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Re: Buddhist opinions about the Historical Jesus

Postby mindyourmind » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:08 am

Wesley1982 wrote:
Infinite wrote:As does the Catholic Church and various other institutions but still none have been able to provide anything that indicates the Divinity of Christ let alone very good historical documentation. In fact the search for Historical Jesus likely would have been completely abandoned if it wasn't for vague references by various individuals in no way related to Christianity.


There most likely did exist a ethnic & cultural Jesus (son of Virgin Mary)


So you accept that Mary was a virgin?

See why this can be silly?
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Re: Buddhist opinions about the Historical Jesus

Postby AlexanderS » Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:24 pm

mindyourmind wrote:
Wesley1982 wrote:
Infinite wrote:As does the Catholic Church and various other institutions but still none have been able to provide anything that indicates the Divinity of Christ let alone very good historical documentation. In fact the search for Historical Jesus likely would have been completely abandoned if it wasn't for vague references by various individuals in no way related to Christianity.


There most likely did exist a ethnic & cultural Jesus (son of Virgin Mary)


So you accept that Mary was a virgin?

See why this can be silly?


Wasn't the same thing said about Siddharta?

Anyway, I personally think Jesus christ was a great spritual teacher and a source of blessing for hundreds of millions around the world.

The old testament, I like not so much.
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Re: Buddhist opinions about the Historical Jesus

Postby mint » Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:56 pm

mindyourmind wrote:Slow down a bit with the generalizations, please. Some of us have read most of the debate, and ended up with the modern day consensus (see for examples the collections put together by John Loftus) where even modern day Christians despair of ever finding the "Historical Jesus". This includes the rabbit hole of when the gospels were in fact written. Suffice it to say that when we do not have one of the original manuscripts of the gospels it is an exercise in futility to establish any of that with any meaningful authority - see eg Bart Ehrman's various works.


Ehrman is hardly the last word on textual criticism as he seems not to differentiate between having the original papyrus and having the original message that was communicated by the original papyrus. He asked in Misquoting Jesus, “What good does it do to say these original texts were inspired if we don’t have them?”

The question ought to be more like this: “What good does it do to say that these original texts were inspired if we can only confidently eliminate 99.9% of the non-original variants from consideration?”

Even in cases where we face competing, evenly supported variants, there is still an obvious limit as to what they could possibly be. Thus even a reconstructed New Testament text with 40, or 160, or 400 significant points of instability is capable of communicating its message with integrity.

I assume that you do not regard yourself as "misinformed", so you will be aware of the widely-held view of JC as a failed apocalyptic teacher?


I'm more interested in what such "widely-held" views suggests about contemporary society. Such a Jesus is more of a symbol than a historical probability.

So you accept that Mary was a virgin?

See why this can be silly?


For the record, there are stories relating the miraculous, virgin birth of the Buddha - so let's maintain some level of consistency in what we're regarding as "silly."
Last edited by mint on Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Buddhist opinions about the Historical Jesus

Postby Josef » Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:12 pm

AlexanderS wrote:
So you accept that Mary was a virgin?

See why this can be silly?


Wasn't the same thing said about Siddharta?

[/quote]

Yes. Some "histories" also say he came out of him mothers armpit rather than her vagina, both stories are of course totally ridiculous and written down by women-fearing monks centuries after Buddhas death.

Both Buddha and Jesus had mommies and those mommies where human beings with vaginas and those vaginas had penises in them at least once in order to make our holy babies.

Religious fear and persecution of women is far grosser than vaginas having penises in them.
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Re: Buddhist opinions about the Historical Jesus

Postby LightSeed » Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:18 pm

Nangwa wrote:
Religious fear and persecution of women is far grosser than vaginas having penises in them.


:good: :applause:
"Monks, a statement endowed with five factors is well-spoken, not ill-spoken. It is blameless & unfaulted by knowledgeable people. Which five?

"It is spoken at the right time. It is spoken in truth. It is spoken affectionately. It is spoken beneficially. It is spoken with a mind of good-will."

— AN 5.198
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Re: Buddhist opinions about the Historical Jesus

Postby Infinite » Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:45 pm

mint wrote:For the record, there are stories relating the miraculous, virgin birth of the Buddha - so let's maintain some level of consistency in what we're regarding as "silly."

