• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

How Christianity's "Jesus" was an invention of desperate men

Arkage

Gold Member
Sep 25, 2012
2,610
1,397
815
A quick personal background; I used to be deeply Christian. But the college years came and my faith shifted dramatically. John Shelby Spong led to Elaine Pagels led to Bart Ehrman led to Sam Harris, completing my transition from Christian to atheist within two or so years. I'm not some life-long atheist coming here to shit on the Christian parade. I'm here as someone who was convinced, step by step, out of my faith through reasoned arguments. I'm going to lay out here my understanding of who Jesus was. If you want to read the full paper I wrote on it you can do so here, as I will present a significantly abridged version in this thread. It's kind of a sprawling mess as I wrote it out years ago and haven't edited it to any degree. This also isn't meant to be a comprehensive thing: if a particular section interests you, I promise there are entire books focusing upon it worth reading. This is just a brief sketch of the overall picture as I see it.

________________________________________________________
The New Testament

It's divided roughly into Gospels and Epistles. There are four Gospels, and the purpose was to convey Jesus' message. These are claimed to be eyewitness accounts of people who traveled with Jesus. The rest are epistles written by Paul, a person who never met Jesus and claims none of his information was given to him by others, but rather from a vision (Gal 1:11-12). Paul also disagrees with Peter, a close apostle of Jesus, on a huge topic, salvation (Gal 2:11-16). Additionally, the epistles were written as letters to churches, talking about all manner of topics. So when determining what the "original" oral/written Jesus story was, Paul and the epistles is a poor source.

________________________________________________________
Gospel Authors

The Gospels claim to be written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, two disciples of Jesus who lived and traveled with him and two companies of disciples. As is to be expected, proving authorship back then was incredibly dubious. Anybody could pretend to be anyone else, so merely applying a label isn't enough. Specifically, Matthew's author wrote in third person "they" throughout, even during events involving Matthew specifically. John's author explicitly says at he's writing down a testimony of someone else, and the Gospel was written 60-70 years after Jesus' death. Mark, even if was the author, was not a disciple nor eyewitness. Luke, even if he was the author, was also not a disciple nor eyewitness. Accounting for all this, it's also unlikely any disciples or companions would be able to read or write in Greek as education was a premium and Jesus and his followers were known to be dirt poor and speaking Hebrew.

_________________________________________________________
Which Gospel Stories are Reliable?

There are four criteria historians use in probabilistic terms. 1) The earlier the better. Mark wins here as he uses more primitive language. Many of Marks stories are copied word for word into Luke and Matthew and are cleaned up a bit (think proofreading/editing). These shared stories are the "first" source. The "second" source (called Q) is the shared stories between Luke and Matthew (but not Mark). Again, stories that are identical in many places word-for-word implies both Luke and Matt were copying off the same original source, one that Mark didn't have. Stories exclusive to Matt are a third source, stories exclusive to Luke is a fourth.


What about John? John was written 60 years after the death of Jesus, much later than Mark/Luke/Matt, with a very different narrative and tone with very few shared stories. Think of John as a later reaction to the original three Gospels.

2) The more sources the better. We now established 4 sources: Mark, Q, Matt and Luke. If a story is common between them it's more likely true.

3) It is better to cut against the grain. If a story is changed or manipulated by a scribe or author it's in service to the author's own ideas about Jesus. Any story that is opposite of what early Orthodox Christians would want it to say is more likely authentic.

4) Fit historical context. Some stories require Jesus having conversations in Greek for it to make sense. This would be highly unlikely, and thus unreliable.

____________________________________________________
Jesus' Jewish Audience

150 years before Jesus a Jewish philosophy of "apocalyptics" formed. They believed the world was filled with good and evil, that the current age was evil, and that God would intervene with a "son of Man" to literally overthrow evil and bring in the Kingdom of God. Enoch and Ezra both reference this, texts written just prior to the time of Jesus.

“And they [the people of God] had great joy, and they blessed and praised and exalted because the name of the Son of Man had been revealed to them. And he sat on the throne of his glory, and the whole judgment was given to the Son of Man, and he will cause the sinners to pass away and be destroyed from the face of the earth. And those who led astray the world will be found in chains, and will be shut up in the assembly place of their destruction, and all their works will pass away from the face of the earth. And from then on there will be nothing corruptible, for that Son of Man has appeared and has sat on the throne of his glory, and everything evil will pass away and go from before him.” 1 Enoch 69

_____________________________________________________
What Jesus Told His Audience

"Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of that one will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.... Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see that the Kingdom of God has come in power." Mark 8:38-9:1

"And in those days, after that affliction, the sun will grow dark and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the sky will be shaken; and then they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds with great power and glory. And then he will send forth his angels and he will gather his elect from the four winds, from the end of earth to the end of heaven... Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away before all these things take place." Mark 13:24-27, 30

Jesus was preaching that the very people standing before him and listening to him would see this "son of Man" bringing a literal end to wickedness. That why his message was so appealing, real change, coming real soon, for all the downtrodden Jews.

"For just as the flashing lightning lights up the earth from one part of the sky to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day... And just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating, drinking, marrying, and giving away in marriage, until the day that Noah went into the ark and flood came and destroyed them all. So too will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed" Luke 17:24; 26-27; Matthew 24:27, 37-39

"Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the culmination of the age. The Son of Man will send forth his angels, and they will gather from his kingdom every cause of sin and all who do evil, and they will cast them into the furnace of fire. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun, in the kingdom of their father."Matthew 13:40-43

This is wonderful news for the oppressed Jewish population. And makes the following passage much more understandable:

“Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:25-26

Why would Jesus make all of his followers give up all of their earthly possessions and all family, children included? Wouldn't this ruin society? Only if you think society is something that will last. If a follower wouldn't give up their belongings and family, Jesus took this to mean that the person didn't truly believe the world age was ending soon, in “their generation.”

“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.” Matthew 19:29

_________________________________________________
On Salvation

How can you be saved and avoid this coming damnation for the wicked? Mark 10:17-25: 1) Follow the commandments (Jewish law) 2) Give all your wealth and material belongings to the poor Matt 5:17-20: Follow Jewish law "until heaven and earth disappear." Matt 25:31-46: Do humanitarian works to go to Heaven. Notice not a single mention of having to think Jesus is God or your personal savior in these passages.

John the Baptist was preaching this exact message before Jesus even entered the scene (Luke 3:7-11). Do humanitarian works, give your wealth to the poor to be saved

And again, in Matt 7:15-23 Jesus explicitly rebukes "good words" as a way to be saved. Only actions that produce good will save you. A huge contrast to modern Christianity.

__________________________________________________
What about prophecies?

As established earlier, Jesus preached the end times were near, and end to wickedness and evil. And so that's what the early church thought even after his death, hoping something big would still happen:

“After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.” 1 Thess 4:17-18

The followers who were “still alive” thought they’d be swept up into heavens in their lifetimes. But what happens when Jesus doesn’t show up year after year after year?

“First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation." 2 Peter 3:3-4

“Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come.” 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2

Hebrews 10:25 speaks of Christian communities dispersing of their own accord. In Revelation, only 2 of the 7 communities were competently holding themselves together. The early church system couldn't maintain itself if it kept preaching about Jesus' imminent return to destroy the wicked as promised, which is why the leaders like Paul and the authors of the Gospels gradually reinterpreted the timing for this event.

Jesus undoubtedly taught the end times were coming soon, right along with John the baptist. This is to fulfill apocalyptic Prophecy found in Daniel and Enoch and Ezra. When Jesus died, his followers still continued to believe he’d fulfill this prophecy upon his return. But he didn’t return(I'll address the Resurrection later), his followers started to lose interest, and so the message changed. No longer is it Prophecy about today, but rather Prophecy about some unknown future date – a concept that the original Jewish audience would’ve had no interest in, as this isn't how OT scripture said things would happen.

