James, Jesus' brother
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16-05-2015, 05:28 AM
RE: James, Jesus' brother
(16-05-2015 05:20 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(16-05-2015 05:07 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  And that's a nice far fetched story you woven together from about two small verses. This is the case where an explanation far outstretches the evidence in support of it.


No they didn't hate each others guts. Their only fundamental disagreement was in regards to jewish ritual laws, and whether Gentile converts were required to adhere to them. In any other doctrinal area, there were no real disputes reported.

Bullshit. And you know that how ? The fact is you bought the party line and are totally unable to think outside the box. There are all kinds of reasons not to buy into anything recounted in Acts. Provide EVIDENCE to back up your belief in the propaganda in Acts, or STFU. There are at least two philosophies in Acts provided for the men named Paul/Saul. Which was the real one ? Which philosophy belongs to whom ? Why are the "journies" totally imposable the way they are presented ? If they could lie about that, why not lie about anything/everything ?

Ref : http://oyc.yale.edu/religious-studies/rlst-152

Maybe (when you get finished taking your English 101 course), you could actually LEARN something about your cult.

Uhm, the bullshit is the claim that they hated each other. Their exchanges and disputes are documented in Pauline Epistles, and as previously stated revolved around the role of the ritual laws.

If you want to argue that their disputes were more than this, that they hated each other's guts, than please provide the first century evidence in support of this, if not the claim that they did is bullshit.

If you're just casting doubt on the source materials here, than you have even less of a leg to stand on for alternative hypothesis.
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16-05-2015, 05:42 AM (This post was last modified: 16-05-2015 06:41 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: James, Jesus' brother
(16-05-2015 05:28 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(16-05-2015 05:20 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Bullshit. And you know that how ? The fact is you bought the party line and are totally unable to think outside the box. There are all kinds of reasons not to buy into anything recounted in Acts. Provide EVIDENCE to back up your belief in the propaganda in Acts, or STFU. There are at least two philosophies in Acts provided for the men named Paul/Saul. Which was the real one ? Which philosophy belongs to whom ? Why are the "journies" totally imposable the way they are presented ? If they could lie about that, why not lie about anything/everything ?

Ref : http://oyc.yale.edu/religious-studies/rlst-152

Maybe (when you get finished taking your English 101 course), you could actually LEARN something about your cult.


Uhm, the bullshit is the claim that they hated each other. Their exchanges and disputes are documented in Pauline Epistles, and as previously stated revolved around the role of the ritual laws.

If you want to argue that their disputes were more than this, that they hated each other's guts, than please provide the first century evidence in support of this, if not the claim that they did is bullshit.

If you're just casting doubt on the source materials here, than you have even less of a leg to stand on for alternative hypothesis.

Sorry. There is nothing "documented" in the Pauline letters other than the propaganda they wanted to foist on their congregations. You can't even demonstrate that Paul even existed. Religious material by believers is not "source material". I AM casting doubt on the materials, as they are historically impossible (as any real scholar knows, and is demonstrated by a former evangelical, now PhD Biblical scholar at Yale, in the series I linked to, and which you DID NOTHING to refute). Refute him and his points or STFU. If your "source materials" are impossible, and demonstrate they obviously are inconsistent and impossible, then your CLAIMS need no refutation. The fact is you have nothing and you know it. You did not answer the question about the journeys . BTW, we're still waiting for one (correct) sentence in English from you supporting your CLAIM yesterday that Christianity had a unique element.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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16-05-2015, 09:36 AM
RE: James, Jesus' brother
(15-05-2015 04:40 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Friends, I've been encouraged by the warm reception to my post on the Nazarenes. ( http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...s-of-Jesus ). Here is my spiel on James, Jesus' brother. He was the leader of the Nazarenes until 62 CE. The fact of James' existence is one of the reasons I suspect that there probably was an historical Jesus...

James, Jesus’ Brother

Josephus and other historians mention at least a dozen Jewish leaders from the first century CE who were hailed as Messiahs but killed by the Romans or in sectarian fights with their countrymen. ( http://www.livius.org/men-mh/messiah/messiah00.html ). Each time, the movements they inspired faded into nothing after the demise of their leader. The movement Yeshua belonged to (the Nazarenes) was different, because it definitely did not fade away until centuries later.

