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.
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:
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?
Here is a challenge on the question of the historicity of the Jeebus character.
Some time in the past when we had this debate, some theists, I recall argued that even atheist scholars agree that Jesus existed. I am not calling to question their
scholarship qualifications, what I want us to agree on is which Jesus do they agree existed?
1. Do the atheists believe there was a Jesus son of a god and woman?
2. Do they believe that the accounts given in the gospels and letters of Paul are valid biographies?
3. Do they believe the Jesus fellow levitated at a later point to heaven wherever this is located?
If the Jesus they believe to have existed is not the above, then my question is why not just take the mythicist position? I think it is a consistent position. I agree with Carrier and those like him who reasonably say Jesus did not exist.
If anyone has evidence that my position is not warranted, I open to a demonstration of the same and I will gladly add Jesus to the list of eminent persons who have graced the planet with their presence and are now long dead.
and we have questions.
1. If Moses was inspired and the book of the law was lost and destroyed and later written by Ezra, was he [Ezra] also inspired and if yes was the inspiration of Moses important? [WE are granting for argument’s sake Moses walked on the planet]
2. HOW was David ancestry important in the life of Jeebus if he was born of the holy spirit?
3. How long was Jeebus’ ministry?
4. When was he born?
5. Where was his ministry based and how many times was he in Jerusalem?
6. Was he falsely accused?
7. When did he die?
by P. Pullman
Thanks my friend LoT for always reminding me to read the books by Pullman.
I know it is quite some work to herd cats, and I wouldn’t try even if you paid me to. But for those of who like reading, this is an interesting read.
Pullman tells of the circumstance of Jesus and Christ’s birth, their growing up and their differences as children
I like the conversation at the poolside.
And the prayer of Jesus is out of this world. Part of the prayer, which most of us would agree with
‘Lord, if I thought you were listening, I’d pray for this above all: that any church set up in your name should remain poor, and powerless, and modest. That it should wield no authority except that of love. That it should never cast anyone out. That it should own no property and make no laws. That it should not condemn, but only forgive.
Go read the book. You will love it, that you can trust me.
Only Paulines and Katlicks!
Nietzsche wrote in the Antichrist
I shall go back a bit, and tell you the authentic history of Christianity- The very word Christianity is a misunderstanding- at bottom there was only one Christian and he died on the cross.
[…]It is an error amounting to nonsensicality to see in ‘faith’, and particularly in faith in salvation through Christ, the distinguishing mark of the Christian: only the Christian way of life, the life lived by him who died on the cross is Christian..
[..] The Christian- he who for two thousand years has passed as a christian- is simply a psychological self delusion. Closely examined, it appears that, despite all his faith, he has only been ruled by his instincts- and what instincts!
Look at that and the claim by most evangelical Christians that they have been freed from the law and now they have entered a new covenant with god regardless of evidence to the contrary.
They ignore the teachings of Jesus on the law and go by Paul. I don’t think they can have them both ways. Either Jesus founded their delusion or Paul. If it is Jesus, then until heaven and earth passes not a dot of the law will change and if it be Paul, then Jesus is irrelevant in their belief.
What do you think? Have I misrepresented Christians here?