________________________________________________
The Deeds and Activities of Jesus

How does Jesus' life fit into the context established so far? His baptism can be understand as him siding with John the baptist, a fellow Jewish apocalyptic prophet. He was baptized by John for the forgiveness of his sins, which makes little sense unless viewed as a Jewish human rather than divine. His 12 disciples were for ruling in the coming Kingdom of God (Matt 19:28), unifying the Jewish nation. Jesus' (supposed) miracles are evidence of the coming Kingdom of God arriving very soon to end the evil age (Luke 7:22-23). Jesus spends the end of his ministry in Jerusalem preaching a heavily apocalyptic message chapter after chapter (Mark 13, Matt 24-25, Luke 20-21). Jesus is labeled "King of the Jews" despite him never being recorded as claiming to be this. It is possible he viewed himself as a future King of Israel, like Saul, David, or Solomon. Matt 19:28 strongly hints at this. If Rome viewed him as a kind of usurping King wannabe for the Jewish nation they would've been motivated to crucify him.

_________________________________________________
Jesus as Son of Man vs Son of God

Son of Man does not imply divinity, only that power is given to this individual by God. A human tool of God, essentially. He will judge others on God's behalf, filling the void left by King David.

In Matt, Mark and Luke Jesus never claims to be God. He does say he is "son of God" on rare occasion. This concept was easy for pagans to adapt to: Hercules and others were also "sons" of Gods. However, Jews did not view it in this same way. Being the son of God had no divine implications. 2 Sam 7:14 applies the term to King David, Hosae 11:1 to the Israelite nation.

What about forgiving sins? John the baptist did it too (Mark 1:4-5). And this role of forgiving sins is only an authority given to the "son of Man" not "son of God" (Matt 9:6)

What about him being worshiped? In a Jewish context "worship" can be done towards another person in a non-divine way (Gen 47:31, Gen 23:7, 1 Kings 1:23, Hebrews 11:21, Matt 18:26, Mark 15:18). The Greek word itself (proskuneo) has both a secular and religious application. Its use cannot be shown to imply divinity. Therefore there is no reason to think Matt Mark or Luke ever viewed Jesus as divine.

__________________________________________________
The Miracles and Prophecy of Resurrection

In Jesus' day there were lots of people who allegedly performed miracles. There were Jewish holy men such as Hanina ben Dosa and Honi the circle drawer. There were pagan holy men such as Apollonius of Tyana, a philosopher who could allegedly heal the sick, cast out demons, and raised the dead. He was supernaturally born and at the end of his life he ascended to heaven – sound familiar? And just a few years ago you could find thousands of eyewitnesses to the miracles of Sai Baba, an Indian Guru who supposedly had a vast number of magical powers including raising the dead. Anyone who is willing to believe in the miracles of Jesus must concede the possibility of other people performing miracles, in Jesus' day and in all eras down to the present day and in all other religions.

According to the Gospel accounts, Jesus supposedly prophesied about his death, crucifixion and Resurrection during his ministry. Matt/Mark/Luke contain quotes of Jesus talking about his coming death and Resurrection. If we assume these verses are authentic, the disciples would have known beforehand that:

1) he'll be rejected and betrayed (Mark 9:30-32)
2) he'll suffer and be killed due to this betrayal, and will be Resurrected in three days(Matt 16:21, 17:22-23, Luke 18:31-33)
3) this will happen when they go to Jerusalem (Matt 16:21)
4) his suffering will happen at the hands of the elders/chief priests (Matt 20:17-19)
3) he'll be handed over for crucifixion (Matt 26:1-2)
4) the lady giving him perfume is burial preparation (Matt 26:12)
5) a disciple will betray him (Mark 14:18)
6) Peter will deny him (Mark 14:29-30)

The disciples continually deny any of it is going to happen. To the point where they’re ready to fight with swords to save Jesus when he’s being arrested. Directly after his death, they mourn terribly, to the point where they even chastise the women who originally claim to see Resurrected Jesus. Is this the reaction we should expect from close companions who were witness to 50+ miracles, who were told what would happen literally every step of the way? Why would they unrelentingly doubt his Resurrection and prophecies despite having seen this man perform resurrections himself? They only had a wait a whole 3 days!

There is a choice to make here. You can choose to believe that the disciples were the most foolish, stubborn, ignorant people on the planet, or you can choose to believe that Jesus never actually made these handful of prophecies to them in Matt/Mark/Luke.. According to Matthew, Jesus himself sweats great drops of blood from anxiety, and prays three times to try to change the situation while yelling at his disciples in frustration. Jesus was just as unprepared as his disciples were. Of course, John gives an almost completely different account: Jesus is calm, collected and knowledgeable throughout the entire event. This should be expected, since John’s Jesus clearly preaches his divinity and omniscience constantly. But it also happens to be the least likely account of these events.

Jesus says very little about the Resurrection events in comparison to the time he spends on apocalyptic end-times prophecy. He spends a few scattered versus on the topic, mostly found in Matthew, and then spends chapter upon chapter in Matt Mark and Luke preaching about the coming son of Man bringing destruction upon the unsuspecting wicked. If the crucifixion and Resurrection were the defining spiritual events of Jesus’ life, why would he only spend a few sentences on their occurrence, let alone their importance? Did the authors of Matthew Mark and Luke totally miss the point? I would hope not.

_____________________________________________
The Evolution of Resurrection

Mark is our earliest source, so we should look there first to see the most authentic version of the story. Remarkably, Mark barely mentions a Resurrection happening. The earliest, and thus most reliable, manuscripts of Mark end at Mark 16:8. Mark 16:9-19 is only found in later manuscripts, implying that these verses were added later by church fathers who didn’t like the original ending. If we look at the true ending to Mark, the Resurrection event is very simple. The women find a man in a tomb, the man tells them Jesus Resurrected. The women leave and “tell no one.” That’s it. That’s all it says. No visions, no visits from Resurrected Jesus, no miracles. Just a man in a tomb with a secret.

Chronologically, Matthew was written next, then Luke, and finally John. Let’s see how the story gets inflated over time:

Who was seen in the tomb? 1 young man (mk 16:5) but actually 1 angel (mt 28:2) but actually 2 men thought to be angels (lk 24:4, 23) but actually 2 angels and Jesus himself! (jn 20:11-14)

How did the disciples react? Some disciples doubt after seeing him (mt 28:17) but actually all disciples convert after seeing him (lk 24:11-12, 52, jn 20:20, 25, 28)

(Disciples doubted it was Jesus even AFTER seeing him according to Matthew, the earliest account of this event. Did some think it was an imposter? Mistaken identity? Matt doesn't even say that these doubters eventually converted. This contrasts greatly with Luke and John, in which the appearance of Jesus always converts all of the disciples.)

What did Resurrected Jesus do? talked a little bit (mt 28:9, 18-20) but actually he did that plus surprise teleportation, secret disguises and flesh demonstrations (lk 24: 13, 31, 39, 43) but actually he did all that plus blowing magical breath to transfer the holy spirit to the disciples, fills up fishing nets with tons of fish, did "many other things" too vast and numerous(really?!) to write down (jn 20:14, 22, 26-27; 21:4, 6, 9, 13, 15-23, 25)

Everyone knows how the game of telephone works, and John is clearly the worst offender.

________________________________________________
Jesus as Meaningless Sin Atonement

Christians think sin atonement was the main purpose of the crucifixion and Resurrection, and indeed of his whole ministry. Jesus, according to primarily John and Paul’s writings, died for our sins. His death was the “final” sacrifice, and also “blood sacrifice.” Jesus is metaphorically implied to be a sacrificial passover Lamb of God. This view of the Jewish God and Jewish salvation is wrong on many, many levels.

