Jesus

Was Jesus illiterate or just lazy?

hebrew-Scroll-TorahAssume the Bible gospels are true and Jesus was a historical figure who walked the earth and rose from the dead.

And for those who don’t recognize the name, L. Ron Hubbard is the founder of The Church of Scientology (arguably the most recent new successful religion).

During his lifetime on earth, L. Ron Hubbard wrote over 1,000 books. In fact, he’s in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most published and translated books of any human being ever. That is extremely impressive.

Now, let’s talk about Jesus’ accomplishments in the literary field. A naïve person might answer that Jesus wrote the Bible and it’s a bigger seller than L. Ron Hubbard. But Jesus left the story of his life to be written by others. He didn’t personally write anything.

We don’t have even a single note with one word on it written by Jesus while he walked the earth. He let himself be outdone by L. Ron Hubbard! Imagine the autobiography Jesus could have written. Wow, it could have been amazing. All about growing up as God in human form. What it’s like to have pain for the first time ever. How disgusting our toilet practices are. He could have written about germs and how important it was to wash your hands to avoid spreading diseases. Where he was going when he floated into the sky. And on an on. He could have written volumes.

Instead we get second and third hand accounts of his life where the majority of the content is about the last week of his life.

It just doesn’t make sense (unless of course he wasn’t God or didn’t exist).

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What year was Jesus born?

Christian Christmas Nativity SceneOne of the most fascinating things I’ve discovered about Jesus is that although he is arguably the most famous man who ever lived, there is nothing we know of him historically contemporaneously. Even most Christian apologists admit that Paul didn’t write his letters until the first century 50’s and the gospels are supposed to have been written in the late 60’s onward. There are no known contemporary writings of Jesus in historical documents or even Biblical documents. And the Biblical documents don’t assign dates to any events in Jesus’ life. Sure, they point to Matthew’s story of Herod and his massacre of the innocents. But Herod died in 4 BC and the massacre of the innocents is not documented in any historical writing and is only documented in 1 of the 4 canonized gospels. In Luke, they point to the historical episode of the census of Quirinius which points to a date of 6-7 AD. Of course, apologists twist themselves into knots to reconcile these accounts. But those apologetic knots never reconcile to an exact date and that’s my point. The death date is just as hard to nail down. You have to look for passover dates and earthquakes and sky darkening events. And the date of the crucifixion in relation to the passover is in question between the 3 synoptic gospels and the gospel of John.

So given this most famous man who ever lived, why do we know the birth dates and death dates of many less distinguished individuals but not Jesus? And in terms of current Christian theology, Christians believe Jesus came to earth as God incarnate to save us and Paul tells us that the way we become saved is fundamentally to “believe” in Jesus’ divinity and resurrection. They believe hellfire awaits those who don’t believe. But think closely about the system that God set up for us here. He forces us to believe in Jesus to be saved so he divinely conceived a system where he would come to earth as man at a time when we were still writing on parchment. He also setup the system so that not a single historian noticed all the miracles and crowds surrounding his human self. And if anyone did notice, no contemporary writings survived.

You might argue with me that God’s system has worked well and billions believe the story and that the Bible became one the most popular books in history. And that apparently God wants most people to burn in hell so this system aids in that goal. So kudos go to God for this system.

But my belief is that most Christians are unaware of the gap in historical evidence for Jesus at the time of their conversion and if they were it would raise an eyebrow about the validity of the story. I was raised Christian in a fundamentalist family and only came to understand the historical gap in the last couple of years. It is not well known in the Christian community or not publicized to the pew potatoes. Of course, for most believers, it really doesn’t matter to their faith. Many state very plainly that there is no evidence that could ever change their mind about their faith but that notion simply drives home the point that they didn’t come to their faith by evidence which is good because when it comes to Jesus’ historicity, there is no evidence.

The 100 Most Significant Figures in History

Born

Died

1 Jesus

?

?

2 Napoleon

Aug 15, 1769

May 5, 1821

3 Muhammad

570 AD

June 8, 632 AD

4 William Shakespeare

Apr 26, 1564

Apr 23, 1616

5 Abraham Lincoln

Feb 12, 1809

Apr 15, 1865

6 George Washington

Feb 22, 1732

Dec 14, 1799

7 Adolf Hitler

Apr 20, 1889

Apr 30, 1945

8 Aristotle

384 BC

322 BC

9 Alexander the Great

July 356 BC

June 323 BC

10 Thomas Jefferson

Apr 13, 1743

Jul 4, 1826

11 Henry VIII of England

Jun 28, 1491

Jan 28, 1547

12 Charles Darwin

Feb 12, 1809

Apr 19, 1882

13 Elizabeth I of England

Sep 7, 1533

Mar 24, 1603

14 Karl Marx

May 5, 1818

Mar 14, 1883

15 Julius Caesar

July 12, 100 BC

March 15, 44 BC

Why did Jesus fly into the sky?

Acts 1:6-11 New Living Translation (NLT)

6 So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?” 7 He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9 After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. 10 As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”

When Jesus ascended into the sky from earth, what happened to his physical body? I know he had a physical body at that point because he let people touch him. At 30k feet or so there isn’t enough oxygen to survive and it’s freezing. So, would he have disconnected his spirit from his body? And then would his body fall back to earth or burn up in the atmosphere? I asked a Christian this question and he said at that point Jesus had “a glorified body” similar to the ones we will get when we go to heaven. So since the Bible does explicitly state that “he was taken up into a cloud” and the only way that could happen was with a super body, let’s assume that’s the case.

Ascension-of-Jesus-Christ-Coloring-Pages_201

When Jesus ascended into the sky, where did he go? Obviously heaven right? So then where’s heaven? Is it above our sky? According to the Acts passage, it is apparently in the sky or our sky can open up a window to see it.

But what if heaven is outside space and time or in another dimension as some Christians claim? The Bible doesn’t seem to address this as far as I’m aware and in fact seems to say that heaven is above the sky but let’s assume it’s outside our known universe. Why bother dragging a physical body from earth to heaven? After all, aren’t we told that when we die, we just pop into heaven or hell as a soul? I would have thought Jesus would have said “I’m going to heaven now” and then his body would crumple to the ground (same as us – supposedly).

So let’s assume he had a good reason to drag his physical body up from earth into the sky/universe/other dimension/heaven. Why the heck would he want to? Before coming to earth, I’m assuming he was some kind of ethereal being unconstrained by any physical bounds. The only reason he had a body at all was the process of being born on earth. And clearly it’s now glorified but still scarred with holes in it and only 5-6 feet tall most likely. Seems awfully limiting.