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Jesus... the Man.
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TimAllen



Joined: 28 Oct 2002
Posts: 115

PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2004 4:39 pm    Post subject: Jesus... the Man. Reply with quote

Was the Emperor Constantine responsible for the deification of Jesus? Jesus was both the Prophet and the Messenger, but what condition would the Christian world be in if it was true that Jesus was also a man just as us? Would that have minimized the impact of his words?
T
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Klatu
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2004 6:29 pm    Post subject: Good question! Reply with quote

T,

I believe the apostle Peter was the first to recognize Jesus for who he really is, there was some question among them as to his authority over demons and even the earth forces.
It was the ultimate question we all must answer ourselves "Who do you say that I am?" Peter said "I perceive you are the Christ, son of the ever living God"

This quote is from the original manuscript in Greek and is quite specific in it's meaning. The modern day versions vary somewhat and cause the meaning to be misunderstood.
Jesus said to Peter "Blessed are you Simon (Peter) for it was not flesh and blood that has revealed this to you but my Father in heaven".
There are other accounts that when Jesus 'called out' the demons from people he forbid them to mention his name but they knew his authority and former position.
I still find that a bit curious.

What confused the apostles was that they knew him as a man, no different in appearance than anyone else but he demonstrated knowledge of the scripture (pentateuch: first 5 books) and put them into practice revealing the hidden meaning, the true intent as oppossed to the letter of the law. The law exists to 'condemn' us, to remind us when we do wrong but it cannot save us or correct our flawed spirit.

It is written that before Jesus became man he gave up all personal power and authority to take on the flesh of being human, yet in him was the spirit of God. He did this for our sake, for all the lost sheep.
The evidence of this is when he performed 'miracles' he asked the Father to perform them because he had none of his own and the Father paid witness to him by performing those miracles.
I'm sure you remember how he taught us to pray, Our Father who is in heaven your name is holy...

Constantine had a personal close encounter with Jesus of the spritual kind, like Saul (Saint Paul) of Tarsus. He recognized that the dieity of Jesus existed before any decree he could make, but he was aware of the impact his decree would have in time... I'm sure.

Sorry for the long windedness but your good question required a good reply.

Toolman, I'm quite sure you meant this question to be a discussion without a definitive answer, my reply comes from self study not from formal training.

K
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achristmasstory



Joined: 14 Feb 2003
Posts: 230

PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2004 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I quess I've always felt that Jesus was a man just like all of us, God on earth as a man so He could understand us by living as one of us.
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Toots



Joined: 21 Jan 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2004 7:13 am    Post subject: Jesus The Man Reply with quote

achristmasstory you hit the nail on the head. Jesus was just like us in everything but sin. He had a divine nature b/c He was the Son of God and a human nature b/c He was born of the Virgin Mary.
Klaytu I have never heard or read that Jesus gave up His power and authority to become man. Where is this written? Thanks
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lg
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2004 7:14 am    Post subject: Jesus Reply with quote

Hmm...complex question.
The responsibility of diefication is ALWAYS a human one, isn't it? It hardly does any good to go around producing miracles (if your purpose is to change the world) with noone to witness orally, visually, or otherwise, I wouldn't think. So, other than for educational and personal knowledge purposes, I feel this might be a moot point. It causes me to ask who diefied Buddha, Mohammed, or others? So, hmm...
As far as the Christian world today (re: understanding Jesus was 'just a man') I think the world (today) answers that question; those who walked with him knew he was a man, with extraordinary words and actions. Through those people, the eventaul responsibility of his diefication was kept moving, until it was simply a given in the world, as we know it. As mythos moves, it is like a snowball picking up things, becoming bigger, more refined, more [powerful. So, I don't feel knowing the humaness of Jesus affected anything really, as that was known in the beginning.
Like you, I am intrigued by the evolution of 'The Christ' from the manger history; I suppose I also have a kind of faith (?) that allows me to feel if He wasn't destined, he would never have become what he is in this world. Studying his history becomes very frustrating for me, because when my logical brain picks up the tale, my intuitive brain closes a bit, so that I can absorb the intellectual. This causes my intellect to knock on the door of my intuition, which I think is where my faith resides. The 'I know because I know' place. Hard question, Tim...why did you ask?
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monaco



Joined: 01 Apr 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2004 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm usually a lurker here but I gotta jump in on this one - I'm a PhD in religion and teach this stuff at a local Catholic university, so bear with me.