Sacrifice was not always needed for forgiveness. Words alone work in many cases (Hosea 14:2, Psalm 32:5, Jonah 3:6-10). 1 Kings 8:28-30 says Jews can simply pray for forgiveness if they aren't near a temple, even if a sacrifice is demanded. What horrible, unbearable "curse of sin/sacrifice" is Christianity talking about in this context? Christianity's misunderstanding of Judaism is blatant. Hebrew 9:21 "Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness" - this is an outright falsehood. And since the Jewish Temple has been destroyed Jews just pray for forgiveness to God like Christians do, just as the OT commands them to.

John constantly refers to Jesus as a passover lamb sacrifice. However this makes even less sense from a Jewish perspective. The lamb was not sacrificed for forgiveness, the lamb was an Egyptian Deity and killing it was to prove Israel's faithfulness to God during Passover. And on top of this is the fact that God already disapproved strongly of human sacrifice (Deut 12:31).

________________________________________________
Jesus as Jew

His parents went through all the normal rituals for a Jewish child, despite the supposed miraculous birth and visions Mary had of Jesus' purpose, and he went to Jewish school. As an adult, Jesus followed all of the typical Jewish holidays in the Temple (John 2:13, John 7:2, 10, John 10:22, John 5:1) and wore typical Jewish clothes that specifically symbolized faithfulness to Jewish law (Luke 8:43-44, Matt 14:36 Num 15:37-39). Jesus repeatedly teaches others to continue following the Jewish law.

Is there more evidence that points towards Jesus being a strictly Jewish teacher for Jews? All his disciples were Jewish, none of them Gentiles, that's a good start. Do we see Jesus playing racial favoritism, contradicting John/Paul’s theology that his message was for the whole world? Yes. In Matt 15:21-28 Jesus explicitly says he is sent only to help Jews, and so can' t help save a Canaanite girl. He then calls Jews "children" and Gentiles "dogs." After she begs him, saying dogs eat crumbs from the master's table, Jesus grants the healing. Jesus is racist. He was the son of Man come to save the Jewish nation.

Further, we see Jesus disciple Peter arguing with Paul in the scripture claiming Jewish law had to be followed for salvation. The only reason some of Jesus’ Jewish followers believed in the Resurrected was because of supposed divine revelation. But God was stingy passing out this divine revelation, which made it next to impossible for them to convert Jews who likewise demanded similar divine revelation (1 Cor 1:22). The only ones they could convince through testimony were Pagans, who knew nothing of Judaism and wouldn't think twice about the mistakes and mismatches in doctrine and were all too used to worshiping god-men already.

_________________________________________________
Old Prophecies and Suffering Messiahs

There are Old Testament verses that speak of a “suffering servant.” Isaiah 49, 52 and 53 are primarily the chapters Christians point to when trying to prove that Jesus was fulfilling prophecy when he was rejected, crucified, and that this crucifixion was for Universal salvation. First let’s note the obvious: if this were about the Messiah, why doesn’t it use the word “Messiah” like the book of Daniel? Why does it use, instead, the word “servant”? And why is this servant clearly labeled as the nation “Israel” if it’s actually supposed to be about Jesus?

“He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will display my splendor.” Isaiah 49:3

The servant in all previous chapters is also labeled as Israel (see 41:18, 44:1, 44:21). Israel is, in fact, the Jewish nation, and since the Jewish nation was down on hard times when Isaiah was written, it makes sense that Israel is described as a despised, tormented individual that will eventually find righteousness. Their oppressors are the Gentile nations ruling over them.

This is opposed to the Christian interpretation, in which the oppressor is actually Israel itself (the Jews), and the mistreated servant is Jesus. This makes absolutely no sense in context of the surrounding versus. Every time "Messiah" is mentioned in the Old Testament, it never says the Messiah would suffer or be rejected by the Jews – it’s in fact the opposite. He will be all-powerful and unite the Jewish nations.

The Jew uses this process:
1) Messiahs don’t suffer and die according to OT prophecy
2) Jesus did
3) Therefore Jesus isn’t Messiah.

The Christian uses this process:
1) Jesus is the Messiah
2) Jesus suffered
3) Therefore OT scripture about suffering is actually prophecy about the Messiah.

________________________________________________
Martyrdom and Visions

Fundamentalist Muslims are willing to kill themselves with explosives without any needed visions from Muhammad. Martyrdom is evidence of nothing other than a commitment to die in the name of a belief.

What then, did some of his disciples really see when they thought they were seeing Jesus? All the disciples might’ve seen a person – but only some of them thought it was Jesus. Remember, Matthew points out that there were unconvinced Disciples, and left it at that. Who should we trust more, the believers or nonbelievers?

As we know from scripture (Luke 14:25-26) Jesus commanded his disciples to rebuke all material wealth and family, so basically they were all homeless and foodless, and had to face the possibility of going back to family who they had outright abandoned. If a person gives up their entire life for a cause, how willing will they be to say that it was actually a lie? If a disciple claimed to see Jesus Resurrected, they had everything to gain – a purpose to their life, a justification for their actions. If a disciple claimed that this person wasn’t Jesus what did they have to gain? Nothing. They would only admitted that the past 3 years in Jesus’ ministry was a complete and utter waste, and walk off in silence and depression.

People sometimes have post-mortem hallucinations of their dead relatives. Soldiers who lose limbs think they still have the limb and can feel pain in it. In third world countries, hundreds of Catholics claim to see mother Mary appear to them in collective visions. Does this make it true? Right now there are thousands of people in India who claim Sai Baba, who died in April 2011, had done just about everything Jesus did. They claimed to see him raise the dead. They claim to see him create objects from nothing. They claimed to see him levitate, heal diseases, exorcise demons, change water to other liquids, appear in visions, and control the weather. Do these eyewitness accounts make it true?

_______________________________________________
The Shock of Failure

Jesus' life is, in my view, the tale of a failed prophet. He believed in apocalyptical events that were supposed to happen in his lifetime. To the dismay of the disciples and others of that generation, none of it occurred, leading to reinterpretations of his message. As decades passed with no discernible change evolving doctrines began implying maybe Jesus was actually Messiah and God (easier to convince Gentiles then). Maybe Jesus wasn't really talking about this current generation. Maybe the Kingdom of God, which will rid the world of all wickedness, is actually inside of you, and not a physical place (no more need for prophecy). These reinterpretations were occasionally added into early manuscripts but primarily found in the epistles of Paul and John’s Gospel. They were necessary evolutions if Christianity was to survive as a religion.

Matthew’s account of Jesus’ last moments are deeply emotional and dramatic, more so than any Christianized version, and they likely present Jesus’ mind state most honestly. After Jesus realized Judas’ betrayal, he prays multiple times in a panicked state to avoid the arrest and crucifixion. Jesus likely came to the startling realization that his own apocalyptic doctrine wasn't going to be fulfilled if these events came to pass. Jesus ascends with the cross not saying a word. Crowds and soldiers throw insults and lashes at him and he remains silent. The only words the failed prophet can muster at the end of his young ministry? "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Aug 15, 2018
1,076
1,030
380
OP, I just have to ask, why the topic and the extensive essay? Why is it important to you that a debate on the authenticity of Christ and Christianity takes place? Is it to convince others, or to say your piece, or perhaps something else entirely? I'm a tad confused to be honest.

I have to go to bed at the moment of writing so I will probably read your piece later, I may try to respond but perhaps I will not. Others more intelligent, wise, and level headed then I are probably more apt to the conversation at hand, so I do not promise dialogue. I just ask this isn't some kind "sh*t on the Christian parade" as you put it. No one should be calling each other idiots for believing in God (or child molestors or war mongers, I'm seeing this more often and it doesn't make sense) and likewise call non-believers evil. I enjoy civility.

Good night, peace, and God bless homie.
 

