Who did Jesus die for? Biblicists show the Bible isn’t sure
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18-10-2011, 08:08 AM
Who did Jesus die for? Biblicists show the Bible isn’t sure
Christianity’s most essential doctrines relate to the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.

Who did Jesus die for? Who gets his vicarious atonement that reunites God and humans? Who is saved? This is the most important question of all times according to Christianity. The answer has eternal significance for all humans, and influences every sphere of Christian doctrine and practice.

To answer all questions about faith and practice, Christians use the Bible as the unique record of God’s teachings, his treatise of true faith. Hence the doctrine of Bible infallibility. God presumably wants us to get the right answers to the questions of salvation, so one expects the Bible delivers a straightforward, unmistakable explanation.

Biblicists who vigorously believe and defend the infallibility doctrine have read the same verses for centuries and have come up with much different answers about who Jesus died for, about who can be saved.

The Bible holds that Jesus died for only some people, the elect. Alternately, Jesus died for all people. Then there’s the middle ground—Jesus died for all people, but only some will get the benefit of his vicarious atonement. The answer to who can be saved depends on whether one is a Calvinist, an Arminian or a Christian Universalist. One creative Biblicist, Charles Russell, proposed a solution that essentially incorporated all three answers, sort of a multi-tiered plan of salvation. The bulk of other Biblicists dismiss him as a lost cultist blinded by Satan.

This enduring schism among devote Biblicists—who all claim to be saved and have relationships with God via Jesus and the Holy Spirit—over the questions of salvation casts reasonable doubt on the doctrine of Bible infallibility. If the Bible cannot give a clear answer to believers on the question of who can be saved, then why should it be trusted on any doctrine?

As they promote and defend their salvation schemes against one another, Biblicists expose the Bible’s incoherencies better than any skeptic could. The best any Biblicist can do to retain the infallibility doctrine is explain that his or her preferred plan of salvation is right, whereas others are wrong. The others would give the same explanation. The fact is that equally devoted and learned Bible scholars—who usually accept one another’s claims to personal salvation and to spiritual relationship with God—find in the Good Book much different answers to the most basic question: who did Jesus died for? The salvation question is unsettled after centuries of theological debates because the Bible can’t be used to definitively answer its most important question.
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18-10-2011, 07:49 PM
RE: Who did Jesus die for? Biblicists show the Bible isn’t sure
If you read the few words actually attributed to Jesus, it would appear that he only came to restore "The Kingdom" to the Jews. The spread of Christianity to the rest of the world was entirely the invention of Saul of Tarsus (Paul).

“There is no sin except stupidity.” Oscar Wilde
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18-10-2011, 08:48 PM
RE: Who did Jesus die for? Biblicists show the Bible isn’t sure
(18-10-2011 07:49 PM)nontheocrat Wrote:  If you read the few words actually attributed to Jesus, it would appear that he only came to restore "The Kingdom" to the Jews. The spread of Christianity to the rest of the world was entirely the invention of Saul of Tarsus (Paul).

Ah, yes, know what you're talking about, and that's a good point. There are Jesus quotes that suggest the limitation and expansion of the kingdom message beyond Israel. Sometime I'll post something about Jesus' Son of God/Son of Man quotes and why in context he didn't seem to be thinking it was him.
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19-10-2011, 02:42 AM
RE: Who did Jesus die for? Biblicists show the Bible isn’t sure
Yes, the bible is a philosophical and theological mess.

After many years studying Jesus I have come to the following conclusions about him (apologies to those who've heard this before).

Jesus was a peasant fundamentalist Jew who thought he was the messiah and therefore tried to start a war in Jerusalem against the Romans. He failed miserably and was crucified by them as a zealot.

Roughly 15-30 years after his death, Paul, who had never met Jesus, claimed Jesus was the son of God who died to save all believing humanity from their sins. He said Jesus was the spiritual messiah of everyone , not the political messiah of Israel.

