I am really sorry if this has been posted before.
If you knew me in person, you would know I love getting into discussions with people about religion. One of the questions that seems to keep coming into the discussion loop is Jesus.
So I was at a social gathering the other night at a restaurant and I dropped my silverware and out of habit I said "Jesus Christ!" And a random girl that was a friend of a friend said, "Don't use the Lords name in vain."
So obviously we got into a debate.
I brought up the point in the discussion that Jesus never existed. Well everyone looked at me like i was off the wall insane...
At that point the discussion just turned into incoherent ramblings and Grrrr... So frustrating that people base their whole life on hearsay! Simply dumbfounding!!!
Help me feel better... seriously.
Why are there only four?
The early church decided these gophels were credible and had authority.
They do all tell their own story, each story is different.
Yes, well at 11 years old, and having grown up in a religious environment - the history of the political shinnanigans and willful lying of the early church wasn't something I had a lot of information on.
It's been at least 20 years since I read through he 4 gospels, so perhaps they perspectives are much more different than I perceived. At the time, however, to me, they all sounded like they were telling the "whole story" and not "someone's story"
My point is that yes, even between the ages of 11 and 14 as I read the book straight through, I could clearly recognize places where the story had been 'squeezed to fit'. That always struck me as meaning it wasn't entirely made-up, but it wasn't really true either. It wouldn't be until in my 20's that I came to understand that this is a very powerful tool of mythology.
I know that I'm smarter than your average cup of yoghurt, but how any grown people still believe in fairy tales that I couldn't for the life of me cling to belief in at 12 and 13 years old will always confound me.
What? You were 11 and not reading Origen's and Tertullian's writings? lol
When I was at the age of 17ish and had done a lot more study into scriptures and early church history than most teenagers, I became overtly skeptic. My skepticism stopped me from pursuing a life as a theologian (which is most likely a good thing), my skepticism was un-warranted and when it was placed under the microscope by Biblical scholars it was found wanting.
There was a historical Jesus He died, and He rose again, this is nearly a historical fact, well at least Jesus's followers believed 100% that He died and rose again.
Historians like N.T. Wright have wrote lengthy books defending not only the historicity of Jesus, but that the gospels do convey a relative actual story of the life of Jesus.
The works of Tommy-boy are resounding only in their omissions. The forgery of the Pericope Adulterae and the insertion of the Comma Johanneum for starters - but apologists never bring these things up when writing for an indoctrinated audience.
Apparently he considers the conflicting genealogies of Jesus to be minutiae Matthew 1:2-17 and Luke 3:23-38, as well as the fact that Mark and John don't even mention the miracle birth, a central tenet of the faith - which I cannot cite because they are not there. Hardly minutiae.
You are correct that in Mark 3:20-21 that Jesus' family seems to think he's crazy - but how can you explain Mary's actions considering she had been told by an Angel that her son was the Messiah? How could she possibly forget that encounter?
The Gospels can't even agree on Jesus' birthday. Matthew indicates that Jesus was born under the reign of Herod the Great (Matthew 2:1) and Luke says he was born while Quirinius was governor of Syria (Luke 2:2). This is impossible because Herod died in March of 4 BC and the census took place in 6 and 7 AD, about 10 years after Herod's death.
You can tout old Tommy boy as a scholar all you like, but until you can offer his explanation for these glaring 'minutiae' you might want to reconsider your sources.
Except that with the civil war you have events that were recorded by first hand witnesses, the letters written by the hands of the men who fought in the war, and reams of interviews of veterans of that war that are written, recorded on audio, and some on film. You even have photographs of the events, legal documents pertaining to declarations of war - a lot of source material to work with.
In the case of Jesus, you don't have a single first hand account of his life - mostly because there was no reason to write it down because the belief was that he would be right back, ha ha ha ha ha
So then after like 40 years or so, and no one having a clue where the disciples went, someone decided to start writing down the general folklore that was going around. It seems a few people did this.
So then after about another hundred years or so, some guys sitting in a room who never met the authors, and don't even know who the authors were in most cases, set down and evaluated a third hand collection of folklore - and EVEN THEN they had to inject a few forgeries to massage it to their purpose.