Let’s Bring in the Experts on Jesus, the Jews.

It was the Jews who predicted the coming of the Messiah.  They knew what the Messiah was supposed to accomplish.  They knew the Messiah had to come from the linage of a specific Biblical family.  Anyone else would be an impostor, not the real thing.

To be the Messiah, one could not just claim the god had told him this.  Someone else needed to hear it, otherwise anyone could make this claim.

No one else heard the god tell Jesus he was the Messiah.  That should make everyone skeptical.

Then, there were tasks the real Messiah was supposed to accomplish.  The self-claimed Messiah,  Jesus, did not accomplish these tasks, raising more doubt.

In addition, the messiah was to have been a descendant of King David. This is a clear requirement that is either met, or, not met.  The Jesus does not make the grade.

Nonbelievers raise similar issues with the claim the Biblical character, Jesus, was the Messiah.  They ask believers how, exactly, will we identify the real “returned one” if there are several who make the same claim?   Jews anticipated this problem by being very specific about how to identify the “one”.

Jews also fault the “Jesus story” in its portrayal of a “virgin birth”.  Their view is virgin birth was not a requirement.  It’s in the story by mistake.

Jews have their own strange myths nonbelievers do not accept.  But their criticisms of Christian myths are logical.

The Jews have legitimate skepticism.

http://www.aish.com/jl/jnj/nj/48892792.html

Join the discussion of this on FaceBook, Red River Freethinkers.  Thanks.

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years.
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101 Responses to Let’s Bring in the Experts on Jesus, the Jews.

  1. Stanta says:

    Heck Jon, you think the Jews are idiots the same as Christians. You will use any tools to attack Jesus.

    They told us the answer 2000 years ago. Caiaphas was the Jewish leader. To admit different is to admit a mistake.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Stan 1:42 Caiaphas was the last word on everything, like today’s Pat Robertson?

      • Stanta says:

        Yes, since he has Jesus crucified I would have to say he had the last word on the rejection of Christ.

        • Avatar of Dustin White Dustin White says:

          Pilate had Jesus killed. Crucifixion was a Roman form of punishment, and the reason Jesus was killed was because he was seen as a criminal in the eyes of Rome. Caiaphas (who was not the actual Jewish leader, but the chief priest. Many actually rejected him, and the Temple as it stood during that time, and thus started separate groups), probably had little if anything to do with it.

          • Stanta says:

            Pilate was content with flogging. Pressure from the Temple is what pushed His execution.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Stan 5:47 “Pressure from the Temple is what pushed His execution.”

            Ah yes, “proof”, the Jews killed Jesus. “Real Christians” knew it all the time.

            What a great country we have where we can discuss for days, and sometimes people get paid to do it, “why” something happened when it may not have happened at all.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Jon; That’s not what Stanta said.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Wanna 7:30 “Jon, That’s not what Santa said.”
            He said, if it were left to Ponteus Pilot, Jesus would have been flogged. Because of pressure from the temple, that’s the Jews isn’t, he was killed. I don’t understand how I’m misunderstanding him?

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Jon; You were the unbelieving/ freethinker mayor of Fargo. The entire administration of fargo consists of unbelievers. The same with the faculty of NDSU. All are members of the Freethinkers. The entire city of Fargo is a freethinker’s culture.

          • entech says:

            Pilate was a notoriously savage administrator, well known for stamping out dissidents. As Prefect he was also Judge. When the average period of tenure for a provincial Governor was three years Pilate was in Palestine for about 13. Do you really think he would have lasted so long if he was the soft character portrayed in the Gospels?
            Imagine the situation, you are a Roman citizen named Paul, recently changed from Saul and recently converted to a new idea and with a new mission. Remember the Roman Empire covered the whole area from Rome through Greece, Turkey, Palestine , Egypt and beyond. So you have a preacher running around trying to convert Romans and Roman colonies to his new religion, a good selling point would be Join My Church, by the way You Murdered the leader.
            The Romans executed Jesus for treason, collusion with church authorities, authorities that feared any possible developing opposition to their authority and had an interest on keeping on side with the colonial masters, quite likely. But the fact remains that the Romans killed him and attempts to whitewash that has led to two thousand years of anti-Semitism by a group whose leader said such things as “love your neighbour” , “love your enemy”.

          • entech says:

            This is an interesting thread, Christians have always tried to shift the blame to the “Christ Killers” but I am confused at the relevance of WBS @ 9:33.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            entech 10:37 “…relevance of WBS @ 9:33.”

            I have no idea.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Entech; Re. your 10:37; Intimating/accusing Stan and others of being in support of “The Christ Killers” term/concept, instead of : The “Collusion with church authorities”; (your term), Stan’s “pressure from the Temple”.
            I see your “collusion” paralell with Stan’s “pressure”.

