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Views on the Bible

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  • Views on the Bible

    Okay... let's see if I can get this poll going.

    The goal is to spark an intelligent discussion on this book that has changed the world. The goal is NOT to start an argument or open a window for either derogatory comments or proseletyzing. Both are inappropriate in this instance.

    Here's the rules:

    1) You can check as many boxes as you see fit.
    2) You can add whatever comments you see fit in the forum below, obviously.
    3) Be nice. Obviously we won't all agree, but be respectful of those you disagree with. This is Reasoned Debate. Let's debate, but do it reasonably and with civility.

    (PM me if you have questions or this sparks a discussion you want to take privately.)
    189
    Divinely Inspired
    4.76%
    9
    Holy
    3.17%
    6
    100% True
    1.59%
    3
    Timeless
    2.12%
    4
    A book of ancient wisdom (man-made or otherwise)
    6.35%
    12
    Cultural (ie. applicable to the Jews or the early church only)
    3.70%
    7
    Temporal (ie. applicable to the age it was written in only)
    4.76%
    9
    The Old Testament only is true
    0.00%
    0
    The New Testament only is true
    0.00%
    0
    The Gospels only are true
    0.53%
    1
    Incomplete (there are books missing that should be part of it)
    4.23%
    8
    Too Big (there are books included that should not be included)
    1.59%
    3
    It is mistranslated/Mis-copied through the centuries
    9.52%
    18
    It is a scam perpetrated by the ancient Jews
    0.00%
    0
    It is a scam perpetrated by Jesus of Nazareth
    0.00%
    0
    It is a scam perpetrated by the apostles and Jesus' successors
    1.06%
    2
    Jesus was insane and people got swept along (he really thought he was the son of God, but wasn't)
    1.06%
    2
    The book is racist
    5.82%
    11
    The book is sexist
    6.88%
    13
    The book is elitist
    4.23%
    8
    The book is too violent
    3.17%
    6
    The book is too restrictive
    3.17%
    6
    The book is politically motivated
    6.88%
    13
    The book should be read within the context of the 21st century
    3.17%
    6
    The Apocrypha should be included
    2.12%
    4
    The Gnostic (ie. Nag Hammadi) books should be included
    3.17%
    6
    The Bible is alone is the word of God
    1.06%
    2
    The Bible is one of many texts God has spoken through
    2.65%
    5
    The "winners of history" wrote the book or changed it to suit their needs
    6.88%
    13
    It is a "good" book (interpret as you will)
    6.35%
    12
    "Self-discipline and self-knowledge are the key. An individual becomes a unique universe, able to move at will through all the scales of the multiverse - potentially able to control the immediate reality of every scale, every encountered environment."
    --Contessa Rose von Bek, Blood part 4, chapter 12

  • #2
    Answers:

    • Divinely Inspired - Yes

    • Holy - Yes

    • 100% True - Yes, in as much as God is Truth and therefore He does not lie to His Creation, however, the Bible contains different sorts of truth - historical, mythic, poetic, allegorical, cultural, etc. - so there's not a single standard that can be applied across all 66 books.

    • Timeless - Yes (but see below)

    • A book of ancient wisdom (man-made or otherwise) - Yes

    • Cultural (ie. applicable to the Jews or the early church only) - Yes, but with qualifications. The Bible - particularly Paul's epistles - needs to be understood in the context of the culture(s) it was written in rather than applied blanket fashion across the 21st century. That is to say, some of it applies to specific people at specific times, others parts apply to everyone for all time.

    • Temporal (ie. applicable to the age it was written in only) - Yes, but with qualifications (see above).

    • The Old Testament only is true - No

    • The New Testament only is true - No

    • The Gospels only are true - No

    • Incomplete (there are books missing that should be part of it) - Disagree

    • Too Big (there are books included that should not be included) - Disagree

    • It is mistranslated/Mis-copied through the centuries - On the whole no, I don't believe it has been but I do think some translations are at best questionable while others contain distortions of the Message. Believers should expose themselves to several different translations rather than relying upon a single source in order to avoid mistakes/biases/prejudices on the part of translators.

    • It is a scam perpetrated by the ancient Jews - Disagree

    • It is a scam perpetrated by Jesus of Nazareth - Strongly disagree

    • It is a scam perpetrated by the apostles and Jesus' successors - Strongly disagree

    • Jesus was insane and people got swept along (he really thought he was the son of God, but wasn't) - Strongly disagree

    • The book is racist - Disagree, but it has been used by racists to propagate and justify their own evil ideas and beliefs.

