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  #61  
Old 31-March-2002, 17:15
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Some more interesting points.

dicky says
Unlike the beheadings, floggings, hangings and public humiliations that have peppered British history then?
Not forgetting the Iron Maiden, Cat o' nine tails, stretching rack or perhaps the most gruesome of all British Tortures - being hung, drawn and quartered.

Vic you seem fascinated in events surrounding Israel.
You've got a point there. I certainly don't claim any "holier than thou" attitude. Some bad stuff has been done in the name of Britain in the past, but that's hardly my fault, is it? I have German roots too, but Hitler wasn't my fault, was he?

As for fascination, hmm, well, okay, it's just a tad horror movie I guess. But more than that, I'm also interested in why KaZaA got the ruling that Napster didn't. I'm interested in why port scanning is considered bad. I'm interested in why people use Windows rather than Linux. I'm interested in why we have to pay a TV licence fee in the UK when they don't have to in other countries. I'm interested in why Edward Rochester's wife was portrayed how she was in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, and why it's okay for Edward to be unfaithful to her, and if this might have anything to do with the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade that happened just before it was written. I'm interested in why there seems to be so much hysterical Euro-skepticism in a tabloid press that is largely not British owned anyway. I'm also interested in how people got recruited to fight in WW2 when many people got sent "over the top" during The Great War - which is why we have Remembrance Sunday.

When push comes to shove, I don't really care about these things that much. But my point is that I see all of these things as being governments and big media corporations playing spin games. And I see this issue of Christianity and Jesus's resurrection in much the same way.

ewtie ...
Jesus was dead when he was 'pierced', this fullfilled one of many prophecies regarding him.
Thanks - incidentally, that's Jewish prophesy too. But do you honestly take prophesy that seriously? The Romans went to great lengths to make it look as though their occupation of Israel fulfilled Jewish prophesy. Anyone can make it look as though prophesies are fulfilled, and it's hardly surprising that Jews at the time didn't buy it. Only those in Western Europe who were a bit more naive about what had really gone on actually bought it.

My point is, Constantine was the first Christian Roman emperor. Paper, ink, public relations consultants and the logistics of distributing books and preachers don't come for free - and it's well known that the propagation of Christianity throughout Western Europe was paid for by Roman state money, which they had raised through taxes. I'm not saying that Jewish history is totally clean, but the point is, Romans occupied Israel during the life of Jesus, starting from 69BC. Has there never been a person who has resented Romans moving in and asking for tax? This is certainly enough for me to think, "Hmmmm."

I don't really mind what people believe, but I think that ewtie's assertion that an element of Jews killed Jesus is a dangerous one, since it was precisely this belief that was exploited by Hitler to justify the Holocaust.

But it doesn't stand to reason, for three reasons. One, Jesus was alive after the resurrection anyway, so you can't really say with certainty that anyone killed him at all. Secondly, the Romans had access to far more resources than the Jews to put their side of the story across. And thirdly, Jesus himself was a Jew. So why would the Jews want to kill him anyway? Especially considering that he was a direct male line descendent of David.

Assuming you believe that Joseph was his dad. But - whoops, no, they thought of that one too. Apparently Mary was a virgin. Therefore Joseph wasn't Jesus' dad. Therefore Jesus wasn't a direct male line descendent of King David, and therefore he really was a bad person, blaspheming against the Jews by making out that he was, which meant his crucifixion was justified. Yeah, right. If you believe that, then, quite honestly, you'll believe anything.
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  #62  
Old 31-March-2002, 17:22
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In following up Squidgy's most recent post came across the following:-

6. The inscription

Mark said the King of the Jews, Matthew says this is Jesus, King of the Jews, Luke say this is the King of the Jews, John says it said Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.

The main charge against Jesus in all four of the Gospels is that he claimed to be the 'King of the Jews', there is no contradiction of this fact. The difference in wording can be explained John 19:20:

"Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek."

Pontius Pilate had the sign written and the different wordings in each of the languages probably varied according to Pilate's proficiency in each of the languages.
A Messiah would need to have credentials as a King but to claim to be a King without absolute lineage would be sedition unless one could prove oneself to be a Messiah.

