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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Other Topics  |  Off Topic Discussion  |  Special Poll for Easter - WHO WAS JESUS OF NAZARETH? « previous next »
Poll
Question: Who or what do you think Jesus of Nazareth was?  (Voting closed: May 07, 2012, 03:39:23 PM)
The Son of God - 10 (43.5%)
A First Century Jewish Mystic - 1 (4.3%)
A Lunatic - 0 (0%)
A Prophet - 0 (0%)
Mainly a Myth - 6 (26.1%)
A First Century Political Revolutionary - 6 (26.1%)
A Misunderstood Rabbi - 0 (0%)
Total Voters: 20

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Author Topic: Special Poll for Easter - WHO WAS JESUS OF NAZARETH?  (Read 3772 times)
indianasmith
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« on: April 07, 2012, 03:39:23 PM »

"Who do men say that I am?" Jesus asked his disciples once.
To this day, answers to that question vary.  There are a wide variety of viewpoints on this forum;
so I am interested in your answers.  I'm not going to try to convert you*, but I would like it if you
added why you think what you do about Him.
So - who was Jesus?












*much
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indianasmith
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« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2012, 03:42:01 PM »

I'll reply first to my own poll.
I believe He was the Son of God, as most of you know if you've been here any time at all.
The four Gospels in our Bible were all written well within the lifetime of the eyewitnesses,
and the events they describe, and the teachings of Jesus they record, all sound like the Son
of God to me.  To top it off, I am convinced the Resurrection is a real historical event, and
if He truly returned to life after being flayed with a whip, nailed to a cross, and skewered with
a spear, then Who else could He be?


Your turn!
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« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2012, 03:56:31 PM »

I don't know. the thing I think most about Jesus is something Andrew Greely said. While we all know Jesus today,  in his own time he was in a sense irrelvent.  He was saying the kingdom of heaven is at hand while people were arguing about the roman occupation, the end times, and how to interpret biblical law. He was above the fray in other words. His message was the real message, not the political message. 
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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2012, 04:35:35 PM »

Are those the only choices?  Could your answers be limiting?  Or repetitive?
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« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2012, 04:39:22 PM »

A guy who, like many others of the time, was dissatisfied with the religious establishment and its corruption.  He also had, again like many others, some religious/political ideas that differed from the mainstream, so he gained his own following.  And I think it can't be denied that he really liked to be the center of attention.   Smile

Kind of amazing really - considering how many people back then were doing the exact same thing, they were forgotten while he rose to be a defining figure in Western civilization.
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« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2012, 04:41:49 PM »

Hmmmm...I dunno.
A dead guy a lotta people get on their knees and pray to.
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« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2012, 05:01:54 PM »

Indy, out of respect for the Easter holiday, I will do naught but cast my vote. You and I have gotten into this before. If you truly would like to discuss it again, I will be happy to via PM.
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indianasmith
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« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2012, 05:42:59 PM »

I respect your choice, but I do hope you know I find your beliefs more fascinating than offensive!

I meant to add the choice of "a great natural philosopher" to the poll, but I forgot.  Thomas Jefferson once referred to Jesus as the "greatest natural philosopher who ever lived."
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« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2012, 05:51:13 PM »

I respect your choice, but I do hope you know I find your beliefs more fascinating than offensive!

I meant to add the choice of "a great natural philosopher" to the poll, but I forgot.  Thomas Jefferson once referred to Jesus as the "greatest natural philosopher who ever lived."

I'll agree with the philosopher part-he was a smart man-waaay ahead of his time in his thoughts. And a good man.
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claws
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« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2012, 10:32:15 PM »

Hmmmm...I dunno.
A dead guy a lotta people get on their knees and pray to.

I'm with RC, but I guess the hip thing to say is he was a "Zombie". But I'm no hipster.
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« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2012, 03:13:30 AM »

I went with "A First Century Political Revolutionary" as the most likely answer to who Jesus was.

What Jesus has become is a far more interesting topic. I view the idea of "Jesus" as a human construct that has become an incredibly loaded zeitgeist of idea and meaning. Of course, if you've been here any time at all, you know that I do not believe any of the religious ideas that have sprung up around him as being "true."

However, "Jesus" is one of the prime movers of history and human consciousness over the past few millenia. In that sense, the historical truth does not matter, the effect of the idea of Jesus is much more powerful than what the reality may have been. The idea is now a greater reality than the truth could be.

