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Author Topic:   Reconstructing the Historical Jesus
Junior Member (Idle past 4582 days)
Posts: 1
From: Australia
Joined: 05-13-2008

Message 90 of 560 (466093)
05-13-2008 3:51 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Grizz
04-06-2008 10:03 AM

An alternative view
Interesting question but the answer is obvious. The people who wrote the books, both new an old testament had an agenda, and they wrote / constructed the documents to match their world view.
I have no doubt that Jesus existed. There are independent references in Josephus and Pliny. If he existed, and was significant enough to be recorded by the diarists of the times, what was he doing.
While this question can't be accurately answered, and I have read much speculation, some more informed than others, the most credible examination I find is contained in the book, Jesus - The Man. By Dr. Barbara Theiring.
Theiring comes out of the Catholic church and become a respected scholar researching the dead sea scrolls. In studying the scrolls, Theiring came to the view the authors of the scrolls were the Essenes, who were expelled from Jerusalem because of their fundamentalist / zealot views (parallels with modern times here) who then set up shop at Qumran. Being fundamentalists, they set to work to give effect to the prophecies in the bible in the context of the Roman occupation and their desire to eject the infidels from the Holy Land.
While examining the Dead Sea Scrolls, Theiring wondered if the scrolls had anything to do with Jesus, who was himself an Essene. Theiring postulates that Jesus was in fact part of the Qumran community and her analysis of the scrolls, she believes, give weight to her theory.
Theiring believes Jesus was a claimant to the throne of David, and so was part of the Essene plans to reclaim Jerusalem. But like all active political organisations, there were factions. Jesus was born to Mary and Joseph, after they were betrothed but before a formal marriage ceremony had been completed. Mary was a virgin withing the meaning of that word at the time, that is, an un-married female. Nothing to do with sex. Because Jesus was born prior to the official marriage, one faction in the Essenes believed him to be illegitimate and thus not an heir to the throne of David. That faction favoured James, the brother of Jesus, who was born after a formal marriage of Joseph and Mary.
Theiring is of the view, that the Dead Sea Scrolls detail the early political years of the Essene exile and were written by the faction who favoured James. Theiring believes the references in the scrolls to the 'Man of a Lie' are references to Jesus. The gospels are written by the supporters of Jesus.
Theiring then turned here mind to the gospels, and when examined from the perspective of Jesus being at Qumran, as an illegitimate claimant to the David throne, the gospels made a lot of sense to her. Theiring is able to explain much of the material in the Gospels, that was written during dangerous times, in a text that contained a sub-meaning. It is this interpretation of the sub-meaning of the gospels that I find compelling and that on reading seems so obviously a real history of the Jesus movement, post Qumran.
Theiring's research and work, is extensive and well presented. Her book, Jesus the Man, details her research. I find this a compelling history of Jesus that can answer and cope with the miracles, the time lines, the crucifiction and the resurrection. While this post doesn't do justice to the subject proposed by Grizz, I my opinion, it is the best explanation I have read to explain the content of the gospels. I commend the book to all thinking people.
More details of Theiring's work can be found here.

There are no mysteries in the Universe, only un-answered questions.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Grizz, posted 04-06-2008 10:03 AM Grizz has not yet responded

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