    • The book is sexist - Disagree, but it has been used by misogynists to subjugate women over the millennia imho. If we include homophobia in this question as well, again I don't think the Bible is homophobic but as I say it has been used by homophobes to justify their own evil ideas and beliefs, beliefs which Christians need to take a stand against.

    • The book is elitist - No; it's the 'Good News' for everyone.

    • The book is too violent - No, though it does contain violent passages and record violent incidents.

    • The book is too restrictive - Meaning it has too many prohibitions? I would disagree with this. We place restrictions on our children while they're maturing in order to protect them/keep them safe in order that they are equiped to make their own way in the world; the Bible is little different imo.

    • The book is politically motivated - Disagree, which is not to say politicians haven't (ab)used the Bible for their own ends. Christ's message seems to me to be largely apolitical, cf. "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's".

    • The book should be read within the context of the 21st century - In as much as some of it was written to specific people at specific times (see above) context is everything when understanding the Bible.

    • The Apocrypha should be included - Maybe - it contains texts that can be useful though they shouldn't be accorded the same weight as the canonical books of the Bible. (Note: I voted 'Yes' in the poll for this question on the grounds that I don't believe the Apocrypha should be excluded though I think it should remain separate from the Canonical Bible.)

    • The Gnostic (ie. Nag Hammadi) books should be included - Disagree

    • The Bible is alone is the word of God - Yes (Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Light; no-one comes to the Father except through me."), but all Truth derives from God so other texts may contain truthful elements.

    • The Bible is one of many texts God has spoken through - Largely disagree, though if all Truth derives from God then other texts may contain truthful elements though He hasn't spoken through them.

    • The "winners of history" wrote the book or changed it to suit their needs - Mostly disagree though it would be naive to suppose that people haven't tried to twist the Bible to their own ends.

    • It is a "good" book (interpret as you will) - Agree, but as I say it has been mis-used over time by people without consciencebut that doesn't negate the central message of Salvation contained within the Bible.
    Last edited by David Mosley; 11-05-2008, 02:32 PM. Reason: Clarification on Apocrypha answer added.
    _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
    _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
    _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
    _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

    Comment


    • #3
      I sorta wanted to tick "New testamant only is true" but really what I meant was that the other boxes I ticked were in reference to the NT. While I quite like the majority of what Jesus had to say (which seems to me to boil down to "don't be to quick to judge others, be nice to folks, and don't hate anything except corupt oficials and bigotry: really, who can have a problem with that?) I have very little time for the OT

      Comment


      • #4
        Notable [] I checked include:

        * Incomplete
        and
        * Mistranslated

        Incomplete, because books mentioned in various books are not present, and the same for the works of Yeshua, as well as the Pauline letters. This does not, however, bother me in the sense that I think that anything startlingly different would be learnt through their inclusion, but I thought to address it since I was given the opportunity.

        Mistranslated because of mundane mindsets when faced with mystical facets of reality, such as the High Mountain to which Yeshua was brought by Adversary from which all the kingdoms of the world could be seen at once. This is a pet peeve mistranslation, but its plain reading understanding of a figurative vantage point (rather than 'An Exalted Upward Point' -- in the aether/heavens) accomplishes the same 'point' in the reading.
        Likewise, in the Pauline Epistles, the glory and majesty of Messiah are dumbed-down in English, by virtue of the very structure of English language mindsets/paradigms/grids for understanding reality.

        Beyond this, I find more inspiration in the Hebrew Canon and Messianic Congregational Canon than I do in most other religious and philosophical writings. Notable exceptions, for me, are in Buddhist/Confuscist/Taoist/Zen writings, and Celtic spiritual writings, both pre- and post-Christian influence. In short, I believe that G-d has transmitted the same message of righteousness and peace-loving to all of humanity, but that 'in this age, He has spoken to us through His Son...'

        If I had a choice, though, to be confined to some bleak fate with only one book, my choice would undoubtedly be 'the Bible', and preferably one primarily adhering to the Received Texts.

        End transmission.
        Ani Maamin B'emunah Sh'leimah B'viyat Hamashiach. V'af al pi sheyitmahmehah im kol zeh achake lo b'chol yom sheyavo.

        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." - Phillip K. Dick

        Comment


        • #5
          First up - thank JS for the poll. Even as an atheist, I do respect your scholarship and your faith - and that of your fellow theists on the forum.

          Right then. These are my personal views, and as such probably reflect my personal ignorance....

