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December 18, 2006

Bart Ehrman on the Historical Jesus

lytton joslyn on December 24, 2006 04:24 AM EST writes:
.The bible said the scriptures
wre given inspiration of God
and is profitable for for doctrine,for reproff for
correction for instruction in
rigteouness.
The Jesud of Jesus is relevant
for our lives today 2000 years
after his birth.
The debate wiill go on as who
he was,what he taught,but his
teachings will stay in the
hearts of those that believe
on him forever.
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Easter Bunny on December 23, 2006 12:20 PM EST writes:
Kris is right. Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus say "the world would end 2000 years ago." Smart fellow, the Messiah. That would have put the end of the world back during the reign of Pharaoh Mentuhotep IV in Egypt and at the beginning of the 1,000 year Shang dynasty in China.
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Rev. Jim on December 22, 2006 08:35 PM EST writes:
Carl,

I appreciate your comments. But I don't think that just because Paul and his followers believed in Jesus's resurrection proves it happened. Throughout history, Christians have beleived in the resurrection, and even staked their lives on that belief. But that doesn't prove they were right.

Some make the same argument you're making by pointing out that in the early centuries Christianity swept through the western world. Surely they must have been right about the resurrection! But more recently Christianity has swept through Africa. What does that prove about the truth content of Christian beliefs?

I'll put it another way. Bush was convinced Saddam had WMDs, and Bush's conviction persuaded lots of Americans that he was right, had to be right. And it felt good and downright American to believe he was right. Nonetheless, he was wrong.
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Carl on December 22, 2006 07:12 PM EST writes:
Here's my question. Rev. Jim notes that a belief in the resurrection is at the heart of why Paul became a Christian. Then he speculates what might have happened if Paul had been given a good reason to doubt that Jesus had risen from the dead. But for me the important issue is that Paul DID believe in Jesus's resurrection. As did all Paul's followers. And don't forget that Paul had been a persecutor of Christians.

So why would they all believe that Jesus had been risen if he hadn't? Would they have been willing to give their lives, which they did do in painful deaths, if God didn't really resurrect Jesus? Their conviction is proof enough for me that Jesus came back to life.


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missy on December 22, 2006 06:14 PM EST writes:
Stupid people

Mr. Weinschenker: I am so sick of stupid people calling iinsightful, illuinating articles and ideas stupid. This only shows how stupid YOU are. You obviously can't read and can't think, but you sure can shoot your mouth off. Why do you even bother annoying truly intelligent people with your half-assed "criticism"? The saddest think of all is, you're too stupid to be embarrassed!
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John Spalding on December 22, 2006 05:52 PM EST writes:
Kris: You could have answered your own question if you read the article. It tells you exactly what John the Baptist, Jesus, and Paul thought about the imminent end of the world, and it quotes them from the Bible. It also describes clearly how the earliest Gospel sources present Jesus as an apocalyptic prophet.

And before you dismiss the idea as stupid, you might consider that many, many fine biblical scholars think (and thought) Jesus believed the end of the world was coming within his own lifetime. Ever heard of Albert Schweitzer? In 1906, he wrote a brilliant book, The Quest of the Historical Jesus, that made precisely that argument.

If you still think the idea is stupid, here's the good news. When you get to heaven, you can call Schweitzer an idiot. Then you can rip Jesus, Paul, and John the Baptist new ones. And then you can go after their first-century followers. And then you can call... Well, you get the picture.
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Kris Weinschenker on December 22, 2006 05:28 AM EST writes:
STUPID Article

Where EXACTLY in the Bible does Jesus say the "world would end 2000 years ago"??????
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Rev. Jim on December 22, 2006 02:10 AM EST writes:
The ideas discussed here are compelling, and I think they'd be devastating to many Christians, including Jesus' early followers.

Take Paul, who was convinced Jesus had died and was resurrected for our sins and, relatedly, that the end would come in his life. What if we could go back in time and prove to Paul that even 2,000 years later the end hadn't come? This is speculative, but you wonder: Would Christianity exist? Would this knowledge have made Paul reconsider whether Jesus had really been resurrected? If so, Paul wouldn't have developed his notions of sin and redemption, which hold that Jesus' resurrection shows he defeated sin. Lose the resurrection, his notions of sin and redemption, and Paul's theology folds.

Maybe learning the end wasn't nigh wouldn't give Paul that much doubt. Later followers worked around it. Then again, maybe it would have caused him to toss the faith. Def. would've taken the wind out of his sails. Either way, Christianity would be very different today.
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Cuthbert Shaggins on December 19, 2006 03:06 PM EST writes:
Jesus and the Romans

Thanks so much for this enlightening q&a. A question: Some of what Jesus said and some of what I've read implies that Jesus' end-times talk was about the pressure the Romans were putting on Jewish society, which indeed culminated in the destruction of the temple and large-scale killing and diaspora. What of the argument that Jesus saw the writing on the wall, and was urging Jews to look beyond the temple? Is there not evidence he preached a new (or reformed) understanding of the Torah not as a temple-administered set of practices but a home-based religion motivated by love, because this could survive a political apocalypse? Does any of this fit with the more obvious verses regarding a cosmic apocalypse?
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