Who did Jesus die for? Biblicists show the Bible isn’t sure
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19-10-2011, 11:40 PM
RE: Who did Jesus die for? Biblicists show the Bible isn’t sure
Hi Mark, you are inscrutable.

Mark F. and I have a bit of a disagreement about the death of Yeshua. I think he was arrested after the incident in the temple, (overturning the tables of the money changers...and that he was an economic threat to a city built on a temple based economy...see my posts on that). The business about "salvation" and the grand "pay-back" scheme, (for sin) was invented by Paul, and Yeshua bar Josef NEVER said anything about that. (BTW, there is NO doctrine of the "infallibility" of the bible. (The Roman church says the Pope, under certain circumstances, is "infallible", but they made that up in the late 1800's). Do you mean "inerrancy" ? The concept of "salvation" was unknown to the apostles. It was made up by Saul of Tarsus. (Paul). He said mankind is "fallen", (the doctrine is not found in Judaism, and its scriptural foundation is in the New Testament teaching of Paul the Apostle. (Romans 5:12-21 and 1 Corinthians 15:22). It began to be developed by the 2nd-century Bishop of Lyon Irenaeus in his controversy with the dualist Gnostics. As Mark F. has repeatedly pointed out, Paul and Yeshua's family were at GREAT odds about his teachings, and the meaning of his life and events surrounding it, and the power struggle in the early church. Paul's camp eventually won out.

There are countless discrepancies, and contradictions in the bible, (http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/j...ons.html).

The "most important" question is NOT who did Yeshua "die for". That is a 21st Century interpretation, or "overlay", on top of the historical facts. He was executed because he was a threat, (for whatever reason), to the authorities in Jerusalem. He NEVER said he was going to his death for ANY reason. The many reasons, as you say have been debated for 2000 years. AN important question MAY be, why was he executed ? (Even the Jesus Seminar thinks he came to understand that he would have to submit to death to ultimately show the disciples that he had no political ambitions). (The "salvation" business is NOT any longer accepted by many main-line scripture scholars).

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21-10-2011, 09:06 AM
RE: Who did Jesus die for? Biblicists show the Bible isn’t sure
(19-10-2011 07:53 PM)defacto7 Wrote:  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....

He defacto7, thanks for chiming in. As said in the thread, there’s no hard evidence “Jesus” existed. The closest we come to researchable archeological evidence is a box of bones with a strikingly similar name buried in a family vault with others that also have strikingly biblical names. I don’t believe the ossuary has ever had qualified, objective scholarly research. Conspiracy theories abound.

My point in the original post, which seems to have gotten lost, isn’t whether there was a “Jesus” or not, or if we have a generally good idea what he taught. I happen to think that if we could backtrack history we’d find someone who fills the bill, and he’d look way different than many expect. I also believe that in a First Century world with several messiahs, as was also noted in this string, that stories got mixed up by accident and design. When one messiah raised the dead, I’m sure all the messiahs raised the dead.

What I was driving at is a question that haunted me in my Biblicist days: Why such a Bible divide over the most basic question for Christianity? Who did Jesus die to save? Was it for some elected for salvation from long before they lived (Calvinism) or for everyone who’d accept the vicarious atonement (Arminianism). As an Arminianist, Calvinists and I both argued against Christian Universalism, the idea everyone would eventually accept Jesus’ redemptive death. However, I knew, knew, knew in my heart that Christian Universalism had the most scripturally defensible case. I eventually adopted it openly, which put me outside the evangelical church. My thoughts have morphed further since.

The question of who can get Jesus’ redemption is so central to Christianity that it seems inexcusable for the Bible to have muddled answers that produce three distinct schools of soteriology. Just hit YouTube and type in Calvinism vs. Arminianism and watch the Biblicists lay out the Bible confusion on this central doctrine. None of those Biblicists will ever ask the question aloud: Since the Bible doesn't give us a clear answer on salvation, why should it be trusted on any doctrine?
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21-10-2011, 10:40 AM
RE: Who did Jesus die for? Biblicists show the Bible isn’t sure
Thanks Cathmoytura for the clarification and patience, and my apologies for not being more observant. Lack of evidence for existence has been established. I guess I wasn't focusing. No more skimming for me. Nice thread.

I know the subject of Calvinism vs. Arminianism quite well. You have no idea how well. Undecided

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21-10-2011, 08:01 PM
RE: Who did Jesus die for? Biblicists show the Bible isn’t sure
(19-10-2011 11:40 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Hi Mark, you are inscrutable.