Paul's ambition was to suppress the messianic expectations of military Jews by claiming their messiah had already been and gone. Words were put into Jesus' mouth such as "love one another" , "turn the other cheek", "love your enemies", which were intended to convince people to get on with the government.

The original family and disciples of Jesus fought bitterly with Paul, yet eventually lost the propaganda war.

Hence Christianity has been the biggest propaganda hoax ever inflicted on humanity.
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19-10-2011, 06:45 AM
RE: Who did Jesus die for? Biblicists show the Bible isn’t sure
(19-10-2011 02:42 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Yes, the bible is a philosophical and theological mess.

After many years studying Jesus I have come to the following conclusions about him (apologies to those who've heard this before).

Jesus was a peasant fundamentalist Jew who thought he was the messiah and therefore tried to start a war in Jerusalem against the Romans. He failed miserably and was crucified by them as a zealot.

Roughly 15-30 years after his death, Paul, who had never met Jesus, claimed Jesus was the son of God who died to save all believing humanity from their sins. He said Jesus was the spiritual messiah of everyone , not the political messiah of Israel.

Paul's ambition was to suppress the messianic expectations of military Jews by claiming their messiah had already been and gone. Words were put into Jesus' mouth such as "love one another" , "turn the other cheek", "love your enemies", which were intended to convince people to get on with the government.

The original family and disciples of Jesus fought bitterly with Paul, yet eventually lost the propaganda war.

Hence Christianity has been the biggest propaganda hoax ever inflicted on humanity.

Marrk…our research has taken us in different directions about Jesus‘ thought and practice. Peasant…most likely. Fundamentalist Jew…probably not. If the red words in the Gospels generally reflect what Jesus said, it looks like he admixed Judaism with other religious movements, likely some form of Zoroastrianism, and didn’t think himself the messiah, but as a forerunner. He seems to have flirted with the idea of being a direct spiritual extension of the coming messiah through divine indwelling, but also seemed to think that he could somehow confer this to others. No one has shown me a direct remark out of his mouth that equals, “I’m the messiah.”

Yes, he was a zealot, but he seemed to go a different direction than most First Century Jewish zealots. Less of a militarist and more spiritual restorationist who assumed God would do the destroying of corrupt and oppressive political and religious institutions. The average Jews’ job was to forgive one another in preparation--similar to the international socialist call for workers to resist capitalist efforts to divide them along various lines. He seemed to have taught what I call millenarist urban asceticism.

I believe Paul was a born and raised institution man with a sharp mind and tremendous hidden and growing doubts about the religious/political system he was part of. I’m sure many at The Thinking Atheist can relate to that. I suspect that as he interacted with (persecuted) the early Jesus Movement, it made sense to him, but with some modifications. I think this combination caused him tremendous psychological stress that his brain resolved with a dramatic and traumatic vision that allowed him to leave the institution with pride. When he approached the Jesus Movement with his claims and proposed modifications, he must have been very intellectually threatening to them, hence much of the conflict.
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19-10-2011, 09:32 AM
RE: Who did Jesus die for? Biblicists show the Bible isn’t sure
(19-10-2011 06:45 AM)cathmoytura Wrote:  
(19-10-2011 02:42 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Yes, the bible is a philosophical and theological mess.

After many years studying Jesus I have come to the following conclusions about him (apologies to those who've heard this before).

Jesus was a peasant fundamentalist Jew who thought he was the messiah and therefore tried to start a war in Jerusalem against the Romans. He failed miserably and was crucified by them as a zealot.

Roughly 15-30 years after his death, Paul, who had never met Jesus, claimed Jesus was the son of God who died to save all believing humanity from their sins. He said Jesus was the spiritual messiah of everyone , not the political messiah of Israel.

Paul's ambition was to suppress the messianic expectations of military Jews by claiming their messiah had already been and gone. Words were put into Jesus' mouth such as "love one another" , "turn the other cheek", "love your enemies", which were intended to convince people to get on with the government.

The original family and disciples of Jesus fought bitterly with Paul, yet eventually lost the propaganda war.

