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Did Jesus claim to be God?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Smoke, Feb 22, 2006.

  1. shema

    shema Active Member

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    He only pointed out the highest Way, the way that gives life:bounce :clap :bounce :clap
     
  2. Anastasios

    Anastasios Member

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    It reminds me the St. Paul's approach, which always seemed to be an obligation for theological concept rather than reality.
    "And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain and your faith also vain" (Cor 15.14)
    The late Dr. Zwemer, the well-known American missionary says:
    "If our belief in the death of Christ on the Cross is wrong then the whole of Christianity is a farce".

    So it is understandable why Christians connot accept these kind of ideas, which will ruin the whole idea. But if the truth is somewhere else, none of us should be away from it.
     
  3. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    But the criterion for the thread was "Did Jesus say..." John, late or not, like it or not, is just as canonical as Mark. The Johanine passages meet the criterion. So, we've answered the question satisfactorily, according to the criterion set forth...now you're narrowing the criterion to say, "Did Jesus say according to Mark only??"

    What's next? Would you have us to dredge up an actual person who knew Jesus personally -- magically raise that person from the dead, just to prove a point? (Or, perhaps it would be easier to just communicate with that person through a Ouija Board...) Or, maybe you're going to ask us to produce the real Jesus, himself, and just ask him...

    Unfortunately, the only quotations of Jesus we have are scriptural, and we all agree that John is just as valid as Mark. So, yes. According to the criterion set forth in this thread, Jesus did say that he was God.
     
  4. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    The Bible shows that he did, maybe in a cryptic way. Now, whether the Biblical quotations are historically accurate, or acceptable, is another story. Being a highly theological document, the Bible cannot be counted on to make an historical claim -- only a theological claim. Since the Bible is the record of the people of God, does their interpretation, which traditionally is a trinitarian understanding, derived theologically from many scriptural accounts, (not being limited to what "Jesus said") count for anything?

    It's one thing to understand Christology from a theological standpoint. In order to do that, we have to go beyond just "what Jesus said." We have other revelatory factors to take into account.

    It's quite another thing to understand Christology from an historical standpoint. In order to do that, we have to dig deeper than just the words as they appear printed on the page. The Bible is not historically accurate, nor does it paint an historically accurate picture of Jesus. The search for the historical Jesus is very, very involved. We have to first determine what quotations of Jesus are "authentic." Then, from those "authentic" quotations, we have to extrapolate (and translate) what Jesus meant when he said it.

    I'm not convinced that you're even asking a fair question here. I'm not sure we know with any degree of accuracy whether Jesus actually said he was God, or not. We do know that John quotes him as saying so, again, if a little cryptically. We also have various references to his Godhood sprinkled throughout the Bible.

    You have to understand that Christians do not operate from empirical fact. We operate from revelation. Many believe that the Bible has revealed Jesus' Godhood to us. The "fact" that Jesus said he was or was not is really immaterial. Perhaps Jesus had good reason not to identify himself as such. One such reason may be that, if he had, he would have been killed for blasphemy. Perhaps it was better for him to just stay quiet about it and let his followers come to their own conclusions. That's what we've done. For whatever reason, Jesus does not scripturally seem very vocal about his Godhood.

    Why are you so interested to know what Jesus said? Would that "prove" anything to you, or would you then question whether the Biblical author just "slipped it in" and it wasn't a real quotation? Why are you not just as interested in the theological perspective of his followers?
     
  5. Anastasios

    Anastasios Member

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    I am not saying that John is invalid, what I am trying to do is to point out the problems which come together with the divinity of Christ. It seems essential to put another research here:

    DIVINITY
    JESUS PRESENTED AS GOD
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. JOHN 1.1 / 2

    GOD DID NOT HAVE A BEGINNING:
    Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or even thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. PSALMS 90.1/2

    Art thou not from everlasting, O Lord my God, mine Holy One? HABAKKUK 1.12

    Behold, God is great and we know him not, neither can the number of his year's be searched out. JOB 36.26

    For thus saith the high and the lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy. ISAIAH 57.15

    ORIGINAL GREEK TEXT OF JOHN 1.1/2
    In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.


