Jesus was NOT the Messiah
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
23-10-2014, 11:54 PM
RE: Jesus was NOT the Messiah
It's about THE LIFE OF BRIAN.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVHhg67RVd4

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
24-10-2014, 05:50 AM
RE: Jesus was NOT the Messiah



Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
24-10-2014, 09:34 AM (This post was last modified: 24-10-2014 09:56 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Jesus was NOT the Messiah
(23-10-2014 06:56 AM)Learner Wrote:  Hello, all! This is my first post after joining this forum. I want to share a helpful resource in my deconversion from Christianity. One of the most convincing reasons for me leaving Christianity was the excellent work (I'd highly recommend everyone listen to) in a series of lectures by Rabbi Skobac addressing Christian's claims to find Jesus in prophecies of the Old Testament.

The problem here is, Rabbi Skobac may hold a different interpretation of the verses used by the writers of the gospels, but the fact remains that these 1st century writers disagree, and they interpreted the passages in the ways that they saw fit.

Whatever passages they could find that allowed even the slightest bit of room to be interrupted to fit Jesus, they used, even if Rabbi Skobac did not like their usage, because clearly they understood those passage differently that he did. Clearly there were groups of Jews long before Skobac, who read these verses as such.

But of course the passages used to justify Jesus was the messiah of scripture was done so after the fact. Meaning, Jesus's earlier followers believed he was the Messiah first, and then went back into scriptures to find support for their beliefs.

It's important to remember that the OT messianic expectations were quite vague. The Ot writers wrote only of hints of a coming messiah, no complete portrait was ever given. Modern jews no longer even believe in the arrival of an actual messiah, but a potential one that exists in every generation, whose voice you can here if you just listen. If Rabbi Skobac has issues with the Christian understanding of the messiah based on OT reference, I'd like to see how he justifies this.

Jesus was the antithesis of Jewish expectations at the time. The Jews were waiting on warrior messiah, who lead them in victory over the Romans. But instead they got a impoverished one, a child born in manger, to parents of no reputation, who dined with sinners and tax collectors, rather than the ruling class, and was strung up by the romans in a humiliating defeat by the cross. A Messiah who even the early christians recognized as a stumbling block.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
24-10-2014, 02:03 PM
RE: Jesus was NOT the Messiah
(24-10-2014 09:34 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  The problem here is, Rabbi Skobac may hold a different interpretation of the verses used by the writers of the gospels, but the fact remains that these 1st century writers disagree, and they interpreted the passages in the ways that they saw fit.

Tomasia, I don't deny for a minute that the 1st century Gospel writers obviously had a different interpretation of the passages we're referring to, or that Orthodox Jews have had much time post-Jesus to formulate their understanding of texts. I agree that there were many different interpretations and expectations of the Messiah.

But I think we'd both agree that an interpretation is only as good as the evidence and supporting argumentation. Granted, we are both sitting here 2000 years after Jesus' life, separated from Jewish expectations of that day...but at the same time, we know more of the history of interpretations, how things developed, etc. And, as with any ancient ideas or sources, we all use a degree of critical-thinking, logic, and skepticism with anything we come across. And when I critically read and evaluate the arguments the Gospel writers made that Jesus was the Messiah, I find their arguments all wanting. All of us have to evaluate the arguments of the Gospel writers and the evidence to form our own conclusions.

Personally, I found Skobac's reasoning fair, and I thought it was a much more accurate exegetical interpretation than the Gospel writers trying to go back with the starting assumption that Jesus was the Messiah...to then make the case from many OT passages that he was.

(24-10-2014 09:34 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Clearly there were groups of Jews long before Skobac, who read these verses as such.
What groups of Jews are you referring to pre-Jesus that believed and expected a Messiah that would suffer and die, that would be crucified and raised the third day (Paul in Corinthians?), that would be from Nazareth yet born in Bethlehem (Matt 2 - called a Nazarean), that would be God in the flesh, who would be a human sacrifice for sin? As Nathaniel the disciple said, there was no Messianic expectation of a Messiah coming from Nazareth (I'm not talking of the random day he was born, but where the Messiah would come from). To Jews, human sacrifice was abominable. The Old Testament does not teach that blood sacrifice was the only sacrifice that could atone for sins. Only after Jesus came, with people who believed him having an agenda to argue that Jesus was the Messiah...only then would people try to scour the OT to find references that the Messiah would suffer and die.

