So what is truth?

TWO thousand years or so after the man from Nazareth mysteriously vanished from a heavily fortified tomb in Jerusalem, the case is still open.

Some say it’s a folk tale; it never really happened. Or a deadly superstition. Or a convenient lie. Perhaps the disciples stole the body. Maybe Jesus didn’t die but just swooned, recovered, married Mary Magdalene and went to live in India.

But most scholars acknowledge there are first hand accounts of the missing dead body and sightings of Jesus after his death. These are historical events that happened to real people at a real place and time.

There are no comparable events in history.
Days before the body of Jesus went missing, Pontius Pilate, a Roman bureaucrat stuck between a rock and a hard place, looked at Jesus standing before him and asked: ‘’What is truth’’.

No answer to the question is recorded, because Jesus probably didn’t give one. He must have thought His life and imminent death were answers enough.

Not that many understood it at the time. Even his disciples were confused. Why did He have to die?

Why didn’t he conquer the Romans and establish His kingdom on Earth? Why didn’t He just comes to the planet and say, “I love you and if you want, I’ll forgive you and you can live with Me in Heaven when you die.”

It was never going to be that easy. The grace we live in didn’t come cheap.

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40 thoughts on “So what is truth?

  1. Jesus claimed without ambiguity that He was the Son of Man. It sounded like blasphemy.

    He deliberately set Himself on a collision course with the authorities. He knew it had to end in

    His execution. He told his disciples that it was the only way.

    In the end, he said, he understood his own impending death as a ransom for many. That statement alone made him either crazy or divine. The crowds loved Him. He healed them, taught them . . . loved them. And then he died.

    Jesus’ message was simple – the world was in chaos and someone had to pay.
    The life and death of Jesus are historical facts. The resurrection is, even to believers, somewhat a matter of faith.
    If you’re sure there’s no God and that the laws of the nature are the only things operating in the universe then it is absurd to believe Jesus could have risen from the dead.
    The gospel accounts of the resurrection are not particularly poetic. Just the bald statement proclaimed as fact that Jesus had risen.
    After the resurrection, we are assured, Jesus’ tomb was empty and he was seen around Jerusalem, sometimes by up to 500 people at a time. People could touch him, he ate food with them, he was not a ghost.

    Strangely, after he rose from the dead, Jesus was seen by some, but not by others on the same streets; understood by some, but not by others.

    Some understood his triumph over death and it changed their lives, others were indifferent to him

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  2. Easter Sunday fills believers with hope that they are not living their lives in vain. It assures then that there is life beyond this life.

    Death attempts to extinguish the light of hope within us. The resurrection of Jesus gives us an eternal and hopeful perspective of death.

    John Chrysostom, in one of the oldest and best Easter sermons – he preached it 1600 years ago – described Easter Sunday as beautiful and bright. He said on the first Easter Sunday, hell was in uproar because it had been mocked and annihilated.

    The possibility that the resurrection actually occurred still shakes the world to its foundations.

    Today, millions of people will pack churches, stadiums and homes to claim that something that happened 2000 years ago has caused them to be resurrected in their lives, resurrected in their marriages, resurrected in their homes, and resurrected in their communities.
    In their hearts they proclaim Christ is risen, though some may not see him!

    The miraculous doesn’t force itself on us.

    Jewish author Sholem Asch said :”Jesus Christ is to me the outstanding personality of all time, all history, both as Son of God and as Son of Man. Everything he ever said or did has value for us today and that is something you can say of no other man, dead or alive. There is no easy middle ground to stroll upon. You either accept Jesus or reject him.”

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    • I agree that there is value in what Jesus taught, and that his teachings were able to be driven home by the resurrection. The fact that Christianity is still going strong demonstrates that there is much truth contained in the story of Jesus. It makes sense that the teachings would lead people to believe in the supernatural elements of the story. I have had an interest in magic from a very young age. I wanted to be a magician, until I came to learn that magic was actually illusion. There does seem to be a possibility that Jesus could have been a daredevil magician with a heart for humanity.

