Was Jesus “The One”?

One thing that has perplexed me is how Jesus came to be regarded as the one true God. When I was young I just accepted that as fact because I did not possess the intellectual capabilities to question things I was told by people who were supposed to lead me. Now I am a student of ancient history and after some research I found out that Jesus was not the only person during the first century to be claiming they were the Messiah. In the words of Michael Shermer “There was a plague of Messiahs.” This only raised more questions: why don’t we know about any of these other people? How did Jesus rise to the top of the charts? Did Jesus appeal to ancient people more than these other prophets? What if Jesus was the wrong choice? I have a few more questions, but I’ll leave it with the ones I already have. I have some thoughts about these questions but the reason that I throw them out to the public is I really want to hear what others think about it because I could be wrong.
Lets look at the first question (we’ll call (1)): I don’t think we know about these other prophets because they were prophets to a dead religion, or just didn’t have as many followers. I think that the fact that these people must not have had as many followers answers (2). Let us not forget that Jesus was a Jew, and Judaism is not only an ancient religion, but one that has survived and became a predominant religion today. To answer (3) I think we would have to look at the popularity of the Jewish religion during the first century. Then we would have to see how many Jews recognized Jesus as the son of God. I think in this case there was a small following of Jesus, however his message of love and kindness appealed to people more. George Carlin said that someone’s popularity skyrockets after they die, and I think this is true. The thing that happened with Jesus is not what he did, but what his followers did. They were essentially transcontinental Jehovah’s Witnesses. For example, the Romans who were putting Jesus to death (a few of them) were influenced by Jesus’ teachings and converted. A little way down the road (during the Middle Ages) more specifically, the 1300s when Spanish and Portuguese missionaries went to Japan to try and convert the Japanese. The Middle Eastern Jews and Christians also passed on their beliefs down the Silk Roads (which if anyone is interested in learning about the spread of ideas should read all they can. The Silk Roads are extremely important and interesting) to India, China, and Korea. Hopefully you are still following me, it looks like I got off topic a little, but in a good way I think 🙂 Moving on to (4) which I think is the most difficult question to answer. What if Jesus was the wrong choice? It sounds a little ridiculous, but I think it is important. Lets look at a prophet who was known for: preaching to his followers, healing the sick, walking through walls/buildings, being tried and crucified by the Roman court, resurrected where his followers saw him again. Sound like Jesus? Well it’s not, these are all things attributed to Apollonius of Tyana. This is probably the first you have heard of this man, but don’t be surprised not many people have. To be honest, knowing how many people were claiming to be the Messiah fills me with doubt about the choice of Jesus as the one true messiah.
Please leave your comments, concerns, questions, anything you want to say really 🙂

Advertisements

25 thoughts on “Was Jesus “The One”?

  1. My only concern is that you would follow a skeptic with a questionable family history, with no religious upbringing, and think that he knows what he is writing about.

    Why not study the history for yourself and make your own conclusions? Why follow a skeptic who’s job is to be a skeptic? Some skeptics tend to be people who are hurting, but are unable or refuse to get help. Instead, help yourself! 🙂

    • Well why would family history be a factor against the person? Religious upbringing does not always mean that the person will turn out good. Serial killers have religious upbringings and so do suicide bombers.
      I have read the bible multiple times and have been in Catholic schools since I was 10. I know theology well, and it couldn’t have made me an Atheist faster. Im also a student of history and anthropology, specifically ancient history and cultural anthropology and I am well versed in both topics. I have watched many philosophical debates and read many books about philosophy and I am pretty good in that area. I think that I am well qualified to make comments concerning such topics.

        • If by humility you mean never questioning what is being told to you I think that is a detriment and an insult to the human intellect. I am not here to shit on your faith, I am merely questioning the set of values that is so ingrained in today’s society. I am on a quest for evidence, if you will. William Clifford said, “It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.” It is dangerous to yourself and others to assume things without questioning what you have been told (in a reasonable manner or course). Habitually accepting beliefs not supported by evidence, we make ourselves and other people credulous, so that we and they will more easily be seduced by falsehood in the future.

          • Well the issue with that is I don’t advise myself. I research and let the research of others guide me to an answer that cannot be refuted. Let correct science and history guide you, not mythic tales of old.

          • Another thing, the original version by Henry Kett is not quite as you say it. Kett’s version isn’t even the original. The original that you quote is actually a “counselor” not an adviser. This appeared in the Philadelphia Port Folio in 1809 as “He who is always his own counselor will often have a fool for a client.” Five years later (1814) Kett changed it to a lawyer joke in The Flowers of Wit or a Choice Collection of Bon Motsby that said “Observed the eminent lawyer, ‘I hesitate not to pronounce, that every man who is his own lawyer, has a food for a client.'”
            In this case the phrase doesn’t apply to what we were talking about. Remember, if you say something there will ALWAYS be someone who is going to check the facts and make sure that you aren’t just making things up.

          • You missed the point. You are too focused on yourself. Try not to make yourself so important. Consider that you are here because one greater than you had put you here. Then, be humble.

          • I haven’t said anything about myself. Take a look at the quote at the top of the page by William Clifford. I have presented mountains of evidence and yet have received no good reason for your belief. Google the definition of faith and you’ll get:
            “Noun
            Complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
            Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.”
            You haven’t even come close to giving any evidence for a creator, or a good reason to be humble. If you have faith, good for you, but if you want to be taken seriously you must do research and present evidence for any claim you make. Otherwise you are just making things up.
            “If pessimism is justified by the evidence, then we must be pessimistic. If we are optimistic when pessimism is justified, we are irrational.” – Michael Martin

          • I don’t know if you are incompetent going through a serious fit of cognitive dissonance and just don’t want to face the facts. If you read through my blog you will see mountains upon mountains of evidence corroborated by facts. You have provided me with uneducated nonsense. You don’t do any research and you make things up. Plain and simple. Do some research.
            I have spent countless years of research on ancient history, cultural anthropology, and Theism and I have arrived at the logical conclusion that there is no God. I don’t know what you have been doing as far as research goes, but I don’t see any of it.