To take over the Nazarene leadership after Yeshua’s death was a risky proposition. Both previous leaders, John the Baptist and Yeshua, had been executed. They needed a new charismatic commander. James, Yeshua’s brother, was just the man.

Yeshua had been a potential legitimate king and Messiah because he was of the royal bloodline of David. James too was of this bloodline, and of the same flesh and blood as Yeshua through at least one common parent, their mother. It is possible that James was the

“disciple Jesus loved,” (John 13:23 and 19:23–25 NJB) not named because Gentile authors wanted to minimize his importance.

Paul, who wrote in the 50’s CE, stated that he went to Jerusalem to

“...meet Peter and James, the brother of the Lord” (Gal. 1:19, NJB.)

This hinted at the important status of James and is a strong clue that there once was a living Jesus, although the modern reader should bear in mind the possibility that this could be an interpolation.

Later in Galatians, Paul wrote:

“So James, Peter, and John, these leaders, these pillars...” (Gal. 2:9, NJB.)

That James was in charge is convincingly confirmed by the following quote from Paul:

“When Cephas came to Antioch, however, I opposed him to his face, since he was manifestly in the wrong. His custom had been to eat with the pagans, but after certain friends of James arrived he stopped doing this and kept away from them altogether for fear of the group that insisted on circumcision” (Gal. 2:11–12, NJB.)

Paul makes clear that Peter (Cephas) was careful to be seen doing what James wanted.

The book of Acts also portrays James as the leader of the disciples.

Eusebius of Caesarea (260-340 CE,) the most important early Christian historian of all, wrote that:

“James, whom men of old had surnamed ‘Just’ for his excellence of virtue, is recorded to have been the first elected to the throne of the Oversight of the Church in Jerusalem” (Church History 2.1.2.)

Saint Jerome, a prolific commentator and translator of early Christian material, quoted Hegesippus’ (a first century writer) account of James from the fifth book of his lost “Commentaries:”

“After the apostles, James the brother of the Lord named the Just was made head of the Church at Jerusalem. Many indeed are called James. This one was holy from his mother’s womb. He drank neither wine nor strong drink, ate no flesh, never shaved or anointed himself with ointment or bathed. He alone had the privilege of entering the Holy of Holies, since indeed he did not use woolen vestments but linen and went alone into the temple and prayed on behalf of the people, insomuch that his knees were reputed to have acquired the hardness of camels’ knees.” (De Viris Illustribi.)

The “Holy of Holies” was a term referring to the inner sanctuary of the temple in Jerusalem. Since it was unlawful for anyone but the high priest of the temple to enter it, and then only once a year. This suggests that James was considered a more legitimate, and perhaps a de facto high priest in opposition to the one appointed by Rome.

Josephus also described James as a pious Jew who was well respected, and observed all the obligations of Judaism. ( http://historical-jesus.info/appc.html ).

James obviously managed to achieve a high status among his own people. He was described in terms that emphasized his association with the temple and Judaism. His vegetarianism, unshaven state and wearing of linen were all Essene traits.

James was clearly a leading Jewish figure in Jerusalem until his death in 62 CE, yet he is barely mentioned in the Bible or in the annals of Church history. The Gospel writers and Church historians have deliberately diminished James’ importance for obvious reasons; James was too Jewish, and his beliefs were diametrically opposed to Paul’s proto-Christian theology. James was not a Christian.

James’ existence as Jesus’ successor discredits the untrue Catholic idea that the leadership of the movement was transferred to Peter.

Consider the Jewish community led by James in the two decades after Jesus’ death. The traditional story about this group is in the book of Acts, in which they are portrayed as Christians. This may well be a deliberate misrepresentation.

The loss of two leaders in close succession, John the Baptist and then Yeshua, must have devastated them. Matthew and John have the disciples going back to Galilee, yet Acts and Luke have the risen Jesus telling them not to leave Jerusalem. What is clear is that over the next few decades the Nazarenes settled in Jerusalem.

There is no doubt that for the Nazarenes, Jerusalem was a dangerous place. Yeshua had been crucified there. The Sadducees and a garrison of Roman troops were an ever-present threat. Yet James and the Nazarenes were willing to take the risk of living in Jerusalem, and they obviously established quite a presence there in the thirty odd years after Yeshua’s death.

It can be surmised that they (the Nazarenes) settled in Jerusalem because they were still dreaming about the kingdom of God, centered in the capital of the Jewish world. They were willing to live in Jerusalem, right under the noses of the Romans and the Sadducees, because they still had big plans to change the political status quo.

