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Old 06-10-2019, 09:17 PM
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Religion based only what Jesus said


I was having a discussion with someone the other day, and I used some quotes from the Bible, and the response was "Jesus didn't say that"

Got me to thinking, are there any religions that are based on only what Jesus said in the Bible?
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:57 PM
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I was having a discussion with someone the other day, and I used some quotes from the Bible, and the response was "Jesus didn't say that"

Got me to thinking, are there any religions that are based on only what Jesus said in the Bible?
Not so far as I know. Nor would I expect to find one. If you think about it, "what Jesus said" is unimportant unless you believe that Jesus had some special position or authority and, while you can appeal to the bible in support of that proposition, much of the material you'd be appealing to is not accounts of what Jesus said. If you disregard accounts of Jesus's life, deeds, death and resurrection, what reason have you got to pay any particular attention to what Jesus is noted as having said?
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:25 PM
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Got me to thinking, are there any religions that are based on only what Jesus said in the Bible?
It's not that, really, but there is a Christian movement, "Red Letter Christians," that emphasizes the teachings of Jesus (so-called because in some old Bibles, the words of Jesus are printed in red ink).

And I see that the "See also" section of that Wikipedia article contains a link to "Jesusism," which may be along the lines of what you're looking for.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:30 PM
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Thomas Jefferson went through the Bible, to cut out all miracles and condense the gospels to the "authentic" Jesus.

How Thomas Jefferson Created His Own Bible
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In fact, Jefferson was devoted to the teachings of Jesus Christ. But he didnít always agree with how they were interpreted by biblical sources, including the writers of the four Gospels, whom he considered to be untrustworthy correspondents. So Jefferson created his own gospel by taking a sharp instrument, perhaps a penknife, to existing copies of the New Testament and pasting up his own account of Christís philosophy, distinguishing it from what he called ďthe corruption of schismatizing followers.Ē
It didn't go any farther than him, although others could have done something similar.
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Old 06-11-2019, 07:53 AM
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Thomas Jefferson went through the Bible, to cut out all miracles and condense the gospels to the "authentic" Jesus.

How Thomas Jefferson Created His Own Bible


It didn't go any farther than him, although others could have done something similar.
Well, except that the Jefferson Bible isn't composed of only "what Jesus said" -- it's the material from the four evangelists stripped of what Jefferson thought fanciful and unlikely (even if Jesus said it) and assembled in chronological order.

The current edition (I picked one up at the Smithsonian last year) is a beautiful photoreproduction, with a binding that's identical to the binding of the original. If you strip off the protective plastic dust jacket (which has all the usual jacket material), you could put it right on a bookshelf among a bunch of early 19th century books and the only way it would stand out was by looking new new and unused. I've read it twice.




Regarding the OP's premise -- I don't know of any religion that's based only o the words of the founder. In the cases of most religions, it's a combination of the writings they have and a whole host of traditions and thins based on supporting and even apocryphal texts. It's practically impossible to "reconstruct" religions even from their sacred texts, because there's so much missing from the texts filled in by that tradition. Some aspects of religions even contradict parts of their sacred texts.


A religion based solely upon the words of Jesus* (and nothing else in the existing Evangelists) would be a very different thing. You run into trouble right away with Matthew 16:28 "Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom." Taken in a straightforward and literal sense, this implies that the Son of Man already came about 2000 years ago. To many, this means that the Apocalypse has already come.






*and which words? Which texts do you take as canonical? There are significant differences between the three Synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke and the Fourth Gospel of John. Do you reject John? How about the Gospel of Thomas? Or the infancy narratives, or...well, you se the point.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:04 AM
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*and which words? Which texts do you take as canonical? There are significant differences between the three Synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke and the Fourth Gospel of John. Do you reject John? How about the Gospel of Thomas? Or the infancy narratives, or...well, you se the point.
Thanks everyone for responding. Regarding this, are the actual words of Jesus that much different between the Gospels?

(I understand that they were written years later and whatnot)

And this: "The problem I think they'd run into is that there's a LOT that Jesus didn't say anything about...

Homosexuality? Nothin'. Masturbation? Nope. Priests, church services, hymns? Nada"

I would think that would be sort of the point.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:38 AM
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Thanks everyone for responding. Regarding this, are the actual words of Jesus that much different between the Gospels?
Those gospels are pretty short books, you could read them yourself in a couple of hours.
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:25 PM
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Regarding this, are the actual words of Jesus that much different between the Gospels?
There's quite a bit of overlap among the first three gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke, called the "synoptic" gospels), though there's also material that only appears in one or two of them, and there are sometimes slight differences even when the same material appears in more than one of them.

