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Jesus.... From all perspectives - Page 3

post #41 of 96

To respond to the whole question regarding Jesus being in the lineage of David (from a Christian's standpoint), Mary and Joseph are both in the line of David We see it through Joseph in Matthew 1 and through Mary in Luke 2. I found a little more info on this website if you're interested. It goes into Mary's geneaology: http://gracethrufaith.com/ask-a-bible-teacher/are-josephs-and-marys-lineage-incorrect/ 

post #42 of 96

More on the geneology aspect. There was a question about this on the first page. In Matthew 1:6 Jesus' lineage is traced through Bathsheba, the women with whom King David had an affair, according to the history recorded in the Bible. I was reading an article several days ago that stated the following; Islam claims the Torah and New Testament were once the true expressions of God, but that He currently expresses Himself through the teachings of the quran.  Islam claims that the Bible is not entirely accurate and contains fabrications such as the ressurection of Christ, and David's affair with Bathsheba.

post #43 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?

 

 

Matthew is the Gospel written to Jews from a Jewish perspective. Matthew 1:1-17 is Jesus' geneology tracing his descent from David, starting with Abraham (David's ancestor).
 

 



Quote:

Originally Posted by umsami View Post

 

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.  

 


As are Christians.

post #44 of 96

 

Quote:
I was reading an article several days ago that stated the following; Islam claims the Torah and New Testament were once the true expressions of God, but that He currently expresses Himself through the teachings of the quran.  Islam claims that the Bible is not entirely accurate and contains fabrications such as the ressurection of Christ, and David's affair with Bathsheba.

 

 

That is fascinating, Im waiting for any muslims to come and comment on that one...lurk.gif

post #45 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by genifer View Post

 

Quote:
I was reading an article several days ago that stated the following; Islam claims the Torah and New Testament were once the true expressions of God, but that He currently expresses Himself through the teachings of the quran.  Islam claims that the Bible is not entirely accurate and contains fabrications such as the ressurection of Christ, and David's affair with Bathsheba.

 

 

That is fascinating, Im waiting for any muslims to come and comment on that one...lurk.gif

 

 

The "official" Islamic POV is that prophets are given by god specific messages that were to be spread among their people, and that the messages given to Moses, David, and Jesus may be visible in a highly fragmentary way in the Torah and in the Gospels and Psalms.  The Qur'an also presents somewhat different accounts of the lives of each of those three (as well as Abraham, Noah, and probably others whose relevance to the Christian Bible is escaping me right now) which better fit with the Islamic view of the nature and role of prophets themselves.

post #46 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by genifer View Post

 

Quote:
I was reading an article several days ago that stated the following; Islam claims the Torah and New Testament were once the true expressions of God, but that He currently expresses Himself through the teachings of the quran.  Islam claims that the Bible is not entirely accurate and contains fabrications such as the ressurection of Christ, and David's affair with Bathsheba.

 

 

That is fascinating, Im waiting for any muslims to come and comment on that one...lurk.gif



There's a prayer that Prophet Mohamed recommended we say every night before sleeping which affirms our belief in the previous books:

 

O Allah [God], Lord of the seven heavens and the earth and Lord of the exalted throne,

our Lord and Lord of all things,

the one who splits the grains and the seeds,

the one who revealed the Torah, the Bible, and the Criterion between right and wrong [the Quran]:

 

I seek refuge in You from the harm of all things on whose forelocks you have total mastery.

 

O Allah, You are the first, there is none before you,

and you are the final, there is nothing after you,

and you are the most high, there is nothing above you,

and you are the most aware and knowledgeable, there is nothing closer than you.

 

Settle our debts and spare us from poverty.

 

---------

 

Islam: All prophets and messengers came with one message, that of worshipping only one God and obeying him. Their laws varied and evolved (ex.: what was forbidden for Moses' people wasn't necessarily so for Jesus' people), hence the many books, each one abrogating the one before it. But the crux of the message was always one and the same.

post #47 of 96

It looks like a lot of what I was going to say, from an atheist's perspective, has been covered already, especially in this post:
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post

My point is that a man named Yeshua might have existed, might have lived in Biblical times and might have been crucified. There is no evidence, at this time, to prove that any of this is so. And even if it is so, there is no way to tell how much the stories might have been altered or embellished over the centuries.

 

The whole reason I initially brought this up was to refute a claim that there is evidence of Jesus' crucifixion. There is not. First, one would have to prove that Jesus was a Historical figure and not a mythical figure. As of yet, that has not been accomplished.

 

If you're going to cite religious texts as evidence.....there are many other religious texts in the world. There are ancient Greek hymns that honor Apollo and Zeus. Ancient Egyptian texts write about helping the Pharaoh climb ladders into the afterlife. Are these texts evidence of the existence of Zeus and afterlife-ladders?