    TWO SEPARATE ENTITIES:
    That which was from beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the word of life; (For the life was manifested and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life which was with the Father, and he was manifested unto us) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that you may also have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father and his son Jesus Christ. 1 JOHN 1.1/3


    He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 2 JOHN 1.9

    Grace be with you, mercy and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. 2 JOHN 1.3

    Now the birth of Jesus was on this wise; When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with the child of the Holy Ghost. MATTHEW 1.18

    Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take her unto thee Mary thy wife; for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. MATTHEW 1.20

    And Jesus, when lie was baptised, went straightway out of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God, descending like a dove, and lightning upon him: And to a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. MATTHEW 3.16/17

    But to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given them, for whom it is prepared of my Father. MATTHEW 20.23

    My Father is greater than I. JOHN 14.28

    And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book; But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ. JOHN 20.30/31

    I do nothing of myself; but as the Father hath taught me, I speak these things. JOHN 8.28

    Neither pray I for thee alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. JOHN 17.20/21

    And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou bast sent. JOHN 17.3

    And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt amongst us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. JOHN 1.14

    For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in the earth, (as there be gods many and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. I CORINTHIANS 8.5/6

    And unto the angels of the Church of Laodiceans write; These things said the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God. REVELATIONS 3:14

    Who is the image of the invisible God, the first born of every creature, COLOSSIANS 1.15

    And the angels said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the son of the Highest. LUKE 1.30/32

    The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing, which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. LUKE 1.35

    The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way for thee. MARK 1.1/2

    God, who at sundry tines and in divers manners spake in the past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these days spoken unto us by his Son. HEBREW 1.1/22.

    But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ: and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God. 1 CORINTHIANS 11.3

    And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. JOHN 5.37

    For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us. HEBREW 9.24

    Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant. HEBREW 13.20

    The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angels unto his servant John. REVELATIONS 1.1

    I proceeded forth and came from God; neither come I of myself, but the Father hath sent me. JOHN 8:42

    Jesus knowing that the Father hath given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God. JOHN 13.3

    If ye then be risen with Christ, seek these things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. COLOSSIANS 3.1

    I ascend unto my Father and your Father; and to my God, and your God. JOHN 20.17

    And that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heavens and earth. MATTHEW 11.25

    Whosoever therefore, shall confess me before men, him will I confess before my Father which is in Heaven. MATTHEW 10.32

    We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for thee. COLOSSIANS 1.3

    He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which hath sent me. JOHN 14.24

    But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. MARK 13.32

    And this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou bast sent. JOHN 17.3

    For there is one God, and one mediator between God and man, the man CHRIST Jesus. 1 TIMOTHY 2.5

    God the Father raised Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. ACTS 5.30

    Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is God. MARK 10.18

    These word spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son; that thy Son may also glorify thee. As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he may give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. JOHN 17.1/2

    But if the spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelth in you. ROMANS 8.11

    James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. JAMES 1.1

    For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 2 PETER 1.17

    Blessed be God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. I PETER 1.3
     
  6. Anastasios

    Anastasios Member

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    I AND MY FATHER ARE ONE
    JOHN 10.30 I AM IN THE FATHER AND
    THE FATHER IS IN ME
    JOHN 10.38

    QUOTATION REPORTED OUT OF TEXT:
    My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up the stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your laws, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God was come, and the scriptures cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father has sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said I am the Son of God? If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though you believe me not, believe the works; that you may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him. JOHN 10.29/38

    IDENTITY OF PURPOSE NOT PERSON:
    Neither pray I for thee alone, but for them also which shall believe in me through their word. That they may he one as thou Father art in me, and I in thee, that they may also be one in us, that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them, that they may be one even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one. JOHN 17.20/23


    There is one body and one spirit, even as ye are called in the hope of calling. One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, through all, and in you all. EPHESIANS 4.4/6

    And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints and of the household of God. EPHESIANS 2.16 & 18/19

    But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him, and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. I CORINTHIANS 8.5/6