There's not much overlap between the words of Jesus in the gospel of John and the synoptic gospels.

For more info, see the Staff Report Who wrote the Bible? Part 4 Ė Who wrote/compiled/edited (and when) the various New Testament Books?
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:15 PM
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Thanks everyone for responding. Regarding this, are the actual words of Jesus that much different between the Gospels?
As Thudlow says, there's a good deal of common material between the three synoptic gospels, whereas John is a different kettle of fish. In John, Jesus's teachings are presented in a serious of long discourses which are unlikely to have been speeches actually given by Jesus (or to have been understood by the readership as speeches actually given by Jesus) but instead are a theologically-formed synthesis of the teachings of Jesus. Which raises the question; if you're going to base your religion only on what Jesus said, do you confine that to (purported) reports of direct speech only?

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And this: "The problem I think they'd run into is that there's a LOT that Jesus didn't say anything about...

Homosexuality? Nothin'. Masturbation? Nope. Priests, church services, hymns? Nada"

I would think that would be sort of the point.
That's only a problem if you take an absurdly simplistic approach and thnk that the only signficance Jesus' words (or indeed anybody's words) can have is their immediate surface meaning. On this view, for example, if Jesus says something about swords, that refers only to swords but has nothing to tell us about guns or about violence or about the use of force or the assertion of power in general. Or, Jesus's teachings about adultery cannot be used to draw any conclusions about fidelity, or loyalty, or commitment more generally.

But this is absurd. Much of Jesus' recorded speech is in parables, where the whole point is that you are to draw a lesson of general application from a (fictional) story about specific people and circumstances by looking beyond a simplistic interpretation.

So, Jesus may have said nothing about moral issue X or Y, but that doesn't mean that what Jesus did say can't be critically interrogated to derive principles and values which could illuminate moral issues X or Y. A religion based on such a reading of what Jesus said is still based on what Jesus said.
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Old 12-22-2019, 09:24 PM
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Thanks everyone for responding. Regarding this, are the actual words of Jesus that much different between the Gospels?

(I understand that they were written years later and whatnot)

And this: "The problem I think they'd run into is that there's a LOT that Jesus didn't say anything about...

Homosexuality? Nothin'. Masturbation? Nope. Priests, church services, hymns? Nada"

I would think that would be sort of the point.
He referred to "husband and wife" numerous times but not "husband and husband"
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:34 AM
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The problem I think they'd run into is that there's a LOT that Jesus didn't say anything about...

Homosexuality? Nothin'. Masturbation? Nope. Priests, church services, hymns? Nada.
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Old 12-21-2019, 01:42 AM
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The problem I think they'd run into is that there's a LOT that Jesus didn't say anything about...

Homosexuality? Nothin'. Masturbation? Nope. Priests, church services, hymns? Nada.
I think a bigger issue would be differing interpretation of what Jesus meant by what he said.
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Old 12-21-2019, 01:54 AM
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The problem I think they'd run into is that there's a LOT that Jesus didn't say anything about...

Homosexuality? Nothin'. Masturbation? Nope. Priests, church services, hymns? Nada.
Well, He did say "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." And of course the Lords prayer- which is not supposed to be said over and over again.

Yep, in fact it really looks like Jesus would have forgiven Homosexuals as He did adulterers.

The Celtic Christian Church does emphasize the Words of Jesus, as opposed to Paul.
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:53 AM
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Also keep in mind that a lot of the gospels are writer embellishments and redactions long after the fact, to conform to the orthodoxy of the day. Whole "gospels" are dismissed as apocrypha because of doubtful authenticity and because they contradicted to dominant dogma at the time of the consolidation of church teachings around the Nicaean council. (Plus, many other works over the years were "updated" - consider that the reference to Jesus in the works of Josephus is generally believed to have been altered to suggest Josephus affirmed Jesus' divinity.
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Old 06-12-2019, 12:10 PM
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Also keep in mind that a lot of the gospels are writer embellishments and redactions long after the fact, to conform to the orthodoxy of the day. Whole "gospels" are dismissed as apocrypha because of doubtful authenticity and because they contradicted to dominant dogma at the time of the consolidation of church teachings around the Nicaean council. (Plus, many other works over the years were "updated" - consider that the reference to Jesus in the works of Josephus is generally believed to have been altered to suggest Josephus affirmed Jesus' divinity.
Well, not very long after and there were still plenty of living people around who could say "that aint so". In fact John dictated most of the Gospel ascribed by him, altho admitted at a very old age.

Yes, one of the TWO Josephus quotes is assumed to have been altered. But not the other.


