Statistical Research Meets Jesus..

Dick-OHJweb

This is an interesting lecture that requires watching with a clear mind, even if you disagree with the style or opinions of the lecturer. The lecturer does not believe that a ‘religious’ Jesus existed, nor that it is statistically likely that an ‘ordinary’ Jesus existed who did good things. I am surprised that there is as much as 33% physical evidence which would suggest a historical Jesus existed (after such a long time and turbulent history), although this would mean that over 66% of the evidence (or lack of) would suggest that no Jesus existed at all. What is not considered in this lecture is the possibiity of now ‘lost’ physical evidence, which would theoretically swing the equation toward the existence of at least a man with a name like ‘Jesus’ (i.e. ‘Yoshua Ben Yosif’). My view is that ‘Jesus’ is a composite figure of Greek, Roman, Jewish, Middle Eastern and possibly Asian influences, with a highly nationalistic, prejudicial and racist (Eurocentric) Church slowly eradicating any knowledge that reveals this reality. The image of Jesus has been ‘ethically’ cleansed’ to suit a vicious, ignorant and totalitarian medieval Church, a project carried-on by a modern Church which has thoroughly aligned itself with the greed and brutality of the capitalist system. Playing Devil’s Advocate, it is an interesting question as to why the Roman Christian Church bothered to concoct a ‘mythical’ and good Jesus to suit their ambitions, when the Church itself (since assuming the status of State Religion in Rome) has never pursued those teachings of peace, forgiveness, wisdom, charity and good-will, etc? These are behaviours that certain individual Christians have chosen to exhibit irrespective of the Churches they follow. Surely it would have been more constructive for the emerging Roman Church to construct a ‘violent’ and ‘unforgiving’ messianic Christ, one that condoned both murder and continuous warfare (creating something similar to the Zionism followed by the modern State of Israel, or the routinely rightwing Christianity that informs US politics and the neo-Nazi regime of Western Ukraine, etc). I am from a trajectory of scholarship which suggests that there is no physical evidence for the existence of a biblical Jesus – with every apparent contemporary reference proven to be frauds of later origination, or subject to deliberate misinterpretation. This is evidence-based research which means little to those who profess a faith. Whether religious personages (who are supposed to have invented each religion) actually exist in fact does not detract from the reality that religions are ‘real’ today, in as much as they ‘exist’ as a distinct body of knowledge, language, culture, history and belief. Even if a religious personage is proven to be non-historical, this fact does not negate the established religion. Within Chinese Daoist religion, for instance, hundreds of obviously mythological beings are thought to exist in one way or another, but this is irrelevant to millions of Chinese people benefitting every day from the associated martial and qigong exercise programmes and traditional Chinese medicine treatments. Finally, I disagree with this lecturer’s interpretation of Islam when he says that the level of criticism of Islamic theology is of a poor level of development because Islamic countries ‘imprison’ or ‘kill’ any detractors. This is an untrue statement. He ignores the violent nature of Zionist Judaism and Christianity, and the genocide of the Palestinian people perpetuated by the modern state of Israel. As learned as he obviously is, he is not a scholar of Islam and has not read the type of books I have. Indeed, I have read thoroughly absorbing historical deconstructions of Islamic theology often contained in the ‘Introductions’ to various translations of the Qur’an. This lecturer, whilst rushing to associate Islam with Judaism, completely ignores the influence of Indian thought in the construction of the Qur’an (both Brahmanic and even Buddhist). It is my contention that this non-Arab input transforms Islam significantly away from its Jewish roots (despite the fact that many practising Muslims have no interest in these ideas). This is true even if it is speculated that early Christian theologians ‘borrowed’ Buddhist stories and certain philosophical perspectives and practices (such as monasticism), because the extant Christian Church has been defined through the minds of European men in search of political power, wealth, influence and victory in war!

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