            That being said, history shows the “Christ Killer” term was used several times over the years not from a theological stand, but from individuals/ ecclieastics, and governments for political, economic, and xenophobic reasons, all inexcusable.

          • entech says:

            Stanta says: at 5:47 pm
            You say I am Intimating/accusing Stan and others of being in support of “The Christ Killers” what do you make of Pilate was content with flogging. Pressure from the Temple is what pushed His execution. if not a desperate attempt to shift the blame from Rome. Shifting the blame from Rome is a necessary pre-requisite to spreading the Church in Roman Territory, there is nowhere else to put the blame.

            “Christ Killers” has been a very useful term to justify the pogroms and other expulsions and impositions, not entirely free from church support, tell me, when were the Jews finally exonerated of deicide? A much nicer term and so clever being in Latin, but, as Christ and God are one and deicide means killing God, same thing.

            And your 9:33 ?

          • Henry says:

            endwreck: “Christians have always tried to shift the blame to the “Christ Killers””

            Sinners killed Christ, all of us. Jon and entech are included, but refused the benefit.

          • entech says:

            Are you saying that you killed someone in order reap a benefit, that’s what it reads like. And YOU have the nerve to talk about morality.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            My 9;33; Should not have been hard for you, but I will’splain; Blame / accuse everyone for the activity of one, or a few.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Entech; could you be specific as to whom you are aiming your comments at? It’s confusing. Thank you.

          • entech says:

            WBS @ 11:39 Thought that was what you meant, you do it all the time and then blame others for doing same. This time you excelled yourself, what on earth does the faculty of your local university have to do with the death of a character 2000 years ago, and , an entire city?

            WBS @ 11:43 Yes a bad habit, in this case it should have been obvious from proximity and context that I was responding to another of Henry’s little pieces of nonsense.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Entech; what has it to do with 2000yr ago? Nothing. But a comparison of the same practice of blaming/accusing all for the bad practice of few. Just bring it down to the present. Much like attacking a German farmer who’s father imigrated in 1867 for slavery and the Third Reich. That has happened. I can honestly say that I had never heard the term “Christ Killer” until I saw an old black and white movie about the Nazis in the early 50′s . It was repulsive then as it is now. I have seen instinces however where honest and objective dialogue has been thwarted by political correctness. (PC), from the PC far left. No one wants to be unfairly accused of being a “Jew hater”, especially if it is not true. Effectively shuting down any dialogue. Good strategy, but dishonest. I detected a faint whiff of this strategy with Jon’s 6;03. This has been my point.

          • Stanta says:

            If you want to get to brass tacks i feel a lot of sympathy for Judas, Pilate and the temple leaders. They were just doing what leaders do and what happened was foretold. I even pray for their souls at Easter.

            In our truth, our sin killed Christ. But he was resurrected and now lives.

            What I WAS saying was that many Jews did believe him, or there wouldn’t be Christians today. As with anything there will be others who disagree. If your religion was accused of killing it’s savior would you admit he WAS the savior.

            I greatly admire the Jews, they have survived under so many pressures over the centuries. they still are the People of God and our spiritual ancestors. Evangelicals are the strongest supporters of Israel and the Jews in Diaspora. Antisemitism is stronger from the left then anywhere else. Did you see the Occupy Crowd and there blaming the banking failures on international Jewry?

        • Henry says:

          endwreck: “Are you saying that you killed someone in order reap a benefit, that’s what it reads like.”

          Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

  2. entech says:

    Messiah as saviour failed at the time, the loss of the temple at 70 AD demonstrates that.

    Seems though that those that changed it to a new meaning still have to keep the bits of the old that they need to justify the changes. Confusing to a poor little outsider.

    • Henry says:

      Your hyperliteralism is in overdrive again.

      • entech says:

        You keep saying that or something similar, when you know that it is not true, that makes you a dishonest person desperate to hold on to an implausible hypothesis.

        I will say it again, in plain English.
        I do not believe that the Bible is a true and complete account of anything. It may have some elements of history about it, but even that has some difficulties with a precise chronology and geography. The book cannot be taken seriously, any literal interpretation merely compounds the original mistakes.

        • Henry says:

          What is temple?

          • entech says:

            If you do not know of the destruction of the second temple by Rome about 70 AD for rebellion, it can only be that you would deny another failed prophecy. The saviour did not save the Jews or the Temple. It is about this time that the Jesus movement breaks with Judaism and becomes a sect of its own – taking the failed Messiah with them.

          • Henry says:

            Unfortunately, as I thought. Carry on. You are bound.

