And if there was no historic Yeshua ben Yosef?

0c40f5b5954f1d72906912392626cde2This Salon piece (linked there from Alternet) lists five reasons that point to the notion that Jesus never existed.

I find this conversation fascinating. If Jesus (as I know Jesus, the Jesus of my Sunday school lessons) wasn’t the son of God, was strictly a charismatic rabbi around whom a religion was built, would that change my notion about Christianity? Probably not. Do I feel like I need to defend his divine-ness against the nay-sayers? I do not.

I don’t know if that’s me just walking away from a fight, or me seeing the fruitlessness of trying to explain something I hardly understand myself. Anyway: Enjoy the read.

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  1. Not even gonna. I think if I read one more article on the issue my eyeballs will explode. (That’s a mighty tan Jesus there!)

    Whether Jesus existed “actually”, what form he took, etc. etc. is irrelevant. Because Jesus Christ exists obviously, through the religion that bears his name, which exerts varying degrees of influence, through the minion devoted to that religion, on everybody in this country every minute of every damn day. Even if SCIENCE! could somehow come up with incontrovertible evidence Scriptural Jesus never existed “actually”, it would make no difference to the minion. In fact, it would probably make them cleave even more closely to their faith.

    There are more pressing problems Christians need to deal with. Like…how to share…why to share…when to STFU…taxes…the Law…cherry-picking…consensus…idolatry…hypocrisy…racism…hate…WAR…

  2. Despite not being into the whole god/Jesus thing I’ve always liked this quote which you may find helpful. “I am a friend of God, not his interpreter. God never apologizes, we must not apologize for him.”

    The reason I like it is because my values are my beliefs if you will. As long as I live them, I don’t feel all that compelled to defend them.

    1. I believe I have arrived at that same notion, after spending my youth defending my faith, and trying to win people over to it. I’m done with all that. I’d rather be practicing my faith and maybe one day? I’ll be good at it.

  3. I stopped reading part way into it because the mention of exclusion of Jesus in pagan writing etc is meaningless. It wasn’t as if Jesus had his own version of a reality show or radio show where all could see or hear of his life events and hear his message. It took word of mouth, passing of stories from one person to another…generations to spread his messages. In any case, for me, what is identified to being divine is not what matters (though that is what matters most to a lot of Christians). There is much to learn from Jesus. His love and openness, and his service to people who have been marginalized and are struggling? That is what guides me. There is a heaven-on-earthness about it and sadly, we are far from it. Though, it gives us all a mission if we choose to take it. A bodily resurrection is not important to me because the body is just a house of the soul in my opinion. Whether or not it happened means nothing because there is nothing that needs proving at that point, to me. What matters to me is his message of love was resurrected and kept alive for eternity. Sadly, the message has been twisted and abused, as we have witnessed in recent decades, to fit fear and sometimes hate, the opposite of my Jesus.

    1. Mine, too. I’m a fairly lame Christian because I do sometimes wonder if the man we know as Jesus is really an amalgamation of centuries of good thoughts — the ideal person, say, though not a real historical being. I don’t wonder about that for long, because the amalgamation is still a good person to try to live up to.

      1. My thoughts exactly! I don’t think it makes you a lame Christian at all! You try to follow a path that involves caring for and loving your fellow humans. You appropriately hold people accountable for bad behavior that negatively affects others, but don’t judge a person based on individual benign choices or for who they are otherwise. You try to do what you can while enjoying the beauty of life for yourself and close loved ones. No one can follow a perfect path (did Jesus or was it the amalgamation?), but we can do our best to try. You do that well.

        The thing is, depending on the Christian, we don’t strive for the same Jesus path. I like your path, DJ.

      2. You guys have read it. The message of the New Testament has nothing to do with Jesus The Man. You don’t need to believe that Jesus existed “actually” to find value in a call to Compassion.

        I mean…ask Karl Marx. All over Acts 4. And he’s not so all alone in that.

        I’ve read it. Bunches. I don’t believe Jesus is a god. I don’t care what his real name was…whether he’s an amalgamation of Esseni activists…or a complete myth. I believe in The Message: Love Saves.

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