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Jesus.... From all perspectives

post #1 of 96
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone,

 

I am hoping to learn a little more about Jesus from different religious perspectives.

 

I come from a Roman-Catholic and Muslim background. Non-practicing parents, but I was exposed a little bit to both (actually more to Muslim, though we celebrated all Christian holidays)

 

Now I am a mother, and a couple of years ago found myself searching for more. I have been taken by Judaism, and have been studying it off & on for about a year.

The one subject which I am hoping to hear more about is Jesus. Being from such a different background, I am super confused about what I believe about him.

 

I know a bit about the Muslim perspective, and obviously have read the Jewish perspective, but I am hoping to learn more about where exactly the line was drawn between Judaism, Christianity and Islam.


Thanks!! I hope this makes sense!
 

post #2 of 96

Early Christians drew the line by claiming the death and resurrection of Jesus, and that he was the Son of God/God in the flesh/Messiah.  That--among other things--set them apart from Judaism in a big way.  Islam came later, and put Jesus in the position of prophet but not God's son.

post #3 of 96
Thread Starter 

Hmmmm... Interesting...

 

I just remembered a family member (Muslim) telling me that in Judaism, the Messiah has to be from the line of David. And if I am correct, Jews don't believe that Jesus was from the line of David, but from the Muslim perspective, he in fact is from the line of David (via Abraham).

 

Do Christians believe Jesus was of Davidic descent, or is this irrelevant?

 

post #4 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by confusionincan View Post

Hmmmm... Interesting...

 

I just remembered a family member (Muslim) telling me that in Judaism, the Messiah has to be from the line of David. And if I am correct, Jews don't believe that Jesus was from the line of David, but from the Muslim perspective, he in fact is from the line of David (via Abraham).

 

Do Christians believe Jesus was of Davidic descent, or is this irrelevant?

 


 

Frankly, the Jews don't care much what "line" Jesus was from anyway.  He plain and simple did absolutely nothing that the Jewish Mashiakh/Messiah is supposed to do. 

 

What does "from the line of David (via Abraham)" mean?  Abraham predated David by 1,000-some-odd years, so that doesn't make sense, from where I sit.  Unless I'm misunderstanding something.

 

As far as Jews are concerned, Jesus was just another Jewish guy in a long line of Jewish guys.  There ya' go, the Jewish view of Jesus in 13 words.

 

 

 

 

Am always a little confused about the Christian view of Jesus' lineage.  The tribal affiliation, etc., went through the father.  According to Christians, Jesus didn't have a human father, right?  Joseph was just kind of along for G!d's ride, Christian-theology-wise, right?  So how could he be "the son of G!d" while at the same time claiming tribal lineage through the father? 

post #5 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by merpk View Post

Am always a little confused about the Christian view of Jesus' lineage.  The tribal affiliation, etc., went through the father.  According to Christians, Jesus didn't have a human father, right?  Joseph was just kind of along for G!d's ride, Christian-theology-wise, right?  So how could he be "the son of G!d" while at the same time claiming tribal lineage through the father? 

I'm an atheist, but I've studied a lot of different religious perspectives, and this one has always confused me, too. I've never really gotten an answer that makes any sense (to me, anyway. It clearly makes sense to Christians!). So. . .any Christian takers on this one?
post #6 of 96
Thread Starter 

"What does "from the line of David (via Abraham)" mean?  Abraham predated David by 1,000-some-odd years, so that doesn't make sense, from where I sit.  Unless I'm misunderstanding something."

 

Forgive me, I am still learning and I may have misunderstood what he was explaining to me. I guess what he was saying is that Jesus is of Davidic descent who is of Abrahamic descent. Does this make sense?


I get what you are saying about the Jewish perspective, but I guess for a non-Jew with aspirations to possibly convert one day, I need more convincing.

