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Did Jesus, really want a religion in his name?


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Jesus was almost certainly politically savvy, intelligent and could see the writing on the wall as regards his imminent demise. He’d done his work in terms of getting his message across and like most probably didn't want to die. That message probably reached as many Romans as it did his own people; maybe he formulated a plan, with soldier sympathisers, to go through the motions of crucifixion with a display designed to fool the watchers, then was taken down early and hidden in the cave to escape when the coast was clear.

 

Maybe initially, he was going for a message that didn't include a deity, given his anger at the established religion, but was forced down a road that inevitably leads to religion.

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I think Jesus was chosen as messiah from at least three possibilities, well after his death. The Jeselsohn Stone seems to point to Simon of Peraea as the foretold messiah. Athronges was also a simple man who rebelled against the prevailing authority, but he had brothers so fulfilling the "virgin birth" prophecy was more difficult with him.

 

Mostly because of the lack of writings about him outside of Christianity, I think Jesus of Nazareth was chosen partly because of his obscurity. If there had been a lot of secular works talking about how amazing this man is, it would have been much more difficult for the bishops at the Council of Nicea to create the religion they wanted. As it was, his obscurity worked in their favor.

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If you go off the Gospels, then it is clear that Jesus's message was religious, not political. Even if you accept the non-canonical texts, the message is still clearly religious and not political. Jesus seemed to go out of His way to avoid political messages, rejecting attempts by the populous to make Him into a political figure against the Romans.

 

Jesus was not an obscure figure by the time of the Council of Nicea. That occurred in 325 AD. By then Christianity had been around for ~3 centuries and had spread to all corners of the Roman Empire. The Christians were well known enough to be made the scapegoats of Nero's fire in 64 AD.

 

Conspiracy theories surrounding His death are nothing new, but also lack any support. There is little evidence that at the time Jesus had many Roman sympathizers. There were a few, including the centurion mentioned in the Gospels, but at the time, Jesus primarily reached out to other Jews. So "Jewish" was Christianity initially, that many of the apostles opposed the baptism and inclusion of Gentiles. This really did not change until under the direction of Peter and Paul, well after the death of Jesus.

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Jesus was not an obscure figure by the time of the Council of Nicea. That occurred in 325 AD. By then Christianity had been around for ~3 centuries and had spread to all corners of the Roman Empire. The Christians were well known enough to be made the scapegoats of Nero's fire in 64 AD.

 

He was not written about much before this time, though, almost nothing outside of the texts the church chose. So much was written and rejected by the Council, who claimed to know which writings were written with God's blessing and which weren't. Even the Gospels weren't written by the people they're supposed to be written by.

 

My point is that there were other figures around at the time (NOT Constantine's time) who were being considered as the messiah foretold in the OT. I get the feeling choosing Jesus of Nazareth was simply fortuitous, like Constantine deciding to pick Christianity as the state religion. He could have chosen his previous favorite Sun worship; Mithraism was very popular at the time as well. But Christianity fit his agenda more perfectly, and that's how I think Jesus was chosen as messiah centuries before. He fit the most prophecies from the OT, especially those that couldn't be "fulfilled" any other way, like his lineage from Jacob (many of the other prophecies could easily have been fulfilled in a sort of post hoc fashion; that he would be betrayed, that he would be called Immanuel, that he would speak in parables, etc.).

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He was not written about much before this time, though, almost nothing outside of the texts the church chose. So much was written and rejected by the Council, who claimed to know which writings were written with God's blessing and which weren't. Even the Gospels weren't written by the people they're supposed to be written by.

 

My point is that there were other figures around at the time (NOT Constantine's time) who were being considered as the messiah foretold in the OT. I get the feeling choosing Jesus of Nazareth was simply fortuitous, like Constantine deciding to pick Christianity as the state religion. He could have chosen his previous favorite Sun worship; Mithraism was very popular at the time as well. But Christianity fit his agenda more perfectly, and that's how I think Jesus was chosen as messiah centuries before. He fit the most prophecies from the OT, especially those that couldn't be "fulfilled" any other way, like his lineage from Jacob (many of the other prophecies could easily have been fulfilled in a sort of post hoc fashion; that he would be betrayed, that he would be called Immanuel, that he would speak in parables, etc.).

