69 million page views

Iasius "sense"---Part I

Reader comment on item: Bush Declares War on Radical Islam
in response to reader comment: Mother Teresa, A Misused Icon To Furhter Aims Of Christian Conversions

Submitted by Don (India), Dec 7, 2005 at 11:50

Iasius writes,

"It is now fairly common knowledge that the ‘early Christians' were actually Jewish Zealots also known as ‘Ebionite's' (the poor), ‘Nazoreans' or ‘Essences', led at that time by James the ‘Teacher of Righteousness', and were as much opposed to what they considered wayward Jewish religious authority in Jerusalem as they were to political occupation by Rome. The ‘Christ' that the gospels portray MAY have been a historical person……",

The Gospel of the Ebionite's that you just mentioned CONFIRMS the existence of Jesus Christ. Not only does it confirm, it is even indeed closely related to Gospel of Matthew, and examination of the extant fragments reveals that much of the text is a harmony, composed in Greek, of the Gospels Matthew and Luke (and, probably, the Gospel of Mark as well).

Cameron says, "Together with the sayings about the Passover, this intimates a polemic against the Jewish Temple." This indicates that the Gospel of the Ebionite's, like the Gospel of Matthew, addresses the issue of "Jewish identity after the destruction of the Temple." The solution offered to this problem is "to believe in Jesus, the true interpreter of the Law." Cameron suggests that the Gospel of the Ebonite's was written in the mid-second century in Syria or Palestine. ( Ron Cameron, ed., The Other Gospels: Non-Canonical Gospel Texts (Philadelphia, PA: The Westminster Press 1982).

This shows that Jesus Christ is a historical person and DOESNOT indicate that Jesus had a "political/military" agenda. It just doesn't mention it, even though you try hard to make it so, on the contrary. It is even addresses the destruction of the Temple and to believe in Jesus Christ!


Iasius further writes

"But only as generic nomenclature, for Seutonius mentions [in ‘Vita Claudii'] that Jews were ordered to be expelled from Rome around 49 CE during the reign of Claudius because they were becoming a nuisance under the instigation of a certain ‘Chrestos' [http://ww2.forwilliam.org:8004/forum/printthread.php?t=1765]. (And, we trust, Don won't further compound our unremittingly pathetic credulity and tell us another preposterous cock-and-bull story that it was the ‘resurrected' Christ once again after 16 years!)".

Jesus Christ in Rome?! Now even you went to utter madness to mention that the "historical" Jesus you said was in Rome? And why would a "Jew Messiah" initiate his struggle from within Rome and not Palestine where he will be enormoulsy supported? That is illogical and if this is reliable, then obviously it is referring to an unknown person who is not backed up or endorsed by further by historical records…can you please tell us iasius, who that "Chrestos" is?

Josephus' Writing Corrupted by Christians?

Again the article you wrote on this just indicates how biased and partisan you are. Though there are by far many historians who regard the Josephus' writing as authentic, you get inclined and biased in your opinion and want by any cause to reject and refuse to consider it at all. This shows you are not here to verify data or search for "historical truths", but on mission to attend to your own personal interests.


The Testimonium Flavianum (On the work of Josephus)
It is not the purpose of this article to address the arguments of the few commentators - mostly Jesus Mythologists - who doubt the authenticity of the second reference. According to leading Josephus scholar Louis H. Feldman, the authenticity of this passage "has been almost universally acknowledged" by scholars. (Feldman, "Josephus," Anchor Bible Dictionary, Vol. 3, pages 990-91). Instead, this article focuses on arguments regarding the partial authenticity of the TF.

Although Josephus' reference to the martyrdom of James is universally accepted by critical scholars, there has been more controversy over the fuller reference to Jesus. The TF contains some obvious Christian glosses that no Jew would have written; such as "he was the Christ" and "he appeared to them alive again the third day."
A strong majority of scholars, however, have concluded that much of the TF is authentic to Josephus. In his book Josephus and Modern Scholarship, Professor Feldman reports that between 1937 to 1980, of 52 scholars reviewing the subject, 39 found portions of the TF to be authentic. Peter Kirby's own review of the literature, in an article discussing the TF in depth, shows that the trend in modern scholarship has moved even more dramatically towards partial authenticity: "In my own reading of thirteen books since 1980 that touch upon the passage, ten out of thirteen argue the Testimonium to be partly genuine, while the other three maintain it to be entirely spurious. Coincidentally, the same three books also argue that Jesus did not exist." (Kirby, Testamonium Flavianum, 2001). Though my own studies have revealed a similar trend (about 15 to 1 for partial authenticity, with the exception being a Jesus Mythologist), I do not believe that it is a coincidence that it is Jesus Mythologists who are carrying the water against the partial authenticity theory. Even the partial validity of this one passage is enough to sink their entire argument.

