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Historicity Of Jesus - Printable Version
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Historicity Of Jesus - acharya - 01-22-2007

Modern pagans honor Zeus in Athens

By PARIS AYIOMAMITIS, Associated Press Writer Sun Jan 21, 4:26 PM ET

ATHENS, Greece - A clutch of modern pagans honored Zeus at a 1,800-year-old temple in the heart of Athens on Sunday — the first known ceremony of its kind held there since the ancient Greek religion was outlawed by the Roman empire in the late 4th century.

Watched by curious onlookers, some 20 worshippers gathered next to the ruins of the temple for a celebration organized by Ellinais, a year-old Athens-based group that is campaigning to revive old religious practices from the era when Greece was a fount of education and philosophy.

The group ignored a ban by the Culture Ministry, which declared the site off limits to any kind of organized activity to protect the monument. But participants did not try to enter the temple itself, which is closed to everyone, and no officials sought to stop the ceremony.

Dressed in ancient costumes, worshippers standing near the temple's imposing Corinthian columns recited hymns calling on the Olympian Zeus, "King of the gods and the mover of things," to bring peace to the world.

"Our message is world peace and an ecological way of life in which everyone has the right to education," said Kostas Stathopoulos, one of three "high priests" overseeing the event, which celebrated the nuptials of Zeus and Hera, the goddess of love and marriage.

To the Greeks, ecological awareness was fundamental, Stathopoulos said after a priestess, with arms raised to the sky, called on Zeus "to bring rain to the planet."

A herald holding a metal staff topped with two snake heads proclaimed the beginning of the ceremony before priests in blue and red robes released two white doves as symbols of peace. A priest poured libations of wine and incense burned on a tiny copper tripod while a choir of men and women chanted hymns.

"Our hymns stress the brotherhood of man and do not single out nations," said priest Giorgos Alexelis.

For the organizers, who follow a calendar marking time from the first Olympiad in 776 B.C., the ceremony was far more than a simple recreation.

"We are Greeks and we demand from the government the right to use our temples," said high priestess Doreta Peppa.

Ellinais was founded last year and has 34 official members, mainly academics, lawyers and other professionals. It won a court battle for state recognition of the ancient Greek religion and is demanding the government register its offices as a place of worship, a move that could allow the group to perform weddings and other rites.
<b>
Christianity rose to prominence in Greece in the 4th century after Roman Emperor Constantine's conversion. Emperor Theodosius wiped out the last vestige of the Olympian gods when he abolished the
Olympic Games in A.D. 394. Several isolated pockets of pagan worship lingered as late as the 9th century.</b>

"The Christians shut down our schools and destroyed our temples," said Yiannis Panagidis, a 36-year-old accountant at the ceremony.

Most Greeks are baptized Orthodox Christians, and the church rejects ancient religious practices as pagan. Church officials have refused to attend flame ceremony re-enactments at Olympia before the Olympic Games because Apollo, the ancient god of light, is invoked.

Unlike the monotheistic religions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, the old religion lacked written ethical guidelines, but its gods were said to strike down mortals who displayed excessive pride or "hubris" — a recurring theme in the tragedies of Euripides and other ancient writers.

"We do not believe in dogmas and decrees, as the other religions do. We believe in freedom of thought," Stathopoulos said.




Historicity Of Jesus - ramana - 01-23-2007

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Unlike the monotheistic religions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, the old religion lacked written ethical guidelines, but its gods were said to strike down mortals who displayed excessive pride or "hubris" — a recurring theme in the tragedies of Euripides and other ancient writers.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

This is psy-ops. All religions had ethics a their core.


Historicity Of Jesus - gangajal - 01-24-2007

<!--QuoteBegin-ramana+Jan 23 2007, 11:47 PM-->QUOTE(ramana @ Jan 23 2007, 11:47 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Unlike the monotheistic religions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, the old religion lacked written ethical guidelines, but its gods were said to strike down mortals who displayed excessive pride or "hubris" — a recurring theme in the tragedies of Euripides and other ancient writers.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

This is psy-ops. All religions had ethics a their core.
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<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Greek mystery religions did not have written scriptures. Ethical guidelines just mean scriptures.


Historicity Of Jesus - ramana - 01-25-2007

Are there any depictions in Kerala Churches of Jesus dating back to early times pre-Vasco Da Gama phase?


Historicity Of Jesus - Guest - 01-25-2007

<!--QuoteBegin-ramana+Jan 25 2007, 09:24 PM-->QUOTE(ramana @ Jan 25 2007, 09:24 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Are there any depictions in Kerala Churches of Jesus dating back to early times pre-Vasco Da Gama phase?
[right][snapback]63531[/snapback][/right]
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
i also ask my self this ,it was a surprise for me that syrian christians have churches in late catholic style.I was especting they to have either churches like big huts or made in syrian style or even similar whit hindu temples. But nothing like this.


