Jesus was a terrorist!
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20-06-2011, 02:17 PM
RE: Jesus was a terrorist!
Thanks, Zach.

Quick correction though. I said Sinn Fein used violence. That's not true. Sinn Fein was the peaceful political wing (or perhaps companion organisation is a better term) of the Provisional Irish Republican Army. The IRA committed all of the acts of violence. That distinction allowed Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams to negotiate peace. My bad.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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20-06-2011, 03:56 PM
RE: Jesus was a terrorist!
Hi everyone...there was something wrong with the website last night (not my computer) and I just couldn't get in. It is now 8 am and I'm late for work.LOL. Will comment soon. Mark
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20-06-2011, 06:47 PM
RE: Jesus was a terrorist!
(20-06-2011 06:52 AM)Lilith Pride Wrote:  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.

Hi.....thankyou for your suggestions. You may well be right. I will look at it, but it would probably be a lot of work. I will ask editor for opinion. BTW, book is only 23 chapters. Could I somehow have sent you an out of date chapter summary I wonder? I like the title suggestion. As I said I really need to document my sources better...something you and others have pointed out. I really appreciate that.
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21-06-2011, 12:42 AM
RE: Jesus was a terrorist!
(19-06-2011 12:40 PM)Ghost Wrote:  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

Hi Matt, I was sure I sent a long reply to you 2 days ago but it seems to have disappeared into cyberspace. I did apologise to you, and I am enjoying our discussion.

Re the word terrorist....ok.....although dictionaries( I've looked up 3 dictionaries and they are all similar) define terrorism as the use of violence and intimidation for political gain, I accept that in popular usage it means much more than that. So lets just replace that word with "freedom fighter"....it doesn't change my argument.

Could you explain why you think my quotes are "out of context"? I would be genuinely interested to hear in what context you think about the Jesus story is truthful.

Re..."there is not a single shred of evidence that Jesus ever committed or incited others to commit an act that even remotely resembles terrorism." ( ok, lets replace terrorism with freedom fighter).I think we will have to disagree here. Somehow the following quotes got into the bible and it is hard ti imagine someone put there just for the hell of it because I can't see they serve an evangelical purpose (well, not to a half intelligent audience that have elsewhere been told blessed are the peacemakers)...
“But as for my enemies who did not want me for their king, bring them here and execute them in my presence.” (Luke 19:27 NJB)
“Anyone who does not remain in me is like a branch that has been thrown away – he withers; these branches are collected and thrown on the fire and they are burnt.” (John 15:6 NJB).
“Well then, just as the darnel is gathered up and burnt in the fire, so it will be at the end of time. The Son of Man will send his angels and they will gather out of his kingdom all things that provoke offences and all who do evil, and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.” (Matthew 13:40-43 NJB).
“'Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth: it is not peace I have come to bring, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34 NJB) and
“... if you have no sword, sell your cloak and buy one.” (Luke 22:36 NJB)
"...anyone who loses his life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it..." (Mark 8:35 NJB).

Jesus the bellicose revolutionary said
"From the time of John the Baptist the Kingdom of heaven has been advancing violently, and the violent take it by force." (Matthew 11;12)

Luke wrote…
“Just at this time some Pharisees came up. Go away they said, leave this place, because Herod means to kill you.” (Luke 13:31 NJB). Some Pharisees obviously admired Jesus and wanted to save him. If Jesus had been a harmless religious enthusiast roaming the countryside preaching to the people about God and life, Herod would have no reason to kill him.

Some of the people
“believed in him...when he spoke many more came to believe...” (John 4:39-41 NJB). The Gospel authors usually hid from their readers what that really meant, but not always.
“Many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary and had seen what he did believed in him but some of them went to tell the Pharisees what Jesus had done. Then the chief priests and Pharisees called a meeting. Here is this man working all these signs they said and what action are we taking? If we let him go on in this way everybody will believe in him and the Romans will come and destroy our Holy place and our nation...” (John 11:45-49 NJB). The chief priests and some Pharisees were clearly worried that if Jesus got too popular the Romans would destroy the Temple and the nation of Israel. This is precisely what happened 35 years later, in 70 CE, a fact well known to the author of John. Here it is in black and white; the Bible was clearing stating that Jesus was plotting to start a war with Rome, a war that the chief priests and Pharisees thought they would lose!


Jesus the social revolutionary said:
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he was anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor". (Luke 4.18-19). ( ie release our mates from your prison or we'll kill these hostages one by one)


Consider what Luke has a follower of Jesus saying shortly after the crucifixion;
“Our own hope had been that he would be the one to set Israel free….” (Luke 24:21 NJB). Why wasn't Israel free? Romans ruled it!

Mr Edward Gibbon devoted 20 years of his life to studying ancient Rome. He wrote
“…the Jews discovered a fierce impatience of the dominion of Rome, which repeatedly broke out in the most furious massacres and insurrections...and we are tempted to applaud the severe retaliation which was exercised by the arms of the legions against a race of fanatics, whose dire and credulous superstition seemed to render them the implacable enemies not only of the Roman government, but of human kind. The enthusiasm of the Jews was supported by the opinion, that it was unlawful for them to pay taxes to an idolatrous master; and by the flattering promise which they derived from their ancient oracles, that a conquering Messiah would soon arise, destined to break their fetters, and to invest the favourites of heaven with the empire of the earth.”
(Edward Gibbon) I know....he doesn't mention Jesus.....makes you wonder....

Your point to do with MLK and the Black Panther party is well made and absolutely valid. I am not saying that all Jews everywhere were willing to fight Rome, but that it seems very likely Jesus made a serious attempt to. Consider the following please...

Jesus’ message was not well received in some towns;
”Then he began to reproach the towns in which most of his miracles had been worked, because they refused to repent. ‘Alas for you Chorazin! Alas for you Bethsaida! For if the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon they would have repented long ago in sack cloth and ashes. And still I tell you it will not go as hard on Judgement day on Tyre and Sidon as with you. And as for you Capernaum, did you want to be exalted as high as heaven? You shall be thrown down into hell. For if the miracles done in you had been done in Sodom, you would have been standing yet. And still I tell you that it will not go as hard with the land of Sodom on Judgement day as with you.” (Matthew 11:20-24 NJB). Jesus is said to have spent a lot of time in Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum, three larger cities located on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee and populated almost exclusively by Jews. These cities were, in a nationalistic and geographical sense, part of Jesus’ home turf. Why would the inhabitants not support him? Roman armies had delivered death and destruction to Galilee in the preceding few decades. The locals must have been terrified of the consequences of another revolt. Jesus discovered he could not count on their support, so cursed them and moved on.

I admit I am having an educated guess here...but allow me some "poetic licence".

Im repeating myself a bit. There is more evidence, some of it is from the bible, some of it not. I don't have any primary source evidence however, so you may not be interested in hearing it. I'm learning, thanks for contributing, mark
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21-06-2011, 03:12 AM (This post was last modified: 21-06-2011 03:28 AM by Mark Fulton.)
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.

Hi Shannow...good essay! Thanks for sharing

"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?"

Yes, ok. That's an opinion which I respect. I just happen to have a different opinion.

Re..."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. "

Ok....I've read the above paragraph a number of times and suddenly had a light bulb moment!!! I just HAVE TO SHARE THE FOLLOWING with you in the sense that a friend shares a truth with a friend, not in the sense of a smart arse telling someone else how it is. I think you need to let go of the idea that Jesus was a Christian. JESUS WAS A NAZARENE; A FUNDAMENTALIST XENOPHOBIC JEW. THE MOVEMENT HE WAS A CHAMPION OF DIDN"T END UP WITH ANYTHING (your words). Please realise that Christianity, the circus that really only started to take off in about 100 CE, simply used the story of the Jewish guy that tramped around a few decades earlier to build legitimacy for itself ( and probably to undermine true Judaism). Nazarenism was rejected by traditional Judaism circa 90, and petered out over the next few centuries, particularly after it was declared illegal in the early 4th century by the now Christian government. Nazarenism had its glory days in the 30 years after Jesus' death, when James, Jesus' brother, was in charge. The Nazarenes were fundamentally opposed to Paul. Allow me to cut and paste a little about the Nazarenes...

"Followers of Jesus...The Nazarenes
The loss of two leaders in close succession, John the Baptist and then Jesus must have devastated their supporters. Matthew and John have the disciples going back to Galilee, yet Acts and Luke have the risen Jesus telling them not to leave Jerusalem. They either left Jerusalem or they didn’t, but they couldn’t have done both. What is clear is that over the next few decades there was a strong contingent of Jesus supporters living in Jerusalem.