Mark F. and I have a bit of a disagreement about the death of Yeshua. I think he was arrested after the incident in the temple, (overturning the tables of the money changers...and that he was an economic threat to a city built on a temple based economy...see my posts on that). The business about "salvation" and the grand "pay-back" scheme, (for sin) was invented by Paul, and Yeshua bar Josef NEVER said anything about that. (BTW, there is NO doctrine of the "infallibility" of the bible. (The Roman church says the Pope, under certain circumstances, is "infallible", but they made that up in the late 1800's). Do you mean "inerrancy" ? The concept of "salvation" was unknown to the apostles. It was made up by Saul of Tarsus. (Paul). He said mankind is "fallen", (the doctrine is not found in Judaism, and its scriptural foundation is in the New Testament teaching of Paul the Apostle. (Romans 5:12-21 and 1 Corinthians 15:22). It began to be developed by the 2nd-century Bishop of Lyon Irenaeus in his controversy with the dualist Gnostics. As Mark F. has repeatedly pointed out, Paul and Yeshua's family were at GREAT odds about his teachings, and the meaning of his life and events surrounding it, and the power struggle in the early church. Paul's camp eventually won out.

There are countless discrepancies, and contradictions in the bible, (http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/j...ons.html).

The "most important" question is NOT who did Yeshua "die for". That is a 21st Century interpretation, or "overlay", on top of the historical facts. He was executed because he was a threat, (for whatever reason), to the authorities in Jerusalem. He NEVER said he was going to his death for ANY reason. The many reasons, as you say have been debated for 2000 years. AN important question MAY be, why was he executed ? (Even the Jesus Seminar thinks he came to understand that he would have to submit to death to ultimately show the disciples that he had no political ambitions). (The "salvation" business is NOT any longer accepted by many main-line scripture scholars).

Bucky Ball…in modern evangelical Christianity, the doctrines of infallibility vs. inerrancy of the scriptures are similar, but there’s a distinction.

Inerrancy is the idea that the Bible is totally free of errors. Its origins date to the Reformation. Most adherents either aren’t aware of the thousands of well-known textural variations and they happily read their New International Versions, or are aware of them, but don’t care because they uphold the Authorized Version Only doctrine. Infallibility is the idea that the Bible is completely accurate on matters of faith and practice, but its adherents acknowledges there are numerous textural variations and what they consider to be minor factual errors. One believing in inerrancy always uphold infallibility. Those holding infallibility don’t always uphold inerrancy.

The point of my thread is that modern Biblicists elegantly demonstrate the Bible’s variable messages with their different concepts of salvation--Calvinism, Arminianism and Christian Universalism. This is important because the concept of salvation is so center and crucial to Christianity. If the Bible cannot steer ardent Biblicists to a unified soteriology, it seems suspect. Biblicists try to dismiss this by claiming the Calvinism vs. Arminianism schism isn‘t within “core doctrines,” such as the Trinity. The dismissive claim seems disingenuous. Nothing could be more core to evangelical Christianity than the subject of salvation.
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24-10-2011, 04:00 AM (This post was last modified: 24-10-2011 04:06 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Who did Jesus die for? Biblicists show the Bible isn’t sure
(19-10-2011 07:53 PM)defacto7 Wrote:  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....

Hi defacto and everyone, sorry I've been a while ( I'm sightseeing in central China and the beer is very cheap LOL).

I'm embarrassed that you call me a biblical scholar...I'm not really (by a long way). I have, however, read way too many books ( including the bible) to try to make sense of the whole story.

I do believe, but can't absolutely prove, that a character called Jesus (Yeshua), brother of James, (possible) cousin of John, lived, became a leader of the Nazarenes, and was executed by the Romans. There is no doubt that James existed...he was the leader of the Nazarenes (they were not Christians btw) for 30 years after Jesus' death (his existence confirmed by Josephus, Paul and a number of church fathers) . John the baptist was the Nazarene leader prior to Jesus, and we have good independent evidence from Josephus that John the baptist existed ( Josephus called him John "the dipper"). So...........leadership passed from John ( good secular evidence for his existence) to ?Jesus ( no good contemporary secular evidence for his existence) to James ( lots of good evidence ).

So what evidence is there that James was the brother of Jesus? 1. the gospels (not very reliable) 2. Paul's writings ( much more likely to be reliable).