There's really not any evidence that Jesus actually existed. Regardless of that, though, I absolutely do not believe the story in the Bible about Jesus. Yes, it's possible that a man existed, a man who did many good things. However, I don't believe any of the supernatural stuff, such as being born of a virgin. 

 

While I was transitioning from Christianity to Atheism, I did a lot of research on the myths that came before Jesus, and how Christianity came to be suddenly made a lot more sense to me. The "Jesus story" had been done before, many, many times. Vespatian healed a blind man, Apollonius of Tyana raised a girl from the dead, Dionysus turned water into wine. Alexander the Great, Augustus, and Dionysus were all described as the Son of God. Romulus was described as the Son of God, and born of a virgin. These are all myths. These are all understood to be myths. So I have no reason to believe that the story of Jesus is anything but a myth, either.

 

 

post #48 of 96

 If you are interested in a Christian perspective, I would recommend "The Jesus I Never Knew" by Philip Yancey.  It is a great read and gives a great overview of the life of Christ and what it means for believers.  It isn't aimed at conversion, it is more of something that someone who is already a Christian would read, but I think it would give you some interesting thoughts on the Christian perspective.  Good luck!

post #49 of 96


If you don't mind yet another point of view, I agree with the following up to the bold.  I also did my research in my journey away from Catholicism.  I spent 11 years in Catholic schools, which included Religion as a course every year.  The research I did reminded me of the title of one of my religion textbooks, "Jesus of History, Christ of Faith."

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ananas View Post

While I was transitioning from Christianity to Atheism, I did a lot of research on the myths that came before Jesus, and how Christianity came to be suddenly made a lot more sense to me. The "Jesus story" had been done before, many, many times. Vespatian healed a blind man, Apollonius of Tyana raised a girl from the dead, Dionysus turned water into wine. Alexander the Great, Augustus, and Dionysus were all described as the Son of God. Romulus was described as the Son of God, and born of a virgin. These are all myths. These are all understood to be myths. So I have no reason to believe that the story of Jesus is anything but a myth, either.

 

I hadn't encountered the Jewish rabbinical quotes before.  With the research that I did, I was inclined to believe that there was a man, Yeshua son of Joseph and Mary, who was a good teacher.  There were also a collection of myths about Christ, who followed the tradition of dying-and-rising harvest gods (Osiris, Dionysus, John Barleycorn, Inanna & her husband).

 

Regarding the bold, I am influenced by several Jungian writers, particularly Joseph Campbell.  As a practicing Pagan, I believe in the power of myth to shape and even transform our lives.  Knowing what I do of neo-Pagan traditions, the myths don't have to be literally or historically true, to carry Truth about life and/or the human condition.  Intellectually, I like to know what is historical (and/or historical reconstructionist) vs. what is recently created myth.  But spiritually, if it facilitates living with one's self, the world, and one's community, then the myth is serving its purpose.

 
post #50 of 96


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcstar View Post

 

As a practicing Pagan, I believe in the power of myth to shape and even transform our lives.  Knowing what I do of neo-Pagan traditions, the myths don't have to be literally or historically true, to carry Truth about life and/or the human condition.  Intellectually, I like to know what is historical (and/or historical reconstructionist) vs. what is recently created myth.  But spiritually, if it facilitates living with one's self, the world, and one's community, then the myth is serving its purpose.


As a (very new) Christian mystic I relate to this, and am now not so hung up on facts. I, too just spent nearly 30 years as a Spirit filled protestant evangelical.....when ALL theology just seemed to completely unravel before my eyes. I have had friends who have had this happen who then walk down the path to become agnostic or atheist. For me, I have had too many mystical experiences with God/Allah/Yahweh, Jesus, The Holy Spirit, the Inner Divine, the body of Christ and the Kingdom of God to ever deny the spiritual realm. For me, I have experienced Christ, so this will probably always be the path I walk, though now I am free to know that God draws everyone on different paths. I now follow Christ in the simplest sense, not in the popular "I don't have religion I have Jesus" but then you must ascribe to a certain theological dogma. I don't necessarily follow Christianity in what it has become, even the teachings of Paul that contradict the teachings of Christ.

 

As other Christians on here have pointed out, the Jewish tradition of a Messiah was that He will set up an earthly Kingdom and that peace will reign. If Christians and the world lived 100% by the teachings of Christ, there WOULD be peace on earth. But because most Christian traditions have reasoned away the Sermon on the Mount, they think there are exceptions to "turning the other cheek" and "do not repay evil for evil". I no longer believe the gospel is about salvation from a fiery hell, but rather in a truly subversive language is about the Kingdom of God on earth. Buddhists are probably closer to this concept than most Christians.

 

It is an interesting journey for me as the more mystical I am becoming the more science I am embracing as well, since as a Protestant I felt like I had to reject science. Mysticism picks up where science leaves off, and isn't as seemingly mutually exclusive as having to believe in a literal 6 days of creation, etc.

