Jesus was a terrorist!
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 2 Votes - 3 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
19-06-2011, 11:49 AM
RE: Jesus was a terrorist!
(19-06-2011 11:10 AM)Shannow Wrote:  Mark - I wish this forum had live chat. Would love to discus this in a style that's more conducisve to long debate than writing massive posts!

Some points of order:

1. You're clearly not foolish. I don't think anyone on the forum is implying that you have any kind of limited mental capacity. The stuff you wrote on your other theories was really compelling and thought provoking and several people, including me really loved reading about it. I didn't agree with the Paul/Roman Agent thing, but it was fascinating and the "Paul as a cult leader" is excellent.

This theory isn't thought provoking or compelling, it's poorly sourced, poorly thought out and just isn't working for me. You've been working on this stuff for over half a decade, so I seriously doubt that this is the first time you've come up against negative feedback.

2. I think you need to understand what I mean by sources.

I've assumed that Primary, Secondary and Tertiary sources are the same internationally. I could be really wrong about that, if so, I've been banging on about the quality of sources and nobody outside of the UK knows what I'm talking about! Is it the same in Oz, or do you have different words for this stuff?

When the stuff you write about is sourced with primary sources, (like Joesphus and later on, Polycarp), the historian inside me gets really excited at what you have to say.

However, this recent theory is sourced largely from the Bible...so the document you are trying to undermine and highlight as a work of fiction, is also the document you are using to provide your case with historic facts.

Given that I completely agree with your points about the bibles evolution over time, I dissmiss anything that uses the bible as a source.

Not sure if you knew, but Christians call this bastardisation of the bible "progressive revalation" I call it "tampering with evidence!"

3. Going back to my original point...you need to find a primary source that explicity states Jesus was a Zealot. You can't. This doesn't make you foolish, it makes you a great researcher and a great communicator who's hit a wall with a particular idea.

You've already cited a handful of authors who have positited the same theory. These esteemed chaps are just well-read guys who have a point of view that supports your own. These are (at best) secondary sources....they support your case but they don't prove it...

Thanks Shannow...I'm really looking forward to discussing this.....its 4am here...I better go to sleep, will talk soon
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
19-06-2011, 12:40 PM (This post was last modified: 19-06-2011 01:12 PM by Ghost.)
RE: Jesus was a terrorist!
Hey, Mark.

Don't make this a personal thing. You asked me to tell you why I think a theologian could demolish your theory. That's what I did. I'm speaking to your position the exact same way that someone would speak to the position that the Rapture is happening next week. There's zero factual basis.

Point: The use of terrorist in the last 10 years has become ubiquitous and too wide in scope and your use of the term is too wide in scope as well. Your idea that Jesus is a terrorist fails on that point and more importantly on the point that whatever quotes you might have pulled out of context from the Bible, there is not a single shred of evidence that Jesus ever committed or incited others to commit an act that even remotely resembles terrorism.

Point: The historical context that one grows up in does not dictate who that person is. The climate that Jesus grew up in is irrelevant other than to say that he had something to be against. How that resistance took form is not a matter for environmental conditions to decide. You cannot rationally base your theory on this.

Point: You're the one who says this is a powerful idea. I agree. It is a powerful idea. Worth spreading though? Spreading it in its naked form would be advantageous to anyone wishing to defame Jesus, but it is an affront to rational inquiry.

If your theory was peer reviewed it would be torn to shreds. You don't offer a single shred of evidence that backs up your claim. If I missed that evidence at some point along the way, by all means, point it out to me.

So I don't know what a yob is but understand something, you are the one that called me a name. I said nothing ill about you. I just ripped your idea apart. You could have 5 000 things to say about life in Jesus’s time, but that has nothing to do with the man himself. Your theory is about the man himself. Like I said, show me a shred of evidence and we can talk. Until then, I can no more have a rational discourse about this than I can about Area 51. I'm sorry if that offends you. If you're simply trying to say that this is what you believe, then I'm totally cool with that. I am a cultural relativist and I think all beliefs are valid. But you're trying to pass this off as some sort of slam dunk objective truth and offering nothing to support it. That's simply unacceptable.

You asked me to discuss this. Ok. I'm doing that. But I have nothing positive to say. So please, I invite you to share some of these facts you've been talking about. Tell me that Jesus led a small force against an outpost on the eastern side of town around this date and I'm with ya, homey. I have no personal attachment to Jesus. If he was a terrorist, so be it. But if you have no evidence then I'm sorry but your theory is garbage.

And lastly, if I offer you wishes of something nice, don't turn around and throw that in my face.

