1. Donationrwingett
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    09 Jul '07 13:351 edit
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_Seminar

    The Jesus Seminar is a research team of about 135 New Testament scholars founded in 1985 by the late Robert Funk and John Dominic Crossan under the auspices of the Westar Institute.[1][2] One of the most active groups in biblical criticism,[3] the seminar uses historical methods to determine what Jesus, as a historical figure, may or may not have said or done. In addition, the seminar popularizes research into the historical Jesus. The public is welcome to attend the twice-yearly meetings. They produced new translations of the New Testament plus the Gospel of Thomas to use as textual sources. They published their results in three reports The Five Gospels (1993),[4] The Acts of Jesus (1998),[5] and The Gospel of Jesus (1999).[6] They also run a series of lectures and workshops in various U.S. cities.

    The seminar's reconstruction of Jesus portrays him as a wandering wisdom sage who did not found a new religion or rise from the dead, but preached in startling parables and aphorisms. He often turned common ideas upside down, confounding the expectations of his audience. He preached of "Heaven's imperial rule" (traditionally translated as "Kingdom of God" ), which was already present but unseen. He depicts God as a loving father. He fraternizes with outsiders and criticizes insiders.

    The seminar treats the gospels as historical artifacts, representing not only Jesus' actual words and deeds but also the inventions and elaborations of the early Christian community and of the gospel authors. The fellows placed the burden of proof on those who advocate any passage's historicity. Unconcerned with canonical boundaries, they asserted that the Gospel of Thomas has more authentic material than the Gospel of John.[7]

    While analyzing the gospels as fallible human creations is a standard historical-critical method,[8] the seminar's premise that Jesus did not hold an apocalyptic world view is controversial. The fellows argue that the authentic words of Jesus indicate that he preached a sapiential eschatology (which encourages his disciples to repair the world) rather than an apocalyptic eschatology (which encourages his disciples to prepare for the end of the world).[9][10] This premise is in contrast to the one of contemporary evangelical scholars who maintain the image of Jesus as an apocalyptic figure preaching an inaugurated eschatology, which attempts to syncretize present and future expressions of the world to come.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_Seminar
  2. Donationrwingett
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    09 Jul '07 15:34
    Today's featured article on Wikipedia is about the Ebionites,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebionites

    The Ebionites were an early sect of mostly Jewish disciples of Jesus, who flourished in and around the land of Israel, as one of several Jewish Christian communities coexisting from the 1st to the 5th century of the Common Era. Where they took their name from is unclear, since the word appears in several religious texts, such as the Dead Sea scrolls, the Epistle of James, and the Gospel of Luke which features one of Jesus' most well-known blessings: "Congratulations, you poor! God's domain belongs to you." They are said to have dispossessed themselves of all their goods, and to have lived in religious communes. Since there is no authenticated archaeological evidence for the existence of the Ebionites, their nature and history cannot be definitely reconstructed from surviving references. The little that is known about them comes from critical references by early and influential theologians and writers in the Christian Church, who considered them to be "Judaizers" and "heretics". However, according to some of the modern scholars who have studied the historicity of the Ebionites, they may have been disciples of the early Jerusalem church, who were gradually marginalized by the followers of Paul of Tarsus despite possibly being more faithful to the authentic teachings of the historical Jesus.
  3. Donationrwingett
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    09 Jul '07 15:46
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_Jesus

    A long, but interesting article. Of particular relevance to my purposes here is the following passage:

    ...Though John's teachings remained visible in those of Jesus, Jesus would emphasize the Kingdom of God not as imminent, but as already present and manifest through the movement's communal commitment to a relationship of equality among all members, and living by the laws of divine justice.
  4. Joined
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    09 Jul '07 17:152 edits
    Originally posted by rwingett
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_Jesus

    A long, but interesting article. Of particular relevance to my purposes here is the following passage:

    ...Though John's teachings remained visible in those of Jesus, Jesus would emphasize the Kingdom of God not as imminent, but as already present and manifest through the movement's communal commitment to a relationship of equality among all members, and living by the laws of divine justice.
    Is this suppose to be like new information that a lot of Christian readers never noticed before ?

    I mean Matthew also says that He [Christ] gave to Peter the keys to the kingdom of the heavens. And the "church" and the "kingdom of the heavens" are used virtually interchangeably in Matthew 16:18,19.
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    09 Jul '07 17:181 edit
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Today's featured article on Wikipedia is about the Ebionites,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebionites

    The Ebionites were an early sect of mostly Jewish disciples of Jesus, who flourished in and around the land of Israel, as one of several Jewish Christian communities coexisting from the 1st to the 5th centur ossibly being more faithful to the authentic teachings of the historical Jesus.
    [/b]
    I hope whodey reads this articles. It might tell him what some christians in the 1st century believed.

    The majority of Church Fathers are in agreement in claiming that the Ebionites rejected many of the central Christian views of Jesus such as the pre-existence, divinity, virgin birth, atoning death, and physical resurrection of Jesus. The Ebionites are described as emphasizing the oneness of God and the humanity of Jesus as the biological son of both Mary and Joseph, who by virtue of his righteousness, was chosen by God to be the messianic "prophet like Moses" foretold in Deuteronomy 18:14-22, when he was anointed with the holy spirit at his baptism.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebionites
  6. Donationrwingett
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    09 Jul '07 18:34
    Originally posted by jaywill
    Is this suppose to be like new information that a lot of Christian readers never noticed before ?

