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Do the Gospels paint Jesus as a Prophet or a Cult Leader.

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Hi all :grin: (Before I start quick disclosure: I am an atheist but I am here to have an honest discussion and am not here to troll and offend anyone.)

When i read the account of Christ and I read it as a myth that was meant to be examined as testimony I imagine that instead of reading a book Luke, John, or Matthew are at the bar just telling me a story about some guy they knew. This is what a testimony is after all: a story someone tells you. If a book is written in the format of a testimony thus you must not necessarily believe the narrator at all times. Sometimes you can assume that he is lying or exaggerating things just like a stranger telling you a story at a bar would. (Sorry for the long intro but it will help the rest of this make sense... hopefully) So following this logic and using its lens to examine the bible I make 3 assumptions as I read the accounts of Christs life.

1 - Jesus is not divine and has no special powers. (ex. I've never seen a dude walk on water why would I believe a testimony that says someone saw someone do it somewhere.)

2 - No one else has special powers everyone is a human limited by the knowledge and culture of Iron Age Middle East.

3 - Jesus is corruptible just like every other person.

Now with all this in play as I go through the bible I hear a story about a Iron age Rabbi that ran an organization with lots of hall marks of a cult like abandoning families to follow a holy teacher, giving up wealth, and dedicating one entire life soul, body, and mind to the holy teacher. Further this holy teacher showed them a bunch of cheap parlor tricks. The holy teacher was so narcissistic and egocentric that anytime anything other then him comes up he tells you how unimportant it is compared to him and tells you to give up everything just to worship him and serve him.

Further he is reckless and his delusions of grandeur like thinking he is himself a god as well as his corrupt nature like soaking himself in a years wages worth of perfume in one sitting in front of a bunch of people who gave everything up to obey and follow him. The picture is clear. I do not see a wise and loving guy. I see Charles Manson or Marshall Applewhite.

Again, I am not here trying to offend anyone, I am just trying to honestly explain my thought process. (which I understand can be offensive to someone who see's Jesus as a wise teacher and personal savior but if I did not explain it we would not be able to have a discussion because you would not understand where I draw my conclusions from.) Now that I explained my thoughts, what I really want to ask is what are yours? How do you read the bible? How do you see Jesus? What do you think were his motivations and aspirations? And most importantly why do you believe these things.

My analysis lead me to make this documentary about the life of Christ where I go into detail and develop my thesis from birth to crucifixion. If you care for such a thing here is a link.

(I will warn because it is based on the biblical account of the life of Jesus there is explicit content that is violent and sexual in nature in some parts of his life's account.)
 
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Active
What bible version are you reading!

Lol.

The Jehovahs witness version?

What you do is get down on your knees and pray and God will show you He is real.
 
Member
What bible version are you reading!

Lol.

The Jehovahs witness version?
Hi Lanolin when making my film I used New International Version (NIV) to research the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

I also read this collection of literature as if they(Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) were giving me an account of what they themselves have witnessed. Like anyone who listens to a story of another I did not necessarily believe it all and scrutinized certain parts I felt exaggerated or false as well as made certain assumptions which I could safely make. This is all a lot to follow so I did my best to site the biblical verses that I am interpreting in the documentary as I interpret them so there can be a discussion because I know for a fact most people did not take away the same from the gospels and it would be interesting to hear takes other then my own and the reasoning for them.
 
Active
Ok the NIV is, in my opinion not a good translation of the Bible and I would say in some parts it actually does read like a novel, and is a version that has more similarities to what the Jehovahs witness cult believe with their NWT (new world translation) where they actually changed what the Bible said.

If you can find a KJV (King James Bible) it will be much clearer. Dont be put off by the old english language its actually a word for word translation and many christians including me trust that translation for the full Word of God..ie. nothing has been added or taken away with scripture.

God will show you through His word He can be trusted. The gospels are testimony yes. I cant read hebrew or greek, but I can read english, but make sure you choose a good translation that hasnt been diluted, cut up or watered down. Sadly there are many fake bibles floating around.
 
