Why would a 1st Century nobody want to believe a Jesus story?

by Terry 26 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Terry

    First Century.

    Rome. Jerusalem. Galilee.

    Low tech world.

    Roman armies marching always into battles.

    Sons and fathers conscripted to fight and die.


    Morning to sundown scraping out a meager living.

    Few people can read.

    Life sucks.

    You fish. You trade. You do odd jobs. Hand to mouth.

    Life is growing old soon and dying.

    There are no hearing-aids, dental implants, eye-glasses or open heart surgery.

    People smell bad. Rotten teeth and bad eyesight.

    What is there to look forward to?

    If you are a Jew....may the Messiah might come? Maybe?

    But, one day you hear a wonderful story.

    A real Messiah?

    How do you know he is REAL?

    What? Walked on water? Wow!

    Miracles? Raised people from the dead? You're shittin' me! Really?? Wow!

    Fed 5,000 people from a few loaves of bread and fish? Shut up!! Wow!

    Where is he? I gotta hear him and meet him!!


    They did what to him??

    I knew it! Too good to be true!

    Say what? SAY WHAT???!!

    Back? From the DEAD?? Holes in his hands??

    Floated up into the sky? You're F-ing shitting me now...right?

    He's gonna what?? COME BACK SOON?

    KILL the unrighteous? You mean the pagans, right?

    I gotta do what?


    In a world where there is no Television, iPods, laptops, movie theatres, newpapers, college, career opportunities......

    What ONE thing would change your world and turn it upside down?

    What ONE thing would place YOU at the center of the most important story you've ever heard?

    What ONE thing would make YOU part of the solution to mankind's biggest problem?

    That's right. Believing a JESUS story.........and passing it on.

    A mother would hear that Jesus said, "Turn the other cheek.." and not "Go to war and die".

    A parent would hear "Let the children come to me" and feel safe trusting such a plea.

    A Jew would think "No more Roman oppression!"

    A sick person would think, "I will be able to see and walk be young again!"

    That's alot of GAIN for the pain of Believing.

    You get EVERYTHING in exchange for what you have: A few short years....sickness....death....anonymity.

    Why would a 1st Century nobody want to believe a JESUS story?

    To get everything they need and have no hope of getting otherwise!

  • startingover

    Exactly! I have a feeling that it's much the same today.

  • unshackled

    Well written Terry. I really enjoyed that. What amazes me is how entrenched the bible story still is in our world. I forget which Pope said it (Pope Leo X?) but it certainly rings true: "It has served us well this myth of Christ."

  • Darth plaugeis
    Darth plaugeis

    Great post Terry

    yes I can see that happening today.... ELVIS died and he was no Messiah.....people refuse to let him RIP.

    Wait all you Elvis fans .... it is true ELVIS was not the MESSIAH.... he was THE KING so he was better that Jesus.

    Jesus was the Messiah who became a King/

    Elvis was The KING who became a GOD..... to some....... like Jesus

  • Terry

    In my opinion, even the most realistic minded pragmatist has a gaping hole in their logic that leaves room for a whopper to believe.

    For each person it is something different, of course.

    Each of us has a crazy place inside our head.

    I have a few crazy things that pop out of my mouth. I don't believe people are really allergic to things, for example.

    Why? Because I don't have any allergies myself.

    So, I figure: "Why should other people have them?"

    That sort of madness.....

  • metatron

    No printing either. Almost no writing/steno pad records either. Maybe an occasional wax tablet, if Matthew or somebody literate was actually taking notes.

    So, they relied on stories and easy to remember parables. Trouble with that is, it can all get remembered or interpreted differently.

    OTOH, Paul mentioned that the resurrected Jesus appeared to around 500 eyewitnesses. I never thought any of that Passover Plot stuff was credible.


  • Terry

    The most CONDUCIVE aspect of an oral story is that it isn't FIXED in details.

    If something doesn't ....quite....work.....you can FIX it when you retell it yourself.

    You meet somebody and tell the story and you get a question like: "Yeah, but, why didn't so and so do such and such..?"

    Since you BELIEVE the story is true you come up with a "plausible" answer.

    The story has been "repaired"! (Apologetics is born!)

