Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
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13-08-2016, 04:56 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(13-08-2016 04:42 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(13-08-2016 09:49 AM)GoingUp Wrote:  Now, let me explain to you something you may not have noticed.

Firstly, you will not find in the Epistle of James or the text of Hegesippus any of the following:

1. That Jesus rose from the dead.
2. That Jesus was the son of God.
3. That Jesus performed any miracles.


When you examine everything we can find regarding James, what we are looking at is most probably the Nazarene view of Jesus of Nazareth; the competing view to Paul's adopted Christian view.

This church in Jerusalem in which James headed up had absolutely nothing to do with the resurrection story, the son of God thing, or any claim of miracles.

But they still viewed Jesus as the Messiah.

Now consider this; the best way for any religious figure to become widely known is if you have two or more fierce competitors competing for followers. For example, if you have the Church of Jerusalem, Christianity, and perhaps also the Gnostics all claiming some kind of entitlement to Jesus, stories about this man will spread like wildfire, especially in a culture that is already greatly predisposed to belief in gods and magical things.

Those who are closest to him and who knew him will know the truth about him. This is exactly why you do not see James saying anything about the resurrection, miracles, or the son of God thing.

But those who never met him will believe wild stories about him, such as the Christians and Gnostics did.

Now there is also something else you may wish to consider here:

I have no doubts that there was an empty tomb where Jesus was buried. How it got empty is unknown for a certainty, but certainly it wasn't because he rose from the dead. The reason I accept this historically is we currently do not have any probable grave site for this man, and since he was so widely known, a grave site should at least be known in my opinion. An empty tomb appears to be the best explanation of the resurrection rumor, which spread throughout the Roman Empire in virtually all Christian documents, and is what is most probably referred to in both Tacitus and Suetonius as a "mischievous superstition." And something else, the two oldest manuscripts of Mark 16 conclude with verse 8, which ends with the women fleeing from the empty tomb. No resurrection story is present in the 2 oldest extant manuscripts, as both end at the empty tomb.

Why that tomb was empty is anybody's guess. The Gospels give us a couple clues such as him being buried there only because the sun was going down and they needed him buried before the Sabbath at sundown. This can indicate that this tomb was intended to be temporary. Have a look at John 19:42 which tells you the reasons he was buried in that tomb:

Joh 19:42  There, then, because of the Preparation of the Jews, because the tomb was near, they laid Jesus.

As you can see there are two reasons why he was laid in that tomb:

1. because of the Preparation of the Jews, It was Preparation Day, and if the sun was going down, it would be a High Sabbath at sun down.

2. because the tomb was near, indicates that since the tomb was near, and since they were concerned about the sun going down, they rushed to bury him there.

Also, Mar 15:42, Mat 27:57, and Luk 23:54 all strongly indicate that the Sabbath was fast approaching, and that there was very little time remaining in the day to get the work done of burying Jesus in that tomb. This indicates that all 4 gospels records are in agreement with my burial tomb position.

Now, if Jesus was Nazarene, then the Nazarene may have had their own kind of burial rites, and their own laws and rules that didn't agree with the Sadducee and Pharisee. They simply could have moved his body sometime through the night, (Mat 28:13) and took it to his family tomb, or some other final resting place.

However, if my theory is true, we can then understand where this rumor of his resurrection came from (Mat 28:15). Now, if this rumor actually occurred, then obviously the people would claim it to be a miracle of God, and therefore we can postulate that from this rumor of his resurrection, wild stories about ALL his supposed miracles began to develop.

I mean, if people believed that he rose from the dead, then certainly he can walk on water, raise other people from the dead, and heal the sick, right? Therefore, we can postulate by using reasoning along with the available evidence to determine exactly where the stories of all his supposed miracles began; with the rumor of a miraculous resurrection.

Yet, those of his family, such as James, never spoke of this resurrection. Why? Because they knew it wasn't true. Yes, they accepted Jesus as Messiah, but they completely rejected this resurrection story, and for good reason; they were probably the ones who moved his body out of the temporary tomb under the cover of darkness and into his final resting place. No one would know, because it would have been done on the Sabbath, offending the Pharisee and Sadducee, and therefore breaking those laws of doing work on the Sabbath. That may be exactly why we see no record of it. It was a crime, so who would admit to committing a crime which could result in being stoned? No one. Also, if Jesus was a Nazarene, and if the gospels can be used for any history whatsoever, then we also see Jesus having a completely different understanding of working on the Sabbath; one in which offended the Pharisee and Sadducee.