          • entech says:

            Hindreek so predictable, run out of replies and so resort to the phrase you stole from WBS, “bound” to happen more and more often.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            I could inject “destroy this temple and in three days…..”, or My kingdom is not of this world, or He was crucified after they discovered He was not going to be an earthly king, but I won’t due to the fact that you reject any of the “writings” related to it in the first place. Any word from the Messianic Judaism folks yet?

          • Henry says:

            endwreck: “so resort to the phrase you stole”

            I “steal” good information all the time.

        • Stanta says:

          The temple destruction was foretold long before Jesus was with us. The third Temple will be when Christ returns. God, doesn’t work to our timetable, but to his. that is why I have no problem being an old earth Christian.

  3. Henry says:

    The jews back then were swarming around Jesus in adoration. Jewish leadership was generally confounded, and they embarrassed themselves multiple times when they tried to lay a trap.

    Some jewish leadership were on board with Jesus.

    The picture Jon paints is not quite accurate.

    • entech says:

      Par.1. That is total invention, he was hardly known outside of his tiny group around the lake.
      Par. 2. Any one “on board” was Jewish at that time. On board the fishing boats?
      Par.3. Jon is not painting a picture he is quoting Jewish belief

      http://ohr.edu/ask/ask00j.htm

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        Jewish belief/ thought is all over the place. From Hasidic, indifference, non-belief, zionism, nationalism, apocolyptic, cultural, to Messianic Judaism. Plus possible others I can’t think of right now. To say “Jewish belief” means nothing. For many, the only common denominator is the Holocaust.

        • entech says:

          And in comparison, Christianity is a homologous entity? I tried to think of a couple of ways this could be demonstrated as wrong, Luther and Erasmus perhaps, not really, there are much wider schisms (chasms) than that Trinity or Unity?
          For Christianity the only common denominator is the fact that they are all wrong. IMHO

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Anticipated that. However with a rare exception, (WBC for example), almost all of those in the Christian community agree on the essentials of the ((((faith)))), in spite of perceived errors, or practices and consider the others within that community “Christian”. Not based on the physical history, eschatology or culture.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            And for your information those interdenominational matters are a family matter, and none of your business to interfere or promote, as you are not of the community. I would fight to the end to defend a Baptist or Catholic, but debate with either afterwards. I am sure they would do the same. I have weekly dialogue with both, sometimes others, sometimes strongly, yet don’t you intrude. You would have all three or four of us united against you. Like I said “A family matter”. I have said this before.

          • entech says:

            But you are forever lecturing on the differences and why everyone else is wrong except you.
            Bound mind – no free will; Grace – faith – good works – pre-destination; Trinity – Unity; and you certainly didn’t agree with Dustin, I think you might have made him realise the fultility of even trying to work it out with WHS, the unholy trinity.

            Pity you didn’t up the homologous instead of homogenous, I was hoping to get in a rant about the biological meaning and how religion had evolved along similar lines, drat you are usually so good at picking.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            You missed a few things. The organic relationship for example.

          • entech says:

            WBC @ 3:21. I f they are “Family Matters” will you keep them of my Television, out of my newspapers and generally being poked up my nose to irritating effect. You demand your place in the “public square”, but get upset if someone notices, or promulgate your differences all over the place, and get upset if someone notices and responds.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Where have I demanded, etc? Nowhere that I can remember. We are not putting anything on TV or the Newspapers. Only responding to your and Jon’s statements.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Perhaps you should talk directly to those who do. Meanwhile back to Jon’s blog.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Who is WBC? Do I address you incorrectly? No.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Or disrespectfully? No. Only the issues.

          • entech says:

            Sorry, a little slip of the keyboard. Been reading to many posts from your buddy Henry.

          • entech says:

            Now you have gone too far, disrespectfully – not lately that is why I am responding. I do expect your collapse to person insults any time now.
            You wander further from the issues than anyone else and then accuse others of the same.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Your understanding of “wandering” is your inability to keep up, or comprehend. You are calling the kettle black before it is put on the fire. Please keep up.

          • entech says:

            “Inability to comprehend” could be approaching disrespect.

            You may like to consider that a kettle could retain some blackness from previous exposure.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            If you were using green wood, or ill prepared. Ya, tha’s it. Back to the blog now.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            “Inability to comprehend.”"could be approaching disrespect”. Only if it was not the case. Or is the inability to comprehend a feigned attempt to avoid the issue? I think that is the case. That in itself is showing disrespect. More pots and kettles with green wood.

      • Henry says:

        endwreck: “he was hardly known outside of his tiny group around the lake.”

        Ever hear of palm Sunday? Let’s see….where did that occur?

        endwreck: “Jon is not painting a picture[.] [H]e is quoting Jewish belief[.]“

        I find it interesting Jon gives Jewish belief credence when it is convenient for him to assault Christ. Even to the point of Jews “anticipating” what to look for in identifying Christ. Jon comfortably relies on documents describing events 2000+ years ago in order to assassinate Christ.