          • The difference between you and I is that I take credit for my work. I don’t need an invisible God that is a fabrication of the human mind to support me. Prayer is like mental masterbation, it feels great to the person doing it, but does nothing for the person you’re thinking of.

          • Dear Gary – please don’t let your life revolve around sexual gratification. Sex is not bad; abuse of sex is bad. It is meant to join a man and woman together and new life is meant to come from the sexual act. Eating food is not bad, even though we are gratified by eating food. We NEED food. But masturbation is bad because it is disordered – abusive. Now, also, we NEED prayer and contact with God who nourishes our souls. You try to prove the spiritual with the physical. That does not make sense. That is like a mechanical sensor being expected to sense something which can not be recognized by an inferior object. I recommend that you work on your spiritual health. In a few years, you’ll know and will be happier.

          • I am curious as to where you were educated, because obviously you are lacking. MENTAL masterbation is not literal masterbation. Its a figure of speech meaning that prayer does nothing for anyone but yourself. Prayer feels good to you, and does nothing else. That is the meaning of MENTAL masterbation. It has nothing to do with sex or anything about sex. Understand? Second, please please please please find me some evidence that prayer does something other than make the person prayer feel good. Do some research (I mean go to a library and find books and read them, go on academic websites and search for PROOF: empirical (meaning based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic) evidence that prayer is good or will make you happier or does ANYTHING).

          • Dear Gary – a priest recommended this link regarding pride. There will be another writing on humility on the next day.

            http://blog.adw.org/2013/03/the-twelve-steps-up-the-mountain-of-pride-according-to-st-bernard-of-clairvaux/

            BTW, the senses (through which one usually seeks proof) are bodily primarily. One’s spirit/soul can operate without the senses and can be “stimulated” spiritually. If not seeking proof in spiritual ways, and if refusing to exert faith, and if one uses one’s senses primarily to aid in finding and analyzing material proof of things spiritual, one is going to continue to miss the point.

            I hope that you find your soul, find your faith, and find spiritual proofs to aid you with historical proofs.

      • Bottom line is this: I applaud you for having faith. There is nothing wrong with that. BUT when you want to take your faith out of religious context and call it fact you have to provide some sort of evidence. If you are not willing to do that, then I don’t think you are in the right place.

  2. What if Jesus was the wrong choice?

    We have to consider that John the Baptist, the last Old Testament prophet, also identified Jesus as the Christ. From an earthly point of view John the Baptist caused his own disciples to desert him and follow Jesus instead.

    Jn 1:29 -34 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.” Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.”

    Jesus also did not just show up on the scene one day but completes a carefully crafted chronology thousands of years in the making. He is the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

    Adam, son of God (Ge 2:7,20; Ge 5:1-3; Lk 3:38)
    Noah, the tenth in descent beginning with Adam (Ge 5:1-32)
    Abraham, the tenth in descent beginning with Shem (Ge 11:10-26)
    Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham (Ge 17:17-19; 25:19-26)
    Judah, the son of Jacob, tribe of Israel (Ge 49:10)
    David, king of Judah, the fourteenth in descent beginning with Abraham (Mt 1:6,17;Ps 89:3-4,27-29)
    Josiah, king of Judah, the fourteenth in descent beginning with David (Mt 1:11,17)
    Jesus, king of Judah, the fourteenth in descent beginning with Jeconiah (Mt 1; 27:37, Jn 1:49-51)
    Jesus, the son of David, the son of Abraham (Mt 1:1)
    Jesus, the son of Mary, the son of God (Lk 1:26-35, Mt 16:13-17, Heb 4:14)

    The Apostles made sure to record their three year 24-7 experience with Jesus as both a testimony and record.

    Jn 20:30-31 Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

    Thinking about this as Passover week approaches. Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

    • You have some interesting points, however I have been through the bible many times and I would like to see some non-biblical evidence. The New Testament wasn’t written over a hundred years after the death of Jesus. As an ancient historian, I would say that a man named Jesus existed around the first century, but there are no first hand accounts for his existence. There are writings about first hand accounts of Jesus of Nazareth outside the bible (Josephus). I do not think that he was more of a messiah than any of the other hundreds of messiahs back in the first century.

  3. Actually, in the book “Cows, Pigs, Wars and Witches” Marvin Harris actually explains Jesus was just one among many, many other warrior-prophets that claimed to be the king of Jews (on Earth, not in Heaven.) The whole re-interpretation came later, with his disciples, who emphasized the more conciliatory nature of Jesus’s teachings. That happened because, after more than a hundred years of wars lead by these different prophets, people were already pretty tired of getting beaten and killed again and again.
    Anyway, just thought I’d bring in some more data to back up your idea.

    • I haven’t heard of that book, I’ll have to give it a look. Interesting thoughts you have, I have looked at some of these other messiahs and it seems odd to think of the messiah as warriors when the only one you generally hear about is Jesus (who was not portrayed as a warrior). However, the evidence shows that most of the messiahs were indeed warriors from Jewish sects. The only one who most resembled Jesus was Apollonius of Tyana.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s