Most of the gospels not accepted were either copies or very late. The council at Nicea didnt discuss which Gospels were canon, that had mostly been discussed much earlier, before any dogma had set in. By the time of Irenaeus, c. 130 Ė c. 202ad , they had already decided which Gospels were canon, altho some later Letters of Paul, etc were still being debated. John the Apostle was said to have lived until AD100. Pretty much there was never any argument which Gospels were canon.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_...Biblical_canon
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Old 12-21-2019, 02:12 AM
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Also keep in mind that a lot of the gospels are writer embellishments and redactions long after the fact, to conform to the orthodoxy of the day. Whole "gospels" are dismissed as apocrypha because of doubtful authenticity and because they contradicted to dominant dogma at the time of the consolidation of church teachings around the Nicaean council. (Plus, many other works over the years were "updated" - consider that the reference to Jesus in the works of Josephus is generally believed to have been altered to suggest Josephus affirmed Jesus' divinity.
Actually, no. Mark and Matthew are based mostly on Q, and Q is thought to be more or less contemporary with Jesus. The Gospel of John was likely dictated to the Apostle John's followers when John was a very old man.

The other gospels were either duplicates or transparent forgeries, written at a late date. By the Council of Nicaea , they were quite aware of which 3 synoptic gospels showed up not too long after the Crucifixion.

It's very true that one mention of Jesus in Josephus was likely edited by some monk. However, there werent many copies of Josephus around. There were many copies of the Gospels, and what we have found from early scrolls (such as the Dead Sea Scrolls*) pretty closely match what we have now, with some minor translation and copiest errors, none of any substance.

The Council was in AD 325. Many scrolls dated earlier than that date have been found. Not to mention the Council didnt discuss the Gospels and apocrypha. Wiki "Biblical canon
Main article: Development of the Christian biblical canon
There is no record of any discussion of the biblical canon at the council.[79] The development of the biblical canon was nearly complete (with exceptions known as the Antilegomena, written texts whose authenticity or value is disputed) by the time the Muratorian fragment was written.[80]"...."Irenaeus (died c. 202) quotes and cites 21 books that would end up as part of the New Testament, ..."


So the canon was mostly set before the 2nd century ended.

Pretty much then, everything in your post is incorrect.

*mostly OT, not NT but similar scroll caches have been found- papyrus fragment, also known as ďP52" has the Gospel of John. Bodmer Papyrus II AD c200 has the epistle of Jude and the two epistles of Peter and earliest known copy of the Gospel according to the Luke and one of the earliest of the Gospel according to John. The A. Chester Beatty Papyri C AD200 has part of a codex of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, letters written by Paul: Romans, Hebrews, I and II Corinthians, Ephesians, Galatians, Philippians, Colossians, and I Thessalonians and contains the oldest known text of the Book of Revelation. and so forth.
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Old 12-21-2019, 11:08 AM
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Actually, no. Mark and Matthew are based mostly on Q, and Q is thought to be more or less contemporary with Jesus. The Gospel of John was likely dictated to the Apostle John's followers when John was a very old man.
There is an alternative hypothesis, the Farrer Hypothesis, that posits that there never was a Q (and we certainly don’t have a Q now) and that the order goes Mark, Matthew, Luke, with Matthew making shit up to make the content of Mark fit more in line with the Old Testament and to make Jesus appear to fulfill OT prophecies. Then Luke came along and, based on Mark and Matthew both, modified the message to make the religion a little less Jewish and focus more on Christ's humanity and his innocence, among other things.

And then John came way out of left field, the latest of the canonical gospels. We don’t need to go into it here (other thread), but I’ll reiterate that "John as an eyewitness account" is very much disputed, and that my take on the consensus is that NONE of the gospels are considered to be eyewitness accounts.

I personally find the Farrer Hypothesis more convincing than the two-source/Q hypothesis because the former makes fewer assumptions. That is, it does not assume there was yet another "important historical document" that somehow found its way into canon indirectly through the other gospels and so was clearly important to early Christians and largely compatible with what eventually DID make it into canon, but somehow failed to be preserved itself, even as a great many more dubious sources (such as the majority of the epistles) were included in canon.

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Old 12-23-2019, 10:47 AM
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I personally find the Farrer Hypothesis more convincing than the two-source/Q hypothesis because the former makes fewer assumptions. That is, it does not assume there was yet another "important historical document" that somehow found its way into canon indirectly through the other gospels and so was clearly important to early Christians and largely compatible with what eventually DID make it into canon, but somehow failed to be preserved itself, even as a great many more dubious sources (such as the majority of the epistles) were included in canon.
There is no factual answer.