Member
Ok the NIV is, in my opinion not a good translation of the Bible and I would say in some parts it actually does read like a novel, and is a version that has more similarities to what the Jehovahs witness cult believe with their NWT (new world translation) where they actually changed what the Bible said.

If you can find a KJV (King James Bible) it will be much clearer. Dont be put off by the old english language its actually a word for word translation and many christians including me trust that translation for the full Word of God..ie. nothing has been added or taken away with scripture.

God will show you through His word He can be trusted. The gospels are testimony yes. I cant read hebrew or greek, but I can read english, but make sure you choose a good translation that hasnt been diluted, cut up or watered down. Sadly there are many fake bibles floating around.
I will take a look at the gospels in the King James Version when I have some time thanks for the suggestion.
 
Moderator
Staff Member
@trustyoursources
Had to delete the link.

You might think it an objective look at evaluating the Gospels, by an atheist, but in truth it is not. Impossible to do so if you go in with preconceptions of the impossibilities of something.

You're welcome to look around the site and ask your questions, but please do not add external links to items similar to what you have posted. Realize that you are not the first and won't be the last atheist to sign in to share their perspectives on the subject of Jesus.

May I suggest that you read the testimonies that each person has written in their bios. The common denominator is Jesus. You must ultimately understand or not, that the belief in Jesus the Christ comes from faith.

The variety of peoples, cultures, levels of learning should suggest to you that there is something more than what I've found most atheist believe our belief is founded and that is ignorance. So, as a Moderator here at Talk Jesus, I must ask you as politely as possible to thread carefully.

Always with the Love of Christ Jesus.
Nick
Moderator
<><
 
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Member
@trustyoursources
Had to delete the link.
The little I watched and as I stated in my response to the edit "Garbage in garbage out."

You might think it an objective look at evaluating the Gospels, by an atheist, but in truth it is not. Impossible to do so if you go in with preconceptions of the impossibilities of something.

You're welcome to look around the site and ask your questions, but please do not add external links to items similar to what you have posted. Realize that you are not the first and won't be the last atheist to sign in to share their perspectives on the subject of Jesus.

May I suggest that you read the testimonies that each person has written in their bios. The common denominator is Jesus. You must ultimately understand or not, that the belief in Jesus the Christ comes from faith.

The variety of peoples, cultures, levels of learning should suggest to you that there is something more than what I've found most atheist believe our belief is founded and that is ignorance. So, as a Moderator here at Talk Jesus, I must ask you as politely as possible to thread carefully.

Always with the Love of Christ Jesus.
Nick
Moderator
<><
If I can't lay out my claim that I spent 3 months making and siting with this message than we have no discussion. I'm sorry the video was so challenging to your world view that you had to censor it. Its unfortunate we can't just talk like adults.
 
Moderator
Staff Member
If I can't lay out my claim that I spent 3 months making and siting with this message than we have no discussion. I'm sorry the video was so challenging to your world view that you had to censor it. Its unfortunate we can't just talk like adults.
I must apologize. :-(
I should not have written what I did. You spent much time on this and that at the very least should be given some consideration.
I hope you accept my apology.
I'll also edit that part out of my post.
Nick

As to what you have provided by the link. It still cannot be allowed to stand. Hopefully, you can still attempt to make your position known by the written word.

As far as the reason. No, it was not because it challenged by world view. Not to be once again insulting, because it is not meant to be. It just lacks merit. Curious. Did you do any background in what archaeology and historical studies concerning the authenticity of the Bible, in particular the New Testament have shown?

Personal perspective is find and dandy, but one must always keep in mind that the accounts are dealing with a different day and culture. I too am horrified by accounts of sacrificing people to appease the god's and throwing babies into the streets as so much unwanted trash (Rome). We are a little more civilized, are we not?

Yet, to determine the theology of the Gospels, and Bible. In truth requires spiritual insight or at least be open to the possibility. If you are thus willing. We can carry on from there. Otherwise, we can leave it at what science as best as it can determine. Confirms Jesus existed, died, and according to the followers of the day, rose again. You might believe this, or not. Your choice/decision.