 

It's kind of like the many Catholics I speak with who tell me they basically "pick & choose" what they want to believe about the religion, but I was hoping to actually whole-heartedly believe something. kwim? This is why I'm so curious as to why the Jews didn't believe he was the Messiah as well.

 

I feel like I am all over the map, here! I have just had so much I have been thinking about for a long time!!
 

Re: Christian lineage, I'm confused too ;)

 

EDIT: Another thing I'd like to add is that Muslim's believe that Jesus was persecuted (but did not hang on a cross). It is in the Quran apparently (Any Muslims want to confirm?) So I am wondering what anyone may think of the fact that both Islam and Christianity hold Jesus in high regard. Does it ever make any non-believers wonder if maybe he was an important figure?

post #7 of 96

Muslim standpoint.. a lot of similar things as in Christianity but the big gigantic cannot compromise on difference is that Jesus is not God.  Muslims are strictly monotheist (as are Jews)... no Trinity... no 3-in-1, 4-in1, etc.  One God.  Period. No footnotes in the 10 commandments.  There's a reason why Jesus mentions the shema as one of the two great commandments. Muslims do believe in Jesus's virgin birth (well, that's the party line--what people's real views are ;)).  Born to Maryam (Mary)... whole book on her in the Qur'an. Jesus was a great prophet... one of the greatest in a long line of prophets including Abraham, Adam, Moses, Noah, David (as in King David), etc.  God gave Jesus the Injeel (Gospel) however Muslims have doubts on how valid the things are in the NT are because it was written so long after Jesus's death (even the earliest book is at least 60 years).  He is believed to have done miracles.  Muslims believe that Jesus was not the one crucified, it was actually Judas who was made by God to look like Jesus.  Most Muslims believe that Jesus will come back and will play a big part on the Day of Judgement.  He comes back and defeats the Antichrist, or lack of a better term.  Jesus... definite good guy and well revered in Islam.  

 

Muslims call Jesus, Isa (like Isa the Iguana on Dora).  On a side note, I'm assuming most Christians know that Jesus was not Jesus's "real" name? (O course Isa isn't very close to the original Aramaic either. ;))

 

post #8 of 96

I'm not sure what people would answer with regards to the lineage.  It isn't something that really concerned me.  If I were looking for an answer I would probably start by asking what the understanding about adopted children was.  OTOH, I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't some completely different kind of answer to this - where the meaning of the question is put in a different perspective.

 

Something that came to my mind reading merpk's post was that it certainly seems to have been the case that Jesus did not do what people expected of him - the first Christians seem to have been quite surprised by the whole thing too.  Of course they felt that it made sense afterward - but it rather turned their understanding upside down.  Reading about Paul's experiences can be enlightening in this, because he was an educated Jew and he often explains how his ideas have changed, or what the Christians believe about Christ has changed about Judaism for them.  So you can get a bit of a feel for how some Christians saw the difference there - it really explains what they thought Christ was more than the Gospels do.

 

I'm surprised at the idea of Christ not being crucified - I thought that was one of the few bits that had actual historical verification outside the NT texts? 

 

As far as understanding Jesus from a Christian perspective.  Probably the easiest starting place is to look at the Nicene Creed, and what it means.  Not all Christians follow it, but almost all did for 1000 years, and it is the first really developed description of the Trinity.  It is a place to start, and then it is possible to think about why they came to those conclusions. 

 

Another type of question when making the comparison between views is what do people think these different understandings tell us or do.  So as an example, the idea of the Trinity is difficult for many because it seems to many to be illogical, or to compromise God's unity.  On the other hand it seems to offer a solution to a philosophical problem, which is how can a perfectly unified and self contained God produce anything outside of itself, or have a relationship with anything outside of itself? 

post #9 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by merpk View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by confusionincan View Post

Hmmmm... Interesting...

 

I just remembered a family member (Muslim) telling me that in Judaism, the Messiah has to be from the line of David. And if I am correct, Jews don't believe that Jesus was from the line of David, but from the Muslim perspective, he in fact is from the line of David (via Abraham).