Please consider the following circumstantial evidence. SOMETHING started off the hundreds of different stories about Jesus in the 200 years after he died. I'm talking about Nazarene ( his real, original family and followers) stories (one of the church fathers, I think Jerome, wrote about the "gospel of the Nazarenes"), gnostic stories, Marcionite (mainly Pauline) stories, and what became catholic stories, so it seems likely to me there was a real figure that started the ball rolling. However.........just to complicate things.....I also believe various forms of "Christianity" sprung up in various parts of the empire because they were, at their core, anti Jewish teachings promoted by the Roman government to undermine Judaism. Why would the Roman government do this? Because peasant Jews throughout the empire believed they were the world's superior people and they, led by multiple individual wannabe messiahs, repeatedly started insurrections. The ROMAN GOVERNMENT chose a story about one of these failed insurrectionists named Jesus and turned him into the son of god, which meant the Jewish messiah had already been and gone. It was PROPAGANDA designed to quieten the Jews down. Hence the "new covenant" replacing the old (Jewish) one, "love your enemies", "turn the other cheek" etc, which meant be a good citizen and stop causing trouble. Saint Paul was probably only one of many agents of the Roman government. If this is historically true it is quite jaw dropping!

So, getting back to whether "Jesus" is real or not.......the character in the gospels is definitely not. All the stuff about him thinking he was the the son of god who had to sacrifice himself for mankind's sins is utter bullshit. All his benign wisdom sprouting verses are fabricated. His existence, however, is probably not an invention....(although it just may be).

If "he" did exist I think we can be sure of something....like his cousin and his brother after him he was fundamentally Jewish and vehemently opposed to the Roman (gentile) world. So the Jesus worshipped in Christian churches today is definitely a monstrous fiction. The very people Jesus despised with a passion (gentiles) turned him into a mythical and heretical god figure a century or so after they killed him. He wouldn't be happy about that.

I think Christians deserve to know this....well....at least be told about it....and encouraged to do some research for themselves and make up their own minds. If almost an entire religion is built on a foundation of propaganda ie lies, it can hardly be of value to those who believe it.
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24-10-2011, 08:13 AM
RE: Who did Jesus die for? Biblicists show the Bible isn’t sure
Mark,

I have an off-the-cuff thought without the benefit of doing any research about the Jesus-as-Roman-propaganda proposal. As I recall history, Christians were unpopular with the Roman government, oftentimes subject to severe persecution, until Constantine. There were several reasons for this. With all respect, without some historical backing, the conjecture feels more farfetched than many other theories.

My point in this string—which I don’t think I got across very well—is that Biblicists pronouncedly different schemes of salvation threaten the infallibility (of the Bible) doctrine more than skeptical criticism. No Calvinist, Arminianist, or Christian universalist, I’ve discussed it with has come up with any better explanation than, "I'm right and they’re misreading the scriptures, but we’re all Bible believers. Ultimately, salvation is a mystery of God.”

(On an aside, Calvinists and Arminianists generally dismiss Christian universalists from the ranks of the saved, but usually embrace one another as brethren.)

The answer is self-contradicting, and deliberately ignores that the Bible so muddled that it caused three soteriologies, along with other minor schools, and this fact greatly weakens many other parts of Christian dogmatics.
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24-10-2011, 08:15 AM
RE: Who did Jesus die for? Biblicists show the Bible isn’t sure
(19-10-2011 11:40 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Hi Mark, you are inscrutable.

Mark F. and I have a bit of a disagreement about the death of Yeshua. I think he was arrested after the incident in the temple, (overturning the tables of the money changers...and that he was an economic threat to a city built on a temple based economy...see my posts on that). The business about "salvation" and the grand "pay-back" scheme, (for sin) was invented by Paul, and Yeshua bar Josef NEVER said anything about that. (BTW, there is NO doctrine of the "infallibility" of the bible. (The Roman church says the Pope, under certain circumstances, is "infallible", but they made that up in the late 1800's). Do you mean "inerrancy" ? The concept of "salvation" was unknown to the apostles. It was made up by Saul of Tarsus. (Paul). He said mankind is "fallen", (the doctrine is not found in Judaism, and its scriptural foundation is in the New Testament teaching of Paul the Apostle. (Romans 5:12-21 and 1 Corinthians 15:22). It began to be developed by the 2nd-century Bishop of Lyon Irenaeus in his controversy with the dualist Gnostics. As Mark F. has repeatedly pointed out, Paul and Yeshua's family were at GREAT odds about his teachings, and the meaning of his life and events surrounding it, and the power struggle in the early church. Paul's camp eventually won out.

There are countless discrepancies, and contradictions in the bible, (http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/j...ons.html).

