The Mystery of Jesus Christ. (Page 5)
The13th: No what ghost did is just to explore a possibility. It is the thing we normal people do when confronting with an unsolved problem or mysteries, we considered all probable causes.
And I am not sure if Jesus get crucified for claiming that he is King of Kings. I think Roman will leave you alone if you just make that claim and you can peacefully preach and after that everyone go back to farming, raise the cow and crops, and pay tax. But if your follower started to show anti-state behavior, words get spread, empire stability is at risk. That surely has to be deal with.
Ironically, I believe after the Roman collapse, didnt Europe go into Dark Ages? Does that mean historian see Roman as The Light of the World? This world could have been vastly better if Roman were to be around a bit longer.
Zanjan: The world knows as much about Jesus's personal life as they do Shakespeare's.
What the two have in common is they never went to higher schools of learning so were not doctors in their field. We know their approximate date of birth but not exact date; we know the names of their parents and siblings; both had a blue collar, bread and butter job before they received their calling.
Both often cited old phrases from Biblical scripture so often, people get mixed up on who said the words first. "Is that Shakespeare, or the Bible?" Both told stories to illustrate the dynamics and principles behind a moral and no one has found flaw in them. Even knowing all this, the world has foolishly questioned their existence and true identity.
Yet Shakespeare is the most quoted by the world next to the Bible. There's no mystery in this, that their genius left profound thought, beauty and joy to the world. No one questions that.
Boyz, many great civilizations have fallen, all for the same reason -> faithlessness and corruption. Once fallen, they've never gotten back up again. Think about that.
The13th: Great civilization may have fallen but that does not take the shine from it, for they left behind many great things for the benefit of future generation. I want that, you also want that. Lets try to reach a compromise, otherwise lets fight over it. I always like compromise, but may be you are ill threat by society and habor all sorts of negatives in your mind and reaching compromise is not possible. Those are just human nature. Human being has play out this saga of rise and fall for countless time in history and we are still doing it now. And civilization rise and fall on these countless saga. Does faith help? May be. But it is more important to make sure people has food, kids dont go hungry, they go to school, they get treat fairly, people have job, and hopefully the next time human saga play out it wont lead to 20 millions die in the eastern front, another 20 million on the western front. etc. Wise men do learn from history and after every major sage they readjust and see how the next saga play out, and on and on we get better each time. The last thing I want is a faith that somehow get it right, but in doing so human being lost all the spark, a civilization where nothing good ever get created. Does people in the Dark Ages has faith. Most probably, and its Christianity isnt it? But it is still called a Dark Ages not without good reason.
Zanjan: There's a season to everything. We keep records of all of them, not for mere entertainment but for serious reflection.
If mankind learned as much from it's mistakes as from its technical advances, we'd have achieved permanent peace long before now.
ghostgeek: If we had a good dollop of solid evidence concerning our friend Jesus we wouldn't need to speculate because we would know the truth. Sadly, we're not in that fortunate position so we're forced to use the old brainbox a little, hard work I'll grant. Accepting that Jesus actually existed and that the Gospels are a source of information, it is just a matter of what seems most likely. Let us take two episodes from Jesus' life, His birth and His death. Starting with His birth, which seems most probable, that He was born to a virgin or that He was illegitimate, sired by a Roman soldier? I contend that everybody would say His pop was a soldier if this was anybody other than Christ, so why not for Jesus as well? Now, as to His death, it is a generally recognized fact that the dead do not get up and start moving around again. Yet that is what the Gospels say Jesus did, so how might one explain this? There seems only two possible answers; either Christian dogma is correct or Christ, a mortal man, didn't die on the cross. Normal everyday experience leads me to think Jesus not dying is the more probable outcome. Now we reach the interesting part, where I go into overdrive and start speculating like crazy.