Historicity Of Jesus - Guest - 01-28-2007


<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->We need to understand the difference between the message of Jesus and Pauline Christianity which is a political movement under the guise of religion just as a later version Islam is.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

There is nothing modest, moderate, tolerant about the creed. The two main messages - sin as unbelief and hell & damnation, come from 5 pillars/elements - faith, sin, death, damnation and salvation. These are not new (inventions) of Paul, or Luther or Augustine or Calvin. All these four
have their views and actions sourced in the four gospels.To know more and get to the heart of jesus and his mission one must read the gospel of John. No wonder, Luther et al consider John's gospel
as superior to other three..


Historicity Of Jesus - Guest - 02-01-2007

The Real Bible: Who's got it?, Frank Zindler. Very good read.
The recognised canon - which books are included in the OT, which of the Gospels were elevated to canon and which of them were relegated to the apocryphal bin, and the other works like Paul's writings - determine christian beliefs, including adherents' beliefs about their god and jesus. This is a fundamental aspect of christianity, yet there's so much inconsistency.


Just crossposting following bit about Paul, since the writings attributed to him have had great influence on all three main streams of christianity:
<!--QuoteBegin-Husky+Jan 19 2007, 11:29 AM-->QUOTE(Husky @ Jan 19 2007, 11:29 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Briefly about 'Paul/St. Saul':</b>
- Pauline epistles: "Some of these epistles are by far the oldest parts of the NT, having been composed at least 30 years before the oldest gospel." ( http://freetruth.50webs.org/B2c.htm )
meaning they're older than the four canonical gospels which were later attributed to the names 'Matthew, Mark, Luke and John'.
- But Paul's epistles don't count as eyewitness testimonies for jeebus, because he makes it clear he never met Jesus in the flesh.
- This is however more interesting. Who is Paul?
http://www.bandoli.no/whyerrors.htm
<!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->And six of the thirteen letters of St. Paul are not by him. Even his "real" letters were later heavily edited by the Church. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->And Frank Zindler writes in Did Jesus exist:<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->- it turns out that only four [of the 13 letters attributed to Paul] can be shown to be substantially by the same author, putatively Saul.
- Even the letters supposed to contain authentic writings of Saul/Paul have been shown by a number of scholars to be as composite as the gospels. ... the core Pauline material in these letters is what might be termed a <b>pre-Christian Gnostic</b> product.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->So which Paul is slowmo talking about? Several scribes wrote the Pauline Epistles, one of whom we can '<i>putatively</i>' dubb Paul. And that putative Paul never met jeebus anyway. What's more:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The Falsified Paul: Early Christianity in the Twilight by Hermann Detering (NT scholarship of the Radikal Kritik school):
This book shows that <b>all the Pauline letters are all 2nd-Century fabrications</b>, Catholically redacted from Marcionite gnostic dualist-god original versions.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--> What that means is that 'Paul' did not write any of the epistles attributed to him. So nothing is known about the Paul that Slowmo is talking about, because he left no written works behind.[right][snapback]63251[/snapback][/right]<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->



Historicity Of Jesus - gangajal - 02-03-2007

Deconstructing Jesus by Robert M Price is a stunning book. It should be required reading for all Hindus!!


Historicity Of Jesus - ramana - 02-06-2007

Also read "Messiah Myth" by Thompson.

Link: M. Thurton Blogspot


<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> Book Review: Thomas L. Thompson, The Messiah Myth: The Near Eastern Roots of Jesus and David.

I managed to find the time to swallow a half-dozen books, including Thompson's The Messiah Myth. Here's a first pass at a review.
_____________
The Messiah Myth: The Near Eastern Roots of Jesus and David
Thomas L. Thompson
Basic Books, 2005. 414 pages.

The Historical Jesus Quest is really composed of two quests. One involves sifting through the texts and developing methodologies for dealing with the data. The other involves situating the figure of Jesus in the proper historical context.

The battle over the proper context for Jesus has been one of least-recognized but most profound of the various struggles among New Testament exegetes. After WWII exegetes began to strongly emphasize the Jewishness of Jesus. Laudably, this was partly in response to the "Aryan Jesus" of 19th century scholarship, that eventually found its apotheosis in Nazi doctrines. However, it was also in response to the arguments of scholars from the schools of myth and comparative religions, who had argued in the period prior to the Second World War that Jesus resembled similar figures of the ancient Near East and Mediterranean. By reinforcing the Jewishness of Jesus and delinking him from the surrounding cultures, New Testament scholars sought to protect him from the assaults of the comparative religions school.

At first glance it is easy to mistake Thomas L. Thompson's The Messiah Myth for a revival of this school. Don't. The Messiah Myth does not attempt, as the comparative religions school did, to seek out parallels to Jesus and then link Jesus to them. Rather, Thompson attempts to recover the Greater Context: an enormous toolkit of ideas, themes, and observations that dominate the literature of the Near East, and find expression in all of its major texts, including the Bible, and in all of its major heroes, including Jesus and David.

Despite the subtitle The Near Eastern Roots of Jesus and David, Thompson's book does not focus strongly on Jesus. The vast majority of the work consists of exploring the Old Testament and other Near Eastern texts to show that they all make use of the same complex of tropes in composing their various stories. This complex of tropes includes reversals (of rich and poor, the powerful and the peasantry, the weak and the strong), descent-ascent motifs, messiah as priest, king, and warrior motifs, and similar structures and idea familiar to readers of the Tanakh and the Christian writings. Thompson thus does not seek to show that Jesus is a myth by close analysis of the stories about him, like G.A Wells and other mythicists have done. Instead, he offers a rich new context against which the figure of Jesus can be evaluated.

