394 Comments

You know that every one of these morons ranting against “historically inaccurate nativities” have no problem singing “I saw three ships come sailing in on Christmas Day in the morning.”

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Believers will never acknowledge this, but the savior they are so fond of, as described in the bible, is problematic at best. Each of the four gospels describes him differently (or at least when the three synoptic gospels aren't plagiarizing each other!), and have sometimes markedly different takes on what this carpenter-turned-rabbi did. That doesn't even mention that those four stories of his life are told at minimum 40 years after his putative death, so the vagaries only increase.

And now Ms. Jones wants to assert that Jesus was Asian? About all I can come up with here is: SO WHAT? Does this mean that all Jews are originally Asian as well? Obviously, from the reaction she got, there are a LOT of upset people out there, bent out of shape because of her proposal.

What this reflects to me, more than anything else, is that not only is there no new thing under the sun for believers, THEY DON'T WANT ANYTHING NEW. They already have their Jesus defined in their head, and they want nothing to interfere with that image. Any kind of new data that contradicts their fixed image amounts to blasphemy / heresy / whatever-have-you, and they will hold their breath until they turn blue if someone suggests such a thing.

And once again, we have believers acting like spoiled children. Quelle surprise.

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I saw a meme that read, "There are no white people in the Bible. Take all the time you need."

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Greeks? Romans? :)

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Remember, the marble statues from the Greek and Roman dynasties were painted, the Victorians scrubbed all the colors off. It is likely the skin tones were quite varied, and probably darker than we expect. And looking at the texture of the hair represented, there probably wasn’t a blonde statue in the lot.

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I've known people from my parents' generation who didn't consider Italians and their American descendants as white people so I would imagine those same people wouldn't consider Romans or Greeks as white people either.

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My people came from Normandy and Champagne. We're white skinned. Yet we were told to "speak white". Weird, isn't it? I, too, remember hearing about irish not being white but Scots were. They look similar and are VERY pale skinned, milky white while I'm more of a pinky white.

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They're in the category of "people who get to be white when it's convenient," just like the Irish and the Poles.

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Schrödinger's Caucasians.

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I had that thought as well, but I still liked the meme.

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I believe that the gospels - cannon & apocryphal - are all what we would today classify as fanfic. To quote oraxx, "Take all the time you need."

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I thought the point of her essay was that the believers all over the world fixed different images of Jesus in their minds (and cultures) and she was simply showing the diversity of Asian interpretations of him. I don’t think him being Asian (which he was if he was born where they say he was) was even the main point.

Evangelicals have never been the brightest people though so as you say, no surprise.

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There is no direct evidence Jesus even existed. No contemporary historian appears to have noticed him. Not even a Jewish historian you might think would have spoken out against someone so upsetting to the status quo. We have the gospels, written down decades after the fact. There are no surviving original copies, and none of them were signed. The printing press was still fifteen hundred years in the future, and every Bible that existed was hand copied for centuries. You can't do that without mistakes creeping in. The story is not defensible without a heavy dose of special pleading and magical thinking. If Jesus existed, he certainly wasn't a blue-eyed blonde European. The Christian edifice is built of very thin stuff.

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"Thin?!?" More like: "anorexic!"

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"You can't do that without mistakes creeping in."

Creeping? Frequently it was deliberate.

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Indeed, although it isn't always easy to determine what the intent was. Mistakes were inevitable even if the monks were doing their level best to be accurate.

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I personally subscribe to the multi-Jesus hypothesis. Yeshua was a very common name at that time and place (akin to John today), virtually everybody was illiterate, and itinerant preachers (like John the Baptist) were pretty much the only form of entertainment available beyond the dreidel. So here's the one guy foaming at the mouth about the Roman occupiers and promising to bring back the concept of Hebrew national sovereignty the way it was under legendary King David (the political messiah). He's the badass who kicked over the tables in the temple and promised "I come to bring not peace but a sword." The other Yeshua was the "can't we all get along" guy, with his message of peace and tolerance and rendering unto Caesar (the spiritual messiah). And, over the ensuing decades, operating only with word of mouth, their stories became conflated into a single semi-mythical figure.