          Divinely Inspired - Yes. Even though I am an atheist, I do recognise that elements of the Bible, particularly The Gospels, were inspired by the search for the Divine.

          Ancient Wisdom - I view the OT as a book of Lore, history and mythography of ancient desert dwelling tribes transitioning from a Nomadic (perhaps enforced) to an agrarian and urban existence. The NT Gospels take this further, by looking deeply into the soul of man on a personal level. The following epistles seek to codify the meditations contained in the Gospels. The Revelation serves as a dramatic (and somewhat logical) conclusion.

          Mistranslated/Miscopied - probably. But essentially not of much consequence as I don't believe it is the direct word of God.

          Politically Motivated - Not necessarily the words I would have used (though I probably used them in another thread). I think that the editing of the NT was done in such a way as to further certain agendas (the use of some Gospels and not others etc). Certainly, as DM has said, it has been interpreted and used to further political agendas since.

          Winners Writing History - I deliberately didn't select that as I would not subscibe to some conspiracy theorey. Though, as noted above, I think the editing was done in such as way to strengthen some points of view at the expense of others.

          A Good Book - I also didn't select this, though not out of any disrespect for those to whom the Bible is an important part of their life. To me, the Bible is A book, and as such doesn't have any Moral measurement associated with it. What I am more interested in is the way that people live their lives, whether they have read the Bible, the Koran, the Torah, the Bhagavad Gita, Das Kapital, The Wealth of Nations, The House at Pooh Corner or what....
          Does it follow that I reject all authority? Perish the thought. In the matter of boots, I defer to the authority of the boot-maker.
          Bakunin

          Comment


          • #6
            I voted that it is a divinely inspired,holy,good book of ancient wisdom with a sexist old testament.
            "I hate to advocate drugs,alcohol,violence or insanity to anyone,but they've always worked for me"

            Hunter S Thompson

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Groakes View Post
              Divinely Inspired - Yes. Even though I am an atheist, I do recognise that elements of the Bible, particularly The Gospels, were inspired by the search for the Divine.
              ....
              That may be one of the most fascinating of answers. And an interesting interpretation on divine inspiration. Thanks for elucidating that one!
              "Self-discipline and self-knowledge are the key. An individual becomes a unique universe, able to move at will through all the scales of the multiverse - potentially able to control the immediate reality of every scale, every encountered environment."
              --Contessa Rose von Bek, Blood part 4, chapter 12

              Comment


              • #8
                For myself, almost word for word what David says applies to me. 30 responses, and I can't find a single fault with what he said.

                So... ummm... ditto for me, on what David said. He usually phrases things better than I could have.
                "Self-discipline and self-knowledge are the key. An individual becomes a unique universe, able to move at will through all the scales of the multiverse - potentially able to control the immediate reality of every scale, every encountered environment."
                --Contessa Rose von Bek, Blood part 4, chapter 12

                Comment


                • #9
                  Another long post:

                  Divinely inspired – Unlike Groakes, I don’t think that ‘inspired to look for the Divine’ equates in any way whatsoever with ‘Divinely inspired’. It is the solely the work of men.

                  Holy – This is where we get to quibble about terms, but inasmuch as ‘holy’ means ‘considered by men to be a item that should be set apart for religious reasons’, I would say yes.

                  100% true (this also covers the question about the OT , NT, or Gospels only being true) – The fact that I think it spends a lot of time detailing the actions of a non-existent deity knocks that one out.

                  Timeless/cultural/temporal –Like all texts, The Bible is a product of its time and culture. In this case, though, it is the product of many times and cultures and continues to shift along these terms even today. There is no reason why it should only apply to the people and for the age it was written in.

                  A book of ancient wisdom – It makes some good points at times.

                  Incomplete/too big/should include the Apocrypha, etc. – The fact that Kyrinn can point to bits that are missing seems to answer the first one. As for how big it should be or what it should contain, that’s really not for me to say. I will point out that nearly all the Bibles I own contain the Apocrypha, but that’s for the same reason that I own complete sets of Mike’s various series.

                  Mistranslated/Miscopied – Definitely. The history of Bible publishing is replete with examples of both. People make entire academic careers out of disputing the meaning of small sections of text in the ‘original’ manuscripts.

                  Is a scam…. – Hardly. It has input from too many different sources to be part of some grand conspiracy.

                  Jesus was insane, etc. – I have no idea, but it doesn’t seem particularly likely to me.

