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Jesus - 100% Human/100% God


StewartP
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I've just read a great article at Debunking Christianity on the issue of the problem of suffering.

 

Basically stated:

When the problem of suffering is discussed with xian apologists will offer, God's higher purpose, our need to learn, original sin & such.

However, it is normal & human to want to prevent and reduce suffering. If we could we would eliminate all suffering. but we can't.

But ONE man, could have done. he alegedly had the power and the ability.

God-part of Jesus have a governor on the Human-part of Jesus?

Part of what is unconvincing to me is the fact Christians regale us with tales of their God, in human form, and all the wonderful things He miraculously did to constantly lessen suffering, but when we question why God doesn’t lessen suffering we are told that for some unclear reason—he cannot.
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So Stew...

 

...have we been all ass backward on this and rather than asking why god allows suffering, perhaps the harder question for xtians to answer is, "Why did Jesus heal and relieve suffering?"

 

There is no reason whatsoever that I can see.

 

Oh hold it now. Doesn't the bible say that it was so that we would know he was god?

 

In other words, it had nothing to do with relieving suffering.

 

Odd isn't it. A guy is crippled for life and when he is healed, theology teaches us that when asked why did you do this, Jesus would have as much said, "Oh it's nothing personal. I could care less about your suffering. I only wanted to show these hard hearted people that I am god and have power over everything."

 

And who is hard hearted???!!!

 

Mongo

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But Jesus did have compassion:

 

 

Matthew 20.29-34: As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!" The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!" Jesus stopped and called them. "What do you want me to do for you?" he asked. "Lord," they answered, "we want our sight." Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.

 

 

Mark 1.40-42: A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, "If you are willing, you can make me clean."

Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.

 

 

Matthew 9.35-38: Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."

 

 

-CC

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But Jesus did have compassion:

(3 examples clipped)

 

Yes, and very human and normal it was.

 

Where was the next, normal, compassionate, human step - ie: to heal and comfort and relieve the suffering of the people he couldn't immediately see? If I see a someone homeless on the street, I can deducce that there may be others, that that there must be reasons for their condition. Jesus was bright enough to know that there were more than 2 blind men in the world. Why did he not do what every person who had the ability would do - wave the magic wand and heal ALL blind people?

 

As the article in the blog states:

the authors of the Gospels paint Jesus as attempting to reduce as much suffering as he humanly could, and commanding others to do as well. The authors had no philosophical qualms or concerns over the justifying the Problem of Suffering. They presumed (like humans do) there should be as little as possible! Therefore they wrote of Jesus, as God, expressing compassion and reducing suffering.

While I enjoy the philosophical exchange over the Problem of Suffering within the Christian worldview--in looking at the Gospel accounts of Jesus, I am left with a question. We all know it.

What Would Jesus Do?

If Jesus, as God/Human appeared today, how would he address the Problem of Suffering? If believers pointed out the numerous children dying of preventable disease and hunger—would the Jesus of the Gospels step in to resolve the problem or would the Jesus of the Gospels retreat, armed with the Christian philosophers’ cry of “such suffering must be in this world”?

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...

What Would Jesus Do?

...

 

This is unknowable -- like most everything else in life.

 

If one believes that Jesus was incarnated primarily for one reason -- to eliminate the guilt complex by means of his atoning sacrifice, then it would not make sense that he would have healed all the sick, rasied all the dead, and given sight to all the blind. This was not his purpose.

 

The elimination of all suffering will come when the reign of God is fully realized, but bringing the kingdom and its blessings was not the purpose of Jesus' short sojourn among the world. If it had been the purpose, then that would have happened. I take it that what happened was what was intended to happen.

 

But, again, most of these things are unknowable. And we all believe what makes sense to us.

 

-CC

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But Jesus did have compassion...

 

Good point CC.

 

To me, this is proof positive that he was not god. :grin:

 

Mongo

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...

What Would Jesus Do?

...

 

This is unknowable -- like most everything else in life.

