Does a mythical Jesus make a difference?

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marco
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Does a mythical Jesus make a difference?

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Post by marco »

Many claims are made for Christ, not all accepted by all Christians. He was born in Bethlehem in a stable and his birth led to the massacre of children. At his execution it is alleged Jews, as a whole, called down a curse on their descendants, and this has made Jews pariahs through history. Again, not a great legacy from Christ. So he attracts some censure.

But many think he offered good advice which, when followed, leads to a better society.


If Christ were no more than an enthusiastic preacher whom many follow in the belief he's full of wise words, does it matter that he's based on fiction? If he never rose from the dead and made no miracles, yet millions behave well because of him, does it matter he is a myth?

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Re: Does a mythical Jesus make a difference?

Post #41

Post by JehovahsWitness »

JehovahsWitness wrote:
Where did Jesus " teach that he was God"?
EarthScienceguy wrote:

Every time He called Himself the son of man .



Okay so could you explain what you meant by the above?
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Re: Does a mythical Jesus make a difference?

Post #42

Post by William »

shnarkle wrote:
William wrote: [Replying to post 34 by JehovahsWitness]
How does someone referring to themselves as "Son of MAN" teach one is God?
Panentheist understand that to be born a human is to be a Child of GOD. It is organised religion which has redefined being human as being separate from and not of GOD. That is why Jesus said we must start over, and ditch what religion has taught us about ourselves because what organised religion says about who we are, is not truth.

I agree with your post to a certain degree. I don't think your understanding is confined to just panentheists though. The term "sons of God" is pertinent as well. When God begets sons, they are referred to as "sons of God". We have not just Christ, but all who are "begotten of the spirit" (usually translated as "born again"). "That which is flesh is flesh, that which is spirit is spirit."

Christ pointed out that "the spirit breathes where he will, you hear the sound of his voice, but you know not where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit".

To me it becomes clearer that there are Christians who do not fully understand that they are Panentheists because they understand the aspect of the biblical references which identify Panentheism.

Perhaps there is such a thing as "Christian Panentheism", but it is not recognized by Traditional Christianity as legitimate...and perhaps does not even recognize itself as coming from the Panentheist position?

In that, the understanding is at least confined to "Christian Panentheism", which is another way of my saying "I disagree that the understanding is not confined to Panentheism" in that, "only Panentheists are enabled to recognize and agree to being aspects of GOD rather than actually separate from GOD."

These are distinct positions.

What determines this for the individual, is recognition, in relation to self awareness and identity with that awareness.

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Re: Does a mythical Jesus make a difference?

Post #43

Post by EarthScienceguy »

[Replying to post 36 by dio9]
I wonder how many times you have read the Gospels . There is so much more in them than just his death and resurrection. His Parables and the sermon on the Mount is about the kingdom of God . That was his message . We can build a beautiful city. The resurrection is his message which lives on in the heart of believers.
The Sermon on the mount is referring to salvation.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

The Greek word for poor here is

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Re: Does a mythical Jesus make a difference?

Post #44

Post by EarthScienceguy »


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Re: Does a mythical Jesus make a difference?

Post #45

Post by shnarkle »

EarthScienceguy wrote: [Replying to post 34 by JehovahsWitness]
How does someone referring to themselves as "Son of MAN" teach one is God?
You did not ask about one God but simply Jesus teaching he was God. The phrase "Son of Man" comes from Daniel 7
13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
All nations were worshiping the Son of Man.

If you are wondering how this teaches that God is one. We have to add some passages to this.

Exodus 20:4-6
4You shall not make for yourself an idol of any kind, or an image of anything in the heavens above, on the earth beneath, or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on their children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing loving devotion to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments.…
Here God tells Israel that they are to worship nothing but Him. But God allows the worship of the Son of Man.


The reason why this is the case comes from Deuteronomy 6:4
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.

Either the Ancient of days and the Son of Man are one or God will have to apologize to Israel for lying to them.

Your articulation of the Shema is probably more accurate than what is presented in our translations. "Hear O Israel Jehovah our Elohim are one" is more in line with what you posted, i.e. "the Ancient of days and the Son of Man are one". Jesus says the same thing: "I and the father are one". In all cases the verb is plural. So we can see immediatly that it would be incorrect for Jesus to have said, "I am one with the father".

This is the case with Paul's understanding as well. He sees Christ as the "image" (Greek "iekon") of the invisible God, which spotlights that Christ isn't God at all, but the only representation of God that there can be. So for all practical intents and purposes, Christ is God, but only in the sense that Christ manifests the potentiality of God. The tetragrammaton is sometimes translated as "I will be", and this is then manifest in "I am".

This is why John's introduction begins with "in the beginning was the word" instead of "in the beginning was God". God is the origin while Christ is the means by which everything comes into existence.(1 Cor.8:6)

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Re: Does a mythical Jesus make a difference?

Post #46

Post by marco »

shnarkle wrote:
Jesus says the same thing: "I and the father are one". In all cases the verb is plural. So we can see immediatly that it would be incorrect for Jesus to have said, "I am one with the father".