There is no doubt Jerusalem was a hostile, dangerous place. Jesus had been crucified there. The Sadducees and a garrison of Roman troops, their sworn enemies, were there. They moved to Jerusalem because they believed in a kingdom of God on earth, and they knew that this could only have its birthplace in Jerusalem. Luke explains that this dream was still a general expectation amongst the supporters of Jesus when, in the first chapter of Acts, 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). Luke was writing 80+ years after Jesus’ death to a gentile audience. The second coming of Jesus hadn’t happened, however he wanted his readers to think it was still going to happen sometime in the future, but they better not hold their breath. This was in marked contrast to what Paul wrote in the early 50’s when he told his readers the second coming was imminent and there was not much point living as they normally would.

These people, led by an inspirational James, called themselves “saints” or followers of “the way” or “the faithful” or “disciples” or “the poor” or the “children of light”. They were also known as Nazarenes. The Nazarenes were an Essenian sect with zealot aspirations. Jesus too had been a Nazarene, as stated in the Bible. Acts referred to
“...Jesus Christ the Nazarene...” (Acts 3:6, 4:10, 2:22, 6:14, 22:8, 26:9 NJB)
Most modern Christians assume the term “Nazarene” referred to the fact that Jesus came from the village of Nazareth. This was what Matthew claimed (Matthew 2:23), but this was not the genuine origin of the term. On nearly every occasion that Jesus was referred to in the Gospels as being of Nazareth, the words “of Nazareth” should actually read “the Nazarene”. Nazareth the village almost certainly did not exist in Jesus' time or at the time the Gospels were first written. The attempt to make Jesus “of Nazareth” was a ploy to distract from his sectarian affiliations. The Bible even stated the term “Nazarene” referred to a sect. In the book of Acts, Tertullus, an ally of the Sadducees, accused Paul of being a Nazarene.
“The plain truth is that we find this man a perfect pest; he stirs up trouble among Jews the world over, and is a ringleader of the Nazarene sect.” (Acts 24:5 NJB)

Hugh Schonfield claims Nazarenism was an ancient version of Judaism that persisted in the north in the time of Jesus, and that it defied Judean efforts to obliterate it. This may well have been the case as Israel as we know it today was then two kingdoms, Israel in the north and Judah in the south. The original founder of the Nazarene sect may have been a Jewish-Arabian prophet named Essa in approximately 400 BCE.

The family, disciples and followers of the flesh and blood Jesus were Nazarenes. The “pillars” Paul refers to were the leaders of this group. They were not Christians. They practiced circumcision, believed in baptism and repentance as taught by John the Baptist and were strict about the Sabbath. They were vegetarians who didn't approve of the slaughter of animals for either food or sacrifice. They called each other brothers and sisters, and developed their own “Halacha”, which was their own interpretation of the Torah. They believed that Jesus was a very human prophet who had been killed, but they hoped he was going to return soon as the messiah of Israel to establish the Kingdom of God on earth. They were true believers in the power and glory of Israel, saw themselves as God's chosen people and were strongly opposed to the Romans who they believed were working for Satan. They were willing to take the Romans on, and had lost John the Baptist and Jesus in doing so. That was why the Roman world considered any member of the Nazarenes “a pest” who “stirs up trouble among Jews the world over”.

They had a broad base of support amongst Jews throughout Judea and much of the Roman Empire. They were nationalistic and xenophobic. They were devoted to the Temple and were in opposition to Roman collaborators such as the Sadducees and the Herodian puppet king. All the Essenes and zealots throughout Judea would have been sympathetic to these Nazarenes, as were many Pharisees and many common Jews. They flourished both in and outside Jerusalem in the 40 or so years after Jesus’ death. They were fundamentally opposed to Paul’s doctrine, did not accept him as an apostle and quite correctly considered him an annoying heretic allied to the gentile world.

We read very little about this group in the pages of history because mainly gentiles wrote that history.

The differences between Nazarenes and other Essenes are not important. Many eminent scholars have linked the Nazarenes with the Essenian sect at Qumran. One might consider the Nazarenes a further developed messianic “Essenism,” modified through the powerful influence of John the Baptist, Jesus and James.

James was their king. Leadership was inherited from blood relations, which explains the leadership passing from John the Baptist to Jesus and on to James. James and the other Nazarenes believed Jesus was the Jewish messiah of Israel, although yet to prove himself by returning from the dead to defeat the Romans and set up the Kingdom of God. They did not believe he was the Son of God or that he had risen from the dead. Nor did they believe the crucifixion of Jesus was intended to save anyone from their sins, but a despicable act of the Roman enemy.

The Nazarenes saw themselves as preparing “the way” for the return of Yahweh as described in Isaiah 40-66. Some early church fathers claim the Nazarenes wrote an early Hebrew version of Matthew’s gospel, one without the pro gentile changes. That would definitely have made an interesting read, but not surprisingly no copy has survived. It would bear only a passing resemblance to what has become today’s gospel of Matthew.

Douglas Lockhart believes the Nazarenes had boosted their numbers to about 8000 by recruiting Jews at the time James died in 62 CE. Some Nazarenes were sent out as missionaries to nearby cities. Peter was one such missionary and he went to Antioch. These missionaries even got as far as Rome. It was the Nazarenes who founded and ran the original community in Rome, the one that Paul wrote to in an attempt to introduce himself in his famous letter to the Romans.

Some Christian historians don’t accept that the Nazarenes were the very people who were the original followers of Jesus. They choose to believe they were a later heresy or completely ignore the fact of their existence. Neither of those positions is supported by the facts of history. How could one call the very group led by the brother of Jesus and full of Jesus’ original disciples a heretical sect? To do so in effect labels Jesus himself a heretic, an idea even the Vatican would recognise as too farfetched despite their proven ability to occasionally promote the ridiculous.

The writers of the Catholic Encyclopaedia have made a deliberate choice to say nothing about the Nazarene sect despite there being a wealth of secular literature about them and the fact they are mentioned in the Bible. I think their authors would have great difficulty discussing the Nazarenes without admitting the connection with Jesus, so rather than fabricating facts it was easier to just ignore them. They are obviously afraid of opening up Pandora’s box. They would have some seriously difficult explaining to do if Catholics around the world started learning about the Nazarenes.

While the Nazarenes were establishing a firm foothold amongst the Jews, a separate phenomenon was occurring, both inside and outside Jerusalem. It too was a movement waiting for the return of Jesus, but their Jesus was someone very different to the Jesus of the Nazarenes. That movement was not particularly well organised, didn’t have a universally recognised leader, and was therefore very heterogeneous. In the absence of a better name, it can be thought of as Christianity."


(21-06-2011 03:12 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(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.

Hi Shannow...good essay! Thanks for sharing

"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?"

Yes, ok. That's an opinion which I respect. I just happen to have a different opinion.

Re..."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. "

Ok....I've read the above paragraph a number of times and suddenly had a light bulb moment!!! I just HAVE TO SHARE THE FOLLOWING with you in the sense that a friend shares a truth with a friend, not in the sense of a smart arse telling someone else how it is. I think you need to let go of the idea that Jesus was a Christian. JESUS WAS A NAZARENE; A FUNDAMENTALIST XENOPHOBIC JEW. THE MOVEMENT HE WAS A CHAMPION OF DIDN"T END UP WITH ANYTHING (your words). Please realise that Christianity, the circus that really only started to take off in about 100 CE, simply used the story of the Jewish guy that tramped around a few decades earlier to build legitimacy for itself ( and probably to undermine true Judaism). Nazarenism was rejected by traditional Judaism circa 90, and petered out over the next few centuries, particularly after it was declared illegal in the early 4th century by the now Christian government. Nazarenism had its glory days in the 30 years after Jesus' death, when James, Jesus' brother, was in charge. The Nazarenes were fundamentally opposed to Paul. Allow me to cut and paste a little about the Nazarenes...

"Followers of Jesus...The Nazarenes
The loss of two leaders in close succession, John the Baptist and then Jesus must have devastated their supporters. Matthew and John have the disciples going back to Galilee, yet Acts and Luke have the risen Jesus telling them not to leave Jerusalem. They either left Jerusalem or they didn’t, but they couldn’t have done both. What is clear is that over the next few decades there was a strong contingent of Jesus supporters living in Jerusalem.

There is no doubt Jerusalem was a hostile, dangerous place. Jesus had been crucified there. The Sadducees and a garrison of Roman troops, their sworn enemies, were there. They moved to Jerusalem because they believed in a kingdom of God on earth, and they knew that this could only have its birthplace in Jerusalem. Luke explains that this dream was still a general expectation amongst the supporters of Jesus when, in the first chapter of Acts, 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). Luke was writing 80+ years after Jesus’ death to a gentile audience. The second coming of Jesus hadn’t happened, however he wanted his readers to think it was still going to happen sometime in the future, but they better not hold their breath. This was in marked contrast to what Paul wrote in the early 50’s when he told his readers the second coming was imminent and there was not much point living as they normally would.