With the Love of Christ Jesus.
Nick
<><
 
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Loyal
Why are atheists threatened by something or someone "who doesn't exist"? If you truly believe He doesn't exist, what does it matter if other people
choose to believe He does? What does it hurt? Why are they threatened by the 10 commandments? Which of them would you like to do?
Murder someone? Lie to someone? Sleep with their wife? Falsely accuse them? Steal from them? What is so bad about them?
The very fact that atheists sometimes troll this site is proof that their convictions "it just doesn't matter because there is no God" aren't as strong
as they would like us to believe. If it didn't matter, you wouldn't be here.
 
Active
I dont really waste my time looking at videos that unbelievers try and claim God doesnt exist when I know for a fact He does otherwise I wouldn't be here!

You could go to Israel and try and find Jesus body and you want. Its all documented in the Bible, plus many many other historical accounts, so the argument that Jesus is a figment of someones imagination doesnt hold water! The body of Christ is actually present now in us believers.

Now I know many people have opinions about who Jesus is. This is talk Jesus after all. But us believers live by faith and we do have a relationship with Him, because we know who He is. Jesus is asking you, who do you say I am?

When Jesus lived his earthly life here, the Pharisees at the time thought mistakenly he was a cult leader, and they felt so threatened by Him that they tried to kill Him! But Jesus said my kingdom is not of this world.if it was I would ask my disciples to fight.

One of his disciples betrayed him for 30 pieces of silver, Jesus, who demonstrated miracles and healed and never sinned, was completely innocent. When Jesus was crucified on the cross he did not open his mouth or save himself, he gave his life for mankind there. His blood paid for everyones sin. The israelites did have a system, instituted by God, of paying for sin by sacrifice..and it was usually the blood of an animal. Because the wages of sin is death.

You need to read from Genesis to appreciate the whole picture of Gods story which is really HIStory. Read the bible (king James version) and ask God to show you, because you CAN talk to the Author. God has spoken through his many prophets who wrote the bible but in the last times God has spoken through his son- Jesus.

The reality is, when we believe who He is, it changes everything for us.
 
Loyal
Hi all :grin: (Before I start quick disclosure: I am an atheist but I am here to have an honest discussion and am not here to troll and offend anyone.)
Discussion, of course is possible, but a Christian start and continues his walk with God by faith. There are facts, but that facts come from God to the believer and are not directly transferable unless the hearer of the believer's testimony is also in touch with God.

"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Heb 11:6

When i read the account of Christ and I read it as a myth that was meant to be examined as testimony I imagine that instead of reading a book Luke, John, or Matthew are at the bar just telling me a story about some guy they knew. This is what a testimony is after all: a story someone tells you. If a book is written in the format of a testimony thus you must not necessarily believe the narrator at all times. Sometimes you can assume that he is lying or exaggerating things just like a stranger telling you a story at a bar would. (Sorry for the long intro but it will help the rest of this make sense... hopefully)
If you are coming to the reading of scripture with the idea that it like reading any other book or even like reading a novel it would be surprising that you come away with nothing. God wants us to approach Him, but it must be on His terms. This may offend your logic, but your logic is yours as one man. What would you suppose would be the purpose of a God if you were to believe that He existed? You have perhaps heard the expression, "my way or the highway"? If a man says that about himself and his beliefs we might well just walk away. God is really saying, however, just that: "my way or the highway". He does care that people reject His Way but He will not change for them.

So following this logic and using its lens to examine the bible I make 3 assumptions as I read the accounts of Christs life.

1 - Jesus is not divine and has no special powers. (ex. I've never seen a dude walk on water why would I believe a testimony that says someone saw someone do it somewhere.)

2 - No one else has special powers everyone is a human limited by the knowledge and culture of Iron Age Middle East.

3 - Jesus is corruptible just like every other person.
If you are really expecting someone here to prove your assumptions are wrong, you are certainly at the wrong place. The only one who can prove you are wrong is God, Himself. He provides us what He does and then we decide if we want to continue on His road or not. If we do He will help us to learn more about it and to understand it better. If we do not, we have made our choice, and that is the end for us. So then as the scripture says, "eat, drink and be merry" for that is your choice, There really is something better, but along your present road you'll not ever see it.
 

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