 

If one believes that Jesus was incarnated primarily for one reason -- to eliminate the guilt complex by means of his atoning sacrifice, then it would not make sense that he would have healed all the sick, rasied all the dead, and given sight to all the blind. This was not his purpose.

 

Unknowable?

 

CC, consider this...

 

...my 7 yr old son asks my wife "why should't we test god".

 

You get the picture so far right? A little boy is being told that he shouldn't question things too deeply because god doesn't like it. In other words, it makes god mad?

 

I'm at a loss to see very much difference between what you tell me and what my son's sunday school (life is a *fucking* compromise) says to him.

 

What is the difference between "you shouldn't ask" or "that's unknowable"?

 

Surely you will say that we can't know everything. True.

 

But in both cases we have a very good alternative to the absence of knowledge.

 

In response to you, I say that god is rumour and your testamony including that of Moses and Jesus is merely a report... a story.

 

In response to my son, I told him that if there is a god, he is certainly not a coward and not afraid of being tested. I told him that it is only people who are afraid of being tested.

 

The question is really about trust.

 

Religion always implores us to trust god and yet god him/her/itself doesn't ask that of us, it is always through other people.

 

We are asked to trust that a better idea is wrong and that something that doesn't make sense is right like "don't test god" or trust that "Jesus had a good reason for only healing a few people".

 

Likewise, religion blames me for failing to be patient, for not wanting to see or bla bla...

 

Most certainly... I don't get it.

 

Mongo

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The Jesus story that bothers me most is the one where he healed a whole batch of people one day. The next morning when he got up the entire countryside was at the door where he was staying to be healed.

 

What did he do? He said to his disciples, "Let's clear out. I've had enough of this place. We need to spread the message to other villages."

 

What message?

 

That Jesus cares more about what people think of him than about helping them? That the masses are beneath God's compassion and most certainly beneath his own dignity?

 

For some reason, no matter what excuses and explanations my mother and other Christians gave, that story seemed to me like a violation of something so deep and so sacred as to be unforgiveable. Yet the very thought was unthinkable....so FINALLY I am in a position where it is okay to say it and I said it!

 

Do I ever feel rage about this! Not until I read this thread could I understand why anyone had a problem with Jesus. So completely does Christianity force one to alienate oneself from one's true feelings and beliefs.

 

So yeah, Jesus is one hundred percent like an impersonal wrathful God who wants exclusive worship and he's one hundred percent like human control freaks who want to keep all exclusive privileges for themselves. UGH!

 

This is such a new feeling I'm going to have to sit with it for a while.

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...

 

What is the difference between "you shouldn't ask" or "that's unknowable"?

 

...

 

In response to my son, I told him that if there is a god, he is certainly not a coward and not afraid of being tested. I told him that it is only people who are afraid of being tested.

 

The question is really about trust.

 

...

 

Likewise, religion blames me for failing to be patient, for not wanting to see or bla bla...

 

Most certainly... I don't get it.

 

Mongo

 

Me, neither.

 

As a child I drove my mother crazy with questions, she tells me. I suppose we can drive "God" crazy, too. But we have every right to question God, to debate with God, to give our point of view. The Bible is full of people who did just that.

 

What I mean by "unknowable" is not "we shouldn't ask," but "we can ask all we want and get some ideas, but ultimately much is unknowable so we go on the best information we have that makes the most sense to us." That's it.

 

I have no problem debating God or questioning God. None at all. I will, however, on the day when all is made known, trust that God's way is the best way. Not mine. Until that day, however, I have my views and I'm not going to crouch in fear like a church mouse.

 

-CC

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Hmm. Well, I remember having a copy of a Bible (how I wish I still had it!) that had some good notes on every page. Basically it showed how so much of Jesus' "sayings" were added on in later decades and centuries by uber-Christians who didn't feel his actual words were condemning enough to fit into their exclusive religion.

 

So basically, a lot of lines about "Nobody who doesn't follow me suffers forever" or "Nobody who doesn't love me more than their own families and anything else and hate themselves" were made up by later writers who wanted Christ to be more in line with their own beliefs.

