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Old 12-29-2004, 07:31 AM   #31
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Old 12-29-2004, 08:29 PM   #32
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Re: The Christian Thread

Quote:
Originally posted by the iron horse


Like C.S. Lewis wrote, he was either a lunatic or he was telling us the truth.


What do you think?
These days....this is what I'm thinking....what if he was what he said but we people messed it up...meaning the early founders of the church or others? What if Jesus was just a hasid?

What if there are some things in the NT which just seem manmade. What if there were alot of things suppressed for various reasons (ie. the idea of a woman apostle or even the nature of what Jesus was trying to accomplish). What if things have been diluted or have become "religion". Religion to me is an unsavory word...to me it's what happens when people take God and mold Him into thier own image. I'm really kind of struggling to see through and try to find the kernel of Truth to all of this...it's very confusing.

I believe in God, I am just unsure of how to reach Him...if that makes any sense.

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Old 12-29-2004, 10:37 PM   #33
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i believe..i read the bible and try my best to adapt it to my life.. i dont go around forcing my beliefs on others but somehow atheists are always trying to force their beliefs unto me , i dont even argue i dont see the point,
it's about love and compassion, and im trying daily to follow jesus' path. the end.
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Old 12-30-2004, 09:41 AM   #34
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Liar? Lunatic?

Every attribute of God is found in Jesus, according the New Testament.

Omniscience — In John 16:30 the apostle John affirms of Jesus, "Now we can see that you know all things."
Omnipresence — Jesus said in Matthew 28:20, "Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" and in Matthew 18:20, "Where two or three come together in my name, there I am with them."
Omnipotence — "All authority in heaven and on Earth has been given to me," Jesus said in Matthew 28:18
Eternality —*John 1:1 declares of Jesus, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was With God, and the Word was God."
Immutability — Hebrews 13:8 says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."

Then these are just a handful of the hundreds of detailed prophecies Jesus fulfilled.

Old Testament prophecies about Jesus' birth, and then fulfillment in the New Testament.

1. Born as a descendant of a woman, Genesis 3:15; Galatians 4:4
2. Born of a virgin, Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25
3. Born as a descendant of David, Jeremiah 23:5;
Luke 3:31
4. Born in Bethlehem, Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1-6
5. Herod kills the children, Jeremiah 31:15;Matthew 2:16-18

Old Testament prophecies about Jesus' death and the New Testament fulfillment.

1. Betrayed by a friend, Psalm 41:9;John 13:18-27
2. Sold for 30 pieces of silver, Zechariah 11:12; Matthew 26:14-15
3. Forsaken by his disciples, Zechariah 13:7; Mark 14:27, 50
4. Accused by false witnesses, Psalm 35:11, 20-21; Matthew 26:59-61
5. Silent before accusers, Isaiah 53:7; Matthew 27:12-14
6. Wounded and bruised, Isaiah 53:4-6;1 Peter 2:21-25
7. Beaten and spat on, Isaiah 50:6; Matthew 26:67-68
8. Mocked, Psalm 22:6-8; Matthew 27:27-31
9. Hands and feet pierced, Psalm 22:16; John 20:24-28
10. Crucified with thieves, Isaiah 53:12; Matthew 27:38
11. Prayed for his enemies, Isaiah 53:12; Luke 23:34
12. People shake their heads, Psalm 22:7 and 109:25; Matthew 27:39
13. Cloths gambled for, Psalm 22:18; John 19:23-24
14. Became very thirsty, Psalm 22:15; John 19:28
15. Gall and vinegar offered to him, Psalm 69:21;Matthew 27:34
16. His forsaken cry, Psalm 22:1; Matthew 27:46
17. Committed himself to God, Psalm 31:5; Luke 23:46
18. Bones not broken, Psalm 34:20; John 19:32-36
19. His side pierced, Zechariah 12:10; John 19:34, 37
20. Buried in rich man's tomb, Isaiah 53:9;Matthew 27:57-60