    In whom ye are also builded together for an inhabitation of God through the spirit. EPHESIANS 2.22
    AND THOMAS ANSWERED
    AND SAID UNTO HIM:
    MY LORD AND MY GOD:
    JOHN 20.28
    AN EVIDENCE OF ASTONISHMENT:
    When Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the Lord, Gideon said, Alas O Lord God. JUDGES 6.22

    And the angel of the Lord found her by the fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. And she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God seest me, for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seest me. GENESIS 16:7 & 13

    ALPHA AND OMEGA
    I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. REVELATION 1:8

    REVELATION 'TO' JESUS:
    The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew his servants things which must come shortly to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John. REVELATION 1:1

    INTERPOLATION:
    Alpha and Omega in REVELATION 1.11 does not find support in older Greek manuscripts including the Alexanderine, Sinaitic or Codex Ephraemis Rescriptures. (JEHOVAH WITNESS: AID TO BIBLE UNDERSTANDING PAGE 56) It is now being ommitted from modern translations. (REFER NEW ENGLISH BIBLE: BIBLE SOCIETIES)

    CHRIST NOT THE BEGINNING
    In the beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God and the word was a god. JOHN 1:1

    We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Who is the image of the invisible God, the first born of every creature. COLOSSIANS 1:3 & 15

    And unto the angels of the church of Laodiceans write, These things saith the Amin, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God. REVELATION 3:14

    SON AND BRETHREN
    And he said unto me, it is done, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst, the fountain of water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be my son. REVELATION 21:6/7

    COMPARE WITH CHRIST'S ANNOUNCEMENT:
    And the king shall answer and say unto them, verily I Say unto you, Inasmuch as you have done unto one of the least of my brethren, you have done it unto me. MATTHEW 25:40

    SEPARATE ENTITIES:
    Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven spirits which are before his throne. And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood. And hath made us kings and priests with God and his Father; To him be glory and domination for ever and ever. REVELATION 1:4/6

    And unto the angels of the church of Thyatira write: these things saith the son of God. REVELATION 2:18

    The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ. REVELATION 11:15

    And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works Lord Almighty. REVELATION 15:3

    And I saw no temple therein, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. REVELATION 21:22/23

    And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. REVELATION 22.1

    And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him. REVELATION 22.3

    Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all the things he saw. REVELATION 1.2

    To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in his throne. REVELATION 3.21

    JESUS CHRIST - THE LAMB:

    The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world. JOHN 1.29

    Worthy is the Lamb that was slain. REVELATION 5.12

    He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearers, so opened he not his mouth; Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. ACTS 8:32 & 35

    IMMORTALITY OF GOD:
    And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever. REVELATION 10.5/6

    And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within; and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord Almighty God, which was and which is, and which is to come. And when these beasts gave glory, and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever. REVELATION 4.8/9

    Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God. 1 TIMOTHY 6.17

    Behold, God is great, and we know him not, neither can the number of his years be searched out. JOB 36.26



    Art thou not from everlasting, 0 Lord my God, mine Holy One? HABAKKUK 1.12
    COMPARE WITH MORTALITY OF JESUS:
    But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God taste death for every man. HEBREW 2.9

    The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. ACTS 5.30

    God commendeth his love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. ROMANS 5.8

    For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his son. ROMANS 5.10

    Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus. HEBREW 13.20

    But if the spirit of him that raised Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. ROMANS 8.11

    OTHER GODS IN THE SCRIPTURES

    ANGELS:
    And the angel of the Lord found her by the fountain of water. And she called the name of the Lord that spake to her, Thou God seest me. GENESIS 16.7 & 13

    And the angel of God spake to me. I am the God of Bethel. GENESIS 31:11 & 13

    Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the Lord. And Manoah said to his wife, we shall surely die because we have seen God. JUDGES 13:21/22

    MEN:
    God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judged among the gods. PSALMS 82.1

    I have said, Ye are gods. PSALMS 82.6

    Though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there are gods many and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, of whom all things are, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ. 1 CORINTHIANS 8.5/6

    MOSES:
    And the Lord said unto Moses. See, I have made thee a god. EXODUS 7.1

    SATAN:
    But if our gospel be hid, it is hid from them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of those that believe not. 2 CORINTH. 4.3/4 SHUA THE CANNANITE
    For Judah hath profaned the holiness of the Lord which he loved, and hath married the daughters of a strange god. MALACHI 2.11
     
  7. Anastasios

    Anastasios Member

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  8. Anastasios

    Anastasios Member

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    Why have you been disturbed with this question?
    What is faith? How can one have faith without satisfying one's sense of inquiry? Is it not a reality that the majority of common people belonging to all religions believe without actually comprehending the meaning of their belief? They just happen to believe and that is all there is to it.
     