Thompson opens the book with a chapter entitled "Historicizing the figure of Jesus" that is apparently intended as a critique of the various Historical Jesus figures that New Testament scholarship has produced. He observes:

    * "A wary reader does well to recognize the wish fulfillment of Schweitzer's figure of Jesus. His mistaken prophet is historical primarily because he does not mirror the Christianity of Schweitzer's time. But the assumption that this mistaken prophet of the apocalypse is a figure appropriate to first century Judaism is itself without evidence. The prophetic figure Mark presented, and the assumed expectations associated with his coming, belong to the surface of Mark's text. Schweitzer did not consider why Mark presented such a figure or such expectations. Nor did he consider whether the life of such a person and the expectations of his coming in fact belonged to the historical reality of first century Jews in Palestine, or whether both expectations and figure were literary tropes. Then the figure of the messiah might express Judaism's highest values within Mark's story does not imply that either the figure or expectations about him were to be found in early first-century historical Palestine."(p6-7)


The opening chapter serves notice: the historical Jesus is an assumption, rather than a discovery, of scholarship. "Dating sayings common to Q and Thomas as an "earliest level" of sayings and suggesting a time between 30 and 60 CE for their origin is a conclusion drawn from the assumption that there was an oral tradition derived from a historical Jesus' teaching."(p11) From whence, then, stems this figure

    * "As we will see in the following chapters, the most central sayings in the gospels were spoken by many figures of ancient literature. That they are "sayings of Jesus" is to be credited to the author who put them in his mouth. Many sayings the [Jesus] seminar identifies as "certainly authentic" are well-known and can be dated centuries earlier than the New Testament. The very project of the Jesus Seminar is anchored in wishful thinking. Evidence for the prehistory of these sayings is so abundant and well attested that we can trace a continuous literary tradition over millennia."(p11)


Having sounded the eschatological alarm, Thompson slowly bids the Gospels goodbye, and enters the world of the Old Testament. In the second chapter, "The Figure of the Prophet", there is much back-and-forth between the Gospel stories and the Old Testament, but by the time we get to chapter four, "The Song for a Poor Man", the Gospels have been left behind, and we plunge into a world of international texts from antiquity, each full of themes the echo, extend, comment on, and interact with, the recurring tropes that make up the Tanakh.

Thompson builds his reading of the texts by searching out themes common throughout the Near East, drawing on a wide variety of texts. Writing on the Good King, he says:

    * "Some of our stories serve as memorials to the king, while others are dedications of a cult place. Thirteen of the twenty-one inscriptions are presented in autobiographical form, where the king plays the role of author as well as subject. Eight present the story of the king in the third person. The Idrimi stele (no. 13), which is engraved on a statue of the king, presents its first-person form by locating the closing lines in a cartoon balloon coming out of the king's mouth. In spite of the autobiographical form, some of these inscriptions are likely posthumous."(p157)

Analysis of these texts yields common themes that function as tropes, recurring themes that appear in texts all over the Near East.

For example, in the Near East there is a common trope: a "utopian, comprehensive, and transcendent" peace that is the goal of every king's rule. Thompson identifies this peace in many different texts (including in an appendix), including tales about Idrimi, Nabonidus, and Esarhaddon, as well as David.

At his best when building his collection of tropes, The Messiah Myth falters whenever it comes near the Gospels, giving the impression that Thompson is wielding a hammer in whose presence everything attempts to turn into nails. After establishing the existence of a trope referring to the children and the kingdom, Thompson then turns to the Gospel versions:

    * "Of the six occurrences of the trope Crossan calls "kingdom and children" sayings, four are classified as independent and two dependent. Only the authority of scholarly tradition of the primacy of Mark supports the judgment that the very close variations of the saying "Let the children come to me and do not hinder them; for to such belong the kingdom of heaven" (Mt 19:14) and "Let the children come to me and do not hinder them; for to such belong the kingdom of God" (Lk 18:16) are dependent on the similar saying in Mark: "Let the little children come to me; do not prevent them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God" (Mk 10:14). This saying, nearly identical in all three gospels, clearly offers a common trope, but the primacy of Mark's version, including the phrase "kingdom of God" he shares with Luke, does not stand on its own merits. The assumption that Mark is the source for the versions of Matthew and Luke is unprovable. Similarly, that the saying in Mark is the most likely original can be shown to be without merit."(p76)

While it is quite true that any sayings tradition is ultimately an assumption of scholars, that is not the case with the relationship between the Synoptic Gospels, where scholars possess all three of the relevant texts. Thompson either does not understand, or does not care to understand, the complexities of the Synoptic problem and the way that it has been demonstrated to the satisfaction of most scholars that the first gospel written was Mark. Right or wrong, the priority of Mark is a conclusion, not an assumption.

