That's it! The Jesus stories are most reasonably explained as myth. History makes this obvious.

by Island Man 74 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • _Morpheus

    Islandman, i have my doubts on this as well. There is certainly some cause to doubt there was a biblical jesus. In the same manner there is plenty of room to doubt that there was a Buddha or even Mohamed if you really want to question things. I fall into the category of people with SSC and others who have noted whether there was a religious man jesus of nathzarith or not he was most certainly was not the son of a bronze age desert god of the hebrews and he isnt comming back anytime soon.

    For me that changes the discussion from one of true deep meaning and significance to one of a more academic "who would win in a fight between a zombie and a werewolf" type of thing.

    i leave the following as It seems relevant here:

  • nicolaou
    It's whether or not he WAS the son of god or performed his so-called miracles which matter and to this day there is still no evidence of either, nor will there ever be.

    I get the point you're trying to make SSC but in fact all the evidence is in.

    Miracles never happen.

  • Half banana
    Half banana

    We cannot in good conscience treat as true all the handwritten texts about Jesus, the temptation to slap the name Jesus on the ancient God-man saviour story, was an irresistable urge of the literate clerics at a later time to further their own interests. The illiterate and gullible would never know, they thought...and they still don't.

    The Greek word 'chrestus' does not mean Christ as asserted in Perry's extracts. It is the normal title of the God-men such as Dionysus and Orpheus and means simply 'good'. This tradition was later subtly altered by Jesus-cult apologists to the more elevated and familiar word 'christ' probably to assume fulfillment of Hebrew texts.

    This getting the words right leads me to a most important point that modern Christianity interprets the past in the light of a glorious divine epiphany in the first century and that any mention of "christian" means a follower of Jesus. This is simply not true.

    In the first century the Bible writers hardly knew the name Jesus, and Christianity whatever Paul said, existed for centuries before the idea of Jesus. Christians or Crestians (good men) were very well known to the Roman authorities as a nuisance but these sects and messiahs had nothing to do with later Roman Jesus Christianity which is the channel from which modern Christianity has arisen. So the references to "christians" or "crestus" are not about the imagined sacred and pure origins of the first Jesus cult but the long tradition of pagan holy God-men, some of them threatening the peace in the Roman market place...(as depicted in Life of Brian).

  • Vidiot

    Once again, Perry... you really think you're ever going to convert anyone here?

    Or are you just putting your allegiance "on record"?

  • Island Man
    Island Man

    Perry, most objective scholars regard the few supposed references to Jesus in writings of old historians to be later fabrications by christians trying to plant evidence of Jesus into secular history.

    You quoted an ancient writer who says Christians were named after Christus. However, Christus is not a name of Jesus but the greek word for the title of messiah. It seems like that reference to Christus was a later forgery by an ignorant christian trying to plant Jesus in secular history.

  • Half banana
    Half banana
    Island Man, are you asking Perry about Christus or Chrestus? The meaning of the the words are different, The 'anointed' versus the 'good' one, see my explanation above. The savior god-men heroes traditionally were Chrestus (the good one) but is got conflated with Christus (anointed one) perhaps for the reason I suggest; to create the illusion that the new first and second century Jesus myth was to fulfill Jewish prophecy to satisfy the messianic hopes of Jewry.
  • CalebInFloroda
    I think for some of us who leave the Watchtower, like my friend here, we need Jesus to be completely false - Caleb

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    The simplest way to undermine the Jesus of the gospels is to read the gospels and take every word seriously.

    He was a thoroughly unpleasant person. A family-destroying, egomaniacal, false prophet and deluded cult leader.

    However I find Carrier's theory to be compelling.-- Cofty


    I think you read my comments incorrectly. I was speaking about what my friend had said. If you read the entire post from which you quoted, another individual said that they, themselves, needed Jesus to be a myth. In fact, it is in the quote you presented.

    I was just saying that perhaps others feel the same.

    To claim as you have that "nothing could be further from the truth" about comments like these from my friend, means either:

    1. You have an ability to look into people's minds and see whether or not they really mean what they say, such as "I need Jesus to be a myth" or "I really like the cake you made."

