Why Jesus?

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ASSUME, for a moment, the person known as Yeshua/Jesus is genuine … that he was a living, breathing human who traveled the countryside and preached about Yahweh/God.

Now offer your opinion on who you think Jesus really was.

Ignore the Christian perspective that he came to “save the world.” Visualize him without all the fancy trappings of the gospel writers and Paul.

Also, for the sake of discussion, please put aside any belief you might have in the Christ myth theory. Assume that he did indeed exist.

Now offer your opinion … Why Jesus?

  • What was his role in the Abrahamic religion?
  • Why did this unknown Jew reach out to the people?
  • Did he truly see himself as the long-awaited Messiah?
  • Or was his role simply to inspire his people to honor Yahweh?

ADDENDUM

Stephen Wylen, a rabbi at Temple Beth Tikvah, Wayne, NJ, in his book, Jews in the Time of Jesus, asks:

How did the masses to whom Jesus preached understand his message? Who did he seem to be to them? Since the masses did not have a doctrine of the Christ into which they could fit Jesus, what did they think he was?

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23 thoughts on “Why Jesus?

  1. I think he was an apocalyptic preacher, of which there were many in ‘the day’. Nothing supernatural about him; that was all contrived. (by our hero, Paul) 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  2. If he existed, and that’s quite doubtful, he didn’t say a single new or original thing, and blundered terribly on basic regional history. That is to say: an ordinary man, a crisis cultist who was perhaps trying to emulate (mimic?) Simon of Peraea from 30 years earlier.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Further, there is no direct evidence that Jesus knew the story of Simon’s death and thus learned a Messiah must die to fulfill his destiny.

      (I had never heard of Simon of Peraea so did a little research.) 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • “Direct evidence”? There is no direct evidence of anything.

        I agree with John. How could this “person” be a point of departure for an entire culture without saying or doing one thing that was new. None of this makes sense. A God that required burnt animal sacrifices (He likes the smell) decides to relent on a previous policy so creates another version of himself and causes a “human” sacrifice to occur as the atoning act, something that had been banned.

        Then, we have writings that tell us that Jesus knowingly and deliberately went to Jerusalem to die and perform this function, yet the people who arranged for this to happen (and without which Christianity could never have happened), Judas and the Jewish leaders, are both excoriated for conspiring to kill their Lord and Savior. WTF? Judas and the Jewish leaders should have been recognized as heroes; they arranged for the killing without which there could be no resurrection and no new religion.

        How is it that we are fascinated by this incredibly stupid, flawed story. Mel Brooks couldn’t have written this farce.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Steve, you’re answering my question from the Bible/Christian perspective. I also refute the stuff about him being “God” in disguise … and making the trip to Jerusalem “because it was written.”

          What I’m asking is for people to put aside all this and just see him as an average Jewish man. This does require assuming he existed, and also that the stories about him going around the countryside and preaching are true.

          So, using these parameters, who do you think he was … really?

          Like

  3. And I realize this is being extremely optimistic I realize given the historical evidence, but if he did exist then I would say he was a charismatic man from the ranks of the poor and oppressed who tried to get people to do something for themselves rather than being lost in Hebrew rituals waiting for a messiah. So I guess more like Brian, in Life of Brian who is like yelling at the people “You don’t need anybody! You’re all individuals! You can do things for yourself!”. Many religious movements are in fact borne out of old religions in which people have become overly ritualistic and wait for divine intervention instead of coming to the realization that things don’t actually change unless you do something yourself!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I’ve come to believe no real “Jesus” ever existed. However, if he did, then I believe he was an apocalyptic preacher who preached solely to Jews about the coming of his father’s kingdom to earth. This upset the Romans, can’t have another kingdom on earth beside theirs now, can we, and they crucified him. The rest, as they say is myth building.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. whoever the ‘base’ person was (if at all), he was an utter and complete failure and got himself, and possibly others following him, killed for inciting sedition. doesn’t really matter who ‘the real jesus’ was. think… david koresh.
    -KIA

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “Now offer your opinion… Why Jesus?