These people, led by an inspirational James, called themselves “saints” or followers of “the way” or “the faithful” or “disciples” or “the poor” or the “children of light”. They were also known as Nazarenes. The Nazarenes were an Essenian sect with zealot aspirations. Jesus too had been a Nazarene, as stated in the Bible. Acts referred to
“...Jesus Christ the Nazarene...” (Acts 3:6, 4:10, 2:22, 6:14, 22:8, 26:9 NJB)
Most modern Christians assume the term “Nazarene” referred to the fact that Jesus came from the village of Nazareth. This was what Matthew claimed (Matthew 2:23), but this was not the genuine origin of the term. On nearly every occasion that Jesus was referred to in the Gospels as being of Nazareth, the words “of Nazareth” should actually read “the Nazarene”. Nazareth the village almost certainly did not exist in Jesus' time or at the time the Gospels were first written. The attempt to make Jesus “of Nazareth” was a ploy to distract from his sectarian affiliations. The Bible even stated the term “Nazarene” referred to a sect. In the book of Acts, Tertullus, an ally of the Sadducees, accused Paul of being a Nazarene.
“The plain truth is that we find this man a perfect pest; he stirs up trouble among Jews the world over, and is a ringleader of the Nazarene sect.” (Acts 24:5 NJB)

Hugh Schonfield claims Nazarenism was an ancient version of Judaism that persisted in the north in the time of Jesus, and that it defied Judean efforts to obliterate it. This may well have been the case as Israel as we know it today was then two kingdoms, Israel in the north and Judah in the south. The original founder of the Nazarene sect may have been a Jewish-Arabian prophet named Essa in approximately 400 BCE.

The family, disciples and followers of the flesh and blood Jesus were Nazarenes. The “pillars” Paul refers to were the leaders of this group. They were not Christians. They practiced circumcision, believed in baptism and repentance as taught by John the Baptist and were strict about the Sabbath. They were vegetarians who didn't approve of the slaughter of animals for either food or sacrifice. They called each other brothers and sisters, and developed their own “Halacha”, which was their own interpretation of the Torah. They believed that Jesus was a very human prophet who had been killed, but they hoped he was going to return soon as the messiah of Israel to establish the Kingdom of God on earth. They were true believers in the power and glory of Israel, saw themselves as God's chosen people and were strongly opposed to the Romans who they believed were working for Satan. They were willing to take the Romans on, and had lost John the Baptist and Jesus in doing so. That was why the Roman world considered any member of the Nazarenes “a pest” who “stirs up trouble among Jews the world over”.

They had a broad base of support amongst Jews throughout Judea and much of the Roman Empire. They were nationalistic and xenophobic. They were devoted to the Temple and were in opposition to Roman collaborators such as the Sadducees and the Herodian puppet king. All the Essenes and zealots throughout Judea would have been sympathetic to these Nazarenes, as were many Pharisees and many common Jews. They flourished both in and outside Jerusalem in the 40 or so years after Jesus’ death. They were fundamentally opposed to Paul’s doctrine, did not accept him as an apostle and quite correctly considered him an annoying heretic allied to the gentile world.

We read very little about this group in the pages of history because mainly gentiles wrote that history.

The differences between Nazarenes and other Essenes are not important. Many eminent scholars have linked the Nazarenes with the Essenian sect at Qumran. One might consider the Nazarenes a further developed messianic “Essenism,” modified through the powerful influence of John the Baptist, Jesus and James.

James was their king. Leadership was inherited from blood relations, which explains the leadership passing from John the Baptist to Jesus and on to James. James and the other Nazarenes believed Jesus was the Jewish messiah of Israel, although yet to prove himself by returning from the dead to defeat the Romans and set up the Kingdom of God. They did not believe he was the Son of God or that he had risen from the dead. Nor did they believe the crucifixion of Jesus was intended to save anyone from their sins, but a despicable act of the Roman enemy.

The Nazarenes saw themselves as preparing “the way” for the return of Yahweh as described in Isaiah 40-66. Some early church fathers claim the Nazarenes wrote an early Hebrew version of Matthew’s gospel, one without the pro gentile changes. That would definitely have made an interesting read, but not surprisingly no copy has survived. It would bear only a passing resemblance to what has become today’s gospel of Matthew.

Douglas Lockhart believes the Nazarenes had boosted their numbers to about 8000 by recruiting Jews at the time James died in 62 CE. Some Nazarenes were sent out as missionaries to nearby cities. Peter was one such missionary and he went to Antioch. These missionaries even got as far as Rome. It was the Nazarenes who founded and ran the original community in Rome, the one that Paul wrote to in an attempt to introduce himself in his famous letter to the Romans.

Some Christian historians don’t accept that the Nazarenes were the very people who were the original followers of Jesus. They choose to believe they were a later heresy or completely ignore the fact of their existence. Neither of those positions is supported by the facts of history. How could one call the very group led by the brother of Jesus and full of Jesus’ original disciples a heretical sect? To do so in effect labels Jesus himself a heretic, an idea even the Vatican would recognise as too farfetched despite their proven ability to occasionally promote the ridiculous.

The writers of the Catholic Encyclopaedia have made a deliberate choice to say nothing about the Nazarene sect despite there being a wealth of secular literature about them and the fact they are mentioned in the Bible. I think their authors would have great difficulty discussing the Nazarenes without admitting the connection with Jesus, so rather than fabricating facts it was easier to just ignore them. They are obviously afraid of opening up Pandora’s box. They would have some seriously difficult explaining to do if Catholics around the world started learning about the Nazarenes.

While the Nazarenes were establishing a firm foothold amongst the Jews, a separate phenomenon was occurring, both inside and outside Jerusalem. It too was a movement waiting for the return of Jesus, but their Jesus was someone very different to the Jesus of the Nazarenes. That movement was not particularly well organised, didn’t have a universally recognised leader, and was therefore very heterogeneous. In the absence of a better name, it can be thought of as Christianity."

Re..."I'm sure that you've found in your studies that Jews have serious problems with false messiahs. "

I agree with that. However my point is this. The gospel authors have a hugh Jewish crowd waving branches, laying cloth on the ground where he walks and proclaiming him a king. They then have a Jewish crowd baying for his death and mocking him for claiming he was the son of God ( remember...Christianity, which claimed Jesus was the son of god, had yet to be invented). The gospel authors are imagining their readers are gullible and stupid! This is not history! This is bullshit!
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21-06-2011, 05:06 AM
RE: Jesus was a terrorist!
Mark,

Thanks for another comprehnsive response.

Honestly mate, I think we'll just agree to disagree about the Jesus was a terrorist bit.

I knew that the Nazerenes were a Jewish sect, but didn't realise that their links to the early Roman community were so close. That's fascinating and gives me something to read tonight.

You've got so much interesting content here, 99.9% I completely agree with and can rapidly validate with historical sources.

It stands on it's own as a strong indictment of the Bible and Christianity. You don't the revolutionary/freedom fighter component to strengthen the arguement.

Speak soon

S
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21-06-2011, 06:03 AM
RE: Jesus was a terrorist!
(21-06-2011 05:06 AM)Shannow Wrote:  Mark,

Thanks for another comprehnsive response.

Honestly mate, I think we'll just agree to disagree about the Jesus was a terrorist bit.

I knew that the Nazerenes were a Jewish sect, but didn't realise that their links to the early Roman community were so close. That's fascinating and gives me something to read tonight.

You've got so much interesting content here, 99.9% I completely agree with and can rapidly validate with historical sources.

It stands on it's own as a strong indictment of the Bible and Christianity. You don't the revolutionary/freedom fighter component to strengthen the arguement.

Speak soon

S

Cheers,,,,goodnight or goodmorning to you
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21-06-2011, 09:43 AM
RE: Jesus was a terrorist!
Hey, Mark.

I just want to be clear about something. I could give a fuck about the Bible. I just want to be clear that I'm not here to champion Jesus for the sake of championing Jesus. Cheers.

I'm not Biblically scholarltastic enough to know the relationship between the fire and brimstone aspects of the Bible and the hippy aspects. I agree, there is some strong language as you’ve pointed out.

Mark Wrote:Re the word terrorist....ok.....although dictionaries( I've looked up 3 dictionaries and they are all similar) define terrorism as the use of violence and intimidation for political gain, I accept that in popular usage it means much more than that. So lets just replace that word with "freedom fighter"....it doesn't change my argument.

