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Thread: Jesus's Influence

  1. #1 Jesus's Influence 
    Forum Professor Obviously's Avatar
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    I recently saw this video on YouTube. I'm don't want to defame the character of Jesus, but try and explore his influence on western civilization. The guy in the video makes a good point. Namely that "even in those gullible ass times, when there was a messiah on every street corner, he still only had twelve followers."

    I don't know how accurate that is, but it is a bit puzzling. Did messiahs in that time have many followers in general? How much do we know about messiahs in that time? Supposedly John the Baptist was a messiah himself. Did he have more followers than Jesus?

    If Jesus really was that insignificant in his time, how did his gospels manage to spread? How come the majority of the world today worship this supposedly cheap magician/con-artist from days way back? Obviously something must've happened. Perhaps a few religions/beliefs merged and created Christianity together with this Jesus character?

    If Jesus didn't really exist - or had little to no influence in his time - how did the belief in him emerge later on and conquer the world?


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    Forum Ph.D. Leszek Luchowski's Avatar
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    First: The guy in the video needs to learn some basic economics. According to the laws of supply and demand, "a messiah at every street corner" makes it harder, not easier, for any particular messiah to rally big crowds.

    Second: the Twelve (who got to be known as the Apostles) were the strictest core of Jesus' followers. The Gospel (Luke, chapter 10) also mentions a broader group of 72 being sent out, and that still is a core team. Accounts of people gathering around Jesus give much higher numbers. One example is the scene in Mark 6:35-44, where Jesus miraculously feeds a crowd of 5000 men (not counting any women and children they could have brought along).

    Third: I don't think the authorities of the time would bother to prosecute and execute a perceived troublemaker who has as few as 12 followers, unless he were up to actually assassinating some VIPs.


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leszek Luchowski
    First: The guy in the video needs to learn some basic economics. According to the laws of supply and demand, "a messiah at every street corner" makes it harder, not easier, for any particular messiah to rally big crowds.
    I think that was kinda his point. Did you watch the video?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leszek Luchowski
    Second: the Twelve (who got to be known as the Apostles) were the strictest core of Jesus' followers. The Gospel (Luke, chapter 10) also mentions a broader group of 72 being sent out, and that still is a core team. Accounts of people gathering around Jesus give much higher numbers. One example is the scene in Mark 6:35-44, where Jesus miraculously feeds a crowd of 5000 men (not counting any women and children they could have brought along).
    I suppose events of large people gathering to hear "prophets" were maybe common back in those days. So I would be skeptical to add those numbers. I didn't know about the 72 you mentioned though. The problem with the bible, however, is what to accept as historical facts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leszek Luchowski
    Third: I don't think the authorities of the time would bother to prosecute and execute a perceived troublemaker who has as few as 12 followers, unless he were up to actually assassinating some VIPs.
    Well, they might have coincidentally gotten to him with little effort, which might have quickly sent him to his death; as in a random "sweep of the street" without all the drama and attention which was described in the bible. Although Judas could also have sold him out as it was described. That would also make it easy for the romans to quickly get rid of a troublemaker.

    I don't know of other historical sources that can confirm that it went down as described in the bible, and many historians find it unlikely (about the Jewish high council meeting Jesus and all that). So it might be something that got blown up later by the people who wrote down the gospels.


    -------------------------------------------


    I'm still curious as to how such a supposedly non-influential person in his time has become a greatly influential person in our times. What can history tell us about the spread of Christianity and Jesus' role in it?
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  5. #4  
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    I thought the guy in the video represents the typical atheistic anti-religion, but mostly anti-Christian, zealots.

    It would be true that there were many itinerant religious teachers (rabbis) in the days of Jesus many of whom had a followings that ranged from a few to many. I'm sure that some of them may have claimed to be Messiah or have had followers who claimed them to be Messiah. Indeed, some of John the Baptist's followers suggested he was the Messiah which he vehemently denied.

    The 12 Disciples could hardly be considered the entirety of Jesus followers. They were merely his closest followers. Even of the 12, three -- John, Peter and James -- were an inner corps of the inner corps.

    It seems to me to be significant that of all the potential messiahs, the only one who has survived through the ages and continues to have followers is Jesus of Nazareth.

    No other major religion beyond Christianity has successfully introduced humanity to a person in history who claimed to be messiah. In virtually any other religion, you have to be your own messiah and somehow earn your way into God's good graces.

    I think what the video points out most vividly is how difficult it is to believe in a God you cannot see or hear or smell or touch or taste but who can be sensed only in a way that is beyond explanation by any of our physical senses.

    It is far easier to doubt and to make fun of God and Jesus and those who believe in Him than it is to believe in Him. So, while atheists love to say believers take the easy way out, it seems to me that non-belief is really the easiest position.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

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  6. #5  
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    No other major religion beyond Christianity has successfully introduced humanity to a person in history who claimed to be messiah.
    I'm sorry, friend, but that can only be true if you ignore rather significant chunks of history, and close your eyes to all of the counter-evidence.

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

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


    The "See Also" sections of both of those links are pretty interesting, as well.


    As for non-belief being the "easiest position" to take, I tend to agree. Living a life which is aligned with reality and supported by fact is a bit easier than accepting an imaginary sky pixie as some all powerful cosmic dictator as if I were some child.
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  7. #6  
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    I think you need to read my post a little more closely or else I needed to state it more clearly. I did not say no one else ever claimed to be Messiah

    The non-exhaustive list of "messiahs" in the first link does not include one name, other than Jesus of Nazareth, that I am familiar with or who has had much of a following let alone millions of followers over a 2000 year period. Many others, including Sun Mung Moon, have claimed to be Jesus reincarnate.

    I did not say there were no others claiming messiahship, only that, so far, it seems Jesus is the only one who has convinced very many people that He actually was Messiah.

    In the other link I note most religions are still awaiting the appearance of their Messiah. Nor am I convinced that they all see their messiah as having the same role, but I am not an expert on comparative religions.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  8. #7  
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I did not say there were no others claiming messiahship, only that, so far, it seems Jesus is the only one who has convinced very many people that He actually was Messiah.
    Actually, it seems that the people who wrote the books about him were the ones who did the vast majority of the convincing, and those books were not even written until something like 70 years after his death, but whatever. Who am I to interject a bit of historical reality into your faith and rationalizations as to why yours is the one true one.
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  9. #8  
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    inow wrote:

    Actually, it seems that the people who wrote the books about him were the ones who did the vast majority of the convincing, and those books were not even written until something like 70 years after his death, but whatever. Who am I to interject a bit of historical reality into your faith and rationalizations as to why yours is the one true one.

    So, in your estimation I take it, in order for one to be a proper historical figure, he would have to have written his own history. Nothing written about Julius Caesar is valid other than the self aggrandizing things he wrote himself. There must exist a lot of books written by Alexander the Great. The things written about Abraham Lincoln after his death should not be considered historically significant.

    Many biographies are written by people long after the subject has deceased. I'm not sure how much we would know about Genghis Khan if we had to rely only on those things he wrote about himself, perhaps from notes he took contemporaneous to his actions, maybe even between swings of his sword.

    I fail to see why biographies written by other people after the subject has died reduce their reliability. Three of the Gospel writers are believed to have been acquainted with Jesus during his life -- John, one of his inner circle; Mark, a close associate of Peter who is thought to have been with Jesus late in His ministry. A case can be made that Matthew might not be the Disciple Matthew. Luke, while he did not personally meet Jesus, was familiar with several of his associates. Again, I fail to understand how the "historical reality" of when and who wrote the Gospels makes them any less reliable than other historical literature of that period. Sometimes the passage of time brings out the significance of the value of various pieces of information while rendering other information less important.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    how such a supposedly non-influential person in his time has become a greatly influential person in our times
    Well consider what happens to cults when they're in crisis of faith, especially when their leader dies or disappoints the following. Always, a hard core of followers goes fanatical. To understand why, see cognitive dissonance.

    A snip:
    "The most famous case in the early study of cognitive dissonance was described by Leon Festinger and others in the book When Prophecy Fails.[2] The authors infiltrated a group that was expecting the imminent end of the world on a certain date. When that prediction failed, the movement did not disintegrate, but grew instead, as members vied to prove their orthodoxy by recruiting converts."

    So where's the dissonance about Jesus Christ's death?

    Daytonturner may remember the Report of My Death hypothesis (after Twain) I offered, which basically says the Marys and a few confidants exploited a public misunderstanding their Jesus had been crucified, to protect him from same, but Jesus the showman couldn't help milking an established fact of his death, before they finally persuaded him to quit Jerusalem permanently.

    These events would cause a crisis of faith in the followers, and many would become fanatical. In a sort of Emperor's New Clothes manner the fanatical (including most disciples who were outside the loop) competed to show themselves privy to special inside knowledge. Thus the reams of corroborations (to prove general acquaintance) and numerous contradictions (attempts to show special acquaintance). The main thing everyone agreed on, including those who knew it based on rumour plus the cunning of a few women, was that Jesus did die on the cross.

    Jesus himself was a driven, schizophrenic character, largely owing to delusions about paternity that had been instilled by parents to cover ...uh, I heard it was a Roman archer named Panthera... but regardless... "The son of the father" was raised in a household that actively undermined the boy's normal reality. He required supervision into adulthood by the "virgin" Mary. So in his own right I guess Jesus was quite unforgettable.

