The Credibility of Christianity

I know I’ve been a bit lax in posting lately. The reasons are several so I won’t elaborate.

Nonetheless,  to keep things moving along —and stir up the Christians 😈– I thought I’d share a comment I made on another blog.

Christianity is nothing more than a BELIEF in events that were recorded in a book by essentially unknown individuals. Qualified modern-day archeologists have demonstrated time and again that many of the recorded events never took place. Further, no one to date has been able to provide validated and/or authentic evidence of any god, let alone the god of the bible.

In my opinion, that pretty much sums up the credibility of Christianity. However, there are a “few” individuals who seem to disagree. Why this is so, I have no idea since the logic is there … is it not?

Jesus’ Temper Tantrum


On another blog, a reference was made to the Jeffersonian Bible. Having never really looked into this version of the “Holy Word,” I googled a PDF version and perused a few lines. While I admit I haven’t finished it, something jumped off the page at me at the very beginning.

The following passage supposedly takes place shortly after Jesus has been baptized by John:

And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
30 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and
doves, and the changers of money sitting:
31 And when he had made a scourge of cords, he drove them all
out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured
out the changers’ coins, and overthrew their tables;
32 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence;
make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.

I’m sure many bible readers are familiar with this event and probably haven’t given it much thought. However, as I read it something puzzling occurred to me. Up to this point, Jesus was just another Jew, right? He didn’t have any special designation as a Jewish priest or any other position of repute.

So what gave him the authority to create this havoc in the temple?  Although he did refer to Jewish scripture related to the temple being a house of prayer, this hardly provided justification for his actions. Bottom line is that he was nothing more than an irate Jew who let his temper get the best of him.

Of course, Christians will say that it was John’s “baptism” that suddenly turned Jesus into a mini-god and he now possessed “godly” authority. But in fact, the use of the Jewish mikvah was primarily “a ritual purification and cleansing bath that Orthodox Jews [took] on certain occasions (as before Sabbath or after menstruation).” It didn’t magically turn any of the participants into some kind of god.

So when I considered the actual circumstances in place, it seemed to me that Jesus didn’t have ANY authority to do what he did.

But of course, no one nowadays reads the scriptures as written. Instead, they read the “interpretations” offered by individuals who seem to think they have an inside track on understanding what was happening over 2,000 years ago. So surely, I’m just misinformed, right?

Paul’s Success Story?

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This post was prompted by a Believer who made the following blog comment … “The Christ Jesus preached didn’t force himself on anyone…” My immediate response was wait! Jesus didn’t “preach” Christ, he WAS the Christ (at least according to the bible).

It was then I decided to write this post and share a segment from my book (see my blog Menu) related to why the title “Christ” happened to be tagged onto this Jewish guy who wandered the Israeli countryside. It’s from Chapter 4, “Paul: A Man with a Mission”:

Jesus’ Makeover

To the followers of “the Way,” Jesus was the human messiah God had promised. Although they were devastated after his untimely death, the reported after-death sightings revived their hopes and convinced them he would soon return to set up God’s Kingdom.

To the mystery followers, Jesus was nothing more than a Jewish spiritual leader. His death was a mere blip on their radar. Their spiritual hopes for salvation and immortality rested in the mystical connections they formed with their various god-men. Knowing this, Paul began his crusade to reinvent Jesus and convince the Gentiles they could find what they were seeking in the resurrected man from Galilee.

What’s in a Name?

Drawing from his Greek leanings, Paul began referring to Jesus as the christos (Christ), thereby removing the Hebrew title of mashiach (messiah). Although both words mean “anointed one,” the use of the Greek title was more familiar to his intended converts and removed any reference to Jesus’ “Jewishness.” Some sources say christos also held the meaning of “one who is crowned with divinity.”

Paul also knew the mystery religion followers referred to their deities as kurios (“lord” in Greek), so he further assisted his cause by frequently using this title when he talked about Jesus (Lord Jesus Christ, Christ Jesus our Lord).

Bottom line is this: Yeshua was an itinerant preacher who came for the “lost sheep of the house of Israel” in hopes of returning them to the true worship of Yahweh. Nothing more. That is … until Paul had his “remarkable” vision and gave him the title of “the Christ” in order to reach the mystery followers.

Who were these “mystery followers”? Again, from my book:

In the centuries leading up to the birth of Christianity, various “Mystery Religions” spread and flourished throughout the ancient Mediterranean world.

At the core of these mystery religions was the belief in a dying-rising savior who sacrificed himself in order to give his followers eternal life. He was usually the offspring of a divine-human union and nearly always possessed special powers, including the ability to work miracles. After death, he either returned to life or triumphed over his enemies. (Remember, these religions were in place before Christianity.)

Not all Gentiles were a part of this mystery religion movement, but many of them were; in fact, enough of them that it behooved Paul to appeal to them in his efforts to conceive a new and acceptable version of that Jewish fellow known as Yeshua.

Did he succeed? I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Just Believe?


On Steve’s blog , he recently wrote a post entitled “Just Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Master and . . . Wait.” In response, “grouchyfarmer” commented … and I responded.

grouchyfarmer: The whole “saved by faith alone” thing was always so diametrically opposed to what Jesus actually taught that I always had difficulty understanding how anybody bought into that idea. As the verse from Matthew specifically states you are judged by what you do, not by what you believe, or at least not just by what you believe.

Me: I think you hit the proverbial nail, GF. In today’s Christian world it is ALL about “belief.” You must “believe” to be saved and you must maintain that “belief” throughout the rest of your life or be condemned to a fiery hell. The ACTIONS Jesus said should go along with that “belief” are, for the most part, conveniently ignored in the believer’s rush to teach others to .. you guessed it … believe.

As many of us are more than abundantly aware, the common response from Christians to the misfortunes of others is to send “thoughts and prayers.” (This is not to discount the religious organizations that truly provide help and assistance to those in need, but in this instance, I’m referring to individuals.) Yet all throughout the bible are teachings that tell God’s people to take care of others through ACTIONS …

Feed the hungry … Give drink to the thirsty … Clothe the naked … Care for the sick

More frequently, however, we instead find believers using the power of WORDS to reach others for their Christ: witnessing, preaching, blogging, writing books, etc.

One wonders … have they forgotten that very clear scripture in gMatthew where the writer talks about what it will take to “inherit the kingdom”:

Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,  I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 

And to take it a step further, what about the admonition from John in the Book of Revelation:

Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done.

Instead, it seems many believers rely more on the words of Paul in the book of Ephesians:

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

There’s no argument that in today’s world it is difficult to find the time to help others, yet based on the book that believers follow, this is exactly what Jesus taught.

Of course, for those of us who have no interest in the teachings of Jesus (or any other religious guru), our efforts towards helping others are not prompted by religious beliefs. We do it because it’s the human thing to do.