                  Is racist/sexist/elitist – It is all of these things in part, which is why it has been amenable to the uses that racists, etc. have put it and continue to put.

                  Is too violent – It is a product its times.

                  Is too restrictive – It depends. It is a mistake to try and live your life solely according to one book, no matter what that book is.

                  Is politically motivated/’winners of history’ – Inasmuch as churches are political organizations, and churches and governments have determined the content, and whether/how, to translate The Bible, it is a document saturated in politics at all levels. If you mean whether the original authors were politically motivated, my guess is that some were and some were not.

                  Should be read within the context of the 21st century – Definitely. Then it would not be amenable to racists, etc.

                  Is the sole word of God/God has spoken through other texts - See my third answer.

                  Is a ‘good’ book – It is! It’s one of the masterpieces of human literature containing a blend of interesting historical ‘faction’ with many key insights into the human condition. It’s a bit of a curate's egg (ho ho) though, as some parts are an awful lot better than others.
                  Last edited by johneffay; 11-06-2008, 12:55 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    • Divinely Inspired - Yes.

                    • Holy - No. Not the book itself, but the message in the Gospels yes.

                    • 100% True - No. Not the full bible, which has both truth, error, cultural opinion and so on jumbled up IMO

                    • Timeless - No. Barr the message of JC himself

                    • A book of ancient wisdom (man-made or otherwise) - Yes. With a little no, but over the piece, predominantly yes.

                    • Cultural (ie. applicable to the Jews or the early church only) - Yes. The majority of the books are cultural. The snag is that the gospels, only four of them, as such biggies that how to compare? But by page-weight alone, 'yes' it is.

                    • Temporal (ie. applicable to the age it was written in only) - Yes. But again, that's a majority view.

                    • The Old Testament only is true - No.

                    • The New Testament only is true - No.

                    • The Gospels only are true - Yes. By this I mean these are the only bits I believe to be completly true, and by complete, I mean complete in that the truths in these books hold every truth one needs: if it isn't here, it itsn't necessary. And every necessary truth can be found in the Gospels.

                    • Incomplete (there are books missing that should be part of it) - No. It has the big four: the others are trimming.

                    • Too Big (there are books included that should not be included) - No. There is help to be found outwith the big four, just like there is help to be found from anyone you ever meet.

                    • It is mistranslated/Mis-copied through the centuries - Yes. Fairly inevitable I think. However, when it gets to may fav big four, I consider the penecostal miracle and choose to believe (without any proof I agree), that god will see to it that my interpretations of his son's words and deeds will be kept meaningful and truthful, even in written form.

                    • It is a scam perpetrated by the ancient Jews - No.

                    • It is a scam perpetrated by Jesus of Nazareth - No.

                    • It is a scam perpetrated by the apostles and Jesus' successors - No.

                    • Jesus was insane and people got swept along (he really thought he was the son of God, but wasn't) - No. By definition, it is possible to argue JC was insane and was the son of God. To quote wiki: "insanity is the behaviour whereby a person flouts societal norms and may become a danger to themself and others". That bit for example could be applied to JC. But given the non-technical implication of the question, I'll answer "no" anyway. Interesting that I've effectively rewritten the question before answering: very appropriate to Biblical reading methinks!

                    • The book is racist - Yes. Racial genocide is right there after all. Of course there a load of non-racial stuff too, not just in the the big four, but over the piece there is a significant "jews are best" sub-text.

                    • The book is sexist - Yes. And again, also no, but the yes wins by page-weight.

                    • The book is elitist - Yes. In both good and bad ways. Not all elitism is bad, but in fairness, most of it is.

                    • The book is too violent - No. It is violent, but not "too violent"

                    • The book is too restrictive - No. As one can read the big four and gain true freedom. You can also read Leviticus and chain yourself if you want. The choice is yours.

                    • The book is politically motivated - Yes. A lot of the OT is justification for the state.

                    • The book should be read within the context of the 21st century - Yes. You can't not do this, like it or not.

                    • The Apocrypha should be included - No. No as I'm not too bothered about the other books. Include them if you want, and read them in the same light as the non-Gospel books. Informative, illustrative and helpful in places. And sometimes not.

                    • The Gnostic (ie. Nag Hammadi) books should be included - No. Full-on "no" here: they attempt direct distortion of the Gospels, and I'm not for that.

                    • The Bible is alone is the word of God - No. Not the bible: too big, too human. The Gospels yes. And God's acts in this world too.