I don't have my references with me at the moment but there are some references to the sky opening up and angels coming down out of the heavens - or something like that - at the start of one of the primary (synoptic) gospels or something that became one. I'll update later if I'm wrong but I think one was from Justin Martyr and the other is an Arabic work that describes an early version of the Diatessaron and also includes such a description. I am inclined to believe that this comes from an early version of Matthew AKA, the Gospel of the Hebrews, which is consistently described as starting around Luke 3, jumping straight to Luke 4.

The Gospel of Marcion also has this beginning - no angels, just that placement.

The historic record tells us that Mark was created after Matthew but the historic records of Matthew do not match what we see. As said, the beginning wasn't there and it seems to have had a bit about angels coming out of the sky near the beginning.

The historic record does tell us that the Gospel of Marcion was a chopped down version of Matthew, by a Roman who thought that they should just focus on Paul's religion and say the heck with the Jerusalem church. The Gospel of Mark does largely match what we would expect to see if we imagine a Gospel of the Hebrews and then cropped it down to remove anything overtly Jewish.

And, well, Mark <-> Marcion. Not a terribly fancy argument but ignoring it for being obvious is possibly being too clever by half.

My personal guess, based on one or two other things, is that the part that the historic record got wrong wasn't the order of the Gospels, it was that when they reviewed "The Gospel of Marcion", they were actually looking at Hebrew Matthew or an earlier version of Luke that the Marcionites had accepted that had built off of Mark.

I would also guess that Mark, the scribe of Paul, was in fact Marcion and that The Gospel of Mark was the official Gospel of the Roman church during and just after Paul's tenure.

Luke, as a Roman, would naturally work off of their trimmed down version, so he developed it out - possibly from a version that hadn't yet been chopped down quite so much as our Mark or, as said, was shorter than it is now at the point in time when the Marcionites split off.

But, meanwhile, the Roman and Eastern churches were negotiating a "shared" text that they would both agree to. There was an early attempt to fulfill the declaration of the Council of Jerusalem and to find a harmony between the different teachings of the two churches. Through that process of revisions, Hebrew Matthew was developed into what we see today - sufficiently revised by committees, haggling it out over a few years that it is scarcely connected to the original - but, still the most Jewish of the bunch since the church in Antioch and elsewhere had half a say in what went into it.

Hebrew Matthew - Marcion = Gospel Mark

Gospel Mark + Luke = Gospel Luke

Hebrew Matthew + Committees +? Gospel Luke = Gospel Matthew

IMHO

Particularly if we take the idea that the Marcion created Mark but the Marcionites took an early variant of Luke that was based off of that, all of the historic record and dates line up.
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Old 12-25-2019, 10:46 AM
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There is an alternative hypothesis, the Farrer Hypothesis, that posits that there never was a Q (and we certainly donít have a Q now) and that the order goes Mark, Matthew, Luke, with Matthew making shit up to make the content of Mark fit more in line with the Old Testament and to make Jesus appear to fulfill OT prophecies. Then Luke came along and, based on Mark and Matthew both, modified the message to make the religion a little less Jewish and focus more on Christ's humanity and his innocence, among other things.

And then John came way out of left field, the latest of the canonical gospels. We donít need to go into it here (other thread), but Iíll reiterate that "John as an eyewitness account" is very much disputed, and that my take on the consensus is that NONE of the gospels are considered to be eyewitness accounts.

I personally find the Farrer Hypothesis more convincing than the two-source/Q hypothesis because the former makes fewer assumptions. That is, it does not assume there was yet another "important historical document" that somehow found its way into canon indirectly through the other gospels and so was clearly important to early Christians and largely compatible with what eventually DID make it into canon, but somehow failed to be preserved itself, even as a great many more dubious sources (such as the majority of the epistles) were included in canon.
I personally am quite dubious as to the existence of Q itself. However, it is not "making assumptions" to think that other sources existed, when Luke explicitly tells us that they did. "Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us. . . ." (Luke 1:1) That's the whole reason why Luke wrote his Gospel, because some of those other sources evidently did not have as much knowledge about what Jesus said and did as Luke.

Incidentally, any "consensus" by scholars (who evidently are not worthy of the title), that none of the Gospels are eyewitness accounts, is worth diddly-squat. Luke explicitly tells us that he was an eyewitness. And if you're going to ignore or designate as unreliable the vast bulk of the primary source material just because you don't like what it says, any subsequent research is going to invariably lead you to false conclusions.

