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Can Jesus Be Non-Miraculous?

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  • Can Jesus Be Non-Miraculous?

    Can we eliminate the miracles from Jesus?

    -----------

    Is it really possible to remove the miraculous element from Jesus? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

    Jesus is the figure that stands out in all of history. It’s really hard at times to find someone who has a bad word to say about Jesus, even from a non-Christian persepctive. Such does exist, but even a negative word is still there in an abundance of praises for his teachings and character.

    However, is there any reason these should stand out? Jesus was a great moral teacher. As Lewis said, we have had enough of those. We didn’t listen to them. Why listen to Jesus? Our world right now shows us that we are not.

    New Testament scholars often seek to go through the New Testament and separate the fact from the fiction. What is true about Jesus in this? Can we move past all this miraculous stuff such as the miracles that He did and the idea that He was God or some divine being of some kind? Surely that stuff got added on later.

    The moment you say this, you have to ask why it was added on. First off, why was He crucified? I find many a New Testament scholar who presents a case for how Jesus lived gives me no reason to think He would ever be crucified. Their Jesus is more akin to a Mr. Rogers figure. Adolf Harnack used to say Jesus was teaching about ideas like the brotherhood of all men. Okay. Why would this Jesus be a threat to anyone? Not only is He not a threat, He’s not someone you would give the worst death sentence of all to.

    The disciples were convinced He rose from the dead? Why? Even assuming He had risen from the dead, is there any reason for them to say “Jesus rose from the dead! He is the Son of God, Messiah, and God Himself!?” No one ever thought that before in Judaism about anyone they thought came back from the dead. Even if the Jews were convinced Moses came back from the dead, would they say such a thing about him?

    There is a simple explanation for why they believed such things. Jesus said and indicated such about Himself. Of course, this is the claim the liberal New Testament scholar does not want to admit at all. It wouldn’t be rational to think something like that after all!

    So the attempt is made to remove those miraculous elements again and yet even still, Jesus is hard to escape. Jesus makes grandiose claims about Himself. In the Q document, which has never been found and is purely hypothetical, you can still see Jesus speaking about the house built on the rock. Where does this put His view of Himself? “If you hear my words and obey them, you are a wise man.” Nothing about God in there. The very Sermon on the Mount is filled with this high view. Jesus speaks of what we call the Old Testament quoting it and then saying “But I say to you.” These are the Ten Commandments sometimes, the ones written by the finger of God, and Jesus is attempting by His own authority to speak even stronger than they are? Who does He think He is?

    Despite this, we look at these claims that Jesus makes about Himself and say “Isn’t He the picture of humility?” If what He says about Himself is true, then He can be, but if it isn’t, Jesus is certainly suffering from delusions of grandeur. Jesus is the greatest narcissist who ever lived in that case. There is a real condition known as Jerusalem Syndrome where someone goes to Israel and becomes convinced they’re the Messiah. We know immediately such people are insane to that extent at least. Do we think that about Jesus? There are many ideas of who the historical Jesus was. I have not seen a New Testament scholar arguing for “Insane lunatic.”

    Not only this, but we have the ethical teachings of Jesus and these are not the teachings of someone who is insane. Most everything about Jesus shows a well-balanced individual. At the same time, this individual never asks for help, never apologizes, never admits a wrong, etc. Some of you may recognize shades of Tom Gilson’s Too Good To Be False in here, which is influential, but I’m also talking about the miracle aspect as well. I definitely urge you to read that book on the character of Jesus.

    Assuming this figure is somehow made up as the mythicists would like us to think, who did this making up? This puts us in an even more difficult position in many ways. People who foisted a lie on the world also gave an immensely brilliant ethical system if not the greatest one of all?

    Some could say it’s not that hard to create a Jesus, such as Lewis’s Aslan as an example, but the difference is Lewis had a model to work with. That is the Jesus who is already in the New Testament. Anyone who did this originally did not have such a model. Whoever could create this figure would be someone practically worthy of worship himself or themselves.

    Notice in all of this, I have not once argued that the text we have is perfectly reliable or accurate. I have no need to. I am asking even to go with the data that will be granted by skeptical scholars. If we take all of this still, can we present a coherent picture of Jesus? Can we explain His teaching, His crucifixion, what claims did He make about Himself, and why the belief He rose again?

    I seriously urge skeptics of Christianity to try to do so.