So, who started the rumor of this resurrection which caused all the other miracle stories to be propagated? That's the big question.

Next we will discuss both Peter and Mary the Magdalene.

But before we go there, what are your thoughts?


"Firstly, you will not find in the Epistle of James or the text of Hegesippus any of the following:

1. That Jesus rose from the dead.
2. That Jesus was the son of God.
3. That Jesus performed any miracles.

When you examine everything we can find regarding James, what we are looking at is most probably the Nazarene view of Jesus of Nazareth; the competing view to Paul's adopted Christian view.

This church in Jerusalem in which James headed up had absolutely nothing to do with the resurrection story, the son of God thing, or any claim of miracles."


Agreed. 100%.

They were Jews. Not "Jewish Christians." They continued living as devout Jews for a few hundred years after the death of Jesus.

Big Grin

Just do you understand my position clearly;

1. There were Jews (Essene, Samaritan, Pharisee, Sadducee, Nazarene).
2. There were Gentile Christians (Greeks, Romans, etc).
3. There were Jewish Christians (Messianic Jews that could have come from any Jewish sect).
4. There were Gnostic Christians (Mainly Greeks.)
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13-08-2016, 04:57 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(13-08-2016 09:49 AM)GoingUp Wrote:  
(12-08-2016 11:09 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Congratulations on posting some evidence, particularly without spitting abuse at others. Keep it up please!

Yes, there are two lines in James' letter which mention the "Lord Jesus Christ." I'll grant you that.

I think they are (small) interpolations. Here is my reasoning.

The author was, supposedly, the brother of the Christ. The brother of the son of God, the one who had risen from the dead. This Jesus Christ who had been a fabulous preacher, and who had, by some accounts, performed numerous miracles. James had allegedly grown up with the main man at the centre of the universe. Yet what does James say about his famous brothers exploits? Nothing! Just two miserable little phrases.

If I thought my brother was God and I thought he had risen from the dead, or even if I just thought he was just a fabulous preacher spouting something new and different, I would make a big deal of it. James doesn't because Yeshua wasn't.

James was a pious Jew. He is adamantly opposed to Paul and Paul's doctrine...ie proto Christianity. This much is obvious from his letter. James derides the "faith " idea... he's a "works" man, not a faith man. He respects every minute detail of "the Law." He writes to those who worship in a synagogue, not a church. What this means is that he's Jewish through and through... not a Christian.

That is why I think the "Lord Jesus Christ" phrases don't fit with the other 99% of the letter. They are interpolations.

Now, let me explain to you something you may not have noticed.

Firstly, you will not find in the Epistle of James or the text of Hegesippus any of the following:

1. That Jesus rose from the dead.
2. That Jesus was the son of God.
3. That Jesus performed any miracles.


When you examine everything we can find regarding James, what we are looking at is most probably the Nazarene view of Jesus of Nazareth; the competing view to Paul's adopted Christian view.

This church in Jerusalem in which James headed up had absolutely nothing to do with the resurrection story, the son of God thing, or any claim of miracles.

But they still viewed Jesus as the Messiah.

Now consider this; the best way for any religious figure to become widely known is if you have two or more fierce competitors competing for followers. For example, if you have the Church of Jerusalem, Christianity, and perhaps also the Gnostics all claiming some kind of entitlement to Jesus, stories about this man will spread like wildfire, especially in a culture that is already greatly predisposed to belief in gods and magical things.

Those who are closest to him and who knew him will know the truth about him. This is exactly why you do not see James saying anything about the resurrection, miracles, or the son of God thing.

But those who never met him will believe wild stories about him, such as the Christians and Gnostics did.

Now there is also something else you may wish to consider here:

I have no doubts that there was an empty tomb where Jesus was buried. How it got empty is unknown for a certainty, but certainly it wasn't because he rose from the dead. The reason I accept this historically is we currently do not have any probable grave site for this man, and since he was so widely known, a grave site should at least be known in my opinion. An empty tomb appears to be the best explanation of the resurrection rumor, which spread throughout the Roman Empire in virtually all Christian documents, and is what is most probably referred to in both Tacitus and Suetonius as a "mischievous superstition." And something else, the two oldest manuscripts of Mark 16 conclude with verse 8, which ends with the women fleeing from the empty tomb. No resurrection story is present in the 2 oldest extant manuscripts, as both end at the empty tomb.