Yoshi

Gold Member
May 4, 2005
14,024
2,550
1,570
31
Germany
www.gaming-universe.de
Great thread OP! Really looking forward to your follow up threads shitting on islam and Judaism.....

right?
Have you read the introductory text? @Arkage is a former Christian. His focus on Christianity in his pursuit of gaining a better understanding of reality and the world is only natural. He is focussing on the inconsistency of the Christian part of the Abrahamitic religions, because he was a Christian himself. Discussing in depth the inconsistencies and development of one religion that played an important role in one's life and upbringing does not call for an equal treatment of all other religions. Similar to (almost) all other Christians, Arkage had rejected alterantive religions already but believed in Christianity so it is only logical that he discusses the one religious doctrine that he ever considered true. But, in fact, he touches on other religions as well.

Judging by what he has written here, numerous readings and comparisons of new testament texts, as well as their origin and a cross checking with historical and old testament texts is necessary for the text Arkage has written. To denounce it on the basis he has not invested the same amount of work for other religions he never considered to be true at all is petty and this kind of superficial answer to a very well argued text is disrespectful.

@Arkage: Very interesting read, with many interesting details I wasn't fully aware of (e.g. the devlopment of the findings in Jesus' grave over time. I recognised the difference in humans / angels being there, but the temporal contextualisation was not apparent to me) and a coherent argument. I greatly appreciate the text and will read the long version when I have some more time.
 

DiscoJer

Member
Sep 26, 2009
12,021
532
820
St. Louis
I went the other way. I was an atheist until my mid 20s when I became a Christian. Since you mention Elaine Pagels you are presumably familiar with the various Gnostic texts, one of which, The Gospel of Thomas is clearly the most primitive and likely oldest Gospel, as it's literally just sayings of Jesus.

Personally, I think that Jesus was real and said a lot of stuff, groups co-opted him for their own messages/philosophy (Gnostics, included, but I think they were closer than the rest). Another interesting read is Philip K Dick's The Exegesis of Philip K Dick, which is basically him having a religious experience and trying to cope with it in a long, long, long meandering but utterly fascinating matter.
 

Yoshi

Gold Member
May 4, 2005
14,024
2,550
1,570
31
Germany
www.gaming-universe.de
What about the other religions?
I wonder whether this is some kind of reflex. Maybe I should start saying the same whenever a Christian talks about Christianity*?

*I know your question, so let me phrase it in a way you can stomach it: for all X: "... whenever an adherent of religion X talks about religion X".
 
May 22, 2018
5,138
4,427
575
What about the other religions?
What about them? By criticizing Christianity @Arkage is not holding others up as a result. It just means he is criticizing Christianity.


There is no need to turn to whataboutism in this case. If you feel another religion deserves to be criticized and you are willing to go into the level of depth that @Arkage just did then by all means go make the thread for it. Nobody is stopping you.
 
Last edited:

JimmyJones

Member
Mar 19, 2015
1,216
934
465
There is no need to turn to whataboutism in this case.
Yes there is. For some reason it's completely fine to shit on Christianity but it's a massive no-no when it comes to other religions. I'm not religious by the way, just pointing out the massive double standard.
 

Texas Pride

Member
Feb 27, 2018
1,094
1,482
480
Texas
Live and let live. If you found solace somewhere else don't begrudge others for where they find theirs. Simple rule to live by.
 
May 22, 2018
5,138
4,427
575
Yes there is. For some reason it's completely fine to shit on Christianity but it's a massive no-no when it comes to other religions. I'm not religious by the way, just pointing out the massive double standard.
Mindlessly shitting on other religions you don't agree with like a circus barker? Yeah that is not okay. That is a "no-no" as you put it. Because at that point it is just simple hatred. Not criticism. There is a very big difference between the two. And that difference matters. What @Arkage has done here is not that. He has sat down and put a great deal of effort into a point by point critique of issues that he has with Christianity and as far as I can tell has done so in a very mature and well mannered way. Not only that, but has provided links and references as well to back up what he is saying.


Now if he had come in and said "Christianity is a shit religion and Jesus is bullshit. Lemme tell you why" and then proceeded to go on an uninformed profanity laced tirade against it and everyone cheered him on then yeah you would have a point. But that is not what he did here.


TL;DR: Criticism is fine. Hate is not.
 
Last edited:

llien

Gold Member
Feb 1, 2017
5,408
2,507
680
Maybe you should hold all religions to the same standard.
But why do you think he doesn't?
Because he's a bloody democrat and supports "everything (US) liberal"?

He is not and I have an impression he doesn't just blindly support anything either. (for starters, he would hardly be posting here if he would).

PS
Why don't you open a thread on other religions?
(Formally) orthodox Christian here.
 

dionysus

Yaldog
May 12, 2007
6,542
406
1,250
Texaa
Alot of what is in the OP is acknowledged by theologians, especially in the Catholic Church. The English Catholic Bible, a product of the US council of Bishops, even has footnotes acknowledging inconsistencies between various gospels, that call out the later text additions that change the meaning, differences between different texts etc. The gospels and Epistles are very obviously the product of human endeavor, with all the arguments, revisions, etc. that come with it. The Bible itself is a creation of the early church centuries after Jesus death, where religious leaders got together and decided which early documents had the most truth. Hence the omission of several gospels the average Christian has never heard of.

The Protestant branch of Christianity struggles with the humanness of the Bible when you peak under the hood, because they are taught the Bible is the sole and infallible source of truth.
 

Yoshi

Gold Member
May 4, 2005
14,024
2,550
1,570
31
Germany
www.gaming-universe.de
That's a very fine line. Try criticizing other religions and see where that gets you.
I do it all the time and where did get me? Nowhere, did not change a thing. Well, I got a warning once in another forum for a quick jab on religions in general (but that was not a brilliant posting either way). but that certainly did not hurt me significantly.
 
May 22, 2018
5,138
4,427
575
fun fact, all religions are the inventions of desperate men
Facts. Its the reason why pretty much every culture for as long as mankind has been around has had some kind of spiritual belief in some way or another. To explain the world around them and make them feel more comfortable while living in it.


Because without it the world is random chance and chaos and that is scary to alot of people.
 
Last edited:

timeflais

Member
Sep 9, 2017
55
41
205
This is a long op i need time to digest. I want to state something based on the intro. We live in a satanist dominated world, and have done for a long time. The bible - has been corrupted and in part the best lies are told with half-truths. This is essentially where the bible lies today. This problem exists with all religions.
God is real. The esoteric teachings of Jesus are in-part real. The full truth of Jesus writings have been obscured from view though.
 

highrider

Gold Member
Dec 18, 2010
8,805
1,919
900
51
washington d.c.
I do it all the time and where did get me? Nowhere, did not change a thing. Well, I got a warning once in another forum for a quick jab on religions in general (but that was not a brilliant posting either way). but that certainly did not hurt me significantly.
Be outspoken critic of Islam, see how that works out.
 

Zaru

Member
Oct 2, 2012
3,336
276
480
Soon on a discussion board near you:

"I don't like food X, and here's why"
"But what about Food Y and Z? When are you gonna make a thread about how you don't like those? They've got similar ingredients!"
 

crowbrow

Member
Feb 28, 2019
728
992
395
This is great OP, I want to read it all later. I come from a Catholic background and I used to be religious but that changed with time. I also enjoy this type of historical scrutiny, it's fascinating how religions originate. Thanks!
 

crowbrow

Member
Feb 28, 2019
728
992
395
What about the other religions?
There's an extensive Wikipedia page criticizing islam for example if you are interested for starters. Lots of fascinating stuff: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Islam

Criticism of Buddhism: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Buddhism
Criticism of Judaism: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Judaism
Anti-hinduism: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Hindu_sentiment
Criticism of sikhism: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Sikhism

I couldn't find a Wikipedia page criticizing Shintoism though lol
 
May 22, 2018
5,138
4,427
575
Christianity is the best religion in the world. Great religion. Beautiful people. God bless them all.
No offense but I read this in Trumps voice in my for some reason. I think it was the wording lol


The only thing missing was the word "tremendous" or a good old "Believe me"
 
Last edited:

DocONally

Member
Oct 21, 2014
1,350
843
440
Never read the Bible before now. I'm 39 and listening to the New Testament on my commute, compliments to the Righteous Johnny Cash. OP's post looks interesting, but no time to read it now.

