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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 1: Sun Dec 29, 2019 9:12 pm
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Pirate Jesus?

Like this post (2): SallyF, Difflugia
Listening to arguably the best musical act to enter the mainstream in the past decade (pirate metal band Alestorm, for the benefit of the plebs*) I can't help but think of our general human tendency to romanticize the past: Pirates of the Caribbean, Pirate Parties in numerous countries (some with electoral success), pirates as divine beings in the unquestionable Sacred Scripture of His Noodliness and so on. Piracy remains an ongoing threat in some regions, and the reality is nothing to be glorified either now or in its heyday, so why on earth do people find the idea so fascintating?

Might we draw a parallel here with the more romanticized, metaphorical concept of "sacrifice" in the common Christian conception of Jesus which found its footing just as the actual Jewish temple was destroyed?

How could anyone imagine that "God is incapable of tolerating someone who stole a car unless he (God) has his son brutally murdered first" is a sound doctrine? It's more ridiculous than any modern pirate fetishization, by far! But in the context of romanticizing and hence loosely integrating some otherwise prominent and dissonant aspects of recent centuries' history and culture, perhaps it makes a lot more sense.

Was Jesus a 'pirate,' a romanticized integration of prior centuries' customs into more recent contexts?



* I say arguably because rapper Lil Dicky may give them a run for their money, and it's debatable when Two Steps From Hell entered the mainstream.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 2: Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:58 am
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Re: Pirate Jesus?

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[Replying to post 1 by Mithrae]

Quote:
Was Jesus a 'pirate,' a romanticized integration of prior centuries' customs into more recent contexts?


Unless I am misundersatnding you, I do not see how this would be possible? We have the letters of Paul, and we know that Paul was competely opposed to Christianity to be begin with, which means we know that Paul would have been alive at the time of Jesus, would have known the original Apostles personaly, along with the claims they were making, and Paul does write about the crucifixion of Jesus as being a sacrifice.

Moreover, we have solid evidence that the author of the two letters to Theophilus, traveled with Paul on his journeys, which would mean that this author as well would have been alive at the time of Jesus, would have known the Apostles, and the claims they were making.

The point is, it certainly seems as if we can demonstrate the idea of Jesus as being a sacrifice, very early.

Next, you just so happen to mention the destruction of the Temple, and two of the Biblical authors do so as well, but they do not mention it in the context of the Temple as already being destroyed, but rather as Jesus predicting the destruction of the Temple.

We know that the letters of Paul would have been written before the destruction of the Temple, and we have pretty strong evidence that the two letters to Theophilus would have been written before the destruction of the Temple as well, and both of these authors talk of the sacrifice of Jesus, and neither mentions the destruction of the Temple, as already occurring. In fact, in the second letter to Theophilus, the author refers to the Temple as if it were still standing.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 3: Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:32 pm
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Re: Pirate Jesus?

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[Replying to post 1 by Mithrae]

Good topic …!

Quote:
Was Jesus a 'pirate,' a romanticized integration of prior centuries' customs into more recent contexts?


The numerous topics in this forum are ample evidence that the Jesus character can be just whatever believers imagine him to be …

From a universe-creating "God" with a capital G, to a birthday pilfering demi-god, to a human sacrifice to assuage the wrath of a pagan deity.

None of which his "Gospel" propagandists directly claimed him to be.

And today …

Certain folks who still identify as "Christian" …

Make certain of the Christian customs of past centuries walk the plank ….



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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 4: Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:21 pm
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Re: Pirate Jesus?

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SallyF wrote:

[Replying to post 1 by Mithrae]

Good topic …!

Quote:
Was Jesus a 'pirate,' a romanticized integration of prior centuries' customs into more recent contexts?


The numerous topics in this forum are ample evidence that the Jesus character can be just whatever believers imagine him to be …

From a universe-creating "God" with a capital G, to a birthday pilfering demi-god, to a human sacrifice to assuage the wrath of a pagan deity.

None of which his "Gospel" propagandists directly claimed him to be.

And today …

Certain folks who still identify as "Christian" …

Make certain of the Christian customs of past centuries walk the plank ….






Quote:
None of which his "Gospel" propagandists directly claimed him to be.


You continue to use the word, "propaganda" concerning the "gospel writers" as if it would be a known fact, that they did in fact intend what they wrote to be, "propaganda". The problem is, you have failed to demonstrate this to be a fact, and the evidence would not suggest this to be the case.

As I have said in the past, and you have ignored, is the fact that "propaganda" is for the purpose of "persuading the masses", and it can be demonstrated beyond doubt that, the overwhelming majority of the letters contained in the NT were addressed to those who already believed, with no concern, nor any idea that what they were writing would ever be read by anyone other than the original intended audience, and the authors certainly could not have known about any sort of NT, which their personal letters would be contained in, hundreds of years later.