It's all very political!!!!
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  #63  
Old 31-March-2002, 18:31
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It's occurred to me that a Christian would take my last point, and turn it around, saying that Jesus wasn't a bad person, he was a good person. And he really was the king of the Jews, but not by virtue of being a direct line descendent of David (which he wasn't, since Mary was a virgin), but because he fulfilled the prophesies. But the Jews refused to accept that, and that's why they wanted to kill him. And this makes the Jews bad.

Oh, and the fact that Jesus was alive again some time after the Jews killed him is beside the point. No, wait, it's the whole point, it's the miracle of resurrection, again, fulfilling the prophesies.

Take away the assertion that Mary really was a virgin, and replace it with a realistic belief that Joseph really was Jesus' father, and suddenly, Jesus really is a direct male line descendent of David, thereby making him the King of the Jews for real, and removing the Jews' reason for killing him, and casting doubt on the idea that they were responsible.

But that's not the point. My point is, a reasonable person wouldn't be so quick to blame someone for killing someone else anyway, especially when the supposed victim happens to be alive, prophesy or no prophesy. I believe people are innocent until proven guilty. You shouldn't need proof of innocence, but the assertion that Christians themselves make that Jesus is alive should be proof enough if you do need it.

But there's no hint that this might let the Jews off the hook for killing Jesus, though. So it's yet another reason why Christianity considers it important to believe that Jesus really did die, and came back to life again - and it's something that should make you go "Hmmm."

Last edited by squidgy; 31-March-2002 at 18:50.
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  #64  
Old 31-March-2002, 19:05
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Yes Squidgy - I hold you personally responsible for Hitlers activities.
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  #65  
Old 31-March-2002, 19:46
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(from Squidgy) I don't really mind what people believe, but I think that ewtie's assertion that an element of Jews killed Jesus is a dangerous one, since it was precisely this belief that was exploited by Hitler to justify the Holocaust.
Go along with that statement absolutely and certainly consider Squidgy's analysis of the effect of virgin birth on one's right to claim the throne is highly relevant.

We must rid the world of this anti-semitic concept that Jews were entirely responsible for the death of Jesus. It was an extremely complex sequence of events and most Christians only read of the stories provided in The New Testament and fail to appreciate the shared common culture of both Gentile and Jew in The Old Testament.

Hope this thread shows there is much need for reconciliation between both religions and a Christian attitude would be to forgive and understand.

As an atheist is seems to me that on one hand we have the death of a "Messiah" who is unable to prove in a trial that he is indeed a "Messiah" and thus subsequently crucified but possibly not actually killed. On the other hand we have the millions of Jews exterminated within the Christian state of Germany and with some Christians being directly involved in the extensive apparatus of an industrialised execution process.

The children and babies killed in concentration camps were, unlike Jesus, given no trial and no opportunity to explain their innocence. Even given the chance children would not have the oratory skills of Jesus to reason their way out of their terrible fate.

There seems plenty of space for foregiveness here.
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  #66  
Old 31-March-2002, 20:08
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i am not sure a christian has any anti-semitic thoughts towards the death of Jesus.

i believe they do not dwell on his death but rejoice in his ressurection as that is the cornerstone of their faith.

the Jews orchestrated his death but he was in fact put to death by the Romans as has been stated earlier.

again as said earlier Jesus as 'The Son of God' which he knew/believed he was, knew he had to die to fulfill the proficies. can it be argued, therefor that he was a willing partner?
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  #67  
Old 01-April-2002, 01:19
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Take your point there tony a - but if this is all true, it seems just a wee tad convenient for the Romans. The Romans killed him, okay, but Jesus freely accepted that fate, and besides, the Jews put pressure on the Romans to do it. Or so the Christian teachings would have you believe. But why is it necessary to believe this?

If it's a miracle you're after, isn't the by now largely undisputed fact that Jesus was known to be alive some time after the crucifixion enough of a miracle? Okay, perhaps not if, like me, you don't believe that crucifixion necessarily kills people, but that's not my point.