Talking about desperate men though, some Gaffers recommended me a book about Immanuel Kant. Now there was a desperate man. Scary what his religious views have led to over the hundreds of years.

Personally I'm all for threads like this. I'm a Buddhist and they say that Jesus was a Bodhisattva, but take that for what you will because I'm not going to fight over it.

The New Testament is interesting and I can see the value in it just from listening in the car. So far, Matthew has been the best part (A Perfect Circle quote it in one of their songs, it's awesome).
 

Yoshi

Gold Member
May 4, 2005
14,024
2,550
1,570
31
Germany
www.gaming-universe.de
No offense but I read this in Trumps voice in my for some reason. I think it was the wording lol


The only thing missing was the word "tremendous" or a good old "Believe me"
Exactly my thoughts. The secret we did not know is that Trump is a GAFer!
Be outspoken critic of Islam, see how that works out.
https://www.resetera.com/threads/yoshis-bible-adventures.29827/
I discussed the bible and the quran rather critically on Resetera. I couldn't finish my review of Quran, because I forgot to post the last part (but it is pretty boring anyway, because the Surah are sorted by length and the later Surahs are often just ramblings) and then got permed. Note that any critique of the old testament is also critique of islamic canon.

I have very often criticised the absurdity of all abrahamitic beliefs and specifically religious politics and e.g. the regressive view on women in many interpretations of Islam. I am an outspoken critic of Islam, actually.
 
Last edited:

btgorman

Member
Jul 26, 2009
1,540
737
775
What exactly is the point of this thread?

People get many things out of Religion. Some people use it as a crutch, others find meaning. Some people interpret the Bible literally, others allegorically.

Arguing people’s belief systems is a very dangerous thing because you’re most likely going to get the opposite effect of what you want. Or maybe all you’re looking for is attention.

Secondly, this is not politics.
 

Rentahamster

Rodent Whores
Jun 26, 2007
36,756
2,609
1,520
Best Coast
For some reason it's completely fine to shit on Christianity but it's a massive no-no when it comes to other religions. I'm not religious by the way, just pointing out the massive double standard.
Try criticizing other religions and see where that gets you.

Look at all these people trying to prevent you from criticizing other religions!

There is no need to turn to whataboutism in this case. If you feel another religion deserves to be criticized and you are willing to go into the level of depth that @Arkage just did then by all means go make the thread for it. Nobody is stopping you.
:goog_unsure:
 

O-N-E

Member
Jul 11, 2018
265
396
340
Talking about desperate men though, some Gaffers recommended me a book about Immanuel Kant. Now there was a desperate man. Scary what his religious views have led to over the hundreds of years.
Could you elaborate on that? Just curious because I've wanted to read some of his work.
 

Swauny Jones

Member
Oct 30, 2013
212
45
350
@Arkage I really admire this thoughtful write-up on this topic. A nice change of pace from other threads here and elsewhere that really makes you think and want to delve further into your findings. Well done.
 

highrider

Gold Member
Dec 18, 2010
8,805
1,919
900
51
washington d.c.
Exactly my thoughts. The secret we did not know is that Trump is a GAFer!

https://www.resetera.com/threads/yoshis-bible-adventures.29827/
I discussed the bible and the quran rather critically on Resetera. I couldn't finish my review of Quran, because I forgot to post the last part (but it is pretty boring anyway, because the Surah are sorted by length and the later Surahs are often just ramblings) and then got permed. Note that any critique of the old testament is also critique of islamic canon.

I have very often criticised the absurdity of all abrahamitic beliefs and specifically religious politics and e.g. the regressive view on women in many interpretations of Islam. I am an outspoken critic of Islam, actually.
Ever done it around Muslims? A forum isn’t exactly putting yourself at any risk.
 

Sacred

Member
Aug 22, 2018
371
352
275
Great theory and hypothesis, but several keys facts are misrepresented and major part of the original dead seas scrolls left out. This piece seems entirely slanted towards your viewpoint, without a balance in the other direction. At the moment, I am far too busy to shred your inaccuracies to pieces, but give me some time and I'll be glad to do so.
 

Yoshi

Gold Member
May 4, 2005
14,024
2,550
1,570
31
Germany
www.gaming-universe.de
Ever done it around Muslims? A forum isn’t exactly putting yourself at any risk.
Yes. I like discussing religion with religious people and I do not shy away from calling it out. I have done so even in discussion with some salafists who were handing out Qurans on the street (which is where I got my Quran).
 

crowbrow

Member
Feb 28, 2019
728
992
395
Ever done it around Muslims? A forum isn’t exactly putting yourself at any risk.
There are many muslims that are not crazy fanatics. I have a moroccan friend who is muslim and we have talked about islam in a critical way many times. The day I've been more severely "attacked" for criticizing a religion was by Pentecostals lol.
 

Swauny Jones

Member
Oct 30, 2013
212
45
350
Great theory and hypothesis, but several keys facts are misrepresented and major part of the original dead seas scrolls left out. This piece seems entirely slanted towards your viewpoint, without a balance in the other direction. At the moment, I am far too busy to shred your inaccuracies to pieces, but give me some time and I'll be glad to do so.
I am intrigued at your response to the OP's analysis. I hope it's as detailed as his report.
 
Sep 4, 2018
201
253
260
Yes there is. For some reason it's completely fine to shit on Christianity but it's a massive no-no when it comes to other religions. I'm not religious by the way, just pointing out the massive double standard.
Agreed, I even encourage criticism of Christianity because it helps weed out non-believers and betters the religion in the end. But let's not pretend that the motivations for most critics are nothing but an attempt to troll the only religion that it's acceptable to troll.
 

Afro Republican

GAF>INTERNET>GAF, BITCHES
Aug 24, 2016
3,872
2,086
880
Since GAF seems to have a decent Christian following here I thought I'd c
blah blah (cut for 30000 character limit.)

________________________________________________________
The New Testament

It's divided roughly into Gospels and Epistles. There are four Gospels, and the purpose was to convey Jesus' message. These are claimed to be eyewitness accounts of people who traveled with Jesus. The rest are epistles written by Paul, a person who never met Jesus and claims none of his information was given to him by others, but rather from a vision (Gal 1:11-12). Paul also disagrees with Peter, a close apostle of Jesus, on a huge topic, salvation (Gal 2:11-16). Additionally, the epistles were written as letters to churches, talking about all manner of topics. So when determining what the "original" oral/written Jesus story was, Paul and the epistles is a poor source.

________________________________________________________
Gospel Authors

The Gospels claim to be written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, two disciples of Jesus who lived and traveled with him and two companies of disciples. As is to be expected, proving authorship back then was incredibly dubious. Anybody could pretend to be anyone else, so merely applying a label isn't enough. Specifically, Matthew's author wrote in third person "they" throughout, even during events involving Matthew specifically. John's author explicitly says at he's writing down a testimony of someone else, and the Gospel was written 60-70 years after Jesus' death. Mark, even if was the author, was not a disciple nor eyewitness. Luke, even if he was the author, was also not a disciple nor eyewitness. Accounting for all this, it's also unlikely any disciples or companions would be able to read or write in Greek as education was a premium and Jesus and his followers were known to be dirt poor and speaking Hebrew.

_________________________________________________________
Which Gospel Stories are Reliable?

There are four criteria historians use in probabilistic terms. 1) The earlier the better. Mark wins here as he uses more primitive language. Many of Marks stories are copied word for word into Luke and Matthew and are cleaned up a bit (think proofreading/editing). These shared stories are the "first" source. The "second" source (called Q) is the shared stories between Luke and Matthew (but not Mark). Again, stories that are identical in many places word-for-word implies both Luke and Matt were copying off the same original source, one that Mark didn't have. Stories exclusive to Matt are a third source, stories exclusive to Luke is a fourth.


What about John? John was written 60 years after the death of Jesus, much later than Mark/Luke/Matt, with a very different narrative and tone with very few shared stories. Think of John as a later reaction to the original three Gospels.

blah blah (cut for 30000 character limit.)

____________________________________________________
Jesus' Jewish Audience

150 years before Jesus a Jewish philosophy of "apocalyptics" formed. They believed the world was filled with good and evil, that the current age was evil, and that God would intervene with a "son of Man" to literally overthrow evil and bring in the Kingdom of God. Enoch and Ezra both reference this, texts written just prior to the time of Jesus.

“And they [the people of God] had great joy, and they blessed and praised and exalted because the name of the Son of Man had been revealed to them. And he sat on the throne of his glory, and the whole judgment was given to the Son of Man, and he will cause the sinners to pass away and be destroyed from the face of the earth. And those who led astray the world will be found in chains, and will be shut up in the assembly place of their destruction, and all their works will pass away from the face of the earth. And from then on there will be nothing corruptible, for that Son of Man has appeared and has sat on the throne of his glory, and everything evil will pass away and go from before him.” 1 Enoch 69

_____________________________________________________
What Jesus Told His Audience

blah blah (cut for 30000 character limit.)

Jesus was preaching that the very people standing before him and listening to him would see this "son of Man" bringing a literal end to wickedness. That why his message was so appealing, real change, coming real soon, for all the downtrodden Jews.

"For just as the flashing lightning lights up the earth from one part of the sky to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day... And just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating, drinking, marrying, and giving away in marriage, until the day that Noah went into the ark and flood came and destroyed them all. So too will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed" Luke 17:24; 26-27; Matthew 24:27, 37-39

"Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the culmination of the age. The Son of Man will send forth his angels, and they will gather from his kingdom every cause of sin and all who do evil, and they will cast them into the furnace of fire. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun, in the kingdom of their father."Matthew 13:40-43

This is wonderful news for the oppressed Jewish population. And makes the following passage much more understandable:

“Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:25-26

Why would Jesus make all of his followers give up all of their earthly possessions and all family, children included? Wouldn't this ruin society? Only if you think society is something that will last. If a follower wouldn't give up their belongings and family, Jesus took this to mean that the person didn't truly believe the world age was ending soon, in “their generation.”

“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.” Matthew 19:29

_________________________________________________
On Salvation

How c
blah blah (cut for 30000 character limit.)

__________________________________________________
What about prophecies?

As established earlier, Jesus preached the end times were near, and end to wickedness and evil. And so that's what the early church thought even after his death, hoping something big would still happen:

“After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.” 1 Thess 4:17-18

The followers who were “still alive” thought they’d be swept up into heavens in their lifetimes. But what happens when Jesus doesn’t show up year after year after year?

“First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation." 2 Peter 3:3-4

“Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come.” 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2

blah blah (cut for 30000 character limit.)

Jesus undoubtedly taught the end times were coming soon, right along with John the baptist. This is to fulfill apocalyptic Prophecy found in Daniel and Enoch and Ezra. When Jesus died, his followers still continued to believe he’d fulfill this prophecy upon his return. But he didn’t return(I'll address the Resurrection later), his followers started to lose interest, and so the message changed. No longer is it Prophecy about today, but rather Prophecy about some unknown future date – a concept that the original Jewish audience would’ve had no interest in, as this isn't how OT scripture said things would happen.

________________________________________________
The Deeds and Activities of Jesus

How does Jesus' life fit into the context established so far? His baptism can be understand as him siding with John the baptist, a fellow Jewish apocalyptic prophet. He was baptized by John for the forgiveness of his sins, which makes little sense unless viewed as a Jewish human rather than divine. His 12 disciples were for ruling in the coming Kingdom of God (Matt 19:28), unifying the Jewish nation. Jesus' (supposed) miracles are evidence of the coming Kingdom of God arriving very soon to end the evil age (Luke 7:22-23). Jesus spends the end of his ministry in Jerusalem preaching a heavily apocalyptic message chapter after chapter (Mark 13, Matt 24-25, Luke 20-21). Jesus is labeled "King of the Jews" despite him never being recorded as claiming to be this. It is possible he viewed himself as a future King of Israel, like Saul, David, or Solomon. Matt 19:28 strongly hints at this. If Rome viewed him as a kind of usurping King wannabe for the Jewish nation they would've been motivated to crucify him.

_________________________________________________
Jesus as Son of Man vs Son of God

Son of Man does not imply divinity, only that power is given to this individual by God. A human tool of God, essentially. He will judge others on God's behalf, filling the void left by King David.

blah blah (cut for 30000 character limit.)

What about him being worshiped? In a Jewish context "worship" can be done towards another person in a non-divine way (Gen 47:31, Gen 23:7, 1 Kings 1:23, Hebrews 11:21, Matt 18:26, Mark 15:18). The Greek word itself (proskuneo) has both a secular and religious application. Its use cannot be shown to imply divinity. Therefore there is no reason to think Matt Mark or Luke ever viewed Jesus as divine.

__________________________________________________
The Miracles and Prophecy of Resurrection

In Jesus' day there were lots of people who allegedly performed miracles. There were Jewish holy men such as Hanina ben Dosa and Honi the circle drawer. There were pagan holy men such as Apollonius of Tyana, a philosopher who could allegedly heal the sick, cast out demons, and raised the dead. He was supernaturally born and at the end of his life he ascended to heaven – sound familiar? And just a few years ago you could find thousands of eyewitnesses to the miracles of Sai Baba, an Indian Guru who supposedly had a vast number of magical powers including raising the dead. Anyone who is willing to believe in the miracles of Jesus must concede the possibility of other people performing miracles, in Jesus' day and in all eras down to the present day and in all other religions.

According to the Gospel accounts, Jesus supposedly prophesied about his death, crucifixion and Resurrection during his ministry. Matt/Mark/Luke contain quotes of Jesus talking about his coming death and Resurrection. If we assume these verses are authentic, the disciples would have known beforehand that:


blah blah (cut for character limit.)

_____________________________________________
The Evolution of Resurrection

Mark is our earliest source, so we should look there first to see the most authentic version of the story. Remarkably, Mark barely mentions a Resurrection happening. The earliest, and thus most reliable, manuscripts of Mark end at Mark 16:8. Mark 16:9-19 is only found in later manuscripts, implying that these verses were added later by church fathers who didn’t like the original ending. If we look at the true ending to Mark, the Resurrection event is very simple. The women find a man in a tomb, the man tells them Jesus Resurrected. The women leave and “tell no one.” That’s it. That’s all it says. No visions, no visits from Resurrected Jesus, no miracles. Just a man in a tomb with a secret.

Chronologically, Matthew was written next, then Luke, and finally John. Let’s see how the story gets inflated over time:

blah blah (cut for character limit.)

Everyone knows how the game of telephone works, and John is clearly the worst offender.

________________________________________________
Jesus as Meaningless Sin Atonement

Christians think sin atonement was the main purpose of the crucifixion and Resurrection, and indeed of his whole ministry. Jesus, according to primarily John and Paul’s writings, died for our sins. His death was the “final” sacrifice, and also “blood sacrifice.” Jesus is metaphorically implied to be a sacrificial passover Lamb of God. This view of the Jewish God and Jewish salvation is wrong on many, many levels.

Sacrifice was not always needed for forgiveness. Words alone work in many cases (Hosea 14:2, Psalm 32:5, Jonah 3:6-10). 1 Kings 8:28-30 says Jews can simply pray for forgiveness if they aren't near a temple, even if a sacrifice is demanded. What horrible, unbearable "curse of sin/sacrifice" is Christianity talking about in this context? Christianity's misunderstanding of Judaism is blatant. Hebrew 9:21 "Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness" - this is an outright falsehood. And since the Jewish Temple has been destroyed Jews just pray for forgiveness to God like Christians do, just as the OT commands them to.

