The case made for Christ

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This topic contains 117 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  michael17 2 weeks, 1 day ago.

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  • #31291

    Ivy
    Participant

    There is this argument in Christian circles that says that Jesus was either a liar, a lunatic, or THE son of God.

    The idea is he has to be one of the three.

    Do you agree with this? If so, which one do you think he was and why?

    • This topic was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  Ivy.
    #31293

    There are more than 3 options.  I think some Christians believe that he IS God?? It might be a good question to ask on a Jewish forum as he was a Jewish character.

    Did Jesus claim to be God?

     

    #31294

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I think he was an inspired genius, but I think it’s strongly possible he was a schizophrenic as well.  In schizophrenia, it’s normal for people to believe they’re the leader of a battle of good against evil.  That’s probably why so many mad people think they’re Jesus.  His messiah complex was normal schizophrenic behaviour.

    Just because someone might be mentally ill, or semi-ill, doesn’t mean that everything they say is bullshit.  Sometimes, it’s the most inspired stuff around.

    *** On second thoughts, it’s an attractive theory, but what’s missing from the picture is paranoia.  He didn’t talk about being persecuted and didn’t go on and on about evil people.  His condemnation of slackers was in the normal range.  But the rest of it is standard schizophrenia.

    #31295

    Ivy
    Participant

    @Reg

    I think some Christians believe that he IS God??

    same difference lol

    #31296

    Davis
    Participant

    Jesus was likely none of the three. The most the evidence points to is some guy named Jesus was crucified around this time. Zero evidence can apply any of the qualities of Jesus as mentioned in the numerous conflicting versions of his story…with the scantiest non-biblical evidence of his existence.

    It would be like researching 17th century American prison records and finding someone named Reginald McGee was executed without even a reason for and a couple cryptic comments. And then taking several unverifiable conflicting accounts of McGee’s incredible supernatural life with no other contemporary sources available detailing his fantastical deeds and execution written nearly a century afterwards as it happens and then … expecting anyone to make a reasoned judgement if he left, if what he did in those accounts were sincere and what his psychological state was. It could only be answered if the McGee in the story was remotely like the McGee who was executed which is dubious at best.

    #31297

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    What if there was a substantial body of legends surrounding Reginald McGee, that had been handed down by his followers?

    #31298

    _Robert_
    Participant

    Since Jesus supposedly led a completely unrealistic and totally symbolic life and has so many attributes of many supernatural characters that came before him, I doubt much of anything written about him is true. The earliest writings are simply “revelations” that came to Paul; there is little about a worldly man, his family or his humanity. Oddly enough as the decades pass early Christians (who were not witnesses to any of it) wrote allegorical details in the gospels as they incorporated concepts from their conqueror’s religion of Zoroastrianism and the several prevalent Mystery cults into their Judaism.  Jesus’s life mirrors Moses (another fictional character, Exodus). Many times early on they wrote about how the world would end and Jesus would return during their lifetime. Of course, that failed and then the early church starts assembling a longer term story. The authors of the gospels were skilled, no doubt.

     

    #31299

    It would be a worthwhile exercise to study the history and evolution of religion to see if it worth the commitment.  Here is a quick look at some of it.

    Christ was allegedly born of an immaculate virgin, died for mankind, arose from the dead, and ascended into Heaven.

    Buddha, who lived over 500 years before Jesus, was born of the Virgin Maya, which is the same as Mary. Maya conceived by the Holy Ghost, and thus Buddha was of the nature of God and man combined. Buddha was born on December 25, his birth was announced in the heavens by a star, and angels sang. He stood upon his feet and spoke at the moment of his birth; at five months of age he sat unsupported in the air; and at the moment of his conversion he was attacked by a legion of demons. He was visited by wise men, he was baptized, transfigured, performed miracles, rose from the dead, and on his ascension through the air to heaven, he left his footprint on a mountain in Ceylon (Sri Lanka).

    The Hindu Savior, Krishna, was born of a virgin 600 years before Christ. A star shone at his birth which took place in a cave. He was adored by cowherds who recognized his greatness, he performed miracles, was crucified, and is to come to judge the earth.

    Christ died for mankind,—so did Buddha and Krishna. Adonis, Osiris, Horus, and Tammuz, all virgin-born gods, were saviors and suffered death. Christ rose from the dead, so have Krishna and Buddha arisen from the dead and ascended into Heaven. So did Lao Kium, Zoroaster, and Mithra.

    A star shone in the sky at the births of Krishna, Rama Yu, Lao Tsze, Moses, Quetzalcoatl, Ormuzd, Rama, Buddha, and others. Christ was born of a virgin, so was Krishna and Buddha. Lao Tsze was also born of a virgin. Horus in Egypt was born of the Virgin Isis. Isis, with the child Horus on her knee, was worshiped centuries before the Christian era, and was appealed to under the names of “Our Lady,” “Queen of Heaven,” “Star of Heaven,” “Star of the Sea,” “Mother of God,” and so forth. Hercules, Bacchus, and Perseus were gods born by mortal mothers. Zeus, father of the gods, visited Semele in the form of a thunderstorm and she gave birth, on the 25th of December, to the great savior and deliverer, Dionysis.

    Mithra was born of a virgin, in a cave, on the 25th of December. He was buried in a tomb from which he rose again. He was called savior and mediator and sometimes figured as a lamb. Osiris was also said to be born about the 25th of December; he suffered, died, and was resurrected. Hercules was miraculously conceived from a divine father and was everywhere invoked as savior. Minerva had a more remarkable birth than Eve; she sprang full-armed from the brow of Jupiter. He did this remarkable feat without even losing a rib.