      There also seems to be laws of nature operating in the universe. They also seem to be rather consistent to the point where we can study them and learn a mind-blowing amount of things from studying them. Does understanding this remove any Godly belief? It doesn’t have to. We have no idea why or how the Big Bang occurred. Was it random? Was it created? At this point it’s anyone’s guess. Maybe it was some sort of entity beyond our comprehension throwing a handful of seeds into the garden we know as the universe. The good news is we are seeking understanding of it. We are seeking understanding of our creator.

      And Jesus is right on the money with his main points – we should love God (our creator) above all, love your neighbour as yourself, and that despite our selfish tendencies, we are all forgiven.

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      • Jason, you so often speak my mind. We may not believe in some particular, but that doesn’t stop us from believing in the Intention behind the events, of God’s will despite whether any report is historically accurate or not.

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      • As I see it, the core intention in essence is to emphasize the connection to all that surrounds us and the connection between us all.

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    • Hyperbole DOES grasp you tightly at certain times of the years, doesn’t it lad? (Do you still bay at the moon at such times too?)

      um —-> “The possibility that the resurrection actually occurred still shakes the world to its foundations. ”
      ….how does one, in the face of such overwhelming enthusiasm, explain that the world doesn’t HAVE any foundations?

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    • Bryan,
      You tell us there that ‘most scholars’ assure us that the accounts of the appearances of the resurrected Jesus are ‘first hand accounts’, and thus reliable. Can you please direct me to some of these ‘most’ scholars who are non-Christians? Apart from the Jewish individual named Pinchas Lapide, I havent seen any record of them. (Is he regarded as an accredited scholar anyway?)

      Interesting isnt it, that the scholars of the Christian world itself, are split between those who believe in the literal Resurrection, and those who dont so believe. That fact in itself casts further doubts on your claim about the majority of Scholars.

      Sholem Ashe was, I recall, a novelist, and not notably referred to as a scholar; and his three fictional and highly successful books based on the Christian Testament brought him heavy criticism from his Jewish confreres, since he appeared to be a Christian in disguise.

      So please please, Bryan do tell me where I can read the arguments and conclusions of non-Christian scholars who accept the stories told in the Gospels. Can you defend your statement that ‘most’ scholars allow that these stories are historically true? (Are there ANY non-Christian scholars at all in this camp?)

      Again, MOST Scholars??? Do tell. If you cant, then I shall be able to conclude that you were just stating your opinion.

      As for those much touted titles of Son of Man and Son of God, – well, – as I’ve so often pointed out, – neither of them means the same as God the Son.

      Rian.

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      • If ‘non-Christian’ scholars actually believed the gospel stories, they would cease to be non Christians and become Christians. So what you are asking for is an impossibility.

        Secondly, no sooner was the Christian faith born, than it was persecuted by both the Jews and later the Romans. One will not readily suffer death and persecution for a lie. It is not in human nature to do so. Even Jesus, when praying in Gethsemane said “if possible let this cup pass away from Me…” showing that His humanity shrank from what He had to do. Non Christian scholars do not understand this point as they never had to put their life on the line for their beliefs.

        Thirdly, the gospels implicitly teach principles that lead to self sacrificing behaviours that are part of one’s identity. You not only struggle against external enemies such as your persecutors, but now you have to wage war against your own tendencies and self. Often this war is waged in an environment where the evil tendencies that s/he struggles against, are permissible, nay even encouraged. Once again, non-Christian scholars cannot understand this point as they are often neutral or permissible with respect to the evil tendencies of the human heart that the gospel demands we fight against. Furthermore, if they believed then they would have to join us and fight against their own selves. It is not merely enough to know the truth, but the truth must make one free.

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      • Okay davinci,
        let’s look at some of the other things you quote here.

        <<<‘If ‘non-Christian’ scholars actually believed the gospel stories, they would cease to be non Christians and become Christians. So what you are asking for is an impossibility.’