 

Another example is in the Koran. In one example, it says that in matters of inheritance, give your daughters two-thirds of your assets. The Arab tribal male could not face such terrible favor of women, so immediately following this verse, is one that says that you should give your sons twice the amount you give your daughters. Presumably, the first one was Muhammad's intent, but after his death when the Koran became scattered, many Arab men were simply not willing to give that much to their women, so they altered the Word of God they revered so much to meet their own standards.

 

It really does raise the question: What can we, then, rely on? As none of us here are scholars I doubt any of us can really offer a good solution; I would trust only the opinion of a well-trained expert in the field with an unbiased viewpoint regarding such things.

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The Jesus story that bothers me most is the one where he healed a whole batch of people one day. The next morning when he got up the entire countryside was at the door where he was staying to be healed.

 

What did he do? He said to his disciples, "Let's clear out. I've had enough of this place. We need to spread the message to other villages."

 

...

 

RubySera,

 

What's the reference?

 

Thanks,

 

CC

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...

 

Another example is in the Koran. In one example, it says that in matters of inheritance, give your daughters two-thirds of your assets. The Arab tribal male could not face such terrible favor of women, so immediately following this verse, is one that says that you should give your sons twice the amount you give your daughters. Presumably, the first one was Muhammad's intent, but after his death when the Koran became scattered, many Arab men were simply not willing to give that much to their women, so they altered the Word of God they revered so much to meet their own standards.

 

...

 

But the Arabs were good with math. How could they give 2/3rds to the daughters and 4/3rds to the sons?????? :shrug:

 

-CC

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The Jesus story that bothers me most is the one where he healed a whole batch of people one day. The next morning when he got up the entire countryside was at the door where he was staying to be healed.

 

What did he do? He said to his disciples, "Let's clear out. I've had enough of this place. We need to spread the message to other villages."

 

...

 

RubySera,

 

What's the reference?

 

Thanks,

 

CC

 

 

I don't know off the top of my head and I don't know how to find it in a concordance without knowing some key word. Unfortunately, I simply don't remember. There are so many stories of Jesus and the multitudes that I don't know where to start looking. What I do remember is his decision to ignore the crowds at his door and move on to other areas. It's in one of the four gospels and I've read it many times. Like most of the stories, I don't remember the references.

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Is this it, RubySera? It might not be as in this passage he is not turning away anyone sick, he is simply saying, "Okay, boys and girls, it's time to move on." Maybe it's another reference?

 

Luke 4:38-44

 

<< Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now Simon's mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her. So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them.

 

When the sun was setting, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, "You are the Son of God!" But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Christ.

 

At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. But he said, "I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent."

 

And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea. >>

 

-CC

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Mark 1.40-42: A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, "If you are willing, you can make me clean."

Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.

I wanted to point out something else but on my way to do just that I stopped by this verse first. I then switched to the Bible in Basic English translation and noticed the word "compassion" was translated "pity." Close but not quite the same. So, I switched over to the New Revised Standard Edition:

 

"41 Moved with pity, F17 Jesus F18 stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, "I do choose. Be made clean!"

 

Another vote for pity but what's that footnote for "pity" and F17?

 

F17: Other ancient authorities read [anger]

 

You used font size 4 to show his compassion, right? Well, how about the same plus a little color to show that his compassion wasn't apparently universal but rather what was chosen to go into the final copy.

 

Kind of makes you wonder what other words did a complete 180 in some manuscripts and what versions we're actually seeing? I mean...maybe it's just me but I think there's more than just a little difference between someone showing compassion, or even pity and anger. Almost a totally different character really.

 

mwc

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There are issues with translation, mwc, of course. Jesus spoke in Aramaic. It was first written in Greek (at least the final gospels, although there may have been sayings in Aramaic). We read these words in modern English. Some is lost. No doubt.

 

The Greek word translated "compassion" (below) is splagchnizomai (Strong Number: 4697). Strong does not indicate any translation for this word other than "compassion." I have seen it as "pity" in some versions, as well.