This dismissal of modern scholarly understandings means that The Messiah Myth interacts largely with the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, when the most historically important Gospel is that of Mark. Thompson apparently regards these writings as largely independent, and locates their similarities in the use of common tropes rather than literary dependence. This position is indefensible, and does nothing for the book's credibility. A further problem is that Thompson does not mention the letters of Paul.

Nevertheless, for those of us interested in the New Testament and in the Bible in general, there are innumerable insights and understandings. Thompson writes with an assurance and erudition that commands our attention, and manages to suppress any pesky doubts that might arise when we observe his cavalier attitude toward New Testament scholarship. Using the insights he develops from the tropes he collects, Thompson is often able to correct scholarly misapprehensions:

    * "Like the 'kingdom of God,' the metaphor of my father's kingdom is not apocalyptic in the sense that it implies expectations of the end of the world as Schweitzer thought. It is rather a utopian and idealistic metaphor for a world of justice. In ancient Near Eastern and biblical literature, it is related to the figure of the savior-king who, by reestablishing divine rule, returns creation to the original order."(p198)


Because Thompson functions at the level of tropes, larger themes that govern the structure of texts, there is actually little here that is useful against the figure of Jesus as a historical figure. Despite his complaints about New Testament scholarship Thompson himself provides no answers to the questions he raises. Showing that tropes are part and parcel of ancient texts simply undermines Thompson's own implicit argument against a historical Jesus, for many of the texts that Thompson uses to support his case are either about, or from, historical figures. Hence it is easy to argue that the Gospel writers simply cast their historical figure in the standard Near Eastern format, and dismiss Thompson with a wave of the broader theme. Mythicism will never advance until it begins to churn out detailed, verse-by-verse readings of the relevant texts that show precisely how they are built out of literary convention, pre-existent sayings, Old Testament passages, themes, and concepts, and literary tropes and broader mythic themes. For that purpose Thompson will provide useful insight, but no decisive view.

Despite the title, those who come to this book seeking arguments against Jesus historicism will be disappointed. But readers who pick this volume in search of new understandings of old texts will not leave the table hungry. There Thompson pours out a cornucopia which this reviewer's New Testament-oriented interests cannot hope to adequately capture. I highly recommend The Messiah Myth to anyone with a general interest in ancient Near Eastern mythology and story, including the Bible texts. For them, The Messiah Myth will be bread to the hungry, water to the thirsty, clothes to the naked, and a ferryboat to the boatless.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->



Historicity Of Jesus - Guest - 02-12-2007

<b>Virgin Mary's Husbands by Kalavai Venkat

Tiny URL: http://tinyurl.com/3anupd</b>


Historicity Of Jesus - ramana - 02-28-2007

Has anyone read the works of S.G. F. Brandon and Hyam Maccoby?

Eg;

Maccoby : http://debate.org.uk/topics/theo/jes-paul.htm

Brandon: http://users.cyberone.com.au/myers/jewish-revolt.html


Historicity Of Jesus - gangajal - 03-01-2007

<!--QuoteBegin-ramana+Feb 28 2007, 05:54 AM-->QUOTE(ramana @ Feb 28 2007, 05:54 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Has anyone read the works of S.G. F.  Brandon and Hyam Maccoby?

Eg;

Maccoby : http://debate.org.uk/topics/theo/jes-paul.htm

Brandon: http://users.cyberone.com.au/myers/jewish-revolt.html
[right][snapback]65076[/snapback][/right]
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

I have read Maccoby. He is a well known British Jewish scholar. His thesis is that Paul invented Christianity. He also claimed that the Gospels were rewritten to absolve the Roman rulers of Palestine from any blaim for the death of Jesus and that originally the Gospels were pro-pharisee.


Historicity Of Jesus - Guest - 03-29-2007

Dear Friends,

I have not read Brandon, but Joel Carmicael-Death of Jesus is equally great.
To say Jesus must have been a Jewish Patriot fighting Heathen Romans would be more Historical.
Devapriya Solomon


Historicity Of Jesus - Guest - 04-03-2007


Dear Friends,

An excellant analysis of the Trends on Researches and Books of Jesus is by Shri.Sitaram Goel -"Jesus Christ: An Artifice for Aggression" and the book is fully available at http://hamsa.org/
http://hamsa.org/intro-toc.pdf
http://hamsa.org/chapt1-history.pdf
http://hamsa.org/chapt2-fiction.pdf
http://hamsa.org/chapt3-faith.pdf
http://hamsa.org/chapt4-crumble.pdf
This would be one great book of all times.
Devapriya solomon


Historicity Of Jesus - ramana - 04-04-2007

From News Reports

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Pope's book due April 16 

Vatican, Apr. 4, 2007 (CWNews.com) - Pope Benedict's book, Jesus of Nazareth, will be available for sale in Italy on April 16, the Pontiff's 80th birthday, the Vatican has announced.

Vatican officials will introduce the Pope's work to reporters at a Vatican press conference on April 13. The book will then be available on the following Monday in an Italian-language edition; the Vatican has not yet disclosed when the English translation will be available.

This will be the first book written by the Pope since his election in April 2005. He began the work last summer, and the work has reportedly consumed his spare time since that start. Prior to his election as Pontiff, then-Cardinal Ratzinger wrote numerous works on theology.

