The Four in One Gospel of Jeshua HaMashiach

Discussion in 'Religion and Spirituality' started by expiated, Apr 19, 2019.

  1. expiated


    Having essentially memorized the progression of events in the book of Luke, it is now my intention to use this thread to help me get a better fix on the actual sequence of all the Gospel related events as they happened according to the traditional beliefs regarding the history of Christianity.
  2. expiated


    So to get started, just to help me get my bearings, if I were to divide Israel into fourths, Jerusalem would be slightly to the right of center vertically and slightly above center horizontally, in the upper right-hand quartile—northwest of the Dead Sea—with Bethlehem a little to its south, and Bethany somewhat to the southeast.

    The Location of Jerusalem.jpg
  3. expiated


  4. expiated


    In terms of chronology, the Gospel of John chooses a starting point that precedes the other three Gospels by beginning at the very beginning—stating that “in the beginning was the Word.”

    In Greek philosophy, the concept behind the Word, the Logos, is the divine principle that permeates an orderly universe. And in the Old Testament, the Word carries the idea of active power. God spoke the universe into being.

    The Apostle Yohhanan (John) presents Yeshua as the eternal Word, who took on flesh and blood so that we could behold God's glory. In Yeshua, we have God's heaven-to-Earth message. ( As Yohhanan writes: “In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shone in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”
  5. expiated


    Luke comes next in chronology by stating why he is writing his Gospel account before he actually begins doing so:

    “So many others have tried their hand at putting together a story of the wonderful harvest of Scripture and history that took place among us, using reports handed down by the original eyewitnesses who served this Word with their very lives. Since I have investigated all the reports in close detail, starting from the story’s beginning, I decided to write it all out for you, most honorable Theophilus, so you can know beyond the shadow of a doubt the reliability of what you were taught.

    As a result, those who would like me to believe Yeshua never actually existed would be hard pressed to realize that which they desire. Indeed, the book of Luke makes their job virtually impossible. Luke says that “so many others” have tried putting together the story of the Gospel “using reports handed down by the original eyewitnesses.”

    What fictional character in all of history has had people argue for his or her existence “using reports handed down by the original" eyewitnesses? The closest examples I can think of might be the Loch Ness Monster, sasquatch, or Alien abductors.

    But these examples are not rooted in time and place. What was the origin of these alien invaders, of sasquatch, or the Loch Ness Monster? When have they ever moved among the population at large? Why is there no hard evidence or public record that anything of the type exists at all?

    However, Yeshua was a human being, and we know that human beings do in fact exist. Moreover, if the Messiah did not actually circulate among the people, the accounts written by “many others” who recorded the “history that took place among us” would have been immediately dismissed as total fabrications, since everyone would have known the supposed events described in their reports did not “take place among us” at all! I would imagine this is why alien abductors, sasquatch, and the Loch Ness Monster have not inspired a worldwide community of over a billion devoted believers—as did such real life figures such as Yeshua of Nazareth and Muhammad.

    So who was this Theophilus to whom Luke wrote, whose name means friend of God, beloved of God, or loving God? No one knows for sure, but according to Wikipedia, there are several conjectures and traditions around his identity.
    1. Coptic tradition asserts that Theophilus was a Jew of Alexandria.
    2. Others say Theophilus was probably a Roman official of some sort, because Luke referred to him as "most excellent." This includes those who claim the person was a converted Roman official, possibly Titus Flavius Sabinus, a former Prefect of Rome and older brother of future Roman Emperor Vespasian.
    3. Another tradition maintains that Theophilus was not a single or particular person, but rather, “friend of God” refers to anyone who fits this description—any of the learned or academic but unnamed men and women of the era.
    4. Others believe that Theophilus could have been Paul's lawyer during his trial period in Rome, and a growing belief points Theophilus ben Ananus, High Priest of the Temple in Jerusalem from 37-41. In this tradition Theophilus would have been both a kohen and a Sadducee. That would make him the son of Annas and brother-in-law of Caiaphas, raised in the Jewish Temple. Adherents claim that Luke's Gospel was targeted at Sadducee readers. This might explain a few features of Luke. He begins the story with an account of Zacharias the righteous priest who had a Temple vision of an angel (1:5-25). Luke quickly moves to account Mary's purification (niddah), Jesus' Temple redemption (pidyon ha-ben) rituals (2:21-39), and then to Jesus' pilgrimage to the Temple when he was twelve (2:46), possibly implying his bar mitzvah. He makes no mention of Caiaphas' role in Jesus' crucifixion and emphasizes Jesus' literal resurrection (24:39), including an ascension into heaven as a realm of spiritual existence (24:52; Acts 1:1). Luke also seems to stress Jesus' arguments with the Sadducees on points like legal grounds for divorce, the existence of angels, spirits, and an afterlife (Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection of the dead). If this was the case then Luke is trying to use Jesus' rebuttals and teachings to break down Theophilus' Sadducean philosophy, maybe with the hope that Theophilus would use his influence to get the Sadducees to cease their persecution of the Christians.
    5. A minority view identifies Theophilus as a later high priest, Mattathias ben Theophilus, who served from 65-66.
    6. And finally, one last theory is that Luke was the slave of a certain Sabinus, whom he cured of an illness, prompting Sabinus to set Luke free; and that Theophilus was the governor of Luke's hometown, and that this Theophilus is likely the person of stature Luke was addressing and wanted to be confident in the teachings he had recently received.
  6. stu