        • entech says:

          Palm Sunday, Sunday before Easter (Originally Sunday before Passover), Yeshua and his friends go into Jerusalem intent on causing ructions at a time when the Romans were at their most alert and nervous. Passover is a very serious event and even the Romans were aware of the significance in relation to the end of bondage in Egypt. Probably wouldn’t have been noticed if it had not been so carefully stage-managed, riding side saddle on two horses at once, followers running ahead littering the streets with palm fronds. Have you seen the size of those things? I tripped on one once after a storm had blown them down, tangled in my feat, nearly broke my wrist (had to buy a new watch).
          But yeah, Palm Sunday a pretty dramatic affair in the scriptures, nowhere else.

          I am trying, with little success, to decipher your last paragraph.
          I can’t see quite what sentence 1. implies. Jon, If he is like me, and, in this instance I think he is, places no credence at all on Jewish belief – starting with the God hypothesis, Adam and Eve and talking serpents etc. If Christ existed, probably did, he is no longer in the room to assault. Like Elvis, he has left the building.
          Sentence 2. Presuming here that by Christ you are referring to the saviour person, the Messiah. He was, after all, their prophecy, the Messiah was to be their saviour, he would release them from being enslaved by the Romans, amongst many other things – who better to know what to look for :?: You lot have a whole mishmash of things, signs , portents and omens about the second coming, a whole book of revelation(s) in fact. In the Jewish book there is no mention of a second chance just a saviour for whom they are still waiting.
          Sentence 3. Your last sentence really cast a doubt on your sanity and your understanding, a couple of points:
          The events are supposed to have taken place about 2,000 years ago, would you have him use books/documents 3,000 years old, or perhaps the Avesta, or some Mesopotamian documents even older, something more recent, the Book of Mormon perhaps or the Diatribes of Erasmus?
          Assassination, where did that creep into your desperate little story? Jesus was not assassinated, he was executed by the Romans for rebellion and treason, executed by being hung on a stick which was the standard form of execution for such crimes against the state, intende to be a public and painful warning about who was in charge.
          But perhaps I am reading you incorrectly, maybe you are talking about character assassination. Now I will pay attention and listen you are the undoubted master.

          • Henry says:

            endwreck: “Jesus was not assassinated”

            Your hyperliteralism, again.

            endwreck: “Passover is a very serious event and even the Romans were aware of the significance in relation to the end of bondage in Egypt. “

            More reliance of the “freethinker” on really old books that they otherwise would denounce.

          • entech says:

            Here we are with hyperliteralism again, I always thought of it as way of reading things into the Bible, the exact opposite of allegorical in fact. But here we have it being applied to your words. Does your ego and arrogance know no bounds? Are your words the equivalent of scripture? December 8, 2012 at 2:12 am

            Really old books are only denounced when foolish people try to use them to tell us how to live really modern lives, like some of the 600 or more laws in Deuteronomy , you have heard all the stupid ones that people object to, but when you are talking about things that people say happened a really long time ago you need to see what people wrote about it a really long time ago.

            Must be almost 11 at night over there, you have been writing lots and lots, trying your best to defend the indefensible now go to bed before you head bursts open and you room is covered in shinola.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Henry 1:49 “The Jews back then were swarming around Jesus in adoration.”

      Just like they are now, right?

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        Jon; They were “swarming” around on and around Palm Sunday because most of them (not all) anticipated him to be an earthly king in the manner of David. When that didn’t happen, and in conjunction with the Roman govt. who was afraid of “a Jewish King”, they were pissed. The Jews didn’t kill him, and Ponteous Pilot allowed it due to political fear. It was the reason Jesus came to earth, but that is another story you reject, as do the Jews in general, except the Messianic Jews, the Jews that converted to “The Way” at the time, and those “grafted on”, (the Gentile followers).

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          Wanna 4:00 “It was the reason Jesus cam to earth, but that is another story you reject, as do the Jews in general…”

          If I were to critique the Bible as fictional story telling, it would be that the quality went down when the Jesus character was intorduced. The story of the Jews up until that time is entertaining because it’s kind of straight forward. The fictional Moses leads his people out of humiliation and establishes them elsewhere–simple, epic. But, when the Jesus character is introduced, everything is stretched so far, it’s out of reach. The convoluted reason he dies, the many versions of what happens afterwards, good stuff for people who like that sort of thing. Jews join nonbelievers is skepticism.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Some Jews did, some didn’t. Any word yet from Messianic Judaism?

            “If I were to critique …” Don’t be so humble. It’s not your style.