I’m not being aggressive. Shannow was being aggressive. I am just being demanding. I admit that my patience is long for wild beliefs but it is short for inflammatory and outrageous ideas with no factual basis.


ON EDIT:

The Civil Rights Era in the US produced a number of people. Of note, MLK and the Black Panther Party. They were both American blacks from that era (aside from the fact that they were from opposite sides of the country, the environmental conditions were essentially the same). MLK was a man of peace who modeled his approach on Gandhi and Jesus. The Black Panther Party believed in direct action and a number of them walked into the California legislature armed and were imprisoned for it. There is verifiable data to support all of those statements. Reams of biographical data on MLK, his beliefs and what influenced him and police records and eye-witness accounts of the activities of the Black Panther Party on that day.

MLK and the Black Panther Party interpreted the same situation differently, believed very different things about the nature of the situation and about the solution, and did very different things. The era that these people grew up in provided a historical context in which they acted but clearly did not dictate what actions they took.

Same with Jesus.

If someone started a thread called “MLK was a terrorist!” and then started talking about the climate in the Civil Rights Era, what happened to other people, what other people did and what someone who grew up in that era, in this case MLK, must have thought, felt and done, I would like to think that people would call shenanigans because there’s zero evidence to support it. And if people said that there was no reason not to believe he was a terrorist, I’d like to think that people would call shenanigans on that because there’s every reason to disbelieve it.

Lilith, you are absolutely right to call me out for speaking about the forum in general terms. It was born out of laziness on my part. I should have cited specific things that people said and commented on them directly. That’s my bad. You all have my apologies.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
19-06-2011, 01:46 PM
RE: Jesus was a terrorist!
(19-06-2011 12:40 PM)Ghost Wrote:  I’m not being aggressive. Shannow was being aggressive. I am just being demanding. I admit that my patience is long for wild beliefs but it is short for inflammatory and outrageous ideas with no factual basis.

Me Aggresive? All I did was disagree with Mark on the grounds of lack of evidence. Perhaps it's the cultural differences between 7ft Martian sex machines and us humans. Certainly not intending to be agressive in any way Smile
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
19-06-2011, 06:34 PM
 
RE: Jesus was a terrorist!
(19-06-2011 09:44 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Mark.

Mark Wrote:Well....I think we all agree we should, in modern times, do everything we can to avoid using violence to achieve political aims.

I don't live in Disneyland, so no, I do not agree.

Just wanted to reply to this quickly before I address what Mark is saying. Could you clarify what you're saying here? The only reason I can think of for using force against someone else is me or another person being threatened with or subjected to force.

@Mark

I have the same problem as some of the other posters; I do find your claims interesting and at the very least plausible(given the inaccuracy of the Bible and what little I've read of it being my only source of information, there is nothing that would cause me to dismiss your claim outright), but I can't accept what you're saying without documented evidence.

Actual sources that establish the copied aspects of Christian mythology, sources that show the less peaceful side of Jesus, and sources from the people who were opposed to what he was doing would all be very helpful in determining what actually happened.
Quote this message in a reply
19-06-2011, 08:37 PM (This post was last modified: 19-06-2011 08:42 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Jesus was a terrorist!
(19-06-2011 11:49 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(19-06-2011 11:10 AM)Shannow Wrote:  Mark - I wish this forum had live chat. Would love to discus this in a style that's more conducisve to long debate than writing massive posts!

Some points of order:

1. You're clearly not foolish. I don't think anyone on the forum is implying that you have any kind of limited mental capacity. The stuff you wrote on your other theories was really compelling and thought provoking and several people, including me really loved reading about it. I didn't agree with the Paul/Roman Agent thing, but it was fascinating and the "Paul as a cult leader" is excellent.

This theory isn't thought provoking or compelling, it's poorly sourced, poorly thought out and just isn't working for me. You've been working on this stuff for over half a decade, so I seriously doubt that this is the first time you've come up against negative feedback.

2. I think you need to understand what I mean by sources.

I've assumed that Primary, Secondary and Tertiary sources are the same internationally. I could be really wrong about that, if so, I've been banging on about the quality of sources and nobody outside of the UK knows what I'm talking about! Is it the same in Oz, or do you have different words for this stuff?

When the stuff you write about is sourced with primary sources, (like Joesphus and later on, Polycarp), the historian inside me gets really excited at what you have to say.

However, this recent theory is sourced largely from the Bible...so the document you are trying to undermine and highlight as a work of fiction, is also the document you are using to provide your case with historic facts.