John constantly refers to Jesus as a passover lamb sacrifice. However this makes even less sense from a Jewish perspective. The lamb was not sacrificed for forgiveness, the lamb was an Egyptian Deity and killing it was to prove Israel's faithfulness to God during Passover. And on top of this is the fact that God already disapproved strongly of human sacrifice (Deut 12:31).

________________________________________________
Jesus as Jew

His parents went through all the normal rituals for a Jewish child, despite the supposed miraculous birth and visions Mary had of Jesus' purpose, and he went to Jewish school. As an adult, Jesus followed all of the typical Jewish holidays in the Temple (John 2:13, John 7:2, 10, John 10:22, John 5:1) and wore typical Jewish clothes that specifically symbolized faithfulness to Jewish law (Luke 8:43-44, Matt 14:36 Num 15:37-39). Jesus repeatedly teaches others to continue following the Jewish law.

Is there more evidence that points towards Jesus being a strictly Jewish teacher for Jews? All his disciples were Jewish, none of them Gentiles, that's a good start. Do we see Jesus playing racial favoritism, contradicting John/Paul’s theology that his message was for the whole world? Yes. In Matt 15:21-28 Jesus explicitly says he is sent only to help Jews, and so can' t help save a Canaanite girl. He then calls Jews "children" and Gentiles "dogs." After she begs him, saying dogs eat crumbs from the master's table, Jesus grants the healing. Jesus is racist. He was the son of Man come to save the Jewish nation.

Further, we see Jesus disciple Peter arguing with Paul in the scripture claiming Jewish law had to be followed for salvation. The only reason some of Jesus’ Jewish followers believed in the Resurrected was because of supposed divine revelation. But God was stingy passing out this divine revelation, which made it next to impossible for them to convert Jews who likewise demanded similar divine revelation (1 Cor 1:22). The only ones they could convince through testimony were Pagans, who knew nothing of Judaism and wouldn't think twice about the mistakes and mismatches in doctrine and were all too used to worshiping god-men already.

_________________________________________________
Old Prophecies and Suffering Messiahs

There are Old Testament verses that speak of a “suffering servant.” Isaiah 49, 52 and 53 are primarily the chapters Christians point to when trying to prove that Jesus was fulfilling prophecy when he was rejected, crucified, and that this crucifixion was for Universal salvation. First let’s note the obvious: if this were about the Messiah, why doesn’t it use the word “Messiah” like the book of Daniel? Why does it use, instead, the word “servant”? And why is this servant clearly labeled as the nation “Israel” if it’s actually supposed to be about Jesus?

“He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will display my splendor.” Isaiah 49:3

The servant in all previous chapters is also labeled as Israel (see 41:18, 44:1, 44:21). Israel is, in fact, the Jewish nation, and since the Jewish nation was down on hard times when Isaiah was written, it makes sense that Israel is described as a despised, tormented individual that will eventually find righteousness. Their oppressors are the Gentile nations ruling over them.

This is opposed to the Christian interpretation, in which the oppressor is actually Israel itself (the Jews), and the mistreated servant is Jesus. This makes absolutely no sense in context of the surrounding versus. Every time "Messiah" is mentioned in the Old Testament, it never says the Messiah would suffer or be rejected by the Jews – it’s in fact the opposite. He will be all-powerful and unite the Jewish nations.

The Jew uses this process:
1) Messiahs don’t suffer and die according to OT prophecy
2) Jesus did
3) Therefore Jesus isn’t Messiah.

The Christian uses this process:
1) Jesus is the Messiah
2) Jesus suffered
3) Therefore OT scripture about suffering is actually prophecy about the Messiah.

________________________________________________
Martyrdom and Visions

Fundamentalist Muslims are willing to kill themselves with explosives without any needed visions from Muhammad. Martyrdom is evidence of nothing other than a commitment to die in the name of a belief.

What then, did some of his disciples really see when they thought they were seeing Jesus? All the disciples might’ve seen a person – but only some of them thought it was Jesus. Remember, Matthew points out that there were unconvinced Disciples, and left it at that. Who should we trust more, the believers or nonbelievers?

As we know from scripture (Luke 14:25-26) Jesus commanded his disciples to rebuke all material wealth and family, so basically they were all homeless and foodless, and had to face the possibility of going back to family who they had outright abandoned. If a person gives up their entire life for a cause, how willing will they be to say that it was actually a lie? If a disciple claimed to see Jesus Resurrected, they had everything to gain – a purpose to their life, a justification for their actions. If a disciple claimed that this person wasn’t Jesus what did they have to gain? Nothing. They would only admitted that the past 3 years in Jesus’ ministry was a complete and utter waste, and walk off in silence and depression.

People sometimes blah blah (cut for character limit.)

_______________________________________________
The Shock of Failure

Jesus' life is, in my view, the tale of a failed prophet. blah blah (cut for 30000 character limit.)

Matthew’s account of Jesus’ last moments are deeply emotional and dramatic, more so than any Christianized version, and they likely present Jesus’ mind state most honestly. After Jesus realized Judas’ betrayal, he prays multiple times in a panicked state to avoid the arrest and crucifixion. Jesus likely came to the startling realization that his own apocalyptic doctrine wasn't going to be fulfilled if these events came to pass. Jesus ascends with the cross not saying a word. Crowds and soldiers throw insults and lashes at him and he remains silent. The only words the failed prophet can muster at the end of his young ministry? "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?"

One thing about Atheists is that its a desperate movement that actually doesn't challenge scripture but challenges traditional religions in the so called "Christianity" that was created by men for power and manipulation not even that long ago, most Churches house zero Christians, and will manipulate scripture or add their own words primarily for money but also control, and when people who run congregations actually reading the bible speak the fake "Christians" get mad and say that's not what "X would believe or do" when it actually is. Hence why most of the controversial "christian" churches or other religious sects that believe in the scriptures are closest to actually getting it right. Atheism is actually pointless because it doesn't attack scripture it attacks mens traditions posing as Christians, and usually because of some low self-esteem issues because otherwise being an atheist is a waste of time. Especially a political one like the OP that was clearly very mad that someone said a word like "pray" and decided to make this thread.

1. OP was never a follower of "Jesus"/Yahawashi /Yahawa" and was a follower of a man made religion that happened to have the "Bible" somewhere on the table for the pastor to occasional read from, or pretend to read from.

2. There is no old and new testament if you get down to it, that separation was popularized by the European church. Originally this wouldn't be an issue as it would be a guide to separate the Torah from the post-Jesus scriptures, but several church organizations over a very long period of time have used that separation for misleading BS, and seeral churches have altered or removed books from "canon" which is also a nonsense thing popularized by the European church.

3. All scriptures are written by the inspiration of god. Therefore there are no "poor sources" and none of the scriptures contradict each other supporting that. The only thing that would make things seem on clear is failure to understand what's written which is a personal problem.

3. You attack the credibility of Gospel Authors (actually you don't seem to know what the gospels actually originally referred to but I'll let that slide) questioning wee they were and their accounts but with no elaboration and only giving enough for someone who's not a christian to immediately thinks there's an issue, but when you actually start asking questions this falls apart.

4. You're trying to determine tone and way of language through the English translation of the bible which is incredibly ridiculous and only serves to prove what agenda your trying to push. Especially since other versions of the Bible (older versions of course) don't have some of the issues you're presenting.

5. John was not written 60 years after Jesus' death, John mentions "five roofed colonnades of bethesda" Which were destroyed by the Romans a significant but before that so called 60 years, and since Johns writing about them before they were destroyed then the writing would be even earlier.

6. "Why would Jesus make all of his followers give up all of their earthly possessions and all family, children included?" shows you can't read context, he never actually says this and you have to read precept upon precept. He is clearly saying (as he describes later on as well hence why you're actually supposed to read the darn book) that "leaving" family for him is about you not choosing your family OVER him. As gods word is more important than a family member who doesn't follow, as they will lead you to sin, thus you must not cling to them and leave. It has nothing to do with what you said, which was a voluntary action. Not to mention later on in the new testament that doesn't always happen so.....Also the your mark quotes are out of context as well, you can't argue against scripture if you're going to throw individual sentences out of context.