  9. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    I haven't been disturbed by the question, but I have been interested by it.

    Of course it's OK to inquire, but, if we're going to ask questions, we have to ask the right ones, in order to get anywhere in our inquiry.
     
  10. Smoke

    Smoke Done here.

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    Supposing the messianic prophecies predicted that the Messiah would be God, so what? That only proves that Jesus is God if (a) the prophecies are infallible and (b) Jesus is the Messiah. Neither proposition is self-evident.

    But does the Tanakh prophesy that the Messiah will be God? How many messianic claimants have claimed to be God? If there were clear prophecies to that effect, wouldn't they all claim to be God? How many Jewish interpreters of the scriptures in any age have expected the Messiah to be God? I don't think any reasonable person, reading the Tanakh, would come to the conclusion that it predicts a Messiah who will be God incarnate. That's something that has been read back into the Tanakh by Christians who accept Jesus as the Messiah, Jesus as God, and the Tanakh as a foreshadowing of Jesus.

    That seems like a rash assumption (why would the perfect sacrifice have to be God?), but again, even it's true, so what? Why should Jesus be a perfect sacrifice for sin? Substitutionary atonement, however important it may be to some schools of Christianity, isn't even accepted by all Christians. And if it were accepted by all Christians, why would that be any more significant that its being accepted by all Hindus or all Mandaeans?

    And again, this is supposed to be about what Jesus taught on the subject.
     
  11. Smoke

    Smoke Done here.

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    No, the criteria don't demand that participants accept any or all of the canonical gospels, or only the canonical gospels. But it might be reasonable, if they reject a saying of Jesus from the canonical gospels, or use one from a non-canonical gospel as evidence, to explain why.

    What does "validity" mean here? We're talking about historical evidence. It doesn't matter whether the evidence is inspired or canonical. I agree that the gospels provide our best evidence for what Jesus said, but it's obvious to a careful reader that each gospel was written from a different perspective. Christian orthodoxy accepts four gospels, and believes that these different perspectives shed light on each other and help to interpret each other, but there's surely nothing wrong with taking note of the differing perspectives of the authors.
     
  12. Smoke

    Smoke Done here.

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    Almost. The Bible shows that if Jesus claimed to be God at all, he did it in a cryptic way. If there had been any surviving, credible tradition of Jesus making any clear claim to be God, it would surely have been incorporated into the Christian canon. The fact that no such claim survives is about the clearest evidence we could hope for that there was no such claim.

    Christians do. Those who are interested in Jesus, and don't have a Trinitarian axe to grind, aren't necessarily limited to that revelation that has been "certified" by Christian orthodoxy, if they're interested in revelation at all.

    I think it's pretty obvious he didn't. But when I read your post last night (I had just worked a thirteen-hour shift on three hours' sleep, and was too tired to respond) I actually laughed out loud. "Fair"? There's something really funny to me about a Christian saying it's not fair to ask what Jesus taught. ;)

    I understand that Christian belief isn't limited to the teachings of Jesus -- in my estimation, Christianity has largely discarded the teachings of Jesus. I understand that the writings of Paul and others weigh heavily in the development of Christian orthodoxy, that Christians draw their beliefs from many sources. I'm not saying they can't. But that a Christian can protest, without any sense of irony, that it's not fair to consider what Jesus taught, that's pretty revealing. ;)

    Oh, I understand that. I was a Christian for four decades, after all. I've had a pretty good look at Christianity. But I'm not asking Christians to defend what they believe, and I'm not asking them to believe something else. I'm just trying to look at what Jesus said about one particular subject.

    The reason I started the thread is that the question of whether Jesus claimed be God came up on other threads. The way the subject was raised made it clear that some Christians believe he did claim to be God, but recognized that it wasn't clear he had. So I wanted to see how Trinitarians would defend their interpretation, and how others would comment on their interpretation. I expected that non-Trinitarians -- Muslims, Jehovah's Witnesses, et al. -- would weigh in, but expected standard comments from a narrow perpective of their own. I was pleasantly suprised that some of the most penetrating and lucid comments came from a Muslim and a Bahá'í.

    Maybe, but it seems like an odd point to leave unspoken, especially if it's a point of great importance. Many Christians seem to believe that the whole purpose of Jesus' life was to die, so I don't see how the possibility of his being killed has anything to do with his silence. He was going to be killed anyway, wasn't he? And couldn't God incarnate elude death -- even changing the hearts of his persecutors, if he wished -- until the most appropriate time? At the Last Supper or in the Garden of Gethsemane, when arrest was imminent and Jesus was in the company of his closest friends and followers, he surely had an opportunity to inform them of the things they really needed to know. And Christian orthodoxy maintains that his divinity is something we really need to know.

    Why shouldn't I be interested in what Jesus said? Is Jesus such a dull man that only a Christian could take an interest in him? A face only a worshiper could love? ;)

    But besides that, I'm not just a non-Christian, I'm a former Christian. I was a Christian for many years, and I don't see any reason why my interest in Jesus should go away just because my Christianity has. In fact, my apostasy is based in part on my conviction that Christianity is contrary to the teachings of Jesus, and it was my devotion to Jesus, in part, that gave me the strength of purpose to abandon Christianity in the first place.

    You know, that's a common assumption among many Christians -- that those who disagree with them are intellectually dishonest. We see it among Creationists who insist that evolution is faith-based dogma, for instance. Many Christians, I think, project their own way thinking onto others.

    But for me it's not a question of proof. My opinions are subject to change -- they have to be, if I expect to learn anything more than I already know -- but by now I don't expect to be persuaded by Christian dogma, and I don't expect to persuade Christians to abandon their dogma. I just find the subject of the thread interesting, and I think forums can be a useful way to learn. The process of participating forces me to think things out, and forces me to consider things I hadn't thought of. It's a good process, when we're lucky.

    Oh, I am. I'm even interested in the theological perspectives of Christians, though I think it's naïve to equate orthodox Christians with the followers of Jesus. But why shouldn't I be interested in what Jesus said, independently of the interpretations of one particular branch -- the dominant branch -- of a religion that developed long after he taught?
     
  13. roli

    roli Born Again,Spirit Filled

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    On the contrary the Bible in and of itself is a historical book of Jesus according to scholars,as well as scientific, prophetic ,poetic,
    This question is answered by the bibliographical test. This test looks at the number of existing manuscript copies there are, their agreement with each other concerning the text that they are copies of, and the time interval between these copies and the date of the original writing. All scholars agree that this test has conclusively established that the biblical text which we have now is nearly identical to what was originally recorded (for both Old and New ,copiesTestaments).http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Delphi/8449/two.html

    The existing texts of today with that of the originals show the scriptures are 98.5% accurate in other findings.
    Anyone who is serious can just dig a little to verify conclusively of this historical accuracy


    ] [/QUOTE]
    It would appear that many in this forum rely on the teachings/ writings of many greek philosophers and historians as I hear much quotations from.
    If you compare the volitity of their manuscripts historically with that of what has been found of the greek manuscripts of Jesus alone, 5600 manuscripts or so .Not counting the 14000 other manuscripts ,pieces and fragments of the Old Testment,in several other languages.
    You would see the likelyhood of Jesus's accounts as more reliable,if in fact the skeptic can ever find himself in an unbias arena of compromise.
    If you have carefully researched the,scientific, archaeological finds, historical landmarks ,being excavated in cities ,graves,buildings etc. you would not make such bold claims, the original manuscripts support who and what Jesus claimed about himself.