Given that I completely agree with your points about the bibles evolution over time, I dissmiss anything that uses the bible as a source.

Not sure if you knew, but Christians call this bastardisation of the bible "progressive revalation" I call it "tampering with evidence!"

3. Going back to my original point...you need to find a primary source that explicity states Jesus was a Zealot. You can't. This doesn't make you foolish, it makes you a great researcher and a great communicator who's hit a wall with a particular idea.

You've already cited a handful of authors who have positited the same theory. These esteemed chaps are just well-read guys who have a point of view that supports your own. These are (at best) secondary sources....they support your case but they don't prove it...

Thanks Shannow...I'm really looking forward to discussing this.....its 4am here...I better go to sleep, will talk soon

Good morning ! I'm at work and will write this between patients because I'm really inspired by our discussion. In retrospect I have been a little over sensitive.Thankyou for your nice comments.

I hear it that this theory isn't working for you. I hear it that you think it is poorly sourced. That is something I have learnt. I did a lot of reading and unfortunately at the time didn't document all my sources. It's not easy, you know! I will work on it. Thanks for the feedback.

Could you tell me why you think it is poorly thought out? I genuinely value constructive criticism. Remember it is very hard...impossible in fact...to present a complex argument in a forum like this. None of you want to read 30 pages of spiel. Remember I have a lot more evidence for this idea yet to come, and you are interested, so I will post it.

We do use those terms in Aus...I'm sure they are international. Everyone....please appreciate this point. If we are going to talk about specifics of Jesus' life, there are no primary sources! All we have is the Bible. No first century secular source mentions Jesus! We know a fair bit about the socio political history of Palestine at the time from primary sources, but nothing about Jesus himelf. We have some good info about John the baptist from Josephus and about James, Jesus' brother from Josephus and others too. Some commentators may disagree about this, but I think they would probably admit there is no good quality definitive info about Jesus.

What this means is that we are heavily reliant on the gospel stories. I admit I cannot prove Jesus was a freedom fighter without referring to the gospels ( and even then I can't definitively prove it). Anyone who comments on Jesus has to use the gospels, otherwise there's almost nothing to talk about.

Yes, it is true that I have "cherry picked" the gospel stories to create the story of Jesus the freedom fighter. I admit this. My premise is that there are elemnts of the gospels that have truth in them ie that weren't edited out. How else do we explain the aggressive statements I have documented (there are more to come btw). I put it to you that Christians who get read neatly packaged snippets of Jesus' sayings in church are more guilty of this than me!

Let's compare my story to the conventional Christian story. Take yourself back in time. You are young, Jewish, and intensely religious. The Romans are taxing you heavily. They are foreigners in god's holy land. It's not hard to imagine a young Jesus throwing rocks at Roman chariots. You have had friends and relatives killed by them or their agents ( John the Baptist, events of 4 BC, 6 CE ). I don't think anyone can argue with what I have said so far...tell me if you disagree. You are taken prisoner in Jerusalem and suffer a humiliating, degrading public death strung up naked on a cross. What do you think is the likely reason you were crucified?

Was it because the Romans didn't like the fact you thought you were God? NO !Would the Romans send 600 soldiers to arrest you because of your delusions of grandeur? NO! Would you have thought you needed to die to appease your God for the sins of people in the Roman world who were going to start a strange new cult that was only going to first appear roughly 15-20 years after you died? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Let's bring our thinking back down to planet earth. Is it not far more probable that you were causing trouble and planning to start an insurrection, but your enemy got to you first?

People....we have been fed a fabricated, plainly ridiculous story about Jesus! That doesn't bother me in my personal life, but there are millions of Christians who believe the myth, and force their beliefs on innocent children. Christian politicians go to war sometimes partly because of their Christian beliefs. I digress...I'm just making the point that this does matter and is relevant.

Ok...to return to the primary sources argument. There is a little bit more I will tell you that backs up my theory...and contained within this section is a quote from Philo, who could be considered a primary source (correct me if I'm wrong) (btw, I'm not suggesting Philo claimed Jesus was a zealot)...

"Matthew claims Jesus was arrested because he claimed he was divine. That is fiction. Jesus had no delusions he was God, nor would he have had any supporters amongst the Jews if he had made such a blasphemous claim. The Sadducees and Romans wouldn’t have lost any sleep over a Galilean peasant’s delusions of grandeur. They arrested him because he was trying to start an insurrection, which was against Roman law. The High Priest, the Sanhedrin and the Pharisees knew that, Pilate and his army knew it too and so did Jesus and his supporters.

