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12 Responses

  1. David Waters says:

    Spot on!

  2. Ducatihero says:

    I think Neitzche would agree with you with his phrase “God is dead” meaning society and church for the most part acting as if God is dead.

    So Jesus, once a stumbling block for the Jews (“cursed is he who hangs on tree”) another time a cornerstone for Christianity now for the most part being seen as a “good moral teacher” by religious and secular alike but not enough for anything significantly life transforming. At worst someone in need of being silenced?

    Hey wasn’t that what happened with both the secular and religious in the account of the gospels?

  3. Bernardo says:

    Poor, poor, over-hyped Jesus?. Or was he simply a Jewish rabble-rouser who violated Roman law once too often and they hung him on a tree for his transgressions? The latter works historically as said Jesus as per one famous religious historian: “the body of Jesus very possibly would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones. “

  4. Sabio Lantz says:

    Nicely done, David.
    This happened with Gandhi, Marx, Jefferson and many more.
    We stumble, idealize, mythologize and more.
    And smart folks see how to abuse our stupidity.

    BTW, I made this graphic in reply to your “I believe in Good” T-shirt –>> This use of Jesus is similar to my picture showing the theist theif absconding of the “O” in “Good”.

  5. Ducatihero says:

    “a Jewish rabble-rouser who violated Roman law once too often” wouldn’t concur with the account of Pilate finding nothing wrong with what Jesus had done. “over-hyped Jesus?” If he was over hyped then why would he continue to have followers today? It would make more sense for him to retreat to distant memory historically like some tired has been rock star if he had been over hyped.

    What does make sense is to think of him either as some elaborate con man that has somehow mysteriously deluded a significant proportion of humanity through the ages or as being who he said he was.

  6. Caryn LeMur says:

    Although I do a lot of analysis and reasoning, I am primarily a ‘mystic’ believer. That is, I believe because I encountered something years ago… and continue to encounter something to this day.

    So, to me, Jesus is still the Cornerstone .

    But … I have an advantage of being employed outside of the church institution… and having no great driving need for that institution. So, he is not a ‘stepping stone’ for me.

    I recall when I enlisted in the military years ago. Many young men and women found themselves in a new country (or state-side location), away from all parental or church constraints. Jesus was neither a stepping stone nor a cornerstone.

    But we were free. And young. And some of us re-embraced Jesus years later, as our cornerstone.

    Others did not.

    Each person determines how to handle the ‘stone’ called Jesus. May they all have peace on their journey.

  7. Bernardo says:

    “My best historical reconstruction would be something like this. Jesus was arrested during the Passover festival, most likely in response to his action in the Temple. Those who were closest to him ran away for their own safety.

    I do not presume that there were any high-level confrontations between Caiaphas and Pilate and Herod Antipas either about Jesus or with Jesus. No doubt they would have agreed before the festival that fast action was to be taken against any disturbance and that a few examples by crucifixion might be especially useful at the outset. And I doubt very much if Jewish police or Roman soldiers needed to go too far up the chain of command in handling a Galilean peasant like Jesus. It is hard for us to imagine the casual brutality with which Jesus was probably taken and executed. All those “last week” details in our gospels, as distinct from the brute facts just mentioned, are prophecy turned into history, rather than history remembered.”

    Professor JD Crossan’s take on the Roman way of doing things i.e. Pilate never dealt directly with rabble-rousers. They were simply captured and executed. .

  8. Ducatihero says:

    Barnardo, I hear that your take on it is Jesus being arrested during the Passover festival due to his driving money changers out of the temple without any confrontation with Pilate, Caiaphas or Herod and Jesus.

    That you perceive there would be “fast action” within Jewish “police” or Roman “soldiers” in a lower chain of command for execution of this “peasant” “rabble rouser” by crucifixion.

    Therefore that you perceive it unlikely that there was an encounter with Pilate not finding Jesus guilty of anything and would reject the gospel account of this event.

    That’s interesting – I haven’t go any thoughts on this at the moment but I might come back with something sometime.

    The only think I might ponder is if what you propose is true then why would Jesus have had so much influence over so many people following him throughout history? If he was just some peasant guy that took exception to the temple being used as a market place why would he have had so much influence? Why would he not have been dismissed by history as either mad or a common criminal?

  9. Bernardo says:


    Why you asked:

    Paul of Taurus was first of the “necessary accessories”. He recognized early on the great wealth of Roman and Greek Gentiles so he wrote his epistles raising Jesus and his embellished life from the dead and the Gentiles “ate it up”. His promise of the imminent second coming was shear brilliance in gathering much silver and gold (the prime necessary accessory). The Romans got jealous ending the life of the first necessary accessory.

    Pilate, although not the founder of Christianity, was another “necessary accessory i.e. he could have easily sent Jesus to the salt mines.

    M, M, L, and J did added embellishing raising a simple preacher man to deity status.

    Constantine and his swords finished the “necessary accessory” scenario.

  10. Ducatihero says:


    Yes I did ask if (as you claim) he was treated as common criminal why history does not remember hum as such or mad.

    You say of Pilate “he could have easily sent Jesus to the salt mines.” Before you commented “I do not presume that there were any high-level confrontations between Caiaphas and Pilate and Herod Antipas either about Jesus or with Jesus.” So – do you think Pilate was involved now?

    From what you say, either Jesus was treated as common criminal and / or mad – crucified without a meeting with Herod Caiaphas and Pilate or there was something more significant happening that warranted his meeting with these most powerful figures of the time.

    History would seem to concur with the latter.

  11. Caryn LeMur says:

    Although Bernardo is leaning towards Crossan’s view, it is good to remember that Corssan was a member of the “Jesus Seminar”.

    The Jesus Seminar, in turn, was a collection of noted scholars, and a number of unknowns. They voted, and then produced a weighted average (so, it was not ‘majority wins’, but rather ‘based on the vote, the weighted average is 2.7’).

    A good summary of the Jesus Seminar is here, with criticisms:

    Crossan is, of course, not the first person to try to understand/define the Historical Jesus.

    I found a great introduction to the various approaches here:

    I think it is good to remember that the scholars (or authors) greatly disagree over the dominant methodology for determining the historical Jesus. Crossan’s ‘strata’, and his leaning towards the Gospel of Peter as being the core gospel, is just one of many approaches.