                    • The Bible is one of many texts God has spoken through - Yes. God speaks to us all the time, so there's loads of God about. He ain't so definitive elswhere, but He's there none-the-less.

                    • The "winners of history" wrote the book or changed it to suit their needs - No. Though I've rumours such as that in apartheid SA, "the black man" was added to the list of man's dominion in Genesis. It has very much been used to suit the needs of many a despot's needs over the years, but not I think though rewriting, but by the easier quote-out-of-context and simple twisted interpretation.

                    • It is a "good" book (interpret as you will) - Yes. A stormer. Everyone should read it.
                    Last edited by Rothgo; 11-06-2008, 01:32 AM. Reason: Added full stops after answers.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by johneffay View Post
                      100% true (this also covers the question about the OT , NT, or Gospels only being true) – The fact that I think it spends a lot of time detailing the actions of a non-existent deity knocks that one out.

                      Is a scam…. – Hardly. It has input from too many different sources to be part of some grand conspiracy.

                      Jesus was insane, etc. – I have no idea, but it doesn’t seem particularly likely to me.
                      Okay, John. Let's see what we can do to get this into a reasoned debate.

                      Josh McDowell once wrote that there are only 3 options concerning Jesus of Nazareth: He was either Lord, Lunatic, or Liar. Hence my question on scam or insane. When He claimed to be the unique Son of God, either He was, or He wasn't. If He wasn't, then either He thought He was but was wrong (lunatic), knew He wasn't (liar), or else He never claimed the title Son of God and it was made up afterwards (cf. scam of the Apostles or Behold the Man, take your pick ).

                      So I'm curious. Seeing as you are an atheist, I will assume you do not consider this Jesus of Nazareth Lord. But above you stated that you felt the bible was neither scam nor was Jesus insane. What's your take on this guy Jesus?
                      "Self-discipline and self-knowledge are the key. An individual becomes a unique universe, able to move at will through all the scales of the multiverse - potentially able to control the immediate reality of every scale, every encountered environment."
                      --Contessa Rose von Bek, Blood part 4, chapter 12

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by J-Sun View Post
                        Originally posted by johneffay View Post
                        100% true (this also covers the question about the OT , NT, or Gospels only being true) – The fact that I think it spends a lot of time detailing the actions of a non-existent deity knocks that one out.

                        Is a scam…. – Hardly. It has input from too many different sources to be part of some grand conspiracy.

                        Jesus was insane, etc. – I have no idea, but it doesn’t seem particularly likely to me.
                        Okay, John. Let's see what we can do to get this into a reasoned debate.

                        Josh McDowell once wrote that there are only 3 options concerning Jesus of Nazareth: He was either Lord, Lunatic, or Liar. Hence my question on scam or insane. When He claimed to be the unique Son of God, either He was, or He wasn't. If He wasn't, then either He thought He was but was wrong (lunatic), knew He wasn't (liar), or else He never claimed the title Son of God and it was made up afterwards (cf. scam of the Apostles or Behold the Man, take your pick ).

                        So I'm curious. Seeing as you are an atheist, I will assume you do not consider this Jesus of Nazareth Lord. But above you stated that you felt the bible was neither scam nor was Jesus insane. What's your take on this guy Jesus?
                        My take on things would be that he could have been someone like Ken Saro-Wiwa or Ghandi - neither which you reasonably classify as Lord, Lunatic, or Liar. As Jesus left no writings of his own behind, he can't be accused of being a liar.

                        Now Jesus did supposedly admit before the Sanhedrin that he was the Christ. But, were the writers of the Gosples reporting what they observed (unlikely - they would not have been admitted as witnesses to the Sanhedrin) or reporting what they were told? If the Sanhedrin wanted to verbal Jesus, they could have promulgated the story of his admission to justify their decision to hand him over to the Romans for execution.

                        In other places in the Gospels, Jesus alludes to the "Secrets of the Kingdom of heaven" but doesn't (to my admittedly shallow and probably flawed understanding) claim to be the Messiah.

                        So he doesn't have to be Lord, Lunatic or Liar. He could be a Good Man.
                        Last edited by Groakes; 11-09-2008, 05:15 PM.
                        Does it follow that I reject all authority? Perish the thought. In the matter of boots, I defer to the authority of the boot-maker.
                        Bakunin

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Good points, Groakes. Let me counter with a few bits that, for me, answer that question.

                          One, I don't believe Ghandi or Saro-Wiwa claimed to be the Son of God.