    Anyway, the whole Jesus meme just reeked dissonance. So it was the perfect object of faith, for those wanting faith, or susceptible to it. And it still is.


    I find the story fascinating as a whodunit complete with conflicting witnesses and a vanishing body. Solve this, Miss Marple!
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    inow wrote:

    Actually, it seems that the people who wrote the books about him were the ones who did the vast majority of the convincing, and those books were not even written until something like 70 years after his death, but whatever. Who am I to interject a bit of historical reality into your faith and rationalizations as to why yours is the one true one.

    So, in your estimation I take it, in order for one to be a proper historical figure, he would have to have written his own history. Nothing written about Julius Caesar is valid other than the self aggrandizing things he wrote himself.
    WTF are you talking about? I have no idea how you get that interpretation from my post. Let me remind you of the context here.


    YOU: No other major religion beyond Christianity has successfully introduced humanity to a person in history who claimed to be messiah.

    ME: Actually, there were lots. You seem to be selectively reading history.

    YOU: it seems Jesus is the only one who has convinced very many people that He actually was Messiah.

    ME: Actually, it seems that the people who wrote the books about him were the ones who did the vast majority of the convincing, and those books were not even written until something like 70 years after his death.

    YOU: in your estimation I take it, in order for one to be a proper historical figure, he would have to have written his own history.

    ME: WTF?!?


    As seems painfully obvious, I was rebutting your claim that it was Jesus who did the convincing of people... convincing which led to the acceptance of the claim of his messianic origin. That is plainly untrue (as conceded yourself) since it was the writings of John, Luke, Mark, Matthew, and others who did the majority of the convincing... Exactly as I suggested above in my post which you've clearly misunderstood.

    I say again... I said zilch about the truth value of a claim or the historical validity of an individual being contingent upon the source, nor did I suggest that a claim or statement could only be true if asserted autobiographically as you're now trying to suggest above. Please, do try to keep up.



    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I fail to see why biographies written by other people after the subject has died reduce their reliability.
    I never claimed they did.

    Your inability to maintain clarity regarding the underlying thread of a discussion and understand pretty simple points and straight-forward responses (without misrepresenting them) is a bit distressing, and does not speak well to your abilities in even remedial logic.
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  12. #11  
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    inow said:

    blah, blah, blah and so forth.
    OK, I see your objection now. You seem to think my statement suggests that Jesus went around and promoted himself as Messiah and personally convinced the world of that claim. Whereas, I really just meant the Jesus movement of his followers.

    Your statement seemed to suggest that the claim of Jesus' being Messiah was undermined by the fact that the stories about him were written by other people some time after his death. I then pointed out that such is the case with most historical luminaries.

    Probably the only religious figure of great prominence who actually did his own writing was Mohammad. Well, maybe Moses. I don't know if there are writing of Budda or if, like in the case of Jesus, his pronouncements were recorded by followers or passed on by word of mouth.

    It seemed to me that inow was using the faithful atheistic approach that the way to attack the content of the message is to attack the method of transmittal of the information when literature critiques find that, in some ways, information transmittal prior to the invention of the printing press can be more reliable than after the printing press.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  13. #12  
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    Whatever. You're still selectively reading history and omitting facts which counter your assertions and rationalizations. You can talk about the style of atheist debate all you want in an attempt to distract people and divert attention. None of that will change nor negate the validity of my opening point, nor the others I have shared here.
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  14. #13  
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    inow:

    I fail to find anything in your original retort which undermines the claim that no other messiah claimant has been as successful. What other figure in history claiming to be or having been advanced as Messiah, has gathered the number of adherents as Jesus Christ? Who else?

    Your information that others claimed the same title does not negate the fact that Jesus claim has influenced more people and endured for longer than any other which was my point. So how does what you posted refute that claim? But kudos to you for identifying my hyperbole.

    I saw nothing in your selective readings which inserted new facts or which even came close to countering the statement you objected to.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Muhammad has been an influential person too, but not exactly a messiah. Siddhārtha Gautama has also been a quite influential person. These two, though, seems to have been influential persons in their time too.

    Either Jesus was quite an influential person in his time (although there aren't many historical sources confirming this), or there's something else which caused him to become an important figure in later times.

    I'm looking for cause and effect relationships.

    The cognitive dissonance theory is interesting, but wouldn't it apply for other messiahs as well?
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    The cognitive dissonance theory is interesting, but wouldn't it apply for other messiahs as well?
    Yes, I believe it would. That is one of the points to which I am drawing attention with my comment about daytonturner selectively reading history, and omitting that which contradicts his rationalizations.
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Yes, I believe it would. That is one of the points to which I am drawing attention with my comment about daytonturner selectively reading history, and omitting that which contradicts his rationalizations.
    I was focusing more on Pong's post. I'll try and do some research tomorrow to get a better understanding of it, but if I understood correctly, Jesus was a good character for cognitive dissonance to have much effect, according to Pong.
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  18. #17  
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    obviously said:

    I'm looking for cause and effect relationships.
    The cognitive dissonance theory is interesting, but wouldn't it apply for other messiahs as well?

    I would be interested if obviously would further develop these thoughts as they might relate to why Jesus, as Messiah, has had such an influence on the world while other contenders have not. Or, for that matter, why have the major enduring influences on human social structure been religious figures?

    I suppose cognitive dissonance could play a role either way in one's intellectual self deliberation relating to his or her religious beliefs. No matter which side of that question one is on, I'm sure one has questions as to the rightness or wrongness of his position. Believers must sometimes consider that maybe there is no god while non-believer must at times consider that perhaps there is a god.

    Although -- the cognitive dissonance theory sometimes tends to deal with continued belief in the face of controverting evidence. So, in view of the fact that we have no conclusive evidence that any religion is absolutely correct or absolutely wrong, I doubt that aspect of the theory is applicable.

    I think it remains an interesting question as to why Jesus of Nazareth has for nearly 2,000 years continued to convinced new believers with the idea that He was God's true son, sent to live and then die an excruciating death and resurrected for the purpose of reconciling man with God. I suppose one of the possibilities is that it is because the story is true and some people recognize that truth while others don't. I suppose it could also be that the story in one of the greatest hoaxes ever unleashed on mankind and millions (billions?) of people have been hoodwinked over the years.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    Pong's post. I'll try and do some research tomorrow to get a better understanding of it, but if I understood correctly, Jesus was a good character for cognitive dissonance to have much effect, according to Pong.
    Dissonance fanaticism works when people accept a harmless little falsehood which then leads them down a logical chain of incrementally greater falsehoods.

    Report of My Death attributes Christianity's initial falsehood to Christ's evasion of persecution, while another biblical character also called "Jesus son of the father" was indeed crucified by the Romans. In this narrative Christ was a raving masochist with a death-wish, but his mother and a few confidants exploited an opportunity to whisk him out of Jerusalem during Passover. There are plenty of plausible solutions in that case, Barabbas being key to some of them. See how the plan unravels when Jesus returns to Jerusalem? Then we get a crisis of faith among the Christians, and Judas taking a fall. One little lie has a tendency to escalate.



    My childhood best friend was a Christ-like character. Like Christ he had major complex about his uncertain paternity. This boy believed himself to be supernatural and beyond the laws of normal humanity. He had a way with people, and would do anything to be special. When we were young he stuck a nail into his own eyeball, blinding it. I never did tell anybody the truth about that nail.

    Cross my heart
    hope to die
    stick a needle in my eye.


    What would Jesus do?



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  20. #19 Re: Jesus's Influence 
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    "try and explore his influence on western civilization".

    Well, it was not quite only Jesus influence. The Western Culture had token the Christianity and modified it to be convenient for them; that why there was several churches, as The Church of Roma or The Church of Armenia or Byzantines...
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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Quote Originally Posted by obviously
    I'm looking for cause and effect relationships.
    The cognitive dissonance theory is interesting, but wouldn't it apply for other messiahs as well?
    I think it remains an interesting question as to why Jesus of Nazareth has for nearly 2,000 years continued to convinced new believers with the idea that He was God's true son, sent to live and then die an excruciating death and resurrected for the purpose of reconciling man with God.
    I'm assuming you mean; "religions have for nearly 2000 years continued to convince .... etc."

    Further; what if, as many people would believe; all the religious concepts of 'God' are incorrect and/or inconsistent with reality? In that case, with what would man possibly be reconciled?

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I suppose one of the possibilities is that it is because the story is true and some people recognize that truth while others don't.
    'Truth' is a term of objectivity which is often manipulated along subjective religious lines. At the very least, what really must be acknowledged, is the 'story', whilst underpinned by it's many religious tenets; is highly inconsistent with what we understand as reality. The question requiring an answer therefore, is; what about this story is consistent with reality (as we reason it), and from such position; is there another way we can read/interpret the account, that more realistically harmonises with that reason?

    For mine, there surely is!

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I suppose it could also be that the story in one of the greatest hoaxes ever unleashed on mankind and millions (billions?) of people have been hoodwinked over the years.
    Or ...... that a great many religions of the world have mercilessly exploited it, and in the process hoodwinked billions of people via a multi-faceted hoax, as a little too liberally based upon certain facts, that would now appear not only discordant with reality, but also next to impossible to satisfactorily grasp - at least while continuing to utilise the regular religious mis-interpretations and mindsets.
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  22. #21  
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    Apropo said:

    I'm assuming you mean; "religions have for nearly 2000 years continued to convince .... etc."
    Your assumption here is based on your lack of knowledge as to what Christian believe the role of Jesus to be in salvation. So, no, I definitely meant that Jesus, himself, convinces people to believe in what he did.