I can see no reason for asserting that Jesus died and rose to life again other than to stitch the Jews up for a death which didn't actually happen. I can't see that casting doubt on this so called essential cornerstone of faith does anything more than cast doubt on the idea that the Romans were the good guys. But when you consider the politics of the situation, it's screamingly obvious why this is such a problem. It would appear that Christianity and Roman imperialism are one and the same thing - so if you doubt Christianity, you undermine Roman authority.

They would have you believe that Christianity is a fulfilment of Jewish prophesy, and is therefore a supercedement of Judaism. But if it really did derive from Judaism, then would St Paul really have been so quick to do away with the requirement for circumcision and kosher food? Obviously he needed to get the Romans to take this idea up, and see how it benefits them, and history tells us that this is exactly what happened. Seems rather suspicious to me.

The other point I'd make is that if Jesus really did freely accept this fate, then how come he was only crucified once? Why was he not crucified twice? He rose from the dead, yeah? So it shouldn't have been a problem, he could have showed up in the temples of Jerusalem so that there couldn't have been any doubt that he had rised again. But no, it didn't happen.

I suspect that what actually happened was that he did a runner and left the area, though not before he made his followers aware of what was going down. And no disrespect to him, if I had been crucified but risen again, I would have done precisely the same.

During his life, Jesus spoke of the coming of "the Kingdom of God". Of course, what he really meant was the overthrow of the occupation and the re-establishment of the Jewish state that they had enjoyed before 69BC. But the Romans decided to take the opposite view - "the Kingdom of God" is the fulfillment of the Roman occupation, whereby Jews pay their taxes to the Romans and don't rock the boat any more. They wanted you to think that the Jews had "sinned" by way of resisting the occupation, and that this is what Jesus died for, and that he rose to life again as a way of showing people that the Romans will give you a second chance - but they won't put up with any "funny business" second time round. In the New Testament, they acknowledge that life may seem hard under Roman rule, but if you're good and stay in line, you'll be rewarded in heaven. But on the other hand, if you get too big for your boots, the Romans will punish you - and they have been given the authority to do this by God. This explains why Christianity plays up the point of people going to Heaven, but plays down the idea of people going to Hell - because it allows the Romans to punish you, without compelling them to be fair to you.

All rather convenient for the Roman authorities, don't you think?
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  #68  
Old 01-April-2002, 02:14
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Further to WL's point, yes, I do think that you've got the overriding concern there. Of course, whether Jesus really did get a fair trial, and whether he died or not, and who was responsible if he did can be debated, like we're doing now. And despite my line of reasoning, I think it would be overstating things a bit to say that nothing good has ever come out of Rome.

However, like you say, the very genuine deaths of thousands of innocent Jews under Nazi rule is undeniable.

All I'm trying to do is to show that drawing attention to the roots of this really is to smack right at the very heart of Christianity. People say that Christianity is about love and forgiveness, but that's not strictly true - because a religion which believes in love and forgiveness, but doesn't believe that there is any special significance in the death and resurrection of Jesus, technically, isn't Christianity. So, if you were to ask how Christianity can be "tweaked" so as to make it more Jew-friendly, you really would be making a tall order.

But like I say, I have no doubt that some good stuff has come out of Rome, and some good stuff has come out of Christianity too. Religion is a message and a medium for a message, so I think that outlawing any religion, or any aspect thereof, is no different to censorship in the media, so it doesn't really solve any problems. What I would like to think, though, is that people have the necessary information in order to be able to reach a balanced view. I also think that progress is made if people don't feel as though they have to "identify" completely and totally with any particular religion, in much the same way that it's good not to have to "identify" totally with any particular newspaper or TV channel.
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  #69  
Old 01-April-2002, 11:55
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i think you miss the point of the resurection, yes Jesus rose on the 3rd day but not into a material or physical body, he could be seen but that is all.

