How do you solve a problem' IDENTITY?

by Terry 19 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Terry

    In the musical THE SOUND of MUSIC, a convent of nuns sings a song about how indefinable a character Maria is and the problems she causes their order.

    First they describe the things she does which leads to the problems she causes:

    She climbs a tree and scrapes her knee
    Her dress has got a tear
    She waltzes on her way to Mass
    And whistles on the stair
    And underneath her wimple
    She has curlers in her hair
    I even heard her singing in the abbey

    She's always late for chapel
    But her penitence is real
    She's always late for everything
    Except for every meal
    I hate to have to say it
    But I very firmly feel
    Maria's not an asset to the abbey

    I'd like to say a word in her behalf
    Maria makes me laugh

    How do you solve a problem like Maria?

    We might well sympathize with Jews and Pagans looking at Jesus and trying to deal with the problems He caused as well!

    To the folks around Nazareth (if such a place existed!) he was a carpenter's son.

    To Pharisees he was a disrespectful, iconoclastic Apostate.

    To Pagans his story indicated he was a Demi-god like Hercules.

    To prostitutes, tax collectors and ruffians he was an interesting guy to hang out with.

    To certain women he was simply divine!

    According to stories, he was probably a Magician and a healer of some sort.

    Ordinary Jews might have thought he was a Rabbi with strange teachings.

    Simple citizens might find him to be extraordinarily confounding or revealing; often at the same time!

    He was accused of being a Lawbreaker. He was a troublemaker.

    Word of mouth varied: he said he was "Son of Man", while others said he might be Elijah or a Messianic candidate like David.

    When you asked him a simple question you might just get a question in return. He seemed tricky, elusive and Socratic like one of the ancient

    peripetetic philosophers from Greece.

    Saul of Tarsus never met him (not seeing Him but only hearing a voice and forming conclusions) but was the First to write about him.

    The gospel stories seem to come from different angles. Those stories were attributed to apostles or their companions, but, likely not.

    Opinions, speculation, arguments swirled and were hotly debated about this Jesus.


    For something or someone to exist in reality it must have non-contradictory attributes. (A rock doesn't float in the air. Fire won't freeze your hand.)

    No physical description is given of Jesus as a person. Tall, short, skinny, fat, bald, hairy, muscular, skin and bones???

    In very very few quotations do we have ACTUAL phrases in Aramaic said to be uttered by this person, Jesus. The rest of the time His "words", by contrast, must be considered paraphrased constructed dialogue. Like the dialogues of Socrates actually written by his student, Plato.

    "Who do you say I am?" he might proffer teasingly.

    the "Son of Man" is often called the Son of God by writers.

    But, in the whole community of Christendom it is the DOCTRINE of the TRINITY which astonishingly seeks to DEFINE Jesus' ACTUAL IDENTITY!

    As an Article of Faith this Doctrine followed very bloody arguments on both sides! The church split over it, in fact.

    Highly respectable proponents and opponents came to blows.



    Written words came after decades of storytelling!

    On group told one set of stories and another group a completely different set from another point of view.

    When we hold a BIBLE in our hand we aren't solving any of these problems at all!

    Clearly, this compilation of writings were approved by the same group of thinkers/believers who are responsible for the CATHOLIC CHURCH!

    They had the Authority to make it ORTHODOX and to enforce the orthodoxy by severe banishments and punishments, but, they were no BETTER advised than their own point of view to begin with.

    THE TRINITY is taught in the Bible.

    But, it is also DENIED in the same Bible.

    How is this possible?

    We are dealing with opinions and not facts.

    Jesus' IDENTITY as outlined in our list above is CONTRADICTORY in its elements.

    For a person or thing to exist the attributes cannot be contradictory.

    The REASON the TRINITY is self-contradictory (mysterious!) is because it is ARTIFICIAL effort to make contradictions vanish by FIAT.

    (Fiat isn't an Italian auto--it means COMMAND)

    The "Church" tried to command into existence an IDENTITY for Jesus which would accomodate ALL contradictory elements into a homogenous whole.

    The Old Testament is a good example of bringing together stories that contradict each other and making them ONE story with clashing episodes.

    Apologists earn their keep by spackling the cracks between these dissonances, surely. But, artificial fiat is contrary to nature.

    If you have trouble understanding the above....why not sit down and think about it for awhile.

    IDENTITY of a REAL person or thing must correspond with reality.

    Mysteries begin with contradictory reports.

    It is the height of unintelligence to form a CONCLUSION based on disperate, contradictory elements AND DECLARE IT TRUE!

    I leave you with this poem:

    Yesterday, upon the stair,
    I met a man who wasn’t there
    He wasn’t there again today
    I wish, I wish he’d go away...

    When I came home last night at three
    The man was waiting there for me
    But when I looked around the hall
    I couldn’t see him there at all!

    Last night I saw upon the stair
    A little man who wasn’t there
    He wasn’t there again today
    Oh, how I wish he’d go away

  • AllTimeJeff

    I might have to join in on this one....

  • Terry

    I might have to join in on this one....

    I didn't want to Hijack your Trinity thread, so, I started this one! Come on in and sit a spell!!