    Apropo said:

    Further; what if, as many people would believe; all the religious concepts of 'God' are incorrect and/or inconsistent with reality? In that case, with what would man possibly be reconciled?
    Here again, we have Apropo somewhat disconnected from reality. I could not agree with the hyperbolized claim that "many people" believe all concepts of God are incorrect. Maybe "some" or "a few" would more closely represent the number of people who do not believe in any sort of God. You folks seems to have an highly inflated self impression.

    Earlier, Apropo said:

    'Truth' is a term of objectivity which is often manipulated along subjective religious lines. At the very least, what really must be acknowledged, is the 'story', whilst underpinned by it's many religious tenets; is highly inconsistent with what we understand as reality. The question requiring an answer therefore, is; what about this story is consistent with reality (as we reason it), and from such position; is there another way we can read/interpret the account, that more realistically harmonises with that reason?
    Here again, Apropo, you seem to present the idea that "reality (as we reason it)" represents the authroitative position of reality. And then conclude suggesting that there is a need for a more realistic harmonization of that reason (why people still beleive in Jesus). I have no idea what makes your reality any more valid than someone else's, I mean other than you.

    To tell the truth, the current position among Christians would be that it is perfectly harmonized as it relates both to reality and truth. You seem to have a problem understanding that people who think differently from you are comfortable in those beliefs and that their beliefs make sense to them even if they don't make sense to you.

    Atheists have a problem in that they do not have a belief system, they have a dis-belief system which is pretty hard to actually sit down and expound upon. After you have said, "I don't believe," it is then necessary to attack someone else's belief without really expressing any beliefs other than your non-belief.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  23. #22 religion is not god 
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    The notion that Jesus was insignificant is contradicted by this very discussion over 2000 years after his death. And yes I said death. The power of Jesus is lost in the Christian religion. His life on earth was not about 'believing in him so I don't go to hell'. It was a message of a new attitude about life and relationships and how to live in peace with others and yourself. Heaven's not about the dying, its all about the living.
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously

    Either Jesus was quite an influential person in his time (although there aren't many historical sources confirming this), or there's something else which caused him to become an important figure in later times.

    I'm looking for cause and effect relationships.
    Well, he pissed off the scribes. That can tend to get you written out of the history books, or vilified, whichever they feel like doing.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I think it remains an interesting question as to why Jesus of Nazareth has for nearly 2,000 years continued to convinced new believers with the idea that He was God's true son, sent to live and then die an excruciating death and resurrected for the purpose of reconciling man with God. I suppose one of the possibilities is that it is because the story is true and some people recognize that truth while others don't. I suppose it could also be that the story in one of the greatest hoaxes ever unleashed on mankind and millions (billions?) of people have been hoodwinked over the years.
    If you're ever curious how he came to be such a central figure, just read the four gospels. The man's teachings were very wise, far beyond anything else in the Bible. I think it's really sad that most Christians focus so much on the stuff Paul wrote later on instead of just sticking to the first four books of the New Testament.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pong

    Jesus himself was a driven, schizophrenic character, largely owing to delusions about paternity that had been instilled by parents to cover ...uh, I heard it was a Roman archer named Panthera... but regardless... "The son of the father" was raised in a household that actively undermined the boy's normal reality. He required supervision into adulthood by the "virgin" Mary. So in his own right I guess Jesus was quite unforgettable.

    !
    I don't think he ever said he was the Son of God. He said he was the "Son of Man" most of the time, and whenever he called himself something that could be taken as meaning Son of God, he was probably just calling attention to the fact that his bastard birth status didn't change that he was still one of God's creations.

    Later followers probably didn't feel very comfortable following a bastard, no matter how wise or insightful his teachings, and invented some kind of story to make it all ok.

    Now I am wondering if Mary's relationship with this Roman soldier would have been consentual. I somewhat doubt it. The Romans had a tendency to take what they wanted, so maybe Joseph was just a really good guy and decided not to hold it against her.
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    kojax wrote:
    I think it's really sad that most Christians focus so much on the stuff Paul wrote later on instead of just sticking to the first four books of the New Testament.
    Because when you stick to just the four gospels you end up with all the misunderstanding that permeate the rest of your post.
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    Be specific, dayton. We've learned not to trust you. Try to begin earning back that trust with clear and precise elaboration and elucidation of your intended point. What specific misunderstandings did kojax show, and how are we certain it's not just a difference of interpretation between his and yours?
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    Because he is like recommending reading chapter one-four of your 66-chapter physics text and then using that to explain quantum theory. Specifically, the person would not know what he is talking on a physics level any more than kojax does in talking on a Biblical level.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Because he is like recommending reading chapter one-four of your 66-chapter physics text and then using that to explain quantum theory. Specifically, the person would not know what he is talking on a physics level any more than kojax does in talking on a Biblical level.
    And I asked you to be specific. Your response is anything but.

    What specific misunderstandings did kojax show, and how are we certain it's not just a difference of interpretation between his and yours?
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    When kojax cites specific Bible verses that support his conclusive statements, I might be able to specifically address them. Otherwise, you are asking me to shoot into the dark. Where does the Bible call Jesus a bastard or suggest some illicit relationship between Mary and a Roman soldier?

    I would expect KOJAX, not inow, to defend his heresies.
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    Heresies???? Please now, Dturner!

    Whilst I also have to admit never previously encountering the concept of a Roman soldier being the father of 'Jesus' (wrong name), I find the observations of Kojax surprisingly refreshing. The Roman soldier idea certainly makes some kind of sense, even though I am personally still happy to stick with Yoseph for the time being - as perhaps in one of his weaker moments, taking sexual advantage of his future partner prior to their impending marriage - the kind of pre-marital encounter we very often still witness, and gets us in trouble - today.

    As for his reference re. 'the son of man' rather than 'the son of god', Kojax is quite correct. The references the man made to himself were almost always the former, and the one or two times he came close to the latter, imo have been forever misunderstood based upon a deeply confused religious doctrine 2000 years in the making, and the umbrella of bewilderment it has inevitably placed over the entire account - and all of us as a result.

    In this regard, the post of Sept. 3 by stlekee, was spot on, apart from perhaps his reference to 'Heaven', which (even though he didn't make any alternative observation) was never, as religious doctrine would have it; according some fantastic extrinsic location of utopian paradise somewhere behind the clouds, but rather the very intrinsic and sacrosanct domain which sits atop our physical shoulders and between our ears – indeed our brain – which interestingly harmonises perfectly with the observations of stlekee.

    Quote Originally Posted by stlekee
    Heaven's not about the dying, its all about the living.
    Please if you will, consider this statement, replacing in your appreciation, the religious picture of the generic (external) 'Heaven' about which we all, as kids learned - with the natural concept of our (internal) mentality, and witness just how superior and congruous to everything, becomes the result. It might take a little effort, but it is well worth it, even though I suspect such as Dt will be rather fearful of giving it a go - even for just a couple of minutes or so, right?

    *If anyone would like, I can offer virtually hundreds of Bible verses where this same correction of appreciation, makes all the difference between the religious bewilderment with which we have had to deal for much too long, and plain and wonderful clarity!

    BTW Dt, Ive been meaning to mention how I appreciate your 'Apropro' corruption of my site name - reminiscent of 'Appropriate', huh?
    sunshinewarrior: If two people are using the same word, but applying different meanings to it, then they're not communicating.
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    Apropo's signature is the following quote:
    sunshinewarrior: If two people are using the same word, but applying different meanings to it, then they're not communicating.
    Unless you understand what Jesus meant when He called Himself the "Son of Man," there is a failure to communicate. What this term may mean to you today is irrelevant if it is not what Jesus meant and why He used that term in reference to Himself.

    While you can find many explanations of this term by googling it, the one below seems to reflect an overall general understanding to Christians.

    The phrase "Son of Man" is used as a reference to Daniel 7:13-14 which says, "In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed."
    The title Son of Man is Messianic in nature. In the instances that Jesus used this phrase to describe Himself, He was assigning the Daniel prophecy to Himself. The Jewish people of Jesus' time were intimately familiar with the phrase. They knew that Jesus was proclaiming Himself as the Messiah.
    There are two things to note here:

    1. When Jesus used that term, He was claiming to be the son of God in that he was claiming to be Messiah. The people of those days understood that connection and such claims as this by Jesus is what riled the Jewish religious hierarchy.

    2. When you read only a portion of the Bible as Kojax has recommended, you have no hope of understanding what is being communicated.

    I am not sure what Apropo meant by:

    . . . based upon a deeply confused religious doctrine 2000 years in the making, and the umbrella of bewilderment it has inevitably placed over the entire account - and all of us as a result.
    I think most of the doctrine of the Messiahship and sonship of Jesus was well developed in the lifetime of Paul -- well within 100 years of Jesus' death and resurrection, not over a 2,000-year process.

