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Rudy
26 March 2012, 03:40 PM
Hello everyone, I'm back.

(Just to get this out of the way I'm not trying to convert anyone.)

As some one who has grown up in America I had to deal with this sometime: was Jesus Christ the only son of God, was he resurrected?

I think that the evidence is showing that the claims of Christianity are true about Jesus. I'm really dragging my my feet that Jesus has risen from the dead and it's implications, I'll accept it if I need to, but not yet.

What are some good arguments, websites, or books that some of you know against Christianity's claim?

Thanks for the future help.

McKitty
26 March 2012, 04:05 PM
Hello,
In my personal opinion, this is more to take on a symbolic or metaphorical way. I am born in a christian country too, but I feel we take things differently in America and Europe, I found this very interesting :)

Sorry not to help, but I think nobody can know and still, it's a very good subject to meditate upon ;)

Aum !

Eastern Mind
26 March 2012, 04:53 PM
Vannakkam Rudy: I personally do not believe Christ existed, period. Once I concluded that, any other discussion about it became totally moot. If one didn't exist, then he certainly couldn't have done this or that or the other thing.

At the same time, people are free to believe whatever they want.

Aum Namasivaya

Aakriti
26 March 2012, 05:12 PM
Whether the person now known as "Jesus" ever existed as a single human being, or was resurrected after death, are both matters of faith and belief...not evidence, since there is none.

The time that "Jesus" (whoever this was) lived in were incredibly highly politicized times--both internally, within the Jewish people...and also because the Jewish people in that area were subjects of the Roman Empire, and thus, were in constant conflict with the Roman authorities over every possible issue, including, most importantly, whether Jews were obligated to "worship" Roman gods. (To Jews, this was a HUGE issue, of overwhelming importance to them.)

Internally, there were all kinds of sectarian/"political party" differences between different groups of Jews. Not just the Pharisees and Sadducees (and possibly Essenes, though this is a matter of academic dispute at this moment), but of many other Jewish groups/sects/"political parties" as well.

The following is the Jewish understanding about who the person now known as "Jesus" actually was (by contemporary Jewish academic and religious authorities and experts, and based on as much as is known through archaeology, etc.):

During the same general time frame as "Jesus" was supposed to have lived, there were a number of Jewish men/religious figures who were roaming around that part of what is now known as Israel, and all were doing more-or-less the "same thing": redefining what it meant to be a Jew, in ways religious, spiritual, and culturally. (Many Jews had become "Hellenized" Jews--Jews who greatly admired Greek culture, and often spoke, read, and wrote in Greek as fluently as they spoke, read, and wrote in Hebrew and Aramaic. This was considered, by the Jewish "establishment" (as embattled as it was) to be a truly gigantic threat to the Jewish people and to Judaism, so those Jews in high positions, regardless of their Jewish "sect," were paying a great deal of attention to these travelling teachers/"rabbis," because they were considered to be potential threats to Jewish survival.

There are no existing contemporaneous records of "Jesus" ever having lived (and this is true of both Jewish sources, who were very highly literate and kept very good records, and also the Romans, who also were very highly literate and kept very good records).

It is now believed that, with Paul/Saul, and probably several others writing at the same time, that stories about several of these Jewish teachers/"rabbis" were conflated into one story...but it was a story that had details in it that have never made sense to Jews (especially Jews who have extensive knowledge of that particular period of time). The accounts in the so-called New Testament have these errors throughout, and read as if they were written by people with imperfect understanding of Jewish life, or else had no Jewish background whatever.

"Christianity" was invented by Paul (formerly: Saul), and was a great success among all kinds of non-Jewish peoples who were slaves under Roman law, or were unhappy Roman subjects. Many Jews, also, were attracted to this new religion for all kinds of reasons (beginning with: there was no temple hierarchy to have to deal with, and no "class structure" as it had evolved to that point within those Jews living in that land at that time). Christianity was a new beginning, and one that many Roman subjects eagerly accepted.

But there were no accounts of anything "Jesus" ever did until about thirty or so years after his death, and these were not written by either Jews or by Romans. Again: both Jews and Romans were highly literate peoples who kept impeccable records. Had "Jesus" (as we understand "him" today) ever existed, there would have been contemporaneous accounts written down about him. The fact that none exist is important evidence that "Jesus" never existed as a single man, but probably was one of several men who were trying to overturn the existing political (Roman) and religious (Jewish) systems and hierarchies.