A ghost?

will have to do a bit of reading to get my facts or perhaps someone with a better knowledge of the ressurection could clarify
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  #70  
Old 01-April-2002, 12:51
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Hmmmmm I've been following this thread with much interest.
Jesus did rise physically. Remember he asked Thomas to put his hands into the wound on the side of his body. How would Thomas be able to do that if Jesus wasn't standing before him physically?
Also Squidgies point concerning the crucifixion. Just because it was on a documnetary on TV doesn't mean to say it is absolutely correct.
The roman crucifixion was desigend to kill and to kill slowly. Usually death resulted in suffocation, if the crucified seemed to be dying too slowly the romans would break their legs so they wouldn't be able to push their bodies up for breath. If Jesus hadn't died he would have had his legs broken. This was to fulfill prophecy that "not one of his bones will be broken"
Jesus died due massive blood loss. The pictures we see of him hanging on the cross in no way show the true reality of what he looked like. Again prophecy states "his form was beyond recognition."
He had to shed all his blood in order for the figiveness of mans sins to be acomplished. He would have been covered from head to foot on his own blood.
It says in the bible that "water & blood" came out of the wound on his side when it was pierced. According to medical experts this means litteraly that Jesus' heart exploded which is sometimes symptoms of this type of condition.
The bible also states that a gaurd was placed around the tomb of Jesus. If his body was stolen or he sneaked out, how did the soldiers not see him.
It is highly doubful they was sleeping as the roman soldiers knew that sleeping on the job was punishable with death.
Just a few more notes for discussion folkes.
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  #71  
Old 01-April-2002, 12:56
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as you say Beef. cannot ask my expert, [my wife is away] but did he not appear and dissapear over the 40 days? up until assention day

or would Squidgy just say he was hiding?

and if that is the case what happened on assention day?
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  #72  
Old 01-April-2002, 13:02
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During his forty days before the ascention yes he did make himself vivble only to those he wished to be. I added more in my other post BTW
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  #73  
Old 01-April-2002, 13:28
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I've just read the last few postings and trying to take them on board!!!! In the meantime.........

I'm not sure that it is wise to be too dogmatic as to the exact nature of events following the crucifixion of Jesus.

Last night I watched part of "The Resurrection Debate" BBC Four where a panel of eminent experts had different interpretations of these events.

There was a representative of The Jesus Seminar on the panel (Professor Schmidt) and there is continued ongoing debate there on understanding various events in the life of Jesus.

With experts at this level, and with such wealth of knowledge being unable to arrive at a common agreement, what hope is there for less well educated individuals to come to a valid conclusion?

For many professed Christians their main education in Christian belief comes from indoctrination in Church or school. How therefore can they be so absolutely certain as to what happened so many years ago?
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  #74  
Old 01-April-2002, 13:43
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afternoon Vic

my feelings are that we are now getting into a theological discussion and that is far too big for me,

one of my very close friends is the pastor at the local revival church and he cannot convince me or explain events so i can accept/believe

i think we would be better to leave it at the point it is, it has been one of the best discussions i have seen on 'The Scream' but there seems now little to add.

certainly I am going to withdraw, might add 2 penneth if I dissagree violently, but i think we have taken it as far as we can go.

Does that mean i am agreeing with you!!
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  #75  
Old 01-April-2002, 13:57
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This thread started as a theological discussion in the first place
How come when I join in no one wants to contribute anymore
I'm not sure that it is wise to be too dogmatic as to the exact nature of events following the crucifixion of Jesus.
No ones being dogmatic here, well not me anyway.
"Eminent Experts" and what makes you think they have a better knowlege than us mere mortals? The BBc4 thing was merely conjecture and not based on historical fact, where as (and one may not think so) the death of Jesus Christ is fact. That's how we can base the in's and out's of what happened. Even the bible it'self gives pointers to the historian.
For many professed Christians their main education in Christian belief comes from indoctrination in Church or school. How therefore can they be so absolutely certain as to what happened so many years ago?
Not all people who are Christians have grown up in the church. Most Christians in fact don't have a background in the church.
How can they possibly know? Well 99.9% of them have had a life changing experience, where they have tried evrything else, they have found accepting christ has revolutionized there lives.
A lot of these experiences have been on innitial contact and not as you (WL) proportedly say through indoctrination and the church.
Easter is important to many Christians because they can associate the change in their lives as a result of the death and ressurection of Jesus. FACT peoples lives have been changed where all help and avenues have been tried.
Whether we or the Jews are responsible or notis and unfounded question, because Jesus was meant to die. That was his final goal when He came to earth and is prophsied through out the old testament!
Makes one think eh?
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  #76  
Old 01-April-2002, 14:14
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certainly not withdrawing because you came in Beef, the more the better

in my limited experience, Church's, in the old fashoned sence of the word is full of people who are not christians, just pew fillers.