    Unlike Yeshua who has no other reputable evidence of existence outside that contained the Bible, there is Gilgamesh for one example, who does actually have an independently supported historicity of existence aside from the religious folk law that surrounds him as a deity.

    Countless other Gods also have the same religious eyewitnesses, such as Buddha for instance, said to have been in human form, walking the Earth interacting with people and whose origin is rooted in time and place by reports, both oral and written and handed down over millennia. There's Mohamed in Islam, same again.
    If the closest examples you can think of might be the Loch Ness Monster, sasquatch, or Alien abductors then really you should try and think harder.

    Uncle Sam, King Arthur and Robin Hood were all human beings, and we know that human beings do in fact exist right? But they didn't. And Luke didn't, and Jesus didn't, and just because some monk with the pen name Luke said someone did exist, doesn't mean they actually did. The Bible isn't true because the Bible says the Bible is true.

    Born on December 25th, betrayed by one of his disciples,crucified, buried for 3 days and then resurrected, the Egyptian Sun God Horus was doing stuff around 3000 years earlier than Yeshua, or whatever other name you want to give to Bible Jesus. Not to mention Mythras who came from the same mold that many other Gods did through the mists of time and which the Jesus character was clearly made to imitate in turn.
  7. Sig


    There's no reason to doubt that a guy named Jesus existed (although quite clearly with that name he was probably hispanic!). Maybe not a guy named Luke, more likely a group of guys. Probably around 2000 years ago. The hispanic guy was probably charismatic and may very well have had a small following. Probably didn't walk on water, or turn water into wine, or raise himself from the dead. Might not have even been crucified (what exactly were the last words of Jesus, by the way, for the scriptural literalists among us?) Clearly the story was modified over the last 2000 years to meet various political aims of various leaders, as well as ease it's acceptance among those following various earlier religions. But I think it does a disservice to rational thinking to claim that an actual guy roughly matching the description provided and a group of people somewhat contemporaneous to him definitely didn't exist. Like all urban legends, this one probably is formed around a small kernel of truth, if for no other reason than that it's just easier than making it up from nothing.
  8. stu


    Hi Sig. I think there is very good reason to doubt Bible Jesus existed at all.
    Any amount of real life charismatic characters have always existed at any particular time, but it doesn't need one to exist for a God to be produced.
    Christianity in essence was a political uprising at its inception. Developing a movement that had a deity on its side only required political activists and learned writers with active imaginations, some plagiarism, sticks and carrots with superstition thrown in the mix.
    An actual Jesus person would have been completely unnecessary and quite frankly as you allude to, impossible to find. Then again, perhaps in 2000 years it may be wondered if Harry Potter was based on a real person who actually existed.

    I think the thing is non of this stuff is made up from nothing. Gods from the earliest to the latest all bear strong resemblances to ones that preceded them in earlier folklore anecdote and fictional tales passed down throughout time.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2019
  9. Sig


    My point is that for rational thinking to prevail it's irrelevant if a Jesus dude did or didn't exist, it's kind of getting hung up on an irrelevant argument. But I'm with you, amazing coincidence the birth and death of this guy coinciding with the solstice and equinox so important to the pagan religions it was replacing, isn't it?
  10. expiated


    Dude! I just read your "the idea that the risk-to-reward ratio is inextricably linked to your probability of success is a well thought-out concept with a vast body of research supporting it" comment which you wrote in response to another one of my posts, and I subsequently credited you with seeming to be an informed person. But here you go and write something like the above, and you blow that impression all to smithereens!

    The story was "clearly" modified over the last 2000 years to meet various political aims of various leaders based on what? Where do I find these various modifications? They do not exist.

    Now I'm inclined to ignore your posts, since you have provided me with hard evidence that perhaps you are not such an informed individual after all, and consequently, reading the entries you write in response to my posts will more than likely just be a waste of my time.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2019
    #10     Apr 29, 2019