The author of Acts explains that this kingdom was still a general expectation when, in the first chapter, the resurrected Jesus appears:

“Now having met together, they asked him, ‘Lord, has the time come? Are you going to restore the kingdom of Israel?’ He replied, ‘It is not for you to know times or dates that the Father has decided by his own authority, but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and then you will be my witnesses not only in Jerusalem but throughout Judea and Samaria, and indeed to the ends of the earth’” (Acts 1:9–12, NJB.)

The author was writing seventy-plus years after Yeshua’s death. At this late time the second coming of Jesus still had not happened, so the author was advising his readers they had better not hold their breath waiting. This was in marked contrast to what Paul wrote in the early 50’s CE:

“Brothers this is what I mean: our time is growing short. Those who have wives should live as though they had none, and those who mourn should live as though they had nothing to mourn for; those who are enjoying life should live as though there were nothing to laugh about; those whose life is buying things should live as though they had nothing of their own; and those who have to deal with the world should not become engrossed in it. I say this because the world as we know it is passing away” (1 Cor. 7:29–31, NJB.)

The Nazarenes called themselves “saints” or “followers of the way” or “the faithful” or “disciples” or “the poor” or the “children of light.” They saw themselves as preparing “the way” for the return of Yahweh as described in Isaiah:

“The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God” (Isa. 40:3, KJV.)

The Nazarenes in Jerusalem saw themselves as God’s chosen people, and they were true believers in the power and glory of Israel. They had a broad base of support among Jews throughout Judea and much of the Roman Empire. All other Essenes and zealots throughout Judea would have regarded them favorably, as would many Pharisees and common Jews.

The Roman world, however, considered any member of the Nazarenes
“a pest” who “stirs up trouble among Jews the world over,” (see Acts 24:5) with good reason, as they were xenophobic and occasionally militant.

The Nazarenes were fundamentally opposed to Paul’s doctrine, (the basis of Christianity) did not accept Paul as an apostle, and quite rightly considered Paul an annoying heretic allied to the Gentile world.

So Yeshua’s family and friends were, therefore, strongly opposed to what became Christianity. It is very likely that the Nazarenes promoted Judaism, slowly building up numbers in preparation for the coming of the kingdom of God.

Some early church fathers claimed that the Nazarenes wrote an early Hebrew version of Yeshua’s exploits, one from which Jesus’ genealogy in Matthew is derived. That would definitely have made an interesting read, but not surprisingly, no copy has survived.

Some Nazarenes were sent out as missionaries to other cities. The author Douglas Lockhart believes that by the time James died in 62 CE, the Nazarenes had boosted their numbers to about eight thousand by recruiting Jews. Peter went to Antioch (as described in Galatians 2.) These missionaries may have even got as far as Rome.

Flavius Josephus documented James’ demise:

“The younger Ananus, who had been appointed to the high priesthood, was rash in his temper and unusually daring. He followed the school of the Sadducees, who are indeed more heartless than any of the other Jews, as I have already explained, when they sit in judgment. Possessed of such a character, Ananus thought that he had a favorable opportunity because Festus was dead and Albinas was still on the way. And so he convened the judges of the Sanhedrin, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, the one called Christ, whose name was James, and certain others, and accusing them of having transgressed the law delivered them up to be stoned. Those of the inhabitants of the city who were considered the most fair-minded and who were strict in observance of the law were offended at this. They therefore secretly sent to King Agrippa urg- ing him, for Ananus had not even been correct in his first step, to order him to desist from any further such actions. Certain of them even went to meet Albinus, who was on his way from Alexandria, and informed him that Ananus had no authority to convene the Sanhedrin without his consent. Convinced by these words, Albinus angrily wrote to Ananus threatening to take vengeance upon him. King Agrippa, because of Ananus’ action, deposed him from the high priesthood which he had held for three months and replaced him with Jesus the son of Damnaeus.” (Antiquities of the Jews, chapter 29.)

An out-of-line Ananus, the high priest who had been given the job by Rome only three months earlier, had James executed. James had been a threat to the Sadducees, just as Jesus had been, and it sounds like the impulsive, inexperienced Ananus took advantage of a temporary absence of Roman supervision to get rid of James.