The "most important" question is NOT who did Yeshua "die for". That is a 21st Century interpretation, or "overlay", on top of the historical facts. He was executed because he was a threat, (for whatever reason), to the authorities in Jerusalem. He NEVER said he was going to his death for ANY reason. The many reasons, as you say have been debated for 2000 years. AN important question MAY be, why was he executed ? (Even the Jesus Seminar thinks he came to understand that he would have to submit to death to ultimately show the disciples that he had no political ambitions). (The "salvation" business is NOT any longer accepted by many main-line scripture scholars).

Hi Bucky, I basically agree with what you have written.

Are my ideas that hard to understand? Please fill me in on what doesn't make sense. I'm quite relaxed with you disagreeing with me on some things, but if I'm not making sense to you I'd really like to know why not. Regards, Mark
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24-10-2011, 06:33 PM (This post was last modified: 24-10-2011 07:30 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Who did Jesus die for? Biblicists show the Bible isn’t sure
No, no, no. Mark. I was just trying to make "ze leettle joke"....you being in China and all....You make PERFECT sence. Probably a lot more than I do. Rolleyes
BTW, I agree with mark. SOMETHING happened, and that's about all I can say FOR SURE about the "Jesus event. If it didn't happen, why would James and Paul have SO publicly fought about it's meaning. It didn't exactly show them in a good light, to be disagreeing with the "event".

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Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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24-10-2011, 10:21 PM
RE: Who did Jesus die for? Biblicists show the Bible isn’t sure
Hello Mark. Thanks for replying.

Anyone who knows as much, and has studied as much about biblical history as you, I can with assurance crown a scholar. Especially if the measuring stick is my own ineptness of the same subject matter. Wink

(24-10-2011 04:00 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I do believe, but can't absolutely prove, that a character called Jesus (Yeshua), brother of James, (possible) cousin of John, lived,

Now I'm not being flippant here, but the argument (more than the quote above) sounds to me like saying we can't prove or disprove that God exists, so lets not make a decision we can act upon either way. I would rather say God does not exist though I am open to change my mind if the evidence shows itself. I use the same analogy for the case of the existence of the human being Jesus who became the legend we all know and love.

Quote:John the baptist was the Nazarene leader prior to Jesus, and we have good independent evidence from Josephus that John the baptist existed ( Josephus called him John "the dipper").

I have every respect for Josephus the historian. From my feeble studies he seems to have been articulate and thorough in what original writings still exist (which of course helps in determining his style).... except where the references to Christianity or Christian figures are concerned. I'm sure you've heard all the Testimonium squabbles. It is stylistically evident and grammatically evident that this was fudged, and badly at that, much later probably by Eusebius Pamphili an Historian in the 300's. One of Eusebius quotes, "...it may be lawful and fitting to use fictions [falsehood] as a medicine, and for the benefit of those [Christians] who want to be deceived." I think Josephus translations were probably treated with Eusebius "medicinal fictions". I think it is also strange that he was the first to "discover" the infamous "Testimonium Flavianum". Why no one else noticed such a huge revelation in the previous 300 years is a bit odd to say the least.

Quote:Please consider the following circumstantial evidence. SOMETHING started off the hundreds of different stories about Jesus in the 200 years after he died.

Absolutely. But it doesn't require a physical man to do that. There, of course were a lot of Christ claimants, a dime a dozen. The Christ of the early Christians never was one that existed on the earth but in heaven; he was not considered be a physical human. Saul/Paul of Tarsus was very likely one of those. If you remove the idea that Christ was a man from the Pauline literature, the Christ of the heavenly realm becomes very evident.

Quote:However.........just to complicate things.....I also believe various forms of "Christianity" sprung up in various parts of the empire because they were, at their core, anti Jewish teachings promoted by the Roman government to undermine Judaism. Why would the Roman government do this? Because peasant Jews throughout the empire believed they were the world's superior people and they, led by multiple individual wannabe messiahs, repeatedly started insurrections.

Very interesting idea. I personally go for the Occam's buzz-saw when it comes to interjections such as this... what is the most likely, simplest scenario. I don't think the Romans put that much investment in any of these insurrections. Romans were more the slash and burn types. I think people still read too much into biblical historic studies and naturally put too much weight on the value of Christianity in early history. To me, it's more likely the Christians evolved by way of the Constantine conversion and the following years of power restructuring. This brought about the Catholic Church system which politically posed itself to present whatever was necessary for it's preservation over many years following. The Roman empire just melted slowly into this system, scattering, making a perfect breeding ground for brainless faith and ritual and localized authoritarian rule centering on a central figure, the holy C, whose key to power was this Jesus caricature to mold the population and keep the feudal leaders in awe. I don't know, I'm flying by the seat of my pants here. It just seems this is a more obvious scenario.