Hence Christianity has been the biggest propaganda hoax ever inflicted on humanity.

Marrk…our research has taken us in different directions about Jesus‘ thought and practice. Peasant…most likely. Fundamentalist Jew…probably not. If the red words in the Gospels generally reflect what Jesus said, it looks like he admixed Judaism with other religious movements, likely some form of Zoroastrianism, and didn’t think himself the messiah, but as a forerunner. He seems to have flirted with the idea of being a direct spiritual extension of the coming messiah through divine indwelling, but also seemed to think that he could somehow confer this to others. No one has shown me a direct remark out of his mouth that equals, “I’m the messiah.”

Yes, he was a zealot, but he seemed to go a different direction than most First Century Jewish zealots. Less of a militarist and more spiritual restorationist who assumed God would do the destroying of corrupt and oppressive political and religious institutions. The average Jews’ job was to forgive one another in preparation--similar to the international socialist call for workers to resist capitalist efforts to divide them along various lines. He seemed to have taught what I call millenarist urban asceticism.

I believe Paul was a born and raised institution man with a sharp mind and tremendous hidden and growing doubts about the religious/political system he was part of. I’m sure many at The Thinking Atheist can relate to that. I suspect that as he interacted with (persecuted) the early Jesus Movement, it made sense to him, but with some modifications. I think this combination caused him tremendous psychological stress that his brain resolved with a dramatic and traumatic vision that allowed him to leave the institution with pride. When he approached the Jesus Movement with his claims and proposed modifications, he must have been very intellectually threatening to them, hence much of the conflict.

Hallo from Shenzheng China. Taxi drivers drive like they're in a video game here LOL!

Yep....we think differently....and that's interesting. A few comments...

Re "If the red words in the Gospels generally reflect what Jesus said," ...I think you probably agree....they don't. I believe the gospels are only very loosely based on what he just may have said and did. Admittedly, I have guessed that he may have said a few things such as "I did not come to bring peace to the world, but a sword," as that does fit with my story about him and doesn't fit with the benign love preacher image.

re "it looks like he admixed Judaism with other religious movements, likely some form of Zoroastrianism, and didn’t think himself the messiah, but as a forerunner. He seems to have flirted with the idea of being a direct spiritual extension of the coming messiah through divine indwelling, but also seemed to think that he could somehow confer this to others." Well........"he" was just the multiple authors, editors and interpolators of the gospels. If one was born a peasant Jew in Galilee and took pride in one's bloodline, one knew very little of other philosophies. Gospel authors had the job of selling the Jesus story to a mainly gentile audience, so watered down the Jewishness of Jesus.

Re "Yes, he was a zealot, but he seemed to go a different direction than most First Century Jewish zealots." How? Nearly all of them were killed by the Romans, and so was Jesus.

Re "Less of a militarist and more spiritual restorationist who assumed God would do the destroying of corrupt and oppressive political and religious institutions." You may be right....we can't be sure. To me, however, the facts of his life suggest he was a militant....
- he was born in the lower class into an area (Galilee) that was renowned for its militaristic opposition to Rome
-his possible cousin John was killed by Herod because he was a political threat ( this fact is confirmed by Josephus)
- he was chased around the countryside by Herod
- he thought he was a king, rode into Jerusalem as one, and upset the money makers in the temple
- he was tried as an insurrectionist and executed as one, along with 2 other zealots

Re "He seemed to have taught what I call millenarist urban asceticism." Why not accept the fact that "his" philosophy was fabricated by men who had never even met him? Isn't it much more logical to accept he was nothing more than a proud young Jew doing his best to improve the lot of his fellow peasants?

Re " I believe Paul was a born and raised institution man with a sharp mind and tremendous hidden and growing doubts about the religious/political system he was part of." AGREED LOL.

Re "I suspect that as he interacted with (persecuted) the early Jesus Movement, it made sense to him," Disagreed, because the genuine early Jesus movement was Nazarene, ie Jewish, not Christian.

