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Religion 101: "Religion Made Simple" Mba Mbulu, Instructor
Class # 8: Jesus and Jesus the Christ [Audio Version]
Read the following information. To the best of your ability, relate what you read to what you know about religion. Also, consider the following question(s).
(1) Is it likely that God or Joseph was the biological father of Jesus?
(2) Can you understand why there is such a huge difference between the Jesus who actually lived and the one the Bible talks about?
(3) Was it unusual for a person to be crucified in Jesus' time?
(4) How did Jesus become Jesus the Christ? What is the difference between the two?
(5) Is people's acceptance of the biblical stories about Jesus due to their faith or their brainwashing?
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Question: Who was Jesus?
Answer: The Bible is filled with fantastically fabricated stories. Nothing, however, is as fantastic and untrue as the information revolving around Jesus.
All indications are that, from a historical perspective, Jesus did exist. However, there is no proof that Jesus Christ, the "son of God" who walked on water and rose from the dead, ever existed. He is purely a consequence of some amazing frustrations, hopes and imaginations.
The historical Jesus was the son of Mary, but probably not the son of Joseph. Joseph took Jesus as his son and Jesus grew up to be a carpenter, like Joseph. Jesus was illiterate, but that did not keep him from be intelligent and a leader of people. Because his message stressed the liberating of the Jews from Roman domination, he became fairly popular. His message drew the attention of Roman authorities, and they arrested him and eventually crucified him. [People who were found guilty of a serious crime were crucified at that time, in much the same way people have been electrocuted or nerve gassed in modern times.]
About 60 to 75 years after his death, the life of Jesus was used to create a mythological figure, Jesus Christ. Even though the deeds attributed to Jesus Christ were claimed to have been performed by Jesus, that is not the case. What happened is the following.
As they were at the time of Moses, the Jews were against being dominated at the time of Jesus. Jesus did what he could to help his people free themselves, but they were incapable of doing so. Long after Jesus' death, a number of Jews were stilled faced with the question of how to free the Jews from Roman domination. So they did what Moses did; that is, they created a religious force that would enable their people to gain the confidence and strength they needed. They, in effect, rewrote Jesus' life, and the result of their efforts was Jesus the Christ.
They began by turning Mary's sexual indiscretion into an immaculate conception. They then changed the place of Jesus' birth from Nazareth to Bethlehem, which enable them to claim he was the legitimate heir to the throne of David. They also attributed several impossible deeds to Jesus, such as walking on water, feeding the multitudes with a couple of fish and rolls, and healing people, etc. and finally, they claimed that he was resurrected by "God" and rose to sit next to "God" in heaven. The individuals who created these stories had to make their people believe that "God" was looking out for them. Otherwise, they would never overcome the power of Rome.
European Christianity stresses faith so prominently because faith was the only thing the Jews of this period could manipulate to their favor. Jesus did not, could not have, functioned powerfully or mysteriously enough to generate the necessary faith among the Jewish people. Therefore, Jesus was awkwardly converted into Jesus the Christ.