If Jesus' birth means He's a Roman citizen, the Jewish authorities wanting Him executed would put the Romans in a quandary. They don't want to kill Him but they do want to placate the Jews. Perhaps somebody has a bright idea, fake His death. It's certainly not an impossibility. Consider what we're told in the Gospels. Jesus was first whipped and then taken to be crucified, but on the way the soldiers get someone, a man called Simon, to carry His cross. That is very considerate of them. Now, when Jesus is crucified, how long does He live? From information given in Mark it can be deduced that He expired after only six hours, very short for this form of execution. Consider though what happens just before He dies. A sponge filled with sour wine is put against Jesus' lips, immediately after which He stops breathing. So what happens next? The two men with whom Jesus is crucified have their legs broken to hasten their deaths but Jesus just has a lance thrust in His side to see if He's still alive. What results is a flow of blood and water, suggesting He is still alive, whereas a dead body would not be expected to bleed much. Then, finally, Jesus is taken down from the cross and buried. His body is wrapped in linen cloth with more than fifty six pounds of spices, a mixture of myrrh and aloes. Myrrh has been used for hundreds of years to treat cuts and inflammation and aloe was seen as being effective for healing wounded tissue, not something a dead body would require. Yes, it is just speculation, but it seems believable to me that Jesus Christ could have survived the crucifixion and been spirited away. Afterwards, it would have been a case of getting as far away as possible from Jerusalem and not going back.
ghostgeek: By the way, the Roman Empire lasted until 1453 in all but name, when it fell to the Ottoman Turks. What we think of as the fall of the Roman Empire was the loss of the western part, centred on Rome, but by that date the capital had been moved to Constantinople. The rest, called the Byzantine Empire, lasted for a further thousand years. It was Western Europe that was thrust into the dark ages, from which arose a new and greater civilization. Perhaps it was best things happened as they did.
lori100: What evidence would convince you Jesus existed ghost?...a birth certificate carved in stone?...
chronology: boyzz the evidence that there 'was' a Jesus Christ who was the subject of the Gospels is overwhelming. Josephus the Jewish historian refers to Jesus, some claim it was a later insertion, but there is nothing to support their claim. Jewish writing around the time of Jesus refer to Him using pretty strong descriptive language, it did not refer to Him as a myth. The Roman Historian Tacitus refers to Jesus, even adding He was executed on the orders of Pilot. The Gospel of Luke also refered to a Roman Official not mentioned anywhere els in history, the Roman Offiicial's name was recently found confirming the accuracy of Luke.
There seems little doubt at all the 'Jesus Christ', a controvercial religious figure many believe to be the Son of God 'did' exist, whether you your self believe the claims made about Him is up to you. The Roman Emperor Domitian found the early story of Jesus puzzling and sent an Enquiry from Rome to clear up the story of Jesus. Unfortunately Domitian was later written out of history by the Roman Senate and his works destroyed. But there is no indication Domition's Commission found anything to refute the Gospel accounts of Jesus. The early Roman converts to Christianity were people from all walks of life, rich, poor, educated, uneducated, they often visited Judea after converting to Christianity, if the story was a fake, they would have exposed it as such, they never did.
ghostgeek: A birth certificate carved in stone would be great Lori. Of course, seeing that the name Jesus was quite common at the time, it would have to have the names of Mary and God on it and Bethlehem as Jesus' birthplace. OK, that's probably pushing it a bit but we might have expected some acknowledgement of His existence in the writings of His contemporaries. What's really wanted is multiple attestation, where independent sources tell the same story. Other than the Bible accounts, the nearest we get is with the Jewish historian Josephus, writing towards the end of the first century. His account of Jesus, what's called the "Testimonium Flavianum", has been much questioned by scholars. It's stuck between two paragraphs that would flow much better if it wasn't there. Also, apart from in this passage, there's no evidence that Josephus was a believer in Chrisianity. The result, therefore, is that many scholars now think it is a later insertion. One other mention of Jesus in the writings of Josephus must be mentioned, a short reference to the stoning of "the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ." This then is all there is, something written sixty years after the supposed death of Jesus. Justus of Tiberias, who lived in Galilee in the second half of the first century, makes no mention of Jesus. Neither does Philo Judaeus, the other significant Jewish historian ( 20 BC - 40 AD ). He has nothing to say about Jesus at all, though he does mention both the Essenes and Pilate. And any Roman reference to Jesus come from a time when Christianity was already established so proves nothing. For a man of Jesus' supposed stature, that's a pretty thin haul.
Zanjan: RE: birth of Jesus. Ghost wrote, "I contend that everybody would say His pop was a soldier if this was anybody other than Christ, so why not for Jesus as well? "
Nobody would say anyone's ancient dad was a solider because they don't know. Anyone who'd say that it's impossible for a human (physically, a mammal) to be conceived without male fertilization doesn't know science either.
