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Historicity of Jesus

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Re: Historicity of Jesus

Postby BeamStalk » Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:38 pm

zilch wrote:Chris and milo: yep, that sounds plausible. I think that's pretty much Ehrman's position too: a historical Jesus, but with supernatural embellishments.


Which is my stance as well.
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Re: Historicity of Jesus

Postby BeamStalk » Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:42 pm

Milo wrote:
BeamStalk wrote:This is a topic I am interested in. I too have swung back and forth between myth and real. I used to site the convoluted story of the census as a quasi proof, why not have him just born in Bethlehem instead of making his family travel there if you are making him from whole cloth. Then I heard a historian, Reza Aslan, who just did a book on Jesus talking about how the early church would have known that the story of the Census was false but it was a way to say that Jesus was of the line of David.

So I guess I can definitely see that the idea of Jesus the myth is plausible but I still think that there was a real Jesus. Although I do not believe the Bible is even close to an accurate account of his life. I think the only possible thing that is true in it is Jesus and the money changers in the Temple.


Of all things that happened in the gospels, I would peg the temple clearing to be false. The temple was huge with troops posted to prevent any such incidents. I don't see how Jesus could have made the ruckus claimed by the gospel without being immediately arrested. This goes against inerrancy, not historicity, but John moves the temple clearing to the beginning of Jesus's ministry. Some Christians believe Jesus did this twice in order to cling to the idea there are no contradictions.



To me it fits with certain ideologies of the time, there was a very anti-Roman/temple movement among the Jews, the temple sold out to the Romans. I wouldn't doubt that he would have been arrested but what better way to make a name for yourself. If he was nothing more than one of hundreds of end times preachers, which is the best that can be said evidence wise, then how does one stand out. This is an event that would make a name for you. Then of course add embellishments when you are telling and retelling the story for 30 years.
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Re: Historicity of Jesus

Postby Milo » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:59 pm

The mythicist theory seeks to explain how a man become equated as a god in the Jewish faith so quickly and completely and why the epistles, especially from Paul, say next to nothing about Jesus on earth and also say things that are contrary to any knowledge of a human Jesus.

Cosmic Jesus is a better term than mythic. Paul and his followers believed Jesus existed just as much as any Christian does today. They thought of Jesus as perhaps an archangel or a figure like Logos or the Wisdom. God, following his plan, sends Jesus down through the layers of heaven to the sublunar level where the demons and spirits rule. Jesus assumes the likeness of flesh, the demons don't recognize him, they kill/crucify Jesus, he is buried, and rises again on the third day. He ascends into heaven where he is glorified by God and revealed as the pre-existent, creator the universe, son of God. The sacrifice that took place in the lower levels of the heavens is the final perfect sacrifice for sin and animal sacrifices in the temple are no longer needed. The existence and sacrifice of Jesus is made known to mankind through scripture, revelation, and visions. At some point the heavenly Jesus was given a biography on earth when Mark wrote down the first gospel. Although Mark was probably not the first to imagine an earthly Jesus his writings became the template for everything that followed. The idea that Jesus walked the earth won out.

That's a rough summary. It helps to read the epistles of Paul with no preconceived notions of the gospel Jesus. It's hard to do because your mind tends to fill in the blanks.
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Re: Historicity of Jesus

Postby zilch » Thu Jul 03, 2014 6:01 am

Nice analysis, milo, and it sounds quite plausible.

Milo wrote:The sacrifice that took place in the lower levels of the heavens is the final perfect sacrifice for sin and animal sacrifices in the temple are no longer needed.

Not having to make animal sacrifices alone would be pretty attractive, I imagine: a fairly large savings of time and good food.

That reminds me of a news item a couple months back, which I unfortunately can't find, about a whole village in Ethiopia (I believe) that decided, on the verge of starvation, to give up Islam. The time saved not praying to Mecca five times a day and going to mosque was devoted to farming. They started doing better than their Muslim neighbors, who (big surprise) vilified them.
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Re: Historicity of Jesus

Postby E-lad » Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:48 am

The near mid east in the first century was teeming with messiahs, and they were expected to perform miracles. They were the magicians of their day.
The Jews had their old testament and under the oppressive rule of the Romans there was much despair. They were certain that the terrible conditions would bring about the appearance of the savior as described in the Old Testament.
The problem was that their interpretation of the OT predicted the messiah would be a conquering King that would free them from the Romans and that is why the Jews do not accept the Jesus that formed in legendary style over the 25 years following his supposed death, and do not accept him as such to this very day.

Some type of gospels were probably written by Jesus' followers early on after his death, and one of those writings was probably the Quell Gospel, now lost, that the books of Matthew, Mark, and luke, the "Synoptic" gospels were written from, with slightly different stories as noted. Then about 25 years after the supposed crucifixion, Paul picked up on the narrative and used his influence as a wealthy Jew- and- a Roman citizen to save the legend from almost certain obscurity.
Almost half of the writings attributed to Paul are not actually his own writings and the letter to the Hebrews is recognized as an obvious later forgery.

Paul never even met Jesus, but claims to have talked to Peter, who claimed he was the apostle Peter. The funny part is that when Paul met Peter, the story recounts the fact that they argued bitterly on what Jesus actually taught. No matter to Paul, he went on to invent his own doctrine and add it to the teachings of jesus, who was probably just the David Copperfied of his day.
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Re: Historicity of Jesus

Postby zilch » Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:54 am

Yep, froggie.

E-lad wrote:[...] and that is why the Jews do not accept the Jesus that formed in legendary style over the 25 years following his supposed death, and do not accept him as such to this very day.

You're forgetting that Ray and Dani'el are both Jews. :lol:
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Re: Historicity of Jesus

Postby E-lad » Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:42 am

zilch wrote:Yep, froggie.

E-lad wrote:[...] and that is why the Jews do not accept the Jesus that formed in legendary style over the 25 years following his supposed death, and do not accept him as such to this very day.

You're forgetting that Ray and Dani'el are both Jews. :lol:


OK. Obviously, I was referring to present day establishment/orthodox Jews. I see these "Messianic" Jews on the Christian channels all the time.
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Re: Historicity of Jesus

Postby zilch » Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:55 am

Yes, I know, froggie. I was just trying to be "funny".
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Re: Historicity of Jesus

Postby Milo » Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:46 am

@zilch- it was more than a savings of time and money. There was animosity towards the Jewish elite/Roman control of the temple. The option to use force was futile and had not worked in the past. The other option was to declare the sacrifice system no longer necessary. And then of course the temple was destroyed and the sacrificial system eliminated. Christianity was one solution to the problem.
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Re: Historicity of Jesus

Postby Milo » Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:21 pm

The near mid east in the first century was teeming with messiahs, and they were expected to perform miracles. They were the magicians of their day. The Jews had their old testament and under the oppressive rule of the Romans there was much despair. They were certain that the terrible conditions would bring about the appearance of the savior as described in the Old Testament.

The problem was that their interpretation of the OT predicted the messiah would be a conquering King that would free them from the Romans and that is why the Jews do not accept the Jesus that formed in legendary style over the 25 years following his supposed death, and do not accept him as such to this very day.


Mainstream Judaism may have believed this but Judaism was not monolithic. There is precedent for a dying suffering savior/messiah in scripture.

Some type of gospels were probably written by Jesus' followers early on after his death, and one of those writings was probably the Quell Gospel, now lost, that the books of Matthew, Mark, and luke, the "Synoptic" gospels were written from, with slightly different stories as noted.


Q did not contain a sacrifice or resurrection. It may or may not have existed and I have nothing to say about that. It is thought to have been the writings of a Kingdom sect. The changes in the gospels are not just the same stories with different details. The changes were deliberately made because the author disagreed with the theology of the previous gospel.

Then about 25 years after the supposed crucifixion, Paul picked up on the narrative and used his influence as a wealthy Jew- and- a Roman citizen to save the legend from almost certain obscurity.


Christians have Paul being converted within 3 to 5 years after the crucifixion, but I've never studied the chronology. Paul saved Christianity's bacon for sure!

Almost half of the writings attributed to Paul are not actually his own writings and the letter to the Hebrews is recognized as an obvious later forgery.


True!

Paul never even met Jesus, but claims to have talked to Peter, who claimed he was the apostle Peter. The funny part is that when Paul met Peter, the story recounts the fact that they argued bitterly on what Jesus actually taught. No matter to Paul, he went on to invent his own doctrine and add it to the teachings of jesus, who was probably just the David Copperfied of his day.


Peter is called an apostle by Paul, but not a disciple. An apostle was someone who had divine revelation that qualified him to preach. A disciple was someone who followed and learned from a teacher. Peter and Paul never argued over what Jesus taught. That is what one would expect. Peter should have said, "I was with Jesus and he said this". That never happens. There are disputes, yet no one seems to know Jesus had addressed these issues in his earthly mission. Paul never talks about the teachings of Jesus. He doesn't seem to know anything about the man Jesus.
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