Why that tomb was empty is anybody's guess. The Gospels give us a couple clues such as him being buried there only because the sun was going down and they needed him buried before the Sabbath at sundown. This can indicate that this tomb was intended to be temporary. Have a look at John 19:42 which tells you the reasons he was buried in that tomb:

Joh 19:42  There, then, because of the Preparation of the Jews, because the tomb was near, they laid Jesus.

As you can see there are two reasons why he was laid in that tomb:

1. because of the Preparation of the Jews, It was Preparation Day, and if the sun was going down, it would be a High Sabbath at sun down.

2. because the tomb was near, indicates that since the tomb was near, and since they were concerned about the sun going down, they rushed to bury him there.

Also, Mar 15:42, Mat 27:57, and Luk 23:54 all strongly indicate that the Sabbath was fast approaching, and that there was very little time remaining in the day to get the work done of burying Jesus in that tomb. This indicates that all 4 gospels records are in agreement with my burial tomb position.

Now, if Jesus was Nazarene, then the Nazarene may have had their own kind of burial rites, and their own laws and rules that didn't agree with the Sadducee and Pharisee. They simply could have moved his body sometime through the night, (Mat 28:13) and took it to his family tomb, or some other final resting place.

However, if my theory is true, we can then understand where this rumor of his resurrection came from (Mat 28:15). Now, if this rumor actually occurred, then obviously the people would claim it to be a miracle of God, and therefore we can postulate that from this rumor of his resurrection, wild stories about ALL his supposed miracles began to develop.

I mean, if people believed that he rose from the dead, then certainly he can walk on water, raise other people from the dead, and heal the sick, right? Therefore, we can postulate by using reasoning along with the available evidence to determine exactly where the stories of all his supposed miracles began; with the rumor of a miraculous resurrection.

Yet, those of his family, such as James, never spoke of this resurrection. Why? Because they knew it wasn't true. Yes, they accepted Jesus as Messiah, but they completely rejected this resurrection story, and for good reason; they were probably the ones who moved his body out of the temporary tomb under the cover of darkness and into his final resting place. No one would know, because it would have been done on the Sabbath, offending the Pharisee and Sadducee, and therefore breaking those laws of doing work on the Sabbath. That may be exactly why we see no record of it. It was a crime, so who would admit to committing a crime which could result in being stoned? No one. Also, if Jesus was a Nazarene, and if the gospels can be used for any history whatsoever, then we also see Jesus having a completely different understanding of working on the Sabbath; one in which offended the Pharisee and Sadducee.

So, who started the rumor of this resurrection which caused all the other miracle stories to be propagated? That's the big question.

Next we will discuss both Peter and Mary the Magdalene.

But before we go there, what are your thoughts?

As to the "empty tomb," we are talking about (conflicting) stories in gospels written approximately 40-250 years after Jesus' death, by people who were divorced from the events. Any truth in them is just conjecture.

My opinion is that Christianity never really took off until well after the first Jewish war, when the government planted it around the empire wherever there were Jews in the diaspora. They didn't want Judaism, and particularly militant Nazarenism , rising from the ashes. What better way than to turn a dead Nazarene hero into a pacifist preacher who told the Jews to love their enemies?

Any rumours of a resurrected Christ in the first 40 years or so were more to do with Paul's prattle (as already explained, I doubt he wrote about a Yeshua, his Christ was someone else)
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13-08-2016, 05:00 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(13-08-2016 10:37 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(13-08-2016 09:49 AM)GoingUp Wrote:  So, who started the rumor of this resurrection, which caused all the other miracle stories to be propagated?
But before we go there, what are your thoughts?

Wrong.
Acts 1:6
"When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?"

They were well aware he was no messiah.
Someone cooked that up later.
http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articl...son-of-god

Agreed, they may have dreamed he was the messiah, while he was alive, but getting nailed to a cross ended all that.
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13-08-2016, 05:15 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(13-08-2016 03:56 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  
Quote:Yeshua’s Infancy

There is nothing you said here that I view as being credible, not so much of because of what you said, but because I find these stories regarding the nativity and the birth of Jesus as being far beyond the scope of being realistic, and also to be a very poor attempt to justify Jesus as being a Messiah.