Quote:The ROMAN GOVERNMENT chose a story about one of these failed insurrectionists named Jesus and turned him into the son of god, which meant the Jewish messiah had already been and gone. It was PROPAGANDA designed to quieten the Jews down.

Again, I think it's reading too much into it. Jesus the man was not necessary. A character from Christian heavenly folklore maybe... but I still don't see the Roman empire going to this much trouble.

Quote:Hence the "new covenant" replacing the old (Jewish) one, "love your enemies", "turn the other cheek" etc, which meant be a good citizen and stop causing trouble. Saint Paul was probably only one of many agents of the Roman government. If this is historically true it is quite jaw dropping!

Paul?... no, I don't buy it. He probably suffered from a brain hemorrhage or a seizure, had a vision not unlike people who have temporary brain abnormalities, like seeing a light, having a vision and being blind for a period afterward. This happens to people every day. I forgot exactly what that brain issue is but it is reproducible in the laboratory. It's a type of epilepsy I think. His writings also didn't require a physical Christ.

Quote:So, getting back to whether "Jesus" is real or not.......the character in the gospels is definitely not.

amen!

Quote:I think Christians deserve to know this....well....at least be told about it....and encouraged to do some research for themselves and make up their own minds. If almost an entire religion is built on a foundation of propaganda ie lies, it can hardly be of value to those who believe it.

Agreed! Whether you are right or I am right, we come up with the same important conclusion. There is something fundamentally wrong with Jesus Christ the son of a god and all the paraphernalia therewith and people need to know it.

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25-10-2011, 11:00 PM (This post was last modified: 25-10-2011 11:10 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Who did Jesus die for? Biblicists show the Bible isn’t sure
(24-10-2011 08:13 AM)cathmoytura Wrote:  Mark,

I have an off-the-cuff thought without the benefit of doing any research about the Jesus-as-Roman-propaganda proposal. As I recall history, Christians were unpopular with the Roman government, oftentimes subject to severe persecution, until Constantine. There were several reasons for this. With all respect, without some historical backing, the conjecture feels more farfetched than many other theories.

My point in this string—which I don’t think I got across very well—is that Biblicists pronouncedly different schemes of salvation threaten the infallibility (of the Bible) doctrine more than skeptical criticism. No Calvinist, Arminianist, or Christian universalist, I’ve discussed it with has come up with any better explanation than, "I'm right and they’re misreading the scriptures, but we’re all Bible believers. Ultimately, salvation is a mystery of God.”

(On an aside, Calvinists and Arminianists generally dismiss Christian universalists from the ranks of the saved, but usually embrace one another as brethren.)

The answer is self-contradicting, and deliberately ignores that the Bible so muddled that it caused three soteriologies, along with other minor schools, and this fact greatly weakens many other parts of Christian dogmatics.

Hi, you make a good point about Christian persecution and this point does weaken my argument...a little. Rome did occasionally persecute Christians, but the extent of this has been greatly exaggerated. Nero only might have done so, circa 68 CE, although it is highly unlikely this happened to "Christians". To be a Christian one had and has to believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ, right? That idea was invened by Paul. Paul tried ti introduce himself to the NAZARENES in Rome in the 60's in his famous letter to the Romans. He never got around to establishing his dogma in Rome ....that happened maybe 70 or 80 years later via Marcion. The "Christians" Nero may have persecuted as the starters of the fire may in fact have been Nazarenes, and therefore not Christians, but sectarian Jews.

Occasionally over the next few centuries various emperors attacked anyone, including Christians, who refused to worship the official state's gods (everyone that is except Jews). Persecution of christians per se was therefore only an intermittent phenomenon.

Let's go back in time. My hypothesis is that Christianity, at its very beginning, could have been part of a Roman goverment agenda to undermine Judaism, and Paul could well have been an agent of the government. He was associated with Herod's family and with the family of the Roman emperor. After large Jewish insurrections in Palestine in 4BC, 6AD and then later decades of unrest prior to the massive first Jewish war of 66-70, as well as Egyptian Jews occasionally fighting against the government, Rome had every reason to try to use more subtle ways of undermining the militaristic ambitions of peasant Jews. It was only perhaps a hundred years later, with different people in power who had different agendas ( Judaism had been totally and unequivocally crushed in the second Jewish war of 132-135 AD) that occasionally Christians were persecuted.

Have I explained this a little better now? I can present more evidence for Paul's link with the government if anyone is interested. BTW, I am not insisting this is fact. I don't know for sure...it is just an hypothesis that fits in my opinion.
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