So then, while it is certainly fine to share your opinion, it would be nice to see you actually defend what seems to be a fantasy of yours, with some actual facts, and evidence in support, and then go on to explain how these letters could possibly be considered to be for the purpose of "persuading of the masses" when the overwhelming majority can be demonstrated to have been addressed to particular audiences at the time, who would have already believed, with no concern, nor any idea, that anyone else would ever read these letters?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 5: Tue Dec 31, 2019 12:23 am
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Jack has rightly pointed out that Paul’s letters, which talk extensively about Jesus’ sacrifice, predate the destruction of the Temple by a couple of decades.

I will add that we can trace the history romanticizing pirate. New sailing techniques gave rise to a new era of piracy in the fifteenth century. This early piracy was never romanticized. It was not until the age of “sea dogs” when nations employed pirates against political enemies that we see pirates romanticized as servants of King and Country. Then we can trace the increase of this idea through the pulp fiction novels of the 19th century, and on into the cinema of the 20th century. Notably, Mutiny on the Bounty had a significant impact on the mythology of pirates.

On the other hand, the earliest records of Jesus focus on his sacrifice. For instance, Galatians was either the first or second book of the NT to be written. In that letter Paul not only talked about the sacrifice of Jesus, but also about the metaphysical effect it had on people. Paul wrote, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

The story of Jesus was not slowly romanticized the way pirates have been. It was, from the start, the story of the Son of God whose self-sacrifice through crucifixion brought life to those who were dead in sin.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 6: Tue Dec 31, 2019 1:51 am
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[Replying to post 5 by bjs]

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It was, from the start, the story of the Son of God whose self-sacrifice through crucifixion brought life to those who were dead in sin.

It was hardly self-sacrifice. He was arrested, tried and executed. It happened to lots of other people and none of them really had any say in it. The story became romanticised when people tried to spin it as a great sacrifice on behalf of God for the human race. It was no such thing.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 7: Tue Dec 31, 2019 3:48 am
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Re: Pirate Jesus?

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Realworldjack wrote:

The point is, it certainly seems as if we can demonstrate the idea of Jesus as being a sacrifice, very early.


It's true that the idea of Jesus as a sacrifice existed before the destruction of the Jewish temple, in Paul's letters and perhaps in the gospel of Mark. But Paul was a Greek-speaking diaspora Jew; Mark likewise wrote in Greek for Gentile audiences outside of Palestine. Both authors likely would have had ample opportunity to ask themselves why killing animals for Yahweh in Jerusalem (strongly commanded by tradition) was any different from killing animals for Yahweh in Tarsus (prohibited on pain of death!), why it is that Yahweh needed all these prime animals killed and their meat given to the Jerusalem priests in the first place, any why the priests of so many other gods also said that it was important to kill animals and give them the meat?

Killing animals obviously is not actually important to God; even some of the Jewish prophets themselves make that clear (eg. Hosea 6:6). And as you've suggested, based on earlier prophecies it's possible that many of those Christians (or even Jesus himself) expected that the temple would be destroyed by the Romans before too long. So given this more or less nonsensical and soon-to-be defunct tradition of animal sacrifice, how could they make sense of all the books and exhaustive regulations and commands which Yahweh supposedly gave on the subject? Surely not by admitting that it had nothing to do with God at all, that it was just concocted by priests in all nations as a means of supposedly appeasing the wrathful gods and incidentally providing them with some top-notch meals in the process: Instead those traditions could be - and were - romanticized, turned into some kind of symbolic representation of something more abstract hence less obviously absurd.

That is in fact what early Christian/New Testament theology does; the question is whether the final abstraction, of Jesus as a 'sacrificial lamb,' is merely a consequence of that process, or whether that supposed symbolism really was what Yahweh intended to accomplish all along by ordering the mimicry of pagan animal sacrifices for century after century (including some sacrifices specifically commanded to be repeated again and again for all eternity, eg. Lev. 16:34, not "until I'm feeling peckish for some human sacrifice instead").

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 8: Tue Dec 31, 2019 4:29 am
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bjs wrote:

On the other hand, the earliest records of Jesus focus on his sacrifice. For instance, Galatians was either the first or second book of the NT to be written. In that letter Paul not only talked about the sacrifice of Jesus, but also about the metaphysical effect it had on people. Paul wrote, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

The story of Jesus was not slowly romanticized the way pirates have been. It was, from the start, the story of the Son of God whose self-sacrifice through crucifixion brought life to those who were dead in sin.


