Table of contents
- Well, I certainly feel like the issues have been addressed; but then, Im sure Mr. Carr would disagree. I still feel that the article should begin, somewhat, like so:
- Jesus Christ (or Jesus of Nazareth, see alternate names below) (c. 4 BC – c. 30) was, according to the Christian religion, the Messiah and Son of God; who brought salvation to humanity, through his crucifixion and resurrection. Jesus is recognized by several other religions; for instance, many Muslims consider him to have been an ascetic prophet, and many Hindus view Jesus as a guru.
- The primary source of historical knowledge, about Jesus, is contained within the Gospels, which Christians view as the divinely inspired writings of God. Most secular historians accept that the Gospels are sufficient evidence that Jesus existed; but, do not agree that the details, or particulars of his life and death, are accurately expressed by the Gospels.
And given the above, I unprotected the page. As far as I can tell, the current opening conforms pretty closely to Lir's proposal — which I basically like (although I have made a couple of changes which I hope people will find innocuous) Slrubenstein
I was going to wait for Chris to reply; but since SLR has acted, I'm going off-line now. -- Toby Bartels 20:14, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)
There is some biblical evidence that John the Baptist was as ascetic. He ate locusts and wild honey in the wilderness (Matthew 3:1–6, Mark 1:6)
But people at the time contrasted Jesus with John, saying that Jesus "ate and drank".
- John [the Baptist] came neither eating nor drinking, and they said, He has a demon; I come eating and drinking, and they say, Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners! Yet, says Jesus, referring to this mornings passage from Proverbs, Wisdom is vindicated by her deeds[Matthew 11:18–19].
--Uncle Ed 20:35, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Stephen, removal of the material posted does not imply any opinion of its quality as a presentation of the case for the uniqueness of Christ; rather, it is not appropriate content for the encyclopedia. I hope that the action is understandable in that light. Mkmcconn 22:38, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)
the "problem of Jesus"
This is not on the ascetic issue.
I think the second section , the Problem of Jesus, is fundamentally mistaken. There are not two kinds of knowledge, only one with more or less evidence supporting it. Because of the obscurity of the life of Jesus, an obscurity which he himself sought and cherished,evidence of his life has come to us in scanty form.
The Gospels are written records of people's memories, who themselves saw him at first hand, and there are other writings which are less clearly defined in their origin. This evidence is sufficient for non-secular historians, and most Christians. The article should therefore not misrepresent the status of people's faith as being mystical and unevidenced, when it clearly is evidence based. TonyClarke 23:27, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)
What makes you believe that the authors of the Gospels presented first-hand accounts of Jesus? The texts do not reference the time or place of their authorship and the authors themselves remain anonymous. The authorship attributed to them is according to later tradition (formed as early as the 2nd century). And even that tradition does not accept that all four Evangelists met Jesus.
- Both the Gospel of John and the Book of Revelation are traditionaly attributed to John the Evangelist. He is occasionaly believed to be John the Apostle, a cousin of Jesus that supposedly took care of Mary, the mother of Jesus after her son's death. There are certain problems if this attribution is accepted. Among them, the age John would have reached. The later book is believed to have been written in 96, the last year of Domitian's reign. By that time John would probably have reached a century of life and have survived most of his generation. If that is accepted then this Gospel can be accepted as a first-hand source.
- The Gospel of Matthew is traditionaly attributed to Matthew the Evangelist. He is believed to be the same as Matthew, the tax-collector who became a disciple of Jesus. If attribution was accepted it would make it a first-hand account.
- The Gospel of Mark is traditionaly attributed to Mark the Evangelist. He is believed to be the same as a young traveling companion to Paul of Tarsus and Barnabas in the Acts of the Apostles. According to Papias, Mark's source was Saint Peter. If attribution and source are accepted, this Gospel would be a second-hand account at best.