    In Christ,
    Nick Peters
    (And I affirm the virgin birth)
    Is it really possible to remove the miraculous element from Jesus? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out. Jesus is the figure that stands out in all of history. It’s really hard at times to find someone who has a bad word to say about Jesus, even from a non-Christian persepctive. Such does … Continue reading Can Jesus Be Non-Miraculous?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
    Can we eliminate the miracles from Jesus?
    Performing miraculous deeds and the belief in magical practises were hardly uncommon in the ancient world and formed part of the contemporary context.. Hence Jesus was regarded as a wonder-worker.

    Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
    Can we explain His teaching
    Charismatic Judaism, which also included those who could perform distance healing.

    Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
    , His crucifixion
    For being acclaimed as, or claiming to be, the Jewish Messiah which was a capital offence. Only Rome had the power to appoint kings.

    Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
    what claims did He make about Himself
    We have no idea as the man himself left no attested written account of his teachings.

    Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
    , and why the belief He rose again?
    Pauline soteriology. For Paul there could be no salvation without the resurrection.

    Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
    I seriously urge skeptics of Christianity to try to do so.
    I have never denied that a man existed who was executed by Rome. Such Messianic figures were hardly unknown in the region at this period.

    However, how far that real man is reflected in the various figures of Jesus we find in the four canonical gospels [or indeed in the Christian apocryphal texts] can [unless new evidence comes to light] never be known.

    "It ain't necessarily so
    The things that you're liable
    To read in the Bible
    It ain't necessarily so
    ."

    Sportin' Life
    Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

      However, how far that real man is reflected in the various figures of Jesus we find in the four canonical gospels [or indeed in the Christian apocryphal texts] can [unless new evidence comes to light] never be known.
      If by chance some document from that period were to be discovered that verified what was stated in the Gospels as well as the various epistles, I have no doubt you would just hand wave it off like everything else and just add it to your list of things that you claim need to be verified. And if we found mention of it in yet another document, you would merely insist that too needs to be verified.

      I'm always still in trouble again

      "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
      "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
      "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
        If by chance some document from that period were to be discovered that verified what was stated in the Gospels as well as the various epistles, I have no doubt you would just hand wave it off like everything else and just add it to your list of things that you claim need to be verified. And if we found mention of it in yet another document, you would merely insist that too needs to be verified.
        Clearly living in rogue06 world must be so simple.
        "It ain't necessarily so
        The things that you're liable
        To read in the Bible
        It ain't necessarily so
        ."

        Sportin' Life
        Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

          Clearly living in rogue06 world must be so simple.
          Truth tends to be far less complex than continuing to navigate through a web of lies.

          I'm always still in trouble again

          "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
          "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
          "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
            Truth tends to be far less complex than continuing to navigate through a web of lies.
            You confuse your assumptions with what you consider to be "truth".
            "It ain't necessarily so
            The things that you're liable
            To read in the Bible
            It ain't necessarily so
            ."

            Sportin' Life
            Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

              You confuse your assumptions with what you consider to be "truth".
              You construct a scaffolding of mutually contradictory beliefs to validate your view and you accuse me of being the one who confuses my assumptions with what I consider to be the truth?

              I'm always still in trouble again

              "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
              "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
              "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                You construct a scaffolding of mutually contradictory beliefs to validate your view and you accuse me of being the one who confuses my assumptions with what I consider to be the truth?


                I have constructed nothing. I addressed various comments by the thread starter.
                "It ain't necessarily so
                The things that you're liable
                To read in the Bible
                It ain't necessarily so
                ."

                Sportin' Life
                Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

                  I have constructed nothing. I addressed various comments by the thread starter.


                  You aren't as ignorant as to not realize I'm alluding to your posting history and your reputation and not referring exclusively to what you've posted in this thread.

                  I'm always still in trouble again

                  "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                  "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                  "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rogue06 View Post


                    You aren't as ignorant as to not realize I'm alluding to your posting history and your reputation and not referring exclusively to what you've posted in this thread.
                    No.

                    I am not as ignorant on certain matters as you are.

                    However, if your post was concerned with what you contend, you were attempting to derail this thread as it was/is not about my posting history.
                    "It ain't necessarily so
                    The things that you're liable
                    To read in the Bible
                    It ain't necessarily so
                    ."

                    Sportin' Life
                    Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                    Comment

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