Re "When he approached the Jesus Movement with his claims and proposed modifications, he must have been very intellectually threatening to them, hence much of the conflict." OH YES! To claim their god had become a man was totally unacceptable to them. It was blasphemy, as was Paul's disregard for the rules of the covenant they had (and still have) with their imaginary god.
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19-10-2011, 10:13 AM
RE: Who did Jesus die for? Biblicists show the Bible isn’t sure
I’m very envious of you living in China.

The problem with any discussion about Jesus son of Joseph is that there’s no archeological or timely extra-biblical historical evidence of his existence, with the possible exception of a burial box, an ossuary, bearing his name that is suspect. I get blasted by Biblicists and skeptics alike for even mentioning it. Please don’t bother if you’re tempted to. I know the arguments very well. I do believe there’s someone in history who ultimately can be identified as “Jesus.”

I agree the red letters aren’t necessarily a reliable guide to what this Jesus generally said, and know that those in John are drastically different from the Synoptic Gospels. However, early non-canonical books about Jesus generally having him saying nearly the same things. I believe we have a good idea of his general themes.

I also believe after his death his story was mixed with others--contemporaries and historical figures--and reworked by accident and design. I also believe that something in what he said and did was unusual enough that he garnered a fiercely devoted following, some of whom deified him not long after his death, if not even during his lifetime.

In the end, I don’t think the record of words we have show he believed himself to be God or the messiah, the savior of the Jews or of the world, but as a forerunner of things to come.
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19-10-2011, 02:54 PM
RE: Who did Jesus die for? Biblicists show the Bible isn’t sure
Jesus "died" for Christianity.

According to my reckoning, "Jesus" was entirely a work of conceptual engineering began by Paul, mainly as an embodiment of Jewish law and tradition. Paul knew that Holy Spirit is that of god which makes men prophets; general knowledge from being a Jew, specific from being once on the road to Damascus when Holy Spirit came into him.

He knew his culture was stagnant and dying. He knew "the sins of his people" to be excess legislation (and some Jews today spend their whole lives debating the meaning in Tanakh.) with six hundred odd commandments, circumcision; he received special revelation from god, all that was left was to perfect the concept in mind as he practiced ministry in reality.

Consider this line: I and my Father are one. It is not what Jesus said; it is what any Christian who has Holy Spirit can claim.

Consider this hypothetical Jew: Baptized in water. Educated in scripture. Trained by the priests. And one day, through devotion and hard work, he is able to go through a purification ritual and enter the Holy of Holys - the back room in temple.

Take those two considerations, toss em in the particle accelerator; and Blammo!

"I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior." One simple prayer gives one entitlement of Christian, Holy Spirit, and the theology of Paul. "Jesus" is just the wrapping. The gift is Holy Spirit. One who accepts Jesus within rejects the one without.

There ain't no crucifixion, there's only crucial fiction; Paul was too jacked on tradition to abandon the need for one to be purified before meeting god - thus the only way to the Father is through the Son - and every time a newly minted Christian says that prayer, Jesus dies.

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19-10-2011, 06:12 PM
RE: Who did Jesus die for? Biblicists show the Bible isn’t sure
(19-10-2011 10:13 AM)cathmoytura Wrote:  I’m very envious of you living in China.

The problem with any discussion about Jesus son of Joseph is that there’s no archeological or timely extra-biblical historical evidence of his existence, with the possible exception of a burial box, an ossuary, bearing his name that is suspect. I get blasted by Biblicists and skeptics alike for even mentioning it. Please don’t bother if you’re tempted to. I know the arguments very well. I do believe there’s someone in history who ultimately can be identified as “Jesus.”

I agree the red letters aren’t necessarily a reliable guide to what this Jesus generally said, and know that those in John are drastically different from the Synoptic Gospels. However, early non-canonical books about Jesus generally having him saying nearly the same things. I believe we have a good idea of his general themes.

