The quest of the historical Jesus

by Albert Schweitzer.

I have come to the end of this book. It was a great read. In his last chapter he writes

There is nothing more negative than the result of the critical study of the Life of Jesus.

The Jesus of Nazareth who came forward publicly as the messiah, who preached the ethic of the Kingdom of God, who founded the Kingdom of Heaven upon earth, and died to give his work its final consecration never had any existence. He is a figure designed by rationalism, endowed with life by liberalism and clothed by modern theology in an historical garb.

I am yet to read Bert Erhman’s book where he argues for a historical Jesus. I hope I will. I am interested in knowing his Jesus, how he clothes him and makes him real to walk in Jerusalem and beyond that how he has gotten people to believe his story.

After documenting in a thorough way the impossibility of a historical Jesus, he has words of hope for the believer. He writes

But the truth is, it is not Jesus as historically known, but Jesus as spiritually arisen within men, who is significant for our time and can help it. Not the historical Jesus, but the spirit which goes forth from him and in the spirits of men strives for new influence and rule, is that which overcomes the world.

As for me, it is enough to that there is no historical Jesus, as for his spirit, that is for believers.

How do we know there is a god

It is in the bible and I am convinced.

Some christians are very lazy. There are enough creation myths around that to think that the one in the bible is true is in my view very lazy.

The fact that anything is, is not evidence for any god. The only inference we are to make is that things are, not that any god is. How would a guy talk about anything being designed without having the knowledge of what end the thing was designed.

If a breathing person is evidence for a god, what does it say about stones or dead people? Are they also evidence of god? Since the cat I don’t own can’t read this, ca that pass as evidence against god?

If god gave man free will and with it the ability to do harm, then, no man should be blamed for using his will as he chooses. If there is a problem, then, I think the manufacturer is responsible. We can’t transfer the problem to simple mortals.

If god created the universe and all in it, and at some point a race pissed him off, I think it was easier in my view to just forgive the damned human race than commit suicide and expect us to believe the suicide based on a report of anonymous reports by not so trustworthy people.

By god, read something else! There are many books besides the bible. The Gita, the teachings of Buddha and my good friend mentions Playboy Magazine among many more.

the case for a literal interpretation of Genesis

Many times on the inter-webs, I meet liberal Christians who think we should not take the bible literally or that some bible passages can only make sense as allegory. What they never tell us is when to read the bible allegorically and when to take it literally. There are many believers who say the bible has never been taken literally except by the fundamentalists, do such people see any difficulty a liberal reading of the bible would pose?

This christian however believes that taking Genesis, at least the first chapters as allegory poses more problems than it solves. One would hope that after coming to such an astute observation, he would maybe read some other book, maybe the Vedas or the Koran or the Gita, maybe their creation stories are a little better.

The believer identifies the following as arising from an allegorical reading of Genesis

Without Genesis, there is no:



Gender roles



Need for redemption (and therefore no prophets or New Testament or gospel)

Covenant with Abraham

Land of Israel

Children of Israel (no lineage for Jesus Christ)

Tribes of Israel

Moses et cetera

This author goes further to ask if Genesis is allegory, how does one justify the existence of Jesus. The authors of his[Jesus] genealogy mention Adam. If Genesis is allegory, Adam is allegory and one can say with justice Jesus is allegory.

His/her solution is to believe in King James Bible as literal. There is no changing their mind.

Do other believers see a problem in taking Genesis as allegory and how do they resolve the issue when they arrive in the New Testament and Jesus several mentions of Adam and Eve. Can the bible be saved by holding both as allegory and as literal? IS this a viable position or is it everywhere beset with difficulties?

Quote: On Jesus

We have said several times on this blog that the Jesus of the gospels did not exist. The Jesus born of a virgin, performed miracles, died on the cross and went to the clouds and remained there, that I will need evidence. If there is a historical Jesus, it is not the Jesus Hubris Christ of the bible and am willing to listen to anyone who has information that would lead to the identification of this other Jesus. That said, I have here a quote from The Quest of the historical Jesus by Albert Schweitzer, which the author tells us is a conclusion one would arrive at when they read the life of Jesus by Bruno Bauer

The formation of the church and the arising of the idea that the Jesus of the Gospels is the messiah are not two different things, they are one and the same thing, they coincide and synchronize; but the idea was only the imaginative conception of the church, the first movement of its life, the religious expression of its experience.

The question which has so much exercised the minds of men-whether Jesus was the historic Christ- is answered in the sense that everything that the historical Christ is, everything that is said of him, everything that is known of him, belongs to the world of imagination, that is, of the imagination of the Christian community, and therefore has nothing to do with any man who belongs to the real world.