    As the unwritten/non-fixed story makes its way through various cultures, sexes, intelligences, logic-filters it is honed, sharpened and transformed into a MORE CONVINCING story.

    Nobody has had to lie....only to.....insert... a plausible "adjustment" to get the point across when an objection is raised.

    It is Evolution in a microcosm.

    By the time the story gets "fixed" in written form it has survival of the fittest (storytelling) going for it BIG TIME!

    THE JESUS STORY was powerful and convincing because it BECAME so through the elasticity of non-written adjustments.

  • glenster

    "a gaping hole in their logic"

    Depends how you do it. To do it without gaping holes in logic, I'd recommend
    "How to Think About God," Adler.

    Beyond philosophy of the possibility of the basic God concept, belief in God
    then was and is now a faith in a possible God beyond the known things. Once you
    start adding particulars (his name, who he talked to, etc), it's faith, and a
    personal choice like what music you like. A few of the basics I have about it
    follow from that:

    - don't mess with the facts (not just saying things like the world is literal-
    ly 6,000 years old but also propagandizing against those different than you).

    - don't be too 'centric as to be intolerant of those different than you.
    Nothing has caused more unneccesary hurt and death than believers and non-be-
    lievers who were too 'centric that way, and not either who weren't.

    - nobody should be hurt or killed over belief or non-belief things. Since
    faith in God is a belief in something beyond the known facts, there's no sub-
    stantiation in the facts for anyone to be hurt or killed over such things. The
    belief or non-belief view shouldn't be law of the land or people will be hurt
    or killed over something nobody should be hurt or killed over.

    That said, I see merit in the way 1st century Christianity understood their
    belief in God that stands the test of time:

    The emphasis was faith--"blessed are those that haven't seen but believe"--
    understood as such.

    Various things in the OT (religion as law of the land, etc.) not reaffirmed
    in the NT were due to belief in God only changing people resistant to change so
    much. (The Canaanite belief in gods is another example--it didn't diminish in
    the culture much till Isaiah's time, etc.)

    Likewise, Christians came from a culture with a religion as law of the land
    (even ethically arbitrary rules about clothes and food that partly served to set
    themselves apart in a 'centric way) and a military to defend it but preferred to
    believe in going among Jews and Gentiles of any country without giving offense--
    sacrificing of the self to gain others to God.

    "KILL the unrighteous? You mean the pagans, right?" The most popular after-
    life belief for the 1st 600 years or so wasn't exclusionary, it was Universal-
    ism. For this life, Jesus didn't teach to look for people who are different and
    beat them up.

    If you're going to go there, I'd say those things about the way Jesus and the
    early Christians intended it are still basically the ways to do it.

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason


    The Christianity that ultimately prospered was the version taught by Paul, who was based at Antioch. His teachings were aligned with Hellenistic philosophy, so those teachings were more acceptable to the populace than were the strict legalistic version of the larger Jewish Christian movement under James and Peter, based at Jerusalem. These Christian groups were at odds with one another, and with other Christian sects. The Jerusalem group evolved into groups such as the Ebionites.

    Paul's story was a philosophy about the impact of the Christ, whereas the Jewish Christians were practical, albeit very legalistic, and were about Jesus. The Greek and Roman philosophers had much less difficulty accepting Paul's views; they found the Jewish ritual requirements, such as circumcision, too difficult to accept.

    To gain some idea of the tension between Paul's version and the Jerusalem version of Christianity, you only need read Paul's invective in his early letter, to the Galatians, and also his harsh words about the Jews' Law in Romans. You can imagine how well that went down with the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem!

    In time, Paul's version gained the support of the emperors of the Eastern Roman empire, who saw political value in recognising Paul's version, and in this way they inadvertently defined Christian orthodoxy. This officially sanctioned state church determined which were the writings acceptable as their New Testament canon, and we can see their bias, as well as their inconsistencies.

    Examination of the time shows why the Gentile Christians succeeded, while the message of the Jewish Christians, who were the rightful heirs, was almost obliterated.


  • thetrueone

    For all the gods to believe in Jesus was probably the best one around at the time that particularly offered

    something the others simply didn't....... Jesus is alright with me .....Oh Ya

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