    I mean [b]Matthew
    also says that He [Christ] gave to Peter the keys to the kingdom of the heavens. And the "church" and the "kingdom of the heavens" are used virtually interchangeably in Matthew 16:18,19.[/b]
    It ties in with my ongoing theory that Jesus was a proto-socialist and that his teachings were directed toward establishing an egalitarian, communal reformation of society in the here and now. So, in that sense, yes, it is information that most christians have never noticed before.
  7. Donationrwingett
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    09 Jul '07 18:35
    Originally posted by ahosyney
    I hope whodey reads this articles. It might tell him what some christians in the 1st century believed.

    The majority of Church Fathers are in agreement in claiming that the Ebionites rejected many of the central Christian views of Jesus such as the pre-existence, divinity, virgin birth, atoning death, and physical resurrection of Jesus. The Ebionites a ...[text shortened]... as anointed with the holy spirit at his baptism.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebionites
    I brought all this up once before in another thread, but got no reply from the orthodox christians.
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    10 Jul '07 02:271 edit
    Originally posted by rwingett
    It ties in with my ongoing theory that Jesus was a proto-socialist and that his teachings were directed toward establishing an egalitarian, communal reformation of society in the here and now. So, in that sense, yes, it is information that most christians have never noticed before.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    It ties in with my ongoing theory that Jesus was a proto-socialist and that his teachings were directed toward establishing an egalitarian, communal reformation of society in the here and now. So, in that sense, yes, it is information that most christians have never noticed before.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++



    Christ was not and is not a "reformer" of society of any type.

    But that the kingdom of God has its beginning in the here and now has been noticed and participated in by many believers.
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    10 Jul '07 03:311 edit
    Originally posted by ahosyney
    I hope whodey reads this articles. It might tell him what some christians in the 1st century believed.

    The majority of Church Fathers are in agreement in claiming that the Ebionites rejected many of the central Christian views of Jesus such as the pre-existence, divinity, virgin birth, atoning death, and physical resurrection of Jesus. The Ebionites a as anointed with the holy spirit at his baptism.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebionites
    Did you read the wiki story of the Ebionites?

    "THE EARLIEST reference to a group that fits the description of the Ebionites appears in a text by Justin Martyr from 140. An unwarrented sect is mentioned that WAS estranged from the church and observed the Law of Moses, which it regarded as a universal obligation."

    It seems that this group split form the church according to Wiki. I was looking for the theology that began the church more than I was heretical offshoots. Some of their beliefs seem to have been that Chrsit was the archangel Michael who was incarnated in Jesus and then was adopted as the Son of God. Perhaps this is where the Jehova Witness theology came about in regards to this teaching? It also is rather disappointing to see that the only texts from which they seem to have agreed with is the gospel of Matthew, referred to as the Gospel of the Hebrews. "This version of Matthew, Irenaius reports, omitted the first two chapters (on the nativity of Jesus), and started with the baptism of Jesus by John". Perhaps this was because they disagreed with some of the theological teachings in Matthew such as the virgin birth in the beginning chapters of Matthew so they simply chose to edit it out? I also wonder what they thought of Christ ressurecting at the end of Matthew? I will have to do more study as to the version of Matthew that they adhered to. As for their own writings, the ones that are of the earliest appear to have been written in the 3rd century which are "The Recognitions of Clement" and "The Clementine Homilies". I was hoping for some earlier writings indicating what the original 12 thought and believed.

    As far as the original 12, it says that the closest link to the 12 was James the Just who was not one of the original 12. Granted, he was a relative of Jesus, however, he was not one of the original 12. What is said about James the Just is that he was one of the founders of the Jerusalem church. Then later the Ebionites became an offshoot of this church.

    All in all I would say that the Ebionites come closer to the disciples than the gnostics, however, I am still largely unimpressed.
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    10 Jul '07 03:34
    Originally posted by rwingett
    It ties in with my ongoing theory that Jesus was a proto-socialist and that his teachings were directed toward establishing an egalitarian, communal reformation of society in the here and now. So, in that sense, yes, it is information that most christians have never noticed before.
    So what did Christ accomplish? Was it a social utopia or were his efforts in vain?
  11. Standard memberNemesio
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    10 Jul '07 03:401 edit
    Originally posted by whodey
    All in all I would say that the Ebionites come closer to the disciples than the gnostics, however, I am still largely unimpressed.
    Proto-Gnostic doctrine is present in the late first century. Arguably the Gospel of St John is
    proto-Gnostic.

    I would describe them as contemporary.

    Nemesio
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    10 Jul '07 03:53
    Originally posted by rwingett
    I brought all this up once before in another thread, but got no reply from the orthodox christians.
    I remember when you brought it up. I didn't reply because there's no point. Fundamentally, if one does not believe that Jesus rose from the dead, then one isn't a christian.
  13. Standard memberNemesio
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    10 Jul '07 04:01
    Originally posted by josephw
    Fundamentally, if one does not believe that Jesus rose from the dead, then one isn't a christian.
    There are different ways in which people can believe in this (that Jesus rose from the dead). That
    was what all the controversy was in the second century.

    Nemesio
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    10 Jul '07 04:03
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    There are different ways in which people can believe in this (that Jesus rose from the dead). That
    was what all the controversy was in the second century.

    Nemesio
    Jesus died and rose from the dead. Literally.
  15. Standard memberNemesio
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    10 Jul '07 04:05
    Originally posted by josephw
    Jesus died and rose from the dead. Literally.
    Well, there are other people -- present and past -- who do not think that a literal understanding of
    this event is a requirement for Christianity. Bishop John Shelby Spong, former Bishop of the
    Episcopal Diocese of Newark, New Jersey, would count as one of these people.

    Nemesio
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