- Both the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles are traditionaly attributed to Luke the Evangelist, a follower of Paul of Tarsus from the later book. His sources are not given by tradition. Luke is traditionaly believed to have been born in Antioch. Since neither Luke nor Paul ever met Jesus it is at best a third-hand account.
As you can see at best two of them are first-hand accounrs. And even them are harly considered to be contemporarie sources. They are believed to have been written decades after Jesus crucifiction. Personaly I believe he was a historical figure since both the Talmud and the Roman polemic writers do not doubt his existance but his morality. I think the second section is fine enough in presenting Jesus as a historical subject. I would however suggest expanding the fourth section and give a better presentation of the Gospels' accounts on our subject. As it is now they miss many of the interesting details contained in them. User:Dimadick.
Hi, I didn't actually say that the authors met Jesus. Its a bit more tenuous than that. The Gospels were written at a time when peopel who knew Jesus, or knew people who had known him, were beginning to die out. Considering that this was an occupied country and Jesus wasa poor wandering teacher, and that the country was ravaged by war shortly after his death, I think it is objectively remarkable that there is the range of largely consistent writing which has reached us today about his life.
Magic vs miracle
LIr: thank your for responding, and for not undoing my reversion. The fact that secular historians do not belive in a magic god is not genuine information, it is a tautolgy, true by definition. If they did believe they would not be secular, if they are secular then they do not believe.
I am not trying to score points here, but we are all in the same boat and there is not _different _ evidence for Jesus, just more patchy and oral. But there _is_ evidence, accepted by a lot of people. TonyClarke 01:13, 25 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I'm not sure what the comment about secular historians and Jesus being a "magic" god has to do with anything. Christians do not believe in magic either. Magic is capricious. Miracle is purposeful. They are worlds apart.Pollinator 03:28, 25 Oct 2003 (UTC)
From the article:
- Dies [ April 3rd, 3:00pm ]
Even for a list of options, this seems rather over-precise. Is this from some sect's articles of faith, or is this someone's idea of a joke? — 126.96.36.199 16:11, 27 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Frankly this whole table is screwy. It doesn't accurately present what is believed. For example, Jesus' death date may be somewhere between AD 30 and AD 36, but as far as I know there is no reason why it should be AD33 rather than AD34, which isn't listed. Likewise it is generally thought that Jesus' ministry lasted around 3 yrs, and so the start of it would shift according to when you placed his death date. As far as I know the other events of Jesus ministry can be dated only by reference to his death date. Unless anyone knows better. DJ Clayworth 17:05, 27 Oct 2003 (UTC)
An example of why there are problems with this article. The 'life and teachings' section says that he learned carpentry, a fact for which there is not the tiniest shred of documentary evidence whatsoever, but then says that 'The nature of Jesus' spiritual teaching cannot be agreed', although Jesus' teachings and death are about the best documented parts of his life. DJ Clayworth 17:01, 28 Oct 2003 (UTC)
- I've just deleted it now that you have pointed it out. It was in the old text before I started fleshing it out with I hope uncontroversial points about his teaching, iether agreed at least three of the gospels and not contradicted. One can say stuff about Jesus' ethical teachings without being controversial; which I will do at some point, but we can't talk about spiritual ideas without getting into Son of God debates.: ChrisG 18:14, 28 Oct 2003 (UTC)
- Sorry Chris. One of the other troubles with Wikipedia is that you are always catching snapshots. Howver can't help but observe that we shouldn't be getting into debates, we should just record what is observed. It shouldn't be controversial that hundreds of millions of Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God. DJ Clayworth 14:33, 29 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I made two changes to the opening paragraph: first, I added "healer." I think most Christians view Jesus' work as a healer as pretty important to his work. I know that many historians consider it important, as the role of healer in Judea under Roman domination was well-established and for some historians important in making sense out of what Jesus actually did. I would have no objection if someone wanted to modify this term as "spiritual" or "faith" healer, although this may be an anachronistic distinction. I did delete the adjective "religious" modifying "teacher" because I do think it is anachronistic and out of place — his teachings are also civil/social (indeed, even today many Jews hesitate to call Judaism a "religion"). In fact, one could argue for adding "social reformer" (or putative, or attempted, or something) to this indroductory characterization, as I think both religious Christians and secular historians would agree with this reading of his vocation. Slrubenstein
what do you mean by healer? Was he a doctor? Lirath Q. Pynnor
The term doctor doesn't work. It projects the concept of a modern physician back to Jesus' time. Healer is better, even if more ambiguous. There are many references to healing people.