 

(Addition): I should clarify that when I say I am now embracing myth and not being "so hung up on facts" I very much have studied theology, apologetics, been in church settings of all denominations (from Baptist to pentecostal, Presbyterian to Calvary Chapel, etc.), and have studied the Bible systematically several times. So I don't have "blind faith" or a "crutch" because someone told me to believe something. On the contrary, the facts and theology HAVE unraveled for me, but I cannot deny my mystical experiences and the agent for true peace the true Kingdom of God is. Atheists can chalk my experiences up to psychosis, and that's ok.

 


Edited by nicolelynn - 4/6/11 at 8:42am
post #51 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluegoat View Post


 



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.


Tacitus and Suetonius both are born after the supposed crucifixion event. The four Gospels are written 70 years after the supposed event.. so no eye witnesses there, either.Strange how the Romans kept good records on slaves, grain, the weather and the comings and goings of folks but never once mentioned a person the world now calls Jesus.

And the Jesus story remarkably resembles the Mithras story.. right down to being born in the manager.
http://jdstone.org/cr/files/mithraschristianity.html
post #52 of 96
What? Mithras was born out of a rock, slayed a sacred bull bringing life to the earth, and was taken up into the realm of the immortals via the chariot of the sun god.

I'm sorry, but that is one really badly written page that is blatantly shoehorning a variety of religious beliefs onto the Jesus story, with an agenda.
post #53 of 96

Here's a better source on Mithras.  No mention of a December 25th birthday, no manger, no wise men, no crucifixion, no virgin birth (well, I suppose rocks could be called virgins), no coming "to redeem men from their sin" and no connection between Roman Mithraism and the Persian god Mithras except that they "borrowed" the name.  shrug.gif 

 

I'm not sure where the author gets his/her information about the other myths mentioned, either.  Dionysus was born from a virgin?  Heracles, too?  The author doesn't seem to have even basic knowledge of Greek mythology (or doesn't expect his/her readers to).  And I have no idea where they got any of the Osiris mythology...born from the virgin Isis? No, he was the son of Geb and Nut.  Isis was his sister/wife.  This is basic stuff.  It's just weird that the author of this website (whoever that is - strange that there is no indication on the site who exactly is responsible for it) would write this.

post #54 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple Sage View Post

It's just weird that the author of this website (whoever that is - strange that there is no indication on the site who exactly is responsible for it) would write this.

I'm pretty sure it's a rundown taken from the relevant part of Zeitgeist. (Which should also be known as one of the most easily debunked 'documentaries' of all time.) Or gleaned from the same source ... I vaguely remember that the filmmakers got the bulk of their information from a particular book.
Edited by Liquesce - 4/6/11 at 8:58am
post #55 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple Sage View Post

Here's a better source on Mithras.  No mention of a December 25th birthday, no manger, no wise men, no crucifixion, no virgin birth (well, I suppose rocks could be called virgins), no coming "to redeem men from their sin" and no connection between Roman Mithraism and the Persian god Mithras except that they "borrowed" the name.  shrug.gif 

 


This one is back to virgin birth and Dec 25th. Seems to be a real site.
http://www.iranvision.com/mithras.html
post #56 of 96
An encyclopedia will actually give you a little more reliably, and credibly, what you're looking for, without the exaggerated commonality. There are threads of similarity to be found, particularly given that themes of life and death (or more to the point, subverting them) are extremely common in supernatural storytelling overall. (Twilight anyone? duck.gif ) The threads do not extend to the level of being virtual blueprints, however.

What I know of the Persian pantheon is similar to what I know of the Egyptian ... that is that the same gods often had very different stories depending on the times and places in which they were told. Mithra as adopted by the Romans was, as above, said to have emerged from a rock. There are other stories not adopted by Mithraism such as him having been born to the -- virginal -- water goddess after she conceived while bathing. At other times he was her consort, not her son. And at still other times he was himself a sun god, and was created, unconceived, by the goddess who oversaw all celestial creation.

Though regarding the 25th ... it's quite well established that this was a date specifically chosen by Christian leaders for the sake of "competition" with Mithraism in Rome, is it not? I mean, that has nothing to do with the formation of Christianity, no?

