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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 1: Sat Dec 29, 2018 3:04 pm
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The divinity of the person called Jesus of Nazareth

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We have yet another thread running on the historicity issue (yawn ...) but it's been getting quite a bit of attention.

So, let's have ourselves another thread on the divinity issue ...!

I'm in a state of the mind that assents to the proposition that it's make-believe.

What do we have to demonstrate that it's true ...?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 2: Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:10 pm
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Re: The divinity of the person called Jesus of Nazareth

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StuartJ wrote:

I'm in a state of the mind that assents to the proposition that it's make-believe.


I go much further than this.

It's not only make-believe, but it's a clearly fictional story that isn't even self-consistent or compatible with the original religious mythology that it is supposed to be an extension of.

For for me, it's not only make-believe, but it is extremely flawed and self-contradictory make-believe.

Was there a real historical "Jesus" that might have argued with religious authorities, been crucified for apostasy by an unofficial mob, and either survived the ordeal when many people thought he had died, or rumors simply emerged that he had died and the body was missing?

I have no problem believing any of the above. All of the above could have easily happened in the natural world, especially in the crude and violent historical period when these stories supposed happened.

Does any of this give credibility to the supernatural claims of Jesus supposedly being the demigod Son of Yahweh? No, of course not.

To begin with the stories of Yahweh have already been shown to be false as well.

Secondly even if the stories of Yahweh were true, they don't predict anyone like Jesus. To the contrary the messiah they predict was supposed to become the King of Israel and bring peace to all nations. Jesus did neither of these things. So he wasn't even the messiah of the make-believe Old Testament.

Thirdly, the stories of Jesus as a messenger of Yahweh aren't self-consistent anyway. Even as a work of pure fiction it's not a convincing story.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 3: Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:24 pm
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Re: The divinity of the person called Jesus of Nazareth

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StuartJ wrote:

I'm in a state of the mind that assents to the proposition that it's make-believe.

What do we have to demonstrate that it's true ...?


I'm of the view that it's highly improbable, but even so there are one or two points of interest which I believe under any fair evaluation would tend to raise the probability somewhat. For example the otherwise colossally absurd boast of a homeless backwater peasant - who'd never so much as written a book and less than a week away from his own largely self-instigated execution - that "heaven and earth will pass away, but my words never will"... whose words became by far the most widely-read and disseminated in all of human history and at this point probably wouldn't pass away even if this planet and its heavens were destroyed.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 4: Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:39 pm
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Re: The divinity of the person called Jesus of Nazareth

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Mithrae wrote:

StuartJ wrote:

I'm in a state of the mind that assents to the proposition that it's make-believe.

What do we have to demonstrate that it's true ...?


I'm of the view that it's highly improbable, but even so there are one or two points of interest which I believe under any fair evaluation would tend to raise the probability somewhat. For example the otherwise colossally absurd boast of a homeless backwater peasant - who'd never so much as written a book and less than a week away from his own largely self-instigated execution - that "heaven and earth will pass away, but my words never will"... whose words became by far the most widely-read and disseminated in all of human history and at this point probably wouldn't pass away even if this planet and its heavens were destroyed.


I see two problems with this.

First off, we have no way of knowing whether the actual "Jesus" ever even said this. Not only this, but let's assume that he did say it. All he was really saying here is that he believed he was speaking to truth. And therefore all he really meant was that truth will never change. After all if something is true, then it's true forever.

So even if he did actually say this, this isn't anything profound as many people (especially philosophers) have no doubt said the same thing (meaning that they believed they were speaking to truth and truth never passes away).

So this may not be as profound as it first appears.

Secondly, it could be that these words were placed in the mouth of a dead Jesus by the scribes who were writing these stories with the intent of making it into a religion. At that point anything goes. I mean, let's not forget that these are the same authors who claimed that God spoke from the clouds proclaiming Jesus to be his Son. So apparently they are willing to say all manner of absurd things. The idea that some things they might have said just happened to become self-fulfilling prophesy would then just become a matter of pure mathematical chance. After all, make enough decrees and by pure chance alone theres a good probability that something you say will turn out to be accidentally true.

And what about the obvious lies? Think

Anyone who believes in Jesus will be able to lay their hands on the sick and heal them?

Clearly some things they had Jesus saying were not true.

So they got lucky on some of their decrees and not so much so on others.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 5: Tue Jan 01, 2019 2:49 am
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I thought this one deserved a flick back up the list again.