Tim - have you been reading "The DaVinci Code?" I wondered what prompted the question.

Jesus was a man just like us. Everyone seems to forget that. He was also, as we say "fully human and fully divine." Constantine mandated and forced a lot of theology on an entire empire, and didn't allow for any discussion. But there is so much we DON'T know!!!!! We do know that Jesus was a man with perhaps the most influence of any man in history. But what is striking is how much we don't know, and how much various theological traditions have filled in the blanks.

We have four canonical gospels that were codified in Constantine's time, but there were many many others out there as well, some of which are quite accessible. How could they have decided on only four gospels three hundred years after Jesus lived and died? I wonder about all of these things.

And yes, I think the world would be considerably different if we looked more at the human side of Jesus instead of the divine.

Pam
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lg
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2004 6:47 am    Post subject: lurking Reply with quote

Hi, Pam! Glad to hear from you...with your expertise, as well.
So,aren't all of the 'historical' theosophical comments simply what some ruler chose the public could know? (as the King James bible?) Hasn't it always been a lot like a kid asking where a baby comes from?...you give the kid an overview that borders on, and carries some truth, but not the nitty gritty details?
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Saltgrain
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2004 10:01 am    Post subject: Jesus: The Man, Holyland: The Dirt, etc. Reply with quote

If we miss the message(s) I think it has more to do with who we are than whether or not Jesus was a plain human. I think we tend to, as a people, loose sight of the point a lot. We get absorbed in minutiae and shiny little factoids or use a personality or sacred concept to serve our own mundane purposes. I guess the message just isn't sexy enough to keep our attention for very long. (Anyone read The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis?)

But, I mean, shoot, first there was the Word, right?
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jbdean



Joined: 23 Dec 2003
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Location: Los Angeles, CA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2004 3:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Jesus... the Man. Reply with quote

TimAllen wrote:
Was the Emperor Constantine responsible for the deification of Jesus? Jesus was both the Prophet and the Messenger, but what condition would the Christian world be in if it was true that Jesus was also a man just as us? Would that have minimized the impact of his words?
T


I think the answer to that is already visible.

There are now those that believe Jesus was just a human and not a profit. Those don't follow his religious teachings.

Take away the belief that Jesus was the Son of God ( John: 10:36 ) and you take away the validity of who he claimed he was. Take away the validity of who he claimed he was and you take away the foundation of believing in him. Take that away and you will have a lot less followers.

Jesus was the Son of God (per the Bible) who came to earth to give his perfect life in exchange for the sinner Adam's ( Mat: 20:28 ). A perfect life for a perfect life. No other human on earth could equal the ransom price to pay for the sins Adam brought upon the human race. He could have done the same miracles in spirit form but his mission of sacrificing himself for mankind could only be accomplished if he came in the flesh.

The Gospel accounts tell of the miracles, the man and his followers. Constantine had a lot of influence and it certainly didn't hurt Jesus' reputation. But the Bible survived without Constantine's help and it's those words that validate who Jesus was.

Just my 2 cents ...
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achristmasstory



Joined: 14 Feb 2003
Posts: 230

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2004 6:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Jesus: The Man, Holyland: The Dirt, etc. Reply with quote

Saltgrain wrote:
If we miss the message(s) I think it has more to do with who we are than whether or not Jesus was a plain human. I think we tend to, as a people, loose sight of the point a lot. We get absorbed in minutiae and shiny little factoids or use a personality or sacred concept to serve our own mundane purposes. I guess the message just isn't sexy enough to keep our attention for very long. (Anyone read The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis?)

But, I mean, shoot, first there was the Word, right?