Further, on what basis do you believe the anonymous gospels were written by Jews (assuming I'm reading you as believing that)? I believe the gospel of Matthew probably was. But it is only unreliable tradition in favor of the proto-orthodox party that labeled the gospels with apostles' names. There is convincing evidence that the authors of Mark and Luke never set foot in Palestine (I can send you some info if interested), based on their lack of knowledge of local geography and customs, etc.

(24-10-2014 09:34 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  It's important to remember that the OT messianic expectations were quite vague. The Ot writers wrote only of hints of a coming messiah, no complete portrait was ever given. Modern jews no longer even believe in the arrival of an actual messiah, but a potential one that exists in every generation, whose voice you can here if you just listen. If Rabbi Skobac has issues with the Christian understanding of the messiah based on OT reference, I'd like to see how he justifies this.

I agree that the messianic expectations were vague. But Skobac makes a reasonable case, in my mind, that the OT emphasis was not very much on the person of the Messiah, but moreso on the state of the world during the Messiah's reign at the beginning of this utopian world. That would explain why the OT messianic expectations were vague because the figure of the Messiah wasn't all that important in relation to what God would do in the world during the Messianic era. You said: "I'd like to see how he justifies this"...now you have the videos, so I'd look forward to hearing your thoughts after you watch a few of them!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Learner's post
24-10-2014, 04:03 PM (This post was last modified: 24-10-2014 07:04 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Jesus was NOT the Messiah
The First Century gospel writers were inventing what they cooked up. They were not "interpreting" anything. The good thing about the Rabbi, is he squarely places the whole she-bang squarely back in the midst of Judaism which produced it. The Rabbi makes many mistakes, (including his contention that a gospel is a "biography"), which it clearly is not. They were proclamations of faith by believers, for believers to remind themselves what they already believed.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
24-10-2014, 07:04 PM
RE: Jesus was NOT the Messiah
We have no evidence of any "first century" gospels. The christee types keep trying to push them earlier and the scholars push back that they are later.

http://vridar.org/2013/03/08/new-date-fo...pyrus-p52/

Quote:In conclusion, Orsine and Clarysse chastise biblical scholars for embracing unsupportably early dates for their manuscripts:

There are no first century New Testament papyri and only very few can be attributed to the second century (P52, P90, P104, probably all the second half of the century) or somewhere between the late second and early third centuries (P30, P64+67+4, 0171, 0212).

Biblical scholars should realise that some of the dates proposed by some of their colleagues are not acceptable to Greek palaeographers and papyrologists.

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
25-10-2014, 05:23 AM
RE: Jesus was NOT the Messiah
(24-10-2014 04:03 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  The First Century gospel writers were inventing what they cooked up. They were not "interpreting" anything. The good thing about the Rabbi, is he squarely places the whole she-bang squarely back in the midst of Judaism which produced it. The Rabbi makes many mistakes, (including his contention that a gospel is a "biography"), which it clearly is not. They were proclamations of faith by believers, for believers to remind themselves what they already believed.

For the record, I am more of the persuasion of the likes of Bart Ehrman and E.P. Sanders (the Gospels are highly legendary, with a historical core) rather than of Richard Carrier (Jesus never existed). It's the same way we have to read accounts of like Alexander the Great, who also was supposedly born of a virgin...we need to discern the historical core behind some of the legendary especially when reading about ancient figures, and especially when reading writings from the followers.

I believe (based on my study of the topic) that the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) were most likely all written in the first century anonymously, so I don't believe any of the gospels was actually written by the apostles. I believe John was written a while later than the Synoptics, and my gut reaction is that most of it is highly legendary, considering the great discrepancies with the Synoptics. (Why did Jesus spend the vast majority of his time describing who he is in John, but always hid that in the Synoptics? Why did Jesus say his miracles were signs in John, but refused to do signs in the Synoptics? How could John and the Synoptics be describing such an incredibly different Jesus?)