    Every find seems to just create a whole new arena of speculation and conceptualization among philosphers,evolutionists and anti-theists, purely reasonable and unbias I'm sure
    Nevertheless ,the rationale mind just can't accept some things with out putting a new relativistic spin on such findings, especially when it comes to the existence of God ,Jesus,His comparison with God,not that findings should stop us from digging deeper ,but let us sometimes just take things at faith value, at least trusting those professionals that do this research for a living.

    It's ironic that all the things that we are confronted with in our day to day lives personally,sociallly and universally cause us all to enter that realm of faith or belief and quite often dwell there for that is how we most often live.
    This may appear illogical to some but it is true, we trust, believe and have faith in our banks,our jobs,our paychecks, food at restaurants,airplanes,our automobiles, the news cast, articles we read ,doctors without ever scrutinizing or extrapolating it to pieces ,

    Why do we do that with God ,Jesus ,Interesting, unless you have the faith of child you will not enter heaven, and just from what is created men will be without excuse on that day.
     
  14. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    well, then I think we have to agree on what we mean by "Did Jesus say that?" What is the criterion for determination? Most people here seem to prefer the protestant Bible as the rule, so that's what I assumed here. also, are we taking the Biblical "quotations" at face value, or are we assuming some scholastic skepticism here? I assumed that, if it was written in black-and-white on the page, that was sufficient for your needs.
     
  15. muslimbrother

    muslimbrother Member

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    Christians assert that Jesus claimed to be God when they quote him in John 14:9: "He that has seen me has seen the Father". Didn’t Jesus clearly say that people have never seen God, as it says in

    John 5:37: "And the father himself which Has sent me, has borne witness of me. You have neither heard his voice at any time nor seen his shape"?
     
  16. muslimbrother

    muslimbrother Member

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    Why does the Bible say that Jesus wanted to die on the cross, when the one on the cross was shouting "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" according to Matthew 27:45 and Mark 15:33?
     
  17. Smoke

    Smoke Done here.

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    "My needs" aren't really the issue, and I expect different people to have different perspectives on textual issues relating to the teachings of Jesus. There's no reason textual issues can't be part of the discussion. But since there's no clear instance of Jesus claiming to be God in the canonical gospels, it doesn't seem like the heart of the matter.

    But that's "scholarly" skepticism, not "scholastic", right?
     
  18. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays Well-Known Member

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    Midnight Blue:
    "Maybe, but it seems like an odd point to leave unspoken, especially if it's a point of great importance. Many Christians seem to believe that the whole purpose of Jesus' life was to die, so I don't see how the possibility of his being killed has anything to do with his silence. He was going to be killed anyway, wasn't he? And couldn't God incarnate elude death -- even changing the hearts of his persecutors, if he wished -- until the most appropriate time? At the Last Supper or in the Garden of Gethsemane, when arrest was imminent and Jesus was in the company of his closest friends and followers, he surely had an opportunity to inform them of the things they really needed to know. And Christian orthodoxy maintains that his divinity is something we really need to know."

    Days before the Last Supper Jesus prepared His disciples for His own death. One of the things He said was: "I have many things to tell you, but you cannot bear them now." He then proceeds to tell them that the Comforter will come to them, and later the Spirit of Truth and goes on to tell the disciples that those successors will speak as God bids them speak - that to me implies that they will speak as Jesus Himself spoke - at the behest of God with a human mouth.

    All the Manifestations speak as God bids them speak, revealing what God intends for them to reveal - even though Those Manifestations are in a comunion with God that reveals everything to Themselves. So God must intend His revelation to be in stages and the revelation of Jesus was meant to be partial for other Manifestations to expound and expand.

    That Jesus and the Others speak with the Voice of God does not mean They ARE God.

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  19. may

    may Well-Known Member

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    I see it more like fitting in with the rest of the bible, not JW trying to make it fit their own beliefs , the bible always harmonizes when the correct thoughts are translated , and accurate translation is what all honest bible searchers are after .
     
  20. sandy whitelinger

    sandy whitelinger Veteran Member

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    This from Matthew 22
    "[42] Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David.
    [43] He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying,
    [44] The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool?
    [45] If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?
    [46] And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.

    If Jesus wasn't Lord ie. God, then explain this please.
     
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