Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
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29-07-2016, 08:00 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(29-07-2016 06:44 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(29-07-2016 04:21 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Ok. I read all that.

I don't buy Luke's "eyewitnesses" spiel...

Some scholars claim Luke the author was the physician and friend of Saint Paul, although most of them admit that they are not sure about this. If this were the case, surely “Luke” would have said so, yet he does not.

Even if the author of Luke did know Paul, that should not qualify him to write about Yeshua’s life, because Paul never met Yeshua, and Paul knew almost nothing about Yeshua.

Luke had a very pro-Gentile, anti-Jewish bias. His Greek is more cultivated and polished than Mark’s and Matthew’s. Luke did not include Mark and Matthew’s most Judaic verses. For example, his genealogy of Jesus went back to Adam, the world’s first (fictional) man, whereas Matthew’s genealogy goes back to Abraham, the fictional Jewish patriarch. Mark and Matthew named Jesus’ brothers, who all had very Jewish names, whereas Luke did not name them.

Luke claimed that he was writing his Gospel to clear up contentious issues from unnamed other accounts of Jesus’ life. They could include Mark’s (which he was familiar with) and/or Matthew’s, yet he could also be referring to any of the scores of stories about Jesus that were circulating at the time.

Luke wrote:
“Seeing that many others have undertaken to draw up accounts of the events that have taken place among us, exactly as those were handed down to us by those who from the outset were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word, I in my turn, after carefully going over the whole story from the beginning, have decided to write an ordered account for you, Theophilus, so that your Excellency may learn how well founded the teaching is that you have received” (Luke 1:1–5, NJB).

This introduction disqualified the author as a direct witness of Jesus’ life. Luke wrote that “eyewitnesses” handed down information to “us” but does not say who either group was or what they were eyewitnesses to. If these “eyewitnesses” had known Jesus, the author surely would have provided more details. This introduction only
sounds impressive; in reality it does nothing to add to “Luke’s” credibility.

Everything written in Acts and Luke must be read with suspicion. These works are full of miracles that didn't happen. The attempts to denigrate the Jews and Judaism and promote Paul's legitimacy in Acts are pathetic and obviously fabricated. So we cannot take "Luke's" claim that he knew eyewitnesses seriously. It's a lie.

Again, you are viewing this from the position of a disbeliever; the exact opposite of a believer. Where a believer is all gung-ho that everything in Luke is true, you as a disbeliever are all gung-ho that everything is false.

Whether or not anyone believes the fantastic stories as are written in Luke is irrelevant, because all I see as a secular historian is a history of a system of beliefs that were acquired by an ancient culture that was already extremely predisposed to beliefs in gods and the fantastic tales regarding ordinary men, such as Jesus or your understanding of him as Yeshua.

What we see in such ancient records as the gospels should never be taken from the position of belief or disbelief, but rather with an non judgmental understanding that the ancient culture represents a partial history of the development of mankind from prehistorical times, to the bronze age; from the reign of the Romans, and on through to the Renaissance.

Of course we should not believe in such fairy tales in this day and age with all our education and technological advancements, but considering all that we have today was what was lacking two thousand years ago, we should not judge the ancestors of humanity according to our current state of existence, but rather respect them as though they were but young children in the development stage of the history of mankind.

Consider
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29-07-2016, 08:21 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(29-07-2016 07:24 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I happen to think it's very relevant whether the author of Luke talked to eyewitnesses or not. Not that I, personally, take any of these writings seriously, but there are Christians who do, and I don't like what Christianity has done to my world. If Christians everywhere were somehow to wake up to the fact how fabricated the nonsense they believe is, then the world will be a better place.

But you see, that's the purpose of actual history, Mark.

We both know that the stories of Jesus, for the most part at least, are embellishments and fabrications. The stories about his miracles are beyond the ability to logically and reasonably believe.

We can launch an attack against Christianity by using every device imaginable, but all you will ever do is alienate the masses of Christians and have them stand united against you.