<b>Pope Benedict has indicated that the book is a personal effort-- not an authoritative doctrinal statement-- which he has undertaken because he is concern about growing confusion on the identity of Jesus, both within and outside the Church. He began writing this summer. </b>

<b>The 10-chapter book to be published next week covers the public life of Jesus from the time of his baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration. The Holy Father explains in his preface that while he plans to continue the work, he decided to publish what he had completed to date because he does not know "how much time and how much strength" he has to continue the project. </b>

In an excerpt from the forthcoming book, published by the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, the Pope appeals to the developed world to provide more material and spiritual help for Africa, describing that continent as an embodiment of the “wounds” created by “the cynicism of a world without God, in which only power and profit count.”
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->


Historicity Of Jesus - ramana - 04-05-2007

Book Review, Pioneer, 5 April 2007
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->He was Jesus, not Christ

In this book, Michael Baigent makes some startling observations against the conventional account of Jesus' death, shaking the very roots of Christianity, says MV Kamath

The Jesus Papers, Michael Baigent, Harper Element; £16.99

When Salman Rushdie wrote his controversial Satanic Verses and reviews started coming in, the Government of India had no hesitation in banning it, thus preventing its sale in the country. Perhaps a similar ban should have been imposed on The Jesus Papers considering the controversial subjects it has raised, except that the book was written by a Christian and was published no doubt by a Christian publishing house and reviewed by Christians working for British or American newspapers. The subject matter dealt with in this book has also been turned into a documentary by film director James Cameron (who made Titanic), a Christian, surely, all of which gives one sufficient elbow room to review it in India.

Cameron and his Israeli-born colleague Simcha Jacobovici maintain that their research suggests that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene who bore him a sun, Judah. Agence France Presses, a French news agency, has quoted Cameron as saying, "I am not an archaeologist or a Bible scholar, but as a documentary film maker I should not be afraid of pursuing the truth."

The Jesus Papers goes beyond that and states that Jesus was not born to a virgin and that he did not resurrect and go to heaven but lived till 45 AD and that his burial site has been found where 10 discovered boxes picked up were inscribed with names believed to be associated with key figures in the New Testament. A sixth inscription, written in Aramaic, has been translated as "Judah, son of Jesus".

What this book does, in plain words, is to challenge the very basis on which Christianity is built. The book has been the subject of much controversy but no violence. Author Michael Baigent is very critical of the Vatican which, in his words, follows "a path centred upon a mythical figure of Jesus Christ that bears little relationship to the historical messiah Jesus who was crucified as a political agitator by Pontius Pilate". Nor has he much respect for the Catholic Establishment which, in 1209 AD launched a crusade against the Cathars (a group of holy men and women who embraced a life of renunciation, spirituality and simplicity not approved by the Church), whose homes were destroyed along with the towns and cities in which they lived and burnt "thousands of Cathars alive, sometimes hundreds at once in huge conflagrations". Then came the inquisition resorted to by the order of Dominicans who burned thousands of those whom they condemned as 'heretics'. The inquisitors, writes Baigent, became the Church's "killers", its army of secret informers, ruthless interrogations and cold judges, all acting in the name of Christ.

According to Baigent, "The Inquisition boasted that over the course of 150 years it burned approximately 30,000 women, all innocent victims of a Church-sanctioned pathological fantasy." As regards Virgin Birth which is fundamental to the faith of the Catholic Church, the author refers to the earliest New Testament writings of Paul in which, according to him, "there is no trace of the Virgin Birth". In fact, remarks the author, "Paul explicitly states that Jesus "was made of the seed of David according to the flesh".

There are a whole lot of assertions in this book that orthodox Christianity surely will challenge:

Christianity is not based on a unique event in history but was part of an existing movement that even used the term "son of god", formerly thought to be known in Judaism and so not a particular mark of Christianity.

The gospels do not make the claim (of Christ's divinity) and the Dead Sea Scrolls prove that you cannot disentangle Christianity from messianic Judaism which had no concept of a divine messiah.

There is a vast gulf between the Jesus of history and the Jesus of faith. The strict custodians of Christian theology insist that the two are identical but any historian who looks honestly at the data can easily discover that they are not.

According to the author, Jesus spent his early years in Egypt which is why so little is known of his early years. Again, goes the argument, he was not dead when he was crucified but survived the crucification with the collusion of the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate", taken down from the cross, revived and taken away to safety to a place where the could recuperate.

What happened then? He went "somewhere". The somewhere reportedly was in Egypt, though mention has been made in the text to Kashmir.

The Jesus Papers indulges in the theological discussion as to what is meant by the 'kingdom of god' though Jesus himself has been quoted saying, "The kingdom of god is within you."

One can dismiss this book as an attack on the Church because the author says, "The Church scholars are holding back material detrimental to the uniqueness of Jesus?" The author among things says, "There is no evidence to suggest that Jesus intended to be worshiped as a god" and that he wanted each person to have the opportunity to travel to the far world to find the divine in himself." There is a also a sense of anti-Christianity as one knows it when the author adds: "We have seen that there is no evidence that he died on the cross; in fact, what evidence survives suggests otherwise. And if he didn't die on the cross where does that leave the (possibility of) resurrection? His divinity? His equality in the Holy Trinity? These claims all disintegrate once the spin stops". But that is just an opinion.

