What do you think of Jesus the man? His philosophies? Do you think that the Bible represents his teachings coherently, or do you think their own two cents were dropped in as word-in-his-mouth?

Do you think he had a sense of humor? That he had a normal childhood? Where did he go during his lost years?

It's funny. Reading Lamb, by Christopher Moore, for the second time, I came to wonder what Jesus really DID do during his missing years. Even as an Atheist I am sure that Jesus was a real person-- not a special person, just a philosopher, a teacher, more than likely. So this is based on that assumption that he may have been a real man, regardless of whether one believes he's the Messiah or not.

Well, I decided to do some research, and it turns out that Christopher may not have been far off in his story about Jesus traveling to the East.

http://reluctant-messenger.com/issa.htm

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-davids/jesus-lost-years-may-fina...

http://www.otherplane.com/am/amselene.htm

There's a strong theory that asserts he went to India and Tibet during his eighteen unrecorded years. I think I can see strong influence of Taoist philosophy in his teaching, so this isn't far fetched at all to me personally.

I'm curious to see how many Atheists believe Jesus was a historical figure at the least.

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Hi Ava,

I'm going to assume Jesus was an actual man and that the words attributed to him are a reasonable facsimile to words he actually spoke.

As I see it, Jesus presented the world with a radical shift from Judaism. I'm not clear on whether or not prior wisdom cults accentuated love, long-suffering and forgiveness like Jesus did. I do know that resurrection, redemption, and a final battle between good and evil were older themes in other religions.

The Bible is not consistent in it's presentation of Jesus. Jesus acquired more god-like traits with successive additions to his legend. The Bible was, however, consistent on Jesus as a serious man. There's no indication that he had a sense of humor. However, he allegedly experienced humanity in its full (I don't know how he did that if he is without "sin"), so that would include a sense of humor.

I'm not sure that Jesus really had missing years. I think his birth and childhood stories are myths and that, at most, the Bible reports the person of Jesus only after he was an adult of about 30 years old.
@ Atheist Exile: You say: "As I see it, Jesus presented the world with a radical shift from Judaism." One must be careful here because in the new testament Matthew 5:17 Jesus said (or Rabbi Yeshua as we should probably be calling him): "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." -In other words many people believe he was saying, I come not to present to the world a radical shift from Judaism but rather to make sure all its laws and teachings become reality.
Well, the 'lost years' are supposed to occur between the myths of his childhood and his adulthood. The fact is, his childhood IS mostly accounted for-- it's simply left out of the Bible when the books were compiled, because it indicated that Jesus would perform very queer 'miracles' as a child such as killing and reviving animals, and things that were not considered Messiah-worthy acts. He was also said to have hit another child or something? It's been many years. But I do know that Moore fictionalizes/dramatizes some of these stories into the body of his tale of Jesus and includes them as an objective truth for humor sake. But after that, and before his 30's, there is no accounting for where he went or why he's not written about during the would-be most important years of his life (when he decides to pursue being the Messiah, when he learns 'how to be one'. . . as Moore puts it).
I think a fair amount of people in this thread/discussion have gone COMPLETELY off-topic, which I would just like to say now that I think everyone should stick to the topic at hand which shows respect to the thread author.

With that aside I think it would be completely and utterly asinine for anyone to say with 100% certainty that Jesus was "not" a real man. He very well could have been a preacher/teacher of some degree. There is evidence that points toward the possibility that he didn't exist, there is evidence that points toward the possibility that he did exist (as a man, not a messiah). So, with the knowledge that not a single damn one of us were there to confirm or deny ANY evidence. It would be ignorant to consider his "existence" an impossibility.

From there, honestly, anything and everything he could have possibly done is pure speculation.

Now, in my personal opinion. I believe that any influence in the bible from India or Tibet, came from whoever the writers of the bible were, and their experiences with those places. Not Jesus Christ, if he actually existed.
I like your point about confusing opinion with fact, paragon. My grandmother used to say, "If you can't tell an opinion from a fact, then you can't know anything!".
Yeah, I apologize for that. I actually meant for the title to be listed as it is now, but it wasn't coming to my head as briefly written when I created the discussion. Brain block.
First, I have to say that Lamb is one of my favorite books. Christopher Moore is a genius, and I aspire to be as loyal a friend to someone as Biff was to Joshua (though perhaps without the jumping-off-a-cliff bit.)

That said, I would like to think that Jesus is a real person. While the scriptures may not be an accurate account of one man's life, I like to hope that maybe there was an extraordinary person who preached love, kindness and forgiveness and was as selfless as the Biblical man was made out to be.

Personally, I'd find it even more inspiring if he were just an ordinary man who managed to bring about so much change through living a good life rather than some divine being who always knew he was going to paradise anyway. Living his life, just as unsure as the rest of us, yet brave enough to stand up and be the change he wanted to see in his world. That > Jewish Zombie any day.

As a man, I'm sure he'd have a sense of humor. Maybe a good one, maybe not. It'd be great if he were like Christopher Moore's Joshua, wouldn't it? "Just f*ckin' with ya..." and Jew-do, hah!

As for historical evidence, I've read many books on both sides of the argument and I simply have not found any convincing argument that Jesus Christ is anything other than a myth. Most likely he was created as an example to use in stories and writing that were then taught to the masses and eventually became a legend, kind of like Santa Claus.

It'd still be awesome if he were just some guy who decided to do a bunch of awesome stuff, though. :-)

-Tera
Haha, 'as good a friend as Biff was to Joshua' . . . suffering the onslaught of prostitutes in animal stalls so that he can understand sin. So self sacrificing. ;)
Jesus merely stole the story of Krishna-- to the letter.
The only record of his own words are in the Gospel of Thomas and those sayings aren't very deep or intelligent.
When the shit hit the fan and Simon was crucified in Jesus' place, Jesus split the region and went to Kashmir.
Yes, my sources are three documentaries:

The Hidden Story of Jesus by Robert Beckford [theologian] -- it's on YouTube
Who Wrote the Bible by Robert Beckford -- also on YouTube
Religulous by Bill Maher

I recently started making a spreadsheet where I list all the aspects of Jesus and the other major prophets/gods in question. I don't have complete information on all of them but so far the strongest correlation is between Jesus and Krishna (also known as Krista in some dialects).

I'll post the spreadsheet online in a few days.
There are many parallels between the Jesus story and a host of deity legends from other cultures, too. The Egyptian story of Horus for example is quite similar, as is the tale of Dionysis and that of Krishna and also about half a dozen others.

It's quite likely that the Jesus myth was taken from one or more of these older tales and adapted to fit the "messiah" that the Jewish tradition is waiting for.

-Tera
Yes, but it's said that Jesus went to India during his missing years and the Krishna correlation appears to be strongest (so far). You'll see when I post a link to my spreadsheet that compares the prophets.

I like the flaming red hair in your mini-photo by the way. It's a good hue.

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