That being said, Jesus is central to Christianity, and Christians believe that Jesus did exist, and was executed, and (for traditional Christians) that he did resurrect.

These are religious beliefs which are important to Christians, and must be respected as such.

They just are not based on any actual contemporary evidence at all (Roman, Jewish, Greek, or otherwise), and the accounts written down decades after the death of the man we now know as Jesus contain significant anomalies that cannot be explained away except by religious faith.

Rudy
26 March 2012, 05:36 PM
I remember reading that the 1st century Jews were a mostly oral culture (scrolls were scarce) so it was not out of the question that some one could put Jesus's life to memory for those thirty years.

Saying that do I really want to trust someone trying to remember Jesus's life 2,000 years ago, with such a big choice in my life? I don't know.

yajvan
26 March 2012, 06:44 PM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

namasté

To me ( and me only ) Jesus' death was the death of the body, of ignornace , of something that comes and goes. This was the lesson. To show his mastery over this body he said he would rebuild the ~temple~ in 3 days. This ~ temple ~ is what houses the SELF, this is what he did.

Now, here is the point to consider... Jesus never died, so he did not ~rise~ from the dead. The SELF cannot be slain, it is stainless, so says our śāstra-s. What he chose to do is to reconstuct a new house for the SELF to reside in.

May we all come to know the truth that is contained in that ability.

praṇām

wundermonk
27 March 2012, 12:57 AM
I'm really dragging my my feet that Jesus has risen from the dead and it's implications, I'll accept it if I need to, but not yet.

The implications are very clear if Jesus Christ is going to rise/or has already risen from the dead.

The end-times are here. Rupture/Armageddon is about to happen. So, be prepared. Also, Hindus, Pagans, Buddhists, Mohammedans, Parsis, Sikhs are all going to hell.

Here's my humble suggestion in light of the crisis you are going through.

What if Jesus was not God but human? The Mohammedans certainly seem to believe so. Now, if Mohammedanism is true, Hindus, Pagans, Buddhists, Xians, Parsis and Sikhs are all going to hell.

So, there is a lot of confusion. :confused: What to do?

Just hedge your bets. Believe in JC but also believe in Mohammed. Believe that JC turned water into wine. Believe that Mohammed split the moon and ascended to heaven on Buraq the flying donkey.

This way, you have a much better chance of avoiding eternal hellfire. ;)

Ramakrishna
27 March 2012, 01:55 AM
Namaste Rudy,

To me (and to lots of people) Jesus never existed. He was not a historical figure but rather a figment of people's imaginations that was subsequently forced and ingrained upon much of the world to the point where it is accepted in the mainstream as fact, whereas instead it has no real historical basis at all.

This subject has been discussed on HDF. There was one fairly long thread entirely about the subject, but I can't seem to find it at the moment. This website has a plethora of facts and arguments against the existence of Jesus:http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/ (The site layout has changed from the last time I was there, but the link at the top "Complete Article List" should help with navigation)

Also, Aakriti's argument about the lack of written records about Jesus during his supposed lifetime is very valid. Writing was very much in use at the supposed time and places of Jesus' existence. If there really was somebody with thousands of followers who went around performing miracles and healing people, it surely would have been recorded at that time. But it wasn't, since Jesus never existed and was rather an imaginary figure devised by first century Jews as a conglomeration of prior pagan gods for sociopolitical purposes.

I hope your spiritual confusion will dissipate in time.

Jai Sri Ganesh

anirvan
27 March 2012, 07:07 AM
Rationalism,cynicism,charvakism are all the play/job of tamas...the evil. This simply makes life meaningless and dry.such is the power of tamas that a tiniest human mind start thinking God as ordinary/inferior.

There is nothing in the universe which is not a miracle,again in the view of cynics,everything seems doom.

Srikrishna had shown viswaroopa to Arjuna in kurukshetra battle field,nobody could see except Arjuna.This is a matter of laughter for rationalist.For him,believing that Lord Rama made a road in sea is like a charas addicted person"s commom sense. Does Bhagbat Gita,Vedas are authentic? or imaginations of some ancient poets.Do we have any written prove of those period. Vrindavan"s most palces were rediscovered by Goswamis of Chaitanya followers,otherwise does vrindavan ever existed.

The eight gains to a yogi...anima,draghima etc...when a yogi ables to flyi in ether,walks on water etc are simply grand-mothers bed stories?

Human brain is too small in simple fact that among billions of galaxies,we are a tiniest subatomic objects on a small bulb called earth.