James became the third Nazarene leader to be murdered. His death perturbed people, for nearly 30 years he had been capable, popular and well respected. When the new Roman governor came to Jerusalem, the Pharisees complained about James’ death. The governor’s number one priority was to keep the peace, so he removed Ananus from his post.

The Nazarene elders chose Shimon ben Clopha, probably Yeshua’s cousin, as a replacement for James.

The author of Acts concludes his book with Paul in prison in Rome in 60 CE, thereby avoiding discussions of James’ death in 62 CE, or any of the momentous events in the following decade. The author probably hoped to delete the Nazarenes from the pages of history because the Nazarenes were not part of the new movement (Christianity) the author was promoting.

Many historians, particularly those favorably biased towards the “traditional” story put forward in Acts, do not accept that James and Yeshua’s original disciples were not Christians. The writers of the Catholic Encyclopedia, for example, have made a deliberate choice not to discuss the Nazarenes, not even once, despite the fact that they are mentioned in the Bible and by many Church Fathers. The encyclopedia’s authors would have some difficult explaining to do if Catholics around the world started learning about James and the Nazarenes.

References:
Tabor, J. 2006 “The Jesus Dynasty.” Harper Collins. London.
Eisenman, Robert H. “James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls”
This Voskuilen and Rose Mary Sheldon “Operation Messiah”
http://www.thenazareneway.com/james_the_..._jesus.htm
http://jesuspuzzle.humanists.net/siljampe.htm
http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/james.html
http://www.philipharland.com/Blog/2009/0...odcast-37– jewish-followers-of-jesus-part-1–ebionites/

Nicely done, Mark. Good to see you examining history from the other side of the coin.

Just to add something regarding James, we see this in the Gospel of Thomas, which is arguably the oldest of all gospel records:

12. The disciples said to Jesus, "We know that you are going to leave us. Who will be our leader?"

Jesus said to them, "No matter where you are, you are to go to James the Just, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being."


http://gnosis.org/naghamm/gosthom.html

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16-05-2015, 09:59 AM
RE: James, Jesus' brother




What about Craig?

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16-05-2015, 02:42 PM
RE: James, Jesus' brother
So ... what's wrong with "Acts" ?
a. Right off the bat, Peter and the others start speaking as though they are educated people. They were peasant fishermen. The concepts that are "placed in their mouths" are fully formed theologies that would have (and did) take decades to develop. The "picture" is all wrong.
b. The recounting of Jewish history at the martyrdom of Stephen is all wrong, (we now know).
c. There is no way a bunch of uneducated fishermen could have all of a sudden be interacting, "mano-a-mano" with educated Jewish authorities, on their level. Never happened. Not possible.
d. It all reflects a much later period in the history of Christianity.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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16-05-2015, 03:13 PM (This post was last modified: 16-05-2015 05:01 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: James, Jesus' brother
(16-05-2015 05:28 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(16-05-2015 05:20 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Bullshit. And you know that how ? The fact is you bought the party line and are totally unable to think outside the box. There are all kinds of reasons not to buy into anything recounted in Acts. Provide EVIDENCE to back up your belief in the propaganda in Acts, or STFU. There are at least two philosophies in Acts provided for the men named Paul/Saul. Which was the real one ? Which philosophy belongs to whom ? Why are the "journies" totally imposable the way they are presented ? If they could lie about that, why not lie about anything/everything ?

Ref : http://oyc.yale.edu/religious-studies/rlst-152

Maybe (when you get finished taking your English 101 course), you could actually LEARN something about your cult.

Uhm, the bullshit is the claim that they hated each other. Their exchanges and disputes are documented in Pauline Epistles, and as previously stated revolved around the role of the ritual laws.

If you want to argue that their disputes were more than this, that they hated each other's guts, than please provide the first century evidence in support of this, if not the claim that they did is bullshit.

If you're just casting doubt on the source materials here, than you have even less of a leg to stand on for alternative hypothesis.

Tomasia, I don't know much about you or what you believe. Yet you could seriously use an education about the real history here. In addition to what Bucky has already pointed out, I suggest you go back to the original Pauline epistles, flawed as they are, and reread them now that you have some idea of the historical perspective. Let me help you. Please digest the following. Apologies to anyone who has read this before, and it is a bit long, yet it addresses the very essence of Christianity in the sense that it discusses why the genuine original followers of Jesus were not Christians (ie buying into Paul's prattle)...