        Now davinci, you have said something very interesting there. It was touted by our good mate Bryan, that ‘most scholars’ do accept that the sightings of Jesus after the Resurrection are historically true reports of eye witnesses. So in other words, the majority of Scholars in the whole world then, (in other words – MOST scholars) just truly have to be Christian believers! I just had no idea. (the word 'scholars' now; – I wonder just what it means… Maybe Bryan has his own pet meaning for the term.)

        Another problem I face with your comments is that I’m not sure just what might be meant by the word ‘Christians’. I have got the impression from other postings of yours, that an awful lot of persons labelled and blithely included in the statistics of Christians, are actually not true believers like yourself.. For example, most do not retain the Seventh/Sabbath day of the week as the divinely appointed holy day.

        Then it would appear that you frequently do not agree with certain other teachings that are maintained by some of our regular contributors on the blog. I suspect that you would be strongly opposed to the wide-spread liberal teachings of the academic Christians of the world. Loads and loads of Christians today do not take literally the words of the Bible. The Nativity stories from Matthew and Luke are rejected by many otherwise regularly observant Christians. Presumably only the Fundamentalists and strict Evangelicals would be the ones to be properly identified as ‘saved’ Christians in your book – Oh yes, sorry, AND especially Seventh Day Baptists, of course.

        I mentioned before the case of the writer Pinchas Lapide. Again I point out that though he believes that the Resurrection actually occurred, he is still a devout Jew.

        cheers, Rian. (a second commentary follows on here.)

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      • Rian,
        Just as there is a standard by which a coin or a banknote is deemed to be counterfeit or not, we have a standard by which we determine whether an alleged Christian is genuine or not. That standard is the Bible.

        I am not surprised that you find a problem with the word ‘Christian’ as you have rejected so much of the Bible that anything and everything is accepted as ‘Christian’, no matter how diametrically opposite to the teachings of the Bible that might be. And that goes for all your mates who disagree with the central doctrines of the Bible.

        You are not honest with yourselves.

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      • No davinci, it simply doesnt work.

        You completely glossed over the words about the man himself having sinned and thereby being born blind. You predictably concentrated on the other clause about his parents sinning. I’m perfectly familiar with the possibility of some kind of disease suffered by the guy’s parents.

        You just have to see the concept of Reincarnation in the question that the disciples tossed at Jesus. Funny how as well, you completely ignored all the rest of the arguments that Strewth and I put forward. We indicated the sources etc from within Judaism that prove the common knowledge that existed in the time of Jesus and after as well.
        Rian.

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    • As I see it the resurrection need not have played any greater part, than publicity for this new approach to Judaism. Survival after death was a common belief, and reincarnation too.Whether it was true or not should not worry Christians.

      I believe the main message of Jesus was the prospect of forgiveness, the concept of grace, the acceptance of the Golden Rule.

      The effort to live a kind and good life was to be encouraged, but if you weren’t up to scratch, God was a loving parent who would extend grace.

      That seems to have been the message of Jesus, but of course if you didn’t believe him and lived a selfish life without acknowledging God, it didn’t apply. You DID need to believe Jesus.

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      • Actually Strewth, reincarnation was unheard of in Jewish circles or Judaism. And the possibility of resurrection was a sticking point between the Sadducees and Pharisees (one group believing it wasn’t possible, the other that it was possible).

        And before raising Lazarus, one of his sisters told Jesus she believed her brother would be resurrected one day. No belief in reincarnation there.

        As for Paul the apostle, he makes it quite clear that without the resurrection we are the most miserable of all men? Why? Because in a world where pride takes place, there is no place for meekness. In a world whose superheroes are admired for their ability to fight back to defend themselves, turning the other cheek is utter foolishness, especially when turning the other cheek might result in your death!

        As we entered the Easter Season, thousands spent time watching Spiderman. Ask yourself whom did they admire most? Jesus Christ who said to turn the other cheek or Spiderman (who only turned his spandex covered cheek)?

        And yet you say that death and resurrection of Jesus are not important; that publicity was better? How little you know of Christianity!

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      • ?? ” the acceptance of the Golden Rule.”

        ‘Do not do unto others as you’d like them to do to you; their tastes might not be the same.’
        ….that golden rule?

