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Thread: Bible study Issue 2: Establishing Jesus as the Messiah

  1. #1
    crazylilting Guest

    Bible study Issue 2: Establishing Jesus as the Messiah

    It never occurred to me that people actually believed Jesus was born to a "Virgin" mother. Christians would of had a stronger case for Jesus as the Messiah if Joseph was his father. So For this thread Christians can prove that Jesus is the messiah, and people with other faiths or lack there of can prove that Jesus was not the Messiah.

  2. #2
    crazylilting Guest

    Re: Bible study Issue 2: Establishing Jesus as the Messiah

    Right, well then i'll start things off.

    For there to be a Messiah there needs to be a prophecy of one or there would be no need to fulfill anything. So Matthew and luke both refer to Isaiah 7:14 as the prophecy to prove that Jesus was in fact the messiah. What is curious about this though is why did they choose to make Jesus the sun of god or being born of a virgin instead of man? Other then John the baptist where is the biblical proof that people were waiting for God to take on human form and why? Curiosity aside it is clear that there are only two verses in the whole bible of one of the most incredible miracles that god performed (a virgin birth to a god).

    This single amazing birth gave birth to a religion so big and so long lasting and yet only two mentions of it? That in itself should raise a few eye brows shouldn't it? It is equally interesting that no where in the bible does it ever say that you should believe this virgin birth to gain entrance into heaven either.

    So I propose for discussion that in fact the two verses in matthew and luke are actually fraudulent verses that were never in the original writings of those books and that they were in fact put there by the church to further their agenda for supremacy in religion and control over the world. Lets discuss shall we?

  3. #3
    Midas Guest

    Re: Bible study Issue 2: Establishing Jesus as the Messiah

    Quote Originally Posted by crazylilting View Post
    It never occurred to me that people actually believed Jesus was born to a "Virgin" mother. Christians would of had a stronger case for Jesus as the Messiah if Joseph was his father. So For this thread Christians can prove that Jesus is the messiah, and people with other faiths or lack there of can prove that Jesus was not the Messiah.
    Perhaps an even better starting point would be for theists to attempt to justify why they believe that Jesus was a real person with even a fraction of the 'powers' attributed to him. As with many biblical stories there's sparse evidence outside either contemporary religious texts written by the same sect or of course the bible itself. In the case of Jesus the only external references that have emerged in 2,000 years are from Josephus, Pliny the Younger, Tacitus, Suetonius, Lucian, Galen, Celsus and Serapion. The report from Josephus has long been known to be a forgery, probably by a Christian scribe (although many biblical websites still quote it as 'evidence'), whilst the reports of Jesus contained in the various works of the other writers are very much multi-hand as they were variously written somewhere between 80 to 200 CE, so again hardly 'evidence'. If the biblical version of his death and resurrection were true, it's also astounding that there are no contemporary Roman records from the time which mention him, not one word, more so given that we have very complete records of the life and times of far less well remembered people throughout the region at the same time in history. Even the earliest 'official' record of the life of Jesus is that of the Gospel of Mark, written around 65 to 70 CE, still some 30 to 40 years after his death; plenty of time for the Jewish version of 'Chinese Whispers' to have magnified his 'powers'.

    My own view after many years' study is that he was, or at least was based on, a real and perfectly human person, but he was little more than the founder of yet another small Jewish sect, of which there were several at the time, which, after his death - he might well have been crucified, several thousand people were, and there's usual a grain of truth behind any story - 'got lucky' and started to gather more followers than others of its type, probably because of a lot of what we'd today term hype and spin. If that's put in the context of what we know about the people of the times and their general naivety, stories of fulfilled prophecies, virgin births, life after death and 'miracles' galore would have been totally believed and would have attracted followers by the score. The Jesus sect eventually won out to contemporary rival sects such as the followers of Appolonius, Simon Magus, John the Baptist, Simon Bar Kochba as well as to more established non-Jewish sects such as those of the followers of Isis and Mithras. The first known reference to the sect being called Christianity is in Acts 11, written somewhere around 45 to 50 CE.

    Surely before you can even start to think about and attempt to provide evidence for the so-called divine aspects of his life, one has to first be certain about the human aspects.

  4. #4
    crazylilting Guest

    Re: Bible study Issue 2: Establishing Jesus as the Messiah

    Surely before you can even start to think about and attempt to provide evidence for the so-called divine aspects of his life, one has to first be certain about the human aspects.
    I doubt jesus even existed, but to the Christian's he did. So if we can prove biblically that he is a fraud then it logically follows that the whole of Christianity must at least accept that they keep their fraudulent belief system to themselves.

