Sunday, June 5, 2011

Notable Quotable

TGBaker has been posting some interesting information at Debunking Christianity.  I copied this comment and I also put in 2 links to two articles.  Although I have read a lot of information on the history of the Bible and Christianity and much of the information he is giving isn't really new to me, his style of writing is straight forward and He manages to say what he wants to say with a minimal amount of words.  He also defines some of the words right there in the text since some of the words used in theology and biblical scholarship are kind of confusing.

What I am saying is that TG has given me a fresh and concise way to process the vast amounts of information available on the topic of Christianity and the Bible.  I appreciate this.

I think we have enough evidence to determine a historical figure was the initial cause of the movement that became Christianity. One might go so far as to say that John the Baptist really started it but was prematurely stopped by a beheading.  Much more becomes hypothetical. Many of us from a historical critical perspective think that Jesus and John taught the immanent end of the world  and the coming of God's Kingdom. The historical scholars that have aligned with the Jesus movement tend to think even that was an addition by the early followers. 

To answer your former question Paul states really very little historical about Jesus. I think that we see that rumor of Jesus had an effect upon the Jewish community that lived outside of Jerusalem from Northern Palestine, to Southern Syria, Northern Syria, Greece/Asia Minor and finally to Rome. These stories in turn held the interest of the non-Jewish Hellenistic population( Gentiles). There were a  lot of similar stories in the mystery religions but it was the story of Jesus that gave those type of stories an earthly and historical dimension.  That was about all Paul used.  So in a large sense yes it matters that it was a historical character because it explains  how the reinterpretation of a normal earthly event integrated into a mystery religion motif. It also explains how Judaism filtered into this type of myth. This as some view it changed the Hellenistic idea of cyclical time into linear time which has been a major influence in Western thought and reasoning

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