Paul’s Relationship with the Nazarenes

At the so-called “Jerusalem council,” of about 49 CE, James convened a meeting to discuss tactics for promoting the Nazarene’s beliefs. 2 Galatians, written by Paul, describes this meeting. It is a truly enlightening passage from the Bible:

“It was not until fourteen years had passed that I went up to Jerusalem again. I went with Barnabas and took Titus with me. I went there as a result of a revelation, and privately I laid before the leading men the Good News as I proclaim it among the pagans; I did so for fear the course I was adopting or had already adopted would not be allowed. And what happened? Even though Titus who had come with me is a Greek, he was not obliged to be circumcised. The question came up only because some who do not really belong to the brotherhood have furtively crept in to spy on the liberty we enjoy in Jesus Christ, and want to reduce us all to slavery. I was so determined to safe- guard for you the true meaning of the Good News, that I refused even out of deference to yield to such people for one moment. As a result, these people who are acknowledged leaders—not that their importance matters much to me, since God has no favorites—these leaders, as I say, had nothing to add to the Good News as I preach it. On the contrary, they recognized I had been commissioned to preach the Good News to the uncircumcised just as Peter had been com- missioned to preach it to the circumcised. The same person whose action had made Peter the apostle of the circumcised had given me a similar mission to the pagans. So James, Cephas and John, these leaders, these pillars, shook hands with Barnabas and me as a sign of partnership: we were to go to the pagans and they to the circumcised. The only thing they insisted on was that we should remember to help the poor, as indeed I was anxious to do. When Cephas came to Antioch, however, I opposed him to his face, since he was manifestly in the wrong. His custom had been to eat with the pagans, but after certain friends of James arrived he stopped doing this and kept away from them altogether for fear of the group that insisted on circumcision. The other Jews joined him in this pretence, and even Barnabas felt himself obliged to copy their behavior. When I saw they were not respecting the true meaning of the Good News, I said to Cephas in front of everyone, ‘In spite of being a Jew, you live like the pagans and not like the Jews, so you have no right to make the pagans copy Jewish ways.’” (Gal. 2:1–15 JB.)

Each sentence, written by Paul, reveals a facet of a very strained relationship. Paul was clearly intimidated by James,’ John’s and Peter’s authority. He referred to them as “Pillars,” and “leading men,” and he writes that he was well aware that they might not accept his proclamation of “Good News:”

“I laid before the leading men the Good News as I proclaim it among the pagans; I did so for fear the course I was adopting or had already adopted would not be allowed.”

Moreover, Paul barely concealed the fact that he begrudged them their authority. He wrote:

...not that their importance matters much to me.”

Can anyone imagine Paul writing that about someone (James) he thought was the half brother of the Son of God? This is more compelling evidence that Paul’s Christ was not Yeshua, James’ brother.

Paul quite clearly regarded the three Pillars, including Jesus’ brother James, as competition:

“I was so determined to safeguard for you the true meaning of the Good News, that I refused even out of deference to yield to such people for one moment.”

Paul mistrusted “such people,” the Nazarenes, the family and disciples of Jesus. They did not “belong to the brotherhood.” Paul accused them of spying on “...the liberty we enjoy in Christ Jesus.” Paul said they had “...nothing to add to the Good News I preach.” Paul believed they “...want to reduce us all to slavery.” Paul thought that he was freeing people from the “...slavery...” of the Judaic Law. Paul thought that the “Good News” he, and only he, preached, entitled people to “...belong to the brotherhood...”

Then, Paul and Peter, allegedly stalwarts of the fledgling Christian movement, (who the Vatican claim founded a Christian church in Rome together) bickered with each other. Paul claimed (probably quite correctly) that Peter did not respect his “Good News.” Paul claimed he publicly challenged Peter directly by accusing him of hypocrisy.

What an intriguing snippet of the Bible! A churlish, hostile Paul, who was probably the first founder of Christianity, was personally and philosophically at odds with Jesus’ brother and disciples! Paul was angry and frustrated that the Nazarenes had been undermining him, and he did not hold back his vindictive retort. Paul and the pillars obviously were not preaching the same message!