It's amazing to me how so many people who consider themselves to be academics and researchers in pursuit of the truth treat research into Jesus so much differently that research into other ancient figures. You never see researchers into Aristotle, for example, throw out 90% of the source material right off the bat and then construct hypotheses from the remaining 10%. Like it or not, the four Gospels are our primary sources of information regarding Jesus, and any research that ignores or denigrates that fact is worthless.
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Old 12-25-2019, 11:08 AM
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I personally am quite dubious as to the existence of Q itself. However, it is not "making assumptions" to think that other sources existed, when Luke explicitly tells us that they did. "Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us. . . ." (Luke 1:1) That's the whole reason why Luke wrote his Gospel, because some of those other sources evidently did not have as much knowledge about what Jesus said and did as Luke.
It would have been really awesome for Luke (here referring to the anonymous author or authors) to actually name his sources. That he did not might tell us something about just how rigorous his source-gathering methodology was. With that said, I’m happy to concede that he would have used at least two sources: Mark and something else (my vote is for Matthew, but as previously discussed, many scholars still hold to Q). Those two sources alone quite obviously could account for the bulk of the content in Luke, and the differences seem to point to just kind of making things up to sell his particular narrative on the nature of Christ, rather than to other (unnamed) sources.

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Incidentally, any "consensus" by scholars (who evidently are not worthy of the title), that none of the Gospels are eyewitness accounts, is worth diddly-squat. Luke explicitly tells us that he was an eyewitness.
Kindly cite chapter and verse for that. My impression was that, at best, assuming we take his word for it on his sources, he claimed to have spoken with eyewitnesses, but not to actually have been one himself. Wasn’t the traditional view of scholars that the author of Luke-Acts was merely a follower of Paul?

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It's amazing to me how so many people who consider themselves to be academics and researchers in pursuit of the truth treat research into Jesus so much differently that research into other ancient figures. You never see researchers into Aristotle, for example, throw out 90% of the source material right off the bat and then construct hypotheses from the remaining 10%. Like it or not, the four Gospels are our primary sources of information regarding Jesus, and any research that ignores or denigrates that fact is worthless.
Nobody bases their religion on Aristotle or, by extension, tries to enact policy "because Aristotle said." At least not lately, anyway (the medieval Church being a notable exception).

But if memory serves, the historicity of at least one of the Socrates/Plato/Aristotle trio (I’m thinking Plato) is sometimes called into question, positing that he was merely a character employed in dialogues. With that said, whether he existed or not does not lend any more or less weight to his philosophy. The same should be true of Jesus, but alas many people take "he probably existed" and then run with it to to conclude that he was also "probably was resurrected, and probably was the son of God, which means god exists and all the stuff that we attribute to Jesus is true, and so is everything in the Old Testament, whether we have to follow it (Matthew's Jesus) or not (Luke's Jesus)."

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Old 12-25-2019, 11:43 AM
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Incidentally, any "consensus" by scholars (who evidently are not worthy of the title), that none of the Gospels are eyewitness accounts, is worth diddly-squat. Luke explicitly tells us that he was an eyewitness. And if you're going to ignore or designate as unreliable the vast bulk of the primary source material just because you don't like what it says, any subsequent research is going to invariably lead you to false conclusions.

It's amazing to me how so many people who consider themselves to be academics and researchers in pursuit of the truth treat research into Jesus so much differently that research into other ancient figures. You never see researchers into Aristotle, for example, throw out 90% of the source material right off the bat and then construct hypotheses from the remaining 10%. Like it or not, the four Gospels are our primary sources of information regarding Jesus, and any research that ignores or denigrates that fact is worthless.
Oh, boy.

Here's the Wikipedia article on the Authorship of Luke-Acts. Note that while likely written by the same person and there is some bits in Acts that suggest that the author was a traveling companion of Paul and witnessed at least part of Paul's mission first hand, the Gospel of Luke is another thing entirely.

Quoting from the article:

"The traditional view recognizes that Luke was not an eyewitness of the events in the Gospel, ... " [My emphasis.]

Note that this is the traditional view.

To go around slamming people who clearly know more about this than you do is ridiculous.

The author of Luke-Acts clearly did not witness a lot of what he wrote about. He gets a lot of historical facts wrong. Acts is the most error filled book in the New Testament.

If you were going to pick one of the four gospels to be the most likely one written by an eyewitness, Luke is the last one you'd choose.

Flyer, it is you that is ignoring the material in the New Testament.

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Old 06-11-2019, 06:50 AM
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The faith that Jesus taught and showed us was called 'the way'. Paul started Christianity, which was apparently Paul's way to do his divine mission, which was to get the name of Jesus known to the gentiles. There are great differences and contradictions between the two, as Paul seemed to mix what he knew as Saul (his former name) who was a jewish pharisee, with the gift of Grace that Jesus taught.