The circumstances surrounding the conception of Jesus have nothing to do with His station as a High Prophet, unless one understands that Christ's reality was conceived in purity. It was a test to the people of the time but shouldn't be a test to moderns because the results are in.
"Now, as to His death, it is a generally recognized fact that the dead do not get up and start moving around again"
Um..yes, many do. I'm one of them. That doesn't mean Jesus physically did, just because He visited them. He visited me once too. A visitation doesn't look like you think it does - anybody whose experienced one knows that it's absolutely real but would never mistake it for a physical event.
That you can only find two answers, while repeatedly asking for answers, means you're discarding all the other answers. You know, some of us prefer to follow the original story - if you did that, you might have a lot more understanding.
Guess how many Christians were in Israel during the first century? How many isn't exactly known but there were 500 of them at the time the contemporary church replaced Judas with the Apostle Matthias. So, you think Jewish scholars considered this small group of nobodies, who weren't involved in warfare, to be worthy of interest? They weren't journalists - their job was, and still is, to write on events important to the Jewish people.
Did any Christian scholars mention Muhammad?
An event with the Holy Spirit isn't a normal, everyday experience. "Normal" is absence of awareness due to pre-occupation with worldly things.
chronology: Ghost. What exactly do you need as 'proof;. When Flight 007 was shot down by the Soviets the U.S. requested the Soviets later return bodies and luggage to American families. The Soviets insisted there were no bodies found, either floating on the water or on the sea bed. No luggage was found either they insisted, floating on the water or on the sea bed. As for the aircraft, the Soviets insisted there were only small pieces of wreckage on the sea bed. The aircraft and passengers had 'vanished' it seemed.
Well Ghost, why should I believe there ever was a Flight 007? No bodies, no luggage, no sizable aircraft wreckage? We only have U.S. Navy recordings of the radio orders to shoot down the plane, and Russians only admitted to the U.S. Navy the recordings were genuine when the Navy could identify actual jet fighters and aircraft control.
Same with Jesus, no one can offer you actual physical proof, but related evidence is genuine enough.
The Flight 007 incident is really creepy. Some folks believe it never was shot down, the few items of clothing washed up on shores miles away could have been planted. The U.S. Navy believes it was shot down, the Soviets admit doing so, but apart from that, nothing.
ghostgeek: In the Gospels Jesus is portrayed as a megastar, able to attract huge crowds wherever he goes. Does anybody recall the tale of the feeding of the five thousand by any chance?:
13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”
16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children. [ New International Version ]
People just wouldn't leave Jesus alone, so we are told. So isn't it rather strange that He seems to have left little or no impression on history? This is a man who so alarmed the Jewish authorities that they forced the Romans to execute Him, yet contemporary Jewish historians seem not to have noticed. At the very centre of the Jesus legend there is this gaping void that can only be filled by speculation. Something, somewhere, just doesn't add up.
Zanjan: Many people have questioned reality; that very pursuit demonstrates they don't know what it actually is. It's ok to be confused; the problem lies with those who wont admit it. Should we take the beliefs of such doubt-filled, cynical souls seriously?
What difference is there between those who question the validity of ancient history and those who question the validity of modern history? I think none. Some people still believe the 1969 moon landing was fake. Why have they lost their ability to rationalize properly? Check this out:
ghostgeek: Most people believe Jesus was a real historical figure who's echo permeates the Gospels. OK then, let us look at the story the Gospels tell. What can we make of it? Consider first the question of Jesus' birth. Of the four Gospels only two have anything to say about it. This suggests that early on it wasn't of much concern to Christians, but how can this be? Isn't Jesus fathered by God? Doesn't Christianity make a big thing of Jesus being the Son of God, so wouldn't you expect all four Gospel writers to emphasize this aspect of the story? Seemingly not.