Agreed. But the distinction is an important one for me. Thanks for acknowledging it.

Mark Wrote:Could you explain why you think my quotes are "out of context"? I would be genuinely interested to hear in what context you think about the Jesus story is truthful.

Not sure what you mean about the story being truthful. Can you elaborate?

As for out of context, I just took one of your quotes totally at random. It wound up being: "'Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth: it is not peace I have come to bring, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34 NJB). The implication that I get when reading this passage on its own is that Jesus isn't here to bring peace, but to bring war. Or at least something to that effect, like killing or harm. Something stabby. It strikes me that this implication is what you believe supports your theory. I looked up Matthew 10 online and found it in its entirety taken from the KJV. When you read Matthew 10 in its entirety, there is no possible way to interpret Jesus in such a way that would mean "sword" had anything to do with violence.

Some would say that God allegedly Wrote:Matthew 10

1And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

2Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;

3Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;

4Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

5These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:

6But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

7And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

8Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

9Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,

10Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.

11And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence.

12And when ye come into an house, salute it.

13And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.

14And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.

15Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

16Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

17But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;

18And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.

19But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.

20For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

21And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.

22And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

23But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.

24The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.

25It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?

26Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.

27What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.

28And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

29Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.

30But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

31Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

32Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

33But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

34Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

35For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

36And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

37He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

38And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

39He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

40He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

41He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.

42And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.

Clearly, Matthew 10 is about Jesus telling his disciples to go forth into the Kingdom of Israel and speak to the Jews, avoiding the gentiles all together and spread his gospel. If they accept you, great, if not, water off a ducks back, move on. Be careful because people will deny you and turn you over to the Romans. Don't worry about dying, just be worried about your soul. I will speak on the behalf of anyone who accepts me and against anyone who does not. When we get to the sword passage, the message is clear. He expects people to put himself above all other concerns, including family concerns. In that way he will set family member against family member, ie, those that receive him against those that do not. That is the sword he is talking about. 10:35 clearly qualifies 10:34 when it begins “For I”, ie, this is the reason. When we look at the message he is discussing in Matthew 10 and his explicit instructions to be peaceful in their task (10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves) even in the face of danger, there is absolutely no possible way to interpret any part of Matthew 10, including the sword passage, to have anything to do with being violent in any way shape or form. In fact, the exact opposite is clear.

So that's what I mean by out of context.

Now if I, an absolute Biblical pleeb can take one of your lines at random and clearly illustrate that it does not support your point in any way, then a Biblical scholar would have a field day with your theory.

This is why I think you need to focus on evidence of acts. An act of freedom fighting is indisputable.

What you have presented is a series of interpretations of what he may have done, based on some strong language. But what you have not presented is any indication that he led an attack, or ordered a group of people to carry out an attack. But there are reams of data that clearly show the exact opposite. Even in Matthew 10 he's giving direct orders to people to shun violence. So like I said before, you can talk all day about the things he said, in context or no, you can talk all day about the environmental conditions he was in, but neither of these things CAUSE specific action. So you cannot say he said these things and the world was thus, therefore he took up arms or ordered others to take up arms. That's true even if, as you say, the Romans got to him before he could carry out his plan, because there's no evidence of the plan in the first place. If you want to say that he was a freedom fighter, which is an ACT, then you have to demonstrate that he acted in such a way. But there is no evidence of his acting that way so at best, your theory is clever speculation, but it is not fact. It should not be presented as fact. At least for now.

If you have located a passage that describes actions or orders to actions, then by all means point it out. I'm not saying they can't exist, just that I haven't seen them and that you should focus all of your attention on them because the rest is circumstantial.

Mark Wrote:“Just at this time some Pharisees came up. Go away they said, leave this place, because Herod means to kill you.” (Luke 13:31 NJB). Some Pharisees obviously admired Jesus and wanted to save him. If Jesus had been a harmless religious enthusiast roaming the countryside preaching to the people about God and life, Herod would have no reason to kill him.

This is too big of a logical jump. What you're saying is that the only reason anyone would have wanted to kill Jesus is if he was a freedom fighter. But that doesn't hold. He was spreading the message, put me above everyone else. Above the king and above even family. Kings cannot rule if people don't recognise their power. Power is an agreement between those who have it and their subordinates. Jesus’ preachings were very directly undermining that relationship and undermining Herod's power. That's more than enough reason to want to kill him. This isn’t just true with Herod and Jesus. There is historical evidence to support it. The English were desperate to shut Gandhi up even though he never lifted a finger and never incited others to lift a finger. Even after independence in 1947, when Hindus and Muslims were at war due to the separation of India and Pakistan, Gandhi went on a hunger strike to stop the violence (one million people had died). And it worked. All Gandhi said was, “don’t be violent and don’t cooperate”. Widespread non-cooperation with English rule constituted a serious threat to their power; a threat they needed to neutralise and that they failed to neutralise. All of this is to say that Jesus' peaceful actions were more than enough to warrant kings trying to take his life because it constituted a direct threat to their power. If; however, you can find a passage where Herod says, "I'm going to kill that Jesus guy because he's a freedom fighter," or of the Pharisees or Jesus saying, "Herod's going to kill you/me because you/I'm a freedom fighter," then that would be pretty slam dunk evidence.

Mark Wrote:Some of the people
“believed in him...when he spoke many more came to believe...” (John 4:39-41 NJB). The Gospel authors usually hid from their readers what that really meant, but not always.
“Many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary and had seen what he did believed in him but some of them went to tell the Pharisees what Jesus had done. Then the chief priests and Pharisees called a meeting. Here is this man working all these signs they said and what action are we taking? If we let him go on in this way everybody will believe in him and the Romans will come and destroy our Holy place and our nation...” (John 11:45-49 NJB). The chief priests and some Pharisees were clearly worried that if Jesus got too popular the Romans would destroy the Temple and the nation of Israel. This is precisely what happened 35 years later, in 70 CE, a fact well known to the author of John. Here it is in black and white; the Bible was clearing stating that Jesus was plotting to start a war with Rome, a war that the chief priests and Pharisees thought they would lose!

This is just outright revisionism. This quote says absolutely nothing of the sort. It states, clearly, that because of Jesus' actions, actions that the Pharisees were not taking, people were believing in Jesus. When viewed contextually, we know that believing in Jesus means putting him first. What they clearly state is that the Romans will come and destroy them because the people are believing Jesus; not because he’s trying to start a war. There is absolutely nothing in this passage that says anything whatsoever about war. It can only be interpreted that way if you begin with the assumption that the only reason to attack Jesus, or his followers, or his support base, is if he's leading or planning an insurrection, but that premise is insupportable. Without the insertion of that premise into this otherwise clear passage, this passage is not black and white proof of anything.

Mark Wrote:Consider what Luke has a follower of Jesus saying shortly after the crucifixion;
“Our own hope had been that he would be the one to set Israel free….” (Luke 24:21 NJB). Why wasn't Israel free? Romans ruled it!

"Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

You can free a people without firing a shot.

Mark Wrote:Mr Edward Gibbon devoted 20 years of his life to studying ancient Rome. He wrote
“…the Jews discovered a fierce impatience of the dominion of Rome, which repeatedly broke out in the most furious massacres and insurrections...and we are tempted to applaud the severe retaliation which was exercised by the arms of the legions against a race of fanatics, whose dire and credulous superstition seemed to render them the implacable enemies not only of the Roman government, but of human kind. The enthusiasm of the Jews was supported by the opinion, that it was unlawful for them to pay taxes to an idolatrous master; and by the flattering promise which they derived from their ancient oracles, that a conquering Messiah would soon arise, destined to break their fetters, and to invest the favourites of heaven with the empire of the earth.”
(Edward Gibbon) I know....he doesn't mention Jesus.....makes you wonder....

No it doesn't make me wonder anything BECAUSE he doesn’t mention Jesus. As far as I’m concerned, this is one of your biggest stretches to date. Jews are waiting for their Messiah. Jesus said, "hey guys, I'm the Messiah." Jews said, "No you are not." That why Christians are not Jews. Christians believe Jesus was the Messiah. Jews do not. Muslims believe he was a prophet but that's all. So none of this has anything to do with Jesus, let alone Jesus leading an insurrection.

Mark Wrote:Your point to do with MLK and the Black Panther party is well made and absolutely valid. I am not saying that all Jews everywhere were willing to fight Rome, but that it seems very likely Jesus made a serious attempt to.

Likely based on what? So far, it's only based on your opinion and some questionable interpretations of out of context passages.

Mark Wrote:Consider the following please...