See the problem here is the two can't be compared. The Buddha never claimed divinity or any sort. Jesus on the other hand if he is to be cornerstone of Christianity must be Divine and thus the Virgin Birth is a cornerstone of that Divinity. It is pretty damn absurd to believe Jesus came from a virgin birth. It really doesn't matter at this point whether it is mistranslation or not as it is one of the many absurd things needed to maintain that Jesus was a Divine being.
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Re: Buddhist opinions about the Historical Jesus

Postby mindyourmind » Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:05 pm

mint wrote:
mindyourmind wrote:Slow down a bit with the generalizations, please. Some of us have read most of the debate, and ended up with the modern day consensus (see for examples the collections put together by John Loftus) where even modern day Christians despair of ever finding the "Historical Jesus". This includes the rabbit hole of when the gospels were in fact written. Suffice it to say that when we do not have one of the original manuscripts of the gospels it is an exercise in futility to establish any of that with any meaningful authority - see eg Bart Ehrman's various works.


Ehrman is hardly the last word on textual criticism as he seems not to differentiate between having the original papyrus and having the original message that was communicated by the original papyrus. He asked in Misquoting Jesus, “What good does it do to say these original texts were inspired if we don’t have them?”

The question ought to be more like this: “What good does it do to say that these original texts were inspired if we can only confidently eliminate 99.9% of the non-original variants from consideration?”

Even in cases where we face competing, evenly supported variants, there is still an obvious limit as to what they could possibly be. Thus even a reconstructed New Testament text with 40, or 160, or 400 significant points of instability is capable of communicating its message with integrity.

I assume that you do not regard yourself as "misinformed", so you will be aware of the widely-held view of JC as a failed apocalyptic teacher?


I'm more interested in what such "widely-held" views suggests about contemporary society. Such a Jesus is more of a symbol than a historical probability.

So you accept that Mary was a virgin?

See why this can be silly?


For the record, there are stories relating the miraculous, virgin birth of the Buddha - so let's maintain some level of consistency in what we're regarding as "silly."


Glad to see that we have moved on from how ignorant we are on Jesus to you defending him. Progress indeed.
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Re: Buddhist opinions about the Historical Jesus

Postby mint » Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:09 pm

Infinite wrote:See the problem here is the two can't be compared. The Buddha never claimed divinity or any sort. Jesus on the other hand if he is to be cornerstone of Christianity must be Divine and thus the Virgin Birth is a cornerstone of that Divinity. It is pretty damn absurd to believe Jesus came from a virgin birth. It really doesn't matter at this point whether it is mistranslation or not as it is one of the many absurd things needed to maintain that Jesus was a Divine being.


Your logic is flawed.

Matthew and Luke are the only Gospels to record (differing) accounts concerning the birth of Jesus, but neither Gospel explicitly refers to Jesus or records Jesus explicitly proclaiming divinity. If we are to believe Rudolf Bultmann and demythologizers like him, the birth narratives of Jesus are largely mythological constructs which serve an otherwise Christological purpose, not so much an actual history as an explanation of who or what Jesus was. John's Gospel, on the other hand, which contains the most overt declarations of Jesus' divinity has no such birth narrative.

The apostolic father of the church, Papias, affirms on the basis of apostolic preaching that Jesus was born through parthenogenesis, however the proto-creed of 1 Corinthians 15 makes no mention of such a belief being critical to Jesus' status as divine or savior.
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Re: Buddhist opinions about the Historical Jesus

Postby mint » Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:22 pm

mindyourmind wrote:Glad to see that we have moved on from how ignorant we are on Jesus to you defending him. Progress indeed.


No, anybody who cites Ehrman as the reference point in a discussion concerning our ability to know the historical Jesus is still pretty ignorant. But Ehrman has an uncanny ability to attract his ilk.
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Re: Buddhist opinions about the Historical Jesus

Postby mindyourmind » Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:49 pm

mint wrote:
mindyourmind wrote:Glad to see that we have moved on from how ignorant we are on Jesus to you defending him. Progress indeed.


No, anybody who cites Ehrman as the reference point in a discussion concerning our ability to know the historical Jesus is still pretty ignorant. But Ehrman has an uncanny ability to attract his ilk.


That manages to insult Buddhist opinion here and Ehrman all in one easy swoop.
Ehrman is well read, and accepted in Christian and non-Christian circles, and we can play the game where I show you who agrees with that and you tell us who does not. The fact remains that he is very well educated author, who used to be a seminary trained Evangelical Christian. He knows what he is talking about.