    I cannot tell if you are offended by the shorthand version of your name, but if the worst I had ever been called here was a shortened version of my name, I would feel very fortunate, indeed. Trust me, my name is easy to play with -- turnip, flapjack turner among the more popular over the years. I much prefer apropo to apopo which seems to approximate a pooh pooh. Plus, sometimes the things you write are apropo to the subject under discussion, Plus, plus, I have no idea what apopohis references. There is an Earth-threatening asteroid called Apophis. I do not know if you corrupted that name or if you have some other reference in mind or if it is a name you pulled out of thin air. Whatever, if you feel this corruption to be offensive, I will not use it.
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    addendum to last post --

    Apopohis reject said:

    Please if you will, consider this statement, replacing in your appreciation, the religious picture of the generic (external) 'Heaven' about which we all, as kids learned - with the natural concept of our (internal) mentality, and witness just how superior and congruous to everything, becomes the result. It might take a little effort, but it is well worth it, even though I suspect such as Dt will be rather fearful of giving it a go - even for just a couple of minutes or so, right?
    This goes beyond my ability to understand what you are suggesting one do.

    I don't have much of a concept of heaven. When I try to imagine a non-physical existence which is not bound by time and space, I find I am unable to comprehend anything beyond the time-space continuum in which I dwell.

    I have found that experiences seldom line up with our anticipations of them -- sometimes exceeding our highest expectations and sometimes not even coming close to them. I have discussed this heaven topic with other Christians and it becomes apparent to me that we do not really have much of a concept of heaven beyond the idea that it is a much better destination than hell. I am content to believe that heaven will be far better than anything I could possibly imagine and hell will be far worse than anyone could imagine.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Unless you understand what Jesus meant when He called Himself the "Son of Man," there is a failure to communicate. What this term may mean to you today is irrelevant if it is not what Jesus meant and why He used that term in reference to Himself.
    Well how about we try the simplest most direct approach first, and if that doesn't satisfy, move on to another starting grid?

    What my friend, if he was simply making the astute point; as with most (especially men) who measurably stand out in a crowd, then die/disappear - their posthumous reputation often becomes that of a 'god'. Elvis Presley for instance; even with his many vices, has taken on such a mantra for a great many loving 'disciples', and he is still to gather unto himself a devoted congregation of doctrine servers.

    So the Jewish individual who paced the earth 2000 years ago, as (one of many) Messiah, likely recognised the plain obvious - and made it a focus to consistently place his memory exactly where it should forever remain, in order to bring the rest of us the greatest assuredness - as a son of another man - just like everyone else. Therefore whatever was possible for him, those that follow (as he said) - "will do even greater things".

    I find it interesting to note that his (supposed) religion of worshippers, has in effect ever since called him a bloody, filthy, stinkin' liar, by proclaiming him as something other than his own repeated assuredness, and in such crass stupidity, have even reached the ridiculous point of making the connection, that it was he who 'created' creation - god hiself! Now don't all that beat all?

    Grrrrrrrr....Religion really has more for which to answer than you will ever believe.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    The title Son of Man is Messianic in nature.
    I would suggest it purely NATURAL in nature.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    In the instances that Jesus used this phrase to describe Himself, He was assigning the Daniel prophecy to Himself. The Jewish people of Jesus' time were intimately familiar with the phrase. They knew that Jesus was proclaiming Himself as the Messiah.
    I accept the Jews of the era recognised the reference, even so they were quite mistaken in their conclusion, as have been ever since; the Christians for the very same reason. For the concept 'Messiah' was NEVER meant in any way an exclusive term. He was certainly NOT the only Messiah - absolutely not the first, definitely not the last.

    This really has to be the biggest religious misapprehension (or corruption) of all time; indeed one which the entire world has swallowed in one way or another. You might feel it a little arrogant and/or bombastic for me to make such a statement, however if you are interested, I assure you I can back it up 100 fold - with a couple of exceptionally surprising jolts along the way.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    When Jesus used that term, He was claiming to be the son of God in that he was claiming to be Messiah. The people of those days understood that connection and such claims as this by Jesus is what riled the Jewish religious hierarchy.
    As well as bringing to their attention that they were (are still) all a bunch of vipers, swine, liars, deceptive, greedy, heartless, and as cups - on the inside filthy with dead men's bones, who would all do very well to tie a millstone around each of their necks before throwing themselves into the sea.

    *I'm sure they thoroughly enjoyed that last observation.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    When you read only a portion of the Bible as Kojax has recommended, you have no hope of understanding what is being communicated
    People have been reading the book from cover to cover for hundreds of years and still come to the astounding conclusion that a natural man - is god himself, even though they accept that normal men killed him. And they not only fail to recognise an anomaly in all that, but amazingly hold a fully pagan festival each year and call it the most holy of occasions - to rejoice in such sheer insanity as if it all makes sense!

    Side Note: I hope this is not giving you a feeling of being attacked. It was not that long ago, that I was right in the middle of all of this, so I am certainly NOT condemning you or anyone else for being so deceived, for we all have been and the vast majority of us still have no idea by how much.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I think most of the doctrine of the Messiahship and sonship of Jesus was well developed in the lifetime of Paul -- well within 100 years of Jesus' death and resurrection, not over a 2,000-year process.
    I agree, however the fact remains that the vast majority of folk, even while he was alive had no idea who he was and what it was all about – and nothing has changed ever since. Sure many appreciated what he could do for them and how he taught them, yet when push came to shove, he didn’t have too many friends volunteering to take his place at the end, did he now?

    So the reference to 2000 years, is about the length of time that Christianity has had to get it right, yet has continued along the well-trod path of deeper and stinkier and crazier insanity in their laughable (if it wasn't so sad) guise of 'saving souls'.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    There is an Earth-threatening asteroid called Apophis. I do not know if you corrupted that name or if you have some other reference in mind or if it is a name you pulled out of thin air. Whatever, if you feel this corruption to be offensive, I will not use it.
    Dt, I have no problem whatever you call me, at least as long as I can make the connection that is I you are referencing. As for your mention of ‘Apopohis’, you probably have already read this, and I may explain in a little more detail at a later juncture - if you like.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    When kojax cites specific Bible verses that support his conclusive statements, I might be able to specifically address them. Otherwise, you are asking me to shoot into the dark. Where does the Bible call Jesus a bastard or suggest some illicit relationship between Mary and a Roman soldier?

    I would expect KOJAX, not inow, to defend his heresies.
    Kojax picked those up from my earlier posts.

    The Bible does not exactly call Jesus a bastard. However it is clear that young Jesus must have learned... uh, Jesus your dad is not your real dad. Additional to his confusion, his mom apparently explained she was his real mom, yet a virgin! This tells me that not only Jesus had some unresolved questions about his paternity (which was a big deal back then) but that his parents may have also.

    Mary is our key witness. By one account, she tells Joseph that she's going to have a baby and it will not be his. Mary's implicit offer is enhanced by her (alleged) statement that the father was (oops, "will be") no common cad but rather an angel from God... so Joseph really should feel honoured to wed an imminently bulging Mary and foster the child. That would test my faith, personally.

    Anyway, when Mary is visibly pregnant we find her leaving family and neighbours behind, with (still unmarried - why?) Joseph. They're going to Bethlehem, where Joseph ought to do the right thing and Jesus will be born. By one account this unusual travel (Mary is 8+ months pregnant) is for a worldwide census ordered by Augustus; Joseph of Nazareth will register in the town of his distant ancestors and also register Mary and God's baby under his family title. But there is no record of such a census and in any case it would only apply to Roman citizens. Mary enters a deserted barn and delivers her baby, without the customary female attendants, into a feeding trough.

    What is Mary running and hiding from? Sometime later she flees with infant Jesus to Egypt, apparently to save him from a mass-killing of babies... which couldn't have occurred as stated. We're getting just the half story, as one "haunted by a past" would dress it up. To her credit, Mary may have had other reason to fear for the safety of her baby, which she could not divulge.

    If we believe what everybody said - that Joseph wasn't the biological father - and we disbelieve that God was, we look for other candidates. Only one is claimed, as far as I know: a Judea-native Roman archer named Pantera. The source of this claim has been discredited as anti-Christian. However the existence of the guy described, in the right place at the right age to have eagerly impregnated Mary, is established independently. So I think it the most likely known alternative.

    ***

    Just who Jesus suspected his father was, one can only guess. I imagine he felt strongly about it. And yet with "virgin" Mary coddling her son even through adulthood, I wonder if the topic was taboo. Notice how she's always hovering around, as if he still needs protection. Apparently Jesus normally addressed God as "father" in his prayers; this was a shtick of his and inspiration to some opining.

    I do agree with Daytonturner that we can't know exactly what Jesus meant by declaring himself a "son of man."
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    Apropo said:
    I accept the Jews of the era recognised the reference, even so they were quite mistaken in their conclusion, as have been ever since; the Christians for the very same reason. For the concept 'Messiah' was NEVER meant in any way an exclusive term. He was certainly NOT the only Messiah - absolutely not the first, definitely not the last.
    One problem with this graph is that they did not come to the same conclusion. One group said he was Messiah, the other said he was not. So they could not both be wrong in there conclusion. This is an either/or question. Either He was or He wasn't.

    I would say he was not the first nor the last to CLAIM to be Messiah. He is, so far, the only one who has convinced a significant number of people that He was. And certainly no other claimant has retained a following for 2,000 years.

    Apropo also said:
    People have been reading the book from cover to cover for hundreds of years and still come to the astounding conclusion that a natural man - is god himself, even though they accept that normal men killed him. And they not only fail to recognise an anomaly in all that, but amazingly hold a fully pagan festival each year and call it the most holy of occasions - to rejoice in such sheer insanity as if it all makes sense!
    You fail to recoginize the greatest alleged anomaly of all -- He didn't stay dead!!!