They believe. We don't.

But having an agenda that is hell-bent at attacking Christianity from the position of disbelief and ridicule will never uncover the truth because its aim has nothing to do with the truth.

History tries to answer the questions and uncover the truth, bit by bit. Exposing Jesus as merely an ordinary man who had his life exaggerated by his followers is far more practical than trying to re-invent a history of complete myth, or trying to create a new history based upon improbabilities and shoddy historical data.

Personally I find the arguments for complete myth to be even less believable than the miracles attributed to Jesus for the simple reason that they are at the very least complete fabrications with no basis in truth whatsoever. It's a smoke and mirror game, but those of us with a decent education cannot be fooled by it. It may appeal to the young and the uneducated, but to those of us with degrees in knowledge, it has no hope whatsoever of ever being regarded as actual history.
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29-07-2016, 08:25 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(29-07-2016 08:00 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  
(29-07-2016 06:44 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Everything written in Acts and Luke must be read with suspicion. These works are full of miracles that didn't happen. The attempts to denigrate the Jews and Judaism and promote Paul's legitimacy in Acts are pathetic and obviously fabricated. So we cannot take "Luke's" claim that he knew eyewitnesses seriously. It's a lie.

Again, you are viewing this from the position of a disbeliever; the exact opposite of a believer. Where a believer is all gung-ho that everything in Luke is true, you as a disbeliever are all gung-ho that everything is false.

Whether or not anyone believes the fantastic stories as are written in Luke is irrelevant, because all I see as a secular historian is a history of a system of beliefs that were acquired by an ancient culture that was already extremely predisposed to beliefs in gods and the fantastic tales regarding ordinary men, such as Jesus or your understanding of him as Yeshua.

What we see in such ancient records as the gospels should never be taken from the position of belief or disbelief, but rather with an non judgmental understanding that the ancient culture represents a partial history of the development of mankind from prehistorical times, to the bronze age; from the reign of the Romans, and on through to the Renaissance.

Of course we should not believe in such fairy tales in this day and age with all our education and technological advancements, but considering all that we have today was what was lacking two thousand years ago, we should not judge the ancestors of humanity according to our current state of existence, but rather respect them as though they were but young children in the development stage of the history of mankind.

Consider
Again, you are viewing this from the position of a disbeliever; the exact opposite of a believer.

Well... I'm trying to discover the truth. I don't necessarily believe that everything that is written in Luke is a lie. I look at these writings from what I think is the correct context. The believer looks at them as the word of God, which is quite clearly not the correct context.

"Whether or not anyone believes the fantastic stories as are written in Luke is irrelevant"

It is not irrelevant if you're a kid growing up in a fundamentalist family. It is not irrelevant if you are an adult who has been brainwashed with Christian ideology and are plagued with guilt as a result. It is not irrelevant if you are sexist, homophobic and prejudiced against other religions because of your Christian upbringing. It is not irrelevant if you're a citizen of this world, (that's all of us,) and the leader of the world's biggest war machine is a fundamentalist Christian.

"What we see in such ancient records as the gospels should never be taken from the position of belief or disbelief, but rather with an non judgmental understanding that the ancient culture represents a partial history of the development of mankind from prehistorical times, to the bronze age; from the reign of the Romans, and on through to the Renaissance.

Of course we should not believe in such fairy tales in this day and age with all our education and technological advancements, but considering all that we have today was what was lacking two thousand years ago, we should not judge the ancestors of humanity according to our current state of existence, but rather respect them as though they were but young children in the development stage of the history of mankind."