I also referenced Loftus and the collected authors that deal with this. If you are not satisfied with Ehrman, and regard him as being ignorant, let's talk about Avalos, or Carrier. Why is it that someone as Christian as one of the management of Christianity Today last year gave up on the quest for the historical Jesus. You are hoping that we here, as Buddhists, do not know that there is no consensus on this historical Jesus. Ask widely respected Christian thinkers and authors such as Marcus Borg or Bishop Spong what they believe.

I can go on and play the book waving game as well as you do. Hold on to your opinion, but there is no need to call me / us ignorant.That is either dishonest or ignorant from you.
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Re: Buddhist opinions about the Historical Jesus

Postby ngodrup » Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:34 pm

The idea that Jesus was divine doesn't seem to concur with his own words.
He is reputed to call himself the son of man, so what does that mean?

Is he not the son of a woman, son of god... Perhaps there's a metaphoric meaning
such as Humanity's child.

Now if the virgin birth is to be taken as literal fact, then Jesus, lacking a father's
genes must be female. All accounts describe him as male, so what do we have,
a trans-sexual?

Such things were not unknown in Buddha's time. The Vinaya specifies the
number of times a person is permitted to change their gender and still be
a monk.
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Re: Buddhist opinions about the Historical Jesus

Postby Infinite » Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:49 pm

mint wrote:
mindyourmind wrote:Glad to see that we have moved on from how ignorant we are on Jesus to you defending him. Progress indeed.


No, anybody who cites Ehrman as the reference point in a discussion concerning our ability to know the historical Jesus is still pretty ignorant. But Ehrman has an uncanny ability to attract his ilk.

You are a rather abrasive human being who resorts to insults the moment you don't like where a discussion is going. I would suggest you need to do some introspection if Mythical Jesus is causing you this much suffering.
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Re: Buddhist opinions about the Historical Jesus

Postby mint » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:13 pm

mindyourmind wrote:That manages to insult Buddhist opinion here and Ehrman all in one easy swoop.
Ehrman is well read, and accepted in Christian and non-Christian circles, and we can play the game where I show you who agrees with that and you tell us who does not. The fact remains that he is very well educated author, who used to be a seminary trained Evangelical Christian. He knows what he is talking about.


Indeed, Ehrman is highly regarded in Christian and non-Christian circles, scholarly and non-scholarly circles, but not for the same reasons: In Christian and scholarly circles, he is lauded for his ability to reconstruct the New Testament using the data available, not for his assessment of either; and vice versa for the non-Christian and non-scholarly circles. He himself has admitted that he is a confused sensationalist capitalizing on a post-modernistic assessment of God, Jesus and the Christian religion. I think Colbert handled Ehrman nicely.

You are hoping that we here, as Buddhists, do not know that there is no consensus on this historical Jesus.


No, I merely corrected yours and others incorrect assertions about the data we have available.

Ask widely respected Christian thinkers and authors such as Marcus Borg or Bishop Spong what they believe.


Again, if this represents your claim to be well-read on the issue of the historical Jesus, then such a narrow window truly is ignorant. Just because Ehrman, Borg and Spong are on the shelves at your local bookstore doesn't make them "widely-respected," and just because you've managed to read a few bestsellers doesn't make you knowledgable on a subject which is more intricate than the mere flat assertion that there is "no consensus." To understand more fully what I mean, I recommend reading Ben Witherington's The Jesus Quest which demonstrates where contemporary scholars agree and disagree. I also recommend the anthology edited by Amy-Jill Levine entitled The Historical Jesus in Context which discusses the same.
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Re: Buddhist opinions about the Historical Jesus

Postby mint » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:14 pm

Infinite wrote:You are a rather abrasive human being who resorts to insults the moment you don't like where a discussion is going. I would suggest you need to do some introspection if Mythical Jesus is causing you this much suffering.


Does Buddhism not state that ignorance is due to lack of knowledge?

I concur.
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Re: Buddhist opinions about the Historical Jesus

Postby Jikan » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:23 pm

mint wrote:
Infinite wrote:You are a rather abrasive human being who resorts to insults the moment you don't like where a discussion is going. I would suggest you need to do some introspection if Mythical Jesus is causing you this much suffering.


Does Buddhism not state that ignorance is due to lack of knowledge?

I concur.