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Carrier makes it clear that part of the world in that era was awash with itinerant preachers, and I think the multi-Jesus hypothesis has a lot of merit. I think the odds are incredibly long against the Biblical Jesus story being accurate.

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What, not 100% true in every jot and tittle? You cynic, you!

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Also lending some support to this hypothesis are the two different genealogies of Joseph in Matthew 1:1-16 and Luke 3:23-38 (tho no Christian has ever satisfactorily explained why anyone should give a rip about the genealogy of Jesus's FOSTER father).

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Dec 29, 2023·edited Dec 29, 2023

He's from the House of David. The house that is supposed to produce the Christian messiah. But Jesus doesn't have Joseph's blood in him. And Mary is not from the House of David.

Hey Christians: Your messiah...isn't.

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In one of Bart Ehrman's books, he said that notes that appeared in the margins were later found in the texts. There are also notes calling the previous guy an idiot for doing that. Not to mention the 𝔏𝔢𝔱 ℌ𝔢 𝔚𝔦𝔱𝔥𝔬𝔲𝔱 𝔖𝔦𝔫 ℭ𝔞𝔰𝔱 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔉𝔦𝔯𝔰𝔱 𝔖𝔱𝔬𝔫𝔢 doesn't appear in the earliest copies of the bible.

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The school of thought that includes Ehrman I think makes the strongest argument. Jesus was likely a Jewish apocalyptic prophetic figure that garnered some degree of following until he was killed by the Romans. The gospels likely include some authentic sayings in addition to unhistorical legends that grew about him.

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Jesus’ existence is extremely well attested by ancient standards. Paul (the earliest author) knew Jesus’ brother, and scholars think Paul started his ministry just 15 years or so after the crucifixion. Mythicism is a non-existent view among secular Biblical scholars. There’s one mythicist whose field is the classics (if I recall correctly), and otherwise it’s armchair sleuths. There are better avenues for critiquing Christianity.

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Pretty strong indirect evidence he existed. You have Paul bitching about how he wasn’t given the same credit as those apostles still living who knew Jesus. You also have some Jesus stories in the gospels that have been pretty awkward for Christians to explain and were most likely included because they were recollections of actual events that had to be accounted for. The gospels obviously include sacred history and legends of dubious historicity, but the assertion by some that Jesus is most likely purely mythical, is IMO on weak historical grounds.

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I suggest reading Richard Carrier. He makes a pretty compelling argument for Jesus being a myth. He speaks all the relevant ancient languages, and has a PhD in ancient history.

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How would he respond to the two points I raised?

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I'm not sure. I know at least some of what was once attributed to Paul is now widely regarded as forgeries. Not sure if that applies to your point or not. Basically, it is my contention a genuine message from God would not be subject to never ending debate, and this casts all manner of doubt on the New Testament.

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There's also the fact that Paul's letters are removed from whatever life Jesus may have lived by fully 20 years, which casts considerable doubt as to just WHAT Paul had to say. This doesn't even mention the additional fact that Paul never met the man and, as with the gospels, his picture of Jesus is once again radically different from the other four "biographers."

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Plus he allegedly "met" Jesus after a seizure or a heat stroke. Not exactly a proof of existence.

I am personally on the fence about it. I believe the bible Jesus is a composite character from different preachers/prophets . Roman province of Judaea didn't lack of them at that time.

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The gospel of John was recently discovered to be a forgery as well.

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I'm surprised I haven't come across this. I don't make a massive effort to follow everything biblical, but given the number of sources I do follow, I hadn't heard of this challenge before. Thanks for enlightening me. I'm delving into it now.

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I would be interested in hearing more about this.

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You’re right about the questionable authorship of several “Pauline” epistles but I think the bitchy ones are generally considered authentic. Based just on that, there is not much one can say ABOUT the historical Jesus, but I think it’s pretty strong indirect evidence that there was one.

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I did say direct evidence. ;)

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"Chloe's people" were snitches

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You need to have a wife first.

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You're using the bible to prove the bible.