He is taken before Pilot and the accusation made
“We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ, a King.” (Luke 23;2). Pilate asked Jesus if he is king of the Jews and Jesus answers
“it is as you say it.” (Luke 23;3). This perfectly described the whole crux of the issue; Jesus was accused of undermining the government and the taxation system and proclaiming himself a king. He effectively signed his own death warrant by admitting he thought he was king of the Jews.

Then, inexplicably, in all the gospels, Pilate said
“I find no fault in this man”. (Luke 23;4). This was fiction. The Gospel authors were spinning a good yarn to make the Romans sound blameless. Pilate was Rome’s representative. It was his job to keep law and order and make sure the Jews paid tax. He did not find Jesus innocent.

Luke was the only author who had Jesus appear before Herod, who happened to be in Jerusalem at the time. He claimed Jesus refused to talk to Herod when he was given a chance to defend himself. Jesus would have regarded Herod, the man who had his cousin killed, with contempt. Why should the real Jewish king justify himself to a false Jewish king? Herod allegedly also found no guilt in Jesus, which is impossible to believe, as the gospels had earlier claimed Herod wanted to kill him.

Then the Jewish populace allegedly turned en masse against Jesus. Mark claimed
“...the chief priests however had incited the crowd...” (Mark 15:11 NJB). This poorly explained excuse was the only reason given for “the crowd” turning against Jesus. They allegedly shouted they wanted Jesus crucified and would rather have Barabbas, a common criminal, freed in preference to Jesus. No such release or custom of such a release was recorded in any non-Biblical historical document. Who was this Jewish crowd? Were they not the very “multitudes” that had welcomed their king as a hero in a ticker tape parade as he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey? This crowd had thought he was a prophet and laid clothes and branches at his feet. This same crowd was the one the chief priests feared would create “an uproar” if Jesus was killed. Why would they suddenly have a complete change of mind about their hero? They didn’t.

The gospel authors created history. They could not have Romans responsible for Jesus’ murder, so they blamed the anonymous rabble of Jews. Romans are made to look almost as if they were innocent bystanders during the trial. Pilate’s wife wrote him a letter about a dream she had that Jesus was innocent. Pilate tried to talk the angry Jews out of having him crucified but gave in to the public clamour, because
“ in fact a riot was imminent” (Matthew 27;24). The crowd that was going to riot if Jesus was arrested was now about to riot if he wasn’t crucified! I don’t believe the crowd was that fickle.

Pilot, representing Rome, allegedly washed his hands of any responsibility for the decision to kill Jesus. This was theatrical propaganda, not real history. To pronounce a man innocent, then decide to kill him is not believable.

The real Pilate was notorious for his cruelty towards the Jews. Philo, writing in 41 CE wrote that Pilate's tenure was associated with
"..briberies, insults, robberies, outrages, wanton injustices, constantly repeated executions without trial, and ceaseless and grievous cruelty." (Legatio ad Gaium, 301-302). Josephus too reported several occurrences when Pilate flagrantly incited insurrection in order to ruthlessly purge it with his soldiers.

In 36 CE, Vitellius, the Roman Syrian governor removed him from his office, after a particularly violent attack on the Samaritans (Josephus, Antiquities 18.4.85). He was ordered to Rome to face complaints of excessive cruelty against the Jews, found guilty and exiled in Vienne, France. Pilate’s true colours are to be found in secular history, not in the gospels. He quite clearly was not a man who would have been wracked with indecision about whether to crucify Jesus.

One of the gentile authors of Matthew had the Jews say;
"His blood be on us and our children." (Matthew 27:24–25 NJB). Jews openly cursed themselves for being Christ killers. This didn’t happen! There was no Jewish crowd present at Jesus’ trial if, in fact, he even had a trial. The overwhelming majority of Jews would have been appalled that Jesus, the man they hoped would be their messiah, was crucified.

The Romans strung him up on a cross, and the Jewish passers by allegedly mocked him
“the passers by jeered at him; they shook their heads and said ‘ ...if you are God’s son, come down from the cross!’” (Matthew 27;39-40). I don’t think the average Jew was that callous.

The sign on Jesus’ cross, “King of the Jews,” stated his real crime, and was written by Pilate, who knew Jesus was a revolutionary."

Your thoughts on all this are genuinely valued, regards Mark



(19-06-2011 06:34 PM)Zach Wrote:  
(19-06-2011 09:44 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Mark.

Mark Wrote:Well....I think we all agree we should, in modern times, do everything we can to avoid using violence to achieve political aims.