I agree with the above.
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29-07-2016, 08:28 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
The gospels are not "records" in the sense of "recorded history". They are proclamations of beliefs. Recognizing them for what they are (they are not "history") is simply honest appraisal. Most Christian cultists are not willing to even grant that much.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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29-07-2016, 08:41 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(29-07-2016 08:21 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  
(29-07-2016 07:24 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I happen to think it's very relevant whether the author of Luke talked to eyewitnesses or not. Not that I, personally, take any of these writings seriously, but there are Christians who do, and I don't like what Christianity has done to my world. If Christians everywhere were somehow to wake up to the fact how fabricated the nonsense they believe is, then the world will be a better place.

But you see, that's the purpose of actual history, Mark.

We both know that the stories of Jesus, for the most part at least, are embellishments and fabrications. The stories about his miracles are beyond the ability to logically and reasonably believe.

We can launch an attack against Christianity by using every device imaginable, but all you will ever do is alienate the masses of Christians and have them stand united against you.

They believe. We don't.

But having an agenda that is hell-bent at attacking Christianity from the position of disbelief and ridicule will never uncover the truth because its aim has nothing to do with the truth.

History tries to answer the questions and uncover the truth, bit by bit. Exposing Jesus as merely an ordinary man who had his life exaggerated by his followers is far more practical than trying to re-invent a history of complete myth, or trying to create a new history based upon improbabilities and shoddy historical data.

Personally I find the arguments for complete myth to be even less believable than the miracles attributed to Jesus for the simple reason that they are at the very least complete fabrications with no basis in truth whatsoever. It's a smoke and mirror game, but those of us with a decent education cannot be fooled by it. It may appeal to the young and the uneducated, but to those of us with degrees in knowledge, it has no hope whatsoever of ever being regarded as actual history.

But having an agenda that is hell-bent at attacking Christianity from the position of disbelief and ridicule will never uncover the truth because its aim has nothing to do with the truth.

My agenda is all about discovering the truth. You don't seem to appreciate that. You have labelled me as being an aggressive emotion driven, agenda driven atheist. Yet...I am a humanist who cares deeply about other people...including Christians. I have everything to do with the truth.

"or trying to create a new history based upon improbabilities and shoddy historical data."

That is your opinion. I have mine. If you care to discuss the history, I'm here to do that. Let's stick to that. Labelling my ideas as "shoddy" but not saying why, is just noise.

Personally I find the arguments for complete myth to be even less believable than the miracles attributed to Jesus for the simple reason that they are at the very least complete fabrications with no basis in truth whatsoever.

I disagree. Let's talk about it. With facts.

but those of us with a decent education cannot be fooled by it. It may appeal to the young and the uneducated, but to those of us with degrees in knowledge, it has no hope whatsoever of ever being regarded as actual history

Once again, this is just your opinion, which you are entitled to, but we need to discuss facts if you want to get your point across. BTW, arguments such as "everyone agrees with me" will not do, either...let's discuss the history.
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29-07-2016, 08:54 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(29-07-2016 08:21 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  
(29-07-2016 07:24 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I happen to think it's very relevant whether the author of Luke talked to eyewitnesses or not. Not that I, personally, take any of these writings seriously, but there are Christians who do, and I don't like what Christianity has done to my world. If Christians everywhere were somehow to wake up to the fact how fabricated the nonsense they believe is, then the world will be a better place.

But you see, that's the purpose of actual history, Mark.

We both know that the stories of Jesus, for the most part at least, are embellishments and fabrications. The stories about his miracles are beyond the ability to logically and reasonably believe.

We can launch an attack against Christianity by using every device imaginable, but all you will ever do is alienate the masses of Christians and have them stand united against you.

They believe. We don't.

But having an agenda that is hell-bent at attacking Christianity from the position of disbelief and ridicule will never uncover the truth because its aim has nothing to do with the truth.

History tries to answer the questions and uncover the truth, bit by bit. Exposing Jesus as merely an ordinary man who had his life exaggerated by his followers is far more practical than trying to re-invent a history of complete myth, or trying to create a new history based upon improbabilities and shoddy historical data.

