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Old 05-23-2013, 01:29 AM   #1
Toto
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Default A sense of perspective on the Historical Jesus

Last week I attended a lecture by AmyJo Mattheis, who was the daughter of a Lutheran pastor, and became a pastor herself. She described her path to atheism - one step was leaving the church and trying to form a philosophical society based on Jesus' teachings.

In the Q&A, someone asked her about whether there was a historical Jesus. She said that someone else on her lecture tour had asked that, and her answer was that she didn't care if Jesus existed. Jesus exists in our culture, and that's enough.

I have to respect her position. There may be reasons to care if Jesus existed for a professional in the field of history or religion, and the issue is important for Christians who care about the Nicene Creed.

But otherwise, the issue raises an amount of emotion that seems totally out of proportion to the importance of the issue.
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Old 05-23-2013, 03:02 AM   #2
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Last week I attended a lecture by AmyJo Mattheis, who was the daughter of a Lutheran pastor, and became a pastor herself. She described her path to atheism - one step was leaving the church and trying to form a philosophical society based on Jesus' teachings.

In the Q&A, someone asked her about whether there was a historical Jesus. She said that someone else on her lecture tour had asked that, and her answer was that she didn't care if Jesus existed. Jesus exists in our culture, and that's enough.

I have to respect her position. There may be reasons to care if Jesus existed for a professional in the field of history or religion, and the issue is important for Christians who care about the Nicene Creed.

But otherwise, the issue raises an amount of emotion that seems totally out of proportion to the importance of the issue.
I do not agree at all with her position.

Whether Jesus of Nazareth and his disciples existed is extremely important for every person to know.

Religion is an integral part of human development for thousands of years.

It would appear to me that belief in the unknown and unproven has had a very negative effect on mankind.

It is most astonishing that some cannot even entertain the notion that Jesus of Nazareth and his disciples were fabricated.

Now, if Jesus of Nazareth and his disciples had no real existence then those who do not care really do not care about the history of the development of religion.

We have thousands of writings about Jesus and the disciples so it is extremely easy to understand that Jesus of Nazareth and his disciples had NO real existence.
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Old 05-23-2013, 03:56 AM   #3
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Last week I attended a lecture by AmyJo Mattheis, who was the daughter of a Lutheran pastor, and became a pastor herself. She described her path to atheism - one step was leaving the church and trying to form a philosophical society based on Jesus' teachings.

In the Q&A, someone asked her about whether there was a historical Jesus. She said that someone else on her lecture tour had asked that, and her answer was that she didn't care if Jesus existed. Jesus exists in our culture, and that's enough.
What does "Jesus existed in our culture" mean? It's significant that the stories existed?

Whether the stories are based on someone or not is significant - there are indications evangelical christians are happy to promote their faith to people who don't believe in god on an alternative notion of a human Jesus.
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:48 AM   #4
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Last week I attended a lecture by AmyJo Mattheis, who was the daughter of a Lutheran pastor, and became a pastor herself. She described her path to atheism - one step was leaving the church and trying to form a philosophical society based on Jesus' teachings.

In the Q&A, someone asked her about whether there was a historical Jesus. She said that someone else on her lecture tour had asked that, and her answer was that she didn't care if Jesus existed. Jesus exists in our culture, and that's enough.

I have to respect her position. There may be reasons to care if Jesus existed for a professional in the field of history or religion, and the issue is important for Christians who care about the Nicene Creed.

But otherwise, the issue raises an amount of emotion that seems totally out of proportion to the importance of the issue.
Yes, you gotta wonder why that is. There's apparantly some psychology there to be explained. To me it seems (sometimes) like a sort of atheist's crusade to exterminate Christianity, and removing the HJ is the determinative battle. But thats just me. Here in Europe there doesn't seem to be the same interest in the HJ/MJ debate (or war) as in the US.
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Old 05-23-2013, 05:45 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Toto View Post
Last week I attended a lecture by AmyJo Mattheis, who was the daughter of a Lutheran pastor, and became a pastor herself. She described her path to atheism - one step was leaving the church and trying to form a philosophical society based on Jesus' teachings.