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      • There were indeed references to reincarnation in the Old and New Testaments. In A.D. 325 the Roman emperor Constantine the Great, along with his mother, Helena, had deleted references to reincarnation contained in the New Testament. The Second Council of Constantinople meeting in A.D. 553, confirmed this action and declared the concept of reincarnation a heresy.

        ALL the teachings of Arius were banned, and reincarnation was one of them, although not itself a topic of that Council, or at least the first one. There remain a few references to it in scripture, but only those the Church felt it could explain away.

        Such as the question asked was Jesus the reincarnated Elijah. He said not, but about John the Baptist “And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come.” The Church explains this as not being really Elijah, but that type of person. But Jesus made no attempt to clear up any misconception, although he would have been aware.

        There are other instances too, that escaped the purge.

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      • Judaism differentiates between resurrection, where the deceased’s body is restored alive – and reincarnation, where the soul gets a new body and a fresh chance at life.

        “The holy Ari explained it most simply: every Jew must fulfill all 613 mitzvot, and if he doesn’t succeed in one lifetime, he comes back again and again until he finishes. For this reason, events in a person’s life may lead him towards certain places, encounters, etc., in ways that may or may not make sense. Divine providence provides each person with the opportunities he needs to fulfill those particular mitzvot necessary for the perfection of his soul. But the responsibility lies with us. At the actual moment of decision in any given situation, the choice is ours.”

        For an in-depth English treatment of the Jewish doctrine of reincarnation, see the running translation and commentary of Shaar Gilgulim on KabbalaOnline.org. (For the first article in the series, “Gate of Reincarnations”.)

        “Behold, all these things does God do — twice, even three times with a man — to bring his soul back from the pit that he may be enlightened with the light of the living.” (Job 33:29)

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      • Strewth,
        Well put. It is a fact that Reincarnation was very well known as a theory and teaching all over the world at that time. And as you said, many references make it plain that the Pharisees frequently held the belief in their teaching.

        In these days now, as I have said before in an earlier posting, there is absolutely no doctrinal barrier in Judaism, that will prevent them from accepting Reincarnation. It is obedience to the Law that is all important to Jews, and not holding to particular beliefs. One of the many strong reasons that I appreciate the Theology of Judaism.

        Rian.

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      • A further matter, Strewth about the teaching of Reincarnation is that the brilliant early Christian Father Origen taught it in 2nd/3rd century AD. And he was regarded then and for some time after as the greatest intellect in the early Church, and his teachings were very influential for a couple of centuries.

        However, two or three centuries later, the Church did a big about face on him and dismissed him and condemned his writings.

        Oh yes, and let’s understand that if davinci thinks that no-one ever is prepared to die for a lie, it so happens that this ‘heretical’ genius was eventually taken by his enemies and was tortured and martyred for his faith – a faith that davinci thinks would definitely be a lie.

        Rian.

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      • Now davinci,

        my follow up comments. – what else do you talk about there?

        <<<‘One will not readily suffer death and persecution for a lie. It is not in human nature to do so.’

        That davinci, is a popular protest claim that Christians apologists toss around most liberally. I dont really think that it is a claim that can be legitimately maintained. Are you implying that devotees of other religions, – Buddhism, Judaism, Islam etc, believing as they do in the ‘lies’ of their faiths, can never have been prepared to suffer death and persecution for these same lies?

        Looking too at the lives of the original Apostles now, there is no mention in the Christian Testament that Paul was arrested for his faith in the Resurrection. The Romans took him because he caused trouble and riots. In the whole of that long and tiresome tirade that the young Stephen is reported as having delivered to those who eventually stoned him, there is not one single mention of the Resurrection of Jesus. Merely the claim that he was having a vision of Jesus in the presence of God in Heaven.

        The deaths of the original Disciples are not detailed in the Bible, with the exception of (who was it?) James perhaps, – and it doesnt say that he was killed for preaching the Resurrection. The only commentaries we have about the others come from legend and tradition, and quoted many years later. No actual evidence is there.