I've read "Mere Christianity" and have "The Screwtape Letters" but haven't gotten around to reading it yet. I found it amazing how Lewis could put into words the way I felt about many things. He had a few things I would have liked to debate with him, but mostly I would have loved the opportunity to just share with him.
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Klatu
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2004 3:39 am    Post subject: Jesus: The Man Reply with quote

Toots,
Psalms: 8:5
Heb: 2:7-9
John: 17:5


Monaco,
The four gospels were decided upon by the newly assembled 'catholic' church. At that time, it seems they wanted to consoladate power to themselves. If you remember your history the darks ages were called the dark ages because of the lack of knowledge about the truth of Christ. The church determined what was good and evil, truth and fact. It wasn't until Galileo (saint) that they realized they could'nt contain their monopoly on truth and fact. When the scientific method was proposed and accepted as the standard form of discovery and proof, they (the church) quickly settled for the monopoly of the truth.... to which they have been sorry representives.

As you state there were many writtings that did not make the cut. I became too fustrated with the modern day writtings that I needed to read the original manuscipts to find what the true intent was behind the meanings. Since I don't speak or read aramaic I suffered through a translated version, some translations are impossible to make perfect but even at that the meaning came shining through... I thank God for the Greeks.

In this day and age I have found that all information is good information, the source reveals more about the imformation than the data does.

JD,
Your two cents is worth a millon bucks or more. Either Jesus is the biggest liar in history or he is who he says he is. We all must answer that question.

K
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Toots



Joined: 21 Jan 2004
Posts: 12
Location: Connecticut

PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2004 1:49 pm    Post subject: Jesus The Man Reply with quote

Klatu
Thank you for your answers but the translation I see in Psalms and in Hebrews is that they were talking about all of humankind not of Jesus. And in John, Jesus is talking to the Father b/c He knows that it is time for His death. I do not see where He has given up His authority or power.
But I thank you for allowing me to disagree with you.
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Silv
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2004 7:32 am    Post subject: The really Big Questions Reply with quote

Hello to everybody!

I'm serving by on this wep page now and then and this theme (out of various reasons) caught my attention.
I really do believe that Jesus was not just a "normal" man like we are or just a good man as other may claim.
Interestingly, Jesus rebuked a man who addressed him with the title "Good Teacher", because Jesus recognized not himself but his Father to be the standard of goodness (by the way Jesus is NOT God, he is God's Son; and I'm also not that good in writing essays, just to let you know Wink ) He said he was the unique Sin of God, the Messiah, whom the Hebrew Scriptures point to. Either he was what he said or he was a gross impostor, but neither option allows for the view that he was simply a good man.
Recently, I spoke with one of my collegues about this and he said that if everything reported about Jesus, every single thing he said and did including the miracles he performed were true, he couldn't have possibly been a "normal" or "good" man, he must then have been a magician or something like that, to what I just could say "Or he was God's Son".
So what made him the greatest? H.G. Wells said that a man's greatness can be measured by "what he leaves to grow, and whether he started others to think along fresh lines with a vigor that persisted after him". Wells who dind't claim to be a Christian acknowledged: "By this test Jesus stands first". And Napoleon said:"Jesus Christ has influenced and commanded His subjects without His visible bodily presence."
From this we can see that Jesus' teachings influenced mankind over centuries and milleniums. If he wasn't an outstanding character, God's Son, he wouldn't have had such an impact on our lives and he still has this impact on our lives, hasn't he?
And the last thing I will quote today sums this very nicely up.
The apostle Paul was reasoning with the Christians in Corinth about Jesus and his resurrection, whether it really occurred as well as whether Jesus was just a man like you and me. Paul wrote:

"Now if Christ os being preached that he has been raised up from the dead, how is it some among YOU say there is no resurrection of the dead?If, indeed, there is no ressurrection of the dead, neitehr has Christ been raised up. But if Christ has not been raised up, our preching is cerainly in vain [the first Christians were active preachers of Jesus Christ and what he did for as]. Moreover, we are also found false witnesses of God, because we have borne witness against God that he raised up the Christ, but whom he did not raise up if the dead are really not to be raised up. For it the dead are not to be raised up, neither has the Christ been raised up. Furhter, if Christ has not been raised up, YOUR faith is useless; YOU are yet in your sons. In fact, also, those who fell asleep in death in union with the Christ perished. IF IN THIS LIFE ONLY WE HAVE HOPED IN CHRIST, WE ARE OF ALL MEN MOST TO BE PITIED"
1 Corinthians 15:12-19

To put it in the words of an ad for insurances:
Millions of people can't err.