But as I see it when a person, coming through Christianity, finds the way, the 'religion' is then discarded, and the relationship with God, and your life plan path is revealed, is what is left. There is no need or room for religion. The best I can come up with as a definition is Follower or Disciple of Lord Jesus, where one is guided and instructed by the Holy Spirit, and can hear and recognize the voice of God through whatever way God wants to speak (thus no need for religion, as this person has a direct line to God and is God's child - Jesus)

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Old 06-11-2019, 12:16 PM
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Paul started Christianity
False.
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Old 12-21-2019, 02:14 AM
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Paul promoted Christianity and was primarily responsible for spreading to the gentiles. But there was a Christian Church before Paul. Small, mostly Jewish, yes.
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:12 PM
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A little light reading.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:35 PM
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A little light reading.
Hey, cool. Thanks for that.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:54 PM
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'Only what Jesus said' is hard to define in two ways.

The first isn't so hard. You could take it to mean not literally what's objectively known to have been said without reference to the Gospels, and just take it as what's attributed to Jesus in the Gospels. That may seem obvious but not 100% since sometimes people argue about what Biblical scholars think is more/less likely to have been said or added later. I assume a religion based on 'only on what Jesus said' defines that as 'all that is attributed to Jesus in the Gospels'.

The second is harder if you accept the first solution. Which is that the Gospels as written are full of references to the Jewish scriptures as foreshadowing Jesus and Jesus as a supremely knowledgeable teacher and interpreter of Jewish scripture (as it then existed). Major Christian sects (Roman Catholicism for example) emphasize all that was written in the Old Testament much less than some relatively smaller but high profile sects in the US do (literalist Evangelical Protestants). But it would still be a lot harder to remove the Old Testament entirely from Christianity than to remove New Testament writings other than the Gospels. Some religion could go back and change the judgments of the Roman era Church as to what was really scripture among all the writings vying for that label at the time, and kick Paul's writings out. Because, obviously, the Gospels don't refer to Paul. It's a lot harder to have a meaningful religion based on the Gospels that entirely ignores the OT.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:57 PM
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'Only what Jesus said' is hard to define in two ways.

The first isn't so hard. You could take it to mean not literally what's objectively known to have been said without reference to the Gospels, and just take it as what's attributed to Jesus in the Gospels. That may seem obvious but not 100% since sometimes people argue about what Biblical scholars think is more/less likely to have been said or added later. I assume a religion based on 'only on what Jesus said' defines that as 'all that is attributed to Jesus in the Gospels'.
Yes, I was thinking this one.
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:17 AM
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Sure are. That's why people have been killing each other over religious matters for millennia now.
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:07 AM
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As I understand it - after he had his "stroke" on the way to Damascus, Paul went around claiming to be an apostle too and preaching a version of Christianity very different from the flavour the original followers of Jesus (led by his brother James) tried to preach to Jews from Jerusalem. After assorted confrontations, and epistles where Paul tells his followers not to listen to those people (embellished with interesting name-calling) in Jerusalem, where is hijacked during a visit to Jerusalem and forced to undergo ritual cleansing, the two sides come to an agreement. Paul will not try to corrupt Jews, the real target of the "real" Christians; in return, he was free to make up whatever he wanted and tell it to the gentiles.

In the end, the temple was wiped out along with much of the Jerusalem community, and Paul's widespread ministries became the dominant flavour of Christianity.
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Old 06-12-2019, 12:01 PM
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and preaching a version of Christianity very different from the flavour the original followers of Jesus (led by his brother James) tried to preach to Jews from Jerusalem.
Do you have a cite for this?
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Old 12-20-2019, 10:35 PM
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There's no pleasing some people.

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That's just what Jesus said, sir.
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Old 12-21-2019, 01:28 AM
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Jehovah's Witnesses base their religion largely on what Jesus "commanded" them to do.

Or, so they often claim. They seem to see Jesus as some kind of military commander, and what Jesus said to do are referred to as "commands". And JWs also say they don't do the things that Jesus didn't command them to do. This is one of the two explanations I've heard for why they don't celebrate birthdays: Because Jesus didn't command them to.

Of course, that needs to be taken with a grain of myrrh. The JW religion seems to be largely based on the Book of Revelation, which doesn't consist largely of the actual words of Jesus.
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Old 12-23-2019, 10:33 AM
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Even if you tried to do this, you'd run into the "Yeah, but" people. Did Jesus say "Judge not, least ye be judged?" Yeah, but...."Did Jesus tell the woman taken in adultery to go and sin no more, but totally ignore the guy" Yeah, but.....