Notably, the consensus for partial authenticity is held by scholars from diverse perspectives. Liberal commentators such as Robert Funk, J. Dominic Crossan, and A.N. Wilson, accept a substantial part of the TF as originally Josephan. So do Jewish scholars, such as Geza Vermes, Louis H. Feldman, and Paul Winter and secular scholars such as E.P. Sanders and Paula Fredrikson. Even Jeff Lowder, co-founder of the Secular Web, recognizes the merits of the partial authenticity theory. (Lowder, Josh McDowell's Evidence for Jesus: Is it Reliable? 2000). Paula Fredrikson sums up the state of the question among scholars: "Most scholars currently incline to see the passage as basically authentic, with a few later insertions by Christian scribes." (Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews, page 249).

Those scholars who accept the "partial authenticity" theory conclude that - at a minimum - something similar to the following reconstruction of the TF was likely original to Book 18:

At this time there appeared Jesus, a wise man. For he was a doer of startling deeds, a teacher of people who receive the truth with pleasure. And he gained a following among many Jews and among many of Gentile origin. And when Pilate, because of an accusation made by the leading men among us, condemned him to the cross, those who had loved him previously did not cease to do so. And up until this very day the tribe of Christians (named after him) had not died out. (per Meier, op. cit., page 61).

Arabic version, from tenth century
In 1971, Professor Shlomo Pines published a translation of a different version of this passage, quoted in an Arabic manuscript of the tenth century. The manuscript in question appears in the Book of the Title written by Agapius, a 10th century Christian Arab and Melkite bishop of Hierapolis. Agapius appears to be quoting from memory, for even Josephus' title is an approximation:

For he says in the treatises that he has written in the governance of the Jews: "At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus, and his conduct was good, and he was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. And those who had become his disciples did not abandon their loyalty to him. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion, and that he was alive. Accordingly they believed that he was the Messiah, concerning whom the Prophets have recounted wonders."
—Shlomo Pines' translation, quoted by J. D. Crossan

Hence Josephus' writing is accepted authentic by many historians.

Further Iasisu writes

"Messages about ‘things to come' – "prophetic" or not – cannot become the basis of objective discourse. The gospels, at best being later myth-sustaining propaganda literature to provide the flesh and skin for Paul's skeletal imagery of ‘our' Jesus, and, knowing how Paul (a shrewd ‘wheeler-dealer' by his own declaration – "…being crafty, I caught you with guile" 2 Cor. 12:16) was working for globalizing a fabricated faith, the word ‘earth' is most likely to be a later interpolation to impart to the ‘doctrine' a wider scope for subversion."

Yes I believe in prophecies and I believe they were not written "after the event" as what you seem to assert. If they can't be a "basis of objective discourse", then let it be so.

But Paul a "shrewd wheeler dealer?"…..Are you really using your "rationalism?"…how on earth would someone be stupid enough to write on a "book" he is supposed to "create" and "design" and write that he is "a cunning" or "manipulative person?....that verse is to show most likely how "resourceful or God gifted" he is …but how on Earth would someone write any thing "wicked" to describe himself. Even arrant show-man like you would never make that mistake! It is without any uncertainity the message was given in a "positive" way and not "perverse" way as you haplessly are trying to prove. It is so pathetic to see how some people can stoop to such "tawdry" levels to serve their personal agenda. Is that all the "evil" you got from the message of Paul? So sad after trying to slander him your entire life all you could come up was with that. You should have read further then….

22 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I.
23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. (2 Cor 11:22-27)
Does a person who went through all those hardships sound "wheeler-dealer to you?" and you say you are using your rationalism! (Sense Iasius?)

Iasius continues

"And, by the by, if any distinction ought to be made between literary and symbolical meanings of "fire", we will need, by the same rule, to also apply it as stringently to miracles, where the "dead" were brought to "life", "water" was turned to "wine", and the "blind" regained "sight"! Is Don willing to do that? Common Sense, Don?)"
The symbolic meaning was given as in the future prophecies. Why should they be given to something like a miracle that already happened in front of everyone?

The quote

"On the contrary, he (Jesus) would NOT get "overwhelming support of his Jewish people". Jesus' (IESAPL) activism, by his own admission as stated in the gospels [Matt. 5. 17-19], was aimed at restoring ‘the Law'. So, obviously, a significant section of Jewry, in the eyes of the Zealots at the time at least, had strayed away from ‘the Law'. (Ask people to give up their current way of life and see how welcome you are or how much "support" you get!) To say therefore that "every Jew, man and woman would support him" is rather illogical and far removed from normative behavior, don't you think?