Sorry Mark, but I find your depiction of the birth of Jesus as being nothing more than an echo of fiction. Just so you know, no secular historians accept the biblical accounts regarding the birth of Jesus as having any historical value either.

Therefore I conclude that there is nothing we can learn about Yeshua's birth in the Gospel records.

Quote:Yeshua’s Early Life

Firstly, I like other historians find the argument for the non existence of Nazareth in the 1st century to be very unconvincing nor is it even really even tenable. My reasons for this have already been discussed to the point of ad nauseum, and not much can be added.

I find no good reason for Jesus to not have come from Nazareth.

Quote:Yeshua’s Brothers and Sisters

I pretty much agree here.

Quote:Why, then, don’t we hear more about Yeshua’s brothers and sisters?

Probably because of James. He represented a competing sect and the Christians didn't want to promote his contradictory view of Jesus by making a big deal of him or his family. We are lucky to even get the one letter of James in the NT, which likely didn't get considered for the earliest canon. In fact, it is not listed in the Muratorian fragment which many scholars date to around CE 170. But it was listed in the canon in by Athanasius of Alexandria in CE 367.

But by the time it would be considered for the canon, any contradictory views of James verses the Christians would have been long forgotten, and since the letter in the NT doesn't say anything to contradict the Christian views of the resurrection, miracles, and son of God, it could be canonized and absorbed as part of the Christian belief system.

Now the Christians could add a family member who provides credibility to the Christian belief that Jesus was some kind of a god. The letter by Jude is also likely a letter by Jesus' brother, and it follows the exact same theme as James' letter, and also mentions nothing of the resurrection of Jesus, miracles, or son of God.

And if you read James and Jude, both demonstrate a striking similarity to the teachings of Jesus as portrayed in the Gospel records. They, like Jesus, portrayed an apocalyptic view of their times. Neither letter supplies any kind of Christian/Gentile overtones, and appear to be directed strictly towards Jews.

I will review more later.

Please provide me your thoughts.

There is nothing you said here that I view as being credible, not so much of because of what you said, but because I find these stories regarding the nativity and the birth of Jesus as being far beyond the scope of being realistic, and also to be a very poor attempt to justify Jesus as being a Messiah.

Sorry Mark, but I find your depiction of the birth of Jesus as being nothing more than an echo of fiction. Just so you know, no secular historians accept the biblical accounts regarding the birth of Jesus as having any historical value either.

Therefore I conclude that there is nothing we can learn about Yeshua's birth in the Gospel records.


If you reread what I wrote, my message is that the birth accounts are unreliable, not that they were depicting real events
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13-08-2016, 05:19 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(13-08-2016 04:57 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Any rumours of a resurrected Christ in the first 40 years or so were more to do with Paul's prattle (as already explained, I doubt he wrote about a Yeshua, his Christ was someone else)

Paul never mentions anything at all about the empty tomb. He relates no knowledge of Mary the Magdalene at the empty tomb, where she is depicted in all 4 gospel records. If Paul began any of the stories regarding the resurrection, none of it is in evidence in his letters.

My position in all this is to always work with the evidence. Using the evidence, we can create a plausible theory based upon the evidence. Pure conjecture has never been something I subscribe to, because to me it is mere assertion without the support of evidence.
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13-08-2016, 05:26 PM (This post was last modified: 13-08-2016 08:13 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(13-08-2016 03:56 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  
Quote:Yeshua’s Infancy

There is nothing you said here that I view as being credible, not so much of because of what you said, but because I find these stories regarding the nativity and the birth of Jesus as being far beyond the scope of being realistic, and also to be a very poor attempt to justify Jesus as being a Messiah.

Sorry Mark, but I find your depiction of the birth of Jesus as being nothing more than an echo of fiction. Just so you know, no secular historians accept the biblical accounts regarding the birth of Jesus as having any historical value either.

Therefore I conclude that there is nothing we can learn about Yeshua's birth in the Gospel records.

Quote:Yeshua’s Early Life

Firstly, I like other historians find the argument for the non existence of Nazareth in the 1st century to be very unconvincing nor is it even really even tenable. My reasons for this have already been discussed to the point of ad nauseum, and not much can be added.