I want to ask simple question to all...is the infinite states of universe is miracle or simply petty things?

Maya3
27 March 2012, 08:31 AM
Jesus could not have risen from the dead. If he was really dead it's impossible. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decomposition

It is probably meant as metaphor and meant what Vajvan said.


Maya

Jainarayan
27 March 2012, 09:22 AM
Jesus could not have risen from the dead. If he was really dead it's impossible. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decomposition

It is probably meant as metaphor and meant what Vajvan said.


Maya

I'm in on this view of his life and words being metaphorical.

The Jews were not Indians or Hindus. Both groups had completely different mindsets and histories, cultures, beliefs, geographical environments.

If he did exist, and what his nature is has been a matter of debate for centuries, even causing schisms between believers. The debates will rage on.

That said, whoever or whatever he was or was not, or whoever or whatever spoke in his name, was addressing the Jews of Palestine of the time. Dismiss Jesus's references to swords and bringing strife as metaphorical, or maybe prophetic, because that is exactly what his followers did. Maybe he knew he was kicking open a hornet's nest.

Everything that any deity, god(dess), demi-god(dess), prophet, did or said is metaphorical to teach a lesson, whether you believe that entity actually historically existed or not. Look below the surface. What was the lesson of Hiranyakashipu, and his boon from Lord Brahma? What is the lesson in Lord Narasimhadeva's killing of Hiranyakashipu? What is the lesson that Hiranyakashipu was "pardoned" by Lord Vishnu?

Imo, the lessons are you can't lie to or fool the gods. Hiranyakashipu got "punked" and paid the price; you can be sure that God will protect His devotee under any circumstances; even the worst offender is still loved and will be pardoned, though we may not see it. Lessons, metaphorical lessons.

Sorry to go off on a tangent, but everything imo is metaphorical and we don't see the forest for the trees.

Maya3
27 March 2012, 09:36 AM
Touchedbythelord,

Are you Swedish? The forest for the trees analogy is very Swedish. :)

Maya

Jainarayan
27 March 2012, 09:41 AM
Are you Swedish? The forest for the trees analogy is very Swedish. :)

No, I am whatever culture has the best food at the moment. :D

Seriously, I am Italian-American.

Maya3
27 March 2012, 09:50 AM
:D

I´m not for Swedish food much, LOVE our candy and pastries though.

Maya

Sahasranama
27 March 2012, 10:02 AM
It is a common attitude of modernists who are disillusioned with Christianity to turn all world religions into the metaphorical, effectively secularizing all religious teachings by reducing it all to the philosophical and psychological. The important thing to remember for Hindus is that the historicity of Jesus has absolute no relevance, it should have no effect on Hinduism.

satay
27 March 2012, 01:17 PM
Admin Note

Please keep it on topic. If you have problems with Indians, India, Hindus, Hinduism, Hindu God or Gods, Hindu babas (fake or otherwise) this is not the forum to discuss those problems. Any posts related to such topics will be removed so do yourself and me a favour and keep it on topic and don't waste your time posting if you have nothing to say on the topic.

Thanks,

Caltha
27 March 2012, 10:36 PM
Namaste, Rudy

I found this book helpful (the entire book is online):

Robert Price -- Beyond Born Again
http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/robert_price/beyond_born_again/

The book is written for Christians who are leaving Christianity and it discusses much of the "evidence" that Christians use to try to convert people.

You might also look into the books of Bart Ehrman. This is his most recent book, which I haven't read yet:

Did Jesus Exist
http://www.amazon.com/Did-Jesus-Exist-Historical-Argument/dp/0062204602/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1332901265&sr=1-1

Bart Ehrman's books overlap a lot. This one is about what scholarship can and cannot tell us about the historical man:
Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millenium
http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Apocalyptic-Prophet-New-Millennium/dp/019512474X/ref=sr_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1332901628&sr=1-9

(I have no idea why this suddenly turned bold-faced and I can't seem to turn it off.)

Caltha
27 March 2012, 10:56 PM
Namaste Rudy again!

I think the link above from Amazon.com turned everything bold!

Please don't forget that Christianity has fear of a wrathful god at the back of its arguments. Even when it appears sweetest and most loving there is a huge "or else". So when you are considering Christianity, please ask yourself if it even makes sense that a loving god would create flawed beings and then torture those beings forever because they are flawed.

sanjaya
28 March 2012, 12:45 AM
Hello everyone, I'm back.