Strangely this is a concept which features very little if at all in the earliest records of Jesus' own preaching activities. It's possible that Jesus fancied himself as some kind of martyr whose death would serve as an inspiration and rallying point for later followers, perhaps even in some sense sealing the deal on the new covenant he thought that he and John the Baptist had ushered in (cf. Mark 14:24), but the content and focus of his preaching is all about the kingdom of God, not atonement through his self-sacrifice! If Jesus himself had believed that all the sin of all humans around the world throughout all of history would somehow be expiated by his death, we'd surely expect that to have been a clear and major focus of his teaching, don't you think?

As Brunumb has suggested, one common and plausible view is that Jesus as an atoning sacrifice developed from the angle of trying to explain his death itself. I'm suggesting an alternative (or perhaps complementary) possibility that the theology developed as much or more from the angle of trying to explain those nonsensical ancient traditions of animal sacrifice. That theology is first described prior to the temple's destruction, for sure, but would it have proven to be as successful as it did if Christians hadn't been able to point to the dramatic end of that sacrificial system as evidence for their claims?

There's not a lot of real similarity in the comparison with pirates of course; it's just another example of how weirdly and deeply we can romanticize otherwise disturbing or dissonant histories. But I think it is quite clear both that A) the Jewish traditions of animal sacrifice in Jerusalem probably did create cognitive dissonance for Jews in the diaspora and perhaps even Galilee and B) early Christian theology does indeed romanticize those traditions into some kind of thousand-year plan to symbolically represent the 'real thing.'

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 9: Tue Dec 31, 2019 1:58 pm
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Re: Pirate Jesus?

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[Replying to post 7 by Mithrae]

Quote:
It's true that the idea of Jesus as a sacrifice existed before the destruction of the Jewish temple, in Paul's letters and perhaps in the gospel of Mark.


Correct! And I would add that we have pretty strong evidence to support the two letters addressed to Theophilus would have been composed well before the destruction of the Temple as well. Moreover, we do not know when the other two gospels would have been written, which means they could have very well been written before the destruction of the Temple.

Therefore, my point has been demonstrated in that the idea of the crucifixion of Jesus being the final, and complete sacrifice would have been in place well before the destruction of the Temple, which seemed to be your point.

Also, the destruction of the Temple would not in any way demonstrate that Jesus would be the final sacrifice, but it is a fact that it is recorded that Jesus did in fact predict this destruction, and this destruction has put an end to the animal sacrifices.

As far as the rest of what you say here, we could talk about, discuss, and debate the animal sacrifices commanded in the OT, but I highly doubt we would make much headway concerning the topic, but I will assure you that it would entail far more than simply coming to the conclusion, "Killing animals obviously is not actually important to God;"

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 10: Tue Dec 31, 2019 5:39 pm
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Re: Pirate Jesus?

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Realworldjack wrote:

You continue to use the word, "propaganda" concerning the "gospel writers" as if it would be a known fact, that they did in fact intend what they wrote to be, "propaganda". The problem is, you have failed to demonstrate this to be a fact, and the evidence would not suggest this to be the case.

If someone writes an account (or article or letter) that is later used as propaganda for "persuading of the masses" by others, does the intent of the originator somehow make it not propaganda later?

Realworldjack wrote:

As I have said in the past, and you have ignored, is the fact that "propaganda" is for the purpose of "persuading the masses", and it can be demonstrated beyond doubt that, the overwhelming majority of the letters contained in the NT were addressed to those who already believed, with no concern, nor any idea that what they were writing would ever be read by anyone other than the original intended audience, and the authors certainly could not have known about any sort of NT, which their personal letters would be contained in, hundreds of years later.

Twenty-three percent (23%) of the NT consists of ‘epistles’ (letters) written by Paul/Saul or by others pretending to be him. https://apologika.blogspot.com/2014/05/who-wrote-most-of-new-testament.html

Twenty-seven percent (27%) is ‘Luke’ and ‘Acts’ – not letters

The balance (fifty percent – 50%) includes ‘gospels’ given the names ‘Matthew, Mark, Luke and John’ and Revelation (7%) that are NOT letters

Realworldjack wrote:

So then, while it is certainly fine to share your opinion, it would be nice to see you actually defend what seems to be a fantasy of yours, with some actual facts, and evidence in support, and then go on to explain how these letters could possibly be considered to be for the purpose of "persuading of the masses" when the overwhelming majority can be demonstrated to have been addressed to particular audiences at the time, who would have already believed, with no concern, nor any idea, that anyone else would ever read these letters?

Even if your argument held for a quarter of the NT (23%), what about the remaining three-quarters?

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