    I'm not sure which "pagan festival" you reference. It is true that the Catholic Church arbitrarily set the time to commemorate the birth of Jesus to coincide with a Roman holiday period. However, it was a political maneuver rather than an observance of the Roman holiday. Easter has always been based on the same thing as Passover, established by the Jewish calender.

    pong said:
    Kojax picked those up from my earlier posts.
    Ha! A classic case of the blind leading the blind.

    pong also said:
    Mary is our key witness. By one account, she tells Joseph that she's going to have a baby and it will not be his. Mary's implicit offer is enhanced by her (alleged) statement that the father was (oops, "will be") no common cad but rather an angel from God... so Joseph really should feel honoured to wed an imminently bulging Mary and foster the child. That would test my faith, personally.
    For the life of me, I cannot figure out where you are getting this foolishness. You would need to show me what version of which story has Mary telling Joseph she is preggers. The information in most of the story you seem to be alluding to was supposedly give to Joseph by an angel.

    pong claims:
    But there is no record of such a census [ordered by Caesar Agustus] and in any case it would only apply to Roman citizens.
    According to an article at http://www3.telus.net/trbrooks/firstcensus.htm :
    [W]hile some questions have been raised concerning the events recorded in Luke 2.1-5, archaeology has provided some unexpected and supportive answers. Additionally, while supplying the background behind these events, archaeology also assists us in establishing several facts. (1) A taxation-census was a fairly common procedure in the Roman Empire and it did occur in Judea, in particular. (2) Persons were required to return to their home city in order to fulfill the requirements of the process. (3) These procedures were apparently employed during the reign of Augustus (37 BC-AD 14), placing it well within the general time frame of Jesus' birth. (4) The date of the specific taxation recounted by Luke could very possibly have been 6-5 BC, which would also be of service in attempting to find a more exact date for Jesus' birth.
    I would not think your reseach on these topics is very thorough nor your ability to read the Bible and know what it says.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Apropo said:
    I accept the Jews of the era recognised the reference, even so they were quite mistaken in their conclusion, as have been ever since; the Christians for the very same reason. For the concept 'Messiah' was NEVER meant in any way an exclusive term. He was certainly NOT the only Messiah - absolutely not the first, definitely not the last.
    One problem with this graph is that they did not come to the same conclusion. One group said he was Messiah, the other said he was not. So they could not both be wrong in there conclusion. This is an either/or question. Either He was or He wasn't.
    Actually, in the long and the short of it all, both Jewish sides agreed that he could not have been the Messiah, for he surely failed to provide the expected Messianic salvation from under the governing Roman fist.

    The general Jewish mindset has always been that the Messiah – when he comes, would deliver them from under the oppression of the Gentile in a virtual replay of the release that Moses secured for them from under Pharaoh 1500 years previous. So they were all looking for this “second Moses”, which effectively eventuated, but they did not recognise him due to this incorrect expectation which has continued ever since – being one reason I noted previously, that Jesus (wrong name) certainly was NOT the first Messiah.

    So they were both incorrect in their conclusion because they did not appreciate what ‘Messiah’ actually signified, so were looking for entirely the incorrect evidence in order to identify him, and to this very day the majority of the Jewish sect are still awaiting for their Messiah. The Romans (Christians) on the other hand, chose to adopt this man as Messiah and make the statement that the Jews failed to recognise him, as above. However in their convoluted mish-mash theology, they incorporated the biggest mistake of all, due to their manipulation of their belief system to accommodate both the majority pagan society and the growing band of supporters of the Jewish teacher.

    The result was an amazing mélange of pagan Roman and Greek mythology, Judaism, and at the very bottom of the list; here and there, a little historical detail. In their confusion and cunning at the time, they came to the astounding conclusion that ‘Messiah’ was a term of exclusivity, as set aside for the one and only ‘god’son – an extremely convenient doctrine for that meant that everyone would be required to go through them – ultimately the Pope, to have anything to do with ‘god’, and of course any ‘afterlife’ for which they were hoping.

    I must say that in the end, it has surely been a most profitable enterprise, even if it has always been entirely based upon self-serving deception, cloak-and-dagger and avarice, in favour of the proclaimed ‘salvation’ for the common man.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I would say he was not the first nor the last to CLAIM to be Messiah. He is, so far, the only one who has convinced a significant number of people that He was. And certainly no other claimant has retained a following for 2,000 years.
    Firstly, as far as my recollection goes, Jesus never once claimed to be Messiah, and as previously noted; his 'following for 2000 years', may indeed be in a very similar vein to the kind of worship that proves Elvis Presley was and still is a 'god'.

    Surely you can recognise that no matter how many followers he has had since that time, it accounts for absolutely zero if they have all been worshipping a mythical religious construct - a little historical detail to hide the overall truth, that the belief system is entirely corrupted and worthless.

    That's the point remember - even though the society had him there in their midst 2000 years ago and many followed him around, listening and receiving unto themselves whatever they could, nevertheless in the end, they all went missing - probably a part of the crowd calling for his death!

    People are fickle Dt - only interested when they can get something for free. The vast majority of 'followers' therefore would still today be calling for his death if they didn't believe that there was still a little something to gain by 'following' - whatever that means to each.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Apropo said:
    People have been reading the book from cover to cover for hundreds of years and still come to the astounding conclusion that a natural man - is god himself, even though they accept that normal men killed him. And they not only fail to recognise an anomaly in all that, but amazingly hold a fully pagan festival each year and call it the most holy of occasions - to rejoice in such sheer insanity as if it all makes sense!
    You fail to recoginize the greatest alleged anomaly of all -- He didn't stay dead!!!
    I’m not convinced.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I'm not sure which "pagan festival" you reference. It is true that the Catholic Church arbitrarily set the time to commemorate the birth of Jesus to coincide with a Roman holiday period. However, it was a political maneuver rather than an observance of the Roman holiday. Easter has always been based on the same thing as Passover, established by the Jewish calender.
    Both ‘Christmas’ and ‘Easter’ are repugnant pagan festivals, however I was particularly referencing ‘Easter’, which is only very loosely based (as far as timing is concerned) upon the Jewish Passover, but is actually profoundly based upon the Babylonian-cum-Egyptian spring celebration of Ishtar/Esther (pronounced Easter) – the rebirth of the season of fertility, reproduction and growth after the winter hiatus.

    Dt, the whole thing is pagan, with only the names (sometimes) changed to deceive you into thinking it is about ‘Jesus’ - yet it never has been.
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    Well, Apopohis, I think we have read different history books and I am not sure why history would have changed over the years.

    You are terribly mistaken in your speculation that Jesus never claimed to be Messiah. One (of several) examples is found in the story of the Samaritan woman at the well where in the course of the encouter, the following exchange takes place:

    The woman said to him, "I know thqat Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ); when he comes, he will show us all things." Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am he." (John 4:25,26 RSV)
    The more paraphrased translations such as the Living Bible render verse 25 to have Jesus saying, "I am the Messiah."

    I am not sure where you have picked up all your misinformation and distortions, but it does make meaningful communications somewhat difficult. If you are going to make controversial claims about what the Bible says, it would be helpful for you to cite a source.
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  38. #37  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Because he is like recommending reading chapter one-four of your 66-chapter physics text and then using that to explain quantum theory. Specifically, the person would not know what he is talking on a physics level any more than kojax does in talking on a Biblical level.
    Well, in this case, the first four books are the only ones that directly quote the leader himself. That makes them he most reliable place to go for an accurate accounting of his philosophies.

    After that, you've got people like Paul, who never met Jesus, speculating about what they think his teachings mean. You can call that "clarification" if you want, but if you read his writings, it's just as plausible to say that Paul was a bigoted misogynist who repudiated as many doctrines as he extended by trying to add his own hard edged perspective to an essentially gentle religion.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    When kojax cites specific Bible verses that support his conclusive statements, I might be able to specifically address them. Otherwise, you are asking me to shoot into the dark. Where does the Bible call Jesus a bastard or suggest some illicit relationship between Mary and a Roman soldier?

    I would expect KOJAX, not inow, to defend his heresies.
    That's from non-biblical history.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner

    Unless you understand what Jesus meant when He called Himself the "Son of Man," there is a failure to communicate. What this term may mean to you today is irrelevant if it is not what Jesus meant and why He used that term in reference to Himself.
    And who's to say which understanding of that statement is correct? What I was suggesting earlier is that later followers wanted to come up with a non-bastard alternative for Jesus Christ's birth, and so they would have interpreted it to mean whatever favored their outlook.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Well, Apopohis, I think we have read different history books and I am not sure why history would have changed over the years.

    You are terribly mistaken in your speculation that Jesus never claimed to be Messiah. One (of several) examples is found in the story of the Samaritan woman at the well where in the course of the encouter, the following exchange takes place:

    The woman said to him, "I know thqat Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ); when he comes, he will show us all things." Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am he." (John 4:25,26 RSV)
    The more paraphrased translations such as the Living Bible render verse 25 to have Jesus saying, "I am the Messiah."
    Cool down Dt. I am happy to admit it when mistaken, which on this occasion it would appear I was, even though I would expect you would be hard pressed to come up with a second example.

    In any case, I find the account you refer to quite amazing in that, as the story would have it; after the discussion the woman ran back to her town and in amazement commenced telling everyone she could find about the 'man'. It would appear however, she did not mention anything about having just discovered the answer to the great mystery of the time - who was 'Messiah', which one would expect to have been dead centre of her excited proclamations to her friends. So it would seem she either didn't believe him or didn't hear what he said.

