Was Jesus a Christian?

Mar 2016
1,222
Australia
Christianity as a semi-organised religion distinct from Judaism definitely came about with Paul. If it wasn't for him there would be no Christianity, since Christ's message would have died along with him on the cross. Christ did not preach for a new religion specifically, just new messages and ideals that would later be organised into the basis of a new religion.
 
Nov 2016
1,014
Germany
Did Paul ‘invent’ Christianity?
The question presupposes that it is unequivocally established (1) what the theology of the New Testament Jesus really says and (2) that Paul is indeed a representative of early Christianity and not - as some scholars suspect - an artificial figure of the 2nd century whose letters are the product of a dispute between the Marcionites and the Catholics, which would explain the oddities and inconsistencies of these letters. It must be emphasized that the letters of Paul were first published by the Gnostic Marcion around 140 CE. A critical theory says that these letters were adopted by the opponents of Marcion, the Catholics, and revised in a Catholic way.

As to (1) it must be added that it is not really certain when the Gospels were written and whether and to what extent supposedly authentic Jesus sayings were mixed with newly invented sayings. Moreover, it is not clear whether Jesus was a historical figure at all.

In other words: Every discussion about the question floats in a space of speculation and unprovable assumptions.
 
Last edited:
Mar 2013
1,031
Breakdancing on the Moon.
I remember there was an interesting legal case in the ME years ago; a school teacher was imprisoned for claiming that Mohammed couldn't be a Muslim before he invented the religion.

I think it's kind of the same thing here almost. How could Jesus be a follower of Jesus?
 

Baldtastic

Ad Honorem
Aug 2009
5,479
Londinium
It would be a little bit hard even for Christ to be a follower of himself.
Didn't he preach that there is no way into heaven apart from through himself? This suggests he was a follower of himself, as he knew (believed) the only way to enter heave and please God was through himself.
 
Nov 2016
44
Australia
What i mean is....
Did Jesus believe he was reforming Judaism or rejecting it?
Did he believe that getting into heaven required following the Jewish laws - dietary, circumcusion etc?
Did he preach the idea of the trinity?
Did he forsee his own death and explain one only needs to believe in this and his own future resurrection to be ‘saved’?
Or were all of these ideas Paul’s.... or somebody else???
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,463
Dispargum
Christianity did not come into existence at a single point in time but evolved over at least a century and possibly as many as three or four. Jesus started a process but did not finish it.

What i mean is....
Did Jesus believe he was reforming Judaism or rejecting it?
Did he believe that getting into heaven required following the Jewish laws - dietary, circumcusion etc?
Did he preach the idea of the trinity?
Did he forsee his own death and explain one only needs to believe in this and his own future resurrection to be ‘saved’?
Or were all of these ideas Paul’s.... or somebody else???
Jesus thought he was reforming Judaism. Only Paul defined Christianity independent of Judaism. It's hard to imagine Jesus not understanding the nature of the trinity, but his recorded preachings are vague on the relationship between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It took much of the fourth century for the Church to arrive at a consensus on that question.
 
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Willempie

Ad Honorem
Jul 2015
5,378
Netherlands
What i mean is....
Did Jesus believe he was reforming Judaism or rejecting it?
Reforming
Did he believe that getting into heaven required following the Jewish laws - dietary, circumcusion etc?
No, just think of the story of the Samaritan
Did he preach the idea of the trinity?
No. That remained a hot topic for the next millennium. Remember that Christianity basically originated in Greek culture, so that a version of Murphy's law applies: Anything they can philosophically debate about the bible, they will debate.
Did he forsee his own death and explain one only needs to believe in this and his own future resurrection to be ‘saved’?
Or were all of these ideas Paul’s.... or somebody else???
That part is obviously unclear as the new testament was written ages after the fact.
 
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Sep 2014
939
Texas
Where there is a void, nature and MAN will try to fill it. I read how the sophists attacked the Greek religion, added to the bad behavior of many people, and Christianity happened a long at the right time to fill that void. I firmly believe you can not legislate or debate people out of a desire to believe in something. And victims are the quickest to believe in anything that gives them value.

Was Christ a Christian....nope. Constantine is responsible for that. Until he came along there were all sorts of Christian orders, in fact Arrianism is essentially a more tolerant Islam without Mohammed. Gnostics were open to many ideas...these are my favorites. And there were forms of Christianity that survive only in writings.