The historical reality revealed (in part) in this passage probably is that devout Jews (such as the Nazarenes) despised Paul and rejected his ramblings. The idea that their mysterious, perfect, one and only God could be incarnated in a Christ (as per Paul) was unthinkable to them. They could not imagine there was any basis to Paul’s claim that their God could die, or that a Christ’s death somehow addressed man’s sins. For the Nazarenes, the kingdom of God promised in Scripture never was in a hypothetical heaven, but was to be on earth in the here and now. Their Messiah was not some savior of souls, but a leader of the Jews who was to herald in a glorious age in which Israel triumphed and pagans recognized the glory of their god, Yahweh. This Messiah was to build the temple, (Ezek. 37:26–28) gather all Jews back to Israel, (Isa. 43:5–6) bring an end to Roman rule, and was supposed to end all exploitation, corruption, famine, disease, and war. Paul’s fictional Christ had done none of this!

Paul claimed:
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified” (Gal. 2; 16, KJV) and

“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law” (Gal. 3:13, KJV) and

“Before faith came, we were allowed no freedom by the Law; we were being looked after till faith was revealed. The law was to be our guardian until the Christ came and we could be justified by faith. Now that that time has come we are no longer under that guardian, and you are, all of you, sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. All baptized in Christ, you have all clothed yourself in Christ, and there are no more distinctions between Jew and Greek, slave and free, male and female, but all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal. 3:23–28, NJB.)

Paul quite clearly thought that faith in his Christ made the Jewish Law redundant. Jews, however, did not buy this. They would not be Jewish if they did. James’ letter in the Bible directly contradicts Paul’s assertions. The Jews believed - and still do - that the way to find favor with God was to obey “the Law” - that is, the Torah, as allegedly taught by Moses. There is no mention in their Scriptures about an end to the covenant God made with their ancestors on Mount Sinai. Jews regarded the Law almost as a gift from their God, not a curse, or an imposition on freedom. No Jews, including the Nazarenes, recognized a “new covenant.” Why would they give up centuries of tradition to believe a renegade such as Paul?

Imagine a hypothetical modern analogy; a fanatic from a small cult, such as the “branch Davidians,” grabbing a microphone during a Catholic mass at the Vatican, and proclaiming that David Koresh was Jesus’ son, and that Koresh’s teachings replaced the sermon on the mount. Paul was behaving like a deluded fanatic.

Paul had an ambivalent attitude to Jewish Scripture, which varied with the audience he was writing to. At times Paul used Scripture to justify his own ideas, such as when writing to “Hellenized” Jews in the Diaspora. Yet when writing to Gentiles he claimed large parts of Scripture (such as “the law”) were redundant.

Yeshua had died over a decade before Paul appeared on the scene, and had Yeshua been alive, there is little doubt he would have been at first perplexed and then seriously offended by Paul’s idea that the Law was no longer important and that his death could somehow give Gentiles a ticket to heaven. Yeshua must have hated the Romans, (they did nail him to a cross!) and would never have imagined that Yahweh, whom he never regarded as his temporal sire, would grant Gentiles a place in heaven!

Jesus said,

“Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish them but complete them. I tell you solemnly, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke, shall disappear from the Law until its purpose is achieved” (Matt. 5:17–18 JB.)

Paul and Jesus contradicted each other! So much for Biblical infallibility! ( http://www.essene.org/Yahowshua_or_Paul.htm ). Many Christians today insist that Jesus came to do away with the Jewish Law. In believing this, they are not considering Jesus’ words, but Paul’s.

Most Jews (the Samaritans were an exception) believed God dwelt in the temple, in Jerusalem, Israel’s capital. Paul made a cavalier dismissal of the importance of Israel by suggesting that all believers become a temple for God:

“And that is what we are—the temple of the living God” (2 Cor. 6:15, NJB) and

“Didn’t you realize that you were God’s Temple” (1 Cor. 3:16 JB.)

Paul was trying to expand God’s seat of power out of Jerusalem and into the whole known world. Yet for most first century Jews, this downplayed the importance of the temple, the geographical pivot of Judaism.

Jews thought they were Abraham’s descendants and God’s special people. Yet Paul claimed:

“Those therefore who rely on faith receive the same blessing as Abraham, the man of faith.” (Gal. 3:9, NJB,) and

“Merely by belonging to Christ you are the posterity of Abraham, the heirs he was promised” (Gal. 3:29, NJB.)

Paul wanted believing Gentiles to consider themselves God’s chosen, so that they too were special, and at the same time weaken the patriotic fervor of Jews by downplaying their exclusivity.