        And we can count too such persons as the founders of the Mormon community, the Jim Jones and the Branch Davidians etc. Heaven knows some of these are regarded by just about all modern Christians as being founded on lies. But they were prepared to die.

        I'd suggest that you go to your computer and key in 'Christian argument that no-one will die for a lie', and you will find whole arguments on the matter that show what a fallacy it is.

        cheers, Rian.

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      • OK Rian and Strewth,
        Give me the Bible (Old and New Testament) quotes that support reincarnation. But don’t give me quotes that are not in the Bible. We know how corrupted and perverted Judaism was by the time Jesus appeared on the scene.

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      • ah davinci, Re your challenge April 23, at 12.57.

        Actually I didnt say that there is support for Reincation in the Bible as we have it. I’ll leave it to Strewth to elaborate if she so wishes. Her quote from the Book of Job is an interesting one though. One quote that is not actually in the Bible as we have it, comes from the Apocryphal book of the Wisdom of Solomon. In this text Solomon is being quoted as saying in Chapter VIII, – ‘Now I was a child of parts, and a good soul fell to my lot; nay rather, being good, I came into a body undefiled.’ An interesting picture of Reincarnation at work.

        But in view of your rather ignorant contention that Reincarnation was just unknown to the Jews of old, I will give you one particular bit of Gospel Text that gives the lie to that idea. Just keep in mind that in the stories we have about Jesus, he always made a point of reproaching those who said anything wrong. So if he refrained from condemning any particular doctrinal concept, then we can take it that it was not bad or improper.

        In the Gospel according to St John, at 9.1, we are told the fascinating story of a guy who was blind from birth. And note that the disciples actually asked “Master, who did sin, this man or his parents that he was born blind?” Now notice that the way an individual could have sinned, in order that he be BORN with such a punishment or disability, has GOT TO BE that it could only have been in a previous human lifetime that he thus sinned.

        The disciples were obviously perfectly familiar with the teaching of Reincarnation, that they should freely and easily in this way. So it was a perfectly natural question for them to ask. “Ah” says the wise Christian in answer, “So there! Jesus knocks the idea on the head, and tells them that neither this man or his parents sinned (as a cause for his blindness), but that the works of God should be made manifest in him, Therefore it proves that Reincarnation is wrong!”

        Ah but if you look at the text you discover that Jesus did NOT say anything like “How long have I been with you, and teaching you the mysteries of the Kingdom, and yet you ask me a question like that? How dare you!” There is no suggestion in the text that he is reproving them for coming up with such a ridiculous question. It reads more as though Jesus was saying something like “No, it doesnt apply in this particular instance. There is another reason that God brought this about.”

        I would also point out the answers that the disciples gave to the Master’s question “Whom do people say that I am?” They said that “Some say that thou art John the Baptist; some Elias; and others Jeremias or one of the Prophets” Now the only way that it could have been suggested that Jesus was Elias or Jeremiah, would be that he was a reincarnation of one of them.

        Again, Jesus did not suggest for a single moment then that such an idea was impossible or ungodly. He allowed that in this case, the truth lay in the answer that Simon Peter gave.

        I say again, davinci, that Reincarnation was well and truly known and accepted by many all round the known world, during the time of Jesus. And since the doctrine was finally eliminated and condemned in the later Councils in the 5th, 6th 7th centuries, along with the reputation of our friend the Church Father Origen, we can be absolutely certain that many people within both Christianity and Judaism were recognizing it. You simply dont have a Council condemning a particular idea if no-one was observing it.

        Rian.

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      • Sorry Rian but your statement below does not support reincarnation:

        “In the Gospel according to St John, at 9.1, we are told the fascinating story of a guy who was blind from birth. And note that the disciples actually asked “Master, who did sin, this man or his parents that he was born blind?” Now notice that the way an individual could have sinned, in order that he be BORN with such a punishment or disability, has GOT TO BE that it could only have been in a previous human lifetime that he thus sinned.

        GOT TO BE? Really?!

        The Bible makes it very clear that disease often arises out of sin. This is why Jesus often used the words “thy sins are forgiven thee” when healing people. In fact when He healed a paralytic, He afterward told him to go sin no more lest something worse come upon him (John 5:14). It in this context that the blind man was thought to have become blind. Because his parents had committed some sin that had resulted in disease which could have been transmitted genetically to the child.