          • entech says:

            Jews for Jesus, strange lot. Where do they come in your 2:25 diatribe, an almost Lutheran list.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Didn’t say “Jews for Jesus”. Where did that come from.—–Not a Lutheran in the list, or anything related to Lutheran. Strange.

          • entech says:

            Plus possible others I can’t think of right now Just helping out.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            You’re wandering.

          • entech says:

            Not wandering, you introduced the variety of Jews and Jewish thought, you missed Sephardic, reform, orthodox, ultra Orthodox and others I was just helping you fill in the list.
            I must admit I am not entirely sure of the difference, I tend to conflate Messianic Jews and Jews for Jesus.

            http://www.oztorah.com/2010/03/messianic-jews-ask-the-rabbi/

            I think it is a bit insulting to say “Jewish belief/ thought is all over the place.” Bit The Jews and their all over the place beliefs.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            A little gun-shy on insults? You have no problem with the Christians. In reality, I’m sure you have to admit that various groups of Jews have different beliefs. That is exactly what I said. I was clear, and not insulting. Even at the time of Jesus, there were the Sadducees and the Pharisees. No documentation, but I’d be willing to bet that some didn’t care one way or another, as now. Do you have a problem with that? Years ago I had the opportunity to be in proximity with a couple non-observent Jews. Nice fellows. Their views were almost identical to Unitarian-Universalists. “All over the place”? You bet.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            My cat is circling and telling me it is time for bed. Letting you have the last word. Give it your best shot.

    • Avatar of Dustin White Dustin White says:

      Henry- By all accounts, the movement that Jesus had was quite small. There really is no suggestion that the Jews were swarming around Jesus. Yes, there were some who did, but the vast majority either didn’t ever hear about him, or simply didn’t care as there were dozens of so-called Messiahs running around, and many were just sick of it.

      The Jewish leadership didn’t seem to really care either until he entered into Jerusalem and started causing trouble (such as causing a scene in the Temple, and preaching a message of liberation during a time in which Jews were celebrating their freedom from Egypt, and which in, all accounts, was a potential for riots). And the people Jesus really caused a problem with were the Romans, who actually killed him.

      So the picture you’re painting isn’t quite accurate either.

      • Henry says:

        Dusty: “By all accounts, the movement that Jesus had was quite small.”

        Quite untrue. By simply looking up one account defeats your above claim.

        Please use your opportunity at Concordia to grow.

        • Avatar of Dustin White Dustin White says:

          By simply looking up one scholar on the subject, my account rings true. As for growing at Concordia, I am. However, highly doubt you would approve.

          • Henry says:

            Your claim is “all accounts”. What one scholar says does not constitute “all accounts.”

            Doesn’t sound like I would, but that really doesn’t matter. Your future influence will not affect me. Happy growing!

          • Stanta says:

            Debating error, never use never, all and other absolutes in an argument. Should have learned that by now.

          • Stanta says:

            No no Dustin, you calimes ALL, you have to provide all, see how that works? Either that or positively trash with scholarship what ever that ONE decenter says.

          • Avatar of Dustin White Dustin White says:

            If we look at the Gospels, there isn’t a sense that this is a large following. Jesus traveled from place to place, that in itself meant that it wasn’t that large of a following, as a large following simply could not be provided for. Jesus also preached in small rural areas (he avoids cities), which again suggests that it is a small area.

            Yes, at time the Gospels claim that large groups come to hear him preach, but it never states that they actually follow him. We really have no idea what happens to them. What we are told is that primarily, there was a following of 12, and some women.

            That is why the consensus among scholars is that Jesus had a small following. All of the accounts we have suggest such.

          • entech says:

            In English English “by all accounts” is not taken hyperliterally, it is just an idiom. I am sure you know that but are determined to be what you will be.

          • Stanta says:

            Mathew 21:8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

            “Hosanna[b] to the Son of David!”

            “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[c]

            “Hosanna[d] in the highest heaven!”

            10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

            11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

            Dustin, trying to diminish it by telling only part of the story. He has what would become the Apostles, disciples (students at first then preachers later, of which there were 70 sent forth to spread the Good News before the crucifixion), then were followers. After that the people wanting to learn.

            At two points Jesus divided the bread and fish, feeding 5000 at one time and 4000 at the other. This count was just the men, not including the women and children.

            Again Dustin, all accounts over the Bible.

          • Avatar of Dustin White Dustin White says:

            Stanta- The verses you are talking about really aren’t about followers, but those who heard Jesus speak. There is a difference.