    Now can you cite a second occasion when he proclaimed himself to be Messiah? And secondly, do you in fact appreciate what this term truly signifies - how does a normal human being become a Messiah?

    BTW, I'm satisfied that Jesus was indeed Messiah, even though I really dislike using that corrupted name for him. So you can now rest. On this issue you have corrected me, and furthermore I have never argued against your claim about him being Messiah - two wins for the day makes you the champion, ok?

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I am not sure where you have picked up all your misinformation and distortions, but it does make meaningful communications somewhat difficult. If you are going to make controversial claims about what the Bible says, it would be helpful for you to cite a source.
    If you are so interested in meaningful communications, why don't you commence by sharing what other controversial claims I have made, for as you can now recognise, I am happy to be corrected. But of course, meaningful communications goes both ways, so the question really is - are you likewise?
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    Apopohis said:
    In any case, I find the account you refer to quite amazing in that, as the story would have it; after the discussion the woman ran back to her town and in amazement commenced telling everyone she could find about the 'man'. It would appear however, she did not mention anything about having just discovered the answer to the great mystery of the time - who was 'Messiah', which one would expect to have been dead centre of her excited proclamations to her friends. So it would seem she either didn't believe him or didn't hear what he said.
    Are you sure you read the rest of the story? It says she went back to the town and told others, "Come see a man who told me all the things I ever did: is this not the Christ?" (Christ is the Greek word for Messiah.) And then they went out to where Jesus was and asked him to stay with them which he did for two days. Afterward, the others of the town said they believed, not because of what the woman had told them but because of what Jesus had said to them. "[W]e have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world." (John 5:40-42)

    It sounds to me like she was telling everybody she met that she had found the Christ
    and that they should come see for themselves. She was apparently excited enough and convinced enough that she got got the rest of the town to go check it out for themselves.

    Apopohis asked:[quote]
    Now can you cite a second occasion when he proclaimed himself to be Messiah? And secondly, do you in fact appreciate what this term truly signifies - how does a normal human being become a Messiah? [/quote]


    Well, here I may have to back down a bit. There are not numerous occasions but depending on how many is several, it could be several. But certainly there are no others where he as succinctly says he is Messiah. Some other less obvious examples follow.

    1. In Matthew 16:15-17 Jesus asks his desciples who they think he is. Peter replies, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus replies, "Blessed art thou, Peter, for flesh and blood hath not revealed this to you, but my Father which is in heaven." Jesus agrees with Peter"s assessment and goes on to say that upon that truth (that he is the Christ) he will build his church.

    2. In Matthew 26:63-64 while he is being questioned before the Sanhedren, the high priest says, "I adjure you by the living God to tell us whether you are the Christ the Son of God." Jesus begins his reply, "Thou hast said," and goes on to add more to the claim after which the high priest says Jesus has spoken blasphemy. "Thou has said," is the equivalent of a modern day agreement such as, "You said it, buster." Obviously the high priest understood Jesus as claiming to be the Christ and the Son of God.

    3. In John 8:23-24 Jesus says, "I am from above, you are of this world; I am not of this world. I said, therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins: for if you believe not that I am (he), you shall die in your sins." Jesus here is saying that unless they believe he is Messiah (the Christ), they will die in their sins.

    There are other places where the claim is somewhat more subtle and there are also some places where others call him the Christ or Messiah and he agrees with them, if only by not telling them they are wrong.

    As to the second part of your question, a "normal" man could not "become" Messiah. So either he was not a normal man but was Messiah; or he was a normal man and not Messiah.

    We are left with the old bromide. Jesus was either a liar, a lunatic or who he said he was.

    Among other things you have said that I think are in error include your opinion of the Jewish opinion of Jesus. Basically, even as Islam does, they view Jesus as a great prophet, but not Messiah.

    You are correct that Jesus did not fulfill all of the First Century Jewish concept of what Messiah would do. Christian thinking is that Jesus did not come to save the Jewish nation from physical oppression but from the oppression of their own sins.

    I think your overall idea that Christian holidays are based on paganism is way out of whack. Christmas commemorates the birth of Jesus, even though we all know the actual date of his birth could not have been in December; it was probably more likely to have been in February or March which is the normal time for lambing. However, his birth remains worthy of commemoration and, as I pointed out before, there was a political reason for the church to put it at the same time as a Roman holiday in that it was a time when such a celebration would not be a distraction or disruptive to Roman commerce.

    We do know when the death and resurrection of Jesus took place because it was at Passover, something Jews had been celebrating for a couple of thousand years/ So I hardly think the coincidence that this may coincide with other spring holidays of other religions is significant.

    Is that enough?
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    kojax said:
    Well, in this case, the first four books are the only ones that directly quote the leader himself. That makes them he most reliable place to go for an accurate accounting of his philosophies.
    After that, you've got people like Paul, who never met Jesus, speculating about what they think his teachings mean. You can call that "clarification" if you want, but if you read his writings, it's just as plausible to say that Paul was a bigoted misogynist who repudiated as many doctrines as he extended by trying to add his own hard edged perspective to an essentially gentle religion.
    What you say in the first paragraph is adequate in so far as it goes. If those were the only four books we needed, there would not be 62 others. Jesus quoted from almost every book of the Old Testament, so they must be important, too.

    Paul was a teacher, among other things. Is Darwin the only thing we need to know about evolution? Have not bigoted misogynists, say Jay Gould, repudiated and extended upon what Darwin wrote? And what he writes sometimes conflicts with what Darwin wrote. Darwin said nothing about punctuated equilibrium, but rather wrote of small changes over long periods of times. I have no idea what aspects of Paul's teaching conflict with anything Jesus taught. Perhaps you could point out some of those things -- I mean if you can find some.

    Is Euclid the only thing we need to know about geometry? How many are able to read the general and special theories of relativity and understand them without the help of a teacher? We need the assistance of teachers to explain and clarify complex concepts.


    kojax said:
    That's from non-biblical history.
    Wrong, it is not even from history.

    kojax also asked:
    And who's to say which understanding of that statement is correct? What I was suggesting earlier is that later followers wanted to come up with a non-bastard alternative for Jesus Christ's birth, and so they would have interpreted it to mean whatever favored their outlook.
    Well, obviously, not you.

    They did not pull their ideas out of thin air, such as you have. They found them in the Old Testament prophesies which had been written long before the birth, death and resurrectionj of Jesus.

    I suppose you have the right to attempt to come up with alternative explanations, but when they are formed from baseless non-information, it is difficult to give them much regard.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    kojax said:
    Well, in this case, the first four books are the only ones that directly quote the leader himself. That makes them he most reliable place to go for an accurate accounting of his philosophies.
    After that, you've got people like Paul, who never met Jesus, speculating about what they think his teachings mean. You can call that "clarification" if you want, but if you read his writings, it's just as plausible to say that Paul was a bigoted misogynist who repudiated as many doctrines as he extended by trying to add his own hard edged perspective to an essentially gentle religion.
    What you say in the first paragraph is adequate in so far as it goes. If those were the only four books we needed, there would not be 62 others. Jesus quoted from almost every book of the Old Testament, so they must be important, too.
    I think you're taking the mystical perspective and I'm taking the pragmatic one here. If Jesus Christ was just a philosopher, then there is no question of how many books we "need". The 62 books exist for the same reason so many Star Wars books have been written by authors other than George Lucas: because there was an unfilled demand, and people were willing to buy stories written by knock-off authors.


    Is Euclid the only thing we need to know about geometry? How many are able to read the general and special theories of relativity and understand them without the help of a teacher? We need the assistance of teachers to explain and clarify complex concepts.
    And what happens if those teachers start making up their own ideas instead of just explaining the ones they're supposed to teach? Paul didn't take any of Jesus Christ's parables and break them down for us, did he?

    It's the parables that make me so impressed with Jesus Christ's philosophies. They're like math equations described using words, which allows them to be very precise in their meanings.


    kojax also asked:
    And who's to say which understanding of that statement is correct? What I was suggesting earlier is that later followers wanted to come up with a non-bastard alternative for Jesus Christ's birth, and so they would have interpreted it to mean whatever favored their outlook.
    Well, obviously, not you.

    They did not pull their ideas out of thin air, such as you have. They found them in the Old Testament prophesies which had been written long before the birth, death and resurrectionj of Jesus.
    They're very creative interpretations, and definitely ex-post-facto. As you mentioned earlier: prior to Jesus Christ's birth everyone expected the messiah to show up as a military leader who would expel the Romans. When that didn't happen the Christians decided they had "misunderstood" the prophecy.

    Where in the old testament is the virgin birth even described? An obscure verse in Isaiah 7:14, where he pauses immediately after describing a war to occur within the next 65 years, and mentions some virgin woman having a baby, then says the land they hate will lose both kings before the kid knows good from evil.... And of course there's some debate over whether the word "virgin" is even what he said. http://paracleteforum.org/archive/em.../dialogue.html

    My point is: they were speculating from about the same level of ignorance as I am right now. There's no way they knew from Old Testament Bible verses.
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    kojax said:
    They're very creative interpretations, and definitely ex-post-facto. As you mentioned earlier: prior to Jesus Christ's birth everyone expected the messiah to show up as a military leader who would expel the Romans. When that didn't happen the Christians decided they had "misunderstood" the prophecy.
    Where in the old testament is the virgin birth even described? An obscure verse in Isaiah 7:14, where he pauses immediately after describing a war to occur within the next 65 years, and mentions some virgin woman having a baby, then says the land they hate will lose both kings before the kid knows good from evil.... And of course there's some debate over whether the word "virgin" is even what he said.