    I am pretty sure that we can prove with their own bible that Jesus was nothing more then a rouge at best and at worst never even existed and was written into the bible to use as religion to end all religions. The question is do any Christians want to participate in revealing the truth? They seem good at parroting what they have been taught to say but can they actually engage in an intellectual discussion that may end up proving their very belief system as fraudulent.

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    Re: Bible study Issue 2: Establishing Jesus as the Messiah

    There’s a huge amount of theological study and comment that can reasonably go into this subject. The study of Jesus’ paternity raises more than the obvious questions. I wonder if the Church realises that by interfering with those ancient texts, and adding the nativity story, they trashed their doctrines pertaining to sex before marriage. (I’ll point it out later).
    I’d like if I may to repost the information about the biblical nativity story that I posted in the atheist thread.
    The trouble with the nativity story is actually far more devious than you might think. The earliest manuscripts of the 4 gospels available to papyrologists date to the 2nd century ad. The Vatican thought and hoped that such documents would never be found. They have copies secured in the secret Vatican library that of course they never planned to allow anyone to see.
    The nativity stories do not appear in the earliest copies of the gospels of Matthew and Luke. All of them begin with the ministry of John on the Jordan River.
    Anyone with an interest that is capable of reading the four gospel accounts objectively, read them and see how crudely and amateurishly the nativity stories seem to be edited onto the start of the gospel accounts. Luke and Matthew both list the genealogy of Jesus, then go on to recount two separate historically inaccurate accounts of the nativity.
    When you ask the questions "why would they list Jesus as the son of Joseph if he wasn't?" "Why are there huge chronological gaps from his childhood to meeting John at the Jordon, where the other two gospels converge?" "Why elsewhere in the new testament are there retrospective accounts of the life of Jesus, yet not one single retrospective mention of arguably the most important event, his conception and birth?"

    I think it's very clear to any objective reader, on close scrutiny, that the nativity stories were added to Matthew and Luke at a much later date in order to combat theological opposition from Jewish scholars that pointed out that a messiah must be born of a virgin, born in the city of David, flee to Egypt and return to his people from there.
    Jewish scholars could have easily pointed to the early Christian writings in circulation in the new Church and ask why this was not the case, because there is no mention of the nativity in any none canonical writings, and there is plenty of reasonable doubt when they are studied properly, that the nativity was never in the original gospels of Matthew and Luke.

    Indeed the Gospel of Matthew in its present form should be viewed with some suspicion by serious researchers. It was the most popular gospel amongst early Jewish Christians, because of its emphasis on keeping the law in its entirety, and the emphasis on the Jewsishness of Jesus. The Gospel of Matthew was called the Gospel of the Nazareans at the time, and was written in Aramaic. Up until very recently copies of this early Gospel were thought to be lost (although it has always been widely suspected that the Vatican has at least one copy). A papyrus document in relatively good condition is currently being translated and authenticated in Egypt, the title of which is “The Gospel of the Nazareans”. It is written in Aramaic and is thought to be a copy of the text which later became known as the Gospel of Matthew.
    The Gospel of the Nazareans did not contain the first two chapters of Matthew, apart from the genealogy of Jesus.
    The 4th century scholar Epiphanius described the Gospel of Matthew when commentating on it as “falsified and mutilated, and taken from the original Hebrew Gospel”.

    It’s also worth noting that Luke was Pauls travelling companion, wrote most of the book of acts, wrote some of Paul’s epistles for him via dictation from Paul, and yet Paul never mentions anything about the birth of Jesus in any of his letters to the early Churches. It strikes me as somewhat suspicious that Luke would devote 2 chapters of his Gospel account to the nativity story, travel for years with Paul, yet no mention is made of the nativity to the early Church. Did Luke discuss it with Paul? Did Paul not think it important enough to mention to the emerging church? Did Luke simply forget to mention it to Paul? None of these scenarios seem plausible to me. What seems far more plausible is that Luke’s Gospel underwent the same editing and revision as Matthews Gospel.