I don't live in Disneyland, so no, I do not agree.

Just wanted to reply to this quickly before I address what Mark is saying. Could you clarify what you're saying here? The only reason I can think of for using force against someone else is me or another person being threatened with or subjected to force.

@Mark

I have the same problem as some of the other posters; I do find your claims interesting and at the very least plausible(given the inaccuracy of the Bible and what little I've read of it being my only source of information, there is nothing that would cause me to dismiss your claim outright), but I can't accept what you're saying without documented evidence.

Actual sources that establish the copied aspects of Christian mythology, sources that show the less peaceful side of Jesus, and sources from the people who were opposed to what he was doing would all be very helpful in determining what actually happened.

Hi Zach, once again thanks for your interest. You've emphasised to me how important it is to document sources. Thanks! Please see my comments to Shannow...I hope I have at least partly addressed these issues, regards, Mark
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
20-06-2011, 06:52 AM
RE: Jesus was a terrorist!
As a proposition mark, since your book is 34 chapters long maybe you should write 2 books, making one of them a secular interpretation of the bible (all the phrases christians seem to look past). It's been suggested that pushing paul as a cultist will be much more believable than a roman agent and the audience is asking for a factual book. The best answer yet may be to write two separate books, one with the more credible information and one with the hypotheses. If nothing else have a portion of your book on refuting the bible (ways in which the bible attacks itself) and then another part on the historical truths of the time. These categorizations would make the book a lot easier for the skeptics on this forum, we're all skeptics =p That way we could understand that for a part of the book you are not leaning on as much evidence as for others.

I definitely like the idea though of having a book about the historical side of christianity the destroyer, and then a complimentary book of possible ideas that can be gleamed from the bible. Maybe call the second companion book "it's in the bible so it must be true right?"

This would make a lot more sense than throwing away something you've worked hard on and it might make things a lot more palatable for the reader.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Lilith Pride's post
20-06-2011, 08:07 AM
RE: Jesus was a terrorist!
Hey, Mark.

I read through your points. The issue for me seems to be that your theory is based primarily on the notion that people who are oppressed MUST be angry and vengeful. If this is a universal then Jesus' terrorism is plausible. The problem is that this is not a universal. So as many quotes as you've pulled, all that needs to be said to dismiss your argument is, "great, but that's not a universal."

The other point I see is that Jesus would only have been killed and treated like he was if he was an insurgent or planning an insurgency. But there are tons of other explanations, like a man with the ear of an occupied people who is saying don't cooperate needs to be stopped. Even Gandhi went to prison. So the same probelm resurfaces in that you're using the historical context to simplify motivations and make the human beings, who are complex, one-dimensional beings without agency. They cannot make complex decisions because their environment somehow dictates their beliefs and actions.

Hey, Zach.

Quote:Just wanted to reply to this quickly before I address what Mark is saying. Could you clarify what you're saying here? The only reason I can think of for using force against someone else is me or another person being threatened with or subjected to force.

I can't remember who to atribute this quote to, but: The role of government is to control violence within its political boundaries.

Force, the use of force and the threat of force, is an integral part of power. Power being the relationship of three forces: influence, authority and coercion. In large hierarchical societies, stability is dependent on the government having the greatest control of violence and the people the least. This is why the second amendment, the right to bear arms and form militias, is enshrined in the US constitution. Even Gandhi acknowledged that an unarmed India is a powerless India. The Disneyland version of reality is that we should all just sit back and let government control violence because it's benign and has all of our best interests in mind. This is of course impossible because all political parties are special interest groups who have the interests of their constituents in mind and will only address those of other groups so much as they have to to not alienate them. But the nature of hierarchy is that some segment of the population will be marginalised. The more force the government controls, the more they can mitigate the instability born of their dissatisfaction. So the idea that no one should use force is a fairytale and an important part of the superstructure.

I have my issues with revolution, because I don't think it solves anything so much as replaces the special interest in charge with another special interest group (see Animal Farm and The Matrix). And I'm not saying that I'm a fan of violence, but the idea that there's no use for it is fantasy. Sinn Fein and the African National Congress used violence to great effect. Terrorism was a very successful tactic for them and their brand of terrorism enjoyed a degree of international support.

Anyhoo, all of this is to say that power is an integral part of hierarchical societies and force is an integral part of power. The idea that it is strictly the domain of the state is an idea intended to pacify. The reality is that special interest groups are constantly jockeying for control and to do that they need to marshal coercive forces. That's just the reality of the situation.

