I'll outline the things scholars have a general consensus on given what is mentioned from the Gospels, and historical sources outside that context...


- It is generally accepted Jesus was from Nazareth.
- accepted Jesus had a large family.
- accepted Jesus was baptized by John. (May have been a disciple)
- accepted Jesus had His own disciples and taught
- accepted Jesus was crucified
- accepted Jesus' disciples preached He rose again


This is the basic consensus view of what most historians agree concerning Jesus. They believe it's possible Jesus at some point told His disciples He was the Messiah, but the claim of divinity was most likely made later by those same disciples. So let's take a look at things from this angle........


Jesus came from a relatively poor family. Being the oldest of His brothers and sisters, a lot would be expected on Him to carry the family name. It is generally believed the oldest son would take on the occupation of their fathers. In the case of Jesus, that occupation was craftsmanship. A lot of English translations of the New Testament state Joseph was a "carpenter". Yet the most accurate translation of the Greek word "tektƍn" is artisan or craftsman, and is the basis for where we get our word 'architect" from.


Jesus following in the family business would have been considered a builder. No doubt He would have dealt with some woodworking, but it's most likely He worked with stone and stone masonry. He likely traveled with Joseph to different areas constructing buildings and other structures. This is what He did for most of His life. While working with His father Joseph, they may have had long discussions concerning Scripture and the Roman occupation. You can only imagine the bond Jesus had with Joseph. At some point, Joseph passes away, leaving the full responsibility of the family in Jesus' hands.


A lot was on Jesus' plate at this point in His life. It was around this time a cousin of His, John, began preaching in the wilderness. John proclaimed the people of Israel should repent, "For the kingdom of heaven has come near!" It was an apocalyptic message.


Now again, this is what critical scholars agree on concerning Jesus' life. They believe Jesus took this message to heart, and began to commit His life toward ushering in God's kingdom. He was baptized by John, and from that moment on He left His occupation of working on and crafting stone, and began working crafting the people. He left His family behind and gave His full attention to God's kingdom.


This is one of the most interesting details for me concerning Jesus. How He left everything behind in pursuit of this goal. Naturally looking at this, the world would condemn Jesus for doing such a thing, abandoning His family like that. Even more so given the culture of the oldest son having the responsibility of taking care of the family in the absence of the father. (And again, they were a poor family)


There was one instance where Mary and some of Jesus' brothers came to take Him back home, because there were those in His family who believed He wasn't in His right mind. Someone told Jesus His family was seeking Him, and He outwardly told the crowd around Him saying, "Who are My mother and My brothers?" Then looking around He pointed to them stating it was they, those who do the will of God, were His brothers, sisters, and mother.


I believe you would be a complete liar if you said that wasn't disrespectful toward His family. Jesus' actions go against our common and survival senses. Saying it was disrespectful would be putting it lightly. In the world, your family is supposed to be the ones who care about you the most. Of course I know that's not the case every time. Yet that is how things are supposed to be. At the very least, your mother cares for you. So goes the phrase of 'having the face only a mother could love'. However Jesus states those who do the will of God, they are His mother. So He refused to meet His family.


Now we see Jesus' complete dedication toward His message. Toward loving the least of the world, and bringing them the good news of God's kingdom. He absolutely left everything behind, denied Himself of His entire family, and became a servant of the world. Ultimately this shows us that even if Jesus didn't claim to be the Son of God or God in the flesh, we still very much see the same message of God's grace toward the world. We still see a Man who gave Himself to those who heard His message. And we see a Man who saw the value of every one, even to those who had skin diseases and were maimed and crippled. In truth, He put them first, before the well respected.


So as time went along, scholars believe from the historical view at some point Jesus began to tell His disciples He was the Messiah. During His last weeks, He entered the city of Jerusalem on a donkey, and this stirred up a crowd who were praising Him and making allusions to David's kingdom. All of this would have caught the attention of not only the religious establishment, but no doubt Rome's attention as well. Then came the incident at the temple, where Jesus drove out the commerce going on there.


Ultimately we know what happened next. For His actions, Jesus was crucified. If the scholarly view is correct, it gives a slightly different context to Jesus' cry on the cross, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" Remember, He gave up everything, including His own family, and pursued God's kingdom with His whole heart. Now here He is, dying on the cross, with people mocking Him for the things He spoke. Can you imagine what He must have felt at this point? The tears in His eyes?


I also want to point this out, He was completely naked on the cross. With His hands nailed, He can't cover Himself. This is part of the shame one endured under this punishment. It is a slow and agonizing death. Bugs flying around your face, crawling all over your body. You can't even shoo them away.


According to John's Gospel, after Jesus died, one of the Roman soldiers took a spear and pierced into His side to double check. Usually it could take multiple days before a person dies, but Jesus was beaten beyond recognition right before being nailed on the cross. Due to blood loss and exposure, Jesus only lasted a few hours.


The soldier most likely pierced into Jesus heart, and blood and plasma ( water) came out. This shows us while Jesus was on the cross, His heart likely ruptured. Jesus literally died of a broken heart. The Gospels record that Jesus gave out a loud cry right before dying, so Jesus' heart likely ruptured at that point.


The Gospels tell us some of the women who followed Jesus watched Him from a distance, while John's Gospel makes mention His mother was there with John. Jesus gave Himself for the world, but only His mother was there for Him while He was dying.


He was then taken down from the cross and was buried. Here is where the "Historical Jesus" story comes to an end as far as scholars are concerned. What happened afterward, can't be confirmed by critical analysis. Yet even if we say everything afterward was made up by Jesus' disciples, Jesus' message of the kingdom of heaven has no doubt spread throughout the world. What Jesus did while on the earth, wasn't a waste.


He gave up everything, even His own life for the whole world. His passion was great!!! It cost Him family and friends. He became an outcast. And He died in the most brutal way one can imagine, all the while being mocked for the life He lived and the message He preached. Even though at the time it all seemed in vain, that He wasted His life, in the end He's become the most important Man to have ever lived to this point! Even the family He left aside to do God's will, would come to believe His message. James His brother became one of the most important figures in the church at Jerusalem. Jesus gave up His life, and received so much more in return!!!


This is what can still be gleaned even if the claims of the Gospel and the New Testament aren't true. That's been my take. Yall give me your thoughts. What else could be learned from the Historical Jesus?

Perhaps it is YOU who has the wrong perspective;
Jesus wasn't 'disrespecting' His own mother (which would be a violation of 7th commandment!),
BUT RATHER was telling the crowd that even they could be ELEVATED to the lofty level of 'being HIS mother/brother/sister' by doing the Fathers will! (Mat 12)
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Old 02-05-2024, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
50,759 posts, read 24,253,304 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post

The totality of the gospel claims are that Jesus was a miracle-working god-man who could raise the dead and was himself raised from the dead and flew up to heaven.

That fabulist narrative not being 100% true just means that there's no miracle-working god-man, but it doesn't prohibit there being an actual historical Jesus to whom all this turgid nonsense was attributed.

Other alternatives include that the gospel narrative was based on on a composite drawn from multiple individuals and/or from other legends (e.g., Mithras, etc); or that they were simply made up.

Historicity is a low bar, consisting basically of "what is least likely to be untrue based on the (potentially very sparse) evidence we have". It is not scientific. Also a lot of people who have expertise in the history of religion and of ancient history of that period, are trained by, funded by, or otherwise beholden to, the Abrahamic religions and their narratives. For the most part they aren't going to openly bite the hand that feeds them.

We could debate the historicity of Jesus until the cows come home (and have in the past). Personally I am, like thrill, a mythicist on this matter (which is the minority opinion) ... but if I'm wrong it presents zero problem for me because as you suggest the real question is whether Jesus was far more than another dime-a-dozen itinerant preacher of that era. There is SOME (not much in my view, but some) basis to believe in a historical Jesus on which the mythos is based; there is NO basis to believe the mythos itself.
I pretty much agree with this post, particularly the bolded.

What often makes me chuckle is that godists keep bringing this up, time and time again, as if doing so will suddenly, and magically (aha...a miracle!), make those of us they are telling this to -- in this case atheists -- suddenly change their minds and start believing it. I'll say to heavenese (or whatever his moniker is) what I have said before -- when you present me with FACTUAL information that I can see with my own eyes and personally verify, then you'll really get my attention. But, heavenese, smarter and more persuasive christians than you have failed...over and over and over again. What is the old saying? When you keep doing the same thing you've always done before...you'll keep getting the same result. And that's failure. And I'll give him the same advice I have given countless times before: stop trying to PROVE what cannot be proven; instead focus on the principles...and they rarely do.
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Old 02-05-2024, 01:34 PM
 
4,021 posts, read 1,871,384 times
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That fabulist narrative not being 100% true

Well - the OP didn't specify a percent - so I assumed it was fair to say NONE OF IT is true. If the OP meant, what can we glean, if only 80% is true or whatever - that has no meaning in the religious sense. There is a particular few percent which - if true - makes ALL the difference from the remaining huge percent - which - if true - would be mainly meaningless. That's kinda what the OP is saying...


"If Jesus weren't actually the Son of God, with all associated skills, then what can we glean from his life?"


Well - if he weren't / wasn't / isn't - then I'd say who cares? There is no need to "glean" ANYTHING from his life that should take precedence over what you glean from mine or yours.
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Old 02-05-2024, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
19,956 posts, read 13,447,359 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roodd279 View Post
That fabulist narrative not being 100% true

Well - the OP didn't specify a percent - so I assumed it was fair to say NONE OF IT is true. If the OP meant, what can we glean, if only 80% is true or whatever - that has no meaning in the religious sense. There is a particular few percent which - if true - makes ALL the difference from the remaining huge percent - which - if true - would be mainly meaningless. That's kinda what the OP is saying...