    On the flimsiness’ of the evidence for the existence of Jesus, it is impressive that evidence is so thin, and the nativity is so obviously a fabrication. It’s impressive that they went to so much trouble to have him born of a virgin, born in Bethlehem, persecuted by a king as an infant, flees to Egypt and then returns. Every single one of these events was a fulfilment of a self fulfilling prophesy. The obvious fantastic fabrications suggest that there was a mad ranting Rabbi around at the time who's teachings were impressive enough to those that knew him to have him be their messiah.

    On the point about sex before marriage, by including the nativity story, the Church succeeded in trashing its own policy. In Matthews account, we are told that Mary and Joseph were espoused. Modern translations record it as "engaged". In John's gospel, it is clear that as an adult, Jesus was regarded by those that knew him as the son of Joseph. One would assume, if the nativity is true, that the marital status of Mary and Joseph was well known when she became pregnant. Yet there is no suggestion anywhere that their relationship was in any way improper, or that becoming pregnant before being married was anything to be ashamed of or sinful.
    "I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours ." Steven Roberts

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  6. #6
    Midas Guest

    Re: Bible study Issue 2: Establishing Jesus as the Messiah

    Quote Originally Posted by crazylilting View Post
    I doubt jesus even existed, but to the Christian's he did. So if we can prove biblically that he is a fraud then it logically follows that the whole of Christianity must at least accept that they keep their fraudulent belief system to themselves.

    I am pretty sure that we can prove with their own bible that Jesus was nothing more then a rouge at best and at worst never even existed and was written into the bible to use as religion to end all religions. The question is do any Christians want to participate in revealing the truth? They seem good at parroting what they have been taught to say but can they actually engage in an intellectual discussion that may end up proving their very belief system as fraudulent.
    Along with the comments in DaveUK's subsequent post it is pretty clear that the vast majority of what's written about Jesus and his life in the new testament is at the very least an elaborate story. I would still maintain it's based on partial fact - if you dig into the vast majority of legends you'll find a core of fact around which the story has been woven, usually in allegorical terms - and those facts have subsequently been used as a basis for all the subsequent spin.

    Historians know from many, many other texts from around the same period that what we'd today term as fraudulent over-exaggeration of fact and plain, downright lies, were commonplace, and appeared to be as acceptable to people then as media spin and selective emphasis on certain facts is to us today. Any writings from that period in history have to be judged as suspect unless they can be corroborated by independent sources, which fortunately in the majority of instances is forthcoming. The big exception to this are religious writings, and I think I'm on pretty safe ground saying that a few geographical and historical facts apart, there's no independent corroboration of any part of the bible, either old or new testament. On the other hand there's a huge amount of evidence from a variety of sources to explain why the bible stories were written and what the likely facts behind the original stories were - as in the Noah's Ark story stemming from memories of widespread flooding at the end of the last ice age.

    What annoys me more than anything about the way most ardent theists argue their case is that they are generally ignorant of the facts on which their arguments are based, yet when this is pointed out to them, they immediately become defencive and when discussions put them into a corner whereby they have to face up to facts which are unpalatable to their beliefs, they either go silent or start diversionary tactics, setting up straw men to try to take the discussion away from fact and on to largely irrelevant philosophical points - Flash and his posts in the "Atheism: what it is and what it isn't" thread is a wonderful example of this, and the fallacy of circular argument - "God must exist."; "How do you know?"; "Because the bible says so."; "Why should I believe the bible?"; "Because the bible was written by god."

    I too would love to hear from any theists here who feel this is an inaccurate assessment and are prepared to say plainly and without circumlocution exactly why it is that they believe what's written in the bible even though there's no supporting evidence for it and often the belief flies in the face of both common sense and biological/physical fact. But I'm not holding my breath because in their heart of hearts, even the most committed theist must deep down know the truth as to what religion and religious belief are and how their ontological beginnings have been corrupted by 'the church' in it's continuous struggle for power and control over people's hearts and minds (and wallets). Even those theists who don't belong to any formal or organised religion surely can't deny that their faith is simply that, a completely unproven and unprovable belief that what they've been told is true, yet which they themselves have never challenged and are unlikely to do so because the result of that challenge will be to undermine their belief.

  7. #7
    crazylilting Guest

    Re: Bible study Issue 2: Establishing Jesus as the Messiah

    Good stuff so far, which brings up my next point. On Paul's ministry we read in acts 17: 11
    Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures.
    So what scriptures did they examine? The new testament wasn't written at the time so they must of been checking some other scriptures at the time to see if what Paul was saying was true. Turns out they were using the Tanakh. In fact any reference to scripture in the new testament is actually referring to the Tanakh.