Keep in mind, some of these prophecies were made 1,000 years before Jesus walked this Earth. The ones concerning crucifixion were made more than 500 years before crucifixion was ever used as a form of capital punishment!
One scientist selected 48 prophecies and determined the probability of one man randomly fulfilling them to be 1 in 10 to the exponent of 157. So we're talking 1 followed by 157 zeros!
Your chances of winning a lottery jackpot are 1 in 108,000,000. Yet, Jesus fulfilled all the prophecies.
Also, most of these prophecies were fulfilled by someone else's doing. Take No. 10 or 18 for example. Christ had no choice on these matters, so it's not like he just did the right thing to fulfill these.

I've chosen to call Jesus my Lord.
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Old 12-30-2004, 01:46 PM   #35
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But in talking about OT prophecies...how do we know that the writers of the NT, who were assuredly well versed in OT literature, didn't fashion the Gospels around that?

I can find many parallel accounts in the NT that are exactly like an OT story except with Jesus inserted instead of another character....the feeding of the 5000 for example mirrors a part from Kings I.

Not arguing...just trying to get a viewpoint....
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Old 12-30-2004, 02:53 PM   #36
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Jesus was the greatest flaming liberal ever And I try to follow his example as best as possible for I consider him my Lord.
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Old 12-30-2004, 03:51 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally posted by starsgoblue
But in talking about OT prophecies...how do we know that the writers of the NT, who were assuredly well versed in OT literature, didn't fashion the Gospels around that?

I can find many parallel accounts in the NT that are exactly like an OT story except with Jesus inserted instead of another character....the feeding of the 5000 for example mirrors a part from Kings I.

Not arguing...just trying to get a viewpoint....
Yup, I understand your viewpoint starsgoblue. It's been a common suggestion by those who have wondered about the claims of Jesus.

What we do know about what was written in the new testament is this;
a)It is an accurate record of what was originally written in the 1st Century. This is verified by the amazing volume and age of the fragments and whole versions of copies in existance today which can be compared- nothing even comes close in terms of ancient near east documents.

b)Christians in the first couple of hundred years of the church (or "The Way" as it was refered to) were persecuted heavily and in many instances killed for their claims about Jesus.

c)These first followers of Jesus had a very immediate way to verify the claims about Jesus- go find his body, or talk to those who claimed he had risen again. The authorities at the time who had placed guards at the tomb of Jesus had every reason to produce his body if these claims were bogus.

d)Those who had claimed to have seen him after the resurrection (more than 500) certainly believed it to be real- real enough to die for what they believed.

e)For me the greatest evidence for the claims of christianity in the New Testament is the impact this ragtag group of early believers had on their world. These were unschooled, ordinary people - some were fisherman others reformed prostitutes. Just average people- yet they turned the world "upside down" with their message.
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Old 12-30-2004, 04:37 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally posted by NotAnEasyThing
[B]

Yup, I understand your viewpoint starsgoblue. It's been a common suggestion by those who have wondered about the claims of Jesus.
Quote:
a)It is an accurate record of what was originally written in the 1st Century. This is verified by the amazing volume and age of the fragments and whole versions of copies in existance today which can be compared- nothing even comes close in terms of ancient near east documents.
Yes, there are many copies. BUT that doesn't answer my question. These copies were written by people, not Jesus himself. All the supposed gospels written for example by James, a blood relative of Jesus, isn't accepted in the Canon. Who's to say that these documents weren't from the losing side of the Church founders? Claims about Jesus' divinity and the various ohter veiwpoints had to be addressed by councils simply because there was no clear indication....after that distinction was made people who didn't agree were heretics and apostates. How do we know that Jesus wasn't just a hasid for instance?

Quote:
Christians in the first couple of hundred years of the church (or "The Way" as it was refered to) were persecuted heavily and in many instances killed for their claims about Jesus.
Yes this is true. But how does this answer my question?