"If Jesus weren't actually the Son of God, with all associated skills, then what can we glean from his life?"


Well - if he weren't / wasn't / isn't - then I'd say who cares? There is no need to "glean" ANYTHING from his life that should take precedence over what you glean from mine or yours.
Yeah I don't know why I bothered to put a percentage in there, if it's not true, then at best it just leaves you with some dude who probably would turn over in his grave at all the fuss that has been made about him.

There are Christians who are totally literalist / inerrantist and there are Christians who take at least the miraculous parts of the gospel narratives with a grain of salt. To a literalist, it has to be 100% true. To others, they see Jesus as a prophet or unusually good person or great teacher and stick to his supposed moral principles. Yes in a sense Jesus is no more worthy of emulation or investigation than the next person but in another sense he could in theory be more worthy than most and still not be god incarnate.

My personal belief is it's all reading tea leaves at a distance of 2,000 years, so it's whatever someone wants to read into it ... I don't care to order my life by other people's fantasies so it's of no interest to me.
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Old 02-05-2024, 02:51 PM
 
18,249 posts, read 16,902,587 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavenese View Post


Scholars reject the claims written about Him in the NT, but they are certainly valid for evidence of His existence. Jesus' own brother was the head of the church in Jerusalem. You could say the claims of Jesus in the NT are bias, but certainly not statements of His existence. As for historians outside of Jesus' flock (Roman historians, Greek historians, Jewish historians), why would they write extensively on Jesus Himself? No, they would write about the following once it grew.



No, I'm afraid scholars view the gospels more as testaments of faith in their central character. Faith has never been recognized as evidence for the existence of someone, just belief that a person existed without any hard evidence to support that belief.


The big problem with Christianity is getting from an anonymous person for which there is absolutely no evidence he existed all the way to claiming that that anonymous person was the son of God who died for our sins, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven and lives today for which there is even less evidence for that than no evidence for the anonymous individual.



Again I ask, Heavenese: why would God have wanted fervently for us to believe in his son, Jesus and then left evidence so questionable as to be virtually no evidence at all? Doesn't God have the power to cause every historian in the period to have written volumes on Jesus--writings so convincing and so incontestable that no one in their right mind could dispute them?
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Old 02-05-2024, 03:40 PM
 
63,775 posts, read 40,038,426 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrillobyte View Post
No, I'm afraid scholars view the gospels more as testaments of faith in their central character. Faith has never been recognized as evidence for the existence of someone, just belief that a person existed without any hard evidence to support that belief.

The big problem with Christianity is getting from an anonymous person for which there is absolutely no evidence he existed all the way to claiming that that anonymous person was the son of God who died for our sins, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven and lives today for which there is even less evidence for that than no evidence for the anonymous individual.

Again I ask, Heavenese: why would God have wanted fervently for us to believe in his son, Jesus and then left evidence so questionable as to be virtually no evidence at all? Doesn't God have the power to cause every historian in the period to have written volumes on Jesus--writings so convincing and so incontestable that no one in their right mind could dispute them?
Thrill, you have very clearly debunked the "Omni-max God" of the typical Christian belief system, especially any notion that everything that happens is part of God's Will and system of rewards and punishments. You should not, however, assume that you have debunked the existence of God by any stretch of imagination. I say this primarily because I encountered a consciousness that is the basis of our entire Reality and if a conscious Reality is NOT God I don't know what else it could be called. It is also relevant TO ME that the descriptions of the "mind of Jesus Christ" in the Christian narrative exactly matched the consciousness I encountered.

I believe that consciousness is and has been the source of any so-called "inspirations from God" that have populated the human psyche since the very earliest beginnings of human writing and recording. Our cultures, upbringing, and human flaws as interpreters of those inspirations account for the diverse and often irrational interpretations, IMO.
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Old 02-05-2024, 06:20 PM
 
2,410 posts, read 1,442,619 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CCCyou View Post
Perhaps it is YOU who has the wrong perspective;
Jesus wasn't 'disrespecting' His own mother (which would be a violation of 7th commandment!),
BUT RATHER was telling the crowd that even they could be ELEVATED to the lofty level of 'being HIS mother/brother/sister' by doing the Fathers will! (Mat 12)

I'm not saying I believe He disrespected His mother, but it could be viewed that way. Especially in His culture, and especially with Him being the firstborn and being responsible for taking care of His mother after Joseph died. From a scholarship/historical perspective, Joseph was Jesus' actual father. So for Jesus to abandon His family for the sake of preaching the Kingdom of God, that probably would have been seen as disgraceful by the world's standards.


