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.
IS IT ANY WONDER WE CANNOT IDENTIFY 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.
NOBODY REALLY HAD ANY FACTS!
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