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Did Jesus Actually Exist?

 
 
JPB
 
  2  
Reply Wed 29 May, 2013 04:22 am
@Olivier5,
Olivier5 wrote:
Paul spread Christianity beyond the Jewish world, and had to transform it a bit in order to do that, but not that much.


He created the redemptive Christ. Without Paul, the Jewish- Christians may have remained a small sect, but they would be focused on living a blessed life through care of others and devotion to God, not through faith in Jesus as their savior. I don't see that as a small change.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 May, 2013 04:26 am
@JPB,
Paul was the architect of the rapid expansion of Christianity in 200+ years
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 May, 2013 04:26 am
@JPB,
Paul was the architect of the rapid expansion of Christianity in 200+ years
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  4  
Reply Wed 29 May, 2013 04:26 am
@JPB,
In addition, if the gospels are to be believed, their boy Jesus upheld the law. Paul discarded huge portions of the law in order to make the cult attractive to the Hellenistic world. First on the agenda was circumcision, which was a deal-breaker for the Hellenistic community. The dietary strictures were dispensed with, and in the last hurrah of genuine charity within the cult, so were most of the strictures on the behavior of women and children--you couldn't execute them out of hand just because they pissed you off. I suspect that the putative Jesus would not have recognized Paul's version of "christianity" as having anything to do with what he himself believed.
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 May, 2013 05:18 am
@JPB,
Quote:
He created the redemptive Christ. Without Paul, the Jewish- Christians may have remained a small sect, but they would be focused on living a blessed life through care of others and devotion to God, not through faith in Jesus as their savior. I don't see that as a small change.


Early Chritians didn't lack devotion nor care for others. Paul mentioned charity as one of the three cardinal virtues. So I think it was small change. The only real issue that opposed him to James and Peter was whether Moses law should be upheld or discarded. And this law was already obsolete at the time... It was dead weight.

It's always risky to re-write history, but it seems to me that without the gentilification of Christianity, it would simply have disapeared with all similar Jewish sects in 70. Do you know many Essenians alive? So Paul saved the message of Jesus.

JPB
 
  2  
Reply Wed 29 May, 2013 05:55 am
@Olivier5,
Olivier5 wrote:

It's always risky to re-write history, but it seems to me that without the gentilification of Christianity, it would simply have disapeared with all similar Jewish sects in 70. Do you know many Essenians alive? So Paul saved the message of Jesus.


But that's the point. The message of Jesus (as written in the letter of James) was to live more as an Essene while caring for those around you. His teachings throughout the gospels say how difficult it is to be redeemed. Only through a life of service to God and your fellow man could you ever hope for redemption. How does that wash with Paul's salvation through faith in Christ?
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Wed 29 May, 2013 07:10 am
Jesus allegedly said that one finds heaven within oneself. In the King James version, Luke Chapter 17, verses 20 and 21:

And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:

Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.


That is not the message, not the method, which was foisted upon people by Paul.
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 May, 2013 07:16 am
@JPB,
Quote:
But that's the point. The message of Jesus (as written in the letter of James) was to live more as an Essene while caring for those around you. His teachings throughout the gospels say how difficult it is to be redeemed. Only through a life of service to God and your fellow man could you ever hope for redemption. How does that wash with Paul's salvation through faith in Christ?


I don't think the Jews needed yet another sect, and all those Jewish sects vanished after the destruction of the temple anyway. That would have been the fate of Christianity if it had remained Jewish. Plus the Catholic Church has always insisted on redemption through both faith AND works so I don't see a major shift here. Jame's letter is part of the canon and has been an inspiration for many Christians down the ages. And of course the 4 gospels are too, and they document -- with some question marks of course -- the original message.
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 May, 2013 09:47 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:

According to Wikipedia, Virtually all modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed

BillRM and Merry disagree.

I think they full of sh*t, but so what?

This is a thread to allow them the opportunity to go off on a tangent and not derail another very interesting one.

Have at it.


In my opinion, it is possible that your point that "Virtually all modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed" is clipped speech, and should specify that, "...Jesus existed as an anti-Roman zealot." Meaning that only because history played itself out to make him a Messiah of a new religion (not to mention one of three forms God can take), do most people not subscribe to his anti-Roman zealousness. It was that anti-Roman zealousness that got him in the eyes of the Romans, and the Hebrew High Priests saw Jesus as someone that might bring down the wrath of the Romans on the Jews. In his new identity, as a loving (aka, Catholic divinity) Savior, his anti-Roman zealousness is conveniently forgotten, since that would indict the pagan Romans as quite the instigators of his cruxification, and that might make it harder to convert all those Romans around 400+ AD.