(Just to get this out of the way I'm not trying to convert anyone.)

As some one who has grown up in America I had to deal with this sometime: was Jesus Christ the only son of God, was he resurrected?

I think that the evidence is showing that the claims of Christianity are true about Jesus. I'm really dragging my my feet that Jesus has risen from the dead and it's implications, I'll accept it if I need to, but not yet.

What are some good arguments, websites, or books that some of you know against Christianity's claim?

Thanks for the future help.

I don't know of many good websites or books, since I don't go seeking these things out (also most of them are atheist, and I don't approve of atheism). Rather than looking at endless books and websites, maybe it'd be better to talk about this with Hindus, since we believe in God and supernaturalism, but not Christianity. So often Westerners were presented with the choice of Christianity or atheism, as if there is no other path. I was born and raised Hindu in America; belief in God is second nature to me. But I didn't even know what Christianity was until I went to college, so I find this choice a bit ridiculous.

So, was Jesus the only Son of God and was he resurrected? I want to point out here that in even asking this, you're making a lot of Christian assumptions. For one, you're assuming that there is some messianic figure in human history who is/will be the titular "Son of God." This title doesn't even make sense to me. In Hinduism God is regularly born as a man; he does this whenever there is a decrease in righteousness and an increase in unrighteousness. But he's God, not a "Son" of God. Even in a Jewish context, Rabbis will tell you that the Jewish Messiah is not considered the singular Son of God, rather all people are viewed as sons of God (not just Jews).

As for resurrection, it took me a long time to even understand this. In Christianity it's believed that the body is intimately tied to the soul, and that when the body dies the soul is somehow incomplete until the body is resurrected. Hence the need for Christ's body to be brought back to life. Christians will proudly say to Hindus, "my God is alive and yours is dead!" Usually they're referring to the many Hindu avatars of God who have lived and died. But in Hinduism the soul is viewed as eternal, whereas bodies are things we take up at birth and discard at death, much like one would a set of clothes or shoes. In effect, you transcend your body. So what need is there for an avatar of God to be resurrected upon death? As Gita teaches us, God created Maya (the illusion of the physical world) and is its master. When he is born in this world, he comes into it and exists within its context, but he does not come into Maya as we do upon birth. He transcends Maya and is not bound by it. So like us, the avatar of God is not the same as the body into which he is born, he is distinct from it and can simply take up another one when he dies.

By asking if Christ is risen you are already conceding several stipulations to the Christians. I would urge you not to make these intellectual concessions. Rather challenge them and ask if the world really is as Christians say it is.

PARAM
28 March 2012, 02:12 AM
Jesus is coming back from hell? He will live at Sinai.

Christians and Muslims are making many master illusions, and even forcing others to accept it. There is a good war between Army of God and Army of Allah, but both are just not troubleshooters.

Rudy
28 March 2012, 03:56 PM
One thought is that the whole plan of Adam and Eve sinning being punished, then sending down Christ seems rather convoluted.

Also the idea of a good God sending you to hell for all eternity seems rather un good for God. I've heard apologetics people say that you run away from God and form your own Hell... But from what I remember Jesus said "You will be thrown in hell and gnash your teeth if you do not believe in me" (paraphrasing). It seems like that is a contradiction with the christian idea of God.

I can see the point of hell, but more like a finite jail sentence than all of eternity.

One thing that apologetics people keep saying is that the majority of New Testament scholars agree that Jesus was buried in Joseph of Arimathea tomb, was not there in a little while, and his followers saw him. Now one thing I wonder is that are most New Testament scholars Christian?

Spiritualseeker
28 March 2012, 04:09 PM
Namaste,

The tradition concerning the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Christ was originally metaphorical. The traditions that predate Christianity such as the mysteries of Dionysus, Bacchus, and cults of Mithras worshiped the 'son of god' who died for the sins of mankind and was resurrected. These mystery traditions were sects in which one had to be initiated by a teacher. The story of these savior gods was symbolic for enlightenment to these people. It is interesting to mention that there were also mystery traditions in Egypt who worshiped Osiris as the savior god. Many early Christians were Gnostics. These Gnostic Christians were also initiated into the pagan cult mysteries and many of those in the pagan mysteries were allowed to get initiated in Gnostic mysteries.

A good source to look into is the works of Peter Gandy who shows that Christ was a Pagan mystery deity.