Jesus’ message was not well received in some towns;
”Then he began to reproach the towns in which most of his miracles had been worked, because they refused to repent. ‘Alas for you Chorazin! Alas for you Bethsaida! For if the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon they would have repented long ago in sack cloth and ashes. And still I tell you it will not go as hard on Judgement day on Tyre and Sidon as with you. And as for you Capernaum, did you want to be exalted as high as heaven? You shall be thrown down into hell. For if the miracles done in you had been done in Sodom, you would have been standing yet. And still I tell you that it will not go as hard with the land of Sodom on Judgement day as with you.” (Matthew 11:20-24 NJB). Jesus is said to have spent a lot of time in Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum, three larger cities located on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee and populated almost exclusively by Jews. These cities were, in a nationalistic and geographical sense, part of Jesus’ home turf. Why would the inhabitants not support him? Roman armies had delivered death and destruction to Galilee in the preceding few decades. The locals must have been terrified of the consequences of another revolt. Jesus discovered he could not count on their support, so cursed them and moved on.

Well first of all, because many Jews didn't believe he was the Messiah. So why support him? Second, just because someone shows up and says "resist" doesn't mean the people will resist. In Northern Ireland, many Irish collaborated with the English. The IRA usually kneecapped them with power drills with wood bits. Many French women collaborated with the Germans under occupation. Their heads were shaved after the war. Thirdly, he was asking a religious people to accept him as the Messiah and put him first. Many simply didn't want to. So he told them that come Judgement Day, when he's going to bat for everyone who accepted him, he won't go to bat for them and God will send them to hell. So they didn't accept him and he moved on, in keeping with his own instructions in Matthew 10.

Mark Wrote:I admit I am having an educated guess here...but allow me some "poetic licence".

This is an important point for me.

If you were saying, "I believe Jesus was a freedom fighter," that'd be one thing. That's your belief, cool. I believe in cultural diversity and I have no reason to try to deny you your right to your beliefs. So in that sense, poetic licence away. But you're saying, Jesus the person was a freedom fighter. You are making a historical claim. That is an empirical statement that, without empirical evidence, needs to be considered invalid. There is no room for poetic licence in history (not that people don't take it).

Mark Wrote:Im repeating myself a bit. There is more evidence, some of it is from the bible, some of it not. I don't have any primary source evidence however, so you may not be interested in hearing it. I'm learning, thanks for contributing, mark

I'm not really up to speed on this primary source argument, so I'll stay out of it. I will say that I will happily entertain evidence that you present from any source. Show me a Bazooka Joe comic with evidence and I'll consider it. But so far what you are calling evidence should be called circumstantial evidence. It does not adequately support your claim.

Again, to be clear, I have no stake in the Bible or in Jesus. I have no NEED to defend either. But I do have a stake in rational inquiry. It has very specific demands and, in my opinion, they have not been met yet. You seem determined to give this theory of yours some life. Go for it. I'm just saying you need a better foundation.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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22-06-2011, 04:24 AM (This post was last modified: 22-06-2011 04:35 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Jesus was a terrorist!
(21-06-2011 09:43 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Mark.

I just want to be clear about something. I could give a fuck about the Bible. I just want to be clear that I'm not here to champion Jesus for the sake of championing Jesus. Cheers.

I'm not Biblically scholarltastic enough to know the relationship between the fire and brimstone aspects of the Bible and the hippy aspects. I agree, there is some strong language as you’ve pointed out.

Mark Wrote:Re the word terrorist....ok.....although dictionaries( I've looked up 3 dictionaries and they are all similar) define terrorism as the use of violence and intimidation for political gain, I accept that in popular usage it means much more than that. So lets just replace that word with "freedom fighter"....it doesn't change my argument.

Agreed. But the distinction is an important one for me. Thanks for acknowledging it.

Mark Wrote:Could you explain why you think my quotes are "out of context"? I would be genuinely interested to hear in what context you think about the Jesus story is truthful.

Not sure what you mean about the story being truthful. Can you elaborate?

As for out of context, I just took one of your quotes totally at random. It wound up being: "'Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth: it is not peace I have come to bring, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34 NJB). The implication that I get when reading this passage on its own is that Jesus isn't here to bring peace, but to bring war. Or at least something to that effect, like killing or harm. Something stabby. It strikes me that this implication is what you believe supports your theory. I looked up Matthew 10 online and found it in its entirety taken from the KJV. When you read Matthew 10 in its entirety, there is no possible way to interpret Jesus in such a way that would mean "sword" had anything to do with violence.

Some would say that God allegedly Wrote:Matthew 10

1And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

2Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;

3Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;

4Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

5These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:

6But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

7And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

8Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

9Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,

10Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.

11And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence.

12And when ye come into an house, salute it.

13And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.

14And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.

15Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

16Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

17But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;

18And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.

19But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.

20For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

21And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.

22And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

23But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.

24The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.

25It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?

26Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.

27What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.

28And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

29Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.

30But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

31Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

32Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

33But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

34Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

35For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

36And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

37He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

38And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

39He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

40He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

41He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.

42And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.

Clearly, Matthew 10 is about Jesus telling his disciples to go forth into the Kingdom of Israel and speak to the Jews, avoiding the gentiles all together and spread his gospel. If they accept you, great, if not, water off a ducks back, move on. Be careful because people will deny you and turn you over to the Romans. Don't worry about dying, just be worried about your soul. I will speak on the behalf of anyone who accepts me and against anyone who does not. When we get to the sword passage, the message is clear. He expects people to put himself above all other concerns, including family concerns. In that way he will set family member against family member, ie, those that receive him against those that do not. That is the sword he is talking about. 10:35 clearly qualifies 10:34 when it begins “For I”, ie, this is the reason. When we look at the message he is discussing in Matthew 10 and his explicit instructions to be peaceful in their task (10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves) even in the face of danger, there is absolutely no possible way to interpret any part of Matthew 10, including the sword passage, to have anything to do with being violent in any way shape or form. In fact, the exact opposite is clear.

So that's what I mean by out of context.

Now if I, an absolute Biblical pleeb can take one of your lines at random and clearly illustrate that it does not support your point in any way, then a Biblical scholar would have a field day with your theory.

This is why I think you need to focus on evidence of acts. An act of freedom fighting is indisputable.

What you have presented is a series of interpretations of what he may have done, based on some strong language. But what you have not presented is any indication that he led an attack, or ordered a group of people to carry out an attack. But there are reams of data that clearly show the exact opposite. Even in Matthew 10 he's giving direct orders to people to shun violence. So like I said before, you can talk all day about the things he said, in context or no, you can talk all day about the environmental conditions he was in, but neither of these things CAUSE specific action. So you cannot say he said these things and the world was thus, therefore he took up arms or ordered others to take up arms. That's true even if, as you say, the Romans got to him before he could carry out his plan, because there's no evidence of the plan in the first place. If you want to say that he was a freedom fighter, which is an ACT, then you have to demonstrate that he acted in such a way. But there is no evidence of his acting that way so at best, your theory is clever speculation, but it is not fact. It should not be presented as fact. At least for now.

If you have located a passage that describes actions or orders to actions, then by all means point it out. I'm not saying they can't exist, just that I haven't seen them and that you should focus all of your attention on them because the rest is circumstantial.

Mark Wrote:“Just at this time some Pharisees came up. Go away they said, leave this place, because Herod means to kill you.” (Luke 13:31 NJB). Some Pharisees obviously admired Jesus and wanted to save him. If Jesus had been a harmless religious enthusiast roaming the countryside preaching to the people about God and life, Herod would have no reason to kill him.

This is too big of a logical jump. What you're saying is that the only reason anyone would have wanted to kill Jesus is if he was a freedom fighter. But that doesn't hold. He was spreading the message, put me above everyone else. Above the king and above even family. Kings cannot rule if people don't recognise their power. Power is an agreement between those who have it and their subordinates. Jesus’ preachings were very directly undermining that relationship and undermining Herod's power. That's more than enough reason to want to kill him. This isn’t just true with Herod and Jesus. There is historical evidence to support it. The English were desperate to shut Gandhi up even though he never lifted a finger and never incited others to lift a finger. Even after independence in 1947, when Hindus and Muslims were at war due to the separation of India and Pakistan, Gandhi went on a hunger strike to stop the violence (one million people had died). And it worked. All Gandhi said was, “don’t be violent and don’t cooperate”. Widespread non-cooperation with English rule constituted a serious threat to their power; a threat they needed to neutralise and that they failed to neutralise. All of this is to say that Jesus' peaceful actions were more than enough to warrant kings trying to take his life because it constituted a direct threat to their power. If; however, you can find a passage where Herod says, "I'm going to kill that Jesus guy because he's a freedom fighter," or of the Pharisees or Jesus saying, "Herod's going to kill you/me because you/I'm a freedom fighter," then that would be pretty slam dunk evidence.