Your quotes to substantiate your view are very good but ultimately we win or lose our arguments on our interpretation. "I and the Father are one" can certainly be taken as meaning the same as "I am one with the Father."

shnarkle wrote:
He sees Christ as the "image" (Greek "iekon") of the invisible God, which spotlights that Christ isn't God at all, but the only representation of God that there can be. So for all practical intents and purposes, Christ is God, but only in the sense that Christ manifests the potentiality of God. The tetragrammaton is sometimes translated as "I will be", and this is then manifest in "I am".

The reduction of Christ to "image" or "metaphor" is a clever suggestion. Christ certainly encourages that view: John 12: 45 "And he that sees me sees him that sent me" and John 14:6 "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

But these words would still hold if Christ's intended meaning was less speectacular: he is the faithful messenger of God and his words come from God. The claim of someone representing God is to be found in the Catholic confessional where the priest utters words of absolution in Christ's name. If we stick to a figurative interpretation, that Christ was faithful to God's words so that he walked as God's voice then we have the requisites of a very good preacher. There's no need for dramatic images of Christ being the only human image of God.

shnarkle wrote:
This is why John's introduction begins with "in the beginning was the word" instead of "in the beginning was God". God is the origin while Christ is the means by which everything comes into existence.(1 Cor.8:6)
I'm sure there are dozens of possible explanations for John's challenging introduction. Paul of course is the master of modesty. He adds: "But not everyone possesses this knowledge." He does - and leaves humble mortals to wrestle with the idea of Christ being the means by which David or Lot came into existence. Symbolism is fine but sometimes Paul strays into infiite absurdities; but he is a powerful prince of the Christian Church.

But then we are told: "Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help."

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Re: Does a mythical Jesus make a difference?

Post #47

Post by JehovahsWitness »

[Replying to post 40 by EarthScienceguy]

You claim that Jesus taught he was God {quote} "every time he refered to himself as "the son of man"{ end quote} ; I have a question for you....

DANIEL 5: 9, 13-14

“I kept watching until thrones were set in place and the Ancient of Days sat down. ...., someone like a son of man was coming; and he gained access to the Ancient of Days, and they brought him up close before that One. And to him there were given rulership, honor, and a kingdom,

My question is as follows WHO gave power to the "son of man" in the passage above?


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Re: Does a mythical Jesus make a difference?

Post #48

Post by Realworldjack »

marco wrote: Many claims are made for Christ, not all accepted by all Christians. He was born in Bethlehem in a stable and his birth led to the massacre of children. At his execution it is alleged Jews, as a whole, called down a curse on their descendants, and this has made Jews pariahs through history. Again, not a great legacy from Christ. So he attracts some censure.

But many think he offered good advice which, when followed, leads to a better society.


If Christ were no more than an enthusiastic preacher whom many follow in the belief he's full of wise words, does it matter that he's based on fiction? If he never rose from the dead and made no miracles, yet millions behave well because of him, does it matter he is a myth?

Many claims are made for Christ, not all accepted by all Christians.
Correct! However, the same can be said concerning those who are not Christians. In other words, Christ is a figure who has been discussed, and debated for thousands of years now, as is demonstrated by this site.

So then, while all Christians may not accept the same ideas about Christ, neither do those who do not accept Christ at all, agree on what to reject, as opposed to accept about Christ.

Said in the same way in which you phrase it, "many claims concerning Christ are rejected by many, but not all those who reject Christ, are in agreement concerning the things that should be rejected." This will be demonstrated, momentarily.
He was born in Bethlehem in a stable and his birth led to the massacre of children.
This is what has been reported by at least one of the writers, but it is sort of irrelevant, don't you think?

In other words, this writer is building up to a resurrection from the dead, of which, three other writers report of the same event. Therefore, this writer is simply giving information to his audience, (which would not include us) of the life of Christ, prior to this event.
At his execution it is alleged Jews, as a whole, called down a curse on their descendants, and this has made Jews pariahs through history. So he attracts some censure.
What you say here is sort of strange? In other words, if Jesus was indeed the Christ, and the Jews rejected him, along with calling curses down upon themselves, and these curses have indeed occurred, as you seem to be suggesting, then this would seem to be some sort of evidence, wouldn't you think?

At any rate, I do not put much thought into such things. What I do put thought into is the fact that, the Jews were outcasts, long before Christ, and the Jews, outcast most, if not all others than themselves, and this goes on still today, and it includes not only Jews, but rather, race against race, nation, against nation.

With this being the case, the only way you can hold Christ responsible for the outcast of the Jews, is if you happen to believe what was reported by the Biblical writer. Other than that, it is just the same old, same old.

The point is, it should be no shock, or surprise, that one race, or nation, is bias, or predigest, against another race, or nation, since this is a normal occurrence.
Again, not a great legacy from Christ.
Well, this would depend on the "legacy" one set out to make, don't you think?

In other words, if I set out to make my "legacy" the destruction of anyone who is not like me, and I am successful, then my "legacy" is exactly what I intended it to be, no matter what anyone else may think.

In the same way, if Christ intended his "legacy" to be, that the Jews would be outcasts because of their rejection of him, (which seems to be what you are suggesting) and he is successful, then his "legacy" would be exactly what he intended, no matter what you, and I may think.
But many think he offered good advice which, when followed, leads to a better society.
Many may think this, and it may include you, I don't know? What I do know is, this is not at all what I think.

Christ seems to make it clear that, "my kingdom is not of this world." With this, and many other things said by Christ, he seems to be urging folks to give up on this world, as far as attempting to make it some sort of, utopia.

With this being the case, Christians are urged to sacrifice themselves, their desires, money, time, and effort for others, not attempting to amass treasures in this life, but rather to have hope in what God has amassed in the next life.

The point is, I do not hold out any hope that Christianity has the answers on how to make society better, because this is not the goal, or aim of Christianity, or Christ.
If Christ were no more than an enthusiastic preacher whom many follow in the belief he's full of wise words, does it matter that he's based on fiction?
Here is an example of what I was speaking of above. Because you see, there are many unbelievers such as yourself who are under the impression that Christ was based upon "fiction", while there are many other unbelievers, including scholars who believe Christ to be a real historical figure.

In fact, there are scholars who are under the impression that there is enough evidence to support the fact that Jesus was not only crucified, but also enough evidence to support the fact that the tomb he was laid in was later found empty, even if they do not believe the reason would include a resurrection.

The whole point here is, while Christians may not be able to demonstrate what they believe concerning the resurrection of Christ, there is certainly evidence to support such belief. On the other hand, those who do not believe such things, cannot in any way demonstrate what it is they believe concerning Christ.

In other words, whether Christ be "fiction" or a real historical figure, he has made such an impact upon history, that you continue to talk about him some 2000 years after the events, and spend a great deal of time thinking about him. Now, I don't care who you are, that is an amazing impact.

The thing is though, you will have to admit that you are in the same boat with Christians, in that while you may firmly believe you are correct concerning what you believe about Christ, you can in no way whatsoever demonstrate that what you believe would be correct, as opposed to what Christians believe.

In other words, we have opposing beliefs, and may have evidence to support our beliefs, but neither of us can demonstrate that what we believe concerning Christ would be true. So, I do not see how you are in any better shape than the Christian in this matter, unless you can demonstrate that what you believe concerning Christ would be the facts.
If he never rose from the dead and made no miracles, yet millions behave well because of him, does it matter he is a myth?
First, you would have to demonstrate that Christ, was indeed a "myth." If you can do this, then I will assure you that I will gladly reject what it is I believe concerning Christ, and I will owe you greatly.

Next, Paul even said, "if only in this life we have hope in Christ, we above all men are to be pitied."

Paul was speaking of himself, and the other Apostles, and this seems to demonstrate that Paul clearly understood the stakes involved. Paul also said, "And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

So it would seem clear that Paul was basing everything upon the real historical event of the resurrection, and if this did not occur then Christianity would be useless. He does not leave room for there to be any good in it whatsoever.

Also, Peter has this to say, "For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty."

So here, this author seems to be quite aware of, tales, myths, fables, etc. and wants to ensure his audience that this is not what his reports are based upon.

So again, while I may not be able to demonstrate these things are true, there is evidence to support what it is I believe. In the same way, while you may have opposing beliefs, you can in no way demonstrate that what you believe concerning Christ would be true. So then, can you explain how you would be any better off?

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Re: Does a mythical Jesus make a difference?

Post #49

Post by marco »

JehovahsWitness wrote:
My question is as follows Who gave power to the "son of man" in the passage above?
I believe it was Daniel, and he mentioned something LIKE "the son of man", which presumably might be a gorilla. Daniel begins his magic vision with:

a river of fire was flowing …….. thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him...…….I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking...….. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire...….


Today is the twenty seventh day of April and we are in the 21st century where we own devices greater than anything dreamt of by the deluded ancient.

PS Ten thousand times ten thousand would be 100 million, a number rather difficult to count. But if you are a "seer" you see things, I suppose. Wordsworth similarly used hyperbole when he said of the daffodils: "Ten thousand saw I at a glance...." But Wordsworth's lines had more sense than Daniel's.

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Re: Does a mythical Jesus make a difference?

Post #50

Post by JehovahsWitness »

[Replying to post 48 by marco]

QUESTION How many angels does the bible say there are?
  • ANSWER The bible doesn't give a precise number . That said we find a clue in the bible book of Daniel that contains a vision were the Prophet Daniel is described as seeing a vision of "myriad of myriads" of angels (New World Translation "ten thousand times ten thousand"). A myriad is 10, 000 so ten thousand times ten thousand would be 100 million (Compare Rev 5:11) and we don't know if Daniel saw ALL the angels that had been created, only that that is how he describes those he did see ... so it seems reasonable to conclude there are a vast number of angels possibly numbering in the hundreds of millions.

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Romans 14:8

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