that might get a few people shouting

in fact church at an early age is probarbly the biggest switch off to becoming a Christian.

and certainly your point about believing all one sees on the television or in the newspapers is relavent. I certainly would not want my knowledge base to be limited to those inputs.

I believe Christianity is a personal experience, it cannot be explained rationally as it is not rational.

i quote again part of a mail from a friend in the states who believes

[quote]

"Do you believe Christ rose from the dead as he said he did to give us eternal spirtual life."

We can believe so many other things without physical evidence, so why not something that will have so great an impact on our future.

The problem with us is that if we can't feel it or see it, it does not exist (to some).

[end of quote]

to some it is as easy as night following day, to others [and i am one] i think we think too much and look for rational answers, when it is a matter of faith

more than 2 penneth, sorry


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  #77  
Old 01-April-2002, 14:58
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Question Why Forty Days?

The Beef"Eminent Experts" and what makes you think they have a better knowlege than us mere mortals? The BBc4 thing was merely conjecture and not based on historical fact
Did you see the programme concerned Beef?

I certainly respected these people as having great in depth knowledge of the Bible and therefore able to explain intelligently the reasoning behind the different accounts of the Apostles. The program was definitely not conjecture but a reasoned analysis of these different accounts and endeavouring to understand the most likely course of events,

**************************************************

Strange that the temptation in the wilderness was for forty days (Luke 4 v 2) and the period from Resurrection to the Ascension was also forty days (Acts 1 v 3)

**************************************************

Is seems to be up to the crucifixion we have, to some extent, been able to comprehend the differing viewpoints of Jews and Romans in relation to a person claiming to be Messiah.

After the crucifixion the evidence is less reliable and we have to remember the accounts were written sometime after the event. Furthermore the accounts were written by people who may have wished to hide certain information to conceal their desertion of Jesus at a time when their evidence may have been vital in any trial.

In these circumstances there would have been a temptation to recount the stories in such a way as to link them to prophecies in the Old Testament.

The power of the human mind sometimes amazes us and faith can often cure. Frequently those taking placebos in drug trials report improvements in their health!!!

I would not decry the beneficial effects of faith but merely to bear in mind:-

Faith may be defined briefly an an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable - H. L. Mencken
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Old 01-April-2002, 15:24
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To be honest WL, no I didn't see the programme, but I did watch one on ITV the other night. Most of these programmes of this type tend to be full of hyperthetical idea's based on what they have learned from the bible. So appologies to you for making a comment on something I did not see.
The power of the human mind sometimes amazes us and faith can often cure. Frequently those taking placebos in drug trials report improvements in their health!!!
There was a man who was put into a lunatic asylum a number of years ago by the name of William Cowper. This fellow was ordered by the authorities that he must spend the rest of hi life there
This man was totally out of his mind and spent all of his time in a padded cell.
Anyone who came to see him was attacked, including members of his family.
A local Christian felt he was told by God to go and see him.
Arriving at the asylum he was asked to sign a waiver, that if he was attacked and hurt or even killed, the asylum would not be held responible.
When the Christian fellow went in, William Cowper charged at the man screaming and shouting. The fellow uttered the words, "be free in the name of Jesus"
Instantly this man fell to the floor and rose again in his right mind.
Was this placebo? Was it some sort of psychological trunaround?
This is a true story and the man wrote a hymn not long after entitled, "There is a fountain filled with blood"
Faith is more than just an act of the mind.
Here is maybe a more believable account for people
William Cowper
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Old 01-April-2002, 15:36
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Some very good points. Like the Beef says, just because you've seen something on telly doesn't make it right, however, I had seen other literature on the subject before this, so the idea wasn't totally alien to me. And it's just that it seems to make sense.

