Do the gospels paint Jesus as prophet or cult leader?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by trustyoursources, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. trustyoursources Reader
    trustyoursources

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    #1 trustyoursources, Jul 15, 2017
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    Hi all :D (Before I start quick disclosure: I am an atheist but I am here to have an honest discussion and am not here to troll and offend anyone.)

    When i read the account of Christ and I read it as a myth that was meant to be examined as testimony I imagine that instead of reading a book Luke, John, or Matthew are at the bar just telling me a story about some guy they knew. This is what a testimony is after all: a story someone tells you. If a book is written in the format of a testimony thus you must not necessarily believe the narrator at all times. Sometimes you can assume that he is lying or exaggerating things just like a stranger telling you a story at a bar would. (Sorry for the long intro but it will help the rest of this make sense... hopefully) So following this logic and using its lens to examine the bible I make 3 assumptions as I read the accounts of Christs life.

    1 - Jesus is not divine and has no special powers. (ex. I've never seen a dude walk on water why would I believe a testimony that says someone saw someone do it somewhere.)

    2 - No one else has special powers everyone is a human limited by the knowledge and culture of Iron Age Middle East.

    3 - Jesus is corruptible just like every other person.

    Now with all this in play as I go through the bible I hear a story about a Iron age Rabbi that ran an organization with lots of hall marks of a cult like abandoning families to follow a holy teacher, giving up wealth, and dedicating one entire life soul, body, and mind to the holy teacher. Further this holy teacher showed them a bunch of cheap parlor tricks. The holy teacher was so narcissistic and egocentric that anytime anything other then him comes up he tells you how unimportant it is compared to him and tells you to give up everything just to worship him and serve him.

    Further he is reckless and his delusions of grandeur like thinking he is himself a god as well as his corrupt nature like soaking himself in a years wages worth of perfume in one sitting in front of a bunch of people who gave everything up to obey and follow him. The picture is clear. I do not see a wise and loving guy. I see Charles Manson or Marshall Applewhite.

    Again, I am not here trying to offend anyone, I am just trying to honestly explain my thought process. Now that I explained my thoughts, what I really want to ask is what are yours? How do you read the bible? How do you see Jesus? What do you think were his motivations and aspirations? And most importantly why do you believe these things.

    My analysis lead me to make this documentary about the life of Christ where I go into detail and develop my thesis from birth to crucifixion. If you care for such a thing here is a link.

    CONTENT REMOVED BY ADMINISTRATION.

    (I will warn because it is based on the biblical account of the life of Jesus there is explicit content that is violent and sexual in nature in some parts of his life's account.)
     
  2. Anthony D'Arienzo is a Verified MemberAnthony D'Arienzo Well-Known Member
    Anthony D'Arienzo

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    #2 Anthony D'Arienzo is a Verified MemberAnthony D'Arienzo, Jul 16, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
    [
    "trustyoursources,

    Hello tys
    I started reading the Bible as an unbeliever trying to find mistakes and errors in it.
    After 4 months I discovered it was right and I was wrong.
    If you read the bible to see what it declares it becomes obvious that it reveals a supernatural God.
    It reveals facts...about creation, heaven, hell,sin,salvation,man, the church. ...God as creator defines all of these things. He alone can inform us on what reality is.
    Not everyone is going to hear, or believe the gospel.
    In fact people cannot believe the gospel unless God allows them to. This happened to me,
    I did not want God, or His word telling me anything, but God gave me a new heart and made me willing to trust Him and His word.
    Read the bible to see what it says....that is what matters. What you think, or speculate does not change reality. God has already defined the world we live in.
    If a sinner remains apart from God he will go into second death. Everyone believing the biblical testimony of who Jesus is, (God came to earth as a man) He died as a substitute for sinners...those who repent and believe will be saved from their sins now, and not have to go into second death.
     
  3. Anthony D'Arienzo is a Verified MemberAnthony D'Arienzo Well-Known Member
    Anthony D'Arienzo

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    trustyoursources,
    Why not read it to see what it claims about itself, why start out reading it in doubt and unbelief?

    .

    The way the bible is written and all the books are interwoven together, it is not going to be readable like this.

    The bible is the word of God written over a 1600yr period with God using 40 different men to write it.
    Everyone is free to read or not read the bible. If you want to discover truth, it has to be read with a view to see what it says...

    Jesus is God who created everything...walking on water is not a big deal for God Himself.
    .
    In your mind, but in reality it is quite different.


    I told you...I started reading the bible in total unbelief, but God showed me in his word that He is Holy and before Him, I am guilty....He is the judge, not us...


    CONTENT REMOVED BY ADMINISTRATION.

    (I will warn because it is based on the biblical account of the life of Jesus there is explicit content that is violent and sexual in nature in some parts of his life's account.)[/QUOTE]
    I do not mind your statements of unbelief, but we cannot have perverse videos showing on a theology forum, can we?
     
  4. Mungo is a Verified MemberMungo Well-Known Member
    Mungo

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    Hi tys,

    The Bible wasn’t written for you. It was written for me. It is the story of my ancestors in faith. And it is faith that is the key to understanding the Bible. It is faith that is needed to relate to the spiritual realities. And that faith is faith in Jesus Christ as God and Saviour. Without that you cannot make much sense of the Bible because Jesus is the key to it.

    The purpose is described in the beginning of Genesis (chapters 1-11) in that man originally had a close relationship with God, but though his own rebellion man lost that close relationship with God. Man needed to be saved from what he had become. These chapters are like a prologue to the rest of the story

    The rest of the Bible then is the story of that salvation process, of God working out his purpose to bring man back to him. It is the story of that interaction between God and men, and of the revelation of the reality of God. It is God making himself and his ways known to men, first through one man, Abraham, then through his family, then through a nation (the Jews) and finally through his Son, Jesus Christ becoming incarnate, that is becoming man.

    Christians are those who believe in Jesus Christ. And Christianity is a religion based on faith not reason. That does not mean that it is irrational or that reason has no place to play in. But it is based on faith; faith that God exists, that he has revealed himself to mankind in his actions, in his word and through his incarnate son, Jesus Christ.

    Before my father-in-law died he wrote his biography, his story from his earliest memories to the then now. The family have typed it onto a computer and had it printed. This is not for general publication but for the family. He wrote it for me, and for the others in his family. When I married into that family it became mine, and his story is now my story, my story is part of his story. It is of no value to anyone else, except possibly some social historian in the future.

    Although the Bible was written for the faith family of whom it is about, it is has value to everyone because God’s family is open to everyone to join. Jesus told his followers to “make disciples of all nations”, he told us to not keep it to ourselves. It is a treasure waiting to be discovered and people want you to discover it. Yes, some people have discovered Jesus by first reading one of the gospels but I doubt that just reading it from an atheist perspective would be helpful. The key to the Bible is Jesus Christ and if you don’t believe in Jesus as the Son of God and Saviour (or at least be open to that possibility) then the Bible has limited value.
     

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