 

It appears 12 times in the Greek Bible (NT). It describes what the Samaritan felt about the man robbed and beaten on the road to Jericho, what the father of the prodigal son felt when he saw his son "afar off," and what Jesus felt on several occasions. I don't think there's any possibility that Jesus was angry and, therefore, healed the sick and fed the hungry or that the Good Samaritan was angry with the victim and, therefore, took care of him. One could argue that Jesus was angry with the circumstances of the disease or the situation at hand or that the Good Samaritan was angry that some would rob and beat an innocent traveler. But I don't see that Jesus in angry at the participants in these situations.

 

Here are the Greek Bible references in which this word splagchnizomai is used:

 

 

Mat 9:36 But when he saw the multitudes he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.

 

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Mat 14:14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.

 

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Mat 15:32 Then Jesus called his disciples unto him and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat. I will not send htem awy fasting, lest they faint in the way.

 

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Mat 18:27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

 

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Mat 20:34 So Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.

 

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Mar 1:41 And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth [his] hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean .

 

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Mar 6:34 And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.

 

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Mar 8:2 I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat:

 

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Mar 9:22 And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.

 

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Luk 7:13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.

 

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Luk 10:33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion [on him],

 

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Luk 15:20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

 

 

-CC

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There are issues with translation, mwc, of course. Jesus spoke in Aramaic. It was first written in Greek (at least the final gospels, although there may have been sayings in Aramaic). We read these words in modern English. Some is lost. No doubt.

I'm going to be out of town most of this week so I won't be able to debate this at any great length but the point you're missing is the footnote is not making a reference to any translation (I had looked to others for another reason which started this ball rolling) but to other manuscripts.

 

So the gist of all this is that other manuscripts contained the word for ANGER and not the word for COMPASSION. In the end it was an editor, or council, somewhere that decided what version we have today.

 

Here's the best I could do to make the case supporting a nicer, fluffier, jesus on short notice:

tc The reading found in almost the entire NT ms tradition is σπλαγχνισθείς (splancnisqei", “moved with compassion”). Codex Bezae (D), {1358}, and a few Latin mss (a ff2 r1*) here read ὀργισθείς (ojrgisqei", “moved with anger”). It is more difficult to account for a change from “moved with compassion” to “moved with anger” than it is for a copyist to soften “moved with anger” to “moved with compassion,” making the decision quite difficult. B. M. Metzger (TCGNT 65) suggests that “moved with anger” could have been prompted by 1:43, “Jesus sent the man away with a very strong warning.” It also could have been prompted by the man’s seeming doubt about Jesus’ desire to heal him (v. 40). As well, it is difficult to explain why scribes would be prone to soften the text here but not in Mark 3:5 or 10:14 (where Jesus is also said to be angry or indignant). Thus, in light of diverse mss supporting “moved with compassion,” and at least a plausible explanation for ὀργισθείς as arising from the other reading, it is perhaps best to adopt σπλαγχνισθείς as the original reading. Nevertheless, a decision in this case is not easy. For the best arguments for ὀργισθείς, however, see M. A. Proctor, “The ‘Western’ Text of Mark 1:41: A Case for the Angry Jesus” (Ph.D. diss., Baylor University, 1999).

 

While I see their reasoning for wanting to keep "compassion" as the "original" reading the explanation that you'd normally "soften" a word like "anger" also makes sense (especially in this instance) which makes it seem plausible it was the original as well.

 

In my way of thinking this just gives us insight into the earliest views of the religion that was based in that area. Jewish prophets are very often angry in the texts (look at Elijah and/or Elisha killing kids with bears and all that...short tempered killers for the most part...and it's pretty much the same with all those OT prophets) so why not this one too? He got softened up later on when non-Jews didn't "get it."

 

mwc

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If this be so, who or what was Jesus angry at?

 

I have no problem with an angry Jesus from time to time, but don't see why he would be angry in these particular passages.

 

Is the point that the Greek word used in each of these 12 instances was originally a word for "anger," or just in the passages about Jesus' healings?

 

Where are you headed, mwc? (I'll be out for a week as well beginning Friday -- back in Missouri!)

 

-CC

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