Personally I find the arguments for complete myth to be even less believable than the miracles attributed to Jesus for the simple reason that they are at the very least complete fabrications with no basis in truth whatsoever. It's a smoke and mirror game, but those of us with a decent education cannot be fooled by it. It may appeal to the young and the uneducated, but to those of us with degrees in knowledge, it has no hope whatsoever of ever being regarded as actual history.

We can launch an attack against Christianity by using every device imaginable, but all you will ever do is alienate the masses of Christians and have them stand united against you.

I disagree. The truth sets us free.

We can fight cigarettes. We can fight high fructose corn syrup and sugar. We can fight against processed foods.

So, we can fight against Christianity.

These are all versions of the same thing...the toxic exploitation of others.
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29-07-2016, 09:01 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(29-07-2016 08:28 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  The gospels are not "records" in the sense of "recorded history". They are proclamations of beliefs. Recognizing them for what they are (they are not "history") is simply honest appraisal. Most Christian cultists are not willing to even grant that much.

In terms of the fantastic tales of miracles et al, no the gospels should not be viewed as if they are actual historical events. But that is just common sense. Of course they are not historical events.

But those fantastic tales of miracles and other improbable events can be viewed as a history of a system of beliefs in which the life of an ordinary man was embellished by a culture that was extremely predisposed all the way from the stone age to invent such tall tales about ordinary people.

But with that all put aside with an understanding of what it actually is, it therefore becomes equally reasonable to take what is probable, mundane, and historically supported elsewhere as representing a good approximation of history, such as Jesus being crucified by the Romans.

There's much more to these beliefs other than a believe-it-or-not perspective.

Consider
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29-07-2016, 09:15 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(29-07-2016 09:01 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  
(29-07-2016 08:28 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  The gospels are not "records" in the sense of "recorded history". They are proclamations of beliefs. Recognizing them for what they are (they are not "history") is simply honest appraisal. Most Christian cultists are not willing to even grant that much.

In terms of the fantastic tales of miracles et al, no the gospels should not be viewed as if they are actual historical events. But that is just common sense. Of course they are not historical events.

But those fantastic tales of miracles and other improbable events can be viewed as a history of a system of beliefs in which the life of an ordinary man was embellished by a culture that was extremely predisposed all the way from the stone age to invent such tall tales about ordinary people.

But with that all put aside with an understanding of what it actually is, it therefore becomes equally reasonable to take what is probable, mundane, and historically supported elsewhere as representing a good approximation of history, such as Jesus being crucified by the Romans.

There's much more to these beliefs other than a believe-it-or-not perspective.

Consider

So...what do you think of Jesus?

Christian or Jew or something else?

Why was he crucified?

Would he have got on with Paul?

What do you think happened to the original followers of Jesus?

What do you think Christianity today is?
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29-07-2016, 10:22 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(29-07-2016 09:15 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(29-07-2016 09:01 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  In terms of the fantastic tales of miracles et al, no the gospels should not be viewed as if they are actual historical events. But that is just common sense. Of course they are not historical events.

But those fantastic tales of miracles and other improbable events can be viewed as a history of a system of beliefs in which the life of an ordinary man was embellished by a culture that was extremely predisposed all the way from the stone age to invent such tall tales about ordinary people.

But with that all put aside with an understanding of what it actually is, it therefore becomes equally reasonable to take what is probable, mundane, and historically supported elsewhere as representing a good approximation of history, such as Jesus being crucified by the Romans.

There's much more to these beliefs other than a believe-it-or-not perspective.

Consider

So...what do you think of Jesus?

Christian or Jew or something else?

Why was he crucified?

Would he have got on with Paul?

What do you think happened to the original followers of Jesus?

What do you think Christianity today is?

In my opinion ...

Jesus was a Nazarene priest from the priestly community of Nazareth. This particular sect of Judaism was not well received by the more orthodox Pharisee and Sadducee, and to the lesser extent, the Samaritans. Even the town where he came from, Nazareth, was not well regarded.

Jesus had a very unorthodox religious philosophy that, although it won him over many followers, it also created all the wrong enemies from the dominate Pharisee and Sadducee. His popularity flourished to such an extent that many of his zealous followers began to wonder if he could possibly be put into a position of being the promised Messiah who would deliver the Jews from Roman rule.

Upon learning that some of his followers considered him a Messiah, Jesus tried to defuse and confuse the situation by taking a more spiritual approach to the meaning of Messiah. He was afraid that if word got out about him being proclaimed as being a Messiah it would result in his arrest and possible execution by the chief priests, who were already looking for some excuse to trip him up because of his popularity.

Jesus never made any prophecies about himself that he could not reasonably determine as being greatly possible due to the situation surrounding him. Since he knew people were calling him a Messiah, he merely reasoned that a Messiah also carries the connotation of a kingship, and to be proclaimed as being a king when it was not sanctioned by Caesar was an act of treason and war against the Roman empire.

So instead of fighting against the Messiah title, he decided to embrace it and argue that its meaning was spiritual as opposed to literal. This worked with many of his followers, but it fell upon deaf ears with the Pharisee and the Sadducee. They became fearful the Jesus' popularity and his followers' claim of being a Messiah would bring the Roman legions in to destroy the Jews in a war that the Jews at the time were not prepared for.

So they arrested him at night when his followers were few, and held him until day break until Pilate came on the scene. After blackmailing Pilate by insinuating that Pilate would be a traitor if he allowed a "king" to go free, Pilate condemned Jesus to the cross.

After Jesus was crucified, his original followers- the apostles- went into hiding since they could also be condemned as traitors due to their association with Jesus. Some would be caught and stoned or killed by the Jews due to their blasphemy. As time passed, the remaining apostles re-organized and began to create an oral history- the Q document- of the sayings of Jesus.

Sometime soon after his crucifixion, Paul emerged on the scene as a man on a mission to hunt down and kill the remaining ring leaders- apostles- of the sect of the Nazarenes. Despite Paul's supposed conversion some time later, the remaining apostles didn't trust him to be privy to the apostles' inner circle. But they didn't want to anger him either, so they hatched a plot and sold it to Paul that he could be an apostle to the Gentiles, but not to the Jews. They just wanted him gone.

Paul, in his vanity, bought the plot hook, line, and sinker, and went on his merry way to present what little he knew about Jesus to the Gentiles. Unarmed and uneducated with knowledge, he had to fabricate things about Jesus by pretending that he alone was some kind of psychic channel for the spirit of Jesus Christ. he managed to gather together a few followers of his own, and thus the religion of Christianity was born, a strong competitor to the Nazarenes.

As the strength of the Nazarenes in Jerusalem waned after the death of James in CE 62 and due to the Roman-Jewish war in CE 70, Paul's Christian movement flourished because Christians hid their beliefs from both the Jews and the Romans for fear of persecution.

Today's Christianity is a very embellished version of Paul's concept, and even contradicts many of his teachings, particularly regarding the role of a woman in the church. This is because Paul's concept of Christianity was what Catholicism tried to mimic, but then Catholicism was challenged at the beginning of the renaissance, which resulted in the numerous denominations we have today.

And that's my view.
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29-07-2016, 11:38 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(29-07-2016 10:22 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  
(29-07-2016 09:15 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  So...what do you think of Jesus?

Christian or Jew or something else?

Why was he crucified?

Would he have got on with Paul?

What do you think happened to the original followers of Jesus?

What do you think Christianity today is?

In my opinion ...

Jesus was a Nazarene priest from the priestly community of Nazareth. This particular sect of Judaism was not well received by the more orthodox Pharisee and Sadducee, and to the lesser extent, the Samaritans. Even the town where he came from, Nazareth, was not well regarded.

Jesus had a very unorthodox religious philosophy that, although it won him over many followers, it also created all the wrong enemies from the dominate Pharisee and Sadducee. His popularity flourished to such an extent that many of his zealous followers began to wonder if he could possibly be put into a position of being the promised Messiah who would deliver the Jews from Roman rule.

Upon learning that some of his followers considered him a Messiah, Jesus tried to defuse and confuse the situation by taking a more spiritual approach to the meaning of Messiah. He was afraid that if word got out about him being proclaimed as being a Messiah it would result in his arrest and possible execution by the chief priests, who were already looking for some excuse to trip him up because of his popularity.

Jesus never made any prophecies about himself that he could not reasonably determine as being greatly possible due to the situation surrounding him. Since he knew people were calling him a Messiah, he merely reasoned that a Messiah also carries the connotation of a kingship, and to be proclaimed as being a king when it was not sanctioned by Caesar was an act of treason and war against the Roman empire.

So instead of fighting against the Messiah title, he decided to embrace it and argue that its meaning was spiritual as opposed to literal. This worked with many of his followers, but it fell upon deaf ears with the Pharisee and the Sadducee. They became fearful the Jesus' popularity and his followers' claim of being a Messiah would bring the Roman legions in to destroy the Jews in a war that the Jews at the time were not prepared for.

So they arrested him at night when his followers were few, and held him until day break until Pilate came on the scene. After blackmailing Pilate by insinuating that Pilate would be a traitor if he allowed a "king" to go free, Pilate condemned Jesus to the cross.

After Jesus was crucified, his original followers- the apostles- went into hiding since they could also be condemned as traitors due to their association with Jesus. Some would be caught and stoned or killed by the Jews due to their blasphemy. As time passed, the remaining apostles re-organized and began to create an oral history- the Q document- of the sayings of Jesus.

Sometime soon after his crucifixion, Paul emerged on the scene as a man on a mission to hunt down and kill the remaining ring leaders- apostles- of the sect of the Nazarenes. Despite Paul's supposed conversion some time later, the remaining apostles didn't trust him to be privy to the apostles' inner circle. But they didn't want to anger him either, so they hatched a plot and sold it to Paul that he could be an apostle to the Gentiles, but not to the Jews. They just wanted him gone.

Paul, in his vanity, bought the plot hook, line, and sinker, and went on his merry way to present what little he knew about Jesus to the Gentiles. Unarmed and uneducated with knowledge, he had to fabricate things about Jesus by pretending that he alone was some kind of psychic channel for the spirit of Jesus Christ. he managed to gather together a few followers of his own, and thus the religion of Christianity was born, a strong competitor to the Nazarenes.

As the strength of the Nazarenes in Jerusalem waned after the death of James in CE 62 and due to the Roman-Jewish war in CE 70, Paul's Christian movement flourished because Christians hid their beliefs from both the Jews and the Romans for fear of persecution.

Today's Christianity is a very embellished version of Paul's concept, and even contradicts many of his teachings, particularly regarding the role of a woman in the church. This is because Paul's concept of Christianity was what Catholicism tried to mimic, but then Catholicism was challenged at the beginning of the renaissance, which resulted in the numerous denominations we have today.

And that's my view.

Mmmm.

Interesting.

I hope you won't get upset by me pointing out a few things.

"Jesus was a Nazarene priest"

Um...I think a Jewish priest was a Sadducee, so I'm not sure Jesus would have considered himself a priest. He probably though the Sadducees of his time were illegitimate priests, as they had been installed by the Romans.

"from the priestly community of Nazareth."

which we have no evidence of, but let's no go there lol. We do have evidence for an already existing sect known as the Nazarenes. I'm not going out on a limb here... I think this is pretty well-established. John the Baptist was a Nazarene.

Jesus had a very unorthodox religious philosophy that, although it won him over many followers, it also created all the wrong enemies from the dominate Pharisee and Sadducee.

I think it's very unlikely that Jesus had an unorthodox religious philosophy. The Nazarenes were quite orthodox.
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