Mark Wrote:Some of the people
“believed in him...when he spoke many more came to believe...” (John 4:39-41 NJB). The Gospel authors usually hid from their readers what that really meant, but not always.
“Many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary and had seen what he did believed in him but some of them went to tell the Pharisees what Jesus had done. Then the chief priests and Pharisees called a meeting. Here is this man working all these signs they said and what action are we taking? If we let him go on in this way everybody will believe in him and the Romans will come and destroy our Holy place and our nation...” (John 11:45-49 NJB). The chief priests and some Pharisees were clearly worried that if Jesus got too popular the Romans would destroy the Temple and the nation of Israel. This is precisely what happened 35 years later, in 70 CE, a fact well known to the author of John. Here it is in black and white; the Bible was clearing stating that Jesus was plotting to start a war with Rome, a war that the chief priests and Pharisees thought they would lose!

This is just outright revisionism. This quote says absolutely nothing of the sort. It states, clearly, that because of Jesus' actions, actions that the Pharisees were not taking, people were believing in Jesus. When viewed contextually, we know that believing in Jesus means putting him first. What they clearly state is that the Romans will come and destroy them because the people are believing Jesus; not because he’s trying to start a war. There is absolutely nothing in this passage that says anything whatsoever about war. It can only be interpreted that way if you begin with the assumption that the only reason to attack Jesus, or his followers, or his support base, is if he's leading or planning an insurrection, but that premise is insupportable. Without the insertion of that premise into this otherwise clear passage, this passage is not black and white proof of anything.

Mark Wrote:Consider what Luke has a follower of Jesus saying shortly after the crucifixion;
“Our own hope had been that he would be the one to set Israel free….” (Luke 24:21 NJB). Why wasn't Israel free? Romans ruled it!

"Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

You can free a people without firing a shot.

Mark Wrote:Mr Edward Gibbon devoted 20 years of his life to studying ancient Rome. He wrote
“…the Jews discovered a fierce impatience of the dominion of Rome, which repeatedly broke out in the most furious massacres and insurrections...and we are tempted to applaud the severe retaliation which was exercised by the arms of the legions against a race of fanatics, whose dire and credulous superstition seemed to render them the implacable enemies not only of the Roman government, but of human kind. The enthusiasm of the Jews was supported by the opinion, that it was unlawful for them to pay taxes to an idolatrous master; and by the flattering promise which they derived from their ancient oracles, that a conquering Messiah would soon arise, destined to break their fetters, and to invest the favourites of heaven with the empire of the earth.”
(Edward Gibbon) I know....he doesn't mention Jesus.....makes you wonder....

No it doesn't make me wonder anything BECAUSE he doesn’t mention Jesus. As far as I’m concerned, this is one of your biggest stretches to date. Jews are waiting for their Messiah. Jesus said, "hey guys, I'm the Messiah." Jews said, "No you are not." That why Christians are not Jews. Christians believe Jesus was the Messiah. Jews do not. Muslims believe he was a prophet but that's all. So none of this has anything to do with Jesus, let alone Jesus leading an insurrection.

Mark Wrote:Your point to do with MLK and the Black Panther party is well made and absolutely valid. I am not saying that all Jews everywhere were willing to fight Rome, but that it seems very likely Jesus made a serious attempt to.

Likely based on what? So far, it's only based on your opinion and some questionable interpretations of out of context passages.

Mark Wrote:Consider the following please...

Jesus’ message was not well received in some towns;
”Then he began to reproach the towns in which most of his miracles had been worked, because they refused to repent. ‘Alas for you Chorazin! Alas for you Bethsaida! For if the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon they would have repented long ago in sack cloth and ashes. And still I tell you it will not go as hard on Judgement day on Tyre and Sidon as with you. And as for you Capernaum, did you want to be exalted as high as heaven? You shall be thrown down into hell. For if the miracles done in you had been done in Sodom, you would have been standing yet. And still I tell you that it will not go as hard with the land of Sodom on Judgement day as with you.” (Matthew 11:20-24 NJB). Jesus is said to have spent a lot of time in Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum, three larger cities located on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee and populated almost exclusively by Jews. These cities were, in a nationalistic and geographical sense, part of Jesus’ home turf. Why would the inhabitants not support him? Roman armies had delivered death and destruction to Galilee in the preceding few decades. The locals must have been terrified of the consequences of another revolt. Jesus discovered he could not count on their support, so cursed them and moved on.

Well first of all, because many Jews didn't believe he was the Messiah. So why support him? Second, just because someone shows up and says "resist" doesn't mean the people will resist. In Northern Ireland, many Irish collaborated with the English. The IRA usually kneecapped them with power drills with wood bits. Many French women collaborated with the Germans under occupation. Their heads were shaved after the war. Thirdly, he was asking a religious people to accept him as the Messiah and put him first. Many simply didn't want to. So he told them that come Judgement Day, when he's going to bat for everyone who accepted him, he won't go to bat for them and God will send them to hell. So they didn't accept him and he moved on, in keeping with his own instructions in Matthew 10.

Mark Wrote:I admit I am having an educated guess here...but allow me some "poetic licence".

This is an important point for me.

If you were saying, "I believe Jesus was a freedom fighter," that'd be one thing. That's your belief, cool. I believe in cultural diversity and I have no reason to try to deny you your right to your beliefs. So in that sense, poetic licence away. But you're saying, Jesus the person was a freedom fighter. You are making a historical claim. That is an empirical statement that, without empirical evidence, needs to be considered invalid. There is no room for poetic licence in history (not that people don't take it).

Mark Wrote:Im repeating myself a bit. There is more evidence, some of it is from the bible, some of it not. I don't have any primary source evidence however, so you may not be interested in hearing it. I'm learning, thanks for contributing, mark

I'm not really up to speed on this primary source argument, so I'll stay out of it. I will say that I will happily entertain evidence that you present from any source. Show me a Bazooka Joe comic with evidence and I'll consider it. But so far what you are calling evidence should be called circumstantial evidence. It does not adequately support your claim.

Again, to be clear, I have no stake in the Bible or in Jesus. I have no NEED to defend either. But I do have a stake in rational inquiry. It has very specific demands and, in my opinion, they have not been met yet. You seem determined to give this theory of yours some life. Go for it. I'm just saying you need a better foundation.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Hi Matt, gosh...thankyou so much for the work u put in to reply! I'm honoured!

Re...".I just want to be clear about something. I could give a fuck about the Bible. I just want to be clear that I'm not here to champion Jesus for the sake of championing Jesus. Cheers."

So glad to hear that! I'm sure u mean "couldn't" rather than "could". I was wondering whether you you had some residual affection for the guy LOL.

Re "Not sure what you mean about the story being truthful. Can you elaborate?" Ok...I incorrectly assumed you thought the gospels were truthful. I know better now.

Ok...because you have stated my quotes are out of context, I was really interested in what you considered was the correct context. I now see what you mean...the quotes shouldn't just be cherry picked. Yes you have a point, as demonstrated by your discussion about matthew coming up.

Let me tell you how I can go part of the way to justifying my "cherry picking".... My contention is that the supposed words of jesus are essentially creations of evangelical gospel authors. When the supposed words of Jesus don't fit with the fabricated agenda I am assuming there just may possibly have been some connection with a once living character. Yes....you can quite rightly shoot me down for that. After all , I'm criticising Christians for getting warm fuzzy feelings over "blessed are the peacemakers" . What I am doing is playing the same game Christians play and then asking my audience to work out for themselves who is more likely to be presenting the story closest to the real story of Jesus.

Concerning your Mattthew / sword argument. Gee mate....um....I guess you may have a point. You seem certain he wants to be a peacemaker. Sorry, no disrespect to you but I don't buy your argument. Honest story....this afternoon I asked a preacher patient of mine who travels the world lecturing about jesus what he thought of the sword / peace statement and he said he's never understood it , can't explain it but he has faith! I dunno.

Re "Well first of all, because many Jews didn't believe he was the Messiah. So why support him? Second, just because someone shows up and says "resist" doesn't mean the people will resist. In Northern Ireland, many Irish collaborated with the English. The IRA usually kneecapped them with power drills with wood bits. Many French women collaborated with the Germans under occupation. Their heads were shaved after the war. Thirdly, he was asking a religious people to accept him as the Messiah and put him first. Many simply didn't want to. So he told them that come Judgement Day, when he's going to bat for everyone who accepted him, he won't go to bat for them and God will send them to hell. So they didn't accept him and he moved on, in keeping with his own instructions in Matthew 10." It seems to me we totally agree on this.