Some vegetarian groups argue that John did not eat locust and Jesus did not eat fish. No, John ate locust bean (carob) and Jesus ate fish plant (seaweed).
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Old 12-23-2019, 12:47 PM
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Thanks Sage Rat

Plus we have to remember in the days before printing presses and mass media, and when matching the spiritual message counted more than historical accuracy - every copy of every work had to be written by hand; meaning a moderately educated person with the resources and time to create a copy. No doubt some were done from memory, some were edited to fit (as mentioned about Marcion) either the audience or the author's predilections. Some were created from the imagination, as evidence the variety of legends about figures such as Robin Hood or King Arthur (or even George Washington and the cherry tree - the GW Principle - "It's easy to tell the truth when you're the one holding the axe"). It's pretty easy to conclude that stories about childhood Jesus zapping his teacher were the imaginings of a bored scribe. It's pretty easy to imagine someone wanting to impress his view - whether Jesus was human, or a divine apparition, etc. - those doctrinal assertions being inserted into someone's personal copy and/or spread to others. It's even easy to imagine - like Jefferson - that miracles were later legends inserted to drive home the message of divinity. (Or, they could be as meaningful as the miracles performed at Lourdes or by southern fundamentalist preachers)

Councils later would suppress not only what they saw as obviously fake texts, but also those that disagreed with the "party line".

the short answer is we'll never know. All we can do is read between the lines and make educated guesses.

Last edited by md2000; 12-23-2019 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 12-24-2019, 09:31 AM
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How does anyone know what Jesus said anyways? It's not like his ever utterance was recorded. SSo how do you know he never referred to "husband and husband." Paul, being the asshole he was, would not have made reference to it. He was too busy telling women to sit down and STFU in church.
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Old 12-24-2019, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
How does anyone know what Jesus said anyways? It's not like his ever utterance was recorded. SSo how do you know he never referred to "husband and husband." Paul, being the asshole he was, would not have made reference to it. He was too busy telling women to sit down and STFU in church.
Like everything else in antiquity, we have very few original sources. People wrote down or told others what they heard, and then someone copied that into what they were writing, etc. Later writers maybe polished, embellished, or "clarified". Sometimes nuggets of truth shine through.

St. Paul, who also claimed he was an apostle despite never having met Jesus, and also claimed to talk to Jesus regularly after he had a seizure on the road to Damascus, is probably not a reliable source for actual quotes. Actual apostles, maybe.

Plus, if there's a guy spending several years preaching to bigger and bigger crowds using parables, you can be sure that the bible probably only captures a fraction of the stories he told over that time. A lot has likely been lost.

As for "husband and husband" - the bible does say that when confronted with a woman who had violated sexual mores and Jewish law, Jesus said essentially nobody had the right to punish her. Why would anything different apply to men?

(He did say "Love thy neighbour" )

Last edited by md2000; 12-24-2019 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 12-24-2019, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
How does anyone know what Jesus said anyways? It's not like his ever utterance was recorded. SSo how do you know he never referred to "husband and husband." Paul, being the asshole he was, would not have made reference to it. He was too busy telling women to sit down and STFU in church.
Even in areas and times when homosexuality was tolerated or even common, afaik, no one thought of "Gay marriage". Marriage was for making kids. It's only recently it has so many legal ramifications, like taxes, that gay marriage has become a necessity.

Jesus made it clear what he thought of rules like "no gay sex' "no adultery" etc "Let those without sin cast the first stone." Love and forgive.
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Old 12-24-2019, 06:18 PM
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Like everything else in antiquity, we have very few original sources. People wrote down or told others what they heard, and then someone copied that into what they were writing, etc. Later writers maybe polished, embellished, or "clarified". Sometimes nuggets of truth shine through.
But what are those "nuggets of truth" when it comes to Jesus? How do we know? It is so clear that each of the gospel writers had their own agenda in crafting an image of Christ that I donít see how we can really take any of them as "gospel."

For instance...
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Jesus made it clear what he thought of rules like "no gay sex' "no adultery" etc "Let those without sin cast the first stone." Love and forgive.
Oddly enough, that particular passage in John is among the most troublesome. Not only because it would appear to equate all wrong-doing as equal and therefore preclude any notion of a human justice system (I mean, what other "sins" do we have to cast a blind eye to just because everyone said a cross word to their parents once in a while as a kid?), but also because itís authorship and place in the gospel is somewhat questionable (more so than other random sayings attributed to Christ), as it is noticeably absent from the oldest manuscripts:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_...extual_history