        It is interesting that there is no scientific proof for reincarnation. But there is scientific proof of people transmitting disease to their children. So there is no need for theory of reincarnation to be incorporated into anything.

        In fact it is more sane and rational to believe that sin causes disease, and that disease can be transmitted genetically from parent to child.

        It is more insane and irrational to believe in fantasies like reincarnation.

        Maybe that is why some alleged Christians don’t accept many parts of the New Testament. It is easier to believe in fantasies like reincarnation, because it absolves them from the personal responsibilities inherent in the word of God.

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      • “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
        It was accepted that this was a case of cause and effect, the blindness was God’s justice for past sin. Is there any other explanation?

        Why was there a question as to whose sin, unless there were possibilities of the man himself and not his parents being responsible? If himself, then when, if not in a past life? Or do you believe the foetus sinned in the womb?

        In the end it didn’t matter, as the reason was otherwise, as Jesus was careful to explain. He could have continued to correct them if their belief was wrong. He may have pointed out that blindness was NEVER caused by sin, or he may not. But surely he would have strongly declared that BELIEVING IN PAST LIVES WAS NOT ON.

        I am not going into any remaining hints of reincarnation in scripture. Not only have most been expunged, but the Church has had a couple of centuries of dreaming up refutations for the rest.

        Believe what you will, Davinci. I am sure God’s love doesn’t depend on such a belief, one way or another.

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      • davinci,

        Nup, you got the wrong idea of what I was saying there about my uncertainty over the word Christian. Personally I have no problem at all with the word. What I’m referring to is the very obvious fact that Christians themselves dont agree about their definitions, and for non-Christian observers, that not only looks rather amusing, but also sad and confusing.

        Looking on from the outside and reading the various posts, I observe that Brian is very passionate about his faith, but he appears to disagree vehemently with some of your version of Christianity. Similarly Monica has some views not shared by others. A whole lot of you clearly held different beliefs from our old mate the Prophet HUP. Kathleen clearly holds some crucial teachings of the Catholic Church, that dont concur with those of you who belong to the Protestant Bible tradition.

        I rather fancy that Strewth (if I can dare to speak for her) and I simply regard you all as our Brothers and Sisters under ‘the God’, regardless of what disputes and differences you might have. It might be affirmed that the inherent doubts that she and I share do unite us very firmly. The varying certainties that many of the rest of you swear by seem to put up barriers that make us sad.

        As I quoted here the other week, from a Gnostic source –
        ‘Certainty divides us; while doubt unites us’

        – Certainty strikes me as being at times both sad and dangerous. You only have to think about the history of the great Creeds of Christianity. The certainty that was their very function was to divide Sheep from Goats, wasnt it! They very sadly created loads and loads of heretics and apostates.

        He drew a circle that shut me out,
        Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
        But love and I had the wit to win.
        We drew a circle that took him in.
        Edward Markham.

        Rian

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  3. I always wondered concerning the circumstances where Jesus pbuh was mistaken for a gardener. A gardener would have been a lowly paid job and a fairly dirty one. He had this spectacular exit and then was mistaken for a gardener.

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    • Yes, his new physical form was different, he wasn’t recognised by those who knew him well. Was it a ring in they saw?

      Did his followers respect and honour his wishes to reform Judaism, so much, that they would do this for him?

      Thomas had to see the wound before he believed. Wouldn’t there be wounds on the wrists? Allowing time for them to heal, a bad scar in the side would still be there, but a less major injury could have been inflicted on such a ring in.

      And so Christianity was born, and (as I see it) God’s will achieved.

      No wonder Christians can worship him for what he achieved, and no wonder they can worship the thought-form they have created of him over the centuries.

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    • The gospels tell us that it was early in the morning when Jesus revealed Himself to Mary so she could have mistaken Him for someone else. Secondly she was distraught by the fact that Jesus was missing from the tomb (she didn’t believe in the resurrection either). In fact nobody expected to see Jesus alive again after His death.