            The triumphal entry into Jerusalem (which is debatable, as such an entrance would have been enough to have Jesus killed) would have been more of a state of enthusiasm for the actual event they were all about to participate in, Passover. Jesus would have been entering town with hundreds if not thousands of individuals (most not his followers) who were all going to Jerusalem for just one reason, Passover. There would have been an immense amount of celebration in the first place, and it would be easy to be caught up in additional celebrations. However, if you read the text carefully, it never states that those people were followers of Jesus. Most likely, they just met him.

            As for the sermon on the mount (or plains, depending on which text you read), we again are not told that these are all followers of Jesus. It would not have been uncommon to hear one of the dozen religious leaders speak. It would be very much like me going to a talk by Bart Ehrman. Sure, I respect the guy, but I’m in no way a follower of his. Or even a better example. It would like me going to a local pastor to hear them preach. Doesn’t mean I’m a follower, just means that I went to a pastor to hear a message.

            It is worth noting that all of these individuals are not referenced again after these events. Jesus draws a crowd, the crowds leave, and we never hear about them again. Instead, we hear about the 12, some women, and 70. Not a large following at all. That doesn’t mean that a lot of people didn’t hear what Jesus was saying or even agree in part. It simply means that they didn’t become followers.

  4. Avatar of Dustin White Dustin White says:

    The study of the Historical Jesus has been one of my main studies. So I do enjoy reading new views on it. There are some objections that I would raise though.

    Jews during the time of Jesus did not have a single specific idea of who the Messiah was. There were a variety of ideas circulating. Many were looking for a warrior Messiah who would free them, by force, from Roman occupation. Others were looking for a religious leader (a priestly Messiah). Some were looking for two Messiahs (a warrior Messiah along with a priestly Messiah). The only real thing that connected the idea was that the Messiah was meant to liberate the Jews from foreign occupation.

    Also, Jesus does not appear to have really announced that he was Messiah. If we look at the Gospel of Mark, he actually tries to silence the idea, and it is only others who reveal such knowledge. That is generally how the story went. There is also the incident at the baptism by John (Jesus being baptized by John is one of the stories that are accepted as historically accurate by pretty much all scholars), in which a dove descended from Heaven and announced Jesus. Now, this is a mythical part of the story, but it does suggest that it was not Jesus who announced himself being Messiah, but others who stated it.

    Going to the lineage of Jesus, that is more difficult. Our earliest source on Jesus, that being Paul, stated that Jesus was a descendant of King David. The Gospel writers make the same claim, but Matthew and Luke try to make this case most clearly, but get caught up in the virgin birth (which I would argue was meant to by mythological in the first place, and not actually historically accurate. It was common for important people to have mythological birth stories attached to them. There is a long tradition of this in the Hebrew scriptures, as well as Greek writing). The genealogies though appear to be much more theological in nature than historical.

    The real problem is that it is nearly impossible to trace lineages back that far, especially when the culture is largely illiterate, and have been conquered multiple times. So it is not really necessary to have a complete genealogy proving one’s descent.

    But he did fail as the Messiah once he was killed. As soon as that happened, the vast majority of Jews rejected him as the Messiah was not meant to die. And if he was dead, then he couldn’t free them from the subjugation that they felt. It was the resurrection experience (the resurrection is most likely mythological, but something did happen to make some of the disciples believe that Jesus was resurrected, but even more, that the general resurrection was beginning) that made some Jews believe that Jesus was the Messiah. And after all, it was Jews who first followed Jesus, and created the movement afterwards.

    But he was not the only so called Messiah at that time.

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      “But he was not the only so called Messiah at the time”.
      Correct. But when the others failed, and their followers scattered , that was the end of it. With the case of Jesus, his followers scattered too, at first, then re-grouped with His evidence of the resurection. Changing their lives, becoming devoted followers and causing the end of many by their testimony of faith, and knowlege of “the risen one”. And they grew in numbers undoubtedly by what others not mentioned in the Bible saw at the time of the events. None of the other “messiahs” followers did that. They had no reason to, and their motivation would have been more of an earthly matter. Even the followers of Jesus didn’t have a full understanding of what Jesus was telling them untill he revealed himself after the crucifiction. That was when they finally understood, and it forever changed them from a bunch of timid defeated people to what became” they who gave up everything to follow Him”.

      • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

        Wanna 1:10 “then re-grouped with His evidence of the resuredtion… and knowledge of ‘the risen one’”.

        That, what I would call an “old fashion” interpretation, is where your views leave contemporary and up to date views in Christianity. I think the shelf life of “the resurection” is coming to the end for large portions of Christian people. The entire resurrection story is so far fetched, and meaningless, it is being shoved aside by both liberal and conservative segements of the faith.

        Liberal groups just treat it as myth introduced for various reasons. More conservative like a simple appealing version: “God is watching you. If you sin you go to hell, don’t and you go to heaven.”