Anyway, my point is, if there are threads to be followed -- and there are, to one extent or another -- they are mostly in the way of the longstanding, somewhat pan-cultural human enjoyment of stories in which the intimate natural order (birth, life, death, food, sex, knowledge) don't really follow the boundaries we know. Not sure how well that can be extended into being a proof of anything though. "Christianity says their god follows a path that people have a long track record being drawn to." Ok? "And if you carefully select pieces from divergent traditions which also enjoyed similar kinds of stories, you can reconstruct the Christian story almost in its entirety." Um, ok.
post #57 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple Sage View Post

Here's a better source on Mithras.  No mention of a December 25th birthday, no manger, no wise men, no crucifixion, no virgin birth (well, I suppose rocks could be called virgins), no coming "to redeem men from their sin" and no connection between Roman Mithraism and the Persian god Mithras except that they "borrowed" the name.  shrug.gif 

 

 




This one is back to virgin birth and Dec 25th. Seems to be a real site.
http://www.iranvision.com/mithras.html


Not exactly.  I evaluate websites professionally, and I can tell you this - the site is not good quality.  The article is actually copied content, and it took a little digging to find what is probably the original source (this article or parts of it are on a LOT of sites, so it's kind of hard to tell).  Here it is.

 

What this site says is that the "article" is really an essay written by a high school student.  It also says that the virgin birth is not true (in a footnote by the professor who posted the essay on his site).  The essay's bibliography states that most of the "factual information" comes from Franz Cumont whose theories are discussed in the encyclopedia article I linked upthread.  You can also go here and read the perspective of a pagan with more knowledge on the subject.

 

Relevant tidbits:

     Quote:

I've shown point by point how the supposed links between Mithraism and Christianity don't hold up. But even if they were all true, it wouldn't show that Christianity had taken anything from Mithraism, because that theory relies on an important assumption, that Mithraism pre-dates Christianity. That seems obvious; Mithraism is Pagan, and Paganism is pre-Christian. This assumption is wrong.

 

 

Quote:
Of course, the date of Christmas is not particularly important in the origins of Christianity, and has no bearing on Christian theology. It is worth noting, however, that the feast of the birthday of the sun, while definitely Pagan, wasn't pre-Christian. It was only established in 274 CE by the emperor Aurelian (Hutton, p. 1). Even more significant, the most important feast day of Sol Invictus wasn't even on December 25th, but rather took place in October (Hutton, p. 2). All in all, then the idea that Christians took the date of Christmas from Mithraism is shaky at best, and insignificant to boot.

 

 


Edited by Purple Sage - 5/1/11 at 7:59am
post #58 of 96
The water goddess bit does predate Christianity, FWIW. I need to find an internet source ... what I know about Mithra, Persian version, is almost entirely coming from my memory of things I had been reading about his "mother," Anahita, and that having nothing to do with an "agenda to dismiss Christianity" so much as an agenda to simply record Iranian religious history. What I don't know is if that "virgin birth" involved a baby, or another emergence of a grown man, as with the rock version of events.

As a somewhat personal aside, much though I agree the original piece is of, uh ... questionable knowledge and value, I also have to question relying on the objective sourcing of the author of "corrective" footnotes which read like:
Quote:
In the interest of balance, it may be useful to point out here that the spread of Islam, achieved by the sword according to the very principle of the religion as repeatedly stated in the Koran, was far more violent and coercive than the spread of Christianity in Roman times or the medieval Crusades; and of course, the thousands of human sacrifices perpetrated by the Aztecs were an abomination — there too, ingrained in the religion — far worse than any of the crimes committed by the Spanish civil authorities (and strongly condemned by the church at the time).
post #59 of 96

I think one of the main points of the encyclopedia article as well as the Pagan source I linked and quoted from on my last post was that the Persian version and the Roman version of Mithras are not connected in any meaningful way. The two would have to be shown to be from the same religion/mythology for the anti-Christian claims to have any meaning. So it doesn't really matter if the Persian version had a virgin birth; it wouldn't support the Jesus-is-Mithras claims, anyway.

I also apologize for the completely off-topic footnote, and I hesitated to post the link because of it. However, the on-topic information and the link to the Pagan source on the page were the most relevant material I could find.


Edited by Purple Sage - 4/7/11 at 7:08am
post #60 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple Sage View Post

I think one of the main points of the encyclopedia article as well as the Pagan source I linked and quoted from on my last post was that the Persian version and the Roman version of Mithras are not connected in any meaningful way. The two would have to be shown to be from the same religion/mythology for the anti-Christian claims to have any meaning. So it doesn't really matter if the Persian version had a virgin birth; it wouldn't support the Jesus-is-Mithras claims, anyway.

Oh, sure. I was kind of saying the same thing in my own long-winded way upthread somewhere. orngbiggrin.gif I suppose if one really wanted they could argue that the Christian story and Roman Mithraism share a common ancestor in Zoroastrianism without directly influencing one another but, aside from that suggesting that the water goddess birth account was more prominent than it appears to really have been, that would suggest that in this sea of gods and goddesses and births and creations coming about by all manners imaginable, any two vaguely similar stories across times and places (in this case, impregnation without sex) are themselves like parent and child to one another.

(My personal favorite story that is often claimed to be connected to the Christian account of Jesus is the "resurrection" of Osiris.)
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