Who did Jesus heal, and how? I don't think its very NPOV to define him as a "healer" without even defining what a "healer" is. Lirath Q. Pynnor
- People reportedly came to him blind, deaf, lame, and leprous, and he sent them away free of these handicaps, according to accounts. What is that? I'd call it a "healer". Mkmcconn 00:28, 29 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I don't think NPOV requires defining "healer," we can assume most readers have access to a dictionary. Since both Christians and secular scholars identify him as a healer, I think that is sufficient grounds for including "healer" as NPOV. Nevertheless, Lir is right that the term shouold be explained and developed; I am certain that there is space later in the article for a section on Jesus as healer, with some of the examples that Mkmcconn suggests, as well as some context drawn from secular/critical histories of Roman-dominated Judea, Slrubenstein
- Slrubenstein, I've restored 'religious teacher'. I agree that there is an ethical and social reform element to his teachings. However, the concept of God and creating the Kingdom of Heaven were central to his teachings, whatever he meant by those concepts. If Jesus wasn't a religious teacher then neither was Mohammed or anyone else for that matter. He is also the inspiration for a religion of 2 billion followers, and is considered a prophet by another billion. I agree it is important to describe as a healer in exactly the same spirit you describe. : ChrisG 10:01, 29 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Re: Jesus as Carpenter, see Mark 6:2–3:
- And when the sabath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Judah, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.
john 00:11, 30 Oct 2003 (UTC)
- John, the idea that Jesus was a carpenter is only from one of the Gospels, and is only suitable for the Christian account of Jesus, which is happy to amalgamate all non-contradictory Christian accounts.
- We haven't established any agreed standards for this page for the historical account. But at minimum I would imagine the information ought to be shared by at least three of the Four Gospels and doesn't breach scientific laws and common sense.
- Even then it would be nice if we had corroboration from historical or 'heretical' Christian or non-Christian writings. And I'm sure that some people would argue that should be our minimum standards and I'm not sure I disagree. For instance, I'm unsure whether the story of Jesus being executed at the behest of Jewish religious leaders and indeed handed over to the Roman authorities should be allowed on the basis it is fairly clear that there was prejudice in the early Church against Jews. So this information may have been added at a later date. On the other hand it could be true, because it suggests Jesus' teaching was not infallible because one of his closest disciples betrayed him. It can be read either way. : ChrisG 09:05, 30 Oct 2003 (UTC)
- Oh, I largely agree with you, I was just pointing out that Jesus-as-carpenter wasn't wholly made up. As far as the gospels, I think we should just say, "according to the gospels," or "according to the gospel of Luke," or whatever, and leave it at that, without trying to judge the trustworthiness of the biblical stories. john 04:46, 31 Oct 2003 (UTC)
This paragraph was moved to a section on "Jewish Perspectives on Jesus:"
- Christianity as we have come to know it emerged from Judaism in the first century of the Common Era. The first Christians were Jews, and likely subscribed to Jewish beliefs and practices common at the time. Among these was a belief that a messiah—a descendant of King David—would restore the monarchy and Jewish independence.