    What is interesting is in Paul's letters to Timothy we read 2 Timothy 3:14-17:
    14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
    It is interesting that he is referring to Jesus's teachings in scripture yet the new testament isn't even on the scene yet. Christian's now days read the new testament and when ever there is a verse about the scriptures it actually isn't referring to the New Testament at all. So do modern day Christians have it all wrong right from the get go? The more nobel Christian's of Paul's day actually searched the "scriptures" to see what was being said was true.

    Dave, that is fascinating stuff you are talking about. Do you have any source material on that? I'd like to look further into it.

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    Re: Bible study Issue 2: Establishing Jesus as the Messiah

    Quote Originally Posted by crazylilting View Post
    Good stuff so far, which brings up my next point. On Paul's ministry we read in acts 17: 11

    So what scriptures did they examine? The new testament wasn't written at the time so they must of been checking some other scriptures at the time to see if what Paul was saying was true. Turns out they were using the Tanakh. In fact any reference to scripture in the new testament is actually referring to the Tanakh.

    What is interesting is in Paul's letters to Timothy we read 2 Timothy 3:14-17:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

    It is interesting that he is referring to Jesus's teachings in scripture yet the new testament isn't even on the scene yet. Christian's now days read the new testament and when ever there is a verse about the scriptures it actually isn't referring to the New Testament at all. So do modern day Christians have it all wrong right from the get go? The more nobel Christian's of Paul's day actually searched the "scriptures" to see what was being said was true.

    Dave, that is fascinating stuff you are talking about. Do you have any source material on that? I'd like to look further into it.
    Check out Bart d Ehrmans books, lost Christianities and lost scriptures.
    With respect I think your assessment is a little off track. Usualy when "scripture" is mentioned in the NT, its refering to the OT. The Tanakh was simply a Greek translation of the OT or Torah. Paul quoted the OT all the time in his letters to the Churches, so did Peter. There's every reason to believe that the new Greek Churches were well educated in the ancient Hebrew scriptures. By that time the Torah and the prophets had been long ago translated into Greek and were in wide circulation.
    Jesus often quoted the OT often too, he even quoted a psalm as he was being crucified.
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    Re: Bible study Issue 2: Establishing Jesus as the Messiah

    Quote Originally Posted by Midas View Post
    Surely before you can even start to think about and attempt to provide evidence for the so-called divine aspects of his life, one has to first be certain about the human aspects.
    Great thread chaps. Anyway, I highlight this particular point because it shows how clever Christianity is as a manipulative system of control. By stating that the Bible is the word of God and cannot be questioned, such 'human apsects' are only reported outside of that text. Thereby the historian goes up against God and guess who wins in the eyes of the brainwashed masses indoctrinated from birth? The amount of evidence to the contrary can NEVER be enough to convince them to question that which is in the Bible, because it is 'the book'. Its ingenius in its simplicity. Whats interesting is that this debate some 2000 years later, is at its core the same competing arguments, the athiest has his belief in humanity and the historical record, the theist is still reliant on God. That same reliance on elevating the humanity of a person by attaching 'God' to them is still as alive today as it was back then, when a group of men decided to perpetuate a fraud.

    My take is that yes a person called Jesus probably lived at around those times. He probably garnered some support as Midas decribes, then he was indeed executed. He wasn't born of a virgin mother and he didn't get ressurrected after his death because those 2 things are impossble. The tradegy is that he most likely was an insprirational figure, its a shame such miracles had to be attached to him after his death because 'the church' wouldn't deem him important enough without them. He couldn't simply be a phrophet no, they had to make him the son of God.
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  10. #10
    crazylilting Guest

    Re: Bible study Issue 2: Establishing Jesus as the Messiah

    The Tanakh was simply a Greek translation of the OT or Torah
    Yes it was. And during Paul's ministry that was what was being used. He was referring to the Berean's who were from Greece. At which time The Torah had already been translated. I am not sure if during Jesus's supposed days that the Tanakh existed so it makes sense he refereed to the Torah.

    he even quoted a psalm as he was being crucified
    As one would... lol


    However i don't want us to loose sight that any reference to scripture in the New Testament was not in fact the New Testament. It was the old Testament. Tanakh or Torah. I think the Tanakh was more complete though as I think the Torah was mostly gods promise etc... but because men did not follow the word of God god gave them warnings which were included in the Tanakh.

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