Not one person of faith has leapt to the side of their Lord and Saviour.

Perhaps they just missed the opportunity ...?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 6: Tue Jan 01, 2019 8:11 am
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Re: The divinity of the person called Jesus of Nazareth

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Divine Insight wrote:

Mithrae wrote:

StuartJ wrote:

I'm in a state of the mind that assents to the proposition that it's make-believe.

What do we have to demonstrate that it's true ...?


I'm of the view that it's highly improbable, but even so there are one or two points of interest which I believe under any fair evaluation would tend to raise the probability somewhat. For example the otherwise colossally absurd boast of a homeless backwater peasant - who'd never so much as written a book and less than a week away from his own largely self-instigated execution - that "heaven and earth will pass away, but my words never will"... whose words became by far the most widely-read and disseminated in all of human history and at this point probably wouldn't pass away even if this planet and its heavens were destroyed.


I see two problems with this.

First off, we have no way of knowing whether the actual "Jesus" ever even said this. Not only this, but let's assume that he did say it. All he was really saying here is that he believed he was speaking to truth. And therefore all he really meant was that truth will never change. After all if something is true, then it's true forever.

So even if he did actually say this, this isn't anything profound as many people (especially philosophers) have no doubt said the same thing (meaning that they believed they were speaking to truth and truth never passes away).

So this may not be as profound as it first appears.


Do you know of any comparable cases in which secular philosophers have said similar about their words? I can't think of any off the top of my head. This looks like mere speculation flying in the face of the actual content and context of Jesus' words: Everything about the stories of Jesus portray him as something much more than some guy speaking the truth, so there's nothing to suggest that it would be reasonable to interpret the phrase that way.

Put another way around, if all traces of all gospels had been eradicated, and nothing remained of Jesus' words besides a single allusion by a third century critic mocking the claim that his words would never pass away, I'm sure you would be the among the very first to dismiss any apologetic deflection that they didn't really pass away because it referred to the deeper truths of his teaching.

Divine Insight wrote:

Secondly, it could be that these words were placed in the mouth of a dead Jesus by the scribes who were writing these stories with the intent of making it into a religion. At that point anything goes. I mean, let's not forget that these are the same authors who claimed that God spoke from the clouds proclaiming Jesus to be his Son. So apparently they are willing to say all manner of absurd things. The idea that some things they might have said just happened to become self-fulfilling prophesy would then just become a matter of pure mathematical chance. After all, make enough decrees and by pure chance alone theres a good probability that something you say will turn out to be accidentally true.

And what about the obvious lies? Think

Anyone who believes in Jesus will be able to lay their hands on the sick and heal them?

Clearly some things they had Jesus saying were not true.

So they got lucky on some of their decrees and not so much so on others.


The passage and phrase in question are in the first or second tier of most likely authentic Jesus material, but it makes little difference either way. According to his disciple John he certainly claimed to be divine, and this particular phrase "my words will never pass away" would be pretty much implied for any divine messenger whether they're a direct quote or not!

It's not just his words which are of interest here either, though that's the most direct and striking example, but rather the whole sum of influence which Jesus' movement has had on Western and world history and thinking. We've just entered the year 2019, counted from a guestimate of his time of birth for example. A good case could be made that the egalitarian ('last will be first' etc.) themes of Jesus' teaching was one of if not the biggest factor in gradually eroding the social stratification of Greco-Roman civilization which had stunted the scientific progress of the Ionian awakening centuries earlier. A further case could be made that drive for reaching the heathens and teaching them to read the bible was the biggest contributor to the spread of mass education and democratic societies.

Of course we could argue over each of those 'til the cows come home. But one simple fact that we can't deny is that Jesus' words have become by far the most-printed and most disseminated in human history. And neither that (which he said would be so) nor any of the other influence by or attributed to his movement were at all likely during his life or indeed anytime in the first century. Of course it could be just 'coincidence' that it all panned out that way, but likewise it could be something more. It's not proof of Jesus' divinity, by any stretch of the imagination, but as I initially said it seems to me that any fair evaluation would have to raise the probability somewhat in light of that evidence.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 7: Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:58 am
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Re: The divinity of the person called Jesus of Nazareth

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[Replying to post 6 by Mithrae]

Quote:
It's not proof of Jesus' divinity, by any stretch of the imagination,


Indeed it's not.

Not one person of faith has EVER - to the best of my knowledge - demonstrated the divinity of the person called Jesus of Nazareth.

Yet folks carry on believing - or pretending to believe- that it's true.

I hold my position that Christianity looks to have been a fraud since its beginning, and the faithful are trapped in a belief system they can't relinquish or acknowledge as a fraud.

What became known as "Christianity", I posit, is nothing more than the political spin of the followers of a failed pretender to the throne of King David.

They too could not afford to be wrong.

They had too much invested in NOT being wrong.

So they distorted the story and made excuses and left out the bits they didn't like ...

Standard Christian practice.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 8: Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:39 am
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Re: The divinity of the person called Jesus of Nazareth

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StuartJ wrote:

I hold my position that Christianity looks to have been a fraud since its beginning, and the faithful are trapped in a belief system they can't relinquish or acknowledge as a fraud.

What became known as "Christianity", I posit, is nothing more than the political spin of the followers of a failed pretender to the throne of King David.

They too could not afford to be wrong.

They had too much invested in NOT being wrong.

So they distorted the story and made excuses and left out the bits they didn't like


Funnily enough however, you have "not one SHRED of evidence" to support those beliefs.

Did I do that right? That's how these 'debates' are supposed to go, isn't it? Laughing

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 9: Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:01 am
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Re: The divinity of the person called Jesus of Nazareth

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Mithrae wrote:

StuartJ wrote:

I hold my position that Christianity looks to have been a fraud since its beginning, and the faithful are trapped in a belief system they can't relinquish or acknowledge as a fraud.

What became known as "Christianity", I posit, is nothing more than the political spin of the followers of a failed pretender to the throne of King David.

They too could not afford to be wrong.

They had too much invested in NOT being wrong.

So they distorted the story and made excuses and left out the bits they didn't like


Funnily enough however, you have "not one SHRED of evidence" to support those beliefs.

Did I do that right? That's how these 'debates' are supposed to go, isn't it? Laughing


Okay ...

They're not beliefs.

I've said on a number of occasions that I don't have beliefs.

I leave that term for folks who are in a state of the mind that the Universe was created by Jesus ... and such things.

You seem to have conveniently overlooked the terms I used ...

"looks to have been"

and

"posit".

And ...

As I've said on numerous occasions ...

Due to the total absence of any evidence regarding a god-sired Jesus that I have ever seen ...

I consider it reasonable to search for OTHER reasons the original Jesus faithful produced the propaganda they did ...

And put forward those possibilities for further consideration.

Humans are political creatures.

Gods and angels and talking animals are make-believe.

Take the make-believe out of the biblical propaganda ...

And one is left with what looks very much like POLITICAL propaganda.

"Kingdom of God"

Invading armies of angels

Our guy ruling the world.

Politics.

Unless, of course, evidence for the make-believe is produced.

The door is WIDE open there.

Take a look at the numerous topics I've started in the past 3 months ...

And see if you can garnish what I have given to back up my speculative hypotheses.

Much of Christianity is founded on speculation ...

And presumption ...

And imagination.

I keep my hypotheses very much down-to-earth ...

No special codes ...

No hermeneutics or other fancy words to make the talking animals look real.

Just - ofttimes slanderous - human politics.

Take a look at what I've written ...

And then tell me "not one SHRED of evidence".

Or better still ...

Provide a shred of evidence for the divinity of Jesus.

Or a shred of evidence for any of the NT events.

And if you have none ...

You too may care to search for reasons for the partisan propaganda.

And who knows ...

Maybe you too will recognise the sinister hand of human politics in the writings.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 10: Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:15 am
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Re: The divinity of the person called Jesus of Nazareth

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StuartJ wrote:

We have yet another thread running on the historicity issue (yawn ...) but it's been getting quite a bit of attention.

So, let's have ourselves another thread on the divinity issue ...!

I'm in a state of the mind that assents to the proposition that it's make-believe.

What do we have to demonstrate that it's true ...?


I don’t know what you mean with ”divinity of Jesus”. But I know that Bible tells Jesus was son of God and there is only one true God that is greater than Jesus. I believe that because of what Jesus said. Because he had wisdom, truth and love that I have not seen from people. But what then? Is there some reason why you should believe it is true? The point is to understand what is good and right, if you don’t do so now, you probably wouldn’t do it even if you would be sure that Jesus and God are real. Therefore, no need to prove the existence, or even the “divinity”.

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