Was Jesus a Christian?

Kookaburra Jack

Ad Honorem
May 2011
2,941
Rural Australia
Did Paul ‘invent’ Christianity?
Who invented Paul?

2. PAUL TO SENECA, greeting

I received your letter yesterday with delight, and should have been able to answer it at once, had I had by me the youth I meant to send to you. For you know when, and by whom, and at what moment, and to whom things ought to be given and entrusted. I beg, therefore, that you will not think yourself neglected, when I am respecting the dignity of your person. Now in that you somewhere write that you are pleased with my letter (or, write that you are pleased with part of my letter) I think myself happy in the good opinion of such a man: for you would not say it, you, a critic, a sophist, the teacher of a great prince, and indeed of all -unless you spoke truth. I trust you may long be in health.

The Wesley Center Online: The Correspondence Of Paul And Seneca
 
Nov 2016
1,017
Germany
The primary question is not whether Jesus was a Christian, but whether Jesus was Jesus at all, i.e. a uniform person. In many places in the Gospels, sayings are put in his mouth that cannot possibly come from one and the same person, unless he is hebephrenic or saying this today and that tomorrow just as he likes.

This fact is not taken into account enough in discussions about Jesus.

I quote a few passages that contradict other passages or his own behavior. However, this is only a limited selection.

(1)
Mt 5:5, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.”

The figure of Jesus himself is anything but mild, but he demands this from his followers.

(2)
Mt 5:7, “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.”

But what about his own mercy? That is limited, considering this saying:

Mt 10:33, “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”

(3)
Mt 5:9, "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God."

However, he changes tune in these passages:

Mt 10:34-35, "Think not that I am come to bring peace on earth. I came not to bring peace, but a sword. For I come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law."

(4)
Once it is said that it would be punished with a trip to hell to call someone a fool, but in other places Jesus himself calls his opponents fools.

Mt 5:22, "And anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell."

Versus:

Mt 23:17, "You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred?"

Lk 11:40, "You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also?"

(5)
And now to the most important contradiction, the contradiction between the commandments of love and the threats of hell against unbelievers. How can it be possible that such contradictory utterances come from one and the same person?

Mt 5:44, “Love your enemies.”
Mt 19:19, "Love your neighbor as yourself."

Versus:

Again, Mt 5:22, "And anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell."
Mt 5:29, "If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell."
Mt 23:33, "You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell."
Mt 25:46, "Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."
Mt 25:30, "And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
 
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Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,471
Dispargum
Jesus was not documented in his own time by eye witnesses. His message existed only as oral tradition for many decades before it was written down. Most people prefer good stories to strict historical accuacy. Oral traditions therefore have a tendency to evolve with each retelling as story tellers try to improve the story as they understand and define a good story (what one person considers a good story may not please someone else). So it should not surprise us that contradictions have crept into the message of Jesus. Clearly some people bought into the message of peace and love while other people liked the idea of sending to hell those people who disagreed with them.
 
Nov 2016
1,017
Germany
So it should not surprise us that contradictions have crept into the message of Jesus. Clearly some people bought into the message of peace and love while other people liked the idea of sending to hell those people who disagreed with them.
I'm missing the point of your argument. I see three options for interpreting it:

(1)
Are you suggesting that a (hypothetical) homogeneous original message of Jesus was distorted by arbitrary inventions in oral tradition into heterogeneous, thus contradictory statements? But which components were invented - the love components or the aggression components? And if you say: the aggression components - why then do these appear statistically clearly more frequently in the Gospels than the love components?

(2)
Or was the original message already heterogeneous and were the contradictory statements differently emphasized by different lines of tradition, so that in the end the message in the Gospels appeared heterogeneous again?

I only read from you that some people in the oral tradition preferred to have Jesus proclaim a message of love and others to have him proclaim hell threats and the like. Nowhere do I read from you what Jesus (hypothetically) could really have said that would have been distorted in the oral tradition.

(3)
The way you present it, one could even get the impression that - as the mythicist theory says - both the positive and the negative messages are a product of the oral tradition - and no more.

Therefore, I ask you to present your line of thought in a more understandable way.
 
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JoanOfArc007

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
3,800
USA
Jesus was the first head of the Catholic Church. From the Catholic view Jesus our Lord and Savior founded the Catholic Church.

Jesus’ followers were first called Christians in Antioch (Acts 11:26)—only after his death and resurrection. That term and catholic (universal) were interchangeable from the second through the 11th centuries A.D.

Born Jewish, Jesus Was the First Christian
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,471
Dispargum
I'm missing the point of your argument. I see three options for interpreting it:

(1)
Are you suggesting that a (hypothetical) homogeneous original message of Jesus was distorted by arbitrary inventions in oral tradition into heterogeneous, thus contradictory statements? But which components were invented - the love components or the aggression components? And if you say: the aggression components - why then do these appear statistically clearly more frequently in the Gospels than the love components?

(2)
Or was the original message already heterogeneous and were the contradictory statements differently emphasized by different lines of tradition, so that in the end the message in the Gospels appeared heterogeneous again?

I only read from you that some people in the oral tradition preferred to have Jesus proclaim a message of love and others to have him proclaim hell threats and the like. Nowhere do I read from you what Jesus (hypothetically) could really have said that would have been distorted in the oral tradition.

(3)
The way you present it, one could even get the impression that - as the mythicist theory says - both the positive and the negative messages are a product of the oral tradition - and no more.

Therefore, I ask you to present your line of thought in a more understandable way.
No one knows what the original message was. Before the message was written down it was distorted by numerous additions so that now all we have is a heterogeneous message, but it is impossible to know what part of the message is surviving original material and what is a later addition.
 
Nov 2016
44
Australia
Who invented Paul?

2. PAUL TO SENECA, greeting
I received your letter yesterday with delight, and should have been able to answer it at once, had I had by me the youth I meant to send to you. For you know when, and by whom, and at what moment, and to whom things ought to be given and entrusted. I beg, therefore, that you will not think yourself neglected, when I am respecting the dignity of your person. Now in that you somewhere write that you are pleased with my letter (or, write that you are pleased with part of my letter) I think myself happy in the good opinion of such a man: for you would not say it, you, a critic, a sophist, the teacher of a great prince, and indeed of all -unless you spoke truth. I trust you may long be in health.
these letters are medieval forgeries.
 
Mar 2019
1,535
KL
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?
Muhammad was following what he preached, if he had not followed it himself nobody else would have, muslims have sahih muslim book which is the book of the saying of Muhammad, and his actions which are closely followed or imitated by the muslims, or they strive to. No where he claimed to have invented a religion, rather, he claimed to have received holy injunctions from the all mighty and the laws were erected as soon as they were revealed by Gabriel, meaning if muslims were drinking wine and suddenly it was revealed that now he has a holy command that it hould be prohibited, muslims would break their wine jars immediately. Islam or Quran repeats the stories already told in bible or torah before, only it states that its version is the correct one.

secondly calling christianity or islam or buddhist is just minsing words.

regards
 

Edratman

Forum Staff
Feb 2009
6,701
Eastern PA
Jesus was baptized. So technically he became a Christian.
wasn't John the Baptist baptizing prior to the ministry of Jesus? If so how can the people being baptized at that time be called Christians?