Re "There is no room for poetic licence in history (not that people don't take it)."
Um.....I disagree! I know a little about this. Up until about 50 years ago, people who wrote about history were very comfortable about giving their opinions as fact. Reading their histories was entertaining, but not always strictly truthful. More recently historians have become very factual and reluctant to draw broad conclusions. I think the best reports of history are firmly routed in fact yet contain opinions of historians, so the best historians go down the middle road...a bit of opinion and a lot of fact to back up that opinion. I do not claim i have succeeded in this , but I've had a go.

Hey......maybe we've done the jesus freedom fighter topic to death? I dunno. Would anyone like a change of direction? I'm full of opinions LOL and am open to any new topic.
(22-06-2011 04:24 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(21-06-2011 09:43 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Mark.

I just want to be clear about something. I could give a fuck about the Bible. I just want to be clear that I'm not here to champion Jesus for the sake of championing Jesus. Cheers.

I'm not Biblically scholarltastic enough to know the relationship between the fire and brimstone aspects of the Bible and the hippy aspects. I agree, there is some strong language as you’ve pointed out.

Mark Wrote:Re the word terrorist....ok.....although dictionaries( I've looked up 3 dictionaries and they are all similar) define terrorism as the use of violence and intimidation for political gain, I accept that in popular usage it means much more than that. So lets just replace that word with "freedom fighter"....it doesn't change my argument.

Agreed. But the distinction is an important one for me. Thanks for acknowledging it.

Mark Wrote:Could you explain why you think my quotes are "out of context"? I would be genuinely interested to hear in what context you think about the Jesus story is truthful.

Not sure what you mean about the story being truthful. Can you elaborate?

As for out of context, I just took one of your quotes totally at random. It wound up being: "'Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth: it is not peace I have come to bring, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34 NJB). The implication that I get when reading this passage on its own is that Jesus isn't here to bring peace, but to bring war. Or at least something to that effect, like killing or harm. Something stabby. It strikes me that this implication is what you believe supports your theory. I looked up Matthew 10 online and found it in its entirety taken from the KJV. When you read Matthew 10 in its entirety, there is no possible way to interpret Jesus in such a way that would mean "sword" had anything to do with violence.

Some would say that God allegedly Wrote:Matthew 10

1And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

2Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;

3Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;

4Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

5These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:

6But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

7And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

8Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

9Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,

10Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.

11And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence.

12And when ye come into an house, salute it.

13And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.

14And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.

15Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

16Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

17But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;

18And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.

19But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.

20For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

21And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.

22And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

23But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.

24The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.

25It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?

26Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.

27What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.

28And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

29Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.

30But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

31Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

32Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

33But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

34Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

35For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

36And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

37He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

38And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

39He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

40He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

41He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.

42And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.

Clearly, Matthew 10 is about Jesus telling his disciples to go forth into the Kingdom of Israel and speak to the Jews, avoiding the gentiles all together and spread his gospel. If they accept you, great, if not, water off a ducks back, move on. Be careful because people will deny you and turn you over to the Romans. Don't worry about dying, just be worried about your soul. I will speak on the behalf of anyone who accepts me and against anyone who does not. When we get to the sword passage, the message is clear. He expects people to put himself above all other concerns, including family concerns. In that way he will set family member against family member, ie, those that receive him against those that do not. That is the sword he is talking about. 10:35 clearly qualifies 10:34 when it begins “For I”, ie, this is the reason. When we look at the message he is discussing in Matthew 10 and his explicit instructions to be peaceful in their task (10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves) even in the face of danger, there is absolutely no possible way to interpret any part of Matthew 10, including the sword passage, to have anything to do with being violent in any way shape or form. In fact, the exact opposite is clear.

So that's what I mean by out of context.

Now if I, an absolute Biblical pleeb can take one of your lines at random and clearly illustrate that it does not support your point in any way, then a Biblical scholar would have a field day with your theory.

This is why I think you need to focus on evidence of acts. An act of freedom fighting is indisputable.

What you have presented is a series of interpretations of what he may have done, based on some strong language. But what you have not presented is any indication that he led an attack, or ordered a group of people to carry out an attack. But there are reams of data that clearly show the exact opposite. Even in Matthew 10 he's giving direct orders to people to shun violence. So like I said before, you can talk all day about the things he said, in context or no, you can talk all day about the environmental conditions he was in, but neither of these things CAUSE specific action. So you cannot say he said these things and the world was thus, therefore he took up arms or ordered others to take up arms. That's true even if, as you say, the Romans got to him before he could carry out his plan, because there's no evidence of the plan in the first place. If you want to say that he was a freedom fighter, which is an ACT, then you have to demonstrate that he acted in such a way. But there is no evidence of his acting that way so at best, your theory is clever speculation, but it is not fact. It should not be presented as fact. At least for now.

If you have located a passage that describes actions or orders to actions, then by all means point it out. I'm not saying they can't exist, just that I haven't seen them and that you should focus all of your attention on them because the rest is circumstantial.

Mark Wrote:“Just at this time some Pharisees came up. Go away they said, leave this place, because Herod means to kill you.” (Luke 13:31 NJB). Some Pharisees obviously admired Jesus and wanted to save him. If Jesus had been a harmless religious enthusiast roaming the countryside preaching to the people about God and life, Herod would have no reason to kill him.

This is too big of a logical jump. What you're saying is that the only reason anyone would have wanted to kill Jesus is if he was a freedom fighter. But that doesn't hold. He was spreading the message, put me above everyone else. Above the king and above even family. Kings cannot rule if people don't recognise their power. Power is an agreement between those who have it and their subordinates. Jesus’ preachings were very directly undermining that relationship and undermining Herod's power. That's more than enough reason to want to kill him. This isn’t just true with Herod and Jesus. There is historical evidence to support it. The English were desperate to shut Gandhi up even though he never lifted a finger and never incited others to lift a finger. Even after independence in 1947, when Hindus and Muslims were at war due to the separation of India and Pakistan, Gandhi went on a hunger strike to stop the violence (one million people had died). And it worked. All Gandhi said was, “don’t be violent and don’t cooperate”. Widespread non-cooperation with English rule constituted a serious threat to their power; a threat they needed to neutralise and that they failed to neutralise. All of this is to say that Jesus' peaceful actions were more than enough to warrant kings trying to take his life because it constituted a direct threat to their power. If; however, you can find a passage where Herod says, "I'm going to kill that Jesus guy because he's a freedom fighter," or of the Pharisees or Jesus saying, "Herod's going to kill you/me because you/I'm a freedom fighter," then that would be pretty slam dunk evidence.

Mark Wrote:Some of the people
“believed in him...when he spoke many more came to believe...” (John 4:39-41 NJB). The Gospel authors usually hid from their readers what that really meant, but not always.
“Many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary and had seen what he did believed in him but some of them went to tell the Pharisees what Jesus had done. Then the chief priests and Pharisees called a meeting. Here is this man working all these signs they said and what action are we taking? If we let him go on in this way everybody will believe in him and the Romans will come and destroy our Holy place and our nation...” (John 11:45-49 NJB). The chief priests and some Pharisees were clearly worried that if Jesus got too popular the Romans would destroy the Temple and the nation of Israel. This is precisely what happened 35 years later, in 70 CE, a fact well known to the author of John. Here it is in black and white; the Bible was clearing stating that Jesus was plotting to start a war with Rome, a war that the chief priests and Pharisees thought they would lose!

This is just outright revisionism. This quote says absolutely nothing of the sort. It states, clearly, that because of Jesus' actions, actions that the Pharisees were not taking, people were believing in Jesus. When viewed contextually, we know that believing in Jesus means putting him first. What they clearly state is that the Romans will come and destroy them because the people are believing Jesus; not because he’s trying to start a war. There is absolutely nothing in this passage that says anything whatsoever about war. It can only be interpreted that way if you begin with the assumption that the only reason to attack Jesus, or his followers, or his support base, is if he's leading or planning an insurrection, but that premise is insupportable. Without the insertion of that premise into this otherwise clear passage, this passage is not black and white proof of anything.

Mark Wrote:Consider what Luke has a follower of Jesus saying shortly after the crucifixion;
“Our own hope had been that he would be the one to set Israel free….” (Luke 24:21 NJB). Why wasn't Israel free? Romans ruled it!

"Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

You can free a people without firing a shot.

