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Topic: OT: Did The Historical Jesus Exist? Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 13 September 2017 at 4:01am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Waaay back when I was a college student at the Ohio State University, I was accosted by someone from (presumably) one of the Christian student clubs, who tried to convince me to come to the meeting that afternoon (or whenever... details fade after a couple decades.) 

He was very obviously armed with stock phrases and a limited number of passages, and he hit me hard. I tried to wander away, not impolitely, but he kept on me. He wasn't able to answer questions I asked besides, "That's the way God made it!" or similar.

Finally, I played THAT card. "Okay, whatever it is you're saying, it doesn't mean a lot to me because I'm Jewish-"

He got to play one of his obviously well rehearsed lines - "Oh, but you must know that the Jews killed Christ."

Well.

My grandmother would not have been proud of me, but I answered, "You don't know what the hell you're talking about, and GET AWAY FROM ME." Thus did I break the conversation.

Five seconds later, I looked back, and he had grabbed (physically) someone else.

And I suppose that this, as much as anything, DISPROVES to me that God or Jesus has a presence on Earth. I don't care how mysterious the ways of the creator are, I won't believe that event - or others far more heinous and hideous - are committed in that creator's name and the creator endorses. Why intentionally make a bad name for Yourself?
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John Byrne
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Posted: 13 September 2017 at 4:06am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

If the Jews killed Christ, shouldn't Christians send them special Thank You cards every Easter?
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 13 September 2017 at 4:58am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Robbie, I hope I didn't sound condescending in suggesting you look into various faiths and denominations. It sounds like you have pretty thoroughly explored religion.

***

No, it's fine. You've become a close friend here, Warren.

I don't expect anyone to be an expert in anything, but I think it'd be useful for some to know a little bit more than the Noah's Ark/Adam and Eve tales - and maybe a bit of history about the faith.
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 13 September 2017 at 5:30am | IP Logged | 4 post reply


 QUOTE:
"Oh, but you must know that the Jews killed Christ."

Well, he didn't want to become a doctor, so what else could we have done...?!
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John Byrne
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Posted: 13 September 2017 at 6:21am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

"Oh, but you must know that the Jews killed Christ."

Well, he didn't want to become a doctor, so what else could we have done...?!

Immediately reminded of the old joke about how we know Jesus was Jewish: he went into his father's business, and his mother thought he was God.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 13 September 2017 at 6:24am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I don't expect anyone to be an expert in anything, but I think it'd be useful for some to know a little bit more than the Noah's Ark/Adam and Eve tales - and maybe a bit of history about the faith.

Scholars often refer to the "Fifth Gospel". This is the one that exists only in people's heads, confabulated out of the "good parts" of the other four.

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Michael Penn
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Posted: 13 September 2017 at 6:44am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Can't somebody out there pay you, JB, to do a "Classics Illustrated" of one of the Gospels...?!
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John Byrne
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Posted: 13 September 2017 at 7:00am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Can't somebody out there pay you, JB, to do a "Classics Illustrated" of one of the Gospels...?!

I have been contemplating for years the idea of doing an adaptation of the Book of Matthew. I think that's the one that would mess with believer's heads the most, what with Mary and Joseph actually living in Bethlehem, and Jesus being several years older than a newborn when the Wise Men show up.

A moment to recommend, once again, the superbly illustrated life of Jesus, THE ROAD OF COURAGE, done by Dan Dare creator Frank Hampson. It was originally serialized on the back page of EAGLE. The art will blow your right out of your socks --- even tho JC does look strangely like Dan with a beard!

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John Byrne
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Posted: 13 September 2017 at 9:41am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

As long as this discussion is making the rounds, this again:

Matthew 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.                                                                        

This has long amused me, as Jesus, presumably speaking Aramaic, makes reference to a "tittle", which is the dot over the lower case I and J.

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Sergio Saavedra
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Posted: 13 September 2017 at 10:55am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

As long as this discussion is making the rounds, this again:

Matthew 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.                                                                          

This has long amused me, as Jesus, presumably speaking Aramaic, makes reference to a "tittle", which is the dot over the lower case I and J.

**************************************

Yes, when you translate anything, sometimes you have the dilemma of translating the original reference literally or using a reference that is easier to understand by your audience, but that doesn't fit with the cultural context of the original text. That happens all the time with films, comics, videogames or whatever.

Edited by Sergio Saavedra on 13 September 2017 at 10:59am
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Sergio Saavedra
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Posted: 13 September 2017 at 11:01am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I have been contemplating for years the idea of doing an adaptation of the Book of Matthew. I think that's the one that would mess with believer's heads the most, what with Mary and Joseph actually living in Bethlehem, and Jesus being several years older than a newborn when the Wise Men show up.
**************

Matthew 13:55 56 is also an interesting passage:
"Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us?"
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Warren Scott
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Posted: 13 September 2017 at 11:38am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Yeah, Eric, Christians who blame Jews for Christ's death miss the point entirely.
That was a good one, JB. I once saw a cartoon where a crowd is surrounding Jesus and one of them says, "You know, he only got the job because of his father."
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 13 September 2017 at 2:30pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

For further indignities regarding the lord and himself/his son, I recommend Robert A. Heinlein's "Job: A Comedy of Justice", which does the mythology proper.

The Jews killed Jesus... we wouldn't have done that. We would have destroyed his credit rating.

An extremely irreverent friend of mine used to say, "That's right. We Jews killed Jesus. And when he comes back, we'll do it again, and you'll all have to wear little electric chairs around your necks."