Moreover, the interpretation I have seems to explain why Italy, rather than Israel, became the stronghold of Christianity, and how it went on to propagate throughout Western Europe, yet failed to be taken up so enthusiastically in the Middle East, in the very land that the events it describes took place. It also sheds light on possible reasons why there is still conflict in the Middle East today. The teachings of Christianity alone fail to do this - which is hardly surprising, because they weren't really intended for that purpose.

I agree with The Beef, there's good reason to believe that Jesus was physically alive after the resurrection, just like you and me, and Thomas saw him. He wasn't a "ghost" like tony a suggests. However, it makes sense to me that he would have reason to lead the Roman authorities to think he was dead - so as to avoid the risk of a second crucifixion. Hence an ensuing debate about whether he was alive or not.

Only a small number of people saw him alive, though I dare say a number of them pretended he wasn't. However, if a corpse or skeleton had been found, then that would have cleared up the debate once and for all, people would know that he was dead. But that didn't happen either. People were just able to umm and arr about whether he was alive or dead because very few people actually saw him, dead or alive, so very few people knew for certain either way. And this certainly seems to fit the idea that he kept a low profile and then left the area.

I'm led to believe that the place of his ascension happens to be the old silk road to India. Perhaps he just followed it and went to India. This certainly fits with the idea of Jesus coming back - because he wouldn't have wanted his campaign against Roman occupation just to end, so maybe his plan was to keep his ear to the ground, find out when it had finally all blown over, and then come back to Israel to celebrate when it did. Snag is, though, it didn't happen during his natural lifetime, though the Roman empire did eventually collapse several hundred years later. However, by this time, Christianity was already firmly established in Western Europre.

But like the Beef says, for my part at least, this is all merely conjecture. It's just that it seems to fit, it seems plausible, and it seems to explain a lot more than the teachings of Christianity does by itself. It also addresses the question of motives for propagating Christianity too, and what's in it for those who do, which, again, the actual teachings of Christianity don't do by themselves.

As for tony a's last point ....

The problem with us is that if we can't feel it or see it, it does not exist (to some).
That's precisely my point too, because it can be turned around. When you turn on the TV and watch the news, they're far more likely to play up local events than international events. Your next door neighbour leaving his chip pan on by mistake is more significant to you than a war on the other side of the world in which thousands of people are killed.

And in the same way, people in Western Europe may not be able to feel or see any reason why the Israelites may have felt bitter or resentful about the Roman invasion, so they are unable to see any possible sinister political motive behind the propagation of Christianity. So, therefore, they believe that it doesn't exist, and Christianity wins the day. On the other hand, people who actually live in the Middle East can see it clear as crystal, so Christianity falls flat on its face.

Once again, it's all conjecture, but it all makes way too much sense for me not to take it seriously.
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Old 01-April-2002, 15:49
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The Beef Was this placebo? Was it some sort of psychological trunaround?
Could not hypnosis or some kind of psychological non religious "exorcism" be involved? We cannot make individual unexplained and unresearched events form the basis for general truths.

I have no explanation as to why a relative of mine with terminal cancer of the throat should have gained a few extra years of live following a visit to Lourdes. Maybe if he had been given a new drug and had faith that it would cure him his life would have been prolonged the same way.

The question arises why one should be so grateful for the cure when an Almighty God could have prevented the illness or debility in the first place.
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Old 01-April-2002, 16:03
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i will pick you up on one point Squidgy, my word 'ghost' was followed by a question mark, it was therefor a question NOT a suggestion

as to the rest of your post, i have no comment really except that you are very cleaver with words and making the facts fit your theories.

in other words, i do not agree with you
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Old 01-April-2002, 16:07
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at tony.

The wordsmith of brief eloquence
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  #83  
Old 01-April-2002, 16:33
Fenix
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With experts at this level, and with such wealth of knowledge being unable to arrive at a common agreement, what hope is there for less well educated individuals to come to a valid conclusion?
You speak for yourself m8

I would like to discuss this matter further but feel we should widen the discussion, so unless there is an objection I will, otherwise I'll start a new thread.