We currently live in a climate in which terrorism is viewed as the ultimate evil. But that's just because we live in hegemony and only stand to lose. If we were in occupied France, our support of the Maquis might be absolute.

So I don't agree with the blanket idea that we should simply avoid violence because that's a decision that needs to be made on a case by case basis. If Stephen Harper suddenly suspended human rights in Canada, the lineup would form to the left to "deal" with him.

So if we look at Jesus through our modern lens as an evil terrorist, then he becomes this shocking monster. But if we just look at violence in terms of it's place within the dynamics of power within hierarchies, who cares if he wanted to lead an insurrection? That doesn't make him a bad person. All it does is bring his pronouncements of peace into question. That being said, there's no evidence that he did lead an insurrection so it's moot.

One last thing, the reason that the conflation of terms like terrorist, freedom fighter, militant and insurrectionist is such a dangerous idea is because terrorist, since 9/11 has been associated with evil. By conflating all of these terms, any action against the state is associated with evil. So the people in Iraq who are fighting an occupation are as evil as people who throw bottles in demonstration are as evil as people who blow up schools. It's a frighteningly Orwellian attempt to control a populace through Newspeak.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
20-06-2011, 09:27 AM (This post was last modified: 20-06-2011 09:47 AM by Shannow.)
RE: Jesus was a terrorist!
Hi Mark,

Gotta love timezones. You've already finished Monday at the time I'm writing and I'm only halfway through Monday...

Anyway, good response. I totally agree...this forum isn't the ideal format for this kind of debate. I'll try and respond to your comments as concisely as I can to keep the word count down! I'll skip the bits where I agree with you...

Quote:Could you tell me why you think it is poorly thought out?

This is a really good question, honestly, it was just a gut reaction when I read the concept intially. I had a think about the difference between this and the 'Paul was a cult leader' theory that you posted. I like the Paul/cult leader theory becuase it you started by interpreting the bible to support the theory, then you brought in Polycarp, and Macion and a nice a link to the Nicean Creative Writing Convention.

So the thoery started out as pure conjecture (it has to due to the lack of sources), but finishes with facts - Paul becomes the cult leader (conjecture) nothing's written down in the early church (primary source - fact), Paul writes a few letters expressing his views and agenda (secondary source - fact) Paul was one of many voices and not as prominet as some of the others due to his anti-semetic views (secondary source fact), Marcion grabs hold of his letters and they grow in prominence (primary source - fact), these veiws mesh nicely with that of Rome so they are incorporated at Nicea (Primary source - fact)...that seems well constructed and attractive. As a reader, I feel compelled to allow you the conjecture, becuase the follow ups are so well sourced and evidence is freely available to anyone with Google.

The Jesus/terrorist theory is almost entirely sourced from scripture, and it kind of begins and ends with the same thing. For me, it just doesn't have the same gravitas as the Paul/cult leader approach. Does that makes sense?

Quote:....please appreciate this point. If we are going to talk about specifics of Jesus' life, there are no primary sources

Correct - in this event, the nearest source is considered primary - so that's Joesephus et all. Philo is on the line between a strong secondary source (he commentates on the issues of the day but there is no evidence that he directly witnessed them) and a primary source (he was a contemporary, he was a philosopher and would have had his finger on the pulse of Greek/Roman/Jewish politics.) Regardless, Philo is definatly as valid a source as you'll find for the period.

Quote:Is it not far more probable that you were causing trouble and planning to start an insurrection, but your enemy got to you first?

Sorry mate...for me the answer is no. Jesus was oppressed, Jesus was persecuted, Jesus did have forthwright views that contradicted the political opinion of the day. That's not unlike free thinkers in China, or Atheists in America or Ghandi or MLK or pretty much anyone that challenges the status quo. Looking at these examples, the revolutionaries make up a tiny percentage of the majority. The majority are largely unhappy, but rely on non-agressive means to move things forward.

Due to the lack of evidence, I just don't agree. As I mentioned further up, I think it's becuase I can't see the output from the theory - Paul as a cult leader ultimately results in (likely very edited) versions of his letters gaining prominence and ending up in the Bible. Jesus as a terrorist doesn't end up with anything, apart from death on a cross...which would have happened if he'd ran about ultra-conservative Jerusalem doing magic tricks and claiming to be better than everyone else.

Quote:The crowd that was going to riot if Jesus was arrested was now about to riot if he wasn’t crucified! I don’t believe the crowd was that fickle.

