Jesus - The Greatest Performance Artist Ever?

I don’t think any person who really thinks about what Jesus “taught” really believes in it. In fact, I don’t think Jesus really believed it himself (and let’s not argue this point). So was Jesus the greatest performance artist ever? Jesus got millions of people to believe he was God and wait for his return even after thousands of years after his death. Who else could convince the world to believe in his stupid story of God becoming Man and all that other jazz. Man, was an artist!

If anything, Jesus convinced a few thousand people at most. The word spread after that.


That’s what makes him so great.

If you seriously believe you won’t get arguments here, well…I’m guessing you’re wrong. The SDMB isn’t what I’d call a religious haven, but I’m certain there are people (besides myself) who would love to dispute this.

If you’re talking specifically about God becoming Man…this is basically the cornerstone of Catholicism, as I understand it. There are quite a few Catholics in the world, last time I checked.

Am I being whooshed? :dubious:

Yeah, why bother arguing the point when you can just lay in with a slam and then escape with impunity?

Yeah, by your standards, better than mimes and street jugglers. Zowie!


You’re wrong. So now what?

As a wise beyond her years friend of mine once told me,“if it has the word God in it, it’s destined for Great Debates.”

Cajun Man
for the SDMB

OK, let’s see. At some time God created man perfect and then man fell because he sinned. Then man was tainted with sin and death. To make up for the fall of man, God became man and died for all of man’s sins. Yeah, that makes sence. :rolleyes:

What Jesus taught was the path to enlightenment, the way to wisdom.

To say He didn’t believe it Himself is more than just false, it’s …

Jesus taught Love to all, returning good for evil, forgiving, and non-judgemental approach to life. He lived up to it when He allowed Himself to be murdered by His enemies. He had over 100,000 followers who would have fought for Him, died for Him if He had asked them.

It is probable true, that all the “red letters” in the Bible did not come from His lips, and not all the actions attributed to Him really happened. But the essence of His teaching is there, the core is Love, and outcome is greater than the ignorant will ever realize.

Now, what is it that you don’t understand about Jesus’ teachings?


Mohammed. Siddhartha Gautama. John the Baptist.

FTR: I think this statement is very wrong in many ways. I think another thread on the subject would be useful. However, let’s play by the rules here. Supposing Jesus (a) existed (b) said everything the bible records him as saying © didn’t believe it, what then?

Yeah, pretty impressive. But I’d say it’s only performance art if he meant it like that. It’s also possible (remember this is hypothetical, and NOT TRUE) that he did it in an effort to create a worldwide religion of peace, or that he was insane, or wanted to pick up chicks, or pick up guys*, or was trying to win a bet, or was a Colin Powel time-traveling attempting to create a religion he could have a stooge pretend to believe in in order to be elected president of the most powerful country on earth*, or didn’t really believe it, but God created the universe in such a way that he would say it anyway spawning the correct religion!

*Hypothetical, remember?

I’d really like to know where you got this amazing mind-reading talent of yours? How can you peer into the hearts and minds of other people and know what they are thinking and feeling? Have you tried to apply for the Amazing Randi’s Challenge?

Nobody thought Jesus was God while he was alive. His deification occured in the centuries after his death by people that never met him. At the most, some people may have thought he was the Messiah, but in Jesus’ time and culture that wasn’t the same as thinking he was God.
Th myth building had little to do with the actual historical figure of jesus. that stuff tends to take on a momentum all its own.

Shade, none of the people you mentioned (Mohammed, Buddha, John the Baptist) said anything about “God becoming man.” Buddha said nothing about God at all, Mohammed claimed that God talked to him but never tried to claim any personal divinity for himself. J the B was Messianic in his beliefs but not in the Christian sense of an incarnated God.

Could you tell us where Jimmy Hoffa is buried? :wink:

He was cremated, if Fox News can be trusted (which they can’t).

I have never read the bible, but wasn’t Jesus always considered the Son of God, being of God and therefore being God. Also, stupidly basing my argument on a film, wasn’t his crucifixion brought about because of the fears that he had become a deity in the eyes of his followers?

I don’t believe Jesus was in any way, shape or form a holy figure. I don’t believe in a Christian God because I don’t believe that a being of omnipotence could (a) become a physical entity and (b) be so damn fussed with our pathetic existence.

If Jesus existed, maybe he did good for the world around him, “his” teachings of love are something to be accounted for. But then again he could have been a damn great con-artist who duped a population into worshipping him or even just a great story concocted by a great writer whose works over time have come to be something that has gone beyond fiction.


Have I got a deal for you! I have some ocean front property, about a mile east of Miami, Florida that I can let you have for a great price! It’s got a great view of the ocean! You just walk out your front door and look up and there’s the ocean. It’s a very quiet neighborhood, too. There’s only one neighbor, a Mr. J. Hoffa. He’s very quiet, really. He just stands there and waves at you! :wink:


You know what’s missing from this thread that belongs in most if not all Great Debates?

A call for **Cites![b/]

Brilliant! I’ve missed you!

nocturnal_tick, it’s certainly your prerogative to render opinions without consulting the sources on which you could base reasonable ones, but it is advisable to check out the material available before formulating an opinion you wish to make public. For all practical purposes, you could work with only two books of the Bible: Matthew or Luke, and John. (Mark’s particular perspective is intriguing, but he includes little factual material not found in Matthew or Luke. John is unique and the source of most of the Jesus-is-God information, but for a clear grasp of who He was and what He taught, you need to reference M or L as well as John. Matthew is the one with more familiar comments and quotations, but suffers from a tendency to push Jesus-as-fulfillment-of-prophecy to an extent that is uncomfortable to most modern readers who are not interested in that aspect of Him. (He was writing to convert a Jewish audience.) Luke’s version of the stories is less familiar, for the most part, but he is considered the most reliable and is also the one who paints the most human and humane Jesus. This is not said in an attempt to push religious belief down your throat but instead my intent is to provide you with a critical analysis of how you can most quickly get a handle on the original materials regarding the topic under discussion.

Re the Shade/Diogenes exchange about other cases of God becoming man: Would any comparative religion buffs happen to know if there’s any explicit claim in the Ramayana or Mahabharata that Rama or Krishna were indeed avatars? And if one of our Baha’is would be so good as to explain what that rather odd metaphor used about Baha’ullah really purports to say?

Admirably good summary of evangelical (fundamentalist) teachings. But remember that just because they’re noisy doesn’t make them right. There are other perspectives taught in, e.g., Eastern Orthodoxy, Catholicism (which would say what you reported but with a twist)…

Wow, what a clever idea. Insult them ans then sit back and watch the fireworks. Amazing no-ones ever though of this before!

Let’s see how many people are gullible enough to fall for it!

Apologies, I posted quickly. I wasn’t saying that Mohammad or Buddha, or, indeed, anyone claimed that God->man thing; I just trying to say they persuaded a lot of people to believe “all that jazz” 1000s of years after their death.

No. You have to remember that the gospels were written from 40-70 years after the crucifixion by people who never met him. The deification was a relatively slow mythological process. For 1st century Jews, the phrase, “son of God” was figurative expression indicating people who were chosen by God. Most commonly it was applied to kings and especially kings in the line of David. If anyone called Jesus the “son of God” they were calling him the heir to the throne of David (i.e the Messiah- but the Messiah, in Judaism, was not and is not God).

Crucifixion was a method of execution which was only applied for sedition. The specific reason Jesus was crucified is not definitively know. The gospels claim it was for claiming to be the king of the Jews (after a fictionalized trial and conviction by the Sanhedrin for blasphemy).

Whatever the case, it wasn’t for claiming to be God, (the blasphemy conviction contained no such claim). there really is no evidence that Jesus was ever deified or worshipped until well after his death. I would argue that the synoptic gospels make no such explicit claim, neither do the earliest sayings gospels, Q and Thomas.