My understanding is that the Synoptic Gospels were written by distant followers in the Roman Empire who were pretty well versed in Greek (none of Jesus' apostles could've written the Gospels in Greek, and it's highly doubtful they managed to find a top-notch scribe who could write an argued treatise and knew the Septuagint really well). I believe all their source information was passed down (some accurately, some not so much), and this was the basis for their accounts...and any other gospels they could get their hands on. (I've read there were at least 50 gospels in circulation in the first 100 years, I think.) Most scholars agree that the authors of Matthew and Luke used Mark's gospel predominantly for their own gospels...and it seems clear that Luke corrected Mark in places where he didn't agree. I would think the author of Matthew took the gospel of Mark and other info he had, and then as a Jew having familiarity with the OT, tried to find ways to find supposed prophecies of Jesus fulfilled from the OT so as to convert his fellow Jews to following Jesus as the Messiah. Jesus' followers were also apocalyptic, as we see in 1st Thessalonians, were they expected the kingdom to come anytime and were nervous of those who'd already died before the kingdom came (1st Thess was written in the AD 50's).

From my reading, I think Jesus was an apocalyptic preacher, in the vein of John the Baptist (whose follower he was). Jesus taught, like John, to prepare for the kingdom that would come very very soon in that generation (but it never came). Jesus never claimed to be God, but saw himself as a servant of God who was preaching about and bringing in God's kingdom...where his twelve disciples (including Judas Iscariot when he said this - oops) would sit in that kingdom judging the twelve tribes. Jesus didn't teach as Paul that salvation was through belief in Jesus' death and resurrection, but Jesus taught to follow the commandments and have life...and that the final judgment would be according to works (but Paul does say this in Romans 2). All his moral teaching was in light of preparing for the coming kingdom.

I think one of the biggest keys to why Jesus is not the prophesied Messiah is: ALL the prophecies have a FIRST-coming perspective...what the Messiah will do WHEN HE COMES. Jesus didn't fulfill any of the duties/work of the prophesied Messiah, but his followers said, "Oh, well, he's just going to do all that when he comes back from heaven bringing the kingdom of God." Uh, yeah...NO. The prophecies said what the Messiah would do when he came...Jesus died and didn't do any of that stuff...therefore, he is not the Messiah. I mean, for crying out loud, anyone could claim to be the Messiah then!! Further, I guess Christians should still, in a sense, waiting to see if Jesus actually was the Messiah if he STILL hasn't come to fulfill the work the Messiah is supposed to do...he hasn't proven himself to be the Messiah yet (per their second-coming expectation)!

Glad to hear you listened to the Rabbi (it sounds like)! Thanks for your thoughts from listening to him.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Learner's post
25-10-2014, 05:56 AM
RE: Jesus was NOT the Messiah
(25-10-2014 05:23 AM)Learner Wrote:  
(24-10-2014 04:03 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  The First Century gospel writers were inventing what they cooked up. They were not "interpreting" anything. The good thing about the Rabbi, is he squarely places the whole she-bang squarely back in the midst of Judaism which produced it. The Rabbi makes many mistakes, (including his contention that a gospel is a "biography"), which it clearly is not. They were proclamations of faith by believers, for believers to remind themselves what they already believed.
For the record, I am more of the persuasion of the likes of Bart Ehrman and E.P. Sanders (the Gospels are highly legendary, with a historical core) rather than of Richard Carrier (Jesus never existed). It's the same way we have to read accounts of like Alexander the Great, who also was supposedly born of a virgin...we need to discern the historical core behind some of the legendary especially when reading about ancient figures, and especially when reading writings from the followers.


Yeah, except that Alexander the Great is historically dependent, Jesus is not. Then take into account that all of the evidence for Jesus is no better than all of the legendary attachments to historical figures, and I'm left wondering how people justify existence as more plausible than myth? A historical Jesus is by no means required to explain anything in history or with the start and the success of Christianity.

[Image: E3WvRwZ.gif]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
25-10-2014, 06:38 AM
RE: Jesus was NOT the Messiah
(25-10-2014 05:56 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(25-10-2014 05:23 AM)Learner Wrote:  For the record, I am more of the persuasion of the likes of Bart Ehrman and E.P. Sanders (the Gospels are highly legendary, with a historical core) rather than of Richard Carrier (Jesus never existed). It's the same way we have to read accounts of like Alexander the Great, who also was supposedly born of a virgin...we need to discern the historical core behind some of the legendary especially when reading about ancient figures, and especially when reading writings from the followers.

Yeah, except that Alexander the Great is historically dependent, Jesus is not. Then take into account that all of the evidence for Jesus is no better than all of the legendary attachments to historical figures, and I'm left wondering how people justify existence as more plausible than myth? A historical Jesus is by no means required to explain anything in history or with the start and the success of Christianity.