    I don't think I said that. What I said in response to that idea, was they misunderstood that Messiah would come to save them from the oppression of sin and their religious leaders, not from foreign military oppressors.

    Is there any other way to tell if a prophecy has been fulfilled? The only way you can know is when the prophecied event occurs and, even then, it might not be obvious. Sometimes, as is often the case with, say Nostradamus, we don't even know what the prophecy was until after it has been fulfilled. And then we say, "Oh, that's what that was all about."

    If that were the only prophecy which Jesus allegedly fulfilled, it would be difficult, indeed, to tie him to being Messiah. Probably a lot of young women had babies in those days. There are, however, numerous other prophecies concerning Messiah which Jesus fulfilled.

    kojax said:
    And what happens if those teachers start making up their own ideas instead of just explaining the ones they're supposed to teach? Paul didn't take any of Jesus Christ's parables and break them down for us, did he?
    You do, of course, have examples of things that Paul taught that were in conflict with things that Jesus taught? Or where he started to make up his own ideas. This is likely a much easier charge to make than to back up.

    kojax said:
    I think you're taking the mystical perspective and I'm taking the pragmatic one here. If Jesus Christ was just a philosopher, then there is no question of how many books we "need". The 62 books exist for the same reason so many Star Wars books have been written by authors other than George Lucas: because there was an unfilled demand, and people were willing to buy stories written by knock-off authors.
    I'm trying to figure out what you are claiming here. There were 39 books written before Jesus was born and I'm not all that sure there was a big demand for most of them until some time after they were written. It does not seem likely that people went around asking others to prophecy their doom which is what most of the Hebrew Scripture prophecies do.

    And it is kind of the same thing with a lot New Testament books. Most of the non-Gospel books are quite critical of the people for whom they were written. I hardly think the Corinthians. for example, were writing back to Paul and saying, "Hey, crank out a bunch more of these. We really like it when you take us to task for all our mistakes."

    Actually, as to the geometry comparison, I would suggest that you would not go to a Bible scholar to learn geometry. You would go to a geometry expert. The same is true of the Bible. You should consult Bible scholars, not biology professors. I just don't think there was a big demand for the Bible writings until, possibly, for the Gospels. You do realize, I hope, that the Gospels were written after most of the other New Testament books. The New Testament is not organized in chronological order of writing. I doubt your are ever going to be accused of studying the Bible with anyone who knows anything about it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    It sounds to me like she was telling everybody she met that she had found the Christ
    and that they should come see for themselves. She was apparently excited enough and convinced enough that she got got the rest of the town to go check it out for themselves.
    Yes it seems in future I may have to accept that memory is sometimes perhaps not as replete as one would have it.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    1. In Matthew 16:15-17 Jesus asks his desciples who they think he is. Peter replies, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus replies, "Blessed art thou, Peter, for flesh and blood hath not revealed this to you, but my Father which is in heaven." Jesus agrees with Peter"s assessment and goes on to say that upon that truth (that he is the Christ) he will build his church.
    I expect you appreciate this passage has always been a highly contentious issue among scholars, right? Actually many folk will have a very different interpretation to yours, for it might at first appear he was referring to "upon this rock (Peter), he will build his church" - which of course is a very Catholic interpretation (why not?), and one I also do not accept.

    For mine, he was saying that it is upon the rock that; 'flesh and blood did not reveal such' recognition to Peter; that the essence of Messiah is built. The 'church' reference is a much later introduction for the promotion of (not surprisingly) the universal 'church'.

    What then do you make of the Verse 20 culmination for this discourse? Wouldn't you agree it is very interesting to say the least?

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    2. In Matthew 26:63-64 while he is being questioned before the Sanhedren, the high priest says, "I adjure you by the living God to tell us whether you are the Christ the Son of God." Jesus begins his reply, "Thou hast said," and goes on to add more to the claim after which the high priest says Jesus has spoken blasphemy. "Thou has said," is the equivalent of a modern day agreement such as, "You said it, buster." Obviously the high priest understood Jesus as claiming to be the Christ and the Son of God.
    I doubt the high priest had any idea what 'Jesus' was saying, which is why his response is so out of perspective. Don't you recognise the obvious failure to communicate in this exchange?

    This is a clear case of the high priest asking a question, with a particular mindset, but the respondent having an altogether differing mindset. The question being posed was; 'tell us if you are the son of god', but the answer referred only to 'the son of man'. Therefore the two were obviously speaking from differing mentalities, but only one of the two men appreciated the mindset of the other. So the 'you have said it yourself' was very likely about an agreement with some (the Messiah portion) of the expressed words but not the remainder. For in his answer he actually corrected the high priest with his 'son of man' comment.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    3. In John 8:23-24 Jesus says, "I am from above, you are of this world; I am not of this world. I said, therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins: for if you believe not that I am (he), you shall die in your sins." Jesus here is saying that unless they believe he is Messiah (the Christ), they will die in their sins.
    But what do YOU understand about this 'die in their sins'? And does your response to this indicate that folk prior to the advent of 'Jesus', all 'died in their sins' for they had no way of believing he (was going to be) Messiah?

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    As to the second part of your question, a "normal" man could not "become" Messiah. So either he was not a normal man but was Messiah; or he was a normal man and not Messiah.
    Really? Please explain from where you derive all this???

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Among other things you have said that I think are in error include your opinion of the Jewish opinion of Jesus. Basically, even as Islam does, they view Jesus as a great prophet, but not Messiah.
    Indeed they do - today, yet such is in line with their history - to first hate then kill their prophets, then later hold them up as a great leader. Either way, I cannot find the disagreement to which you refer.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I think your overall idea that Christian holidays are based on paganism is way out of whack. Christmas commemorates the birth of Jesus ...etc.
    Then I suggest you do a little research on the pagan Roman season of; Consualia, Saturnalia, Opalia, Brumalia, and culminating in Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, or ‘The festival of the invincible sun god’.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    We do know when the death and resurrection of Jesus took place because it was at Passover, something Jews had been celebrating for a couple of thousand years/ So I hardly think the coincidence that this may coincide with other spring holidays of other religions is significant.
    Is it also significant it still bears the same name of the Babylonion goddess 'Ishtar' (pronounced Easter), and focuses on symbols of fertility such as rabbits, chickens and eggs, and has virtually identical loaves of bread with a cross atop? I must admit though, that the sacrificing of children has ceased - thankfully, even though an argument could be made that it is the young children who are still being sacrificed to all the old pagan rubbish in these 3000+ year old festivals, huh?
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    Apopohis said:
    (Re: Mt 16:15-20)

    I expect you appreciate this passage has always been a highly contentious issue among scholars, right? Actually many folk will have a very different interpretation to yours, for it might at first appear he was referring to "upon this rock (Peter), he will build his church" - which of course is a very Catholic interpretation (why not?), and one I also do not accept.
    For mine, he was saying that it is upon the rock that; 'flesh and blood did not reveal such' recognition to Peter; that the essence of Messiah is built. The 'church' reference is a much later introduction for the promotion of (not surprisingly) the universal 'church'.
    What then do you make of the Verse 20 culmination for this discourse? Wouldn't you agree it is very interesting to say the least
    I don't know that I would go so far as to say it has been an overly "contentious " passage although I agree there have been some different understandings of this passage, perhaps brought about by the fact that Peter's name, in Greek, is the word for rock. Nevertheless, it just does not seem reasonable to believe that Jesus would build a church based on the personhood of Peter. I do not know the Roman Catholic explanation of this incident, but I think the general consensus among protestants would be that "this rock" is the messiahship of Jesus.

    As to why he tells the Desciples to not go blabbing this around, I can only speculate and my speculation is no more valid that someone else's. I suspect he just did not want this issue to come into heated public debate at that time. Or, perhaps, he preferred that others come to the same conclusion based, not on the word of Desciples, but rather by the same way Peter had come to that conclusion.

    Apopohis said:
    (Re: Mt 26:23ff -- Jesus' trial)
    I doubt the high priest had any idea what 'Jesus' was saying, which is why his response is so out of perspective. Don't you recognise the obvious failure to communicate in this exchange?
    This is a clear case of the high priest asking a question, with a particular mindset, but the respondent having an altogether differing mindset. The question being posed was; 'tell us if you are the son of god', but the answer referred only to 'the son of man'. Therefore the two were obviously speaking from differing mentalities, but only one of the two men appreciated the mindset of the other. So the 'you have said it yourself' was very likely about an agreement with some (the Messiah portion) of the expressed words but not the remainder. For in his answer he actually corrected the high priest with his 'son of man' comment.
    I think the trial story, taken as a whole, would support my position. Jesus was on trial for blasphemy in allegectly claiming to be Messiah. He was convicted of that crime and the HIgh Priest uses Jesus words in this discourse as evidence of Jesus' blasphemy. So I think it is plain that the High Priest considered what Jesus said to be a claim to be the son of God -- ie Messiah. The High Priest saw the term "Son of Man" to be synonomous with the term "Son of God." The thing is, if they had not been convince Jesus was claiming to be Messiah, he would not have been found guilty of blasphemy. I suppose one could contend that, considering their "mind set," if Jesus had said, "Oh, no, I just a regular toad," or, "Naw, that is just something Peter said," they might have seen that as blasphemy, too.