The historicists who visit this blog would do us some justice if they could respond to the above claim by leading us to any credible evidence for the historical Jesus. Am sure we would all appreciate.

An in depth look at Genesis 1: A response

In the last few days I have been having a discussion here and here on the issue of beliefs and my contention has been we never really just wake up and believe something. This was in response to her saying she isn’t an atheist because, you guessed it, she has chosen not be.

This discussion has grown to the point of her explaining how evolution and genesis do not conflict. It this latest post that we will respond to here.

The bible I keep at home, The African Bible, a publication of Paulines East Africa, states in its introduction to OT,

the books of the Pentateuch do not record historical facts…. but traditions of a people about the origin of the universe, the world and all it contains

and that is how we will treat it especially because in this case we think the Catholic church is right.

She tells us it is resolved that the universe had a beginning and this beginning was created by a god supernaturally. I don’t know about you, but I have many issues here;

  • what is god?
  • what is to create?
  • how do you create supernaturally?

Before we continue, I would digress a bit. In my native language, the word to create does not exist. We have to mould. The translation of Genesis would read

in the beginning god moulded the earth…

this is not a creation out of nothing but rather, a god using what was to achieve its ends. I don’t think her giving Hebrew translations of the word beginning and create helps matters in this case. We still where we began with terms that haven’t been explained.

I contend that

Genesis 1:1 tells us that God supernaturally initiated the universe, this I believe is the cause of the Big Bang. It does not however tell us that God is detailing what is forming

makes no sense. It is not an explanation of an event and is in itself in need of explanation. Why the BB requires an external cause hasn’t been shown to arrive at the conclusion that a god did it.

Her explanation of Genesis 1:2 that makes it conform with what we know of the early universe requires an active imagination and a level of credulity. She tells us

All of these descriptions are congruent with scientific descriptions of early earth – cloaked in dense atmospheric gases, dark and covered with water.

which I leave to you science people to tell me whether this is the case.

From here, things get very murky. She tells us

Most importantly is the story’s perspective that is given is this verse. God is on the surface of the earth and thus what follows will be described not from a cosmic position looking in but from an earthly vantage looking out.

which yours truly is unable to make any sense of. But that isn’t even the problem, we are in deeper waters when she tells us

This is not saying that God is creating the light from no source as is often wrongly asserted. The sun already exists as a function of the universe created in verse one. This is referencing things from an earthly vantage and that is light being made available to earth’s surface for the first time.

One, she is not being truthful. The bible records in Genesis 1:16-

16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

unless she means to say that god was on earth sometime between 0 and 8 minutes before the suns rays reached the earth. And if we are take her assertion, then days wouldn’t have passed. At least not earth days, maybe god time is different.

Her next claim that morning and evening don’t mean what they mean makes the whole story unintelligible. If these mean beginning and ends of events, then, pray tell me, what does

And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

mean? What does the directive in later verses to observe the Sabbath refer to? Are we right to infer from her explanation that day refers to periods that we could have been born in the first period where we should just work and those who are to honour the sabbath will be born in a future period?

She writes [bold in the original]

This difference in language is important because it confirms that there is no conflict between evolution occurring naturally and the idea that God made the world. Another important thing to note is that the Jews did not believe the order of the days, or events, mattered. But rather were meant simply to be a list of things that God did, establishing him as supreme over all creation.

We say, this is the height of exegesis to try to reconcile an absurd story to what we know now. Before Darwin, am sure such an exegesis did not exist anywhere. How she knows the Jews ideas of days is not known to me. Maybe it is in the bible and I missed it, I would need a reference.

In her next paragraph she decides to bullshit us. She tells us about v 1:26-27 that

God is letting man be made. We have asah here at the beginning. This is congruent with man forming naturally through evolution.

which is bollocks. The good books says

26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

how then does this become god letting man be made? How is this congruent with evolution?

And lastly she now introduces the faith canard. The one word that you can use to explain anything. She tells us

In his own image. This is where faith gives value to man that evolution alone does not. Apart from the infusing of God’s image into mankind we are mere animals. We have no more intrinsic value than a dog or a horse. This is not about consciousness, ability to feel pain, or even the use of intelligence for things like the making of tools. God is spirit. Thus his image is spirit as well. The part of us that is like God is our spirit. This is the part that accounts for things like art and music, ritual, the burial of the dead, and worship. These things are unique to the human experience and yet exist in all human cultures. These things are an expression of our spirit which was made in the image of God.

which first reminds me of the life of a dog but more importantly, the question one must ask, is what happens in the event one has no faith? Does this mean this is man/woman is not created in the image of a god? Is it faith that injects the image of god into the person? And at what point in the evolutionary chain did this happen? Did it happen during the Sumerian civilization? Did it occur when we had Homo erectus, or is it later like at the time when the Neanderthal roamed the earth?

