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Jesus Was a Radical Jew

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Nakosis, Mar 7, 2021.

  1. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    I've read the Bible. Doesn't mean I'm an expert.

    I like the character of Jesus. He seems to me to be a radical Jew who questioned/criticized the authority of the Sadducees.

    The Apostle Paul, however, turned Jesus into a simulacrum for God.

    While I believe Jesus found God inside himself, I don't believe he wanted others to see him as God. I think he actually wanted others to find God within themselves as well.

    While it seems likely Jesus saw himself as the Messiah, the one who would free Israel, this didn't really work out that way. He was executed as a Jewish troublemaker, a radical.

    Many of his followers were not willing to let go of this idea that Jesus was the Messiah, so they made him into a spiritual Messiah. Jesus did not free Israel but he freed their spirits. Their tribulations on earth were immaterial as they were promised a place in paradise.

    Who if not God himself could be the only one to make this promise?
     
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  2. eldritchsleep

    eldritchsleep Member

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    I could agree with this interpretation, it is an interesting thought on it at least. Too bad Jesus never wrote anything down himself so we could know his opinion on the topic. Unless he did and the early church ironically branded it as uncanonical and dismissed it. I sometimes wonder: what would Jesus' opinion on the modern bible and churches be? I imagine he would be just as angry with it as he was with many of his fellow Jews back then. "What do you mean people think I'm god?! They are doing what in my name? I never said that!" All hypothetical amusement of course.
     
  3. Earthtank

    Earthtank Active Member

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    Should have stopped there. Everything else is a waste of time.
     
  4. capumetu

    capumetu Active Member

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    In the eyes of many, but keep this in mind, the Jews knew who he was, and knew the Messiah was due, some even thought it might be John for a bit as the time period for him to appear was then.

    Why did they hate him? Jesus gave a parable that really stated it well, they wanted what he had. Mat 21:33-39
     
  5. Vouthon

    Vouthon Dominus Deus tuus ignis consumens est
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    I concur with your overall judgment of his character @Nakosis

    Jesus comes across to me as a rather remarkable figure, especially when viewed in his own cultural and historical context - very much a "radical Jew" as you say.

    One of the things I personally like most about him, is that even when self-identifying followers - in the name of institutional Christianity - have effectively acted as oppressors of humanity, so many marginalised and discriminated groups of people have been able to use the legacy of Jesus to indict them in response for betraying the spirit of his teachings or use his social radicalism as a vehicle of empowerment.

    Examples of that kind of dynamic abound, from:

    - descendants of Black Africans enslaved by empires under the rule of European Christian monarchs, ultimately using the figure of Jesus and his parable of the Good Samaritan as their symbol of resistance to racial segregation (most notably through the Civil Rights Movement led by Baptist clergyman Martin Luther King in the 1960s);

    - Mahatma Gandhi condemning British colonialism in India with the pithy statement: "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ";

    - German peasants in the 16th century revolting against their feudal lords, as well as the very institution of serfdom, by appealing to Jesus's social egalitarianism i.e. "Until now it has been practice that we have been treated like serfs, which is deplorable, since Christ redeemed all of us with his precious blood, both the shepherd and the nobleman, with no exceptions. Accordingly we hereby declare that we are free and want to remain free." (Twelve Articles of the German Peasants [1525]) and

    - nineteenth-century Chinese converts responding to their first reception of the Gospel by "offer[ing] equality between men and women as well as reform to the hated system of land ownership where landlords exploited poor tenant farmers" in the Taiping Rebellion:​


    Taiping Rebellion - Wikipedia

    The Taiping Rebellion, which is also known as the Taiping Civil War or the Taiping Revolution,[7] was a massive rebellion or civil war that was waged in China from 1850 to 1864 between the established Manchu-led Qing dynasty and the Hakka-led Taiping Heavenly Kingdom.

    Led by Hong Xiuquan, the self-proclaimed brother of Jesus Christ, the goals of the Taipings were religious, nationalist, and political in nature; they sought the conversion of the Chinese people to the Taiping's syncretic version of Christianity, the overthrow of the ruling Manchus, and a wholesale transformation and reformation of the state.[8][9] Rather than simply supplanting the ruling class, the Taipings sought to upend the moral and social order of China.[10]


    Taiping Rebellion | Causes, Effects, & Facts

    Under the Taipings, the Chinese language was simplified, and equality between men and women was decreed. All property was to be held in common, and equal distribution of the land according to a primitive form of communism was planned. Some Western-educated Taiping leaders even proposed the development of industry and the building of a Taiping democracy


    As can be seen from the foregoing, the figure of Jesus really has quite a powerful cross-cultural and trans-social appeal.

    His Jewishness is ultimately crucial to any appraisal of him, since the historical Jesus lived his entire life as a practising adherent of his ancestral Jewish religion in dialogue/debate on halakha with other Jews. He would not have anticipated that his message or actions could have gone on to birth an entirely distinct religious system from Second Temple Judaism (as transpired many decades following his death).

    To me, Jesus represented the very best values that the religious tradition he was raised in had to offer; albeit in a highly unique fashion that made him a 'marginal Jew' without parallel in his time and place, to cite the description of him given by one scholar (E.P. Meier). In this manner, he also transcended his own religious context in ways that he himself would not have foreseen.

    If I may ask, though, what do you mean by saying: "Who if not God himself could be the only one to make this promise?" Is that posed as a hypothetical?
     
    #5 Vouthon, Mar 8, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2021
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  6. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    So you would have accepted it without the disclaimer?
     
  7. Earthtank

    Earthtank Active Member

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    No, personally, I tend to not accept religious claims from Atheists, especially online. I definitely appreciate your honesty so with or without the disclaimer, the result would have been the same.
     
  8. 1213

    1213 Well-Known Member

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    He who has the authority given by God.

    All things have been delivered to me by my Father….
    Matt. 11:27

    The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand.
    John 3:35

    even as you gave him authority over all flesh…
    John 17:2

    But when the multitudes saw it, they marveled and glorified God, who had given such authority to men.
    Matt. 9:8

    And Jesus tells he told what God had commanded him to speak:

    For I spoke not from myself, but the Father who sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. I know that his commandment is eternal life. The things therefore which I speak, even as the Father has said to me, so I speak."
    John 12:49-50

    Jesus therefore answered them, "My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. If anyone desires to do his will, he will know about the teaching, whether it is from God, or if I am speaking from myself.
    John 7:16-17
     
  9. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    Ok, the only claim is that this is my personal view.
    Sometimes it seems people think it more than that though.
     
  10. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    Exactly, Jesus did not see himself as the authority. He made sure folks understood it to be God's authority.
     
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  11. Earthtank

    Earthtank Active Member

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    I understood that but, thanks for clarifying.
     
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  12. pearl

    pearl Well-Known Member

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    It all begs the question, how much did Jesus know?, and how much is the post resurrection faith of the Apostles?, and through which form better to hand down this same faith through the generations. As Bultmann has it, 'two predominating cultural influences which shaped each New Testament document: [a] the historical Jesus dressed in the mythical garb of the Gnostic "heavenly redeemer'.
     
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