    Apopohis asks:

    But what do YOU understand about this 'die in their sins'? And does your response to this indicate that folk prior to the advent of 'Jesus', all 'died in their sins' for they had no way of believing he (was going to be) Messiah?
    This is an oft asked question but is rather easily answered when applied to pre-Jesus Jews. When Paul tells us in Galatians that "Abraham believed and it was accounted to him as righteousness," we find that the nothing really changed. Belief has always been the key. In the case of Abraham, it was belief in God and the coming Messiah.

    As to others who never ever heard of YHWH or Jesus, the question is a little more problematical. I am satisfied that they are held accountable to how they respond(ed) to whatever aspects of God may have been revealed to them. I am willing to let God sort that out. Meanwhile, this would not cover anyone who has actually heard the Gospel. The question is somewhat diversionary. It has no relevance to the responsibility of those, such as yourself, who have heard. The question sort of suggests that one would refuse to eat ice cream because there a people in the jungles of Africa who have never heard of it, let alone eaten some.

    On the other issues, I'm not sure I can expand. You sort of asked me to point out some other areas where I might disagree and I pointed to a few. I think it suffice to state we are not likely to agree on these things.

    But thank you for carrying on a civil conversation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    kojax said:
    They're very creative interpretations, and definitely ex-post-facto. As you mentioned earlier: prior to Jesus Christ's birth everyone expected the messiah to show up as a military leader who would expel the Romans. When that didn't happen the Christians decided they had "misunderstood" the prophecy.
    Where in the old testament is the virgin birth even described? An obscure verse in Isaiah 7:14, where he pauses immediately after describing a war to occur within the next 65 years, and mentions some virgin woman having a baby, then says the land they hate will lose both kings before the kid knows good from evil.... And of course there's some debate over whether the word "virgin" is even what he said.

    I don't think I said that. What I said in response to that idea, was they misunderstood that Messiah would come to save them from the oppression of sin and their religious leaders, not from foreign military oppressors.
    Either that, or.... maybe they understood the prophecy correctly and it was simply false.


    Is there any other way to tell if a prophecy has been fulfilled? The only way you can know is when the prophecied event occurs and, even then, it might not be obvious. Sometimes, as is often the case with, say Nostradamus, we don't even know what the prophecy was until after it has been fulfilled. And then we say, "Oh, that's what that was all about."

    If that were the only prophecy which Jesus allegedly fulfilled, it would be difficult, indeed, to tie him to being Messiah. Probably a lot of young women had babies in those days. There are, however, numerous other prophecies concerning Messiah which Jesus fulfilled.
    If the prophecy is vague enough that its fulfillment would be greatly subject to interpretation, then there is actually no way at all to tell if it comes true or not. People who are deeply committed to seeing it come true will take anything that even comes close as success, which makes it probabilistically unlikely that any prophecy could ever fail.




    kojax said:
    And what happens if those teachers start making up their own ideas instead of just explaining the ones they're supposed to teach? Paul didn't take any of Jesus Christ's parables and break them down for us, did he?
    You do, of course, have examples of things that Paul taught that were in conflict with things that Jesus taught? Or where he started to make up his own ideas. This is likely a much easier charge to make than to back up.
    It's all subject to interpretation, so it's not like any of my specific instances would really impress you. It's what I don't see that makes me unimpressed with Paul. There's no focus on love. Jesus Christ clearly stated that it was the most important law. Paul sprinkles the idea here and there,... usually as a buzz word, but mostly talks about strict adherence to the rules.

    Jesus Christ actually went so far as to say you could break the rules and it was alright.



    kojax said:
    I think you're taking the mystical perspective and I'm taking the pragmatic one here. If Jesus Christ was just a philosopher, then there is no question of how many books we "need". The 62 books exist for the same reason so many Star Wars books have been written by authors other than George Lucas: because there was an unfilled demand, and people were willing to buy stories written by knock-off authors.
    I'm trying to figure out what you are claiming here. There were 39 books written before Jesus was born and I'm not all that sure there was a big demand for most of them until some time after they were written. It does not seem likely that people went around asking others to prophecy their doom which is what most of the Hebrew Scripture prophecies do.
    Clearly they were demanding more teachings of Jesus Christ, since the first 39 books were not perceived to be from him.

    And it is kind of the same thing with a lot New Testament books. Most of the non-Gospel books are quite critical of the people for whom they were written. I hardly think the Corinthians. for example, were writing back to Paul and saying, "Hey, crank out a bunch more of these. We really like it when you take us to task for all our mistakes."
    By your logic, "Hellfire and Damnation" preachers would always be preaching to an empty audience. Some people like being made to feel guilty. Can't say I understand them, but they certainly do exist, and in large numbers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Apopohis Reject

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    We do know when the death and resurrection of Jesus took place because it was at Passover, something Jews had been celebrating for a couple of thousand years/ So I hardly think the coincidence that this may coincide with other spring holidays of other religions is significant.
    Is it also significant it still bears the same name of the Babylonion goddess 'Ishtar' (pronounced Easter), and focuses on symbols of fertility such as rabbits, chickens and eggs, and has virtually identical loaves of bread with a cross atop? I must admit though, that the sacrificing of children has ceased - thankfully, even though an argument could be made that it is the young children who are still being sacrificed to all the old pagan rubbish in these 3000+ year old festivals, huh?
    Almost all the christian holidays are co-opted from pagan festivals. It was just the church's way of compromising with them after they ran in with swords and forced them to convert. Instead of taking away their holidays, they just renamed them after Christian stuff, or changed what was being commemorated.

    Basically all you had to do to be a Catholic was say you were a Catholic. Other than that you could go on living your life pretty much the same way you had been before.
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  47. #46  
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    kojax said:
    Either that, or.... maybe they understood the prophecy correctly and it was simply false.
    and:

    If the prophecy is vague enough that its fulfillment would be greatly subject to interpretation, then there is actually no way at all to tell if it comes true or not. People who are deeply committed to seeing it come true will take anything that even comes close as success, which makes it probabilistically unlikely that any prophecy could ever fail.
    Well, all you would have to do is figure out what the Hebrew scriptures say that would support the idea of a military leader Messiah. If so, you might could build a case that they understood the prophecy. Plus there is nothing to say that such a prophecy is still open and yet to be fulfilled.

    I'm not sure you understand the different kinds of prophecies. Some are clear and to the point. You recognize them as prophecy and you easily recognize when they have been fulfilled. Some are not even recognized as prophecies until after they have been fulfilled. Some appear to be prophecy but we have no idea as to what they refer. As I pointed out before, to the best of my knowledge, none of Nostredamus' "prophecies" have been recognized until after they were fulfilled.

    kojax said:
    It's all subject to interpretation, so it's not like any of my specific instances would really impress you. It's what I don't see that makes me unimpressed with Paul. There's no focus on love. Jesus Christ clearly stated that it was the most important law. Paul sprinkles the idea here and there,... usually as a buzz word, but mostly talks about strict adherence to the rules.

    Jesus Christ actually went so far as to say you could break the rules and it was alright.
    I would disagree with everything you say here. Paul does talk a lot about love and is the author of what Christians call "the love chapter" -- I Cor. 13. I do not see Paul as being what would be called a legalist. His writings which seem to emphasize salvation by through faith seems to be the opposite of legalism. He consistently repudiates salvation by works of the law.

    While you are correct that Jesus clearly states that loving God and loving your fellow man are the greatest commandments, he also says a lot about judgement.

    I have no idea where you think Jesus went so far as to say you could break the rules and it was all right.

    The Hebrew law addresses three things -- ceremonial law, civil law and moral law. The religious hierarchy through the years had piled on and piled on more rules and regulations as to how to break these laws. Jesus clarified them and re-explained their original intent. EG: The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath; turn the other cheek to name a couple.

    I sincerly question there is anything that can be legitimately understood to say that it is OK to break the law.

    Kojax said:
    Clearly they were demanding more teachings of Jesus Christ, since the first 39 books were not perceived to be from him.
    I don't think they (whoever "they" are) were demanding more teachings. I think the writers were motivated by the fact that there were many, many stories going around about Jesus teachings and they wanted to clarify those stories. Their writing were more in response to questions as to which teaching were actually those of Jesus. The four Gospels which are included in the Bible are a mere fraction of the writings which were being circulated. The did not want "more" teachings, they wanted to know which ones were actually those of Jesus.

    kojax said:
    By your logic, "Hellfire and Damnation" preachers would always be preaching to an empty audience. Some people like being made to feel guilty. Can't say I understand them, but they certainly do exist, and in large numbers.
    Hellfire and damnation preaching never comes without the hope of redemption. I think what the audience is there for is because they recognize they are sinners and are looking for the promise of salvation -- not the certainty of condemnation.

    I don't see the dates of religious holidays being particularly significant of anything. I think if we lined up the religious celebrations of all civilizations, we would find that there is a lot of overlap. I have no idea how many religious observances have been practiced, but if it were so few as 1,000 of them, that would be almost three for everyday of the year. I have no idea why you think this is an issue. I once had a neighbor who had the same birthday as me and his grandson also shared that birthday. Do you suppose there is some significance?
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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