So I hope I didn't discombobulate you too much. Please don't pay attention to words I've written wrong (English is my 3rd foreign language).

And in case I don't see ya:
Good afternoon, good evening and good night.

Bildungshase

PS: I did research on this and quoted some sources.
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Toots



Joined: 21 Jan 2004
Posts: 12
Location: Connecticut

PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2004 9:27 am    Post subject: Jesus The Man Reply with quote

The Father is God, The Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God. There are not three God's but one. This is the Trinity and way beyond all human understandiing. So although Jesus is the Son of God, He is also God.
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jbdean



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2004 9:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Jesus The Man Reply with quote

Toots wrote:
The Father is God, The Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God. There are not three God's but one. This is the Trinity and way beyond all human understandiing. So although Jesus is the Son of God, He is also God.


Hi Toots,

It's a hard thing to discuss ... The Trinity ... but not because it is 'way beyond all human understanding' but because if one wants to believe the Bible, one cannot agree with the teaching of a triune god where Christinanity is concerned. And yet many professing to be Christians do believe in a trinity.

Reading 1 Cor 8:4-6 explains that there is just ONE God (the Father) and ONE Lord (Jesus). It also concludes that all things are through God the Father and through Jesus the Lord and we through them. While they both are given credit for all things being through them, they are definietly separate and different. The Apostles did not worship a triune god as the belief of a 3-in-one diety came from pagan beliefs.

True there are the scriptures where Jesus says he and the Father are one ( John 10:30 ) and when you see Jesus you see the Father. But these scriptures do not prove a Trinity or Triune God. What it proves is just what Jesus said many times ... that he was sent to earth to do the will of the Father. In other words, when you see Jesus you see the Father because all things that Jesus did were by direction of the Father. He did only his Father's will and, therefore, he was the exact as his Father in all things. ( John 8:28, 29; 14:10, John 10:30; Mt 19:4-6, John 4:23-24 ). Think of a mortal man who follows in his mortal father's footsteps. He believes like his father, does the same work as his father, has the same personality of his father. If you saw the son ... you'd swear you were *seeing* the father because they were exactly alike. But they are two different individuals.

The Bible tells us that Jesus was inferior to his Father. If they were one, then he could not be inferior ... even in the smallest way. ( John 14:28; 5:19; Heb 5:8; 1Cor 11:3; John 20:17, Rev 1:6 ) Mat 24:36 tells us that only the Father knows the day of Judgement ... the angels don't know and neither does the Son. Now, if Jesus were God the Father ... surely he would know when he was going to bring judgement day. But the Bible tells us that there are some things that ONLY the Father knows. The same as with the mortal son and mortal father. While they are alike in most respects, there are things that the father doesn't reveal to his son because it's just not his concern.

I'm certainly not trying to change anyone's views on the trinity but with close and comparitive study of the Bible, it is clear that Jesus, His Father and His Father's Holy Spirit (which is the power God uses to do his works - Acts 2:33 ) are not one in the same or ... three and yet one. The story of Jesus being baptised is a perfect example. We *see* the Son being baptised, we *see* the Holy Spirit as a dove decending from the Heavens and we hear the Father's voice from the Heavens. Clearly three individual identities. Also, the word Trinity appears in no translation of any Bible. It was incorporated into Christendom's religion by the Roman Catholic Church that wanted to bring pagans into their congregations (thereby increasing their fold, and their incomes). A lot of things were *made holy* through this practice and for that purpose.

I may ruffle a few feathers with this post but that's not my intent. I just post what I believe the Bible verifies. Of course, I'm opened to scriptures that support the trinity. If you have any, I'd be happy to discuss them with you. Smile

Jane
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