And technically... if God mandated that Jesus die for Mankind's sins, isn't that something of a suicide?
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Petter Myhr Ness
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Posted: 13 September 2017 at 3:18pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

God mandated that Jesus die for Mankind's sins...
--

Not to steer too wide off topic, but that there is one of most preposterous aspects of Christianity that is repeated time and time again like it's something wonderful. 
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 13 September 2017 at 3:20pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

I remember at Sunday school singing hymns along the lines
of 'I'm an unworthy,evil wretch' and thinking 'I'm just a
kid,and a well behaved one' why am I a wretch'?
Fuck you god!
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 13 September 2017 at 3:32pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Matthew 13:55 56 is also an interesting passage:
"Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us?"
-----------------------------------------
No Christians deny that Jesus had brothers and sisters.  There are disagreements about how they're related to him, whether its half-brothers and sisters, step-brothers and sisters, or first cousins, but nobody denies their existence.  James the brother of the Lord was the first leader of the church in Jerusalem, vis a vis the book of Acts and Paul's epistles, and the book of James was traditionally ascribed to him.  Jude was also traditionally ascribed to one of Jesus' brothers.  And traditionally, Jesus' sister Salome was the wife of Zebedee and the mother of the disciples James and John.
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 13 September 2017 at 3:35pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

God mandated that Jesus die for Mankind's sins...
--

Not to steer too wide off topic, but that there is one of most preposterous aspects of Christianity that is repeated time and time again like it's something wonderful. 
---------------------------
This idea grows out of Cur Deus Homo, written by Anselm in the 11th century, and is only the belief of a segment of Christianity, albeit a significant segment of Western Christianity.  The more common view of Christ's death was based on pre-Christian Jewish theology of martyrdom, developed out of books like II Maccabees.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 13 September 2017 at 3:59pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

The idea also grows out of Messianic legend not saying anyhing about the True Messiah being arrested, tortured and killed. Early Christians had to vamp.
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 13 September 2017 at 4:18pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Mark 8:13 -- "And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again."
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 13 September 2017 at 9:44pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

The idea also grows out of Messianic legend not saying anyhing about the True Messiah being arrested, tortured and killed. Early Christians had to vamp.
-------------------------------------------
If there was no historical Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified by the Romans, why would they have 'had to vamp'?
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 14 September 2017 at 12:11am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

I don't think this is the proper thread for my rant to go in, but since I don't think it should survive on its own then a religious discussion is where it will live.  

I listened to an interview with Caitlyn Jenner today on the Norm McDonald podcast.  I love Norm.  Hilarious guy.  But I was rather disturbed to learn, perhaps later than some, that Caitlyn is not only a conservative Republican but extremely religious.  I can't wrap my mind around that.  At all.  An LGBT person who lives in support of the Republicans who is also a practicing Christian.  Her defense is that she'd rather try to convince Republicans to accept LGBT people than to convince Democrats that smaller government and less taxes are the way to go. 

OK.  She's fortunate.  She's got millions that she wants to protect.  But isn't that worthless if the party you choose to affiliate yourself with decides to strip your fundamental rights?  Worse, you choose to follow a god at all, but align yourself with Christianity which, let's be fair, hasn't been the nicest with regard to anyone not propagating the species in the "correct" way?  Yes, before anyone jumps in to defend some Christian churches as being welcoming to LGBT, that's hardly the norm.  And when they do?  I've been to enough in my lifetime to know that they aren't looked at the same as the "normal" folk.  It's part of their "outreach" but not really the kind of people they want to attract UNLESS they can ultimately show them the "error of their ways".  

As charming as Caitlyn was in the interview, I was fundamentally disturbed by her foundation and remained confused with the notion of wanting to be a part of an institution that really wants absolutely nothing to do with you, be it Republicans or Christians, except  for your money.  
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 14 September 2017 at 3:38am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

I agree, Matt, particularly your last sentence.

I had no idea about this until your post, but it does seem very, very bizarre.

Jenner aside, I have read accounts from LGBT people on social media who felt that some churches were tolerating them rather than accepting them.

The word "tolerance" is an odd one, often used here by the media to describe LGBT people. Yet I think it's the wrong word. I tolerate a fly or wasp hanging around my beer in a pub garden; I tolerate a poor driver doing 20mph in a 40mph zone; and I tolerate a loud drunk at a bus station. Tolerating is putting up with something you really don't care for (and we all bloody hate an insect flying around our beers, right?).

"Accept" is a better word. And I really doubt many churches accept LGBT people. 
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 14 September 2017 at 4:22am | IP Logged | 23 post reply


 QUOTE:
Early Christians had to vamp.

And ever since, too.

Whatever could possibly have been the Jewish origin of whatever became Christianity was quickly lost and is irretrievable. Nothing didn't happen, obviously. But between that and the Christian creed affirming that the Jesus of Nazareth as per the Gospels and Church traditions "was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried" is a gulf impossible to span historically.


Edited by Michael Penn on 14 September 2017 at 4:22am
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John Byrne
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Posted: 14 September 2017 at 5:03am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

If there was no historical Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified by the Romans, why would they have 'had to vamp'?

Here we return to the idea that "Jesus" was built of many parts. That "he" was a collection of stories about several different men over several decades. These stories got folded together, and the form was set before the Christian cult fully asserted itself. (Important to remember that there were many different groups composing this cult, and they did not always agree with each other, even on the most basic points.)

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Petter Myhr Ness
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Posted: 14 September 2017 at 7:00am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

...and is only the belief of a segment of Christianity, albeit a significant segment of Western Christianity
--

"Jesus died for our sins" is surely one of the most common phrases uttered throughout Christianity. 

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