I would recommend Bart Ehrman's book on the existence of Jesus to better understand why one scholar believes Jesus' existence is more plausible than myth. I've read Earl Doherty (and listened to Richard Carrier), and I don't find their work convincing.

When you said "historically dependent," I assume you mean Alexander the Great had a large impact on history unlike Jesus. So in that case, I would say that based on what is historically plausible that Jesus did in his life, he should've been completely forgotten in history...some backwater failed apocalyptic prophet. (I mean, who remembers John the Baptist today outside of Christianity??) I think the rise of Christianity is mostly a matter of the right things happening at the right times, what with Paul spreading Christianity to the Gentiles and largely due to the Roman emperor Constantine converting to Christianity. I agree with your sentiment that there's a different quality and quantity to the historical evidence supporting the existence of Julius Caesar VS Jesus of Nazareth. But nonetheless, the historian's endeavor is to discern historically plausible explanations to explain all of the evidence and to sift through legend, if their is convincing evidence of the person's actual existence. In his book, going from memory, Ehrman cites multiply-attested sources that confirm the barest-bone aspects of Jesus' life (such as that he was crucified during Pontius Pilate's reign)...and if I remember right, there are historical aspects of Jesus' life that no one in their right mind would make up to later say Jesus is the Messiah (he came from Nazareth, not Bethlehem...he was baptized by John the Baptist as his follower...etc).

I'm personally convinced of the opposite: I don't honestly understand how Jesus-disciples/Christianity could've originally taken off without a historical basis, if it was all made up. My opinion is that the Jesus-never-existed position is like a conspiracy theory. I don't find it convincing that a bunch of people made up Jesus and went out to spread the news about him. I find it much more historically plausible that a follower of John the Baptist named Jesus had a small following who earnestly believed he was Israel's Messiah...then he was crucified...then they believed he had ascended to heaven and would come again. So they earnestly went out seeking to convert all their fellow Israelites...why?...to bring in the kingdom (Romans 11)!! There's just too much early evidence (whether extremely limited secular info or all the NT documents with interspersed historical info and events) that has to be explained away to say everything about Jesus was all made up. My two-cents.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Learner's post
25-10-2014, 07:22 AM
RE: Jesus was NOT the Messiah
(25-10-2014 05:23 AM)Learner Wrote:  For the record, I am more of the persuasion of the likes of Bart Ehrman and E.P. Sanders (the Gospels are highly legendary, with a historical core) rather than of Richard Carrier (Jesus never existed). It's the same way we have to read accounts of like Alexander the Great, who also was supposedly born of a virgin...we need to discern the historical core behind some of the legendary especially when reading about ancient figures, and especially when reading writings from the followers.

You are describing pretty much how I viewed the question until recently. I just finished Carrier's "On The Historicity Of Jesus" and have seen some of his presentations on the subject and am finding myself being swayed. As EvolutionKills noted, he makes a strong case that the evidence fits the pure mythicist camp at least as well as it fits the "historical core" concept.

Paul certainly deals only with a supernatural Jesus and by the time Mark was written it doesn't seem so unlikely that a writer could either mistakenly assume that he was an actual person or find that to be a convenient way to introduce the message.

Currently I'm in the middle of "The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Christian Myth" by John Allegro. It is going into details of the mythology of the Essenes in the last centuries BCE and first centuries CE and some of the details do seem to provide support for the proposition that the idea of a purely supernatural savior was extant.

I do still think that there could have been some itinerant preacher around the time who got himself into trouble by being a nuisance but my confidence that it is the best explanation is lower than it used to be. In the end, it doesn't affect the value or truth of Christianity. The supernatural woo that was either euhemerized into a historical person or grafted onto a real historical figure (or combination of figures) is nonsensical.

One thing that has driven a lot of this home is that I recently started volunteering at a local historical site. The period covered only dates back about 250 years and yet we have conflicting claims about the people involved and the dates things happened. There is a lot that we have to admit we just do not know for sure and we are presenting the most probable reconstruction we can make. The people involved were nearly all literate and official records have been preserved and yet many of the details are in question. Extrapolating to 2000 years ago when literacy was low and for which records have been lost, deliberately destroyed, and forged, the uncertainty has to be huge.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: