Jesus?

Is there a God? If so, what is She like?

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Mike Strand
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Re: Jesus?

Post by Mike Strand »

Back to the question of why didn't Jesus write anything. Can't help but have some fun with this question, and I run the risk of offending participants in this topic, but maybe I can excuse my responses as exercises trying to write my thoughts clearly.

The question itself has many possible answers, and some have been posed here; e.g., Jesus didn't exist, Jesus didn't know how to write, Jesus wrote but the writings were destroyed or were lost before others found out about them, or somebody knew about them but chose not to let others know.

Maybe Jesus chose not to write, worried that too much would be made of his writings -- e.g., an often oppressive religion (at least in some of its forms) that may have little to do with what he said and how he lived. Some (Nietzsche, for example) say he lived like a Buddha. Nevertheless, probably too much has been made of his life by people who remembered him or the stories people made up about him, and the result has been ... well, an often oppressive religion.

Some claim the true founder of Christianity was the apostle Paul, who started out as the rabid anti-Christian Saul, if we can believe the record. And one might ask, why should we trust the writings (in the New Testament) of a man like Saul?

If Jesus existed and was admired by many people of the time, it might have been better for Jesus to have written down his thinking and for those writings to have been carefully handed down to us. Maybe then we would have had a better result in terms of a belief system that serves humanity better than Christianity has.
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Bernard
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Re: Jesus?

Post by Bernard »

Jesus was a peasant and peasants didn't write. Roles were very strong in those days. Some of his disciples and followers ended up writing but only because they wanted to record their experiences in his company. They probably wrote little else, except for Paul who was not a peasant. He did write on one occasion however; when a women was about to be stoned he bent down and wrote something on the ground - something to do with what he had just said to the gathered would-be executors "Whoever is without sin caste the first stone". Whatever it was he wrote it was the most effective bit of writing ever, because they all walked away shamefaced. I've heard it said that he wrote down the sins of every man.
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Arising_uk
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Re: Jesus?

Post by Arising_uk »

I thought Jesus the son of a carpenter? Hardly a peasant.
chaz wyman
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Re: Jesus?

Post by chaz wyman »

Arising_uk wrote:I thought Jesus the son of a carpenter? Hardly a peasant.
Carpenters didn't write either.
What do you think a peasant is?
Although mostly associated with farming activity, peasant can also refer to the 'low born" and Carpentry is definitely a cottage industry.
I don't know in detail the relationship between workers and their Jewish/Roman elites at the turn of that particular millennium but there is no doubt that Jesus was thought to be one of the ordinary bods, rather than from an elite. I don't think peasant is far off the mark, if a little medieval in connotation.

peasant [ˈpɛzənt]
n
1. (Sociology)
a. a member of a class of low social status that depends on either cottage industry or agricultural labour as a means of subsistence
b. (as modifier) peasant dress
2. Informal a person who lives in the country; rustic
3. Informal an uncouth or uncultured person
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Resha Caner
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Re: Jesus?

Post by Resha Caner »

Bernard wrote:Jesus was a peasant and peasants didn't write.
This is the "common man" fallacy ... assuming that because most people of a particular class behaved in a certain way, that all people in that class must behave the same way.

St. Patrick was a slave. Slaves don't write, and yet Saint Patrick wrote.
St. John was a peasant (a fisherman), but he wrote.

What is interesting in both cases is to compare them to contemporaries ... and that has been done. I've heard St. Patrick's Confessions compared to Augustine and St. John's epistles compared to St. Paul. In both cases the styles were described as the comprison between someone in primary school and someone in college. Their style belies their education, but peasants are not precluded from writing. If you want other examples of historical figures stepping outside their class, they are legion.
chaz wyman
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Re: Jesus?

Post by chaz wyman »

Resha Caner wrote:
Bernard wrote:Jesus was a peasant and peasants didn't write.
This is the "common man" fallacy ... assuming that because most people of a particular class behaved in a certain way, that all people in that class must behave the same way.
.
No fantasy at all. For 90% of earths history since the advent of writing, literacy has never exceeded 1%.

Were he to have been literate then it would probably not have escaped the attention of the Gospels.
Books were not printed in his time, were very expensive and were not widely available.

If there is any fantasy here it is with you whose ignorance of basic history omits to ask why a peasant would even think of becoming literate, let alone having the time, resources or inclination to be able to devote valuable working time to this useless activity.
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ForgedinHell
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Re: Jesus?

Post by ForgedinHell »

Bernard wrote:Jesus was a peasant and peasants didn't write. Roles were very strong in those days. Some of his disciples and followers ended up writing but only because they wanted to record their experiences in his company. They probably wrote little else, except for Paul who was not a peasant. He did write on one occasion however; when a women was about to be stoned he bent down and wrote something on the ground - something to do with what he had just said to the gathered would-be executors "Whoever is without sin caste the first stone". Whatever it was he wrote it was the most effective bit of writing ever, because they all walked away shamefaced. I've heard it said that he wrote down the sins of every man.
That would just show, if the story happened, that Jesus was one of the most unethical people to have walked the planet. Good thing for us he didn't actually live. As if someone who has done something wrong in their past cannot tell whether someone has committed right or wrong? Or, only those people who are completely pure can hold criminals responsible for their wrong doing? In which case, no criminal could be tried to a judge or jury.

The sanest thing Jesus could have said, had he actually been alive, and knew something about ethics would have been: "Stoning a woman for adultery is over kill. Besides which, it is a matter that is not of our concern, but is a dispute to be resolved, as peacefully as possible, between the wife and her husband."
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Resha Caner
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Re: Jesus?

Post by Resha Caner »

chaz wyman wrote:Were he to have been literate then it would probably not have escaped the attention of the Gospels.
Luke 4:16-20
chaz wyman wrote:If there is any fantasy here it is with you whose ignorance of basic history omits to ask why a peasant would even think of becoming literate, let alone having the time, resources or inclination to be able to devote valuable working time to this useless activity.
All you have done is repeat your common man fallacy followed by an ad hominem fallacy. Whatever entertainment you may derive from such things, I can tell you it does nothing to support your argument. If you want to discuss with me, show due respect. If not, I'll wait for someone who is interested in a discussion.
chaz wyman
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Re: Jesus?

Post by chaz wyman »

Resha Caner wrote:
chaz wyman wrote:Were he to have been literate then it would probably not have escaped the attention of the Gospels.
Luke 4:16-20

Thanks. It seems the bible story is even more unbelievable.
Jesus could read even-though he was never taught - but then he was the son of God so could do what ever he wanted. Shame he didn't make more of an effort for the poor and sick whilst he was around.
chaz wyman wrote:If there is any fantasy here it is with you whose ignorance of basic history omits to ask why a peasant would even think of becoming literate, let alone having the time, resources or inclination to be able to devote valuable working time to this useless activity.
All you have done is repeat your common man fallacy followed by an ad hominem fallacy.

No not at all. My argument is sound. It is the Bible that is bullshit. Carpenters can't read. It'a as simple as that. Trying to make a living as carpenter meant you worked. Jesus never learned to read.


Whatever entertainment you may derive from such things, I can tell you it does nothing to support your argument. If you want to discuss with me, show due respect. If not, I'll wait for someone who is interested in a discussion.
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Resha Caner
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Re: Jesus?

Post by Resha Caner »

chaz wyman wrote:Thanks. It seems the bible story is even more unbelievable.
It's the example that you alluded should be easy to find. I provided. If you're not going to engage, then don't raise the issue.
chaz wyman wrote:No not at all. My argument is sound. It is the Bible that is bullshit. Carpenters can't read. It'a as simple as that. Trying to make a living as carpenter meant you worked. Jesus never learned to read.
Your declarations (and it seems that is all you have) are not evidence.

Are you going to say that fisherman and slaves were illiterate as well? Or that St. John & St. Patrick were not historical? Or are you just going to ignore those examples?

If so, what of Basil I, the Byzantine Emperor who was born a peasant. Was he also illiterate? I can go on with example after example of people who rose above their class - and the reasons that motivated them are obvious.

As I said before, either provide a valid argument against what I've said, or admit it possible that peasants can learn. If you decline to do either of those, I'll be happy to move on to other discussions.
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Bernard
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Re: Jesus?

Post by Bernard »

That a peasant type can become literate in Jesus's day was certainly an option easy enough to access. There were a great mix of cultural influences for anyone with the time and inclination. Jesus was said to be the eldest of quite a few brothers and sisters and had an apparently absent father, so his workl seemed cut out for him from the word go... not much of that leisure time necessary for literary development. He did seem to have some time for it, but seems to have kept it at arm's length. There is probably nothing more strongly that we can assume about him than that he was a great orator, and people with such a gift understandably shy from writing, unless they are massive egoists like Hitler and need to justify their insanity with memoirs or autobiographies.

Did Elvis write his own songs? and would he have done so if he was not so gifted with physical appearance and voice? It can come done to personal inclination.

Of interest are the epistles of James, the said to be brother - or half brother - of Jesus. If these epistles are by his hand it could be said to be of a bare-bones oratorial, axiomatic nature, giving a further clue that Jesus and James were from workaday Jewish families of waning identity within their own homelands, and a crude political perspective borne of disinterest, that counter-intuitively could create expressions of razor sharp and original content. Don't believe the 'born in Bethlehem where all good kings are born' nonsense, it was more mundane than that.

As a Carpenter-Jew Jesus probably carved symbols, designs and motifs for synagogues and the like, and this in itself would have led naturally to interest in text.

Not a bad Wiki on James' epistles: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistle_of_James

As for John being literate, this seems only to have occurred after Jesus's death and his decision to go and live North. He probably honed his poetic skills (so few understand revelations as poetry) whilst in Patmos. Thomas went to India and seemed to have fallen in with the Essenes, or other desert sects along the way, and began writing at that same time. The followers of Jesus after his death seemed to have come to a consensus to write of their experiences and keep in touch through the written word as they dispersed more and more into other lands.

Not here to argue a no-brainer about whether or not Jesus existed.
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Bernard
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Re: Jesus?

Post by Bernard »

Jesus didn't exist as a social phenomenon but a human one. His words were never social pronouncements. That is what I see as the fault in your basic stance. You would ask the difference between social and human perhaps? Christianity turned him into a social apparatus for its own means and purposes, and certainly I agree with you that that Christ only exists in the comforting retreats of minds lacking the strength to face life without questioning the effects of the social order upon what one thinks and why one thinks it. No Jesus was not a reformer of anything but hearts. He left others minds to their own devices, though was adept at placing a mirror before the hypocritical mind in order to expose its ultimately useless and selfish motives; a mind over-weighted with social agenda.



Jesus treated people as individuals. He would take sinners aside and advise on a one to one basis with them; again, from the heart to the heart. This was his revolution, a weak one by any social standards, and useless to forthcoming Christianity, hence it had to be overwritten and forgotten. Sure, there are individual Christians that are true to the original inspirition, but still seem the exception to the rule.
ForgedinHell wrote:
Bernard wrote:Jesus was a peasant and peasants didn't write. Roles were very strong in those days. Some of his disciples and followers ended up writing but only because they wanted to record their experiences in his company. They probably wrote little else, except for Paul who was not a peasant. He did write on one occasion however; when a women was about to be stoned he bent down and wrote something on the ground - something to do with what he had just said to the gathered would-be executors "Whoever is without sin caste the first stone". Whatever it was he wrote it was the most effective bit of writing ever, because they all walked away shamefaced. I've heard it said that he wrote down the sins of every man.
That would just show, if the story happened, that Jesus was one of the most unethical people to have walked the planet. Good thing for us he didn't actually live. As if someone who has done something wrong in their past cannot tell whether someone has committed right or wrong? Or, only those people who are completely pure can hold criminals responsible for their wrong doing? In which case, no criminal could be tried to a judge or jury.

The sanest thing Jesus could have said, had he actually been alive, and knew something about ethics would have been: "Stoning a woman for adultery is over kill. Besides which, it is a matter that is not of our concern, but is a dispute to be resolved, as peacefully as possible, between the wife and her husband."
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ForgedinHell
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Re: Jesus?

Post by ForgedinHell »

Bernard wrote:Jesus didn't exist as a social phenomenon but a human one. His words were never social pronouncements. That is what I see as the fault in your basic stance. You would ask the difference between social and human perhaps? Christianity turned him into a social apparatus for its own means and purposes, and certainly I agree with you that that Christ only exists in the comforting retreats of minds lacking the strength to face life without questioning the effects of the social order upon what one thinks and why one thinks it. No Jesus was not a reformer of anything but hearts. He left others minds to their own devices, though was adept at placing a mirror before the hypocritical mind in order to expose its ultimately useless and selfish motives; a mind over-weighted with social agenda.



Jesus treated people as individuals. He would take sinners aside and advise on a one to one basis with them; again, from the heart to the heart. This was his revolution, a weak one by any social standards, and useless to forthcoming Christianity, hence it had to be overwritten and forgotten. Sure, there are individual Christians that are true to the original inspirition, but still seem the exception to the rule.
ForgedinHell wrote:
Bernard wrote:Jesus was a peasant and peasants didn't write. Roles were very strong in those days. Some of his disciples and followers ended up writing but only because they wanted to record their experiences in his company. They probably wrote little else, except for Paul who was not a peasant. He did write on one occasion however; when a women was about to be stoned he bent down and wrote something on the ground - something to do with what he had just said to the gathered would-be executors "Whoever is without sin caste the first stone". Whatever it was he wrote it was the most effective bit of writing ever, because they all walked away shamefaced. I've heard it said that he wrote down the sins of every man.
That would just show, if the story happened, that Jesus was one of the most unethical people to have walked the planet. Good thing for us he didn't actually live. As if someone who has done something wrong in their past cannot tell whether someone has committed right or wrong? Or, only those people who are completely pure can hold criminals responsible for their wrong doing? In which case, no criminal could be tried to a judge or jury.

The sanest thing Jesus could have said, had he actually been alive, and knew something about ethics would have been: "Stoning a woman for adultery is over kill. Besides which, it is a matter that is not of our concern, but is a dispute to be resolved, as peacefully as possible, between the wife and her husband."
Jesus did not exist, but even if he did, even if he were god, he would have been immoral. Christianity is anti-freedom, which is why it is immoral. Jesus never allegedly told anyone to "think what you want, say what you want, even if that involves ridiculing the idea that I am god or that any god exists. End slavery, in all of its forms, and allow people to decide for themselves how to live, provided they do no harm to others. And tell those people who moralize and use force to tell others how to live, that they are immoral scum and the enemies of freedom." Such a message is anathema to Christianity. Tell me where in the so-called New Testament, Jesus advocated against slavery, and for freedom of speech, and for free-market capitalism over socialism? Tell me where he stood for freedom of religion?
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Bernard
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Re: Jesus?

Post by Bernard »

Jesus did not exist, but even if he did, even if he were god, he would have been immoral. Christianity is anti-freedom, which is why it is immoral. Jesus never allegedly told anyone to "think what you want, say what you want, even if that involves ridiculing the idea that I am god or that any god exists. End slavery, in all of its forms, and allow people to decide for themselves how to live, provided they do no harm to others. And tell those people who moralize and use force to tell others how to live, that they are immoral scum and the enemies of freedom." Such a message is anathema to Christianity. Tell me where in the so-called New Testament, Jesus advocated against slavery, and for freedom of speech, and for free-market capitalism over socialism? Tell me where he stood for freedom of religion?
I can understand why you believe Jesus didn't exist given who you think he was. I would have the same stance as you if I were given to believe that Jesus was God. They tried but failed. He spoke a lot of the father which was as much a poetic phrase as anything else. There is some evidence that he fell among the Essenes for a while and was a little more esoteric with his terminology among members of these types of small sects, but he was never esoteric enough to even abstractly see himself as God. Christian thinking seems to say he was actually referring to himself when he spoke of 'our father in heaven'. Christian thinking is weird. If he was spoken of as the son of God, it was meant the vain that it was clear he was a child of God, as we all are. If he lived in our own times he probably would have referred to us and himself as children of the universe, which would gel with the scientific fact that we are all made of stardust. He was essentially private in his beliefs, and probably if he were around today no-one would have much of an idea of whether or not he believed in God.