Quote:
These first followers of Jesus had a very immediate way to verify the claims about Jesus- go find his body, or talk to those who claimed he had risen again. The authorities at the time who had placed guards at the tomb of Jesus had every reason to produce his body if these claims were bogus.
I understand your viewpoint here. But what also leads me to wonder is the nature of Roman crucifixion itself. When Romans would crucify a person the body wouldn't be removed for burial, it would be left to hang and decay in visible view to people as an example of what happened to criminals or political offenders and the like.
This is where I admit I am not sure of things. I don't have a problem with accepting the idea that Jesus could have risen from the dead. I know the argument goes that Jesus needed to die as a sacrificial atonements for humanity's sins. I'm curious about the exact nature of His ressurection, but that's besides the point right now.

Quote:
Those who had claimed to have seen him after the resurrection (more than 500) certainly believed it to be real- real enough to die for what they believed.
I understand that argument too. That these people were frightened and feared for their own lives and somehow someway they seemed to change thier minds overnight and be willing to die for their beliefs. Well---the biggest thought that jumps out to me then is why those who witnessed the Transfiguration ever reject Jesus then? I would think seeing that would give me faith enough. Secondly, it's hard to say they were all terrified and whatnot, the gospels gives no indication of thier personal character/fortitude before that point in the stories. Also....there are lots of people who have been willing to die for thier beliefs...the hijackers of 9/11 and the Kool-Aid drinkers are probably the most obnoxious examples and I'm not trying to compare them to early Christians but you get my point.

Quote:
For me the greatest evidence for the claims of christianity in the New Testament is the impact this ragtag group of early believers had on their world. These were unschooled, ordinary people - some were fisherman others reformed prostitutes. Just average people- yet they turned the world "upside down" with their message.
Paul wasn't unschooled...he was a Roman citizen and a man well educated in the Jewish faith. Just one example.

I am not denying the fact that Jesus' message was radical for the time. It most definetly was. But there seems to be so much 'added' to the narratives. For example, the story of the whole Nativity scene that churches all reenact this time of year.....can't find that anywhere in the NT, where did that come from? And even the supposed occupation of Jesus as a carpenter. The Greek word used, "ho tekton" is trying to render of word of Semitic origin....in the old Jewish writings the Aramaic word 'naggar' could either mean a craftsman or a scholar. Given the from the circumstances presented in the NT, Jesus had a comprehensive knowledge of the books of the OT. Would that not be possible that he was a hasid, or a holy man of the prophetic tradition who was able to heal the sick, cast of devils, etc.

Also, Jesus never presented himself as a religious alternative to Judiasim. And none of his followers after his Crucifixion thought of themselves as anything other than Jews who believed in Jesus' message. The word "Christian" is only used twice in the NT compared to the hundreds of other times the word "disciple" or "follower of Christ" is and even then the title Christian seems to have come from people on the outside. In the history of Jewish thought there has been some dissension and disagreement but it was tolerated and allowed... The whole distinction of Jesus' followers from Jewish relgion makes me wonder since even Jesus said He came not to abolish the Torah and The Law but rather fullfill it. He never proprosed people worship him or create a new religious movement outside the faith of Judiasm--that was only done after his supposed Ascension.