Faith is a very personal matter which should be respected. It is not for others to question it. The greatness of Jesus will survive, as has that of Buddha. Questions have been raised by the author to which suitable answers will no doubt be given in the course of time. But nothing said or written can possibly diminish the relevance of Jesus Christ.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->



Historicity Of Jesus - Guest - 04-13-2007

The Mystery of the Real Jesus
- Deepak Chopra
Part I
Part II
Part III


Historicity Of Jesus - acharya - 04-20-2007

New documentary on Christ’s Resurrection

WASHINGTON: A new DVD documenting evidence for the Christ’s resurrection was recently released by Grizzly Adams Productions – a corporation that releases family-friendly films, television series and specials.

In the production, called The Case for Christ’s Resurrection, experts will explain new discoveries that will substantiate the claims that Jesus resurrected from the grave nearly 2,000 years ago. Among the many methods, the specialists looked at the past historical record, explored current medical knowledge, investigated evidence in the lives of the Apostles, and researched about ancient Jewish burial practices to establish their claims.

The film is in stark contrast to The Lost Tomb of Jesus, a documentary by Jewish archaeologist Simcha Jacobovici (that claims the discovery of Jesus’ body as well as a wife (Mary Magdalene) and son (Judah), which received a barrage of criticism after its release. While The Case for Christ’s Resurrection is using same kinds of research as Jacobovici’s film, it has been much more overlooked.

“The news media is irresponsible for not covering both sides of the resurrection story,” noted Bill Wilson, the editor and publisher of the Daily Jot, in a commentary piece. “<b><span style='color:red'>The hype that Christianity is false plays into the hands of a biased and secular media that seeks daily to discredit people of the Christian faith,</b></span>” he said.

The pro-resurrection film attempts to use scientific inquiry, which is often seen as completely unlinked to religion, to prove Christ’s crucifixion, death, and resurrection. Some of the methods include carbon dating and forensics.

“There is growing proof that the events depicted in the Gospel accounts are true, with more evidence being revealed regularly, thanks to modern research, analysis and scientific advances,” noted Dr Gary Habermas, a research professor and chair of the Department of Theology at the Liberty University, in a statement. “Science, combined with written descriptions, by non-Christians, of the events of Jesus’ life and death, stake it clear that Christian beliefs are grounded in fact.”

The film also contends that Jesus was seen by numerous people, Christian and non-Christian, following his death.

In addition to Christ’s resurrection, the documentary will also examine the Shroud of Turin, the believed burial cloth of Christ. From it, the filmmakers have even created a 3D holographic image of Jesus’ face. The authentic 3D viewing glasses will be included with the DVD.

Wilson added in his commentary, “<span style='color:red'>Instead of giving credence to a 2,000 year-old box of bones that bear the most common names of the time, the news media ought to focus on the results of true scientific and historic research that gives proof that their souls are in need of salvation.</span>” pr


http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?p...13-4-2007_pg7_8





Historicity Of Jesus - acharya - 05-10-2007

http://www.eretzyisroel.org/~jkatz/index.html

History of Israel, from 1850-present

Here are some essays on the history of
the Land of Israel, "Eretz Yisroel".
Essays in italics are still being worked on.
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Political Mythology

# The History and Meaning of the words "Palestine" and "Palestinians", which means "Sea Invader"
# Politically motivated mythology of "Palestine"
# Myths of the Middle East
# More Myths of the Middle East
# A Photographic Tour of the Holy Land 1831-1910

Biblical History

* Background: Timeline of "Palestine" 1273 BCE to 1948
* The Land of Israel, map of the inheritance of the 12 tribes
* Jewish forms of Government: the interplay of "Church and State"
* Persian (Iranian) assistance in rebuilding the Jewish Temple
* Non-Jewish worship in the Temple "House of Prayer for all people"
* Traditional Jewish Views on Religious Tolerance
* The Maccabees, Hasmonean dynasty and Herod until 135CE
* Jonathan Hyrcanus and the conversion of Syria and Jordan to Judaism
* Maps of Jewish "holy sites", the final resting places of Rabbis in Israel, Jordan and Syria
* History of Israel, an Overview

4th-7th centuries, The Jewish Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

* After the destruction of the second Temple, the Jews fled to Arabia
* Medina, Islam's second holiest city, was originally a Jewish "settlement"<b>
* The Islamic Cresent was originally a Jewish Symbol</b>
* One thousand years of Jewish-Persian (Iranian) alliance, 4th BCE-7th CE
* Himyar - The Jewish Kingdom of Arabia 390-626 CE, decimated by the rise of Islam
* The Byzantine-Ethiopian conquest of Himyar and the beginnings of the Falashah Jewish community of Ethiopia