Yeah so overall with this topic, I'm discussing what could we take away from Jesus' life if the supernatural aspects mentioned in the Gospels and NT letters were exaggerations or made up. This topic might be more relevant to Christians, but I wanted to post it here to get more feedback. (Jesus is still a religious figure even if the things said of Him are not true.)


So for instance, y'all let me know your thoughts about Jesus leaving His duties of caring for His family to preach the Gospel. Do you think that was honorable or shameful? And another thing we can discuss is, assuming the teachings of Jesus are accurate in the Gospels, did Jesus speak anything unique that other religious figures haven't spoken? In other words, did Jesus present something new to the world? (Because I hear a lot of accusations that the teachings subscribed to Jesus are not unique) If He did offer something new, then that is something we can glean from the Historical Jesus.


Quote:
Originally Posted by thrillobyte View Post
No, I'm afraid scholars view the gospels more as testaments of faith in their central character. Faith has never been recognized as evidence for the existence of someone, just belief that a person existed without any hard evidence to support that belief.


The big problem with Christianity is getting from an anonymous person for which there is absolutely no evidence he existed all the way to claiming that that anonymous person was the son of God who died for our sins, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven and lives today for which there is even less evidence for that than no evidence for the anonymous individual.



Again I ask, Heavenese: why would God have wanted fervently for us to believe in his son, Jesus and then left evidence so questionable as to be virtually no evidence at all? Doesn't God have the power to cause every historian in the period to have written volumes on Jesus--writings so convincing and so incontestable that no one in their right mind could dispute them?

I don't know if I can answer those questions. The evidence for Jesus should be Christians today. And I mean this in terms of Christians today doing the things Jesus did, including the miracles. Yet that said, things the NT spoke of Jesus as saying, (prophecies) have come to pass. The Gospel has spread and is still spreading all over the world, just like Jesus said. Something like that should have never happened if Jesus was a simple peasant. That's my understanding, and I'm a simple man. Make of that what you will (of course phetaroi might say I'm too simple, not asking the important questions)


If you got time however, here's an interesting documentary speaking on speculation around Jesus' birth. Heehee, forget human historians writing about Jesus. This is God we're talking about. How about an account of Jesus written in the stars!!! (Of course this documentary is geared toward Christians, but even if I wasn't one, I still would find this an interesting watch.)



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqaj-Oo9Pgw
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Old 02-05-2024, 07:43 PM
 
Location: TEXAS
3,824 posts, read 1,376,614 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavenese View Post
I'm not saying I believe He disrespected His mother, but it could be viewed that way. Especially in His culture, and especially with Him being the firstborn and being responsible for taking care of His mother after Joseph died. From a scholarship/historical perspective, Joseph was Jesus' actual father. So for Jesus to abandon His family for the sake of preaching the Kingdom of God, that probably would have been seen as disgraceful by the world's standards.


Yeah so overall with this topic, I'm discussing what could we take away from Jesus' life if the supernatural aspects mentioned in the Gospels and NT letters were exaggerations or made up. This topic might be more relevant to Christians, but I wanted to post it here to get more feedback. (Jesus is still a religious figure even if the things said of Him are not true.)


So for instance, y'all let me know your thoughts about Jesus leaving His duties of caring for His family to preach the Gospel. Do you think that was honorable or shameful? And another thing we can discuss is, assuming the teachings of Jesus are accurate in the Gospels, did Jesus speak anything unique that other religious figures haven't spoken? In other words, did Jesus present something new to the world? (Because I hear a lot of accusations that the teachings subscribed to Jesus are not unique) If He did offer something new, then that is something we can glean from the Historical Jesus.





I don't know if I can answer those questions. The evidence for Jesus should be Christians today. And I mean this in terms of Christians today doing the things Jesus did, including the miracles. Yet that said, things the NT spoke of Jesus as saying, (prophecies) have come to pass. The Gospel has spread and is still spreading all over the world, just like Jesus said. Something like that should have never happened if Jesus was a simple peasant. That's my understanding, and I'm a simple man. Make of that what you will (of course phetaroi might say I'm too simple, not asking the important questions)


If you got time however, here's an interesting documentary speaking on speculation around Jesus' birth. Heehee, forget human historians writing about Jesus. This is God we're talking about. How about an account of Jesus written in the stars!!! (Of course this documentary is geared toward Christians, but even if I wasn't one, I still would find this an interesting watch.)



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqaj-Oo9Pgw
Where do you get that Jesus ever abandoned Mary?
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Old 02-05-2024, 08:01 PM
 
10,020 posts, read 4,953,414 times
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Originally Posted by CCCyou View Post
Where do you get that Jesus ever abandoned Mary?
Yes, where does CCCyou get that Jesus ever abandoned Mary ?
I find Jesus made provision for Mary before he died - see John 19:26-27
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