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And even if there was a 'historical Jesus,' that doesn't make him the son of a supernatural deity. It just makes him a mortal man who lived and died.

Historical Jesus is a shit argument for Christians to use.

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I’ve seen this a lot. Here are some old coins that reference King David or here are some remains of old stables that date back to Solomon’s time. Therefor the Bible is true! Same with the historical Jesus stuff. Here are some non religious reasons why there was likely a real Jesus. Therefore Jesus is the risen Son of God! Doesn’t work that way.

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No, I don’t think that’s what I’m doing. I’m not trying to prove the Bible is true. I’m using certain texts generally considered to be actually written by Paul to make a reasonable historical inference from that text. There isn’t anything religious about the point. If you want to argue that maybe Paul didn’t write it, that’s fine. But if Paul did write it like most historians seem to think he did, my point is a valid one I think.

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It's exactly what you're doing. Make your case without using the bible.

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That doesn’t make sense. “The Bible” isn’t a singular work. It’s a collection of works. Part of that collection is clearly unhistorical legends and myths. Part of the collection are letters. Some of those letters are generally considered to be written by Paul. Why is it invalid to consider those letters in assessing what was going on at the time and place the letters were written? That’s not a religious enterprise. That’s just doing basic history, isn’t it?

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I wrote a letter to friend telling how I met Spiderman and Batman at a shopping center. I even got Spiderman's autograph. Should THAT be considered evidence that Spiderman is real?

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Let's see...

A child born of the union between a god and a mortal woman, blessed with powers and abilities no mere human possesses, performs miraculous feats before ending his time on Earth with the words "It is finished" and ascending to be with his father.

Jesus? Nope. It's Heracles. Christians are shameless plagiarists.

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And he actually had a second coming. Unfortunately as Kevin Sorbo.

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The second coming already happened

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwyFvIsoAnw

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What does Jesus need with a microphone? He spoke to a far larger crowd sans amplification. :D

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"That's much too vulgar a display of power, Karras"

Exorcist

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Yeah, he spoke to them but what did they hear? Blessed are the cheesemakers.

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Dec 29, 2023·edited Dec 29, 2023

Well, he was delivering a speech in Wisconsin.

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Sounds like the Mormons have the right of it!

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"He's not the Messiah! He's a very naughty boy!"

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Now that’s a good grift! No more sin! Everybody can get behind that 🙄

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Well... the show spawned a far superior spinoff with a lead who was far more comfortable with her character's homoerotic relationship with her sidekick, so it wasn't 𝘢𝘭𝘭 bad.

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I don't really remember either show all that much, but I did watch and like them both. I also thought Gabrielle was much hotter than Xena.

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That story was floating around the Mediterranean way before the so called birth of "Jesus".

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With all the stories about spring deities (some males, some females) who die and come back to life.

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...and let's not even talk about that flood story.

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Some versions quote jeezus as wondering why god had forsaken him. WTF?

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Matthew has that one. Mark has Jesus in the garden trying to pray his way out of his torture and execution.

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"Hey, if I don't want me to do this, I should let me know, but I guess I better listen to myself."

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Yet Jesus knows his coming death is a temporary condition and that he'll soon rule in heaven alongside daddy.

Matthew and Mark depict a Jesus that doesn't seem to have much faith.

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But it's still gonna hurt.

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He's god. He knew what was coming before he created himself. :)

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When I first saw this I couldn't help but laugh at just how bloody fucking ignorant and arrogant the Xtian theofascists are. See, 33 years ago I was working/living in what my DD Form 214 and medal both call Southwest Asia.

Yep, Israel, along with the rest of the countries on the Arabian peninsula, is in Asia.

The fundi-nutters are just mad because this 'revelation' makes them feel like their Jesus is somehow even less white, corroding their very core. How very sad for them.

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Funny how geography works. Oh, shit- Earth has gone Woke! 𝘊𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘭 𝘌𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘩!

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They're trying, but like their god, their aim is so bad they're canceling humanity. (and millions of other species, but Earth will be fine.)

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"Christians are mad..."

When are they NOT mad? Anger is the automatic go-to for the followers of the "Prince of Peace."