    2. You are claiming I am lying about my friend's comments, which means you are also claiming the same ability in reference to what I have stated.

    But I think you just mistook that I wrote it was an axiom that all who reject Jesus need him to be a myth. That would be ridiculous. Remember, I'm Jewish. If I meant it in such a fashion I would be insulting my own people.

    It was curious to hear those comments from my friend, yes. And I find them hard to comprehend. But I have heard other similar things. When studying demonology as part of my theological training I saw one person leave the program upon our assignment to visit a so-called haunted house. When asked by the instructor why the student said that they could not accept the idea of seeing anything that might possibly change their convictions about spirits.

    So my comments were based on what others have said. My comments were that some people choose to be ignorant by not even looking at facts because they want to hold onto what they believe. I wasn't saying that those who reject Jesus aren't being honest with reality. One more time, I'm a Jew. That would be a silly thing for a Jew to say.

  • Heaven

    As Christopher Hitchens said: "What is more likely? That the laws of nature are suspended or an unmarried Jewish girl told a fib?" This works for ANY claim that does not follow natural laws - just replace 'an unmarried Jewish girl told a fib' with whatever far-fetched claim is being made.

    I found this interesting video a little while ago of Bart Ehrman speaking about the criteria needed to establish historical accuracy:

  • Perry

    Blind Bart Erman has an axe to grind. He never got over someone trying to cure his dad of cancer by anointing him with a bottle of shampoo in a hotel room.

    In describing his spiritual background, Ehrman describes an event that occurred when his father was dying of cancer. His charismatic youth group leader visited the hospital and “used a bottle of hotel shampoo to ‘anoint’ his father, and tried to persuade his father to confess specific sins” (“Former Fundamentalist ‘Debunks’ Bible,” CNN, May 15, 2009). Ehrman says he was angry at the man for acting “self-righteous” and “hypocritical.” This event, though, does not reflect negatively on a biblicist faith. It simply proves that this particular youth leader was a misguided man. The Bible does not instruct us to anoint people with shampoo.

    He also makes silly statements of "fact".

    For example, Blind Bart says that the belief in the Bible as infallibly inspired began in the 19th century.

    “Church historians have traced the view, rather precisely, to the Niagara Conference on the Bible, in the 1870s, held over a number of years to foster belief in the Bible in opposition to liberal theologians who were accepting the results of historical scholarship. In 1878 the conference summarized the true faith in a series of fourteen statements. The very first one -- to be believed above all else -- was not belief in God, or in the death and resurrection of Jesus. It was belief in the Bible” (Ehrman, “Jesus Saves, Not the Bible,”, May 1, 2009).
    In fact, the writers of the New Testament taught that the Scripture is infallible. Paul said, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). And Peter wrote, “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:21).

    Even if it were true that Paul and Peter didn’t write those epistles, it is still true that whoever wrote them taught the infallibility of biblical inspiration 2,000 years ago!

  • Mephis

    The problem with the 'all scripture is inspired' bit, is which scripture did that particular writer mean? Was a letter from 'Paul' considered scripture as soon as he wrote it? One wouldn't have thought so. And when Paul was supposedly doing the apostolic thing it's very likely much of the rest of what was later decided was to form the NT canon hadn't been written either, let alone been formalised into a canon of any sort. That came about much later.

    So, no, that scripture proves only that early Christians hadn't rejected what came to form the OT.

    This is 101 stuff Perry. Ehrman's point is that there are thousands of differences between manuscripts for the NT. The vast bulk of those are minor, many just scribal errors. But some are quite significant. And there is ample evidence for the early Christian church being quite open to revising what they had received, not to mention adding to it further with even later writings. Paul's writings actually set the standard for this - his whole claim to being an apostle was in a divine revelation to him personally. Others clearly felt they too had been similarly chosen out in such a way. Who gets to decide which of them is right? Ehrman is quite right in saying, this is the part preceding what you quoted, that it's a fairly modern definition of being a Christian to accept that the bible is infallible. As he points out in the article you quote, there's nothing about this being a doctrinal necessity in any early christian statements of faith.

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