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Thursday, January 19, 2006 

Are You a Heretic? part 3

I do not mean for this to go on & on, but I want to answer a question and consider what I learned from the author of the quiz.

marcguyver asks:
You [freethoughtmom] said, "I don't think Jesus is God incarnate, but not because God can't dwell in flesh." Not trying to stir up trouble here but, can you tell me then what you think Jesus is?
I had no clue when I started researching the Christmas story about three years ago that I'd have ever said this, but, well, (pause) ... I think that Jesus is a mythos. This was the last step in my deconversion, and it was shocking for me to come to this conclusion, and I'm pretty sure any theist, no matter how open minded, will think this is nuts. So let me quickly add, it doesn't matter what any one person believes (as long as they aren't hurting children with those beliefs), but that's the perspective I was trying to take the quiz from.

And from the quiz author himself, Steven Harris, I am technically NOT a heretic just for the belief of Jesus -> Mythos. He also points out that to him, my position is extremely shaky and practically fantastical. I'll leave that to "well, I guess we have very different opinions." Good luck with your thesis, Steven, and if you have any proof outside of the bible about Jesus' existence, I (and the world) would love to hear about it.

Thanks to all for the comments!

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As a Christian, I'd have to agree and say there is little or no hard evidence whatsoever.

It's just that I dig Jesus' teachings. Would it crush me if I learned that no human named Jesus ever existed (although I don't think that's the case)? No. The teachings to me are groovy.

It's like this: Would the fact that Aesop's fables are not based upon real stories injure the Truths found within them? I think not.

Don't want to believe in a literal Jesus? Knock yerself out.

But don't want to believe in Loving your neighbor and I think you've got issues (as we all do to some degree or t'other).

Beautiful pic of (I suppose) your child there!

There is a difference: people don't start wars while waving Aesop's fables over their head! And, the message of love your neighbor isn't unique to Chrisitanity.

So, I think we'll have to respectfully disagree on this one.

Picture is my little mouse, thanks!

I love the message of "Love your neighbor" wherever it is preached.

As Jesus asked in his story about the two brothers (one who told his dad he wouldn't run an errand but eventually did and the other who said he'd do the errand but didn't):

Which one did the parent's will? The one who did what was right, not the one who said what was right.

(loosely paraphrased).

"Love your neighbor" is originally a Jewish concept. Feel free to look it up in the Hebrew Bible.

I love the message of "Love your neighbor" wherever it is preached. And yes, it certainly is found in the Old Testament of the Bible.

As it is in Buddhism:
"...a state that is not pleasing or delightful to me, how could I inflict that upon another?"

"Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you"

Hinduism, Islam and on and on. It's all good, seems to me. It's a fine teaching and I love it whenever it's attempted. Or, as Gandhi said when asked about Western Civilization, "I think it would be a fine idea..."

Do Josephus' writings as a historian count as proof of Jesus' existence?

Wikipedia states: In AD 93 the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus published his work Antiquities of the Jews. The extant copies of this work, which all derive from Christian sources, even the recently recovered Arabic version, contain two passages about Jesus. The one directly concerning Jesus has come to be known as the Testimonium Flavianum, and its authenticity has been the subject of debate since the 17th century. The other passage concerns James the brother of Jesus; its authenticity is also disputed.
This is still an ongoing debate:

I just wanted to add that the article states that "The other reference in the works of Josephus often cited to support the historicity of Jesus is also in the Antiquities, in the first paragraph of book 20, chapter 9: "and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James." However, the conclusion of the paragraph identifies the "Jesus" in question as "Jesus, the son of Damneus." As the Jesus of the Christian Bible is clearly not the son of Damneus, many people reject the phrase, "who was called Christ," as a later interpolation.

It is worth noting that both "Jesus" and "James" were popular names in first-century Judea. There are at least five characters named "James" in the New Testament. Josephus mentions at least nineteen people named "Jesus," a number of them living in the first third of the first century.

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About me

  • I'm the freethoughtmom from New England. Welcome!
  • The word rational means having the ability to reason. Reasoning takes time. Giving yourself the space to think is practically a luxury in our society.

    My father is a logical engineer, my mother a caring nurturer. My handwriting with my dominate hand resembles that of my father, the other, my mother. I feel lucky to have both sides to draw from.
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