Om Namah Shivaya

Caltha
28 March 2012, 10:43 PM
Namaste,

Sanjaya made many, many excellent points in post #19. If I were to quote it, I'd have to quote the whole thing.

Rudy, you asked if most New Testament scholars are Christian. Many probably are, but some are former Christians. Bart Ehrman is a former Christian.

Rudy, it sounds like you've got people talking to you and trying to convince you. Please don't let them pressure you! It would be better not to talk to them about this. I hope they aren't your family or your best friends.

Ramakrishna
28 March 2012, 10:55 PM
Namaste Rudy,

A great thing to do right now would be to ask our dear Lord Ganesha to show you His grace in a strong and very powerful way. Most of all, be open to it, for it is always there.

Also, do some japa.

Jai Sri Ganesh

wundermonk
29 March 2012, 03:01 AM
I can see the point of hell, but more like a finite jail sentence than all of eternity.

The concept of an eternal hell is one of the stupidest things to emerge in religion.

Infinite punishment simply for not believing in JC/Mohammed is immoral. A God that does that is unworthy of worship. It is also a childish way of playing Pascal's wager with non-believers.

It is hilarious to see Abrahamic apologists try their best [and fail] in justifying eternal hellfire. A few of these apologists are also aware that absent eternal hellfire, their religion falls apart and they become closer to the eternality of Hinduism.

anirvan
29 March 2012, 09:01 AM
It is a common attitude of modernists who are disillusioned with Christianity to turn all world religions into the metaphorical, effectively secularizing all religious teachings by reducing it all to the philosophical and psychological. The important thing to remember for Hindus is that the historicity of Jesus has absolute no relevance, it should have no effect on Hinduism.

Sahas,nice to see you.In all such posts,your presence were being missed and getting really bored.Hope all is well.:)

Rudy
29 March 2012, 08:09 PM
Namaste,

Sanjaya made many, many excellent points in post #19. If I were to quote it, I'd have to quote the whole thing.

Rudy, you asked if most New Testament scholars are Christian. Many probably are, but some are former Christians. Bart Ehrman is a former Christian.

Rudy, it sounds like you've got people talking to you and trying to convince you. Please don't let them pressure you! It would be better not to talk to them about this. I hope they aren't your family or your best friends.

Luckily no one I know is trying to convert me. I just need to plunge into problems like this when they come up.

It came about when I was reading on Christian websites about the existence of God (I was struggling with Atheism at the time). Of course you eventually start reading about Christ in the arguments, and thats how I got here.

I do not know if it counts for anything but I wonder if beauty is a hint that Hinduism is true. I know that sounds subjective but I remember reading how some mathematicians said you know an equation is true partly by its beauty.

Just some thoughts.

Aakriti
29 March 2012, 08:40 PM
I do not know if it counts for anything but I wonder if beauty is a hint that Hinduism is true. I know that sounds subjective but I remember reading how some mathematicians said you know an equation is true partly by its beauty.



I don't think that I've ever consciously thought about it in these terms before, but looking back (and intuitively, as well, I realize), yes...I think that truth and beauty are connected in some real way or ways--and for the reason you cite: mathematical "beauty" invariably (to my understanding) is a component or a reflection of truth.

This is a very good insight for me, Rudy.

Thank you!

:)

PARAM
02 April 2012, 12:32 PM
One thought is that the whole plan of Adam and Eve sinning being punished, then sending down Christ seems rather convoluted.

What sin Adam and Eve did?
How Jusus is son of God? Was Marry married to God to bear his son?


Also the idea of a good God sending you to hell for all eternity seems rather un good for God. I've heard apologetics people say that you run away from God and form your own Hell... But from what I remember Jesus said "You will be thrown in hell and gnash your teeth if you do not believe in me" (paraphrasing). It seems like that is a contradiction with the christian idea of God. God is hell sender to everybody for all eternity, but he will still accept only those who believe in Jesus, so what if people only believe in Jesus without converting to Christianity?

This god is nothing but a masterpiece of illusion, he hates all, why anyone goes to heaven to serve him?




I can see the point of hell, but more like a finite jail sentence than all of eternity.

One thing that apologetics people keep saying is that the majority of New Testament scholars agree that Jesus was buried in Joseph of Arimathea tomb, was not there in a little while, and his followers saw him. Now one thing I wonder is that are most New Testament scholars Christian?This hell is a great place where all great souls were sends, if all non Christians are going to hell then surely all our forefathers, who exist before Christianity, they are in hell, why shouldn't we join them?