I find no good reason for Jesus to not have come from Nazareth.

Quote:Yeshua’s Brothers and Sisters

I pretty much agree here.

Quote:Why, then, don’t we hear more about Yeshua’s brothers and sisters?

Probably because of James. He represented a competing sect and the Christians didn't want to promote his contradictory view of Jesus by making a big deal of him or his family. We are lucky to even get the one letter of James in the NT, which likely didn't get considered for the earliest canon. In fact, it is not listed in the Muratorian fragment which many scholars date to around CE 170. But it was listed in the canon in by Athanasius of Alexandria in CE 367.

But by the time it would be considered for the canon, any contradictory views of James verses the Christians would have been long forgotten, and since the letter in the NT doesn't say anything to contradict the Christian views of the resurrection, miracles, and son of God, it could be canonized and absorbed as part of the Christian belief system.

Now the Christians could add a family member who provides credibility to the Christian belief that Jesus was some kind of a god. The letter by Jude is also likely a letter by Jesus' brother, and it follows the exact same theme as James' letter, and also mentions nothing of the resurrection of Jesus, miracles, or son of God.

And if you read James and Jude, both demonstrate a striking similarity to the teachings of Jesus as portrayed in the Gospel records. They, like Jesus, portrayed an apocalyptic view of their times. Neither letter supplies any kind of Christian/Gentile overtones, and appear to be directed strictly towards Jews.

I will review more later.

Please provide me your thoughts.

Firstly, I like other historians find the argument for the non existence of Nazareth in the 1st century to be very unconvincing nor is it even really even tenable. My reasons for this have already been discussed to the point of ad nauseum, and not much can be added.

I find no good reason for Jesus to not have come from Nazareth.


I find no good evidence for Nazareth's existence in the first century, but I really don't care one way or another. It's not that important. I can cope with you disagreeing with me.

I must admit I find your attitude very odd about this. Here you are, having a rational, well mannered, intellectual chat about stuff, whereas when it came to the existence of Nazareth, you were spitting venom and calling people all sorts of names and endlessly repeating yourself.

I think we better get off the Nazareth topic...we don't want a repeat.
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13-08-2016, 05:33 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
Quote:Yeshua and First Century Judaism

I don't find much wrong with what you said here, however if Jesus was of the sect of the Nazarene and observed some of the religious rites of the Essene, you might want to rethink your description of his place in Judaism. You see, Jesus was very likely a Nazarene rabbi, and these priests- similar to the Essene priests- could do the work of God on the Sabbath, which would include teaching.

Mat_12:1, Mar_2:23, and Luk_6:1 all begin a story regarding Jesus and his apostles plucking grain on the Sabbath, an illustration of work deemed by the high priests as a defilement of the Sabbath. Jesus defends himself from this accusation by showing how king David ate the showbread and also gave it to those who were with him on the Sabbath. Jesus explains that man is the master of the Sabbath, and the Sabbath is not the master of man.

I believe this particular teaching of Jesus to be authentic due to it qualifying for the Criterion of Embarrassment because it shows Jesus apparently breaking his own Judaic laws as far as orthodox Judaism is concerned. If this teaching is true- and I accept it is- it demonstrates that the Nazarene danced to a different drum than orthodox Judaism did.
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13-08-2016, 05:38 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(13-08-2016 05:19 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  
(13-08-2016 04:57 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Any rumours of a resurrected Christ in the first 40 years or so were more to do with Paul's prattle (as already explained, I doubt he wrote about a Yeshua, his Christ was someone else)

Paul never mentions anything at all about the empty tomb. He relates no knowledge of Mary the Magdalene at the empty tomb, where she is depicted in all 4 gospel records. If Paul began any of the stories regarding the resurrection, none of it is in evidence in his letters.

My position in all this is to always work with the evidence. Using the evidence, we can create a plausible theory based upon the evidence. Pure conjecture has never been something I subscribe to, because to me it is mere assertion without the support of evidence.

I agree. Paul does not mention an empty tomb. Why would he? He doesn't mention either of the Marys, Jeebus' house, his possessions, his miracles, his travels, or his teachings. He thinks the pillars, James , Peter and John, have "nothing to add to the good news I preach."

Paul's Christ is not Jeebus, and not Yeshua.