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  4. Pingback: In response to the Christian version of Easter | Christianity Simplified

  5. ??? “There are no comparable events in history.”
    Except, of course, the several million eyewitness to the parting of the Red Sea, (all the egyptian eyewitness are drowned, so they saw ‘nothing! nothing!’, among a few others.
    I just don’t understand this compulsive need some people have to make more of ‘Jesus’ (Immanuel/whoever) than what ‘he’ was. Isn’t being a man who can have that sort of impact
    on history enough to reassure you all?
    Oh ye of little faith!

    Incidentally if you’re not prepared to accept the prophet’s word as to his name then you’re not entitled to believe the prophet’s word about anything else.
    Difficulties, difficulties.

    In fact, the prophet ~ speaking for god ~ never did claim this ‘Jesus’ fellow would be the ‘son of god’; quite the contrary:-
    Isaiah 7:-
    “14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
    15 Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.
    16 For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.”

    Here we see two defining references to the effect that ‘the son of the virgin must LEARN to choose ‘good’ and reject ‘evil’.
    ‘God incarnate’ aka ‘the son of god’ would NOT need to learn such things.
    The (miraculous) “sign” lay entirely in the ‘virginal conception’ ~ nothing else.

    So not only the name, but also the salient inherent ‘divinations’ make it quite clear that Jesus was a man and a jew, who not only needed to learn the rules but showed ‘human’ failings like impatience, and who could also be killed.

    As a man he achieved great things, demonstrated by history SINCE then; as a ‘god’ his achievements (and you can include the resurrection if you like) amounted to trivia at a parlour-game level:
    ‘ Peek-a-boo! Now you see me now you don’t!’

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  6. “Jesus claimed without ambiguity that He was the Son of Man. It sounded like blasphemy. ”
    Why. We’re all sons of men (and women).
    The puzzle is how ‘son of man’ translates into ‘son of god’ .
    Ps why is my other post still ‘awaiting moderation’?

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  7. “So what is truth?”
    It still is what it has ALWAYS been;- a FACT that can be VERIFIED.

    It is NOT a story that can be told(or made up). NOR is it anything decided by FAITH, or by the number of people who happen to believe something.

    Nor is it your own particular version of TRUTH. Whatever you think or believe is only truth if it can be verified and, in particular, if it can be proven in the face of scepticism from non-believers.

    As Carl Sagan has said, “Extraordinary claims. require extraordinary EVIDENCE” and NOT as we always seem to get, just more extraordinary (or unprovable) claims (and excuses) in support.

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  8. If God can’t be seen, heard or touched by those who don’t believe. if he can’t be tested or proved in any way, if he has no effect on anything more than you would expect with a chance happening, then how is that in anyway different from a total delusion?

    If you want to believe so much that you would literally believe in anything, and NOTHING at all would change your mind, then that is only more proof of the completely imaginary.

    An absolute determination to believe in something untestable, come what may, is clear evidence of a disconnection from reality.

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    • The Bible is clear that once sin entered the world, man becomes afraid to be in the presence of God, despite God making friendly approaches towards man. We have seen it with Adam and Eve who hid themselves because they were now afraid of a friend. We have seen it with the children of Israel at Sinai when they decided that they were afraid of God speaking to them personally and asked for God to speak to them through an intermediary (Moses). The Scriptures make it clear that because of sin, nobody can see God face to face and live.
      If God revealed Himself in the way that you would like to see Him, you would be instantly dead.

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    • davinci,
      Interesting how other mythologies express the same thought that humans could not look on the complete majesty of the God, and live, or remain as they were.

      In the Bhagavad Gita, before the big battle the warrior leader Arjuna was approached by Krishna the divine Incarnation. The story tells how Arjuna begged of Krishna that he might appear to him in his divine appearance. Krishna did just that, and terrified or shattered the life out of him. Then in the classical myths of Greece and Rome, Semele begged Jupiter to reveal himself in all his majesty. The sight of him in his true form just destroyed her completely and she died.

      Rian.

      Like

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