  • AllTimeJeff

    Terry, I hope I may be permitted to make an observation about all arguments involving Jesus. (WARNING: Generalizations for the sake of discussion may be included)

    Jesus is beloved and worshipped as god, without regard to fair questions as to his existence then and now. I accept that and have no expectations that this will ever change.

    I prefer a Christian who loves Jesus teachings (as they understand them) and thus, loves others as Jesus (supposedly) taught.

    There is another set of Christians to whom their entire time is spent defending the concept and identity of who Christ was, and now (supposedly) is. It is more important to such ones that the concept of who he supposedly is now (as you have brought up, the Trinity) be defended then his actual basic teachings.

    What a waste of time!

    If your concept of the identity of Christ takes all your time to explain, what time do you have to actually be a Christian?

    And isn't it telling that if your concept as to the identity of Jesus is so convoluted that it leaves little time to discuss Jesus actual teachings, how true can it be?

    As Terry pointed out, the Gospels are super bendy when it comes to who Jesus actually could have been. So many people viewed him in so many ways.

    Little wonder that confusion exists today, when the Gospels are the main providers of the conflicting information.'

  • Terry

    I agree, Jeff. Christianity is only meaningful when it is serving to comfort, embrace, heal, love and mollify.

    Service is key. Humility essential.

    I spent way too many years of my youth being a know-it-all loudmouth with a green bible. I never helped anybody and probably hurt more than a few.

    Doctrine is a bludgeon or a poison pellet.

  • AllTimeJeff

    That's why Trinitarians "loved" to debate with Jehovah's Witnesses. Classic competing ideologies of monotheism vs the Trinity.

    Lost in all of this is that the concept isn't as important as the people.

    So I won't live forever because I don't believe in Jehovah as the one true god?

    So I won't live forever because I don't accept Jesus as part of a Triune god?

    Same thing, just different sides of a coin.

  • AllTimeJeff

    Terry, to your point, the very fact that there are indeed so many ideas about Jesus within Christendom is something barely acknowledged as worth looking into, even though many who espouse differing views as to the nature of Jesus will tell you it's a life or death matter.

    It's hardly appealing, and confusing.

    ...and when I say confusing, I am not saying that because the answer isn't right there in front of you. Far from it! What is confusing is that "Christians" will believe entirely different concepts, defend them, and never answer a legit question about it.

    I have much more respect for a Christian whose faith is private, who may (or may not) come on discussion boards like this and say "I'm a believer. I understand why others don't and I respect that. My faith and my god is good enough for me".

    Other's are not so charitable, or honest, about their beliefs in Jesus.

    If I hit a nerve.... if the shoe fits, wear it.


    Identifying Jesus is only a problem to those that believe a dead man still lives. To those that accept that he lived and died like all humans there is no problem.

    Attempting to convince non-believers is the greatest test of faith and also a great way to strengthen faith. The greatest task is elevating Jesus to god status and selling this package to the world.

    Without a living Jesus, there is no kingdom and no resurrection to heavenly bliss. I often wonder whether those that spend so much time trying to convince others that Jesus lives are really trying to convince themselves.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    Jesus is never clear about his identity. If I recall correctly, Jesus speaks of a Son of Man. The Son of Man could be someone else. Jesus taught apocalyptic doctrines. The kingdom was at hand. Miracles showed God was intervening in history. For a man on trial for a capital offense, he is snippy with Pilate. Pilate, who was so blood thirsty the Romans recalled him, asked legitimate questions which Jesus evaded. Nothing makes sense. We don't worship the historical Jesus as much as the Risen Christ, accessible in our present.

    I finished N.T. Wright and Marcus Borg, The Meaning of Jesus last week. Eminent scholars they studied under the same world master. They agree on all the historical facts and social interpretations. Both are practicing Christians and believe different things from the gospels. I don't think Jesus was thick. It seems He was not concerned with Christology. The apostles were not theologians and seem clueless. If God Himself asked you to pray with him in the Garden of Gethsemane, would you not do so? They were prob. good men, but stellar only occurs after Pentecost.

    It is possible that Jesus revealed Christology between resurrection and ascension. Why would the apostles keep it such a secret? Jesus believed that the kingdom of God was near. Trinity or Unitary are both merely extrapolations of scripture. I try to read carefully and dispassionately, for every scripture that hints at a Trinity, another scripture would make Jesus a super angel or something. This confusion could have never occurred if Jesus sat down with the apostles and drafted a creed. It is so important to us but it does not seem important to Jesus. Even if He had no consciousness he was God b/c he knows he can't be crucified, carpenters were skilled and had clients. If he felt death was at hand, and it was rather obvious, why did he not spell it out?

    I see the Trinity as a device to describe that we sense God's presence in myriad ways.

    If I were looking for a quick way to make money, I would obtain the credentials and write a Dummies for Jesus book. These books are so hot.

  • designs

    Well Jesus was only 'original' on a couple of teachings, most ideas he stole from the Pharisees and Sadducees, groups he routinely castigated. The Apostle Paul was a true Man of La Mancha, almost completely delusional in his depiction of Judaism.

    My punsihment for them both- Four Semesters at Hebrew University.

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