 

Do Christians believe Jesus was of Davidic descent, or is this irrelevant?

 


 

Frankly, the Jews don't care much what "line" Jesus was from anyway.  He plain and simple did absolutely nothing that the Jewish Mashiakh/Messiah is supposed to do. 

 

What does "from the line of David (via Abraham)" mean?  Abraham predated David by 1,000-some-odd years, so that doesn't make sense, from where I sit.  Unless I'm misunderstanding something.

 

As far as Jews are concerned, Jesus was just another Jewish guy in a long line of Jewish guys.  There ya' go, the Jewish view of Jesus in 13 words.

 

 

 

 

Am always a little confused about the Christian view of Jesus' lineage.  The tribal affiliation, etc., went through the father.  According to Christians, Jesus didn't have a human father, right?  Joseph was just kind of along for G!d's ride, Christian-theology-wise, right?  So how could he be "the son of G!d" while at the same time claiming tribal lineage through the father? 


I was raised very liberally Jewish and had some Baptist/Catholic/etc. family. This is the view I was raised with. I've been reading more about Jesus and the bible lately and must say I am amazed at how little I really knew about what Christians believe, what the actual scriptures say, and how much has changed as to what it began as and what I was taught at Bible summer camp (the only summer camp near us much to my stepfather's horror!).
post #10 of 96

Well, I'll chime in from the LDS perspective.   We consider ourselves Christian, but we do not believe in the Nicene Creed. 

 

We believe that Jesus is the literal son of God the Father, that he was born to the Virgin Mary, and that he was lovingly step-fathered by Joseph.  We do believe he is of the lineage of David and Abraham, in direct fulfillment of the promise God made to Abraham that the Messiah would be among his posterity.  We do not believe in a Holy Trinity all-in-one scenario--rather we believe in and worship a Godhead, consisting of God the Father, His son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost.  We very much believe that they are seperate beings.  We believe that Jesus Christ came to earth as a man and atoned and died for our sins (the Garden of Gethsamene is important to the LDS viewpoint), and that He is our Savior and Advocate with the Father.

 

This is a fairly brief overview, so I'm happy to give more detail if you'd like :)  

post #11 of 96

So, I just did a bit of searching, and apparently one answer given, this was from a Coptic Christian resource, was that in Jewish practice at that time hereditary rights could be conferred on adopted sons. 

post #12 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluegoat View Post

 

I'm surprised at the idea of Christ not being crucified - I thought that was one of the few bits that had actual historical verification outside the NT texts? 

 


As of yet, there is nothing outside of religious texts that even verifies that Christ actually existed. Nothing was written about him during his alleged life. So it would be difficult to verify that he was crucified when nobody can prove that he ever lived.

post #13 of 96

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluegoat View Post

 

I'm surprised at the idea of Christ not being crucified - I thought that was one of the few bits that had actual historical verification outside the NT texts? 

 


As of yet, there is nothing outside of religious texts that even verifies that Christ actually existed. Nothing was written about him during his alleged life. So it would be difficult to verify that he was crucified when nobody can prove that he ever lived.


There are several within a short period afterward.  That generally suffices for other historical figures.

post #14 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by confusionincan View Post

So I am wondering what anyone may think of the fact that both Islam and Christianity hold Jesus in high regard. Does it ever make any non-believers wonder if maybe he was an important figure?



I'm not sure why it would.  From the perspective of people who don't happen to believe in Islamic doctrine Islam was basically a reactionary faith, heavily formulated in direct response to local paganisms, Judaism, and -- to a lesser extent -- Christianity.   That so much of Islamic doctrine sets about to confirm or deny elements of those faiths doesn't really do much to either authenticate or negate anything at all about the other three or the important figures therein.  Rather like Bahai faith revering Muhammad as one in a lineage of prophets doesn't make him more convincingly a prophet than Islam alone does.

post #15 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluegoat View Post

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluegoat View Post

 

I'm surprised at the idea of Christ not being crucified - I thought that was one of the few bits that had actual historical verification outside the NT texts? 