Not all people who are Christians have grown up in the church. Most Christians in fact don't have a background in the church. How can they possibly know? Well 99.9% of them have had a life changing experience, where they have tried evrything else, they have found accepting christ has revolutionized there lives. A lot of these experiences have been on innitial contact and not as you (WL) proportedly say through indoctrination and the church.
Just like to comment on this first.

I think I can agree here because in this day and age, people are more likely to have been put off by what WL calls "indoctrination". Indeed, it is why I have looked further in my own life, though in my case I have rejected the christian singular view of 'god' idea.

Having said that I do believe that Jesus did exist but that he was just 'one' ( all be it important) in a line of prophets.

The following is an extract from a book called 'The Perrenial Philosophy' by Aldous Huxley and sums up my attitude about 'God'

"The doctrine that God can be incarnated in human form is found in most of the principle historic expositions of the Perrenial philosophy - Hinduism, in Mahayana Buddhism, in Christianity, and in the Mohammmedanism of the Sufis, by whom the prophet was equated with the eternal Logos ( the divine wisdom and/or, the controlling principle of the universe)

This extract is taken from the 'Bhagavad Gita', considered to be written over 3000 years before Christ


When goodness grows weak,
When evil increases
I make myself a body

In every age I come back
To deliver the holy,
To destroy the sin of the sinner,
To establish righteousness

He who knows the nature
Of my task and my holy birth
Is not reborn
When he leaves this body;
He comes to me.

Flying from fear,
From lust and anger,
He hides in me,
His refuge and safety.
Burnt clean in the blaze of my being,
In Me many find home.

"The Blessed One spoke and said: 'Know Vasettha, that from time to time a Tathagatta is born into the world, a fully enlightened one, blessed and worthy, abounding in wisdom and goodness, happy with the knowledge of the worlds, unsurpassed as a guide to erring mortals, a teacher of Gods and men, a Blessed Buddha. He proclaims the Truth both in its letter and spirit, lovely in its origin, lovely in its progress, lovely in its consummation. A higher life doth he make known to all its purity and all its perfectedness." (Teviyja Sutta) (Gautama Buddha)
.............about 500years before Christ.

Krishna is an incarnation of Brahman, Gautama Buddha of what the Mahayanists called the Dharmakaya, Suchness, Mind, the spiritual Ground of all being. The Christian doctrine of the incarnation of the Godhead in human form differs from that of India and the Far East inasmuch as it affirms that there has been and can be only one Avatar ( descent of God to earth in bodily form).
What we do depends in large measure upon what we think, and if what we do is evil, there is good empirical reason for supposing that our thought patterns are inadequate to material, mental or spiritual reality. Because Christians believed that there had been only one Avatar, Christian history has been disgraced by more bloodier crusades, interdenominational wars, persecutions and proselytizing imperialism than has the history of Hinduism and Buddhism. Absurd and idolatrous doctrines, affirming the quasi-divine nature of soverign states and their rulers, have led oriental, no less than Western peoples into innumerable political wars; but because they have not believed in an exclusive revelation at one sole instant of time, or in the quasi-divinity of an ecclesiastical organization, oriental peoples have kept remarkably clear of the mass murder for religion's sake, which has been so dreadfully frequent in Christendom. And while, in this important respect, the level of public morality has been lower in the West than in the East, the levels of exceptional sanctity and of ordinary individual morality have not, so far as one can judge from the available evidence, been any higher. If the tree is indeed known by its fruits, Christianity's departure from the norm of the Perennial Philosophy would seem to be philosophically unjustifiable"
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  #84  
Old 01-April-2002, 16:49
tony
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thanks Vic not sure if that is a compliment
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  #85  
Old 01-April-2002, 17:46
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Worldlife Worldlife is offline
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Fenix it seems that this thread has developed naturally to discuss the meaning of "faith" and I see no reason why we this should not be extended to include faiths other than the Christian faith.

I certainly find your explanation concerning the consequences of having one avatar (Christian religion)with many avatars (Easter religions) most enlightening and thought provoking.