You've already postulated (and I agree) that Judea was a powder keg of potential Jewish uprisings against their Roman aggressors. You've cited the uprisings that happened before Jesus, and in the other thread the major uprisings that happened afterwards. Given the sensitivities of the time, hanging Jews on crosses was deeply unpopular. I'd be concerned for public order in the UK today if I said I was going to crucify a prominent Reverend or Immam becuase they had contraversial views. Neither the Rev or the Immam are terrorists, they just have views that are at odds with (the largely agnositc) UK society.

Quote:the passers by jeered at him; they shook their heads and said ‘ ...if you are God’s son, come down from the cross!’” (Matthew 27;39-40). I don’t think the average Jew was that callous.

I'm sure that you've found in your studies that Jews have serious problems with false messiahs. Christians created the Anti-Christ concept around this.

Messiahs aren't meant to die, they're meant to right wrongs, blow trumpets and liberate Jews. Most Jews that I've spoken to feel very strongly that Jesus wasn't the Messiah he was a prophet of similar value to Abraham and Moses. If Jesus said he was the Messiah, then his torture, humilation and ultimately his death would have been seen as yet another nail in the coffin of an independant Jewish state and as False Messiah he would have been vilified in the same way as a scandal-wracked celebrity in our time.

Gah..it's another essay - sorry.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
20-06-2011, 01:28 PM
RE: Jesus was a terrorist!
(20-06-2011 09:27 AM)Shannow Wrote:  Hi Mark,

Gotta love timezones. You've already finished Monday at the time I'm writing and I'm only halfway through Monday...

Anyway, good response. I totally agree...this forum isn't the ideal format for this kind of debate. I'll try and respond to your comments as concisely as I can to keep the word count down! I'll skip the bits where I agree with you...

Quote:Could you tell me why you think it is poorly thought out?

This is a really good question, honestly, it was just a gut reaction when I read the concept intially. I had a think about the difference between this and the 'Paul was a cult leader' theory that you posted. I like the Paul/cult leader theory becuase it you started by interpreting the bible to support the theory, then you brought in Polycarp, and Macion and a nice a link to the Nicean Creative Writing Convention.

So the thoery started out as pure conjecture (it has to due to the lack of sources), but finishes with facts - Paul becomes the cult leader (conjecture) nothing's written down in the early church (primary source - fact), Paul writes a few letters expressing his views and agenda (secondary source - fact) Paul was one of many voices and not as prominet as some of the others due to his anti-semetic views (secondary source fact), Marcion grabs hold of his letters and they grow in prominence (primary source - fact), these veiws mesh nicely with that of Rome so they are incorporated at Nicea (Primary source - fact)...that seems well constructed and attractive. As a reader, I feel compelled to allow you the conjecture, becuase the follow ups are so well sourced and evidence is freely available to anyone with Google.

The Jesus/terrorist theory is almost entirely sourced from scripture, and it kind of begins and ends with the same thing. For me, it just doesn't have the same gravitas as the Paul/cult leader approach. Does that makes sense?

[quote]....please appreciate this point. If we are going to talk about specifics of Jesus' life, there are no primary sources

Correct - in this event, the nearest source is considered primary - so that's Joesephus et all. Philo is on the line between a strong secondary source (he commentates on the issues of the day but there is no evidence that he directly witnessed them) and a primary source (he was a contemporary, he was a philosopher and would have had his finger on the pulse of Greek/Roman/Jewish politics.) Regardless, Philo is definatly as valid a source as you'll find for the period.

Quote:Is it not far more probable that you were causing trouble and planning to start an insurrection, but your enemy got to you first?

Sorry mate...for me the answer is no. Jesus was oppressed, Jesus was persecuted, Jesus did have forthwright views that contradicted the political opinion of the day. That's not unlike free thinkers in China, or Atheists in America or Ghandi or MLK or pretty much anyone that challenges the status quo. Looking at these examples, the revolutionaries make up a tiny percentage of the majority. The majority are largely unhappy, but rely on non-agressive means to move things forward.

Due to the lack of evidence, I just don't agree. As I mentioned further up, I think it's becuase I can't see the output from the theory - Paul as a cult leader ultimately results in (likely very edited) versions of his letters gaining prominence and ending up in the Bible. Jesus as a terrorist doesn't end up with anything, apart from death on a cross...which would have happened if he'd ran about ultra-conservative Jerusalem doing magic tricks and claiming to be better than everyone else.

Quote:The crowd that was going to riot if Jesus was arrested was now about to riot if he wasn’t crucified! I don’t believe the crowd was that fickle.