 


As of yet, there is nothing outside of religious texts that even verifies that Christ actually existed. Nothing was written about him during his alleged life. So it would be difficult to verify that he was crucified when nobody can prove that he ever lived.


There are several within a short period afterward.  That generally suffices for other historical figures.


Non-pious documentation?

post #16 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by confusionincan View Post

I get what you are saying about the Jewish perspective, but I guess for a non-Jew with aspirations to possibly convert one day, I need more convincing.

 

 

 

Then you'll have to work out for yourself "the convincing."  Jews don't go looking for or trying to convince anyone to convert.  We actually try to dissuade the convert, at least three times.  So it has to come from within you/the convert.  If someone really feels that they're supposed to be Jewish, no amount of dissuasion will work, right?  As the saying is roughly translated, "It's not easy to be a Jew."   And I guess it's also not easy to convert to.  So I'm sorry, can't help you with convincing. 

 

 

 

 

What Jesus *didn't* do, you ask?  Well, have you seen world peace lately?  Not only hasn't it existed lately, it hasn't existed since he was born, lived, and died.  That's first.  The Jewish concept of Mashiakh is that whole lions-and-lambs-making-peace-and-swords-into-plowshares thing.   Next is the simple fact that the Mashiakh is supposed to get it right the first time; no "second coming" required. 

 

In a nutshell.

post #17 of 96
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by merpk View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by confusionincan View Post

I get what you are saying about the Jewish perspective, but I guess for a non-Jew with aspirations to possibly convert one day, I need more convincing.

 

 

 

Then you'll have to work out for yourself "the convincing."  Jews don't go looking for or trying to convince anyone to convert.  We actually try to dissuade the convert, at least three times.  So it has to come from within you/the convert.  If someone really feels that they're supposed to be Jewish, no amount of dissuasion will work, right?  As the saying is roughly translated, "It's not easy to be a Jew."   And I guess it's also not easy to convert to.  So I'm sorry, can't help you with convincing. 


What Jesus *didn't* do, you ask?  Well, have you seen world peace lately?  Not only hasn't it existed lately, it hasn't existed since he was born, lived, and died.  That's first.  The Jewish concept of Mashiakh is that whole lions-and-lambs-making-peace-and-swords-into-plowshares thing.   Next is the simple fact that the Mashiakh is supposed to get it right the first time; no "second coming" required. 

 

In a nutshell.


So is this attempt #1 to try and dissuade me? lol! No seriously though, I get what you are saying, and I am not really looking for someone to try to persuade me either way, if that's how it sounded. I am just looking for some cold hard "facts" (I realize this is quite difficult when none of you were living 2000 years ago!) so I can make my own decisions.

 

Thanks for the responses. I appreciate it.

post #18 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post


Non-pious documentation?



Non-pious?

post #19 of 96


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluegoat View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post


Non-pious documentation?



Non-pious?


Documentation outside of religious texts.

 

Even the religious documentation of which you speak has been scrutinized and debated about for years, since none of it was written by anyone who actually knew Jesus.

post #20 of 96


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluegoat View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post


Non-pious documentation?



Non-pious?


Documentation outside of religious texts.

 

Even the religious documentation of which you speak has been scrutinized and debated about for years, since none of it was written by anyone who actually knew Jesus.



Off the top of my head I can think of Tacitus and Suetonius, and Josephus was I think the earliest - there were a few others.  And there is a fair bit by those who knew the apostles directly.  There was some popularity for a while in saying there was no evidence Jesus even existed, but as far as I am aware there are no serious scholars who maintain that, whatever their religious persuasion.


Edited by Bluegoat - 11/26/10 at 12:21pm
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