Maybe we need to look at how we define a Christian

Most Christians in fact don't have a background in the church. How can they possibly know? Well 99.9% of them have had a life changing experience, where they have tried evrything else,
This is an allegedly "Christian" country but many would argue that our relationship with the outside world, particularly underdevloped nations, does not necessarily reflect Christian values.

Relatively few people who call themselves Christians attend the established Church or new style religions for regular worship.

Many people will call themselves Christians merely on the basis of indoctrination at school or elsewhere. They were directed to have faith in one religion without a broad perspective education about the inter relationship of that religion with other or explanations about other faiths. The right to independent thought is negated. For example, until we protested, my daughter at school was compelled to pray in a Christian fashion and the school did not know our religion (or lack of religion!)

Most people adults in this Country would, if asked for their religion, say Church of England. The only time many get involved with the Church is at weddings and funerals!

Guess most of these people have had a life changing experience whether it be being redundant, getting divorced or selling their house. I'm pretty sure these are not the life changing experiences that it was intended to imply would create "Christians".

Is there therefore any source information to validate the 99.9% statistic. I'm particularly interested in the definition of Christian status before and after the event, and the type of "life changing experience" referred to.

PS Tony - it was a compliment - Don't look gift horses in the mouth
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  #86  
Old 01-April-2002, 18:12
Fenix
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Where I have referred to Christians in my last post in connection with 'beef's' quote, I mean the practising variety, who actually 'try' to live their principles. For anybody who has anything like an independent mind, indoctrination normally steers them away from that which is being indoctrinated. That was MY point.

fenix

Edit: I think the point about the fact that many people say they are Cof E means more that they have been raised within a broadly christian society rather than they are practising christians
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  #87  
Old 01-April-2002, 18:25
tony
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i took it as one wl

Christian means differant things to differant people in my experience

it can be as simple as going to church each Sunday, joining in and then doing nothing 'Christian' for the other 6 days, these are pew fillers, no more christian than the 'man in the moon'

the foundation of Christian belief is that Jesus rose from the dead, [that Squidgy is dead, stopped breathing, no brain activity, not faking it!!!]

futher that belief goes that He is alive today and a part of all aspects of the 'Christians' life.

from that belief come the start of a 'Christian life'

we as 'non christians' complicate the issue, to a 'christian' it is simple, believe the one simple truth and everything else fits.

from there the 'christian' believes they will join Jesus in heaven after their death, as i said before being good, doing good works is not enough, belief is the only key!

easy isn't it, why do we have so much trouble

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  #88  
Old 01-April-2002, 18:49
Fenix
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tony A, in many ways, beliefs, and the practise of, as I have tried to show, are broadly similar throughout the major religions, its just that we have different names for the prophets and their sources, and that the christian idea of all the others to be an anathema and the bloodshed that ensued within its name is forever regrettable

fenix
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  #89  
Old 01-April-2002, 18:58
Fenix
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The great thing about 'Buddhism' for me is that it doesn't require a 'belief' or a leap of faith.

Forgive me, but this idea always reminds me of a salesmans pitch when selling a new and wonderous product, that to buy it you have to 'Believe' have faith or trust

However, Buddhism teaches this..

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.
Do not believe in traditions simply because they have been handed down for many generations.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.
Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.
But when, after observation and analysis, you find anything that agrees with reason,
And is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.

The Buddha's Kalama Sutra
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  #90  
Old 01-April-2002, 19:29
ewtie
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As they say, this one could run and run and still run.

The original question, 'who killed Jesus?' I accept the Romans killed him but recall that Pontius Pilate found ' no fault in the man' Perhaps better 'whom was responsible for the death of Jesus?
A lot of hair splitting I feel, who killed Ruth Ellis? The State, the Judge, the Jury or the hangman?

Worldlife, I would have to check although off the cuff, I do not think Jesus ever applied the phrase 'King of the Jews' to himself.
Pontius Pilate asked him if he was and Jesus replied 'You say I am'

Squidgy, I feel that one of us must be very naive.

I think that's my last post on this subject. Some like to reply to the Ruth Ellis question on a new thread?
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