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Mad as a hatter?

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We’re all mad here.

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It's a mad mad mad mad world.

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You don't have to be mad to work here, but it helps.

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As if someone who says he came to cause division among families deserves that label in the first place.

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Yup. The xtian folks who ginned up the term "Prince of Peace" never read their bibles.

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Well, it looks like the founder of the hate group American Family Association...one Donald Wildmon...won't be joining the 'debate.' He died.

(One of those obituaries to be read with great satisfaction)

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This is an excellent illustration of how Christianity in particular, but religion in general, keeps one ignorant. None of the critics were able to use reading comprehension or basic geography while reading this article. Ham in particular is terrible at reading comprehension and uses that to further his business interests, by promoting AIG as The source of Christian knowledge. AIG is simply Ham’s lack of comprehension skills.

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"It's necessary for our salvation that he is a son of David, from the tribe of Judah, and born in Bethlehem."

Yeah totally "necessary".

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David is a perfectly waspy name, therefore Jesus must be pure white, the Jewish-ness is simply a matter of the religious beliefs. That way the wasps and white supremacist Christians in the USA can relate to him.

Funny how they do this without realizing the article was all about how other cultures do the same thing.

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They're considering "Biff" in the latest Bible

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Well, he was Jesus’ closest friend since childhood. They had many adventures together.

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And Becky Thatcher....and that Jim guy, had a nickname, on the tip of my tongue.....🤔

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Just as it's "necessary" for him to maintain his own vision of Jesus in his head, despite all the contradictory data out there, giving him cognitive dissonance bad enough to require a mountain of TUMS!

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"...and why, exactly, any of that means he wasn't Asian, we'll prove in just a- 𝘏𝘌𝘠 𝘓𝘖𝘖𝘒, 𝘈 𝘚𝘘𝘜𝘐𝘙𝘙𝘌𝘓!"

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If they find out that Jesus can take a form of a woman, they will indeed lose their poop in a huge way.

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There's actually a book called 'His only daughter' about a modern day female savior. I can't tell you much more about it cause I only got a few chapters in.

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Only Begotten Daughter by Vic Morrow.

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Dec 29, 2023·edited Dec 29, 2023

Jesus wasn't Asian, he most likely didn't even exist. At least not the one portrayed who performed miracles. The truth (which is forever lost) is more prosaic. Jesus was most likely just a man who had some courage and perhaps took on the hypocrisy of the religious leaders of his day until he got executed. The banality of the Jesus story later became so embellished, like most things of that day to the point where now by the sheer passage of time itself it serves the basis of one of the most popular religions of today. Mind boggling actually when you really consider the idiocy of human beings.

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Hey you, long time no see. How are you ?

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Thank you my friend. All is well my way, hope you are well !

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I am but read the pinned comment https://www.friendlyatheist.com/p/denmark-reinstates-blasphemy-law/comments

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I didn't know about Jomicur. I'm blown away.

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I know, it's why I put the link.

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Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Sybok met the many faces of God. He turned out to be a fraud, of course.

https://youtu.be/f3u4j0hVy8c

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"I doubt any god who inflicts pain for his own pleasure". McCoy was definitely an atheist then, because no god in the history of humanity isn't guilty of that.

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The Klingons had the right idea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfbtboeJ3RE

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I take exception to Ham's assertion that we don't get to make God in our image. He supposedly made us in his, but we have a wide variety of images, including those depicted in the foreign artwork. If Europeans and Asians are both in God's image, that God can be either, both, or neither, depending on what is meant by image.

Other than that, Kenny and Frankie only responded to push their own brands, not over any "outrage" about the story.

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That dude is a ham

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A half-baked one.

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The ham that couldn't be cured.

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No hate quite like Christian love.

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Dec 29, 2023·edited Dec 29, 2023

The Christmas Spirit sure dissipated quickly this year.

In unison now: “How Christian of them”

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Terry Pratchett did it better anyway.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvwYCbBWxT8

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Me solo: "How Christian of them."

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Funny that I never thought of the Middle East as being Asian but it is within the Asian continent. So Jesus (to the extent that he existed) was Asian.

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