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IN DEFENSE OF "JESUS"


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Sorry about the link.  I thought the script would upload.

 

In summary, I don't know if Jesus was a real person or not, but think he might have existed, but was made into something he was not by the early church.  The reasons for my beliefs are listed, and how I believe some of the teachings attributed to him are valid and profound. They are a different "mindset" that is not understood by many, especially in the western world.  I believe the "salvation" he was preaching was more about enhancing the life of humans on earth, than in an afterlife.  He says nothing about being baptized for the remission of sins.

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This is the text of the document Weezer would like to present.  It has not been intentionally edited or altered in any way.  TRP

 

 

 

IN DEFENSE OF JESUS

 

Although I don't believe the New Testament is an inerrant rendering of Jesus, I belief he may have existed and was, in a sense, a victim of his time and circumstances. I also believe the story was embellished and he was made into something he wasn't. My conclusions are based on looking at the overall picture of him. For a while I entertained the thought that he might have been a fabrication, but after Looking at the Gnostic Gospels, and understanding child and human development, began to see some possibilities.

 

VIRGIN BIRTH

Under Jewish law Mary could have been put to death for getting pregnant out of wedlock. Therefore the claim that God impregnated her. Her claim would not have been the only one of that time period. And in a sense she may have been a virgin. It is possible to get pregnant without penetration by a penis during heavy petting of unclothed people.

 

PROPHECY

They latched onto the prophecy of a savior" of the Jewish nation, and stuck with the story. Jesus probably grew up believing he was the prophesied savior. That is consistent with a report that he went through a period as a child as being a “brat” (my quote). But he later took it seriously, and believed it was his lot in life. He appeared to be a bright child, and although there is a gap in the history of his growing up, it is possible he was groomed for the role. One theory is that he joined a caravan to the east at about 13 years of age, and went to study under eastern gurus. Another is that he studied under the Essenes sect which was much closer to his hometown. Looking at his later teaching with an Eastern flavor, and emphasis on self sacrifice and communal living, I think the second theory was more probable.

 

CHARISMA AND GENUINE CARE

The story of his impressing the elders with his knowledge as a child, and later being able to get the attention of crowds as with the Sermon On The Mount, the content of the sermon, and getting disciples to follow him, shows his charisma and care for humanity. The fact that he did not blame Judas for his betrayal, and prayed to God that the ones crucifying him be forgiven, led me to believe that he truly believed in what he was doing. Therefore the belief that he was a victim of the circumstances of his time.

 

MESSAGE LOST

Again, looking at his overall message, I think his answer to the question about the greatest commandment summed up the wisdom of the ages when it comes to the well-being of mankind. (actually it was the second part of the greatest commandment) It wasn’t new. The golden rule had been around for ages. But the way he worded it showed his ability to focus on what really matters. Loving (caring for) neighbor as self implies that you care about yourself, and then regard others as important as self----that all humans are equally important. If you truly believe that, then you will search for what is in our collective interest. It DOES NOT

 

indicate letting others take advantage of you. But that you seek justice for all. Not revenge, control, or one upmanship”. Most of the human problems in the world come from lack of empathy and one person, or group, believing they are superior, and trying to control others.

 

VALIDITY

For me, whether he is a fabrication, or was an actual person doesn’t really matter. As a behavioral and social scientist this “WE" vs. ME" thinking is a valid, invaluable theory. A uniting message that has been lost in the “Holy” religions with their rigid dogma and dividing tribalism. And lost in the ego driven thirst for power and materialism that seems to have been with us throughout history. In a sense, I guess you might call me a Jesus-ite

 

Jim Laney, 08-27-2020

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THANK YOU PROFESSOR for doing what I couldn't figure out how to do!

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2 hours ago, Weezer said:

THANK YOU PROFESSOR for doing what I couldn't figure out how to do!

No problem, dude.

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Of course we are not talking about defending the person of Jesus, because he may never have existed, at least not the Bible version of him IMHO. We are talking about defending the New Testament, stories of Christianity -- apologetics in general. Many or most of us here know both the good and bad of Christianity, but these pros and cons extend to almost all other big religions IMHO. I've stayed in other countries for months and have seen much good done in the name of religion. The most obvious negative aspects of religion often involve extremists and mixing religion with politics.  But if not, such negatives are more subtle concerning family indoctrinations, religious pressures and restrictions public and personal, unrelenting dogma, worthless memorization requirements, IMO etc.

 

In my humble opinion, Christianity is not bad. It's just an anachronism of belief and joke like all religions, two millennia old, and far older in some cases. The bad aspect of religion is seen in some of the people who practice it. Also IMO, for most people it would be better for them to know the truth of reality than to believe Christianity or another religion. Jesus and Christianity, like all religions belong in a category exemplified by Greek mythology, all being geared toward the less educated of us and founded on family respect and tradition rather than on logic and knowledge IMO.

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