        This latter view works better for conservative people because they can quickly judge themselves to be just fine and others to be sinners. Inserting this whole resurrection thingy needlessly complicates things beyond comprehension.

        That being said, if your version of where the faith came from works for you, hang on to it.

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          Jon; Your ; “The entire resurection story is so far fetched and meaningless, it is being shoved aside by both liberal and conservative segments of the faith.” If that is the fact, and it probably is, those liberals and falsly called conservatives have already left the faith.

          What you call conservatives (falsely) are nothing more than liberals that still retain the rites and rituals of the “old”, but gutted of their meaning and purpose. They might as well, along with what you call the liberals, join the ranks of the Freethinkers.

          Jon; Your “If you sin you go to hell, don’t and you go to heaven”; Is terribly simplistic, and leaves out the key element of Christology. That is the part that sticks in your craw. Just call me an “Old fashioned” kind of guy. I’m OK with that.

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          1 Cor:13-19
          “But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, your faith also is in vain. Moreover we even found to be false witness of God because we witnessed against Got that he raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worhless; and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life, we are of all men most to be pitied.”—–Bold words not to be taken litely. Words you Jon, the “liberals,” and your falsely termed “conservatives”reject. You will probably need the Civic Auditorium for your Freethinkers meeting if the “Word” gets out.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Wanna 6:31 “1 Cor: 13-19 But if there is no resurrection of the dead….”

            Sometimes you seem like a professor that has studied the religion with an even hand seeking some objectivity. Then, sometimes you make a post like that one that is literal to the core. As I say, focusing one’s thinking in ways that provide security and pleasure is part and parcel of the faith. Staying happy is a goal for us all.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Jon; Not the goal, but the result. If it is a goal, it is of works, not faith.

          • Stanta says:

            Hahahahahaha. Jon puts down St Paul Hahahahahahahahaha

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      The Jesus Seminar has a problem with this.

    • Stanta says:

      John 4: 25-26
      25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.”

      26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”

      You lose.

      • Avatar of Dustin White Dustin White says:

        Stanta- Maybe you want to compare that to what the Gospel of Mark states. As in, Jesus consistently downplays any attempt of people calling him the Messiah. As in, it contradicts what John is saying.

        Also, one single instance does not show that I’m wrong. It shows that you didn’t understand what I said. And thats fine. It seems that you, as well as Henry, are more concerned about my background then actually trying to understand anything.

        • Stanta says:

          Until it is time. You know as an entertainer timing is everything.

          One instance.

          Lets see what John says?

          John 6:51:”I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever;”

          John 8:23: And He said to them, “You are from beneath; I AM from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.

          John 8:12: Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I AM the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

          John 8:58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

          John 10:9: “I AM the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”

          John 10:11: “I AM the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.

          John 10:36: “do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?

          John 11:25: Jesus said to her, “I AM the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.

          John 14:6: Jesus said to him, “I AM the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

          John 15:1: “I AM the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.

          John 19:2: Therefore the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘He said, “I am the King of the Jews.”‘”

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Stan 5:29 “I am the one”. ” I am the one”. “I am the one”.

            That’s the thinking that really baffles me. Why is it true someone is God’s guy just because he says he is? Do you just believe it if anyone says something like that?

          • Avatar of Dustin White Dustin White says:

            Stanta- Nice try, but not quite there (you also haven’t said anything about Mark. Is that because you agree that Mark contradicts John?).

            John 6:51- There is no mention of the Messiah in this passage. The Messiah is never called the living bread. Jesus is claiming something quite different here.

            John 8:23- Again, no mention of the Messiah. The Messiah was thought (by most) to be of this world. This is more of a divine claim from Jesus, not one of being the Messiah (who was not seen as divine).

            John 8:12- Again, no mention of the Messiah. The Messiah is not called the light of the world. Instead, this is a metaphor that he is their to guide them, which would have been what a religious leader did.

            John 8:58- No mention of the Messiah. The Messiah is never called I AM. Instead, this is a reference back to Moses, in which Moses is told, from God, that God is who God is, or I Am. It is a divine title, not a messianic title.

            John 10:9- Again, no mention of the Messiah. Jesus is just saying that he is a way. As in, he is a religious teacher. That simply doesn’t fit with the common idea of the Messiah in that time.

            John 10:11- No mention of the Messiah. The Messiah is not a shepherd. Instead, Jesus is saying that he is a religious leader.

            John 10:36- No mention of the Messiah. The Son of God was not a reference to the Messiah. Instead, it could be a reference to the king, the entire nation of Israel, or a prophet.

            John 11:25- No mention of the Messiah. The resurrection is something that all Jews were going to partake in. There was never the idea that only one individual would be resurrected, but that all would be resurrected. And this has nothing to do with the Messiah, as the Messiah was not about an afterlife or such, but about being here on Earth, and freeing the Jews who were alive.