Plus, this question really reflects that hindsight should be 20/20 vision, since Jesus the person might have been only one face in the crowd in Jerusalem, not to mention all the Roman characters. Without the new religion emanating from his followers, after his death, the whole episode could have been one episode on many a current tv drama. Even ancient Israel was likely just a "hole in the wall" Hollywood stage set, and not something that biblical scholars like to believe was magnificent. So, there were some buildings, and a big synagogue. There are some big box stores that would compare today. One doesn't pray, in two-thousand years in the future, at the remaining wall of a Target of the 21sit century?
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 May, 2013 10:01 am
@Foofie,
Sorry to interject, but what evidence do you have of his "his anti-Roman zealousness"?
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 May, 2013 10:28 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
In addition, if the gospels are to be believed, their boy Jesus upheld the law. Paul discarded huge portions of the law in order to make the cult attractive to the Hellenistic world. . . .
Glad you noticed.

Jesus upheld the law in its entirety. That was to be a sign for the Jews to recognize him as the messiah. Hence, Paul wrote " . . .the Law has become our tutor leading to Christ, that we might be declared righteous due to faith. 25 But now that the faith has arrived, we are no longer under a tutor. "(Galatians 3:24,25)

Your observation about the Hellenistic world is interesting because it relates back to God's promise to Abraham that ". . . by means of your seed all nations of the earth will certainly bless themselves due to the fact that you have listened to my voice.’” (Genesis 22:18)

And it makes perfect sense. The Jews were no more or less loved by God than any other people. They were chosen only to provide a tutor leading to the 'seed'.
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 May, 2013 10:32 am
@Setanta,
Quote:
the kingdom of God is within you.
Don't be cooked in the language lasagna . Jesus was referring to himself as the representative of the kingdom. He truly was in their midst.
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 May, 2013 01:18 pm
@neologist,
Quote:

Quote:

the kingdom of God is within you.

Don't be cooked in the language lasagna . Jesus was referring to himself as the representative of the kingdom. He truly was in their midst.


Naaaa. Lasagna is right on this. The Kingdom as imagined by Jesus is within each and everyone of us. Or as the Beatles said: "You better free you mind instead".
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 May, 2013 02:45 pm
@Foofie,
Whether anti-Roman zealot, heretical rabbi, or flat out lunatic, they agree he actually existed.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 May, 2013 02:54 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
This is very important for you isn't it Finn?

If you follow the teachings of Christ then why should it make any difference if he's a myth?
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 May, 2013 02:56 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:

Whether anti-Roman zealot, heretical rabbi, or flat out lunatic, they agree he actually existed.


Years ago a pbs documentary highlighted biblical scholars that said he was an anti-Roman zealot. Perhaps, not a heretical rabbi, since rabbinical Judaism did not come into vogue, until the Diaspora out of Jerusalem. He wasn't a lunatic by today's standards, nor the standards then. I would classify it more like an obsessive nature. But, I do believe he did exist, since someone did exist to give his followers a focal point.
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 May, 2013 03:05 pm
@Foofie,
Well, if you read the Gospel of Mark, there is a clear indication that his own family thought Jesus was something of a lunatic and talked about having him put away for his own protection.

Historical footnote as to what happened to the three main Jewish sects after the onset of the Diaspora, following the razing of the Temple in 70 c.e.: The Saducees, of course, ceased to exist, as they had been inextricably connected with worship in the temple; the Pharisees evolved into modern Judaism (they had always been rabbinically focused); and most of the Essenes accepted Christianity.
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 May, 2013 03:10 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
Only part of the Pharisees became rabbinic Judaism, mainly the house of Hillel. The house of Shammai was deeply involved in the war, decimated, and to a degree reviled by the survivors for the catastrophe they brought the nation.

Is there any evidence of most of the Essenes accepting Christianity?
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 May, 2013 03:16 pm
@Olivier5,
Olivier5 wrote:
Is there any evidence of most of the Essenes accepting Christianity?


I've read this in more than one source, but, frankly, I'd have to look up the specific sources to give you a link or a bibliography. Inasmuch as I'm posting this from my laptop at a Starbuck's cafe, it'll take me a while to look it up for you.
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 May, 2013 03:20 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
It's an interesting hypothesis, but I doubt we have much to buttress it. Very little is know of the Essenes.
 

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