I am not saying I am discounting everything or maybe not anything...but I am really wondering about what exactly man might have done to God. I am not doubting God but I just don't know for sure what to make of some of the narratives. I'm also not trying to derail anyone's beliefs either....so I hope nobody reads anything I am writing as hostile because I do really want to know the answers.
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Old 12-30-2004, 05:20 PM   #39
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Starsgoblue: Don't worry, I'm not taking your question as an argument. That's a great question, actually.
The most immediate answer I can give you to show that the NT can be trusted is how quickly the Gospels were written.
The Gospel of Mark was written no later than 60 A.D., possibly even the late 50s. If Christ was crucified in 30 or 33 A.D., that leaves a gap of about 30 years.
That may seem like a long time by today's standards, but consider this: The two earliest biographies of Alexander the Great were written more than 400 years after his death in 323 B.C., yet they are considered trustworthy documents. Many other biographies of people during this time were written with an even larger gap between the time of the subject's death and the publication date. This shows that there was an urgency to get them written.
Plus, because the gospels were written within the same generation or the next of those who witnessed the crucifixion, any inconsistencies, errors or exaggerations would've been brought up.
If you're interested in this stuff, I would read "The Case for Christ," by Lee Strobel. He spends two chapters testing the Gospels by asking experts numerous questions. They're subtitled "Can the biographies of Jesus be trusted," and "Do the biographies of Jesus stand up to scrutiny." In writing the book, Strobel, a seasoned crime reporter for the Chicago Tribune, actually set out to prove Christianity to be a bunch of crap. He's now a pastor of a large church in Chicago.
In both chapters, he interviews Dr. Craig Blomberg, author of "The Historical Reliability of the Gospels."
Blomberg said "The disciples had noting to gain by recording the Gospels, except criticism, ostracism and martyrdom. If anything, this would have provided pressure to keep quiet, to deny Jesus, to downplay him, even to forget they ever met him — yet because of their integrity, they proclaimed what they saw, even when it meant suffering and death."
He goes on to say "We have a picture of what was initially a very vulnerable and fragile movement that was being subjected to persecution. If critics could have attacked it on the basis that it was full of falsehoods or distortions, they would have. But, that's exactly what we don't see."

Does that help?

By the way, I'm posting this after many people have responded to you and I want to write more, but I'm tried and I want to go to bed. I had a drink about an hour ago, and it's gone...straight...to...my...head.
(Cue Daddys' Gonna Pay For Your Crashed Car.)
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Old 12-30-2004, 05:39 PM   #40
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I've read "The Case For Christ" and "More Than A Carpenter" and "Mere Christianity" and all of the othe apologetic classics....I still am unsure about the questions I posed though.

Thanks though, Coe.
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Old 12-30-2004, 09:16 PM   #41
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Coemgen has hit us with some heavy points with his last two posts. This was cool:
Quote:
The two earliest biographies of Alexander the Great were written more than 400 years after his death in 323 B.C., yet they are considered trustworthy documents.
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Old 12-30-2004, 09:21 PM   #42
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Yeah...but nobody really has an answer for my questions though...
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Old 12-31-2004, 07:16 AM   #43
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If this was your question starsgoblue....
Quote:

But in talking about OT prophecies...how do we know that the writers of the NT, who were assuredly well versed in OT literature, didn't fashion the Gospels around that?

I can find many parallel accounts in the NT that are exactly like an OT story except with Jesus inserted instead of another character....the feeding of the 5000 for example mirrors a part from Kings I.
Then I thought I did address it. You are basically saying how do we know that the NT writers didn't just fashion a gospel around an OT themed messiah of their own making. Arn't you?

The point of my answer above was to demonstrate that if the gospel accounts were just some kind of invented version of the life of Jesus all of that stuff about the early believers just wouldn't make sense.

In answer to your other question I think Jesus was something of a hasid (not in the sense of the 18th century Jewish mystical movement!). But this doesn't in anyway undermine the gospel accounts.

Quote:

the story of the whole Nativity scene that churches all reenact this time of year.....can't find that anywhere in the NT, where did that come from? And even the supposed occupation of Jesus as a carpenter. The Greek word used, "ho tekton" is trying to render of word of Semitic origin....in the old Jewish writings the Aramaic word 'naggar' could either mean a craftsman or a scholar.
These things you mention are not what you would call central components of the Jesus story. As far as the nativity scene is concerned, I'm sure a good deal of what goes on in churches today is sentiment and owes it's origin to hallmark cards as much as anything else. For one thing, the Magi were not even present at Jesus birth. You can however find the reference in the NT to Jesus being laid in a manger soon after his birth, because there was no room at the inn (Luke 2:7) and of course the shepherds come to see him there too (Luke 2:16). Whether the correct translation for Jesus profession is Craftsman or scholar is not really important either. He may well have been described as both of those things. The family trade was certainly the former, and he no doubt spent time working with his father. He also knew the OT well too, as a good Jewish boy makes sense. But this has no bearing on the overall thrust of the gospel narratives.

