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It's a fantastic essay.

We all have read the tales told of Jesus in the Gospels, but few people really have a good idea of their context. Yet it is quite enlightening to examine them against the background of the time and place in which they were written, and my goal here is to help you do just that. There is abundant evidence that these were times replete with kooks and quacks of all varieties, from sincere lunatics to ingenious frauds, even innocent men mistaken for divine, and there was no end to the fools and loons who would follow and praise them. Placed in this context, the gospels no longer seem to be so remarkable, and this leads us to an important fact: when the Gospels were written, skeptics and informed or critical minds were a small minority. Although the gullible, the credulous, and those ready to believe or exaggerate stories of the supernatural are still abundant today, they were much more common in antiquity, and taken far more seriously.

If the people of that time were so gullible or credulous or superstitious, then we have to be very cautious when assessing the reliability of witnesses of Jesus. As Thomas Jefferson believed when he composed his own version of the gospels, Jesus may have been an entirely different person than the Gospels tell us, since the supernatural and other facts about him, even some of his parables or moral sayings, could easily have been added or exaggerated by unreliable witnesses or storytellers. Thus, this essay is not about whether Jesus was real or how much of what we are told about him is true. It is not even about Jesus. Rather, this essay is a warning and a standard, by which we can assess how likely or easily what we are told about Jesus may be false or exaggerated, and how little we can trust anyone who claims to be a witness of what he said and did. For if all of these other stories below could be told and believed, even by Christians themselves, it follows that the Gospels, being of entirely the same kind, can all too easily be inaccurate, tainted by the gullibility, credulity, or fondness for the spectacular which characterized most people of the time.

[www.infidels.org]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/29/2010 11:53PM by Fascinated_foreigner.
I saw Jesus the other day.


Right next to Elvis at the gas station.

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"Build yourselves a wall of ships!" said the Oracle!
The ironic thing is a lot of Elvis fans wouldn't consider this a joke.
Elvis sighting and cults make great case studies that show how quickly legends start. One of the arguement apologists use concerning the resurrection is that myths and legend take a number of generations before they take hold. They claim Jesus sighting couldn't have been legends because recording of his sightening happened less than a decade after his death. Some apologists claim as little as five years after his death. But Elvis sighting were recorded almost as soon as he was pronouced dead and the sightings continue 33 years later.

Another interesting tidbit is and I quote
Indeed, after his death, Presley had been seen by fans as "Other Jesus" or "Saint Elvis".[17] "I don't think he will ever die down," Dolly Parton says. "He's considered by many to be like a religious figure, like Jesus. ... I don't know how to explain it, but it's there, and it's real, and people love it."[18]

The first serious attempt to examine the Elvis phenomenon in religious terms was made over 15 years ago by Dr Ted Harrison, a former BBC Religious Affairs correspondent in his book The Elvis People. He saw parallels between visits to Graceland and pilgrimage to Christian holy sites. He looked at the trading of relics and the offering of prayers to Elvis and the iconography, especially that involving Elvis and Jesus.


[en.wikipedia.org]



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/30/2010 09:32AM by Fascinated_foreigner.
thumbs up Really excellent piece of historical analysis by Richard.

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- Juni {^á´¥^}


"Don't judge other people just because they sin differently from you!" ~ Anon

Three things you (probably) don't know about Islam
[www.youtube.com]

Welcome To Belgistan -- The New Muslim Capital Of Europe
[www.youtube.com]

Thought you'd enjoy Jun. Carrier really knows his stuff. Some of his papers get really heavy academic-wise that I have a hard time getting through it.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/31/2010 06:51AM by Fascinated_foreigner.
I still think you should synthesise all this stuff into a book FF.

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"Build yourselves a wall of ships!" said the Oracle!
It's been done K. There's a number of books out there that cover all these topics. Earl Doherty's, The Jesus Puzzle: Did Christianity Begin with a Mythical Christ? Robert Price's Deconstructing Jesus (2000) and The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man (2003). George Wells', The Historical Evidence for Jesus (1988); Who Was Jesus? (1989); The Jesus Legend (1993);
The Jesus Myth (1998); Can We Trust the New Testament? (2005) and a book with a collection of essay by the leading scholars of the subject called Beyond Tomb: Jesus beyond the Grave (2005).

I was thinking more about doing a thriller in the same vein as the Da Vinci Code. A archeologist finds definitive evidence that Jesus was a myth and a secret cult of religious fanatics try to kill him and destory the evidence.
Go that route FF and synthesize a ton of information from those books in there. That would be awesome.

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"Build yourselves a wall of ships!" said the Oracle!
What do you mean you may enjoy June and Kairos, FF? Are these 2 nuts available for us posters as entertainment?
I guess us being called nuts is a step up from PTTP calling us freaks the other day.

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"Build yourselves a wall of ships!" said the Oracle!
Kairos Wrote:
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> I guess us being called nuts is a step up from
> PTTP calling us freaks the other day.

Well, so people ARE talking about you two...
Sorry working gal I meant that Jun and Kairos would enjoy reading the article I posted.
I'd be interested to know why you consider them nuts?

K, I've been working on the initial research for the novel since the beginning of the year and as you've noticed it's been overflowing into this forum. The research is tough going. It gonna be hard written about life in Israel without actually travelling there for a few months.

Hey K why does workingal consider you nuts?
Fascinated_foreigner Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Sorry working gal I meant that Jun and Kairos
> would enjoy reading the article I posted.
> I'd be interested to know why you consider them
> nuts?
>
> K, I've been working on the initial research for
> the novel since the beginning of the year and as
> you've noticed it's been overflowing into this
> forum. The research is tough going. It gonna be
> hard written about life in Israel without actually
> travelling there for a few months.
>
> Hey K why does workingal consider you nuts?

FF, I am Maddie's twin sister ok? So you're only puzzled why I called K a nut? Does that mean it goes without doubt Jun is an accepted nut?

Well, I thought Jun should have company, so I called K also a nut.
Pot calling the kettle black MADdy! tongue sticking out smiley

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- Juni {^á´¥^}


"Don't judge other people just because they sin differently from you!" ~ Anon

Three things you (probably) don't know about Islam
[www.youtube.com]

Welcome To Belgistan -- The New Muslim Capital Of Europe
[www.youtube.com]

FF, why not travel to Israel for a few months?

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"Build yourselves a wall of ships!" said the Oracle!
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