So what do these accounts of Jesus' birth tell us? Well, it depends which one you read. In Matthew, Mary finds she's pregnant by the Holy Spirit, which fact causes Joseph to plan to break his engagement to her, until that is, an angel, seen in a dream, changes his mind. Waking up Joseph promptly marries Mary. We then hear about wise men in the east following a star that only they can see, asking directions in Jerusalem, Herod getting involved and finally the Magi seeing Jesus. There then follows the flight to Egypt and the killing of the children. All very dramatic but totally at variance with what's told in Luke. In Luke, Mary is told she is going to have a son, even though she's a virgin. Later, Mary travels to Bethlehem with Joseph, to whom she is promised in marriage, beacause of a census ordered by the Roman Emperor. Then Mary has the baby Jesus outside of wedlock. This is followed by angels telling some shepherds about the birth, who then pay a visit. In both accounts we get genealogies linking Joseph to David but they differ. It's not explained why these genealogies matter, of course, since Joseph isn't the father of Jesus, but hey, why should we expect anything to make sense. That then is the birth of Jesus, as told in the Gospels. So which account do we take as the gospel truth? If you want to find out flip a coin.
Given what the Bible tells us about the birth of Jesus, there seems no reason to doubt the rumour that He was fathered by a Roman soldier. At least we know illegitimate children are born, whereas a virgin birth, at least in ancient times, is hard to substantiate. It seems credible to think this talk of a virgin birth was concocted to deflect attention away from the suggestion of Jesus' illegitimacy, and only later came to be seen as a sign of His divinity.
ghostgeek: Now, concerning those moon landings, I have to be honest here and say I think they actually happened. Yes yes, true, you probably wouldn't expect me to say such a thing but there you are. It seems to me that if the Yanks were going to fake things they wouldn't have spent a shed load of cash building real rockets and launch facilities. No, they'd have just put the cash in their pockets and disappeared over the horizon, like any good baddie. Shows how naive I am, doesn't it?
Zanjan: There isn't a single reason for anyone to believe Jesus wasn't an actual living person - if there's no evidence, then there's no cause. Where's the vacuum? The new testament exists due to a cause, and so does the body and history of the church, as opposed to all those contemporary religious movements that disappeared. There's an unmistakable cause to all of it.
"Isn't Jesus fathered by God?"
Yes, He was fathered - not sired by God. There were sons of God before Jesus was born; the text says that if people fulfill their duty to God, they'll be sons of God too. The word "son" describes a spiritual relationship, not a physical one.
At the time Jesus and John the Baptist appeared, it was the winter of the soul of mankind - there weren't any true believers left; internal faith had died out in the hearts of men. That spark had to be kick-started by John the Baptist then fully awakened to life by the Christ. This has always been God's method and always will be.
The text doesn't say Mary had her baby outside of wedlock. Both families of Mary and Joseph were descendants of King David. Jesus's bone box identifies Him as the son of Joseph because that's who was married to Jesus's mother. That was the united family.
If one were to make an educated guess who sired Jesus, they'd point to Joseph; yet Joseph's integrity was never called into question by anyone. He was supposed to be a virgin too - why should the Jews have believed him but not Mary?
If Mary, from the same village, hadn't had a quality reputation for chastity, Joseph wouldn't have been interested in her in the first place, and the families wouldn't have given permission to marry. At the time, there were three stages to a Jewish wedding and these time periods were carefully monitored.
Yes, the Old Testament explains why the genealogies matter, and every Jew knew it. Ghost, no two writers will write identically; for that reason, pens can be recognized even without a signature.
chronology: Ghost. Interesting posts, but you side stepped flight 007. Practically no wreckage found, no bodies found from the hundreds of passengers, no luggage, no witnesses to the explosion in the sky. You can understand a head on collision by an aircraft full of fuel hitting a concrete wall an being near vapourised like the Pentagon plane, but not a plane crash in the open sea. Luggage and bodies and wreckage would have been strewn for miles. All we have are U.S. Navy recordings and radar recordings. Compared with the Gospels there is scant evidence.
ghostgeek: Chronology, I have no great interest in flight 007 at the present time and no great knowledge of it either. That said, a quick look on the internet makes me think you are factually incorrect. It would seem that after three days of searching using trawlers, side-scan sonar, and diving bells, the aircraft wreckage was located by Soviet searchers at a depth of 174 metres (571 ft) near Moneron Island. The wreckage itself was in small pieces and the divers who investigated only had 10 encounters with passenger remains (tissues and body parts) in the debris area, including one partial torso. Eight days after the shootdown, human remains appeared on the north shore of Hokkaido, Japan. Footwear retrieved from the surface amounted to 213 men's, women's and children's dress shoes, sandals, and sports shoes. There was also clothing found. The Digital Flight Data Recorder and cockpit voice recorder were recovered and help show what happened. Soviet real-time military communication transcripts of the shootdown and fighter pilot recollections are also available. In addition, a Japanese fisherman aboard the 58th Chidori Maru later reported to the Japanese Maritime Safety Agency that he had heard a plane at low altitude, but had not seen it. Then he heard "a loud sound followed by a bright flash of light on the horizon, then another dull sound and a less intense flash of light on the horizon" and smelled aviation fuel. If you need more information on the sad fate of flight 007 google will helpfully point you in the right direction.