Quote:

Also, Jesus never presented himself as a religious alternative to Judiasim. And none of his followers after his Crucifixion thought of themselves as anything other than Jews who believed in Jesus' message. The word "Christian" is only used twice in the NT compared to the hundreds of other times the word "disciple" or "follower of Christ" is and even then the title Christian seems to have come from people on the outside. In the history of Jewish thought there has been some dissension and disagreement but it was tolerated and allowed... The whole distinction of Jesus' followers from Jewish relgion makes me wonder since even Jesus said He came not to abolish the Torah and The Law but rather fullfill it. He never proprosed people worship him or create a new religious movement outside the faith of Judiasm--that was only done after his supposed Ascension.
Jesus proposed himself as the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets as you have said yourself. I agree with you that he was very much operating within the Jewish tradition- but that has always had a mission beyond itself. The israelites were to be God's people bringing his light to the gentiles. Jesus certainly did claim a special place, that of messiah, son of man (see Dan 7:13). The Jewish leaders of his day certainly understood who Jesus was claiming to be, and they saw it as a threat.

It is inconsitent to remain in orthodox judaism and claim to follow Jesus- they are mutually exclusive propositions. Certainly it is possible to come from a jewish background and accept Jesus as messiah- but that is a different thing. And frankly I don't think it matters whether you call that being a follower of Jesus or disciple or a member of "the way" or christian or whatever.

In the end Jesus did propose a new movement, it may not have meant to be the institutionalised church that we often see today, but it was to be called to something new- the acceptance of him as the promised messiah.

Sorry if I have missed what you're asking but I'd be only too happy to discuss further.
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Old 01-01-2005, 10:49 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally posted by NotAnEasyThing
Ah....but how can you pay any attention to a crazy man who thinks he's god? Or if he was not crazy and just decietful, then how can you say his teachings are good? You see you can't really have it both ways. Either you reject him or accept him as who he claimed to be.
I don't think Jesus thought he was God. The New Testament was written by people who never met Jesus, many years after his death. Unless of course you believe the Apostle Paul who says Jesus left heaven for a minute to temporarily blind him so that he might believe. So it's impossible to know where some of these divinity claims about Jesus came from, although Jesus' divinity was voted on about 400 years after he died, and the church tried to destroy any texts which showed Jesus as a common, hardworking man with great ideas, although some of those texts survived.

Jesus was born out of wedlock, had problems with some of the dogmatic teachings of the Jewish faith, and spoke out against them. He also spoke out against the corrupt government of the time. They killed him for that, and that was wrong. It's ironic that 40-100 years after his death, dogmatic teachings were created in his name. Where did these authors get their wild ideas then, quite possibly from Mithraism. It was fairly popular but died out when Christianity became more popular. Vatican City is even built on top of Mithraic temples.

If you look at the son of god, Mithra (which predates Christianity by hundreds of years), there are too many similarities to be coincidental i.e. virgin birth on December 25, magi bearing gifts in a manger, miracles, celibacy, 12 disciples, resurrection on the third day, went to heaven to be with his heavenly father, bread and wine in rememberance of his body and blood, Sunday was his holy day (unlike Judaism where Saturday is the Sabbath). Mithra was called "the light of the world", "the way, the truth, and the light", "messiah", "savior", "son of man". Mithra is supposed to come back again someday and it will be the end of the world and God will resurrect all people for a final judgment day where you go to heaven or hell.

Are Christians really modern-day Mithra worshippers, and don't even know it?
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Old 01-01-2005, 03:18 PM   #45
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What really makes me wonder is about Paul and his literature....I mean did he ever meet Jesus while he was alive? Besides the vision I mean....and yet Pauline literature makes a huge bulk to the NT and Paul institutes much dramatic change in theology, ie. the Gentile/non Gentile issues of food and worship.....
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