7th Century, The rise of the faith of Islam

* The Prophet Mohammed, a Jewish pseudo-Messiah
* Islam as a form of Judaism, a continuation of the Jewish Prophets.
* Islamic 'endtimes' theology requires the restoration of Jews to their homeland and Arab assistance in rebuilding the Jewish temple
* Quotes from the Qu'ran and Hadith about Jews, Jerusalem and Israel

8th-13th centuries, The Jewish Kingdom of Khazaria

* Fleeing Islam, Jewish nationalists headed to Southern Russia
* The rise of the powerful Jewish Convert Kingdom of Khazaria 786-1237 CE
* Wars between Khazaria and Islam, stopping the expansion of Islam into Russia
* Movement of Khazarian Jews and converts as refugees to the Ukraine in the 12th CE

8th-16th centuries, Islamic conquest and expansion

* Continuous Jewish Presence in the Holy Land (Samuel Katz)
* Continuous Jewish Presence in the Holy Land (Peters)
* The Qur'an (Koran) & institutionalized anti-Semitism
* Religious Persecution of Jews by Arabs
* Throwing Stones at Jews is based in Ancient Islamic Ritual
* Forced conversions in the Islamic conquests
* The forced conversion of the Jewish community of Persia and the beginnings of the Kurds
* An appeal to Moslems of Jewish descent
* Non-Arab and/or non-Muslims in the "Arab" world
* The Islamic claim to the Temple Mount is very recent, since 1930
* The name Al-Quds is an abbreviation for "The Jewish Temple"

14th-19th Jewish Semi-Autonomy, Migration and Expulsions

* A History of the Jews, a list of expulsions for 2000 years
* Rise of European Nationalism: Expulsion from Spain to Chmielnicki massacres
* Messianic hope and rise of Shabbetai Zvi and his conversion to Islam 1626-1676
* Awakening in the Christian world in support of a Jewish Restoration 1830-1930

1850-1920 Restoration of the Jewish Homeland and Arab-Jewish cooperation

* Descriptive Geography and Brief Historical Sketch of Palestine, 1850
* Ottoman Rule Map (Eve of W.W.I), 1516 to 1917
* British Mandate Map 1920-1946
* British Administrative Division Map 1922 - 1946
* Palestine was inhabited by a mixed population
* Palestine, a land virtually laid waste with little population
* Bareness and oppression of Palestine due to feudal system of taxes by absentee Arab Landowners
* Joint Arab-Jewish agreement on Jewish Homeland, between Emir Feisal Husseini and Dr. Weizmann, January 3, 1918
* Jewish proposal for Jewish Homeland, presented to the Paris Peace Conference, 1919
* Feisal-Frankfurter Correspondence, further to Arab proposal for Jewish Homeland, March 3, 1919

1920-1948 The British Mandate for Palestine

* Document: An Interim Report on the Civil Administration of Palestine to the League of Nations, June 1921, on the condition of Palestine
* Evidence of Haj Amin al-Husseini Before the Royal Commission in 1937 stating Jewish land was legally purchased from Arabs
* The Myth of Palestinian Nationalism, narrowly defined, anti-Semitism
* Arabs in, Jews out: Britain's role in trying to create an artificial Arab majority in Palestine 1920-1948
* British Plans against France, and against the Jews in 1915
* Britain, Haj Husseini and the Arab Riots of 1920
* British Efforts Against the Nascent Israeli State, in 1948
* The proposed partition of Western Palestine in 1938 & The British Policy of Appeasement
* The Struma & The unmitigated policy of the British against Jewish refugees fleeing Hitler's war against them
* Britain's Partition Map 1946
* U.N. Partition Plan Map 1947
* Document: Official British Police Report Regarding Jews' Appeal to Arabs to NOT leave Haifa in 1948
* The Arab Invasion of 1948

1948 Arab and Jewish refugees

* Palestinian Refugees, invited to leave in 1948
* How many Palestinians Refugees? inflating the numbers
* Arab-Jewish Refugees, the other Middle Eastern Refugee problem
* Exchange of Populations
* Why are Palestinian Refugees treated differently than all other refugees in the world?
* Legal Background to the "Palestinian Right of Return"

1948-1967 Early Israeli History

* Armistice Agreements Map 1949
* Fedayeen Raids Map 1951 - 1956
* The Sinai Campaign Map 1956
* Palestinian Refugees, unlike other refugees in the world, were denied resettlement opportunities, for political reasons
* A collection of historical quotations relating to the Arab refugees
* History of Jordan, Jordan as Palestine & Two states for two people, Jordan must contribute
* The Communist - atheist - anti-religious roots of Israeli's political "Left"

1967-1984 Later Israeli History

* Position of Arab Forces Map 1967
* Six Day War Map - June 1967
* Cease Fire Lines Map 1967
* Discrediting Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries, Official Arab "Invitation" for Jews to return, 1970-1977
* "Palestinian" as an Arab ethnic group is a modern political creation since 1967
* Palestinians only one politicized segment of the larger problem of state-less, citizenship-less migrant workers of the Middle East
* Who are the Palestinians?
* Record of the United Nations, why is it so anti-Israel
* Jewish Settlements are Legal according to International Law
* Egyptian Attack Map 1973
* Syrian Attack Map 1973