(Edited by ghostgeek)
ghostgeek: Zanjan, it would appear that your copy of Luke's Gospel is different from everyone else's:
"He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child." [ New International Version ]
Seems pretty clear to me. When Jesus popped into the world Mary was a single lass, albeit one engaged to be married. Now, as the Bible most definitely doesn't paint Joseph as a randy sort, all I can presume is that somebody nipped in ahead of him and did the business. The evidence, for what it's worth, suggests one of two possible culprits. Either God did it, or a Roman soldier had a crafty shag and went on his merry way. The Bible says God was the daddy, that is made clear in both Matthew and Luke. Of course, I myself am inclined to think that a human todger was instrumental in putting a bun in Mary's oven, it being the usual way these things are done, but you may disagree.
Zanjan: Notice they were already betrothed (engaged to be married) before Mary conceived.
Luke 2:5 (King James Version)
" to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child."
I go with the original translation. They were married - a "spouse" is a legal wife; they were co-habiting when they left their village to go to Bethlehem. There are umpteen translations of this passage and none of them have the same sentence structure but the right translation is one that agrees with other texts in the NT.
I notice you didn't say anything about Joseph's chastity. He didn't touch her while she was pregnant. Who would know such a thing? Only the two of them; they told others and that was written down. They were living together as a family but not in sin.
ghostgeek: It would seem that your copy of the Bible is different to mine Zanjan. I have to admit that I'm not a keen fan of the King James' Bible so I stick to the newer translations. That said, I suppose this issue of whether Mary was married when she had Jesus shows how dependant we are on the translator's art.
If Joseph was chaste before the birth of Jesus then we still have the question of who was Jesus' father. Was it God, or did some scoundrel nip in quick while Joseph's back was turned?
The13th: For someone to write down what "Luke" said, which is " to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child." he must have:
1. either heard it from Luke himself
2. or been told but others, who have been told by yet other etc
3, or read it somewhere.
All 3 have a bit of problem:
1. for example, do you recall an exact sentence what Obama said 3 days ago, or Winfrey Ophra said 3 days ago, or David Letterman or Captain America said in the whole movie if you watch it last week, or Spiderman. Sorry, I cant. I just watched Spidy last week and I cant remember a thing he said.
2. OK lets say you have a neighbours called Joseph and Mary who is "great with child". You dont normally ask him, and he doesnt normally come to tell u things like whether he is the child's father, or whether they are married or just spouse of some sort. And they are nobody, so no one remember them. I have lots of neighbours who are greated with child - and I never ask them. If one of the kids turn out to be the second coming, I will be damn if I can recall if they actually get married 20 yeras back. Its not like I would spread words about my nobody neighbour.
3. Someone wrote it down somewhere other than the bible? Interesting. Show me something. Anything.
Zanjan: Ghost, your copy of the Bible would be different from mine if you had no cross-references:
Matthew 1:24 New International Version (NIV)
"When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife."
King James version:
"Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:"
This happened while they were still in Nazareth. Some modern scholars now think the Biblical Nazareth never existed as a village since it wasn't mentioned in Pre-Christian texts. Some figure it was a monastery. Well, we know Samson was a Nazarene, that should be good enough. See how people can simply talk themselves out history?
Zanjan: Boyz, this was the HOLY FAMILY – they were a quiet insider group. Nobody else would have been interested in their lives at the time; Joseph and Mary followed Jewish law and were not understanding of the divine nature of Jesus’s future as the Christ as He was growing up.
Though Joseph was present at the prophesy of Simeon, concerning Jesus's future, he wouldn't have known anything about His rank:
Luke 2: 34
"And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;"
After Jesus, as a young lad, was temporarily lost but found in the temple, there is no more mention of Joseph in scripture. Thus, it’s supposed he died sometime before Jesus began His ministry. It’s a curious thing there are no remarks about that, considering who he was - a man fit to be worthy of God's trust for his charges.
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