 

It wasn't a matter of "picking the messiah". The concept of the messiah is a Jewish one. However, if you look at most of the individuals during this same period who were hailed as potential messiahs, their agendas were often political and had a very specific agenda of driving out Roman occupation of Israel. For instance, Simon of Peraea led a rebellion. Most Jews at the time believed that the messiah would establish an Earthly kingdom...basically free the Jews and reestablish Israel. Jesus was nothing like this and in this He was distinct from the other claimants of being the messiah. Furthermore, when Christianity ceased being almost exclusively Jewish and spread to the Gentiles in a big way, it was able to spread to everyone in the Empire and beyond and so reach a level of popularity that other believes could not.

 

When Constantine initiated the council of Nicea, he brought together the leadership of the Christian Churches...all the Bishops and others who had been part of a Christian leadership for a couple of centuries already. These were not some random group of men that decided to pick Jesus over others. These were true Christians, true followers of Christ, many who had suffered persecution prior to the legalization of Christianity under Constantine. For instance, the patriarch of Antioch traced its lineage back to the founding of the Antioch Church by Peter in the first century. One of the best known of these patriarchs was St Ignatius (the third patriarch) who was killed in 107 AD after being fed to wild animals for being a Christian. It was from such lineages of Church leadership that the Council of Nicea was formed. Everyone of these people believed in Jesus and followed Him as the messiah. There was no point when they "chose Jesus" over some other claimant. The purpose of the Council was to hammer out details within Christianity, debates that had arisen in the centuries since.

 

So I really do not understand your argument. You seem to think that the Council of Nicea decided on Christ in some post hoc fashion. In reality, the Council of Nicea was made up of dedicated Christians that had been part of the Christian faith going back to time of the Apostles themselves. One of the most prominent individuals at the Council was Alexander of Alexandria, who in his youth as a priest, survived the Diocletianic Persecution, which was the bloodiest of all the Christian persecutions. These men were all dedicated followers of Christ and had suffered for as much. When Constantine called this council, it was to settle doctrinal disputes within the Christian Church, not "pick" a messiah.

 

Furthermore, the Council of Nicea didn't "select" the books of the Bible. There is no record of them actually doing this. Rather, for some time, there had been discussion amongst the Churches about what would form the canon. These books were not selected at random, but based on a rather thorough crtieria. Many books not found in the canonized Bible are still regarded as sacred texts by the Catholic and Orthodox Churches to this day. Irenaeus basically laid out the argument for what would become the canon back in the 2nd Century (~150-200AD), well over a hundred years before the Council of Nicea. While there is some controversy over authorship, there is very good evidence for much of the New Testament, particularly the letters and other books, such as those of James.

Edited by chadn737
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I heard that Constantine was visited by an angel the night before a great battle and was told that if his soldiers wore a cross on their attire during battle they would win. They were greatly outnumbered and were supposed to lose, but he heeded the vision and had his army bear the image of the cross on their clothes or shields, and as the angel said, they won the battle after which he knew that he was destined to bring Christianity into the Roman Empire.

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The Trinity concept was basically forced down the throat of the church that Constantine bought with pain of death to any that went against him. He rigged the vote so that he could become the next God/Man. That was a custom of the God/Emperors.

 

That aside, I think that the only way to know if Jesus was real or not would be to analyse his policies for their morality.

 

I see most of what he says as unworkable rhetoric and some issues, like his divorce policy, is anti-love and completely immoral.

 

That tells me that Jesus is a made up character.

 

Historically, there is no evidence for Jesus and morally either.

 

He is a cut above his genocidal son murdering father but still had a lot of wisdom to find.

 

If you Google --- Secrets of Christianity- Selling Christianity, you will see Constantine's victory arch and that there is not a cross on it.

 

Morals will decide if Jesus is worthy or not and I say not.

 

Regards

DL

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The Trinity concept was basically forced down the throat of the church that Constantine bought with pain of death to any that went against him. He rigged the vote so that he could become the next God/Man. That was a custom of the God/Emperors.

 

That aside, I think that the only way to know if Jesus was real or not would be to analyse his policies for their morality.

 

I see most of what he says as unworkable rhetoric and some issues, like his divorce policy, is anti-love and completely immoral.

 

That tells me that Jesus is a made up character.

 

Historically, there is no evidence for Jesus and morally either.

 

He is a cut above his genocidal son murdering father but still had a lot of wisdom to find.

 

If you Google --- Secrets of Christianity- Selling Christianity, you will see Constantine's victory arch and that there is not a cross on it.

 

Morals will decide if Jesus is worthy or not and I say not.

 

Regards

DL

 

I find this argument barely comprehensible. What do you mean "He rigged the vote so that he could become the next God/Man. That was a custom of the God/Emperors." If Constantine wanted to be the "next God/Man" than why didn't he continue the age-old policy of the state religion/worship of the emperor?

 

It also does not follow logically that just because you find the morality taught by Christ to be "unworkable" or "unworthy" that He did not exist. By that logic, anyone that holds to a different morality than yours does not exist? I find Christ's view of divorce to be not only workable, but morally sound. Therefore I do not exist by the reasoning you have just presented.

 

There is plenty of historical evidence for Jesus. There are the letters of apostles and his followers. While some dispute the authorship of some Gospels, there are books such as James or the epistles of John. There is also no doubt about Paul's letters. Furthermore, there are non-Christian records, such as Tacitus, who note that Jesus was executed under Pontius Pilate. Of course, there is also the simple fact that all of a sudden, a new cult sprang-up centered around this guy "Jesus"...where did it come from if Jesus did not really exist?

 

You can reject the miraculous claims made about Jesus, but the rejection of his actual existence is quite frankly non-sense. We have more solid evidence that Jesus existed as a historical figure than we do that Socrates and many other renowned Greek philosophers did.

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...

You can reject the miraculous claims made about Jesus, but the rejection of his actual existence is quite frankly non-sense. We have more solid evidence that Jesus existed as a historical figure than we do that Socrates and many other renowned Greek philosophers did.

 

Just out of curiosity - we have separate detailed extant accounts from three contemporaries who claim to have known Socrates personally and have through their writing documented his existence, actions, and teachings; what evidence do we have of Jesus that compares to that?

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I find this argument barely comprehensible. What do you mean "He rigged the vote so that he could become the next God/Man. That was a custom of the God/Emperors." If Constantine wanted to be the "next God/Man" than why didn't he continue the age-old policy of the state religion/worship of the emperor?

 

It also does not follow logically that just because you find the morality taught by Christ to be "unworkable" or "unworthy" that He did not exist. By that logic, anyone that holds to a different morality than yours does not exist? I find Christ's view of divorce to be not only workable, but morally sound. Therefore I do not exist by the reasoning you have just presented.

 

There is plenty of historical evidence for Jesus. There are the letters of apostles and his followers. While some dispute the authorship of some Gospels, there are books such as James or the epistles of John. There is also no doubt about Paul's letters. Furthermore, there are non-Christian records, such as Tacitus, who note that Jesus was executed under Pontius Pilate. Of course, there is also the simple fact that all of a sudden, a new cult sprang-up centered around this guy "Jesus"...where did it come from if Jesus did not really exist?

 

You can reject the miraculous claims made about Jesus, but the rejection of his actual existence is quite frankly non-sense. We have more solid evidence that Jesus existed as a historical figure than we do that Socrates and many other renowned Greek philosophers did.

If you have any evidence outside the bible for the existence of Jesus I suggest you give it, Paul never met Jesus and the writings we do have are all generations later second or third hand at best the the four gospels we use not are but a small subset of the writings that were once used. The ones we use today were confirmed by popular vote, all are anonymous, the named authors are made up names not the names of real people...

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The Bible is not a "singular" source. It is a collection of different writings compiled into one book with multiple authors. So the evidence from the Bible actually represents evidence from multiple sources.

 

But lets start with non-Biblical evidence. There is evidence from the Roman historian Tacitus, who was no friend of Christianity and is considered one of the greatest Roman historians. He clearly states that Jesus was executed under Pontius Pilate.

 

There is also Josephus. While one passage in the Antiquities is highly in dispute, there is clear consensus that passages, such as the reference to James, the brother of Jesus, are authentic and genuine.

 

The historical evidence also corroborates the historical setting which the Gospels take place. The reference to political and religious figures, references to historical events other than those associated with Jesus, these all corroborate each other.

 

Within the Bible, we have multiple independent sources, as I mentioned. For instance there is very little doubt about the authorship of the Epistle of James, who claims to be the brother or relative of Jesus. This book, often overlooked given the Gospels and Pauline letters, is one of the most clear pieces of evidence for the existence of Christ. Similarly, we have Jude, who was also a contemporary of Jesus.

 

Luke the evangelist, was the author of Acts and knew the apostles. While not knowing Jesus in person, he was a contemporary and knew the apostles. The same is true of Paul as well. Both of these writers knew the apostles and others who knew Christ personally.

 

We then have the Epistles of John (not the Gospel of John mind you), who there is agreement was written by John the Apostle, who knew Christ personally. Really, the only modern dispute in this is whether or not John the Apostle wrote the Gospel of John as well.

 

Notice the abundant evidence without even beginning to refer to the Gospels themselves.

 

Secondly, lets use some common sense. As far as religious teachings, Christianity is a radical departure from traditional Judaism and also a radical departure from the sort of messianic claims made at the time. All of a sudden, you have a new religion spring up out of nowhere within a few short years that attracts massive followings. There is no historical precedent for Christianity and especially not amongst the Jews who it first arose out of. You have multiple historical sources, not Biblical, who point to the rapid rise and existence of this religion (not just the existence of Christ) at exactly the time and place that Jesus was supposed to have existed. This message is spread by an extremely dedicated core of heavily persecuted individuals who claimed to be disciples of the man they all knew and who died for that belief. Logically, we would conclude that if they claimed that a religious leader named Jesus lived and was executed, that its probably true. Whether or not you believe the claims of miracles is a different matter, but that such a man existed, is the most logical and reasonable conclusion.

 

Its kind of cliche to say it, but there is a reason why the scholarly consensus is that Jesus existed as a real person. In fact, the general consensus amongst certain historical events, such as the calling of the apostles and His execution. Its one thing to deny the miraculous claims, but to deny that He existed seems to me absurd. The evidence for His existence is equal or greater to other figures contemporary with Him, so what is gained in denying He was a historical figure. Its on par with denying the evidence for evolution. You don't like the conclusion, so you deny it, no matter how logical or reasonable it is.


 

Just out of curiosity - we have separate detailed extant accounts from three contemporaries who claim to have known Socrates personally and have through their writing documented his existence, actions, and teachings; what evidence do we have of Jesus that compares to that?

 

Where they really though? Yes, he is mentioned in the works of three different authors, but how trustworthy are the writings of Plato? The oldest text we have of anything written by Plato dates to 900 A.D. That's a full 1200 years after Plato existed. The same is true of Aristophanes' works. Xenophon's writings on Socrates are considered very inaccurate because the events of his life make it impossible to have personally listened to Socrates at the Symposium. In contrast, the oldest fragments of the New Testament date to within a hundred or less years of the existence of Christ. John the Apostle lived with in a couple of decades of the oldest New Testament manuscripts.

 

These are important factors in considering the historicity. The textual evidence. We have an abundance of evidence that dates to with the life time of direct contemporaries of Jesus, whereas all of our evidence for Socrates comes from copies over a thousand years removed from their authors.

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The Bible is not a "singular" source. It is a collection of different writings compiled into one book with multiple authors. So the evidence from the Bible actually represents evidence from multiple sources.

When you take multiple sources and only include that which agrees with a predetermined narrative you risk selection bias.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Development_of_the_Christian_biblical_canon.

 

 

But lets start with non-Biblical evidence. There is evidence from the Roman historian Tacitus, who was no friend of Christianity and is considered one of the greatest Roman historians. He clearly states that Jesus was executed under Pontius Pilate.

It is good evidence of his execution - in as much as someone who lived decades after Jesus and never visited Jerusalem can provide evidence. It is acknowledged as the best historical evidence. But as you mentioned in your response to me questioning Plato's works - the earliest copy of the Annals we have is 11th century; what is sauce for the goose....

 

There is also Josephus. While one passage in the Antiquities is highly in dispute, there is clear consensus that passages, such as the reference to James, the brother of Jesus, are authentic and genuine.

Apart from the fact that there is great controversy about the term "brother" and it does not talk much about Jesus' life. And it is not even claimed as a personal knowledge - more a reporting of news of the area. And again the manuscript is 11th Century and subject to translation and re-translation

 

The historical evidence also corroborates the historical setting which the Gospels take place. The reference to political and religious figures, references to historical events other than those associated with Jesus, these all corroborate each other.

I didn't think that there was any real historical evidence outside Xty/Bible for either the massacre of the innocents or the census - just as the first two major historical events of the gospel story of Jesus' life.

 

Within the Bible, we have multiple independent sources, as I mentioned. For instance there is very little doubt about the authorship of the Epistle of James, who claims to be the brother or relative of Jesus. This book, often overlooked given the Gospels and Pauline letters, is one of the most clear pieces of evidence for the existence of Christ. Similarly, we have Jude, who was also a contemporary of Jesus.

Where in James' epistle does he claim to be a brother of Christ? And even more worrying from a evidential standpoint where does he claim that Jesus existed as a person rather than as God to be worshipped - he claims Elijah was a man but no such claim for Jesus.

 

 

Luke the evangelist, was the author of Acts and knew the apostles. While not knowing Jesus in person, he was a contemporary and knew the apostles. The same is true of Paul as well. Both of these writers knew the apostles and others who knew Christ personally.

Paul and Luke knew each other - but did they know people who knew Jesus?

 

We then have the Epistles of John (not the Gospel of John mind you), who there is agreement was written by John the Apostle, who knew Christ personally. Really, the only modern dispute in this is whether or not John the Apostle wrote the Gospel of John as well.

Just out of curiosity where in the texts does it say that John wrote it? Although 2John does make it clear that Jesus was a man - which is an improvement on James

 

Notice the abundant evidence without even beginning to refer to the Gospels themselves.

Actually - no.
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The OP assumes Christ is a historical figure, and makes certain assumptions about his character. Is this discussion making those same presumptions or is this about whether he existed at all? Because that sounds like another topic to me.

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Jesus was almost certainly politically savvy, intelligent and could see the writing on the wall as regards his imminent demise. He’d done his work in terms of getting his message across and like most probably didn't want to die. That message probably reached as many Romans as it did his own people; maybe he formulated a plan, with soldier sympathisers, to go through the motions of crucifixion with a display designed to fool the watchers, then was taken down early and hidden in the cave to escape when the coast was clear.

 

Maybe initially, he was going for a message that didn't include a deity, given his anger at the established religion, but was forced down a road that inevitably leads to religion.

I do not memorize the exact words in the Bible , but they mean (people will hate you because of my name), and by believing in his name we obtain strength against our enemies.

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I do not memorize the exact words in the Bible , but they mean (people will hate you because of my name), and by believing in his name we obtain strength against our enemies.

 

That's alright. Nobody ever does, just pick the bits you like and ignore the rest.

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just pick the bits you like and ignore the rest.

I don't , Jesus was talking to his disciples about people will come after him ,after along time, he was talking about(the end of the world) and what will happen before that.

 

Nobody ever does

perhaps the time has not come yet

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I don't , Jesus was talking to his disciples about people will come after him ,after along time, he was talking about(the end of the world) and what will happen before that.

perhaps the time has not come yet

 

 

Jesus specifically said his return would be in the life time of his disciples, obviously he was wrong. if the end that he prophesied didn't happen why would you think it will happen now?

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Chad

 

We have no evidence at all that the biblical Jesus was real. He is only if you want to ignore reality and start believing in miracles and magic. A game for the mentally dysfunctional.

 

We can see if the Jesus you believe in is moral though.

 

You seem to like his, --- let no man put asunder, --- no divorce policy.

 

Show how that would work for a wife that gets beat twice a week by a husband who refuses to stop.

 

Show how denying that woman a chance to find a decent partner is a good policy.

 

Regards

DL

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Jesus specifically said his return would be in the life time of his disciples, obviously he was wrong.

I do not think so, he meant his disciples because they were his followers at his time on earth, and the people before the end of the world will be his followers at that time , so his disciples are just his followers.

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"Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all things take place." -Luke 21:32

 

"This generation". It says so clearly, there's really no other way to read it.

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"Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all things take place." -Luke 21:32

 

"This generation". It says so clearly, there's really no other way to read it.

it is a matter of belief, if you would like to believe in something you should ask only few questions, and you should accept the rest for the some, it first happened for two of the disciples , peter and john I guess , they had been persecuted, and in the name of belief we can say many things, I do not mean exactly what I am going to say , but as we believed we can say many things , for example, the end of the world is the end of judaism, the kingdom of heaven is the church, living forever is living in the name of Jesus, and so on.

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Jesus specifically said his return would be in the life time of his disciples, obviously he was wrong. if the end that he prophesied didn't happen why would you think it will happen now?

 

There are several passages in The Bible that are difficult reads, and can be very hard to understand at the time you are reading it. I can understand how you are trying to use a single passage to try and debunk Jesus. Matthew 24:34 by itself sounds like he is referring to the people standing around him. However, the very next passage, Matthew 24:36, the question on who he is talking about it answered. "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angles of heaven, but my father only."

 

 

I do not think so, he meant his disciples because they were his followers at his time on earth, and the people before the end of the world will be his followers at that time , so his disciples are just his followers.

 

I completely agree. "This generation" did not mean those around him. When the end of times begins, all the signs will happen within that life span. It will not be over several generations but of the generation when it starts. Compare what Jesus says in Matthew 24:34 to what The Lord says to Moses in Numbers 14:33 it becomes clearer. "And your children shall wonder the wilderness for 40 years..." He was speaking directly to Moses whereas in Matthew 24, The Lord was answering a question about the end of times. We tend to think of ourselves in the here and now, and not about all of time. Job 28:4 "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? ..."

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Jesus was almost certainly politically savvy, intelligent and could see the writing on the wall as regards his imminent demise. Hed done his work in terms of getting his message across and like most probably didn't want to die. That message probably reached as many Romans as it did his own people; maybe he formulated a plan, with soldier sympathisers, to go through the motions of crucifixion with a display designed to fool the watchers, then was taken down early and hidden in the cave to escape when the coast was clear.

 

Maybe initially, he was going for a message that didn't include a deity, given his anger at the established religion, but was forced down a road that inevitably leads to religion.

Jesus may well have been a con man and accomplished stage magician. Steeped in stories of Moses outwitting Pharoh's magicians, he taught himself magic and fitting his act to prophesy and his patter to scripture, he took his show on the road. Think David Blain dazzling common folk on the street. Think phishers of men. He had a life of leisure as he lived off the good will of others. His carpentry skills served well to build stage props such as the false-bottom basket he used to perform the loaves and fishes 'miracle'. Likely some of the disciples were in on the game, but not all of them. No wonder the Sanhedrin were pissed. The crucifixion was just another trick. Things were getting hot so he payed off the Romans and staged his 'death'. Saw a lady in half, nail a guy to a cross. Ain't no thang. On the third day, he then cut and ran for India.

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There are several passages in The Bible that are difficult reads, and can be very hard to understand at the time you are reading it. I can understand how you are trying to use a single passage to try and debunk Jesus. Matthew 24:34 by itself sounds like he is referring to the people standing around him. However, the very next passage, Matthew 24:36, the question on who he is talking about it answered. "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angles of heaven, but my father only."

You can spin it to mean what ever you want, I am not trying to debunk anyone he plainly said the people there with him would still be alive when he came back.

 

 

 

 

I completely agree. "This generation" did not mean those around him. When the end of times begins, all the signs will happen within that life span. It will not be over several generations but of the generation when it starts. Compare what Jesus says in Matthew 24:34 to what The Lord says to Moses in Numbers 14:33 it becomes clearer. "And your children shall wonder the wilderness for 40 years..." He was speaking directly to Moses whereas in Matthew 24, The Lord was answering a question about the end of times. We tend to think of ourselves in the here and now, and not about all of time. Job 28:4 "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? ..."

It clearly did mean those around him, there is no other way to spin that with out a falsehood and it clearly was not falsified by no one knowing the exact date and time. You can obfuscate the writings all you want but to say it means anything but what it plainly states is dishonest...

 

The rest of what you assert is meaningless in the context of what you are claiming. Obfuscation is the bread and butter of religion, then as it is now...

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