                          Two, there were members of the Sanhedrin that were Christian or became Christian afterwards. Jesus was buried in the tomb of one, a guy named Joseph of Arimethea.

                          Three, again and again Jesus quotes Old Testament scripture in such a way that the people of that day absolutely understood that He was applying messianic passages to Himself. Son of Man is a phrase Jesus uses a lot, and the people of that day certainly understood that. He seems to avoid the phrase Christ because, as He says, the time was not right to fulfill His destiny; He had unfinished business, as it were. When the time was right, He allowed Himself to die for that name. I will confess I have not heard the idea that the Sanhedrin made up His claim to Messiahship, that He never claimed that Himself; doesn't quite seem in keeping with the rest of history (ie. Josephus).

                          13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
                          14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
                          15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
                          16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
                          17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will bef loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.



                          The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (Mt 16:13-20). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
                          My fear is, if we say that the Apostles witnessed miracles and such, we then argue "Well, they were His apostles. Of course they will make that stuff about His Messianic nature up," and then we counter with, "Aha! The Sanhedrin were making stuff up and also say that He claimed to be the Messiah" then we really say that BOTH sides can't be trusted. In which case, our issue is again epistomological and we have a breakdown on unreliable sources on ALL accounts. And while that certainly could be true, I guess for me it sort of ends the discussion and gets a touch conspiracy theory for me, but then tha may be on of the accusations: that this is a grand conspiracy.

                          The apostles claim he walked on water etc. Tons of miracles. Maybe they were wrong.

                          The Sanhedrin (including some like Nicodemas and Joseph of Arimethea who followed Him) claim that He admitted to being the Son of God, and His words before Pilate could have easily refuted this if words were put in His mouth. He didn't refute them, and Pilate didn't rescue Him.

                          All the evidence seems to point that Jesus did claim a Messianic nature, and a unique relationship with God as His Son. That He never really claimed this may be the toughest of the propositions to prove.

                          But again, Groakes, thanks for sharing that explanation. This is how we learn new ideas and oipen ourselves to growing. Obviously 2000 years later we can neither prove nor disprove it, and so it still remains a matter of conjecture/mystery, perhaps. But a fascinating and (to me) new explanation nonetheless.
                          "Self-discipline and self-knowledge are the key. An individual becomes a unique universe, able to move at will through all the scales of the multiverse - potentially able to control the immediate reality of every scale, every encountered environment."
                          --Contessa Rose von Bek, Blood part 4, chapter 12

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            This is where your scholarly depth gives you a deserved advantage - I was ignorant of the fact that Joseph of Arimathea was a member of the Sanhedrin... Though if I wanted to further pursue the Sanhedrin verballing scenario, I would say that he was disgusted by the efforts Caiaphas and crew went to have Jesus killed (despite the efforts of Nicodemus) and was attempting to give some dignity to Jesus' death....

                            My rationalising would run along the lines of: Jesus was a Good Man (note caps) who's radical position cost him his life at the hands of the authorities. The miracles were events reinterpreted or "magnified" or invented by the apostles.

                            As an atheist, I can accept that Jesus' teachings are valuable but I don't need the divine aspect to add additional worth to an already important message - I can accept a lot of his teachings as metaphor.

                            In this lifetime, we will never Know - which I guess is the point of faith!
                            Does it follow that I reject all authority? Perish the thought. In the matter of boots, I defer to the authority of the boot-maker.
                            Bakunin

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by J-Sun View Post
                              Josh McDowell once wrote that there are only 3 options concerning Jesus of Nazareth: He was either Lord, Lunatic, or Liar. What's your take on this guy Jesus?
                              My take on Jesus is that he may well have been a historical figure who may or may not have made the claims attributed to him in the Gospels and elsewhere. If he did make them, he could not possibly have been correct, given the absence of anything Divine.

                              I think that the 'Lord, Lunatic, Liar' thing is deliberately polemical on McDowell's part. Assuming that Jesus, did make these claims, there is a third option and that is that he was sincere, but happened to be wrong. I fail to see why that should necessarily make him a lunatic. If it did, one would presumably have to commit oneself to the view that Christians (and probably all religious people) were also either correct, liars, or lunatics. This makes no sense to me, but I suspect this might be where this McDowell chap's argument is going.

                              As an illustration: for centurys most of Europe believed in the Divine Right of Kings; including the monarchs themselves. Would you then argue that all these monarchs were either lords, liars, or lunatics? I wouldn't be happy with such a claim given the historical evidence to the contrary.

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