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The “Historical Jesus” is a Sideshow

Does anyone have a count on how many books and other media materials purport to describe the “real” Jesus? There are so many theories describing a human Jesus that the most important fact about Jesus is lost: the gospel stories about him are mostly myth, if not completely myth.

It was the myth of Jesus that gave him importance. If the stories were based on some real human named Jesus, he was a very insignificant historical person. But, his followers created a mythical Jesus with the gospel stories. It was the myth of Jesus that was the foundation of Christianity. Myths are not true…they are lies. Christianity was built on lies. Today, even many Christians understand that the Jesus story is not true; but, fail to understand that an untruth is a lie.

The search for the historical Jesus is an exercise in grasping at straws to save Christianity. It is a sideshow because the big tent began to collapse with the Age of Reason. The descriptions of a historical Jesus are rationalizations, distracting from the hard truth that Jesus Christ never existed.

Non-believers should avoid being dragged into the delusion of the “Historical Jesus” and concentrate on exposing the lie at the heart of Christianity.

"The only qualification to be a member of Nexus is to be a nontheist. Other than that we are a community. Civil debate is welcome in the forum, but should not be tolerated in individual groups (unless this is the purpose of the group), and on member pages." - Brother Richard.

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Comment by Matt VDB on September 17, 2010 at 11:14am
Diana,

"I deleted the comments. It is pretty strange to find atheists acting like what they learned about the Bible is the gospel and contrary views deserve an attack. Questions and discussion are great; but, I am not going to spend all day debating armchair theologians."

Any particular reason why you deleted my comments? I simply answered your question (why you find me debating these issues) and acknowledged your apology. Why does that deserve to be deleted? I'm being incredibly polite here (in contrast to you: you called me a troll) so I have no idea why you deleted my comment.

Glen,

"But it seems to me that Matt's attack was gratuitous and disproportionate like there is some agenda."

What on Earth would be my agenda? And what on Earth have I done here that you think I deserve to get comments removed?
Comment by Sigmund on September 17, 2010 at 11:02am
A final version of my thoughts on the subject can be seen here, if anyone is interested...
Comment by Sigmund on September 17, 2010 at 11:00am
Hi Diana, some good points, although as usual people are ignoring/missing the most important one (the relative insignificance of 'real Jesus' compared to the contruct 'Jesus Christ', and how and most importantly why he/it came to be constructed), in favour of bickering over the usual points.
Comment by Glen Rosenberg on September 17, 2010 at 10:50am
Diana-There is a reality show in nearly every law office. I agree with you that AN is a free market place for ideas. But it seems to me that Matt's attack was gratuitous and disproportionate like there is some agenda. And then his acolytes pile on. Strange.
Comment by Diana Agorio on September 17, 2010 at 10:45am
Glen - I can imagine that you met up with all kinds in the legal profession. I deleted the comments. It is pretty strange to find atheists acting like what they learned about the Bible is the gospel and contrary views deserve an attack. Questions and discussion are great; but, I am not going to spend all day debating armchair theologians. It is fine if people disagree with something I said. But, it is ridiculous to act like questions such as "when was the OT written?' or "was Jesus a real person?" are settled questions. And, to think that an argument on a social networking site is going to settle those questions is also ridiculous.
Comment by Glen Rosenberg on September 16, 2010 at 11:41pm
Diana,
Now I remember why I quit my law practice. So I dont have to deal with wierdos, deviants, miscreants, neerdowells, assholes, at your feet or at your throaters-just to mention a few.
Comment by Diana Agorio on September 16, 2010 at 10:36pm
Yes, Jo.
There is never just one answer or excuse for explaining why no one can find Jesus. I vote for Paulanity too.
Comment by Diana Agorio on September 16, 2010 at 9:54pm
Matt - I doubt very much that atheists will do what I tell them, just because I said so. I take your point that it was a poor choice of wording on my part.

I find it odd that an atheist like yourself spends all of his time on Atheist Nexus defending Christianity and the Bible. That type of behavior is represented by another mythical character, rumored to live under bridges.
Comment by Matt VDB on September 16, 2010 at 6:02pm
Hi Diana,

"However, you most likely are ignorant of the counter-arguments."

Think again in that case: I'm aware of the counter-arguments very well. Still, it's very nice of you to add the qualifier "most likely" instead of simply asserting it. That makes for a pleasant change.

Also, there's no need to explain to me that you're busy: I understand that and I'm busy too. I'm not asking you to engage in a lengthy debate on anything, I just asked you a simple question: why do you insist on telling non-believers what to do even though you yourself admit that there is a historical character (though insignificant) at the core of the Christian sect? If you're not willing to answer that simple question, then I really do wonder why you bothered to make that comment at all...

Jo,

"And this is the driven-by-religious-tradition logical fallacy. "Look how popular the story of Hansel and Gretel is."

Do you have written documents of people who claim to have met family members of Hans and Gretsel (and who are independently confirmed by historians of the time) just a few years before their writing. No? What about Beowulf? No as well? Then your analogies makes absolutely no sense.

"And once again, not to say that IS what happened, saying it could just as well be what happened. We. Don't. Know."

We don't know for sure. There's a difference there. You seem to have a great deal of trouble with the fact that we can't know for sure whether or not deeds and sayings are embellished or whether they are genuine. I agree that we can't for sure. But so what? We can't know that for any set of sayings of anyone who has ever existed in the ancient world or indeed in the before the age of video and audio material. We can't know anything in the way you demand.

But let's take the example you bring up: is it likely that Jesus said "turn the other cheek" or an Aramaic phrase that conveyed that message. Well, let's see: (i) it's confirmed along various lines of evidence (gMark, Q, gJohn, special M) (ii) it's consistent with what we know about apocalyptic views on morality of the time and (iii) it's corroborated by the earliest known manuscripts.
Does that mean that we know for sure that he said it? No. But only a bigot would tip-toe around the fact that he most likely did.

Take care,

Matt
Comment by Jo Jerome on September 16, 2010 at 3:10pm
Hence my suggestion that the name of the religion should be changed from Christianity to Paulanity.

We speak of historical Jesus, if he existed, being an insignificant character. So insignificant it appears, that one must ask, "If his teachings were so grand and revolutionary and important, if they were trying to start a religion, why he or those around him during his lifetime bother to write it down then?" The most likely hypothesis that springs to my mind is because there either was no central figure, and/or his teachings were not so grand or revolutionary, and/or he and his initial followers were not trying to revolutionize or start a religion.

Or, they did write it down and those writings have since been lost.

Or destroyed as they attempted to destroy the gnostic gospels because the powers that be didn't approve.

Or because until Paul no one had the forethought to write any of it down.

Or...

Or...

Or...

We're free to pick one. We're doing ourselves and our audience a massive disservice to pick one and dismiss the rest as completely implausible.

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