What I keep coming back to is that we have no way of knowing what Jesus actually said, but then even if we did Iím not sure why anyone should care.
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Old 12-24-2019, 06:55 PM
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...
What I keep coming back to is that we have no way of knowing what Jesus actually said, but then even if we did Iím not sure why anyone should care.
why do we care what the Buddha said? Or Confucius? or Mohammed? Or Socrates? Or anyone not alive today? Because their teachings and sayings are immortal.
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Old 12-24-2019, 07:30 PM
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why do we care what the Buddha said? Or Confucius? or Mohammed? Or Socrates? Or anyone not alive today? Because their teachings and sayings are immortal.
I donít care. Maybe thatís why you care, but I donít. If a saying is true or useful, it is so irrespective of who said it. Iíll leave it at that because weíre in GQ, but needless to say I disagree.
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Old 12-27-2019, 02:10 PM
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Having sat through the church readings of the nativity story in the last few days, it is hard not to appreciate the obvious embellishment present in the gospel stories. There was a Syrian census a few years BC, but nobody - especially not day labourers - had to traipse halfway across the country for days to simply register where they did not live. It sounds like something someone else would have added decades later to twist their messiah to be of divine origin. Similarly, Josephus had no problem describing Herod the Great's misdeeds and misfortunes in detail, (Including his rotting genitals) and never thought to mention that he ordered the massacre of all (male) babies in a wide area of his kingdom? So widespread that one would need to travel all the way to Egypt to escape?

As a non-expert, it seems to me the nativity gospels provided several things that advanced the young church's party line - affirmed Jesus' divine lineage, his link to David (wait, through Joseph who actually wasn't his father??), the fact that he was also fully human from birth, not just a divine apparition (to contrast another early "heresy"), and that both the heavens and civil authorities believed his divinity and the prophecies.
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Old 12-27-2019, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
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Having sat through the church readings of the nativity story in the last few days, it is hard not to appreciate the obvious embellishment present in the gospel stories. There was a Syrian census a few years BC, but nobody - especially not day labourers - had to traipse halfway across the country for days to simply register where they did not live.
While the story is almost certainly made up, having spoken to people who live in places where you have to register with the government, notify them of movements, get permission to move, etc. it seems common to simply let your data linger in an old condition. A married couple might, officially, live in different provinces just because one of them never bothered to update their registration, even though they've been living together under the same roof for the last decade.

But that does inconveniences at time since you might be called upon to continue the lie, report to vote, or whatever.

So, I could conceive of a situation where you might end up having to go back to where you're registered as living, for some government thing.

A bigger issue is that the "prophecy" that the Bethlehem birth was supposed to fill had already been filled. Micah 5.1 is (pretty likely) an addition to the original works of Micah (chapters 1-3). The later parts were written after Israel was taken over by Cyrus the Great and then given great freedom and money to rebuild the Temple.

The king at the time (a descendant of David), and the person who commissioned the Bible was Josiah.

The prophecies refer to the works of Josiah and Cyrus, establishing the rightness of the work they were doing by putting words into the mouths of earlier religious leaders. This is less apparent if you quote snippets of text out of the prophecies but become more clear if you read about Cyrus and Josiah and then read through the whole text with that context set.

We don't know where either man was born. I'd lean towards suspecting that Josiah was born in Bethlehem on the basis of Micah.
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Old 12-27-2019, 04:51 PM
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As a non-expert, it seems to me the nativity gospels provided several things that advanced the young church's party line - affirmed Jesus' divine lineage, his link to David (wait, through Joseph who actually wasn't his father??), ...
Note that there are two significantly different genealogies for Jesus given in Matthew and Luke. (Which in the older parts also disagree with the Old Testament.) One explanation for some of the differences is one is goes thru Mary rather than Joseph. But that, and a bunch of other explanations are all problematical.

That neither the of author's of Mark and John didn't care about genealogy, virgin births, etc. and pretty much picked up the story with John the Baptist and then Jesus getting baptized is telling, facts-wise. Paul clearly didn't care about any of this. (He, in fact, stressed how Jesus was born in a not unusual way.)

All these facts were known to early Church scholars, and yet ...
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Old 12-27-2019, 08:50 PM
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Since the existence of Yeshua bir Miryam is uncorroborated, and many attributed sayings in both canonical and apocryphal books have long lineages, one can find or invent almost any Wisdom Saying or Divine Relevation to blame on that Holy Mouthpiece. Thus Xianity is the most flexible of religions, infinitely malleable, like tinfoil.
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Old 12-27-2019, 02:18 AM
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I'm surprised that no one has mentioned what they call the Sayings Gospels, which (like Q) are a theoretical lost work that the canonical gospels and other books drew from. The idea is that it was pretty much a list of quotes from Jesus, rather than a narrative work.

Someone did mention the Jesus Seminar, which is relevant.

As a nonexpert, I don't believe that there's some secret key to the sources of early Christian writing. There must have been countless texts going around which all influenced each other. There were a good roughly 40 years between crucifixion and the earliest gospel. That's plenty of time for ideas to intermix.
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