Jesus not only rendered to Caesar what belonged to Caesar, but to religion what belonged to religion; in other words he was indifferent toward the doings of large organised structures. Again and again he upheld the needs and hearts of individual against the Juggernauts of society that imprison individuality and freedom. He represented that completely. Look at the Sermon on the Mount - if you can get through the two thousand years of interpretive clutter that surrounds it, you'll see a free man speaking of freedom among his friends amid the hills near the lake of Galilee, an area known for its free, unruly men. The early followers of Jesus were hounded and excoriated by authorities exactly because slaves were leaving slavery for freedom.

By the time Constantin came along Rome had seen there was more than one way to skin a cat. Read Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil to track the priestly castes of that time and the way it reinvented itself to suit. I think he called it the history of Resentiment.
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ForgedinHell
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Re: Jesus?

Post by ForgedinHell »

Bernard wrote:
Jesus did not exist, but even if he did, even if he were god, he would have been immoral. Christianity is anti-freedom, which is why it is immoral. Jesus never allegedly told anyone to "think what you want, say what you want, even if that involves ridiculing the idea that I am god or that any god exists. End slavery, in all of its forms, and allow people to decide for themselves how to live, provided they do no harm to others. And tell those people who moralize and use force to tell others how to live, that they are immoral scum and the enemies of freedom." Such a message is anathema to Christianity. Tell me where in the so-called New Testament, Jesus advocated against slavery, and for freedom of speech, and for free-market capitalism over socialism? Tell me where he stood for freedom of religion?
I can understand why you believe Jesus didn't exist given who you think he was. I would have the same stance as you if I were given to believe that Jesus was God. They tried but failed. He spoke a lot of the father which was as much a poetic phrase as anything else. There is some evidence that he fell among the Essenes for a while and was a little more esoteric with his terminology among members of these types of small sects, but he was never esoteric enough to even abstractly see himself as God. Christian thinking seems to say he was actually referring to himself when he spoke of 'our father in heaven'. Christian thinking is weird. If he was spoken of as the son of God, it was meant the vain that it was clear he was a child of God, as we all are. If he lived in our own times he probably would have referred to us and himself as children of the universe, which would gel with the scientific fact that we are all made of stardust. He was essentially private in his beliefs, and probably if he were around today no-one would have much of an idea of whether or not he believed in God.

Jesus not only rendered to Caesar what belonged to Caesar, but to religion what belonged to religion; in other words he was indifferent toward the doings of large organised structures. Again and again he upheld the needs and hearts of individual against the Juggernauts of society that imprison individuality and freedom. He represented that completely. Look at the Sermon on the Mount - if you can get through the two thousand years of interpretive clutter that surrounds it, you'll see a free man speaking of freedom among his friends amid the hills near the lake of Galilee, an area known for its free, unruly men. The early followers of Jesus were hounded and excoriated by authorities exactly because slaves were leaving slavery for freedom.

By the time Constantin came along Rome had seen there was more than one way to skin a cat. Read Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil to track the priestly castes of that time and the way it reinvented itself to suit. I think he called it the history of Resentiment.
The reason why I believe he did not exist is simply because that's what the evidence shows. It's not even a debateable issue. Had he existed, then surely, someone, during his alleged lifetime, would have written something about him. It didn't happen. But, even if we assumed that Jesus existed, and that the Gospels, with all of their numerous contradictions, somehow accurately related what he stated, it is still the case that Jesus was immoral. Jesus never told anyone to free the slaves. Jesus never told anyone to give women equal political rights as men. Jesus never told anyone to give equal rights to gays, to atheists, and to allow people to have freedom of belief and speech. I believe in freedom and reason, two things Jesus allegedly did not support.
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