Yes, but knowledge of what, specifically?
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Re: Buddhist opinions about the Historical Jesus

Postby justsit » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:33 pm

Whom are you trying to convince, Mint?
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Re: Buddhist opinions about the Historical Jesus

Postby mint » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:33 pm

justsit wrote:Whom are you trying to convince, Mint?


The lurkers.
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Re: Buddhist opinions about the Historical Jesus

Postby justsit » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:34 pm

Why??
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Re: Buddhist opinions about the Historical Jesus

Postby mindyourmind » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:38 pm

mint wrote:
mindyourmind wrote:That manages to insult Buddhist opinion here and Ehrman all in one easy swoop.
Ehrman is well read, and accepted in Christian and non-Christian circles, and we can play the game where I show you who agrees with that and you tell us who does not. The fact remains that he is very well educated author, who used to be a seminary trained Evangelical Christian. He knows what he is talking about.


Indeed, Ehrman is highly regarded in Christian and non-Christian circles, scholarly and non-scholarly circles, but not for the same reasons: In Christian and scholarly circles, he is lauded for his ability to reconstruct the New Testament using the data available, not for his assessment of either; and vice versa for the non-Christian and non-scholarly circles. He himself has admitted that he is a confused sensationalist capitalizing on a post-modernistic assessment of God, Jesus and the Christian religion. I think Colbert handled Ehrman nicely.

You are hoping that we here, as Buddhists, do not know that there is no consensus on this historical Jesus.


No, I merely corrected yours and others incorrect assertions about the data we have available.

Ask widely respected Christian thinkers and authors such as Marcus Borg or Bishop Spong what they believe.


Again, if this represents your claim to be well-read on the issue of the historical Jesus, then such a narrow window truly is ignorant. Just because Ehrman, Borg and Spong are on the shelves at your local bookstore doesn't make them "widely-respected," and just because you've managed to read a few bestsellers doesn't make you knowledgable on a subject which is more intricate than the mere flat assertion that there is "no consensus." To understand more fully what I mean, I recommend reading Ben Witherington's The Jesus Quest which demonstrates where contemporary scholars agree and disagree. I also recommend the anthology edited by Amy-Jill Levine entitled The Historical Jesus in Context which discusses the same.


I have now shown you, in great detail, how there is no consensus on the so-called historical Jesus. All you do, and all you can do in the face of the facts, is to try to dismiss my sources, all of them, including current and past Christians, some teaching at Christian seminaries, and including someone as qualified as Bishop Spong. In response you quote one or two equally subjective authors, rather obscure ones, which simply shows the divergent views out there. People like Ehrman, Borg and Spong have the highest credentials and the fact that their books are relatively popular in no way detract from the authority of their views. I can mention a list of other Christian authors and apologists who will gladly admit that there is no consensus, and you know that this is quite simple.

If you want a very exhaustive and up to date exposition of this debate, have a look at John Loftus's blog, at http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/ , where in a post dated today he shows in great detail how much debate there is actually going on, and the array of respected scholars involved on both sides. Calling the other side's experts' qualifications into dispute is a hackneyed old Christian apologist stratagem, and only the very young or gullible will still fall for it. Have a look at Ehrmann's credentials and admit that he is up there with the best of them.

It is mind-boggling to see that you are actually arguing that there is a consensus view on hJ. There is not, accept it. You can claim all you want about "the data we have" but you have precious little, and there is no consensus about hJ at all. Presenting your argument in this unfounded, fact-free and unpleasant manner does not prove your argument.Between the proponents of hJ and the Mythers there is a lot of doubt and agnosticism, clearly and often expressed by both sides.

But I am not going to go on with this. This is a Buddhist discussion board, and I am not a Christian apologist. I think that members now have a more than adequate reading list to follow up, if they should so wish, to arrive at their own conclusions about where the ignorance lies here. You are trying, on a regular basis, to have these Christian-oriented discussions here, and you clearly are quite offended if we dare show that we know something about the subject. I do not have anything vested in the debate, and whether hJ existed or not is a matter of supreme indifference to me. I will however respond if someone posts patent nonsense here.

I have made my points, and there is no further benefit in this rather senseless debate for me.
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Re: Buddhist opinions about the Historical Jesus

Postby Wesley1982 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:53 pm

It is widely held as Christian dogma that Jesus son of Mary was conceived/born without a human father. :shrug:
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