1984-2000 The Olso Years and the rise of Arabic-Islamic Nationalism

* The First Oslo Agreements, 1993-1995
* U.S. House of Representatives: Task Force on Terrorism, 1996
* Al Aksa Tunnel Riots of 1996
* Corruption within the Palestinian Authority, 1997; PLO has $10b in assets
* U.S. House of Representatives: The Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction Challenge - Myths and Reality, 1998
* Peace with Jordan
* The Wye Agreement - November 1998
* Sharm Agreement, 50% Withdrawal, 1999
* Israeli Withdrawal from Lebanon, May 2000
* Proposed 80% Withdrawal, May 2000
* Proposed 95% Withdrawal, July 2000
* Israel's Compromise on it's "Red Lines", Camp David II
* Proposal for dividing Jerusalem, Camp David II, Taba
* Relative sizes of areas in Middle East
* Israel size comparison maps
* Graphs of Increase in Terror and Crime since Oslo
* Arafat’s Strategy: Lebanonization and Entanglement
* The rise of Israel's Oriental Jews (Sefardim), Israel's shift away from secularism

Arabic settlement policy in the West Bank and Gaza

* The West Bank population under Jordanian rule 1948-1967
* Draft Report of Arab Settlement Activity in the West Bank (261 settlements since 1950)
* Illegal Arab immigration into "Palestine" - part of Oslo
* Arab Population in the West Bank & Gaza - THE MILLION-AND-A-HALF PERSON GAP

2000-present The Multi-Media War

* Erasing Jewish History, Destruction of the Temple Mount
* The Main Reason for the Present Middle East Conflict: ISLAM not "The Territories"
* Who Started the Al Aksa Intifada? List of events of Temple Mount Destruction in June, until Ariel Sharon's visit in September
* "How PA Violence was planned", Report by Palestinian Media Watch
* Palestinian Authority Communications Minister says Al Aksa Intifada was planned since July (for six months)
* Breakdown of casualties during the Palestinian-Israeli conflict
* "Palestinians" killing "Palestinians"
* Who killed Muhammad al-Dura?
* I am a Jew. I am a poet. I am heartbroken
* Document: Israeli Government White Paper on PA/PLO non-compliance
* Document: Israel's Preliminary Report To the Mitchell Inquiry
* Journalists describe constant Palestinian intimidation
* Why Israel Newspapers are the most anti-Israel in the world
* History of Israel's Broadcasting Authority: a Politically Left-leaning (Relativistic, Revisionist) Ideological Entity
* Media Bias: CNN and others are misreporting the news
* CNN, BBC and others in fierce competition for lucrative, emerging Middle Eastern Markets

Muftism, Nazism, Communism and Traditional Anti-Semitism give birth to Islamism, 1917-present

* The new Arab "identity" derives from the impact of the West in the last fifty years
* Wahhabism, the Saudi Arabia-based puritanical heresy at the base of Islamism
* Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem
* Muftism and Nazism: World War II Collaboration Documents
* Bosnian Moslems recruited the Nazi SS by Yasser Arafat's 'Uncle'
* Turning the West Bank into another "Bosnia" (Photo Album)
* The Farhud, the Mufti inspired Krystallnacht in Iraq, 1941
* A "Fatwa " Issued by Haj Amin al-Husseini in Iraq, pro-Nazi coup May, 1941
* The Syrian-Iraqi Baath party and its Nazi beginnings
* The Roots of Muslim Rage: Why so many Muslims deeply resent the West, and why their bitterness will not easily be mollified
* The history of the PLO and the International Legitimization of Terrorism
* History of Fedayeen, PLO, Fatah, PFLP, PFLP-GC, DFLP, etc Militant Palestinian Groups
* Saddam Hussein, nephew of Khayrallah Tulfah, of the 1941 Pro-Nazi coup in Iraq
* Hitler and the Arabs, How could they have missed it?
* A technique of propaganda called "Turnspeak"
* Arafat's use of "Turnspeak" to say Israel causes terrorism
* Yasser Arafat's Biography
* Yasser Arafat worthy successor to Haj Muhammad Amin al Husseini
* Yassir Arafat, 1929-2004
* Islamic Sermons on Temple Mount by the grandson of the Haj Amin al-Husseini, 2000

After World Trade Center bombing, Sept 11, 2001

* Al Qaeda Training Manual (United States Department of Justice Website)
* Israeli Government uses PsyOps on Settlers (Government pursuing appeasement of terrorists policy)
* Israeli Government Violations of the Civil Rights Of Opponents of Disengagement (Israel Policy Center)

Other Essays

* Catholic Views on Israel, Dealing with the theological problems of a successful Jewish State, illustrating growing moderation and tolerance
* The Roots of Anti-Judaism in the Christian Environment
* Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

Rabbi Joseph E. Katz
Middle Eastern Political and Religious History Analyst
Brooklyn, New York
E-mail to a friend

"This site is dedicated to many: to the countless thousands whose lives have been lost in Arab-Jewish conflict; to the courageous on both sides whose longing for lasting peace between Arabs and Jews transcends politics"




Historicity Of Jesus - acharya - 07-30-2007

The Historicity of the Bible


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