For those who don't believe in the bible... - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-27-2004, 09:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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as God's word. How do you view Jesus? Do you consider him a true historical figure, mythological figure? Historical with mythical attributes?
And why? What prompt's your feelings on this?

I have read various views on this and I am still unsure where i stand.
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Old 04-27-2004, 09:19 PM
 
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He isn't part of my religion or pantheon if you will. It doesn't matter to me if he was ever a real live person or not.
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Old 04-27-2004, 09:34 PM
 
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Believe in the Bible? The Bible is huge. It contains about 60 books, novelettes and tracts. To believe in the whole thing, esp as it contradicts itself sometimes within a single book, would take some stretch of imagination. Apologists tie themselves in knots trying.

Myself, I do not believe Jesus of Nazareth ever existed. I am a skeptic and need concrete proof. There is none. I have doubted since age 11. Got me in some hot water even back then.

God, and the Christ are not men, but spirit. Props which can bring us closer to infinity, if we need them. I am thrilled to have discovered gnosticism/docetism.
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Old 04-27-2004, 11:00 PM
 
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Doesn't matter to me whether this person existed in the flesh or not, fact is the religions spawned from the Belief that he did are here. Fact is they've done alot of good and alot of evil in this world. They're just other religions to me, not mine.

I only worry about what they're doing in terms of the effects of those actions that I can see.

"What will you do once you know?"
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Old 04-27-2004, 11:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbow
...Do you consider him a true historical figure, mythological figure? Historical with mythical attributes?...
I don't know. And the more I read about Jesus, the more confused I become.

However, I'm not a Christian, so it's not an issue of great importance to me on a personal level. I'm more intested in the impact the idea of Jesus has had on people/cultures.
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Old 04-28-2004, 12:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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That is where i am Pugmadmama... the more I read the more confused I become. I lean to thinking he was a mythical figure based on an actual human.

You know, I'm coming out of a "christian group" and I've tried to understand where I stand- I never stopped to ask myself why it matters. I suppose it really doesn't...

I know I don't believe in the bible as God's word anymore, that should be enough. Still I can't help but feed the urge to define everything I've understood as "fact" for so long.

I really appreciate the thoughts on this... thanks!
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Old 04-28-2004, 12:23 AM
 
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I figure he or a guy like him probably existed in some way. Some rebel rouser type guy around that time, sure. Jesus, well... I'm not sure. It *is* interesting that Jesus does all the things the major greek and roman gods could do. Walk on water, turn water into wine, heal the sick, etc. It was actually a VBS (vacation bible school) teacher who brought up the theory that the folks who wrote about Jesus probably made those things up as a competition for other gods in other religions. There is a lot of info to process out there. Whether or not a man called Jesus existed is not that important. If a guy like him did exist, I admire him, sure. I like Ghandi more though. And MKLJr... the list goes on...
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Old 04-28-2004, 12:40 AM
 
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i don't believe the Bible is "God's word"... however, i do believe there are truths in it, just as there are in any other religious text.

about Jesus: i believe that at one point, there was a man named Jesus, who came from Nazareth, and did some good stuff. i don't believe he was the son of any god; i do, however, believe that he had a lot of wonderful insights and he taught some great lessons. i think a lot of what he taught has gotten lost over the years through (mis)interpretation(s) and the myriad revisions of the Bible that have occurred over the years.

if he healed people, i don't believe it was through god or miracles; rather, he probably just knew more about healing than the other people of the time. (before modern medicine, people who knew about real healing and how to stay healthy were thought of as witches...)
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Old 04-28-2004, 08:09 AM
 
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I think of Jesus as a mostly mythical figure, one of many dying/sacrificed Gods. I think the myth could have been given new life around an actual crucified rebel, but I will never know for sure. I do believe in a divine male energy along with a divine female.. I do believe in renewal and eternal life (at least for spirit or energy..) so if people want to call their ressurected God figure Jesus that's okay with me. I certainly don't have a personal relationship with him, however.. I call my God "the Consort" or "the Horned One" or "The Lord" or "The Green God" and other names if I am dealing with specific manifestations of male divinity, ie: Osiris, Pan, Odin, whoever.

Jesus isn't very important to me in terms of my own spirituality.
But I do have to deal with him, because of the inevitable questions my son will ask, and my own search to make peace with living in a predominantly Christian culture.

I can easily tell my son, "well some people believe...."

Dealing with my own ambivilance is harder. But at least I am past the point where the very word "Jesus" would cause my eyes to roll and my feet to head toward the door...
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Old 04-28-2004, 10:18 AM
 
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I don't know if there was ever a Jesus, and I don't really care. Makes no difference in my life either way.

You can find me on Facebook. PM for info.
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Old 04-28-2004, 10:46 AM
 
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well, for me I do believe the Bible is from God, but not the bible(s) that exist today. I believe the books have been corrupted from the True Book that was given at the time of Jesus (peace be upon him)
I view Jesus (pbuh) as a great Prophet and Messenger of God...NOT God's son or as God himself...I believe Mary, mother of Jesus, gave birth to him,though she was a virgin and that he spoke to the people and performed miracles *by the will of God* not by his(Jesus') own will. I also believe he was *not* crucified, but rather that God brought him up to Heaven and that he (Jesus) will return before the end of time.

There is actually a whole chapter in the Qur'an 'dedicated' to Mary, called Surat Maryam (the Chapter of Mary(am)) and many references throughout to both her and Jesus..He was sent to tell the people to worship the One God as he said "It is Allah (the arabic word for God/Lord) who is my Lord and your Lord; then worship Him. This is a Way that is Straight." 3:51 HolyQur'an

there's lots more so if you have any more questions just ask or pm
hth

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Old 04-28-2004, 11:28 AM
 
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One book that is quite detailed on whether or not there is extra-biblical evidence for an HJ (historical Jesus) is, The Jesus Mysteries, by Freke and Gandy. The footnotes are almost as long as the text. But you can skip them at first if you do not have time. I myself read them all, with a Bible nearby to look up refs.

A newer one, with more emphasis on the 4 gospels of the canon (less on the gnostic texts) is The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man by Robert Price.

I highly rec going to Earl Doherty's site, The Jesus Puzzle. He has written dozens of article on this subject. And he reviews Price's book as well.

http://www.humanists.net/jesuspuzzle/home.htm
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Old 04-28-2004, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I was thinking of reading Doherty's book "The Jesus Puzzle" I'll go check out his website.

I've been thinking on it more- while I realize I don't have to define it- I'm extremely interested and drawn to this subject at the moment... so I'm gona keep exploring it. Even if it doesn't really make a huge impact on my life.

Neveryoumindthere- I was curious what you base your opinion on. Not that you need to base it on anything specific, I am just curious. At what point in history do you feel it was corrputed? I definately believe there is corruption in the selction of the books contained in the modern day canon. I guess I view the coruption more in teh selecting of only allowing the texts the roman leaders "believed" in and outlawing the rest. I never really felt as though the bible was in tact and whole and then corrupted. Rather, the selection and compilation of many many texts- if that makes any sense.
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Old 04-28-2004, 12:04 PM
 
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Since neveryoumind is offline, I will answer. I hope she doesn't mind. She can correct me if neccessary.

She is speaking of an Islamic belief. I do not know if it is actually in the Quran or not.

Of course, the books of the Xtian Bible were not merely "given" at the time of Jesus. If he did live, believers think he died in 33 CE. The earliest dating for any of the 4 gospels is 70 CE. They were not written by eyewitnesses. They are narratives (historical fiction) written to expound on an idea, that of the dying and resurrecting Christ, proposed by "Paul" as theology/philosophy (but also found in earlier "pagan" mystery religions such as that of Osiris [3500 BCE], Dionysus, Tammuz, Mithras, Attis, et al).
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Old 04-28-2004, 12:08 PM
 
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I don't think I can say with any certainty Jesus did or did not exist. I think the Biblical Jesus is likely based on a real military-messiah who lived in the early years CE (there were many in Jerusalem at the time); perhaps a political heir to Judas of Galilee. Probably much of what was set into writing about his teachings cannot be directly attributable to the historical person. I think the shift from military-messiah to peaceful son of God came after the destruction of the Temple; there are seemingly contraditory quotes from Jesus in the Bible that *could* be explained by the blending of a post-Temple benign to the (Roman) establishment and an earlier political activist rabble-rouser/rebellion leader.
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Old 04-29-2004, 09:41 PM
 
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I tend to think that there might have been a person, or possibly a movement in the Jewish culture at the time. I think Paul made up most of the Jesus stuff, drawing stories from other local religions including Mithraism. Like DaryLLL, I need more proof that he existed. Most of the things I read about concerning Jesus are either borrowed from another religion, or come from Paul. IMO, Paul started Christianity. Not Jesus (if he existed).

BTW, I am atheist, so it really doesn't matter to me anyway As long as someone worships peacefully, they can believe any way they wish.
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Old 05-08-2004, 11:27 PM
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Rainbow - I've been following a few of your other threads and you seem to be kinda where I am........

I just finished reading The Jesus Mysteries and Appointment in Jerusalem.

At this point, I am trying to reconcile the fact that Jesus did live. I am having a hard time doing that.

Appointment in Jerusalem is very interesting in that it gives Jesus several different faces. Jesus as the Zealot (armed and dangerous with a posse!), Jesus as a man who decided to present himself as the Messiah and placed himself in situations so that he could make OT prophecy come true, Jesus as the victim of Rome, and several others. It is very interesting and helped me come to terms with Jesus as a regular guy who snowballed into something bigger. Then of course The Jesus Mysteries helped put some other things into perspective (ex - Paul basically starting the following).

Anyway, I'm rambling.

How are your views shaping up? Are you having a hard time coming to terms with your upbringing versus what knowledge your are realizing. Do you want to challenge EVERYONE you see and ask them WHY they don't READ?

I should probably have started another thread or simply PM'd you. I started off kind of answering your post and then went way off topic. I lurke a lot, so maybe this will help someone else.

It is sometimes scary posting here with dado, merpk and DaryLLL.......

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Old 05-09-2004, 08:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am so excited to meet someone who is where I am spiritually!

I have had some issues struggling to come to terms with everything... but for the most part I feel this huge weight lifted off of me. For so long I have thought something was wrong with me, because I could fill my head endlessly with scriptures and quotes but nothing could make the God of the bible real to me. We were/are a part of a very dogmatic religion, some would say cult. It is really strange to see life outside of the confines if such a religion. Suddenly there is so much to process. I've looked to it with extreme optimism about the future. My husband is having a harder time adjusting. He has come to feel that it is not for him, but he is far more scared, angry, and upset about it. He reminds me of an injured dog. snap, lick, growl. lol.

I think at first my gut wanted to challenge everything, and I had something to prove. I had this crazed idea that I would explain my beliefs and all my friends and family would say "oh, I never thought of that- you are right" :LOL but I have come to see that sometimes faith is so deep, that a person won't question until they want to, if they ever want to. It isn't something I can motivate in others. So I realized one day that trying to "help" or "educate" others is reverting back to my old religious beliefs- convert and change others. I don't want to be that way, so I don't much talk about this stuff with those around me. I may want to challenge someone when they say "you need to XYZ" or "I'll pray that you will be strengthened in the truth" but mostly I try to let it go and focus on moving forward. What do I want? What makes me happy? What is life about? What do I teach my children about spiritual matters? The questions don't seem to stop.

DH and I are finding so much peace in our lives since letting go of organized religion. We are, for once, exploring what we want and who we are... instead of being a product of the church's mass production. I think that is what I am going to teach my kids- that spirituality is to deep to be explained by others. It comes from deep within our souls. In order for them to understand it they will have to look inside, rather than outside.

Did Jesus exist? I still dont' know... I want all the answers though. I still have moments and times of doubt. Will I die in God's wrath for following my heart and being happy though I am not doign evil? What if I am wrong? I don't think so logically, but religion is hard to shake.

More and more I lean to thinking that he didn't exist. There were scribes in that day, in his area- and they have writings by such scribes. If Jesus was attracting crowds and creating miracles I just struggle to believe it wouldn't have been jotted down by the scribes.

Was teh Jesus mysteries anygood? I just got one called "The Unauthorized Version- Truth and Fiction in the Bible" haven't read it yet though.

The one thing I keep coming abck to over and over to reaffirm my doubt in the bible as God's word is how highly cultural religion is. And how the bible- what is supposed to be the unified word of God, is so differently interpretted and understood. I just think an all knowing God would have given us a little clearer... umm... well, guidelines.

You know, I think we might need to start a skeptics thread in finding your tribe! I might just go do that! It is so nice to talk to someone who might be close in the process of spirituality. I'd love to hear more about how this is affecting you and changing your life.
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Old 05-09-2004, 09:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Old 05-09-2004, 12:27 PM
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Great idea Rainbow!

I'm going to respond to you on the other thread!


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Old 05-09-2004, 02:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lab
It is sometimes scary posting here with dado, merpk and DaryLLL.......
1/3 less scary now, with dado no longer feeling welcome...

One reason my posts may seem a little more dry and cranky lately. I am grieving the missing voice of a well-read Jew.

The Jesus Mysteries made a huge difference in my life, rainbow. The history of the Xtian Church is a lot more checkered than most people know. I can not rec it more highly. The authors are not atheists, but gnostics. They don't admit that, but it comes through.

TJM is well-presented, not too complicated if you are new to the field of Biblical history and text-criticism. You can read it straight, or have a field day looking up refs in the lengthy notes at the back.
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Old 05-09-2004, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaryLLL
with dado no longer feeling welcome...
That's horrible! Poor dado......

I really needed dado's voice to get a better understanding of everything.

I don't suppose we could do anything to make dado feel welcome.........

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Old 05-09-2004, 05:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, after I finish the books I'm on I might read it. I saw it on amazon and debated it
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Old 05-09-2004, 06:06 PM
 
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DaryLLL, I learn every time I read one of your posts.

With regard to neveryoumindthere's post, you're right in assuming it came from the Qur'an.

What your first post on this thread taught me will stick with me. Docetism, from the Greek, "to seem."

The concept of seeming with regard to Jesus (upon whom may there be peace) is a large part of Muslims' view of him...
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Old 05-09-2004, 06:24 PM
 
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I'm not relegious by any means. I'm a spiritual person. I believe in a "mother nature" if you will. To me the bible is a book. Maybe some parts are true, maybe some are true w/ elaboration and maybe some are just fictional. I believe Jesus to be the same. He may have been a good-doer, a historical figure. Who knows!?

Kimberley (who attended Sunday School for 14 YEARS, until I realized that everyone there REALLY thought it all true!)
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Old 05-11-2004, 02:10 AM
 
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I figure he probably existed. And as many of the feats he performed and things which purportedly happened to him sound mythological, they probably are. As I'm not a follower/worshipper of the God of the People of the Book (Jews, Christians, and Muslims), I don't really care whether or not he's the son of said God. As I myself can trace my ancestry back to one of the Gods I DO follow, I'm willing to concede that it's possible. But it's not really relevant to my spiritual life.

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