Throughout Paul’s travels, it is clear from the book of Acts that Paul was initially welcome in synagogues because he masqueraded as a traditional Jew, but after Jews heard what he had to say, Paul was rejected, sometimes even beaten and pelted with rocks. Most Jews liked to think they were part of a chosen race, superior in all ways, and in God’s eyes, to the pagan hordes. These Jews must have imagined Paul was upsetting their God, and the whole Jewish community would suffer as a consequence. Is it any wonder the Jewish people lashed out at Paul?

Jesus’ own people attacked Paul because he was promoting Christian ideas, a fact that should raise eyebrows in today’s Churches.

In the decades Paul was preaching, the Nazarenes were expanding into a significant force under James’ leadership in Jerusalem. The Nazarenes also enjoyed a strong membership among Jews throughout the Empire. They most definitely did not preach the divinity of Christ, nor did they intend to start a new religion.

Paul, when he was not pretending to be one of the Nazarenes, considered them to be competitors. Paul got very upset when he encountered rival missionaries, who were probably Nazarene, and complained bitterly about them hijacking “his” converts. He condemned them, using the undeniable truth of his own Gospel as justification, in his letter to the Galatians:

“I am astonished at the promptness with which you have turned away from the one who called you and have decided to follow a different version of the Good News. Not that there can be more than one Good News; it is merely that some trouble makers among you want to change the Good News of Christ; and let me warn you that if anyone preaches a version of the Good News different from the one that we have already preached to you, whether it be ourselves or an angel from heaven, he is condemned” (Gal. 1:6–9, NJB.)

Paul sounds like an upset child whose best friend has gone off to play with someone else. It is ironic that he was accusing his adversaries of the very thing he was guilty of - preaching a fabrication! Paul clearly undermined Yeshua’s family and disciples behind their backs. Paul was surprised and angry to find himself competing with them for people’s allegiance. The Nazarenes were treading on what he considered his turf. How dare they preach old-fashioned Jewish theology and disrupt his mission to set up communities of believers! Those annoying war-mongering Jews promoted subversive fantasies about a militaristic Messiah, but God had revealed to him something he thought much more appropriate - his Christ! He, not they, was plugging the “Good News.”

Paul was sure he knew what the flexible, expansionist, less violent, less Judaic God expected in these modern, pro-Roman times. Paul thought of himself as an educated, savvy sophisticate who knew a stack more about selling religion than the old fashioned anti-Roman bumpkins from Jerusalem!

Paul probably tried to ingratiate himself with the Nazarenes when in their company, but they became implacably opposed to him, as verified by the verbal confrontation described in Galatians chapter two, and the adamantly anti-Pauline assertions in James’ letter.

Paul knew that he was not popular amongst traditional Jews. In his letter to the Romans he expressed his nervousness that the Nazarenes in Jerusalem might reject him, which, if the story in Acts is true, is precisely what happened. James summoned Paul to Jerusalem when it became apparent that Paul was preaching against the Torah, and James sent Paul to the temple to be purified so as to prove that he was still a true Jew. (See Acts 21) This led to Paul’s so called arrest and eventual transportation to Rome. James, Jesus’ brother, effectively terminated Paul’s missionary career!

When Romans arrested Paul he was forced to admit that he was a Roman citizen, and his cover, that is his masquerade as a Nazarene, was well and truly blown. Nazarenes were implacably opposed to Rome, and they would not have taken kindly to finding out there was a spy in their ranks. According to Acts, Roman authorities had to dedicate considerable resources (500 soldiers) to protect Paul from angry Jews. That is about the same number of soldiers who arrested Jesus. It appears as though Rome was looking after one of their own.

Paul was not deterred. He kept writing letters from Rome.

Paul’s modern-day reputation as an honest evangelist, and the implication that Paul taught Yeshua’s message, have no foundation, yet they have become part of Christian tradition, largely because of Acts, written some time in the early second century. To bolster Paul’s legitimacy, the author of Acts had Jesus’ ghost appear to Paul on the road to Damascus, which was obviously fiction, as was the story of Paul becoming best friends with Jesus’ disciples. The author of Acts even tried to shore up Paul’s status by having him (and his handkerchief) perform a number of miracles. Yet in Paul’s writings there is no mention of Jesus’ ghost or his own miracles. Paul most certainly would have written about these events had they been true. Paul revealed many personality traits in his letters, but genuine modesty definitely was not one of them.
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16-05-2015, 03:43 PM
RE: James, Jesus' brother
(16-05-2015 05:17 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  
(16-05-2015 12:23 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Thanks for asking.