In the Q&A, someone asked her about whether there was a historical Jesus. She said that someone else on her lecture tour had asked that, and her answer was that she didn't care if Jesus existed. Jesus exists in our culture, and that's enough.

I have to respect her position. There may be reasons to care if Jesus existed for a professional in the field of history or religion, and the issue is important for Christians who care about the Nicene Creed.

But otherwise, the issue raises an amount of emotion that seems totally out of proportion to the importance of the issue.
Yes, you gotta wonder why that is. There's apparantly some psychology there to be explained. To me it seems (sometimes) like a sort of atheist's crusade to exterminate Christianity, and removing the HJ is the determinative battle. But thats just me. Here in Europe there doesn't seem to be the same interest in the HJ/MJ debate (or war) as in the US.
Interesting question. Why US and much less in Europe, or closer to home: Why more in evangelic Christian circles for whom the HJ is a determinative battle defending the lie on which they stand, wherein also their hope is directed to wards the final day when their Jesus returns to take them home to be forever with him.

Amen, they would say, and are busy always working towards that day with the "Great Commission' wherein that promise is made but he will not come until that is finished, and so 'off to war' they will go.

You must remember here that America is only 300 years old and was a nation that was founded on that primary premise and for 200 years of those 300, maybe 4, was their only claim to fame.
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Old 05-23-2013, 06:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toto View Post
Last week I attended a lecture by AmyJo Mattheis, who was the daughter of a Lutheran pastor, and became a pastor herself. She described her path to atheism - one step was leaving the church and trying to form a philosophical society based on Jesus' teachings.

In the Q&A, someone asked her about whether there was a historical Jesus. She said that someone else on her lecture tour had asked that, and her answer was that she didn't care if Jesus existed. Jesus exists in our culture, and that's enough.

I have to respect her position. There may be reasons to care if Jesus existed for a professional in the field of history or religion, and the issue is important for Christians who care about the Nicene Creed.

But otherwise, the issue raises an amount of emotion that seems totally out of proportion to the importance of the issue.
I do not agree at all with her position.

Whether Jesus of Nazareth and his disciples existed is extremely important for every person to know.

Religion is an integral part of human development for thousands of years.

It would appear to me that belief in the unknown and unproven has had a very negative effect on mankind.

It is most astonishing that some cannot even entertain the notion that Jesus of Nazareth and his disciples were fabricated.

Now, if Jesus of Nazareth and his disciples had no real existence then those who do not care really do not care about the history of the development of religion.

We have thousands of writings about Jesus and the disciples so it is extremely easy to understand that Jesus of Nazareth and his disciples had NO real existence.
You always miss the point completely, wherein the real questions is: "was Jesus from Nazareth" or was he not? and that is why one must look at the story-line to understand and not history to know. . . . and do you see why they called those 'touch, sniff and tasters' "flat earthers" back then?

And no! Religion is an integral part of social development wherein our humanity is the enemy to be defeated who "cannot be greater that He who is you," to which our humanity is conditional at best to always remain the unknown in the shadow of truth that they seek . . . that is held before them as if on flashcards to see by those in the know. IOW, doubters cannot be conceived to exist before truth has been exposed to be understood also by them.

In the NT they set the paraclete free via the Son to entertain Saints and sinners alike that so brought fire down to earth to add spice to life for the Saints and gave room to roam for sinners to spread like a wild fire would, and these are those who would care if the historical Jesus was real or was not.
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:02 AM   #7
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her answer was that
1. she didn't care if Jesus existed.
2. Jesus exists in our culture, and that's enough.
I see this as two different questions. She accept to meet people interested in Jesus
or being invited to such meetings so one could expect her to have some view on HJ.
Not that she has to but the answer she gives leave many unsatisfied.

But I very much agree with her view that it is the religious traditions cultural
and political and psychological Jesus that is the working motivation in Christian faith.