7. There was never a prophecy with any real data time period of when the "end times" would come not even in the manuscripts. Jesus return by the sword is when those times would come, Jesus never gave any hint or mention of any "nearby" time period back then. This becomes even clear if you read everything leading up to the verse your using.

8. Johns baptism of Jesus makes perfect sense, Jesus is not divine, the Son of Man is not "god" the son of man is the body created of god. That body can die, god cannot. Of course you'd know this if you actually read anything.

9. 12 disciples has nothing to do with the kingdom of god, the unification of the Jewish nation is about united the 12 TRIBES of Israel together and those same tribes are on the 12 gates. The 12 Apostles were sent to spread the word amongst the nations to help with that. The 12 apostles were not going to be "the rulers" of the kingdom the 12 Tribes together would be the "rulers.

10. Your "son of man vs. Son of god" section is all about taking things out of context desperately trying to make the same subject two different things. There is no difference between the two. You also continue this really bad habit of putting focus on stand alone lines without giving yourself any other information and then jumping to random conclusions ignoring that all those questions are answered sometimes in the same darn page with some of the stuff you've been yacking about on here.

11. Your resurrection sentence is pointless, one with trying to use a false equivalency, and second for again not reading the bible properly, especially considering the many times Jesus references the books of what they call the "old testament" and that Jesus was already written of before he came. Did you know that Jesus was with Moses in the wilderness? Of course not.

12. There was no game a telephone you're making assumptions without enough information to base it on. Mark also wasn't considered the first book until later, and that was conjecture because it was the shortest book. Matthew was originally considered the first book and in many cases still is. But the isue here is you thinking the other books used mark and than expanded upon it when Mark/Luke, and Matt had certain events covered that happened at the same time. Flawed logic.

13. There's a difference between being granted forgiveness and praying for forgiveness, Jesus died for the sins at the time and to be the end of the old sacrificial law (hence why blood needed to be drawn) and this changed the rules to where repentance that is sincere can replace some of the consequences of early sins, like some sins resulted in death. You're twisting understandings.

14. Jesus message wasn't for the whole world, he even directly says that he came for the house of Israel. The words "The world" are misunderstood by you because you don't understand the context and look at it from a vague English point of view as "the entire planet and everyone on it" when that's not the case. There are no contradictions.

15. Your statement of Christians interpreting the word "servant" and "oppression" wrong only applies to certain popular sects not all Christians. But we know you have an agenda.

16. Using Catholics for any argument against scriptures is an automatic loss since they never follow it (and mary is not the mother of god)

17. Jesus did not command all his followers to give up everything, and there's literal evidence of it in other parts of the book where Jesus was NOT asking certain people who CLEARLY has wealth and possessions to give their things up. You're lack of context is crazy. Bible is precept upon precept, it's not a left to right book, you have to sometimes go back to other areas to see what's referenced. Especially since the English translations may make some words less clear reading in a vacuum.

18. You're conclusion is nonsensical and it's you forming an "opinion" based off nothing coming up with random assumptions.

19. You're taking the eli eli quote out of context while trying to make it seem Jesus didn't know what was going to happen and God actually forsaken Jesus when that a contradiction to something not long before that event. You also lied about it being the only thing he says on the cross.

I didn't hit everything, and I'm sure you have more garbage in the link but your argument is poor, and it's extremely lazy.

Your argument depends on deceiving those that don't read the bible or can't find the actually passages and equally depends on taking individual lines out of contest with your own original research surrounding it to fool said person to actually question the scriptures. While also making a few false statements or just asking random questions that aren't even part of the passage you're using.

I've seen Atheists argue against scripture before and often both parties have to double check each other with the scriptures because it's not as simple as you try and make it look. You're argument was honestly just lazy and depends on deceiving people into coming to conclusions based on your fake interpretation when half of what you're claiming is wrong is either out of context or not even in the book. Especially your last few lines which were a direct lie.
 

Afro Republican

GAF>INTERNET>GAF, BITCHES
Aug 24, 2016
3,872
2,086
880
you are willing to go into the level of depth that @Arkage just did then by all means go make the thread for it. Nobody is stopping you.
OP has no depth, it's beyond lazy and just as a large number of words (that have to be cut a bit if you respond to him based on forum character limits) to make the post seem more impressive than it is.

The post is largely:

1. Quotes taking out of context, some times to the point a person would have to ask what was surrounding the quote/verse

2. Him asking random questions that have nothing to do with the passage and just him making random questions.

3. Putting in his own original research and assumptions in as if they are true yet gives no actual elaboration on where he got these assumptions from in the first place.

4. Literally lying.
 

Shai-Tan

Member
Mar 16, 2009
5,507
267
870
I'm probably a bit of what is called an accommodationist regarding religious belief but I also have no problem with some of the books "The New Atheists" wrote. That said I would recommend anyone who read a New Atheist book to check out David Sloan Wilson's Darwin's Cathedral or any work in sociology and anthropology on religion because the New Atheists don't seem to quite understand religion as a social phenomenon. David Sloan Wilsons favorite term for this is "meaning systems" which puts into question the assumption that reducing religious belief will make us more rational or good; considering how many secular cults there are these days with "sacred beliefs" (a la Jon Haidt) it seems questionable.
 

Cosmogony

Member
Jul 11, 2018
856
1,297
380
Yes there is. For some reason it's completely fine to shit on Christianity but it's a massive no-no when it comes to other religions.
The reason being Christianity is prominent in the West and so westerners usually have some familiarity with it, all the way up to expert knowledge. One can only expertly criticize what one expertly knows.

Christianity shares many flaws with the other Abrahamic traditions but bears some theological strains of immorality of its own.

I'm not religious by the way, just pointing out the massive double standard.
No, it's not, because no one is saying a) Christianity is the only flawed religion and b ) Christianity's flaws are all exclusive.
 

Swauny Jones

Member
Oct 30, 2013
212
45
350
OP has no depth, it's beyond lazy and just as a large number of words (that have to be cut a bit if you respond to him based on forum character limits) to make the post seem more impressive than it is.

The post is largely:

1. Quotes taking out of context, some times to the point a person would have to ask what was surrounding the quote/verse

2. Him asking random questions that have nothing to do with the passage and just him making random questions.

3. Putting in his own original research and assumptions in as if they are true yet gives no actual elaboration on where he got these assumptions from in the first place.

4. Literally lying.
His quotes were basically the cliff notes version of a paper he did in the past explaining his rationale. Did you end up reading that at all or are you just going off of what is in the OP??
 

93xfan

Member
Feb 23, 2013
1,471
220
470
These “desperate” men gave detailed accounts about their lack of faith in a time where the peers and authorities were against them.

Yet all of them stood by their testimony of Jesus being the Lord and Messiah they were waiting for.

Rather than trying to take their religion elsewhere and leave Jerusalem, they were built up and emboldened to preach in Jerusalem after the crucifiction. They risked their lives to confront those who claimed the body must have been stolen by Jews of all people.

If you didn’t know, a Jew touching the dead would’ve been unthinkable. It would have made them unclean. The apostles were all Jewish.

It doesn’t add up why they would stay and preach to the authorities just just murdered their Messiah. You’d think they’d flee elsewhere and do this.

Typing this on my lunch, so sorry if this is a bit scattered
 

highrider

Gold Member
Dec 18, 2010
8,805
1,919
900
51
washington d.c.
There are many muslims that are not crazy fanatics. I have a moroccan friend who is muslim and we have talked about islam in a critical way many times. The day I've been more severely "attacked" for criticizing a religion was by Pentecostals lol.
Yeah I know but there’s definitely an issue with the more serious ones, just ask Salman Rushdie lol.