Mark Wrote:Mr Edward Gibbon devoted 20 years of his life to studying ancient Rome. He wrote
“…the Jews discovered a fierce impatience of the dominion of Rome, which repeatedly broke out in the most furious massacres and insurrections...and we are tempted to applaud the severe retaliation which was exercised by the arms of the legions against a race of fanatics, whose dire and credulous superstition seemed to render them the implacable enemies not only of the Roman government, but of human kind. The enthusiasm of the Jews was supported by the opinion, that it was unlawful for them to pay taxes to an idolatrous master; and by the flattering promise which they derived from their ancient oracles, that a conquering Messiah would soon arise, destined to break their fetters, and to invest the favourites of heaven with the empire of the earth.”
(Edward Gibbon) I know....he doesn't mention Jesus.....makes you wonder....

No it doesn't make me wonder anything BECAUSE he doesn’t mention Jesus. As far as I’m concerned, this is one of your biggest stretches to date. Jews are waiting for their Messiah. Jesus said, "hey guys, I'm the Messiah." Jews said, "No you are not." That why Christians are not Jews. Christians believe Jesus was the Messiah. Jews do not. Muslims believe he was a prophet but that's all. So none of this has anything to do with Jesus, let alone Jesus leading an insurrection.

Mark Wrote:Your point to do with MLK and the Black Panther party is well made and absolutely valid. I am not saying that all Jews everywhere were willing to fight Rome, but that it seems very likely Jesus made a serious attempt to.

Likely based on what? So far, it's only based on your opinion and some questionable interpretations of out of context passages.

Mark Wrote:Consider the following please...

Jesus’ message was not well received in some towns;
”Then he began to reproach the towns in which most of his miracles had been worked, because they refused to repent. ‘Alas for you Chorazin! Alas for you Bethsaida! For if the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon they would have repented long ago in sack cloth and ashes. And still I tell you it will not go as hard on Judgement day on Tyre and Sidon as with you. And as for you Capernaum, did you want to be exalted as high as heaven? You shall be thrown down into hell. For if the miracles done in you had been done in Sodom, you would have been standing yet. And still I tell you that it will not go as hard with the land of Sodom on Judgement day as with you.” (Matthew 11:20-24 NJB). Jesus is said to have spent a lot of time in Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum, three larger cities located on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee and populated almost exclusively by Jews. These cities were, in a nationalistic and geographical sense, part of Jesus’ home turf. Why would the inhabitants not support him? Roman armies had delivered death and destruction to Galilee in the preceding few decades. The locals must have been terrified of the consequences of another revolt. Jesus discovered he could not count on their support, so cursed them and moved on.

Well first of all, because many Jews didn't believe he was the Messiah. So why support him? Second, just because someone shows up and says "resist" doesn't mean the people will resist. In Northern Ireland, many Irish collaborated with the English. The IRA usually kneecapped them with power drills with wood bits. Many French women collaborated with the Germans under occupation. Their heads were shaved after the war. Thirdly, he was asking a religious people to accept him as the Messiah and put him first. Many simply didn't want to. So he told them that come Judgement Day, when he's going to bat for everyone who accepted him, he won't go to bat for them and God will send them to hell. So they didn't accept him and he moved on, in keeping with his own instructions in Matthew 10.

Mark Wrote:I admit I am having an educated guess here...but allow me some "poetic licence".

This is an important point for me.

If you were saying, "I believe Jesus was a freedom fighter," that'd be one thing. That's your belief, cool. I believe in cultural diversity and I have no reason to try to deny you your right to your beliefs. So in that sense, poetic licence away. But you're saying, Jesus the person was a freedom fighter. You are making a historical claim. That is an empirical statement that, without empirical evidence, needs to be considered invalid. There is no room for poetic licence in history (not that people don't take it).

Mark Wrote:Im repeating myself a bit. There is more evidence, some of it is from the bible, some of it not. I don't have any primary source evidence however, so you may not be interested in hearing it. I'm learning, thanks for contributing, mark

I'm not really up to speed on this primary source argument, so I'll stay out of it. I will say that I will happily entertain evidence that you present from any source. Show me a Bazooka Joe comic with evidence and I'll consider it. But so far what you are calling evidence should be called circumstantial evidence. It does not adequately support your claim.

Again, to be clear, I have no stake in the Bible or in Jesus. I have no NEED to defend either. But I do have a stake in rational inquiry. It has very specific demands and, in my opinion, they have not been met yet. You seem determined to give this theory of yours some life. Go for it. I'm just saying you need a better foundation.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Hi Matt, gosh...thankyou so much for the work u put in to reply! I'm honoured!

Re...".I just want to be clear about something. I could give a fuck about the Bible. I just want to be clear that I'm not here to champion Jesus for the sake of championing Jesus. Cheers."

So glad to hear that! I'm sure u mean "couldn't" rather than "could". I was wondering whether you you had some residual affection for the guy LOL.

Re "Not sure what you mean about the story being truthful. Can you elaborate?" Ok...I incorrectly assumed you thought the gospels were truthful. I know better now.

Ok...because you have stated my quotes are out of context, I was really interested in what you considered was the correct context. I now see what you mean...the quotes shouldn't just be cherry picked. Yes you have a point, as demonstrated by your discussion about matthew coming up.

Let me tell you how I can go part of the way to justifying my "cherry picking".... My contention is that the supposed words of jesus are essentially creations of evangelical gospel authors. When the supposed words of Jesus don't fit with the fabricated agenda I am assuming there just may possibly have been some connection with a once living character. Yes....you can quite rightly shoot me down for that. After all , I'm criticising Christians for getting warm fuzzy feelings over "blessed are the peacemakers" . What I am doing is playing the same game Christians play and then asking my audience to work out for themselves who is more likely to be presenting the story closest to the real story of Jesus.

Concerning your Mattthew / sword argument. Gee mate....um....I guess you may have a point. You seem certain he wants to be a peacemaker. Sorry, no disrespect to you but I don't buy your argument. Honest story....this afternoon I asked a preacher patient of mine who travels the world lecturing about jesus what he thought of the sword / peace statement and he said he's never understood it , can't explain it but he has faith! I dunno.

Re "Well first of all, because many Jews didn't believe he was the Messiah. So why support him? Second, just because someone shows up and says "resist" doesn't mean the people will resist. In Northern Ireland, many Irish collaborated with the English. The IRA usually kneecapped them with power drills with wood bits. Many French women collaborated with the Germans under occupation. Their heads were shaved after the war. Thirdly, he was asking a religious people to accept him as the Messiah and put him first. Many simply didn't want to. So he told them that come Judgement Day, when he's going to bat for everyone who accepted him, he won't go to bat for them and God will send them to hell. So they didn't accept him and he moved on, in keeping with his own instructions in Matthew 10." It seems to me we totally agree on this.

Re "There is no room for poetic licence in history (not that people don't take it)."
Um.....I disagree! I know a little about this. Up until about 50 years ago, people who wrote about history were very comfortable about giving their opinions as fact. Reading their histories was entertaining, but not always strictly truthful. More recently historians have become very factual and reluctant to draw broad conclusions. I think the best reports of history are firmly routed in fact yet contain opinions of historians, so the best historians go down the middle road...a bit of opinion and a lot of fact to back up that opinion. I do not claim i have succeeded in this , but I've had a go.

Hey......maybe we've done the jesus freedom fighter topic to death? I dunno. Would anyone like a change of direction? I'm full of opinions LOL and am open to any new topic.

ps...I stll need to address some of your comments...will do tomorrow
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22-06-2011, 06:26 AM (This post was last modified: 01-07-2011 09:59 AM by Lilith Pride.)
RE: Jesus was a terrorist!
I would definitely say that there needs to be an allowance for opinion in history or new discoveries of truth won't happen. The entire idea of anthropological digs is bringing up remnants of an ancient civilization and viewing how they would live. Not knowing but thinking of what it would be like for them. Imagination is a big part of history, it's the key to finding the truth of it. If we were looking at events that happened 30 years ago I would agree more with you Ghost, but thousands of years ago we just don't have enough credible documentation. Some civilizations we don't even have written word to glean from, yet imagination allows the historian to gleam certain facts by reasoning the evidence rather than just relying on it.

Even the history of 30 years ago, we have many new medical breakthroughs, many new understandings of how the mind and psyche work, our views of what is and is not acceptable have changed so vastly. If there were no room for opinion then we might never know some of the stories of people who lived in an oppressed time to the best that they were allowed.

Plenty of authors have used metaphor as their only way to state their actual opinions. Russian literature is filled with books that were essentially two fold so that the government wouldn't step in. If we don't allow ourselves to think past the immediate evidence sometimes there is so much about history that we won't see. A large portion of history is the untold part, most often what is told are the atrocities and the niceties, being alive you know that there is more to life than just these portions.

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.
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