It is the Jesus that is "alive" now that do the saving and not the Historical Jesus.

The HJ needs to be there for to make the story real enough to work for the Fundamentalists.
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:19 AM   #8
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her answer was that
1. she didn't care if Jesus existed.
2. Jesus exists in our culture, and that's enough.
I see this as two different questions. She accept to meet people interested in Jesus
or being invited to such meetings so one could expect her to have some view on HJ.
Not that she has to but the answer she gives leave many unsatisfied.

But I very much agree with her view that it is the religious traditions cultural
and political and psychological Jesus that is the working motivation in Christian faith.

It is the Jesus that is "alive" now that do the saving and not the Historical Jesus.

The HJ needs to be there for to make the story real enough to work for the Fundamentalists.
Nono, spit it our dear friend! Jesus is the anti-christ to be crucified. God saves and he will send Jesus to get the job done on your behalf . . . so you will be a Jesuit-by-nature all on your own, to leave him hanging there and walk away from the cross as your very own self.
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:26 AM   #9
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Last week I attended a lecture by AmyJo Mattheis, who was the daughter of a Lutheran pastor, and became a pastor herself. She described her path to atheism - one step was leaving the church and trying to form a philosophical society based on Jesus' teachings.

In the Q&A, someone asked her about whether there was a historical Jesus. She said that someone else on her lecture tour had asked that, and her answer was that she didn't care if Jesus existed. Jesus exists in our culture, and that's enough.

I have to respect her position. There may be reasons to care if Jesus existed for a professional in the field of history or religion, and the issue is important for Christians who care about the Nicene Creed.

But otherwise, the issue raises an amount of emotion that seems totally out of proportion to the importance of the issue.
It's a diversion really. How does the depth or fervor of belief in improbable historic events advance spirituality?
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Old 05-23-2013, 09:04 AM   #10
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The topic matter of this subforum is one that is almost entirely unfamiliar to me, but I have dabbled in the subject matter on occasion at my own leisure, and find certain aspects of it interesting. If the discussions and threads were focused more on discussing how likely or unlikely certain viewpoints are and what there really is or is not evidence for, that would be more fun to watch than the constant bickering and insulting back and forth. It sometimes is like watching a fight between children with them arguing over who started it, or who is doing it worse than the other, at the expense of discussing the more interesting topics.

It would be so nice if everyone just stopped the goading and the insulting, immediately. Yeah someone started it and others are doing it more or less than others, but let's just finish it all, now. People who want to read that kind of petty exchange can go pretty much anywhere on the internet to find it. What is different to this forum is all the worthwhile discussion that can be had in its place, about various topics on various holy books and how best to interpret them. It would be so nice to kick up a notch the discussions that are present here, in terms of substance and away from the schoolyard taunting.



On a more personal note, I will add again that the topic of Biblical criticism is one I am very unfamiliar with, but lately I have been reading Doherty's "The Jesus Puzzle" and am very much enjoying it. Previously in my life I was only ever exposed to the standard conservative Christian apologetic perspective that the Bible is to be taken literally and everything described about Jesus was what really happened, and to a lesser extent have heard the different views that Jesus was just human but then myths and stories developed about him that were described in the NT but not literally true. Reading about this other possibility of mythicism is extremely eye-opening to me and is opening up new ways of thinking about so much of the origins of the Christian religion, and I am very appreciative of that. I am not informed on the subject enough to be able to evaluate the details of the arguments, but I do want to thank Earl for writing this book on the subject (and also "Challenging the Verdict" as a very helpful rebuttal to Lee Strobel's "Case for Christ").

If everybody would stick more to the subject at hand and lay off the personal snipes at each other, that would be so much more informative and interesting. As someone who just lurks sometimes and does not post, I really do not give a shit who started it or who is sniping worse than who. I just want to learn more about the subject, and that tends to happen when the discussion focuses more on the substance of the arguments and less on the nagging of each other.

Thanks,

Brian
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