Paul's Christ, crucified and resurrected, was something else... a spirit who lived in heaven before he came down to earth, and died to save you from your sins. That was not Jeebus. Jeebus hadn't been created yet...ie when Paul wrote.

It's no fault of Paul's that he knows bugger all about Jeebus. No one knew Mickey mouse in 1920...the cartoon character was only created in 1928.
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13-08-2016, 05:44 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(13-08-2016 05:33 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  
Quote:Yeshua and First Century Judaism

I don't find much wrong with what you said here, however if Jesus was of the sect of the Nazarene and observed some of the religious rites of the Essene, you might want to rethink your description of his place in Judaism. You see, Jesus was very likely a Nazarene rabbi, and these priests- similar to the Essene priests- could do the work of God on the Sabbath, which would include teaching.

Mat_12:1, Mar_2:23, and Luk_6:1 all begin a story regarding Jesus and his apostles plucking grain on the Sabbath, an illustration of work deemed by the high priests as a defilement of the Sabbath. Jesus defends himself from this accusation by showing how king David ate the showbread and also gave it to those who were with him on the Sabbath. Jesus explains that man is the master of the Sabbath, and the Sabbath is not the master of man.

I believe this particular teaching of Jesus to be authentic due to it qualifying for the Criterion of Embarrassment because it shows Jesus apparently breaking his own Judaic laws as far as orthodox Judaism is concerned. If this teaching is true- and I accept it is- it demonstrates that the Nazarene danced to a different drum than orthodox Judaism did.

Ok...got that.

Of course you can probably guess what I'm going to say next!

The gospels by and large were written as anti-Jewish propaganda. They undermined the basic traditions of Judaism. Jesus, the central cartoon character,  frequently makes the Pharisees look ordinary... because they were practitioners of Judaism. Jesus had to make Jews look old fashioned. That was his job. He eats with tax collectors, i.e. makes out that these characters were good blokes, whereas they were robbing the Jewish peasants.
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13-08-2016, 05:58 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(13-08-2016 05:44 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(13-08-2016 05:33 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  I don't find much wrong with what you said here, however if Jesus was of the sect of the Nazarene and observed some of the religious rites of the Essene, you might want to rethink your description of his place in Judaism. You see, Jesus was very likely a Nazarene rabbi, and these priests- similar to the Essene priests- could do the work of God on the Sabbath, which would include teaching.

Mat_12:1, Mar_2:23, and Luk_6:1 all begin a story regarding Jesus and his apostles plucking grain on the Sabbath, an illustration of work deemed by the high priests as a defilement of the Sabbath. Jesus defends himself from this accusation by showing how king David ate the showbread and also gave it to those who were with him on the Sabbath. Jesus explains that man is the master of the Sabbath, and the Sabbath is not the master of man.

I believe this particular teaching of Jesus to be authentic due to it qualifying for the Criterion of Embarrassment because it shows Jesus apparently breaking his own Judaic laws as far as orthodox Judaism is concerned. If this teaching is true- and I accept it is- it demonstrates that the Nazarene danced to a different drum than orthodox Judaism did.

Ok...got that.

Of course you can probably guess what I'm going to say next!

The gospels by and large were written as anti-Jewish propaganda. They undermined the basic traditions of Judaism. Jesus, the central cartoon character,  frequently makes the Pharisees look ordinary... because they were practitioners of Judaism. Jesus had to make Jews look old fashioned. That was his job. He eats with tax collectors, i.e. makes out that these characters were good blokes, whereas they were robbing the Jewish peasants.

I disagree because the gospels also record many things Jesus said that are not complimentary to Christianity, and also contradict the Christianity of the Gentiles and Paul.

Sent only to the Jews and not the Gentiles:

Mat_15:24 But He answered and said, I am not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Mat 10:5 - 10:6 Jesus sent out these twelve, commanding them, saying, "Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter into any city of the Samaritans. But rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."


The following contradicts Paul's position that the Law is not required for salvation:

Mat 5:18 For truly I say to you, Till the heaven and the earth pass away, not a single trace nor one letter shall in any way pass from the Law until all is fulfilled.

There are many examples where the Gospels depict Jesus as only being sent to the Jews, so the concept that they were anti-Jewish propaganda does not appear to be well grounded, since the internal evidence suggests exactly the opposite; they were written as anti-Gentile.
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