One truly needs a magic decoder ring to arrive at

This is not Adam and Eve. This is mankind in general. Male and female are made at the same time and no distinction is given to any difference in how they are made – unlike Adam and Eve who are described later as being formed in specific and different ways.

Finally she tells us

Chapter 2. It should be noted that at the time that Genesis was written there were not chapters and verses. These were inserted later for reference purposes and they sometimes cause an unnatural divide in a story. Such is the case here.

which she hopes closes the argument that there is a contradiction between the two creation stories. In fact, it is one creation story spanning two chapters. Chapter 2 is a summary of what god was doing in Chapter 1. I hope this convinces all the heathens who keep saying these are different stories and by different authors.

At the end, we now know

The universe was supernaturally created; mankind was made human through the supernatural creation of spirit. The components of the universe and all of the contents therein, including mankind, were made through natural evolutionary processes.

and with that, can all the biologists go take their bibles. The answers are right there, written sometime in the past by as my friends like to call them, goat herders in the Middle East. You really have to be great in Oogity Boogity to believe such crap!

you godless heathens are subhuman

and the reason being

1. You don’t oppose racism

2. You control the media but never find it important to attack those who believe we have freewill

3. You refuse to accept that some very great scientists have made their discoveries because of their religion

4. Worst of all you don’t allow people to question your arguments

5. You are all whites

Honestly, I can’t keep listing all your faults. I would call the author of the post a fool, but he has called us that, I have tried to find the correct epithet to describe him and I will have to defer to Mark Twain and describe him/ her as an idiot of the first degree. You cannot go beyond this level of idiocy even if you tried.

And with that, I can no longer be an atheist. I quit.


The life of Jesus

by Ernest Renan, a review.

I will start by saying here that I believe that Jesus of Nazareth whose story is given in the gospels did not live. By this I mean, a man whose mother was a virgin, father unknown and performer of miracles, who was killed on a cross and resurrected. This Jesus I have no belief existed. I would end this post here. There are those who have another Jesus, a preacher man. This Jesus is strange and I don’t know how many believers worship this Jesus.

The Jesus of Renan is the second type of Jesus, a man of his age. His Jesus does not perform any miracles, his Jesus was a moral teacher of his time. He bases his history of his hero on the gospel of John which in his view is the most authentic biography of Jesus. Further than that, he sanitizes his hero. To him the story of miracles are the imaginings of the biographer.

His Jesus is a real son of man of low birth but filled with a revolutionary mind. He makes his Jesus a victim of religious intolerance or rather that Jesus meets his death for opposing the old Mosaic or Jewish law. I almost liked his Jesus.

His Jesus, in calling himself a son of god does not imply that he is divine, on the contrary that in the imagination of this hero, he is one with god. He sees no distinction between himself and the god he worships. He, Renan, tells us, Jesus was aware that anyone who believed in god is a son of god. There is no special requirement. To be a son of god is to believe in god.

His Jesus doesn’t see himself as a god. In fact, he doesn’t see himself as a fulfillment of OT prophecy. He is aware of this prophecies and only uses them to his advantage when pushed by his disciples.

He has his Jesus inferior to John and only gets to rise to prominence with the arrest and eventual death of John. To Renan had John not died, Jesus would have remained an obscure rubble-rouser as many a man have been.

The Jesus of Renan is ignorant of Greek philosophy, is limited to a nondescript village where his congregation is composed almost entirely of the credulous of the nation. No learned men of science, of philosophy grace his meetings. Philo does not hear of him. Josephus born in 37 doesn’t mention any Christians.

He believes however that Jesus was the greatest moral teacher. That all of humanity has participated in forming Christianity. That Jesus’ greatest lesson was to teach a spiritual kingdom separate from the secular. A worship of the spirit.

In his view, the bloodshed we have had in the name of Jesus, is but an error of the enthusiasts and the priestly class. He believes a day will come when the true worship as started by Jesus will be resumed.

After reading this book, it is understandable why Renan couldn’t have been popular with the people of the church of his time. He paints a human Jesus on filled with great imagination of his power, who goes to his suicide willingly with a grandiose sense of his power and his mission.

This book is in my estimation a nice read. I enjoyed it.