Again wrong assumption. The Mosaic rule at that time was draconian. Jesus came to "fulfill" the prophecies about him. He didn't come to "teach" the Law. Already there were the fanatic and "overzealous" Pharisees and Sadducees who "burdened" the people with the Law.
Your theory that they Jewish at that time opposed Jesus so that they wanted to "relish" and be "free from Law" while they are suffering under the Roman occupation is far from true. If the situation was such that the Jews were not under occupation, then your hypothesis might get further attention for discussion. But the Jew suffering under the Roman would fight down any Jew who is defying Roman occupation doesn't make any sense.

Again

"Isn't Don splitting hairs in desperation when he asks, "Even grand mothers joining Jesus' political agenda?!"... What is of moment here is the fact that Christ (IESAPL)'s insistence on Jewry going back to ‘the Law' as the only means of political emancipation was bound to produce rifts even among family members"

I think I'm not the one who is splitting hair by saying that the Jews rejected Jesus because he wanted to bring them back to their fore-fathers' Mosaic rule (though it was followed very much strictly) and instead gave him in to the Romans to be crucified!

Luke 12:51 - 53 "Do you think that I came to bring peace on earth? Not at all, I tell you, but rather division! From now on, five people in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided father against son, son against father, mother against daughter, daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law, and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law."

This sword that Christ refers to is the Word of God, and the Gospel of the Kingdom. Christ states that he did NOT come to bring peace to the earth, he knew that the Gospel of the Kingdom would cause great division among men, that it would split men apart, and that evil men would hate God‘s people because of it.

Jesus say's he came to pit people against each other, even within the same household a non-believer will become the bitter enemy of another family member that has become a true follower of Christ. In some places in the world today, if a person becomes a Christian they will be kicked out of the home, and disowned by the rest of the family for the radical commitment they have made to God. Many times these individuals are even killed because of their faith; it is the intolerance of non-believers that leads to violent acts against those who are followers of Christ.
Yes that was a prophetic message and this might be a hard pill to swallow for you but it is already happening in our times.

A Pakistani Muslim girl is threatened to death by her mother and brother for accepting Christ.…..
Noor also from Pakistan is almost kidnapped by her father for accepting Christ
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1470584_2,00.html

Mother turns against her own daughter who accepted Christ
http://wri.leaderu.com/pages/sara.html

Muslim mother tells son he is "dead" and disowns him till "judgment day" for accepting Jesus Christ as his Savior.

http://wri.leaderu.com/pages/timothy.html

For further Meaning to the verse read an autobiography of two ex-Muslim women "The Torn veil" by Gulshan Ester and "I dared to call him Father" by Bilquis Sheikh of how the prophetic message which Jesus Christ spoke is "coming to pass".

You have asked yourself a good question Mr. Iasius, why such "dynamite" was not "excised" from the Bible. This further bears witness that the Bible is not an insipid book which atheist like you are arrogating.

Call me blind prophecy believer, but the account you gave of even mother-in-laws opposing Jesus' call for Mosaic rule is utterly witless as compared as to the prophecy getting fulfilled.

Again

"With the skill of some of the most celebrated forgers and prevaricators of the time at their disposal, shrewd myth-mongers like Paul could well begin their work of ‘retro-fixing' "prophesies" (by interpolation in or excising from Jewish scripture) after breakfast and finish the job before lunch!"


Really Iasius? Is that what happened "on the button?" I don't see any "MIGHT" or "May be" or "could have been" here. By this same perspective you are not only slandering Christians, but also the same Jewish people who you call "who knew their scriptures very well" on believing a future prophecy and expecting their Messiah.

Again,

Don's statement: "The messiah had a mission far beyond that" finds no corroboration anywhere in Jewish scripture."

The mission of Jesus was to redeem man-kind (including Gentiles) to the forgiveness and Love of God through the Atonement he suffered on the Cross. Jesus Christ didn't come to bring people back to "Messianic Law". That Law was already unmitigated and followed in a draconian way.

Again

"Paul's ‘doctrine of faith' seems to have been lifted entirely out of the Habakkuk Pesher, making some vital alterations to suit Paul's agenda. Here is how Geza Vermes translates the relevant portion of the Habakkuk Pesher: "‘But the righteous shall live by his faith'. Interpreted, this concerns all those who observe the Law in the House of Judah, whom God will deliver from the House of Judgment because of their suffering and because of their faith in the Teacher of Righteousness"

The letters of Paul are messages of the daily activities of the Church, message of hope, love, patience and forgiveness between the disciples, message of encouragement to the Christian brothers in time of hardship, persecution. It doest not have any thing to do with a certain "Habakkuk Pesher" Just because some message are analogous it does not mean that he was adhering to it or emulating it.

My response continues…….
Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to Iasius "sense"---Part I by Don

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2022 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)