Jesus and the Crucifixion - Continued from Another Thread.

Ella S.

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This is a continuation of a conversation that started in this thread:
https://www.interfaith.org/community/threads/20095/

To @badger, I apologize for bogging down your writing thread with my discussion.

Hi....... Josephus saved three friends who were taken down from their crosses and given treatment, one of them lived. We don't know how long these three men were up on crosses before salvation which is a difficulty, but Jesus had only been on the cross a few hours..... convicts could often survive and keep themselves alive up to three days, the whole idea of the punishment...a slow self torturing death in the most shameful way possible because the stripped body would continue to excrete in various ways. The Christian depiction of a fairly clean European Jesus in loincloth being crucified is far from the true picture.

For your info:-
Josephus (b. 37 C.E.) is our best literary source for the practice of crucifixion in Palestine during the Greco-Roman period. As a general in command of the Jewish forces of Galilee in the Great Revolt against Rome (66-73 C.E.), he reports his attempts to save the lives of three crucified captives by appealing directly to the Roman general Titus. One survived the cross under a physician’s care, the other two could not be saved.

Life 76
And when I was sent by Titus Caesar with Cerealins, and a thousand horsemen, to a certain village called Thecoa, in order to know whether it were a place fit for a camp, as I came back, I saw many captives crucified, and remembered three of them as my former acquaintance. I was very sorry at this in my mind, and went with tears in my eyes to Titus, and told him of them; so he immediately commanded them to be taken down, and to have the greatest care taken of them, in order to their recovery; yet two of them died under the physician’s hands, while the third recovered.

I am aware that one can be saved from crucifixion before death. It's someone coming back 3 days after they died that I am skeptical of.

Personally, I doubt that there is any truth to that part of the story. I don't think it references any natural phenomenon. I think it's more likely to be an element of later folklore, probably exaggerating Jesus going into Heaven since the earliest account of a supposed resurrection was written several decades after Jesus died (by an anonymous author who likely never met him) and that sort of exaggeration is common with orally transmitted legends.

An exaggeration of legend seems, to me, certainly more plausible than someone coming back from the dead or any of the other proposed naturalistic explanations. For instance, Jesus was not saved from the cross by anyone in any account. On the contrary, he is consistently portrayed to have died on the cross and to have had his side pierced by a spear to prove it. I don't think he would have survived such a crucifixion.
 

badger

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This is a continuation of a conversation that started in this thread:
https://www.interfaith.org/community/threads/20095/

To @badger, I apologize for bogging down your writing thread with my discussion.



I am aware that one can be saved from crucifixion before death. It's someone coming back 3 days after they died that I am skeptical of.

Personally, I doubt that there is any truth to that part of the story. I don't think it references any natural phenomenon. I think it's more likely to be an element of later folklore, probably exaggerating Jesus going into Heaven since the earliest account of a supposed resurrection was written several decades after Jesus died (by an anonymous author who likely never met him) and that sort of exaggeration is common with orally transmitted legends.

An exaggeration of legend seems, to me, certainly more plausible than someone coming back from the dead or any of the other proposed naturalistic explanations. For instance, Jesus was not saved from the cross by anyone in any account. On the contrary, he is consistently portrayed to have died on the cross and to have had his side pierced by a spear to prove it. I don't think he would have survived such a crucifixion.

What an interesting subject for discussion, and since there is absolutely no primary, secondary, direct or even (strong) indirect evidence for any verdict about this, then everybody surely has the right to choose an opinion for themselves. That's why I can acknowledge mostly any of the Christian Creeds as well as those that offer other outcomes than a resurrection.

But I don't scoff at any other opinions at all, and there are so many!

Without bothering to look anything up, here are some opinions:-

Jesus is actually God, was always God, and was definitely resurrected.
Jesus a son of God, died, was entombed and resurrected.
Jesus died, was entombed but taken away in the many hours between entombment and the next Sunday morning.
Jesus was taken down from the cross, survived and recovered.......
The Cornish people have a tradition that Joseph of A took him there, where he founded his first church at Glastonbury.
Some people in Kashmir believe that he escaped to there, and where there is a tomb in his name to this day.
Some people believe that Joseph of A got him to Gaul where he lived the rest of his life with Magdalene, having a girl child.

I don't object to any of these opinions...... but I don't believe in any of them; they are just opinions. But the only ones that I think are possibilities are the last five of these.