I also believe after his death his story was mixed with others--contemporaries and historical figures--and reworked by accident and design. I also believe that something in what he said and did was unusual enough that he garnered a fiercely devoted following, some of whom deified him not long after his death, if not even during his lifetime.

In the end, I don’t think the record of words we have show he believed himself to be God or the messiah, the savior of the Jews or of the world, but as a forerunner of things to come.

Hi, actually I am an Australian just visiting China...am sitting in an airport now.

I agree with you about the lack of concrete evidence for the existence of a Jesus

Re "However, early non-canonical books about Jesus generally having him saying nearly the same things. I believe we have a good idea of his general themes." Are you referring to the the Nag Hammadi books? Or maybe some of "his" sayings that early church fathers mention, some of which are similar to the gospels? I think it is very much open to discussion as to whether we have a good idea of his themes. Much of what the gospels claim he said is very Essenian, particularly his more "socialist" ideals, and I believe Jesus was an Essene, so he may have said some of these things.

Re "I also believe after his death his story was mixed with others--contemporaries and historical figures--and reworked by accident and design." I totally agree. He and Mithras, for example, had similar death and resurrection stories.

Re "some of whom deified him not long after his death, if not even during his lifetime." I must disagree with most of this. The first record we have of anyone mentioning that Christ was the son of god is from Paul, early 50's. Jesus, his family and his original disciples did not believe in his divinity, nor did they get converted to that idea by Paul. Sorry if I'm harping on about this, but it is a fundamentally important point. The original Jesus movement was JEWISH....Jews only had and still only have one god....Yahweh. The divinity of Christ is a Christian idea invented almost certainly by Paul. He pinched the Jewish God, and one of the Jewish rabbi's (Jesus) to create his own polluted version of Judaism...and that is what eventually became the guts of Christianity.

Re..."In the end, I don’t think the record of words we have show he believed himself to be God or the messiah, the savior of the Jews or of the world, but as a forerunner of things to come." Ok....but let's remember "his" words are fictions. The facts of his life and manner of death strongly indicate he hoped he was to be the political messiah of the Jews....well, that's my firmly held opinion, anyway, but it is a question open to discussion.

If anyone is interested, there are some really good books about all this...
"Those Incredible Christians" by Hugh Schonfield
"Jesus the Heretic" by Douglas Lockhart
"Jesus the Terrorist" by Peter Cresswell
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19-10-2011, 07:53 PM (This post was last modified: 19-10-2011 07:57 PM by defacto7.)
RE: Who did Jesus die for? Biblicists show the Bible isn’t sure
I'm sorry, I just can't stay gone. This is addicting. But I need to comment.

I know there have been discussions in the past about whether Christ even existed, but please tell me... where is the evidence that the Jesus you talk about so eloquently and expound upon with such wonderful knowledge ever really was? I mean, there were some 8 different "Christ" proclaimers during those couple of decades, I don't know the exact number but claiming to be the messiah was a fad during that time. Why is there not one single stitch of evidence from historians during that period that even touch on his existance or the claims made in the bible? Don't bring up Josephus, that's pretty well proven that his writhing were fudged by a monk in the 300s. Josephus was a very good historian among others and there is nada, nothing.

What are we talking about here? Maybe this is about an "as if" he existed based on biblical writings. I just don't know. I think discussing Jesus as in a novel is a nice idea. I just don't know about spreading the idea that Jesus was actually a real live person is a good idea without classifying the material as a fictional study. It could be taken by a lot of people that read this as real or subliminally padding an idea in people's heads that Jesus was real. There is absolutely no evidence what so ever and the evidence we do have is completely to the contrary.

Mark, I'm really asking you to tell me if you think I am right or not. You are quite a biblical scholar and I would appreciate your input. (of course anyone else feel free to comment) I have just no idea how Jesus can be discussed unless it's like talking about the life of Luke Skywalker or something.

Is this about a real Jesus or is this about a fictional character? Excuse my intrusion. If that isn't clear then the discussion is kinda weird... Angel Back to my hole....

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