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Was Jesus Really the King of the Jews?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Rainbow Mage, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. Rainbow Mage

    Rainbow Mage Lib Democrat/Agnostic/Epicurean-ish/Buddhist-ish

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    I often hear this repeated by some of my fellow Christians, that Jesus is King of the Jews. Did he ever actually say he was, or acknowledge it when others said it of him? Not that I can see
     
  2. Azakel

    Azakel Liebe ist für alle da

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    No. It was a name the Romans gave him to mock him even more.
     
  3. Quagmire

    Quagmire Imaginary talking monkey
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    I think the whole "King of the Jews" concept in the gospels is, if nothing else, an extremely clever literary twist:

    If you'll notice from the verses bellow (which are the only references to Jesus as the King of the Jews except for one reference in Matthew concerning the birth story) the only one's calling him "The King of the Jews" are the Romans:



    1. Matthew 27:29
      And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!
      Matthew 27:28-30 (in Context) Matthew 27 (Whole Chapter)
    2. Matthew 27:37
      And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
      Matthew 27:36-38 (in Context) Matthew 27 (Whole Chapter)
      Mark 15:1-3 (in Context) Mark 15 (Whole Chapter)
    3. Mark 15:9
      But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews?
      Mark 15:8-10 (in Context) Mark 15 (Whole Chapter)
    4. Mark 15:12
      And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews?
      Mark 15:11-13 (in Context) Mark 15 (Whole Chapter)
    5. Mark 15:18
      And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews!
      Mark 15:17-19 (in Context) Mark 15 (Whole Chapter)
    6. Mark 15:26
      And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS.
      Mark 15:25-27 (in Context) Mark 15 (Whole Chapter)
      Luke 23:2-4 (in Context) Luke 23 (Whole Chapter)
    7. Luke 23:37
      And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself.
      Luke 23:36-38 (in Context) Luke 23 (Whole Chapter)
    8. Luke 23:38
      And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
      Luke 23:37-39 (in Context) Luke 23 (Whole Chapter)

    9. John 18:32-34 (in Context) John 18 (Whole Chapter)
    10. John 18:39
      But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?
      John 18:38-40 (in Context) John 18 (Whole Chapter)
    11. John 19:3
      And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands.
      John 19:2-4 (in Context) John 19 (Whole Chapter)
    12. John 19:19
      And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.
      John 19:18-20 (in Context) John 19 (Whole Chapter)


    Which could easliy be interpreted as a fullfillment of a prophecy Jesus made about the whole situation: when asked if he were the King of the Jews, Jesus answers Pilate that "it's you (Rome) who says it". Every one of the gospels agree on this point (with a slight variation in John):


    1. Matthew 27:11
      And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.
      Matthew 27:10-12 (in Context) Matthew 27 (Whole Chapter)
    2. Mark 15:2
      And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering said unto them, Thou sayest it.
      Mark 15:1-3 (in Context) Mark 15 (Whole Chapter)
    3. Luke 23:3
      And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answered him and said, Thou sayest it.
      Luke 23:2-4 (in Context) Luke 23 (Whole Chapter
    4. John 18:33-34 (King James Version) 33Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? 34Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?



    Even when the local religious leaders requested that Pilate change the wording to make it seem as if Jesus were making the claim for himself, he continues to inavertantly assume credit for the determination:


    1. John 19:21
      Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews.
      22Pilate answered, "What I have written, I have written."
    Like I said, as a literary device on behalf of the authors of the gospels, it's extremely clever.
     
  4. Rainbow Mage

    Rainbow Mage Lib Democrat/Agnostic/Epicurean-ish/Buddhist-ish

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    Quagmire the Pharisees accused him of it first, they told Pilate: "If you let him go, you are no friend of Ceasar's. He called himself a king." That is the charge they brought, that they knew Pilate couldn't deny them on, high treason.
     
  5. dogsgod

    dogsgod Well-Known Member

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    Matthew 2

    Visitors from the East

    Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, 2 “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.”


    This story sets the plot of the narration. A future king is born, a new leader that will one day challenge the throne. It's also the retelling of Moses. A new covenant between man and God will be made with Christ as its messenger.
     
  6. logician

    logician Well-Known Member

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    Again, the unknown writer of Matthew's favorite occupation of making up narrative to make it seem like this supposed Jesus is the fulfillment of prophecy, when he wasn't.;)
     
  7. Quagmire

    Quagmire Imaginary talking monkey
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    Doesn't matter: the religious leaders never called him a King, as you pointed out they accused Jesus of calling himself a King. Since there's no evidence in the gospels that Jesus ever did any such thing, the point still stands: the Romans were the only one's to declare him King of the Jews. Sarcastically, yes, but that just makes the plot twist that much more ironic.
     
  8. Evee

    Evee Member

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    Well, if Jesus claimed to be the Messiah, that would count as proclaiming himself King of the Jews. The Messiah's of the line of David, meant to restore Israel and rule as the king.
    While I don't remember reading that Jesus ever came out and said, specifically "Hey, guys! Messiah over here!" He does strongly imply that he's fulfilling a bunch of prophecies in his message to John the Baptist in Luke 7:22. It seems to me that his response is meant to make John the Baptist believe that Jesus is most definitely the Messiah.
    That's why the Romans thought their taunts were so effective. It was generally understood that Jesus was proclaiming for himself a leadership role, but had been utterly rejected by most of his people. Imagine (Americans) calling McCain "Mr. President" the day after he lost the election.
     
    #8 Evee, May 2, 2010
    Last edited: May 2, 2010
  9. Azrael

    Azrael Mythicists

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    I find this odd. Herod at the time was killing all new born male children but he knew where to find this Jesus child. If he knew where the child was why not just go kill it instead of killing every male newborn?
     
  10. Levite

    Levite Higher and Higher

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    The above is completely correct. The claim of Jesus' followers, and of the Romans, that he was King of the Jews stems from his purported claim to messiahdom. Which I have always found odd, seeing as Jesus' claim to be heir to the House of David comes through the line of Joseph. Whom, Christians tell me, was not actually Jesus' father. So it seems that he could either be the Son of God or the Messiah, but not both....
     
  11. Oberon

    Oberon Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure the Jews at the time would not have objected to having an actual son of god, regardless of not being related to King David, be king. :)

    As to the question, Jesus probably claimed to be the messiah, and in doing so probably some claim about restoring Israel, but that doesn't equate with being king (although it does relate).
     
  12. Rainbow Mage

    Rainbow Mage Lib Democrat/Agnostic/Epicurean-ish/Buddhist-ish

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    Oddly enough, Jesus said: "Why do they call Christ son of David. Did not David say- The Lord said unto my Lord."
     
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