            John 14:6- No mention of the Messiah. This is a statement about being a religious leader, as in, having the way.

            John 15:1- No mention of the Messiah. It is a mention of being the son of God, which I already explained.

            John 19:12- Herod the Great was also called the King of the Jews. It was not a title of the Messiah, as many had already been the King of the Jews. This was a political title.

            So Stanta, you may be able to pull out a lot of verses, strip them of context, and try to make them mean something they don’t, but it simply doesn’t work. None of these mentioned the Messiah.

          • Henry says:

            ‘Oh, Come, Divine Messiah’

          • Stanta says:

            Dustin, how you yourself can create so much out of whole cloth but deny what is written is beyond me.

            I have been browsing in your website. The Q & A is most interesting. I see you are trying to make your christianity a synthesis of all the other religions. Interesting concept but it has been done and rejected by most Christians. I bet you even read Robert A Heinlein’s book
            “Stranger in a Strange Land” when you were a youth. Looks like most of it was pulled right from Micheal Valentine Smith.

  5. Stanta says:

    ““God is watching you. If you sin you go to hell, don’t and you go to heaven.”

    No Jon, we all go to hell, except by accepting God’s Grace. While the Cultural Christians think they work their way into heaven or are good enough. Those of us who have accepted Grace know we are sinners, know we will always be sinners until death, make strides to do better then we have. Admitting to sin is much easier then thinking we are “good enough.”

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      Stan; your” Admitting to sin is much easier than thinking we are “good enough”; I would feel more comfortable with replacing “easier” with “relief giving, or theraputic”. For strong unbelievers, “admitting to sin” is impossible, yet they think they are “good enough” to their standards.

      • Stanta says:

        Wanna, once it starts we try to sin less, the understanding of our forgiveness brings greater joy. When you sin by action or lack of action, when your conscious mind realizes it, there is a refuge in confession.

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          Stan; I agree. And in my tradition we are reminded to do this daily. A good start is The Lord’s Prayer. “Forgive us our debts/ trespasses…..”, and to daily remember our Baptism “upon rising”. I have a custom; The rural church where our family went to and I was baptised in was torn down several years ago. Above the Baptismal Font there was one simple home-made wooden cross. I put that cross in my office, and every morning when I go to my office/library, I look to it for a remembrance of that Baptism. Good way to start the day. There have been occasions I have needed to look at it more than once a day.

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          Stan; Had it on my mind in last post, but missed it. Re. confession; Confession is part, absolution is the rest. My refuge is in the absolution.

  6. Stanta says:

    Interesting, but the prisoner released was Barabbas/Jesus Barabbas (literally “son of the father” or “Jesus, son of the father” respectively), he WAS a rebel and killed Jews and soldiers personally. Why was executing Jesus Christ ok, because letting him go would have damaged the prestige of the Roman Empire. But letting an actual rebel military leader is just fine?

    • Avatar of Dustin White Dustin White says:

      It never happened. There was never a tradition of letting go a prisoner, and any knowledge of Roman history would show how foolish such an idea is.

    • entech says:

      Yes, bar indicates the son of, in Arabic the word is bin (interesting aside, the term for daughter is bint, this has become a common slang word in England for any girl – brought into the language by servicemen from Palestine, Aden etc.) , the modern Hebrew way is ben as in David ben Gurion. Abba is also found as a personal name. Yeshua was also a common name so we have Yeshua bar Abba not to be confused with Rabbi Yeshua the Messiah.

      But not really that interesting because nowhere else does it say the Romans had any silly idea about letting prisoners free after putting all the time and effort into catching them, an invention of the Gospel authors to make a good story.
      However, assume there is some slight possibility that the story is possible, there is a suggestion that Barabbas was a real revolutionary, a rebel leader in fact, what at the time the Jews would have called a freedom fighter and the Romans an insurgent (Nothing new under the sun). Should this have been the case the rebel leader would have been better known and more popular than a apocalyptic prophet from the lakes (and probably one of many at that).

      Assuming it is not all invention, which it quite likely is, and Pilate the softy gave in to the crowds demand for the actual rebel military leader, it is likely that they would have been calling for someone that would have shown some promise of saving them from Roman rule.

      The Jewish historians Josephus and Philo describe Pontius Pilate as a stubborn, inflexible, and cruel man who had no respect for the Jewish people. Perhaps because of his military background, he may have sometimes used force when it wasn’t necessary. On one occasion he told his soldiers to disguise themselves in civilian clothes, with their swords hidden under their cloaks, and mingle with a crowd of demonstrators. After they were in position, he signaled for them to pull out their weapons and attack. In the ensuing bloodbath, hundreds of people were killed.

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