    The Chinese Tien, the holy one, died to save the world. In Mexico, Quetzalcoatl, the savior, was the son of Chimalman, the Virgin Queen of Heaven. He was tempted, fasted forty days, was done to death, and his second coming was eagerly looked for by the natives. The Teutonic Goddess Hertha, was a virgin, and the sacred groves of Germany contained her image with a child in her arms. The Scandinavian Goddess Frigga was a virgin who bore a son, Balder, healer and savior of mankind.

    When one considers the similarity of these ancient pagan legends and beliefs with Christian traditions then indeed the Devil must have been a very busy person to have caused these pagans to imitate for such long ages and in such widespread localities the Christian mysteries. Indeed, Edward Carpenter comments, “One has only, instead of the word ‘Jesus’ to read Dionysis or Krishna or Hercules or Osiris or Attis, and instead of ‘Mary’ to insert Semele or Devaki or Alcmene or Neith or Nona, and for Pontius Pilate to use the name of any terrestrial tyrant who comes into the corresponding story, and lo! the creed fits in all particulars into the rites and worship of a pagan God.”

    A legend stated that Plato, born of Perictione, a pure virgin, suffered an immaculate conception through the influences of Apollo (B.C. 426). The God declared to Ariston, to whom she was about to be married, the parentage of the child.

    St. Dominic, born A.D. 1170, was said to be the offspring of an immaculate conception. He was free from original sin and was regarded as the adopted son of the Virgin Mary.

    St. Francis, the compeer of St. Dominic, was born A.D. 1182. A prophetess foretold his birth; he was born in a stable; angels sang forth peace and good will into the air, and one, in the guise of Simeon, bore him to baptism.

    The Egyptian trinities are well known: thus, from Amun by Maut proceeds Khonso; from Osiris by Isis proceeds Horus; from Neph by Saté proceeds Anouké. The Egyptians had propounded the dogma that there had been divine incarnations, the fall of man, and redemption.

    Professor James T. Shotwell when speaking of paganism reminds us, “Who of us can appreciate antique paganism? The Gods of Greece or Rome are for us hardly more than the mutilated statues of them in our own museums; pitiable, helpless objects before the scrutiny and comments of a passing crowd. Venus is an armless figure from the Louvre; Dionysos does not mean to us divine possession, the gift of tongues, or immortality; Attis brings no salvation. But to antiquity the ‘pagan’ cults were no mockery. They were as real as Polynesian heathenism or Christianity to-day.” (James T. Shotwell: “The Religious Revolution of To-day.”)

    It is seen, therefore, that from time immemorial, man does not discover his gods, but invents them. He invents them in the light of his experience and endows them with capacities that indicate the stage of man’s mental development.

    Religion is not the product of civilized man. Man inherits his god just as he inherits his physical qualities. The idea of a supernatural being creating and governing this earth is a phantom born in the mind of the savage. If it had not been born in the early stages of man’s mental development, it surely would not come into existence now. History proves that as the mind of man expands, it does not discover new gods, but that it discards them. It is not strange, therefore, that there has not been advanced a new major religious belief in the last 1300 years. All modern religious conceptions, no matter how disguised, find their origin in the fear-stricken ignorance of the primitive savage.

    A Christian will admit that the gods of others are man-made, and that their creed is similar to the worship of the savage. He looks at their gods with the vision of a civilized being; but when he looks at his own god, he forgets his civilization, he relapses centuries of time, and his mental viewpoint is that of the savage.

    #31300

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Simon, how is a substantial body of legends relevant? Oral traditions is all that was possible. Oral traditions are or were universal. Robin Hood is an example. Legends simply become more distorted as time marches. Do you think there is a chance that such legends would be admissible in court?

    The virginal accounts make sense in terms of creating awe since they knew ya had to get it in to get it out and for the same or related reason (I assume) Christianity in 1100s adopted the appearance of celibacy for priests. The flock would be impressed by supernatural leaders who did not need to do what they did. It has been said there is nothing in new in Christianity. It is a compilation and co-opting of what came before. Just as the Romans co-opted the Greeks so peoples borrowed BS from each other. They did not have modern transportation but they had trade routes.

    None of that matters when the lovers of Jesus feel the luuuvvvvvvvv. IN JESUS NAME. JESUS IS MY BOYFRIEND.

    #31301

    _Robert_
    Participant

    Frankly Jesus took  a step backwards when he walked on water. Parting of the seas is much more impressive. I give Moses an 8.0, Jesus a 7.5. I see spiders walking on water everyday. And like Reg says of Buddha “at five months of age he sat unsupported in the air”…well, I give that an 8.5. Buddha wins !!!

    #31302

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Don’t forget the Jesus Lizard..fun to watch that lizard skitter.

    #31303

    Reg: I think some Christians believe that he IS God??

    Ivy: same difference lol

    Nicely side-stepped 🙂

     

    #31304

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Robin Hood is an example.

    That’s a good point.  But Robin Hood’s origins are lost in the mists of time – maybe it was a generic name for outlaws – while the living person of Jesus stands out clear as day, by the sensible and inspired things he said, as well as the implausible bullshit like the virgin birth and cursing the fig tree that must have been added later.

    Why do Christians believe that Jesus came back from the dead?  They seem so damn sure, and as far as we know, there are no accounts of this having been added later.

    #31305

    while the living person of Jesus stands out clear as day,

    Please provide evidence that he actually existed. I am an agnostic on this and unsure why so many people are convinced he existed as the character most Christians assume he was.

    #31311

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    A lot of the stories about him ring true and aren’t the kind of thing that would be made up.  A lot of them do sound made up.

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