You've already postulated (and I agree) that Judea was a powder keg of potential Jewish uprisings against their Roman aggressors. You've cited the uprisings that happened before Jesus, and in the other thread the major uprisings that happened afterwards. Given the sensitivities of the time, hanging Jews on crosses was deeply unpopular. I'd be concerned for public order in the UK today if I said I was going to crucify a prominent Reverend or Immam becuase they had contraversial views. Neither the Rev or the Immam are terrorists, they just have views that are at odds with (the largely agnositc) UK society.

Quote:the passers by jeered at him; they shook their heads and said ‘ ...if you are God’s son, come down from the cross!’” (Matthew 27;39-40). I don’t think the average Jew was that callous.

I'm sure that you've found in your studies that Jews have serious problems with false messiahs. Christians created the Anti-Christ concept around this.

Messiahs aren't meant to die, they're meant to right wrongs, blow trumpets and liberate Jews. Most Jews that I've spoken to feel very strongly that Jesus wasn't the Messiah he was a prophet of similar value to Abraham and Moses. If Jesus said he was the Messiah, then his torture, humilation and ultimately his death would have been seen as yet another nail in the coffin of an independant Jewish state and as False Messiah he would have been vilified in the same way as a scandal-wracked celebrity in our time.

Gah..it's another essay - sorry.

Final thing, I'm sure you've dug into it, the Babylonian Talmud. It's 500 years later thean Jesus, so it's not a great source, but it paints Jesus as a sorceror and apostate, there don't seem to be any referances to revolutionary. Some interesting reading, would appreciate your views on it.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
20-06-2011, 01:44 PM
 
RE: Jesus was a terrorist!
(20-06-2011 08:07 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Zach.

Quote:Just wanted to reply to this quickly before I address what Mark is saying. Could you clarify what you're saying here? The only reason I can think of for using force against someone else is me or another person being threatened with or subjected to force.

I can't remember who to atribute this quote to, but: The role of government is to control violence within its political boundaries.

Force, the use of force and the threat of force, is an integral part of power. Power being the relationship of three forces: influence, authority and coercion. In large hierarchical societies, stability is dependent on the government having the greatest control of violence and the people the least. This is why the second amendment, the right to bear arms and form militias, is enshrined in the US constitution. Even Gandhi acknowledged that an unarmed India is a powerless India. The Disneyland version of reality is that we should all just sit back and let government control violence because it's benign and has all of our best interests in mind. This is of course impossible because all political parties are special interest groups who have the interests of their constituents in mind and will only address those of other groups so much as they have to to not alienate them. But the nature of hierarchy is that some segment of the population will be marginalised. The more force the government controls, the more they can mitigate the instability born of their dissatisfaction. So the idea that no one should use force is a fairytale and an important part of the superstructure.

I have my issues with revolution, because I don't think it solves anything so much as replaces the special interest in charge with another special interest group (see Animal Farm and The Matrix). And I'm not saying that I'm a fan of violence, but the idea that there's no use for it is fantasy. Sinn Fein and the African National Congress used violence to great effect. Terrorism was a very successful tactic for them and their brand of terrorism enjoyed a degree of international support.

Anyhoo, all of this is to say that power is an integral part of hierarchical societies and force is an integral part of power. The idea that it is strictly the domain of the state is an idea intended to pacify. The reality is that special interest groups are constantly jockeying for control and to do that they need to marshal coercive forces. That's just the reality of the situation.

We currently live in a climate in which terrorism is viewed as the ultimate evil. But that's just because we live in hegemony and only stand to lose. If we were in occupied France, our support of the Maquis might be absolute.

So I don't agree with the blanket idea that we should simply avoid violence because that's a decision that needs to be made on a case by case basis. If Stephen Harper suddenly suspended human rights in Canada, the lineup would form to the left to "deal" with him.

So if we look at Jesus through our modern lens as an evil terrorist, then he becomes this shocking monster. But if we just look at violence in terms of it's place within the dynamics of power within hierarchies, who cares if he wanted to lead an insurrection? That doesn't make him a bad person. All it does is bring his pronouncements of peace into question. That being said, there's no evidence that he did lead an insurrection so it's moot.

One last thing, the reason that the conflation of terms like terrorist, freedom fighter, militant and insurrectionist is such a dangerous idea is because terrorist, since 9/11 has been associated with evil. By conflating all of these terms, any action against the state is associated with evil. So the people in Iraq who are fighting an occupation are as evil as people who throw bottles in demonstration are as evil as people who blow up schools. It's a frighteningly Orwellian attempt to control a populace through Newspeak.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Thanks for the thorough explanation Matt, I couldn't agree with you more.
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: