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Thread: Who was Jesus?

  1. #1
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    Who was Jesus?

    Jesus Christ was God and not the son of God. If this is true, then the New Testament is a fraud.

    If Jesus was God, the gospels are an inaccurate portrayal of his life and death. In support of this hypothesis are scholarly facts that the gospels were written from 35 to 65 years after the death of Jesus. According to historical accounts, not one of the gospel writers was an eyewitness to the events. Bart D. Ehrman has published more than twenty books, mostly scholarly in nature, telling of how the gospel stories became part of Bible. Rather than being inspired by God, the evidence suggests that the gospel authors were motivated by religious ideology.

    There is another source for rebutting the son of God thesis. Old Testament authors did not mention the son of God. Nowhere in the Old Testament are there references to the Lord being the son of God, nor are there references to the Lord having a son.

  2. #2
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    Re: Who was Jesus?

    Personally, I think it is important with regard to this subject, to do an objective analysis of the events that occurred in early 4th century Rome.

    Constantine was obsessed with "One".

    At that time, Christianity was taking form, but was practiced in somewhat varying teachings, depending on the documentation and individual histories of the various Roman provinces. These variations were largely due to the travels of the Apostles and what teachings were deposited throughout those travels. It was a fragmented kind of thing, and the New Testament had not been compiled at that time.

    Also, at that time, the Roman political structure was divided.

    Constantine wanted a unified Rome. A Rome under one emperor, and one religion. When he took Rome by force, he said that he saw a sign, and then took Rome in the name of Christianity.

    Because he was obsessed with "one", he had a problem with the definition of the Trinity, and ordered a conference of the provincial elders to meet in Nicea to discuss and resolve the question of who God, Son, and Holy Spirit are. The Nicean Creed was the result, and strives to explain the relationship and the "oneness".

    Now, whether you want to view this as a political ploy, a religious revelation, the act of God, or a combination....that's up to you.

    But I can say with a guarded certainty, that this event probably set a foundation for religious evolution that continues to this day.

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    Re: Who was Jesus?

    Quote Originally Posted by sparques View Post
    Personally, I think it is important with regard to this subject, to do an objective analysis of the events that occurred in early 4th century Rome.

    Constantine was obsessed with "One".

    At that time, Christianity was taking form, but was practiced in somewhat varying teachings, depending on the documentation and individual histories of the various Roman provinces. These variations were largely due to the travels of the Apostles and what teachings were deposited throughout those travels. It was a fragmented kind of thing, and the New Testament had not been compiled at that time.

    Also, at that time, the Roman political structure was divided.

    Constantine wanted a unified Rome. A Rome under one emperor, and one religion. When he took Rome by force, he said that he saw a sign, and then took Rome in the name of Christianity.

    Because he was obsessed with "one", he had a problem with the definition of the Trinity, and ordered a conference of the provincial elders to meet in Nicea to discuss and resolve the question of who God, Son, and Holy Spirit are. The Nicean Creed was the result, and strives to explain the relationship and the "oneness".

    Now, whether you want to view this as a political ploy, a religious revelation, the act of God, or a combination....that's up to you.

    But I can say with a guarded certainty, that this event probably set a foundation for religious evolution that continues to this day.
    Yes, history explains a lot of how Christianity as we know it came about. The question is where these stories inspired by God or by Roman leaders and church theologians desperate to promote their new religion.

    What is missing from the historical record is the life and death of Christ written immediately after, or within thirty five years, of his death. My thesis is that if he was the OT Lord, his dragic death would have been devastating to his followers. Would they, knowing he was God, celebrate his death? Probable not. However, after the real events of God's earthly life and death had fadded from memory, stories that he was the son of God sent to die on the cross to save humankind became popular. To sell Christianity, NT authors came up with dramatic stories and and heart wrenching accounts of Jesus the son of God.

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    Re: Who was Jesus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cnance View Post
    Yes, history explains a lot of how Christianity as we know it came about. The question is where these stories inspired by God or by Roman leaders and church theologians desperate to promote their new religion.

    What is missing from the historical record is the life and death of Christ written immediately after, or within thirty five years, of his death. My thesis is that if he was the OT Lord, his dragic death would have been devastating to his followers. Would they, knowing he was God, celebrate his death? Probable not. However, after the real events of God's earthly life and death had fadded from memory, stories that he was the son of God sent to die on the cross to save humankind became popular. To sell Christianity, NT authors came up with dramatic stories and and heart wrenching accounts of Jesus the son of God.
    Why immediately or "within 35 years of His death"? Where did the number 35 come from? If you say a generation, remember that Abraham thought of a generation as 100 years.... You have to remember not to apply current day standards to history.

    And regardless of His tragic death being God of the OT, I imagine that His followers were a bit scared to say the least. But once you search the Scriptures and find the references to WHY He came, it's clear - which obviously they did since they turned from being scared to empowered (within a generation, they died for Him) - knowing Him.

    I'm not sure that God, creator of the universe, coming to earth to die for our sins would be something that "fades" from memory. At least, to me, that in itself seems to be a rather huge event in the history of man.

    Ask yourself.. not now, but project yourself back a thousand years, two thousand years.. even 100 years .. at the start of something. Would you DIE for whatever you were STARTING, knowing it was a LIE?

    Heck, ask yourself now, are you willing to DIE for something that you KNOW is a LIE?

    -me
    ...There are hearts so hard in sin that nothing will work upon them to reduce and reclaim them...

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    Re: Who was Jesus?

    Also, if you are trying to form an objective thesis, be sure to include the fact that at the time of Jesus' death, all Hebrew records were being destroyed due to Hebrew writings being the Roman litmus test for persecutions. Most of the sacred Hebrew texts were being converted to Greek so that the writings would be preserved. This is key to understanding some of the gaps. It is also key to understanding the writings.
    Not only were the Apostles willing to die for what they believed, but they taught what was taught by Jesus....who, by the way, was a "walking Torah". He didn't just quote scripture like many rabbis of the time. He interwove it into their lives, and applied it to the increased hypocracy of the church. Not something that an Apostle or the Romans would have be capable of.
    Objectivity is key to understanding that history. It's fairly easy to say that something didn't happen when you don't have the documents...but takes a bit more work when you need to find out what was destroyed.

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    Re: Who was Jesus?

    Quote Originally Posted by malchediel View Post
    Why immediately or "within 35 years of His death"? Where did the number 35 come from? If you say a generation, remember that Abraham thought of a generation as 100 years.... You have to remember not to apply current day standards to history.

    And regardless of His tragic death being God of the OT, I imagine that His followers were a bit scared to say the least. But once you search the Scriptures and find the references to WHY He came, it's clear - which obviously they did since they turned from being scared to empowered (within a generation, they died for Him) - knowing Him.

    I'm not sure that God, creator of the universe, coming to earth to die for our sins would be something that "fades" from memory. At least, to me, that in itself seems to be a rather huge event in the history of man.

    Ask yourself.. not now, but project yourself back a thousand years, two thousand years.. even 100 years .. at the start of something. Would you DIE for whatever you were STARTING, knowing it was a LIE?

    Heck, ask yourself now, are you willing to DIE for something that you KNOW is a LIE?

    -me
    Before I began researching these dates, I believed the gospel writers were actual eyewitnesses. Biblical scholars agree that Mark was the first gospel written. This is easy to conclude in that Matthew and Luke copied versus from Mark word for word. There are many scholarly sources for gospel dates. If you want, here is one source from Bart D. Ehrman's book "Jesus Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium," page 86. Actually, I have not found a single written reference for Jesus earlier than thirty-five years after his death.

    You said, "they turned from being scared to being empowered." Yes, you could say they had to recover from the shock. It is also possible that knowing Jesus was the Lord, they were not only shocked at his death but could not believe that "God" could be murdered by men. Therefore, they were more amenable to Jesus being "just the son of God" and not God. Then when the story began circulating that He did it to save humankind, they found a wonderful explanation for his tragic death.

    As for fading memory, I don't believe that He came to earth for our sins. That was made up by gospel writers and became a convenient way to justify his death. Again, it would be difficult, based on cognitive dissonance, to accept the fact that the Lord of the universe had been murdered by men. If all of what the gospel writers said was true, why did a generation go by before it was written down?

    As a possible explanation as to why God came, he came to tell his chosen people of his heavenly kingdom and what was required to live with him in eternity. Everything went wrong, his disciplines demanded power in heaven, they refused to believe because he wouldn't help them overthrow their Roman oppressors, restore their land and wealth, and many other things having nothing to do with His kingdom.

    I asked myself would I be willing to die for something that was a lie. NO, I wouldn't. Neither did God. Assuming that he did not tell his followers that he came to die for all humankind, he did not lie. He came to communicate with his chosen people and they rejected him. End of story. We can disneyland the brutal facts, but we can't change them.

    Well, since gospel writers were not eyewitnesses, the real truth is unknown.
    Last edited by Cnance; 09-05-2009 at 06:54 PM.

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    Re: Who was Jesus?

    sparques said, "Objectivity is key to understanding that history. It's fairly easy to say that something didn't happen when you don't have the documents...but takes a bit more work when you need to find out what was destroyed."

    I agree and there may have been destruction of Hebrew documents to avoid persecution. However, a gap of thirty five years without a written word about the life and death of Jesus is hard to believe, especially when other Hebrew writings for this period have been found. I also agree it is a big stretch to come to the conclusion that Jesus was God and not the son of God.

    I think the whole thing is a highly fascinating mystery. Actually, I enjoy unravelling mysteries. For several years, I made a good living as an insurance investigator. The whole story of Jesus reeks of mystery, hidden agendas, and far fetched explanations of his life and death. If you read the four gospels horizontal, story by story, as Bart Ehrman has recommended, you will come up with some amazing conclusions regarding the gospel authors. In many cases concerning the most crucial stories of Jesus, his birth, beginning ministry, his death, and even the length of his ministry, you will find very different stories.

    Also, insofar as the gospels were written by the disciples, we have the following historical data. Typical for the time, the disciples of Jesus were illiterate and could not have written the gospels. The gospels were written by educator men. The disciples were acquainted with Hebrew and the gospels were written in Creek. It is very likely that the gospels were written by educted men, probably Creeks, who, according to their natatives, seldom, if ever, visited locations mentioned in their stories. There is historical evidence based on several forgotten gospels that the authors were united in selling Jesus as the son of God and savior of mankind. It was what they needed to sell Christianity, that plus all the other remarkable stories that they made up. Today, they would be best selling authors of fiction.

    In the final analysis, we don't have enough documents to proof what we belief.

    What we have are logical conclusion based on Fuzzy historical data, human's propensity to tell stories, and a strong desire to know the truth.

    For me, what remains is faith. My faith in God tells me Jesus was God, Lord of the Old Testament, and not the son of God.

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    Re: Who was Jesus?

    You might want to take a look at jerusalemperspective.com, which is the main site for the Jerusalem School of Synopic Research. They are dedicated to unraveling some of the mysteries by comparing the synoptic gospels (Matt, Mark, Luke) due to the attribute that they are similar (copied) yet dissimilar in story.

    The school is comprised of christian, non-christian, atheist, theist, jew...etc.

    The thing I think is so cool about their study (which has gone on since the 30's) is that they strive to get back to 1st century mentality. The standard religious speech is generally not present in their discussions on the forum, but more toward what was actually said and done.

    One of their members has his own site where he has compiled a load of information on the history of judaism, that I found both compelling and applicable.

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    Re: Who was Jesus?

    this whole diatribe is very refreshing in a sense of a challenge to long held doctrinal dogma!? and so it is!? for we fall into sleep over anything pleasant and rewarding according to personal experience!? what does it mean!? and to whom is it directed!? who cares and who knows might be/is the answer!? who needs an answer and who is offended is the next step if it is allowed/required!? so be it picard!? engage or not? take or give, receive or demand!? the consequences are what they are, as a reward or a judgment!? and who to blame in disappointment and who to find as an understander of same!? such is reality and discernment for cause!? so where does love provide the bridge over troubled water!? enter the case for complete submission to an unknown cause!? dependent on the awareness of complete destruction assumed!? :freak3: :spin2: :
    i do not endorse/recommend any advertising on scam.com associated with my name /posts or otherwise. thank you

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    Re: Who was Jesus?

    Quote Originally Posted by lexx View Post
    this whole diatribe is very refreshing in a sense of a challenge to long held doctrinal dogma!? and so it is!? for we fall into sleep over anything pleasant and rewarding according to personal experience!? what does it mean!? and to whom is it directed!? who cares and who knows might be/is the answer!? who needs an answer and who is offended is the next step if it is allowed/required!? so be it picard!? engage or not? take or give, receive or demand!? the consequences are what they are, as a reward or a judgment!? and who to blame in disappointment and who to find as an understander of same!? such is reality and discernment for cause!? so where does love provide the bridge over troubled water!? enter the case for complete submission to an unknown cause!? dependent on the awareness of complete destruction assumed!? :freak3: :spin2: :
    I agree. The human species is driven by these fundamental facets. Whether they are driven by them as personal secular beliefs or spiritual, they seem to be present regardless. Even with the aspect of complete destruction.....whether technological self destruction....or God's wrath/promise.

    Nice observation Lexx!! (although, your cryptic writing style forces me to read your posts about 100 times)

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    Re: Who was Jesus?

    Quote Originally Posted by lexx View Post
    this whole diatribe is very refreshing in a sense of a challenge to long held doctrinal dogma!? and so it is!? for we fall into sleep over anything pleasant and rewarding according to personal experience!? what does it mean!? and to whom is it directed!? who cares and who knows might be/is the answer!? who needs an answer and who is offended is the next step if it is allowed/required!? so be it picard!? engage or not? take or give, receive or demand!? the consequences are what they are, as a reward or a judgment!? and who to blame in disappointment and who to find as an understander of same!? such is reality and discernment for cause!? so where does love provide the bridge over troubled water!? enter the case for complete submission to an unknown cause!? dependent on the awareness of complete destruction assumed!? :freak3: :spin2: :
    I agree with sparques. Nice summary.

    Having challenged cherished beliefs, we suffer consequences. Those cherished beliefs had fulfilled the political needs of the Roman Empire to satisfy a growing religious community. It would not have happened if Christain leaders had believed that Jesus was God and not the son of God. Then, as now, no one is prepared to accept the OT Lord. Paul and the gospel writters did an excellent job of packaging Jesus as a man, friend, guaranteed savior, and redeemer of the world. A New York ad executive couldn't have done a better job.

    Without historical records, we will never know with certainty what happened. However, in time we may know. When worldwide calamities happen and there's no second coming, then we will have a good indication that the gospel writers and Paul participated in a fraud. On the other hand, the lack of evidence for NT prophesy will not prove my thesis that Jesus was God and not the son of God. The key to doubting the New Testament is to search Old Testament scripture for the "son of God" and all other Christian theologies that Paul and other NT authors invented.

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    Re: Who was Jesus?

    Quote Originally Posted by sparques View Post
    I agree. The human species is driven by these fundamental facets. Whether they are driven by them as personal secular beliefs or spiritual, they seem to be present regardless. Even with the aspect of complete destruction.....whether technological self destruction....or God's wrath/promise.

    Nice observation Lexx!! (although, your cryptic writing style forces me to read your posts about 100 times)
    I've read Ehrman, I have his book "Misquoting Jesus" with which I agree.

    Since there are no authors who can verify what actually did happen during that time when and if Jesus walked the earth, we can simply turn to Paul's statements, as I've done several times in Cnance's other thread.

    If it is impossible to reach a logical and objective decision as to what is correct, what, then, would be the logical and objective conclusion to reach? Obviously, NOT to make any decision that would bind us to any particular doctrine or ideology.

    I hate to keep reiterating a point ad nauseum, but people seem to try and keep writing around it and pretending it doesn't exist. We know from mathematics(Godel's theorem) that truth transcends theoremhood. That is, truth, in any absolute sense in which one would approach "God" as the singular source of truth, is simply impossible.

    This is also supported by both Old testament and New testament teachings mainly Jeremiah 17:9 and Romans 8:7. From these conclusions, we must conclude that any attempt to define who or what God is or is not is simply beyond the capacity of me, you, or any other person.

    Further, from looking at the second commandment regarding idolatry, we see that we cannot and should not attempt to reduce such a concept as God to any singular process in which he/she/it/they are defined in any complete and consistent manner.

    So, no matter what I say is God, or what you say is God, we are merely exchanged limited illusions.

    Therefore, we are left with the statements of Paul in regard to YHVH's promise to Abraham, which basically is this:

    "You, Abraham, will have a son whose name is Isaac. He will be born, but there is nothing you can offer except to believe that I, YHVH, will perform this work".

    We know from Genesis 21:1-2, that YHVH visited Abraham's wife, Sarah, and he did whatever was necessary for here to become pregnant and bear Isaac. Notice that YHVH was fully responsible for this birth, and Abraham tried to "help" YHVH by taking Sarah's handmaid and impregnating here. But it was not Abraham's "works" which YHVH sought. It was Abraham's faith.

    This is the terms of the birth of Isaac as presented to Abraham by YHVH:

    "There will be other children born down through history. They will be born in the same fashion and in just the same way as Isaac, by my, YHVH's decision. They will be born into this very same promise and they will inherit a kingdom prepared for you and your descendants because of your faith".

    Whoever they are, they will be born just as Isaac, in the same fashion. Foreknown, predestined, and called(Romans 8:29-30).

    Immediately, this very understanding is the cancellation of all human religions, simply because it is not dependent on any knowledge, works, or faith of people. It is dependent only upon a deal made with Abraham and because of Abraham's faith(Ephesians 2:8-10).

    Paul himself verifies the nature of this promise in Romans 9:8:

    "That is, they which are the children of the flesh(Israel), these are NOT the children of God: but the children OF THE PROMISE are counted for the seed."

    In verse 11, we see the conditions of that promise repeated.

    Paul repeats the conditions of this promise in Galatians 3:29:

    "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the PROMISE"

    Galatians 4:28: "Now we brethren, AS ISAAC WAS, are children of the promise".

    This means, quite simply, that there exists no reasoning, no "works", no decision powers of humans to, in any way, alter this process. Either it will happen or it won't, which means that in any case all other humans are free from any authority structures that other people would place over them.

    Since it is impossible for any human to come to a full knowledge of truth by his/her own efforts, the ONLY correct choice can be to simply follow no human authority structure that claims to represent God.

    That, basically, is what Paul says in Romans 9:16-22. There exists no such decision procedure, which means that you, if you wish, are free from all human authority structures.

    That is also what Jesus said in Matthew 24:23, since it is the ONY logically correct choice you can make.

    Any other human decision merely results in confusion and disagreement, and God is not the author of confusion.

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    Re: Who was Jesus?

    I have an alternative Doojie.

    Don't tell anyone.

    Have a belief and keep it to yourself.

    Expand it...contract it.....understand it...lose it...find it....rejoice in it....be saddened by it.

    But, by no means tell anyone about it. Because the moment you do, you are violating the individuality of the other person. The possibility that two people will agree 100% is as likely as matching their DNA.

    So there ya are. Toss out all your quotes from the writings of ancient folks, and revel privately in your personal beliefs.

    Ahh...All is right with the world.

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    Re: Who was Jesus?

    Quote Originally Posted by sparques View Post
    I have an alternative Doojie.

    Don't tell anyone.

    Have a belief and keep it to yourself.

    Expand it...contract it.....understand it...lose it...find it....rejoice in it....be saddened by it.

    But, by no means tell anyone about it. Because the moment you do, you are violating the individuality of the other person. The possibility that two people will agree 100% is as likely as matching their DNA.

    So there ya are. Toss out all your quotes from the writings of ancient folks, and revel privately in your personal beliefs.

    Ahh...All is right with the world.
    Precisely my point. But...ancient texts(bible) agrees with you

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    Re: Who was Jesus?

    Quote Originally Posted by sparques View Post
    I have an alternative Doojie.

    Don't tell anyone.

    Have a belief and keep it to yourself.

    Expand it...contract it.....understand it...lose it...find it....rejoice in it....be saddened by it.

    But, by no means tell anyone about it. Because the moment you do, you are violating the individuality of the other person. The possibility that two people will agree 100% is as likely as matching their DNA.

    So there ya are. Toss out all your quotes from the writings of ancient folks, and revel privately in your personal beliefs.

    Ahh...All is right with the world.
    This gets to the heart of the matter. I too am guilty of this crime. My justification is that I like intellectual exchange and am obsessed about knowing the truth. In Doojie's defense, he is not making a profit or gaining converts for a cause. He has even admitted to not being Jewish.

    In reference to Erhman's book Misquoting Jesus, I have found his other books insightful as well. I have sent Erhman emails about my thesis. However, being a dedicated biblical historian, he won't consider an idea without empirical evidence. He did make the comment "very interesting." Much of his research leds one to question the accuracy of the gospels.

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    Re: Who was Jesus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cnance View Post
    This gets to the heart of the matter. I too am guilty of this crime. My justification is that I like intellectual exchange and am obsessed about knowing the truth. In Doojie's defense, he is not making a profit or gaining converts for a cause. He has even admitted to not being Jewish..
    I don't see a crime. It seems to me that it is human nature to share our thoughts and inspirations when we have them....in hopes of some kind of vindication for having thoughts that might cause the same sort of inspiration in others. From this, we get the feeling of acceptance.
    I'm no psychologist...that's just a guess from a farm boy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doojie
    Precisely my point. But...ancient texts(bible) agrees with you
    Of course they do. They were written after eons of observation with regard to "what works" with the human mind. As any marketing scheme shows you...you analyze your demographic, and tell them what they need to hear in order to make them react in your desired way. If you have the "gift of gab", you can make that analysis and adapt in a millisecond.

    At the time of Paul, the methodology would have been rough and rudimentary. But then, so is that of a snake oil salesman. Paul probably didn't have to plant a single crop...but was well fed every day, always had a place to sleep, and visited all the exotic places of their world. Pretty nice life....but reeks of Snake Oil.

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