I object to the move or two reasons. first, the above is not about Jewish views about Jesus; it is about Jewish views during the 1st century about "the messiah." Second, it is not a strictly Jewish view: it is the view of (secular/critical) historians of Jewish views of the messiah during the 1st century. It is a view held by Jews before Jesus was even born; it is a view people held while Jesus was growing up — in short, it provides importanthistorical context. I agree that the sentence that follows is appropriate to the section on "Jewish Perspectives on Jesus," but the above passage does not. I am pretty sure most if not all Christians would agree with the first two sentences, and I am virtually certain that all historians would agree with all three sentences. Slrubenstein
- I agree with Slr. RK
I reverted the insert, which labeled historians as "secular" and as "rationalists". That's unjustifiable; we have hundreds of entries mentioning the views of historians, scientists, etc. Should we include these scare quotes before all of their uses? Also, take note that in much of the very religious Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities, these words are often used as insults, and are very often used to delegitimize the views of those who are not true believers. I think that most English speaking readers are well aware that historians (and scientists) are not purveyors of religious dogma, and that their disciplines depend on critical, rationalist readings of historical texts (or experiments), and that they do not rely on mysticism or any other putative supernatural source of information. RK 00:28, Oct 31, 2003 (UTC)
- I've largely reverted RK's changes, because after those edits the introduction becomes merely a debate between Christians and historians; when Muslims, Jews, Mandeans, and Bahai have their own beliefs and scripture. It is not a two sided 'battle', Jesus has many faces which needs to be acknowledged
Excellent intro paragraph. I'd quibble with 'faith healer', but it's minor. I wish there was a way we could lock down the intro paragraph and get on with editing the rest now. DJ Clayworth 14:33, 31 Oct 2003 (UTC)
- DJ, lets be clear here. Do you mean the preface, i.e. what is before the table of contents or the section entitled Introduction which I largely reverted? I'm not sure whether there is a confusion. Your reference to Faith Healer suggests you are referring to the first. In which case add a line break. Thanks. :ChrisG 14:41, 31 Oct 2003 (UTC)
- I mean the whole preface, i.e. down to the 'Introduction' header. DJ Clayworth 14:51, 31 Oct 2003 (UTC)
IF YOU BELIEVE THAT THE PREFACE SHOULD NOW BE LEFT ALONE, ADD YOUR NAME HERE:
- ChrisG 15:52, 31 Oct 2003 (UTC) (I like the current preface. But I think the fact it is a strong, uncontroversial preface means that people will not feel the need to amend it, unless they can think of an improvement. I feel we should have faith in Wiki wisdom. It is worthwhile people saying they like it, because that will discourage anyone from making thoughtless changes, but there is no need to protect it as such. I think this article is now a very good article on Jesus, and hopefully in the next few weeks we can turn it into a brilliant piece of prose.
- Hi Chris. On your second point, I see the improvement. On the first: the reason I wanted some opinions on the Preface was that I'm sure (unfortunately) that someone will come along in a few months and change the opening preface to say 'The gospels are utterly unreliable as historical documents and everybody knows Jesus never existed'. (or possibly they will say exactly the opposite). I wanted to establish a little consensus that the current form was a good one. Maybe I'm too pessimistic. Let's see what happens. DJ Clayworth 18:20, 4 Nov 2003 (UTC)
I removed this from the article:
- Evidence points to Jesus being born during the Passover season during and dying just a few days short of his 34th birthday.
I have no objection to returning it to the article — as long as the "evidence" is provided/specified. Slrubenstein
- Here's just 2 link [but I don't know how much wieght to put into them; they are just from a quick search]
- mabey more diggin' would help ...
The first link concludes by saying that Jesus may have died between 30 and 36, which is alreadyin the article; the second link provides what is explicitly a "best guess" (which in any event happens not to be during the Passover season!) This is speculation, not "evidence." Inany event, my main point is that no enclyclopedia article should have such an uninformative sencence as "Evidence points to ..." It has to review the evidence and discuss which scholars have debated over how to interpret it, and what are the different arguments for differrent interpretations. Slrubenstein
Is it really appropriate to include admitted "speculations" about Jesus being married, here? So some "scholars" apparently think this: is that relevant? Other "scholars" think that Jesus was a "magic mushroom" drug guru: that doesn't belong in this article either. Mkmcconn 03:26, 6 Nov 2003 (UTC)