But there is a mass of circumstantial evidence, useless on it's own, but interesting..,......
 

Ella S.

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What an interesting subject for discussion, and since there is absolutely no primary, secondary, direct or even (strong) indirect evidence for any verdict about this, then everybody surely has the right to choose an opinion for themselves. That's why I can acknowledge mostly any of the Christian Creeds as well as those that offer other outcomes than a resurrection.

But I don't scoff at any other opinions at all, and there are so many!

Generally, I agree. Most of what we have is speculative at best. We may never know what really happened. Although I do find the theory that Mary was abducted and Jesus was a half-alien that "ascended to heavens" via tractor beam to be a little far-fetched. And yes, I have met people who sincerely believed this on New Age forums.

The Cornish people have a tradition that Joseph of A took him there, where he founded his first church at Glastonbury.
Some people in Kashmir believe that he escaped to there, and where there is a tomb in his name to this day.
Some people believe that Joseph of A got him to Gaul where he lived the rest of his life with Magdalene, having a girl child.

These in particular are interesting to me. I always find it fascinating how I can be so enmeshed in biblical studies, theology, and various obscure Christian sects and yet I continue to stumble onto several more every year.

I think I recall hearing about Roza Bal and the child with Magdalene before. Interestingly, some claims about Jesus living in Kashmir say that he lived to be 120, which is actually possible. Jean Calment lived to be 122. I'm used to hearing highly implausible and potentially impossible numbers of claimed longevity, frequently over 200 years.
 

RJM

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the theory that Mary was abducted and Jesus was a half-alien that "ascended to heavens" via tractor beam
And all these theories can be 'proved' from the gospels, or from the NT, if one is prepared to take the parts that support, and reject the parts that do not, imo

What is the necessity to prove Jesus did not die on the cross? The more complications that are introduced to a hypothesis, the more unlikely it becomes. Not impossible, because nothing is impossible -- but unlikely. That's Occam's razor. So again: why?
 

Cino

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What is the necessity to prove Jesus did not die on the cross?

Maybe to explain reports of encounters with him after the crucifixion, without a supernatural explanation like the resurrection?

I've met plenty of rationalists who still feel drawn to Christian values and teachings, but are uncomfortable with the miracles.
 

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Maybe to explain reports of encounters with him after the crucifixion, without a supernatural explanation like the resurrection?
Yes. That's the reason, imo. To explain any appearance by Jesus after the crucifixion, complicated theories need to be constructed around he did not die on the cross.

But the immortal bodhisattva spiritual body is accepted all round by eastern faiths?
 

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But the immortal bodhisattva spiritual body is accepted all round by eastern faiths?

The Bodhisattva ideal is specific to Mahayana Buddhism, afaik. Theravada does not have it, and it is not found in Hinduism.

Neither school of Buddhism teaches immortality, again afaik. Rebirth, yes, but not immortality. The universally accepted (by all Buddhist schools) "marks of existence", in particular Impermanence, Emptiness, and Not-Self are rather antithetical to such a concept.

Does Jesus fit the Bodhisattva role, do you think?
 
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RJM

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To me the bodhisattva is a fully realized being, freed from the constraints of nature and the body, but who chooses to remain in nature to help others reach freedom.

The boddhisattva 'weaves' a physical body over which he has full control. He does not need to eat or sleep etc, and he can manifest several bodies in different places at the same time, and then 'withdraw' them when he wants to.

To normal people the boddhisattva appears completely human and physical, although he might manifest healing powers, or be able to walk through fire, or walk on water, etc.

The boddhisattva understands that Spirit weaves nature and that natural beings perceive the cloth but not the loom.

I would say Jesus Christ fits the role perfectly -- and goes way beyond it. Although the Christ is more than just a liberated boddhisattva being, the Christ is obviously able to manifest a physical body and perform healing and miracles.

The miracles are what natural beings perceive, but it is the Spirit that is the origin of natural phenomena. It's Plato's cave -- we see the natural shadows of the true Spiritual reality.

Light (nature) is the shadow of God (Spirit) imo ...
 
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Cino

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To me the bodhisattva is a fully realized being, freed from the constraints of nature and the body, but who chooses to remain in nature to help others reach freedom.

In Buddhist cosmology, even existence in a spirit realm, in a spirit body, necessitates birth into such an existence, with all that entails, birth being one link in the chain of conditions leading to death.