    – What was his role in the Abrahamic religion?
    – Why did this unknown Jew reach out to the people?
    – Did he truly see himself as the long-awaited Messiah?
    – Or was his role simply to inspire his people to honor Yahweh?”

    Well, not being able to use traditional Christian or Judeo-Christian sources/texts does indeed make answering those 4 questions VERY challenging! Why? John Zande has already touched on it: WHICH Messiah/Christ are you referring to that IS recorded in non-Christian records? That should be established first because Simon of Peraea and Anthronges came before Yeshua, then four others after Yeshua’s death. What is easily inferred from many claimants is that Messianic fervor was very well known for centuries AND his purpose then was not unique — which explains why so many people, including the disciples were never quite sure WHO he was supposed to be exactly. There were many various ‘fragmented’ sects within 2nd century CE Judaism, similar to today’s 30,000 different Xian denominations, that had different definitions of Messiahship too; i.e. no uniformity. This sort of addresses your questions #1 and #3.

    Question #2 — This question can be addressed from a plethora of different angles, too many to list here. However, one the more plausible ones I’ve examined was… due to the geographical location of Judea — between the Orient (Silk Road) and Europe, and the hunger/appeal Rome had for foreign goods, etc. — many Middle Eastern and Far Eastern philosophies & religions naturally made their way in and out of Judea/Jerusalem. Several of the different Jewish sects were very open to new foreign ideas & interpretations of spiritual matters. Several of the Arabian-Persian and Oriental religions ALSO had “suffering” Messiah stories/legends bringing unity (a heaven) onto Earth and salvation from enemies.

    Question #4 — Inspiring the people to honor Yahweh/God was very popular in town squares and market-forums. Prophetic admonishments were a dime-a-dozen everywhere because of Rome’s oppression at the time and the many exiles of the Hebrews throughout their history… made for desparate methods to make it happen quick! One such way was certainly honoring “better” and pleasing Him more in order to quicken His promises.

    Now, if one was to STRICTLY use the well-known theologies of all the “Early Church Fathers“, then Nan you’d receive all the usual part-and-parcel answers to those questions… because by 325 CE after the First Nicean Counsel had adjourned, most any other exegesis of Yeshua’s life & teachings not inline with Nicea were hunted down and destroyed… or at least Constantine I, his bishops, and their military Comitatenses and Auxillaries THOUGHT they had destroyed all the non-Canonical (heretical) stories/testaments.

    Today, with the extensive repository of Roman records along with non-Roman and non-Christian records, we know an exceptional amount of compelling facts painting more accurate pictures about 2nd – 4th century CE Jerusalem & Judea due to those incredible alternative texts of the time, for example beginning with the Dead Sea Scrolls.

    Does that help or confuse Nan? 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for a VERY comprehensive response! I really wasn’t expecting so much information, but do appreciate it.

      If/when I get a few more responses, I’ll offer my perspective.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I get the feeling Jesus was the modern equivalent of a homeless guy pushing a shopping cart around the city. Disturbed enough to talk to his invisible friends. Smart enough to run the con. And too stupid to know when to shut the hell up.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Jesus would have been one of many people preaching a personalized version of Judaism. From what I understand of the period, they were all over the place. That’s why it’s not a big deal if Jesus really existed or not. Really, it wasn’t until literate Roman citizens got hold of things that it really took off.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m imagining him as an earlier version of Harold Camping. A crazy preacher proclaiming that the end of the world is at hand, and a few followers abandoning their lives to follow. Except that Yeshua and his followers posed enough of a threat of a violent uprising to get him arrested and executed. (Did you notice the “Put away your sword, Peter” line in the bible? Why was Peter even carrying a sword? Why would the peaceful followers of “gentle Jesus, meek and mild” be armed?)

    Good thing we never executed Camping, or his followers might have started a new religion too!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. If Leroy/Bobbie is trying to sneak in AGAIN under an assumed name, I think he’ll eventually be found out as he has problems taking criticism of his ideas.

    Like

  11. NOTICE to LeRoy, Bobbie, Bobby, Cindy, or whatever other name you decide to use — I will continue to ban you and remove your comments. It doesn’t matter WHAT you have to say, you lost your privileges to post on this blog and this is not going to change.

    Liked by 1 person

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