But that's my take, and I certainly don't want to convert anybody to my way of looking at things*.





*much
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« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2012, 10:52:08 AM »

I went with a myth -- just my personal belief, however that does not mean that that idea of a Jesus-like figure or Jesus himself cannot inspire people to live better lives or to evaluate their lives. In fact I believe that to be the case with many religious folks.
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« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2012, 09:31:55 PM »

I respect your choice, but I do hope you know I find your beliefs more fascinating than offensive!

I meant to add the choice of "a great natural philosopher" to the poll, but I forgot.  Thomas Jefferson once referred to Jesus as the "greatest natural philosopher who ever lived."

I'll agree with the philosopher part-he was a smart man-waaay ahead of his time in his thoughts. And a good man.

The trouble with this point of view is that he can't be a good man who claimed to be God.

He DID claim to be God become man.  Many times and in many ways he stated this.

So is he a "good" man who falsely claimed to be God?  (Some of the most dangerous people in history have been people who declared themselves to be God.)   You can't claim to be God (and not be) and still be by any definition "good."

So he was God, or he wasn't.  It's true or false, really simple.  He *was* God, and he was a good man (as I believe), or else he was most, most definitively NOT a good man, because in the other case he'd be a tremendous liar.

Not trying to attack you personally, RC.  I  think you have seen me around here enough to know that I care about you and would not attack you personally even in word.  But I've heard that particular point of view and I just have to pipe up.  Most of the stuff we argue in this world is not of any long term consequence.  On the internet, that is trebly the case.  But this point is, pardon my awesome understatement, important.
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« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2012, 10:17:56 PM »


So he was God, or he wasn't.  It's true or false, really simple.  He *was* God, and he was a good man (as I believe), or else he was most, most definitively NOT a good man, because in the other case he'd be a tremendous liar.


That seems a false dichotomy. I can think of at least five other possibilities under which Jesus could be a good man and not be the son of God.

1. A man could be good but be deluded.
2. Maybe Jesus never claimed to be the Son of God, and this is only a claim his disciples made for him after his death.
3. His divinity could be a "noble lie," known to be literally untrue, although it is believed that more good will come from telling the lie than from telling the truth.
4. Jesus was speaking metaphorically and not literally.
5. Jesus was misunderstood and misquoted by his disciples.
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indianasmith
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« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2012, 11:59:46 PM »

The first possibility - that Jesus was a good but deluded person who sincerely believed in His Godhood - is certainly plausible.  I don't buy it, but it would make sense.

2 and 5 are fairly similar, and have been posited by a number of skeptical scholars over the years. But there is no motivation for 2, and no real reason to believe 3 - especially when we consider the early dates for the three synoptic Gospels.
4 - That one is hard to make a case for. Again, assuming the quotes are accurate, Jesus claimed to be divine in pretty clear and unambiguous terms. He forgave sins, accepted worship, said that He would judge the dead on the last day, and claimed to have known Abraham and others who lived long before He was born.
3 - a "noble lie" - I have a hard time with.  A group of men who were too cowardly to defend Jesus when He was arrested, or to stand by His side as he died, suddenly cooked up this story and were willing to face a martyr's death for something they KNEW to be false?  And what "greater good" would their lie really accomplish if it encouraged people to entrust their souls to something that was fundamentally false?
As for 5, I think that is the case that many modern critics, from Bart Ehrman to the "Jesus Seminar," have tried to make -that the Gospel writers got it wrong. There I think you again have to look at it from this perspective - the Biblical gospels are the earliest, and most reliable, accounts of Jesus' life we have.  Everything else dates from much, much later, long after the eyewitnesses were dead. The earliest Gnostic Gospels, those attributed to Thomas and Judas, are both between AD 150 and 200.  That's 120 years, minimum, after the crucifixion.  Matthew, Mark, and Luke were most likely all composed before 70 AD, and probably a decade or so before that.  That puts them well within the lifetime of the ones who knew Jesus.  In short, if the Biblical gospels do not present an accurate picture of Jesus, then no such picture exists.  They are the best we have to go on.
I think, in evaluating the claims of Jesus, you eventually come back to the trilemma first pointed out by C.S. Lewis - Jesus of Nazareth may have been a liar, or a lunatic, or the Lord.  But a good man He was not.
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"Carpe Ngo Diem!" - Seize the South Vietnamese Dictator!
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