The surprising truth is that no contemporary literate official, scribe, merchant, soldier or priest documented details about Jesus that have survived. If Jesus had preached to thousands, cured cripples, expelled demons, and risen from the dead, surely someone would have jotted down some notes about him, but it appears that they did not. Despite the dearth of reputable evidence, I think a man named Yeshua probably did exist, and that parts of the Gospel plots are loosely based on his life. My reasoning is as follows.

There is non-Biblical evidence for the existence of John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin, and for James, Jesus’ brother. John and James were leaders of a Jewish sect, the Nazarenes, and many scholars claim Yeshua was their boss between these two, an idea that fits with what is known about Yeshua.

The Nazarenes, who soldiered on for a few centuries after Jesus’ death, existed, and there is evidence from the Church Fathers’ writings that they believed Yeshua had existed.

Paul, the creator of Christian theology, claimed he met James and Peter, who may have been Yeshua’s brother and disciple respectively. Paul mentioned them on a few occasions, and these references are unlikely to be Christian interpolations, as Paul did not write about James and Peter with much respect.

Once Yeshua’s existence is assumed, anyone who writes about him must comb through the Gospels to get specifics about his life. This is unfortunate, because the Gospels are unreliable records; yet turning to the Gospels is unavoidable because details about him are lacking in other literature.

There are good reasons to assume that some parts of the Gospels fit with a realistic story about him. Jesus says and does many things in the Gospels that strongly suggest he was a zealot... things which don't fit with him being a pacifist son of God saviour of men... which suggests, but doesn't prove, that there may be some factual basis to the stories.

Taking the argument one step further, I think the Roman government created the gospels as anti-Jewish propaganda. I suspect, but can't prove, that they stole the identity of Yeshua the political insurgent, and then wrote false literature about him. They could, in fact, have done this to undermine the Nazarenes, who were trouble causing Jews who still thought highly of their hero Yeshua.

It's a neat theory that to my mind makes sense.

The point you made in your book (about 2/3 of the way through it) about the early church destroying records of Yeshua was a really good one, they would have perfect motivation if Jesus was a nobody of no import. Jesus had to become god and they had to cover their trails when they began the myth making process.

Thanks heaps for reading the bookBig Grin

Allow me some "name dropping"...Ken Humphreys from jesusneverexisted is reading it too and likes it so farTongue
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16-05-2015, 10:16 PM
RE: James, Jesus' brother
I love your posts Mark.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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17-05-2015, 06:57 AM
RE: James, Jesus' brother
(16-05-2015 05:42 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Sorry. There is nothing "documented" in the Pauline letters other than the propaganda they wanted to foist on their congregations.

You can't even demonstrate that Paul even existed. Religious material by believers is not "source material". I AM casting doubt on the materials, as they are historically impossible

So this applies to your buddy Mark Fulton as well here? That if these materials are doubtful, unreliable, you can't particularly weave entire narratives about the relationship between Paul and James from them could you?

Or are you so deluded by your confirmation bias that you can't see this?

Quote: BTW, we're still waiting for one (correct) sentence in English from you supporting your CLAIM yesterday that Christianity had a unique element.

I have. And I'm still waiting on it to be disproven.
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17-05-2015, 07:00 AM
RE: James, Jesus' brother
(17-05-2015 06:57 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(16-05-2015 05:42 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Sorry. There is nothing "documented" in the Pauline letters other than the propaganda they wanted to foist on their congregations.

You can't even demonstrate that Paul even existed. Religious material by believers is not "source material". I AM casting doubt on the materials, as they are historically impossible

So this applies to your buddy Mark Fulton as well here? That if these materials are doubtful, unreliable, you can't particularly weave entire narratives about the relationship between Paul and James from them could you?

Or are you so deluded by your confirmation bias that you can't see this?

Quote: BTW, we're still waiting for one (correct) sentence in English from you supporting your CLAIM yesterday that Christianity had a unique element.

I have. And I'm still waiting on it to be disproven.

It's been shot to hell.
Mark uses EXTERNAL sources. You really should read his posts before trying to talk about them.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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