The Bodhisattvas are seen as beings who, bound by their vow, enter into existence after existence, birth after birth, in service to all sentient beings seeking parinirvana, until all are liberated. Viewing Jesus through this lens, he would be born and perhaps crucified countless times, until all sentient beings are redeemed.

At least, according to my understanding of Buddhist teachings.
 

muhammad_isa

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..To explain any appearance by Jesus after the crucifixion, complicated theories need to be constructed around he did not die on the cross..
Not as far as I'm concerned..
God can do whatever He likes. He is able to cause us to die and be resurrected as He desires.

The problem, for me, is the consequence of that belief .. people believing Jesus is God and worshiping Jesus instead of God.
 

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@Cino
Have you read Autobiography of a Yogi
by Paramahansa Yogananda? He talks about Babaji, an immortal who lives in the Himalayas and keeps a body always young? That is what I mean. It is also the goal of Taoist 'neydan' yoga, and is supposed to be the true hidden purpose of physical alchemy.
 

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Not as far as I'm concerned..
God can do whatever He likes. He is able to cause us to die and be resurrected as He desires.

The problem, for me, is the consequence of that belief .. people believing Jesus is God and worshiping Jesus instead of God.
But in your case the reason is because the Quran says it didn't happen that way -- therefore it didn't happen that way. Therefore it's not really a discussion. You are not really asking or listening or interested in what anyone else thinks? The Quran cannot be questioned ... no discussion about it?
 

muhammad_isa

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But in your case the reason is because the Quran says it didn't happen that way -- therefore it didn't happen that way. Therefore it's not really a discussion. You are not really asking or listening or interested in what anyone else thinks?
That is untrue.
I was raised as a Christian and in my 20's, I decided that the Qur'an made sense.

I appreciate that others have different points of view .. they know why they believe what they believe .. just as I do.
 

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@Cino
Have you read Autobiography of a Yogi
by Paramahansa Yogananda? He talks about Babaji, an immortal who lives in the Himalayas and keeps a body always young? That is what I mean. It is also the goal of Taoist 'neydan' yoga, and is supposed to be the true hidden purpose of physical alchemy.
Yes, I know about Babaji. I knew a devotee of a 1980'ies incarnation claimant of Babaji (Haidakhan Babaji) who lived in the Kashmere region.

Similar to the Buddhist concept, but I think the Taoist and Hindu analogues also have some differences to the Bodhisattva ideal.

Fascinating how this features in so many different world views. Maybe the Green One, al-Khidr, from Islamic culture is also comparable?
 
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RJM

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That is untrue.
I was raised as a Christian and in my 20's, I decided that the Qur'an made sense.

I appreciate that others have different points of view .. they know why they believe what they believe .. just as I do.
It's quite true. Don't tell me it's untrue.

Whatever.

It has been explained on several occasions that it's not so simple as 'Jesus is God' although some Muslims insist on over simiplfying and minimizing and ignoring or rejecting Christian responses. It's like a blooming stuck record, man. Is that all you have to do here? Can't you stop repeating yourself in every post you make, for years on end ...
 

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Christians don't follow the Quran. They don't care if you believe it is the only word of God. They're not interested in you telling them what they have to believe
 

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How high do you place the possibility Jesus died on the cross?
Ah.....I missed that one. Of course that is or should be on my list.

The nightmare of bringing my story 'Rebels' to an end is finishing without the end being a washout, whilst trying to keep to the gospel of Mark, the earliest one. Its a tangle. :)
 

muhammad_isa

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It's like a blooming stuck record, man. Is that all you have to do here? Can't you stop repeating yourself in every post you make, for years on end ...
It seems you are very intolerant of other people's views..

That is how it seems to me .. it all seems to revolve around death and resurrection .. and Unitarian Christians see it in the same light..

  • No religion can claim an absolute monopoly on the Holy Spirit or theological truth.
  • The vicarious sacrifice and satisfaction theories of the Atonement are invalid because they malign God's character and veil the true nature and mission of Jesus Christ.
[ According to The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, atonement in Christian theology is "man's reconciliation with God through the sacrificial death of Christ." ]
 

badger

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We may never know what really happened. Although I do find the theory that Mary was abducted and Jesus was a half-alien that "ascended to heavens" via tractor beam to be a little far-fetched. And yes, I have met people who sincerely believed this on New Age forums.
.
How is it that I've lived for so many decades and yet never knew the joy of hearing about the above?
Love it! :D
 
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