He needed to start at the bottom to establish his creds.
I guess that's the point of the crucifixion rather than just dying of a heart attack or something.
No, I don't think there's any particular "point" to the crucifixion, except that it makes a dramtic climax for the movie. Jesus would have been just as much "one of us" if He had died of old age like George Burns or Nelson Mandela.
Jar isn't saying that they were speaking metaphorically in the telling of the story but that they were quotemining the OT to make their story more believable.
I didn't say anything about metaphors. I was talking about using fiction to convey "truth". A fictionalized telling of the crucifixion story doesn't diminish it's value in any way.
Can we agree that the gospel writers may not (probably did not) witness the crucifixion in person? If they didn't, their accounts are second-hand already, only as "truthful" as the versions that they heard.
Even if they were eyewitnesses, there would have been conversations that they didn't actually hear (the trial in front of the Sanhedrin comes to mind). Is it not permissible to "make up" some of the dialog to get one's point across?
I think you put too much emphasis on the words and not enough on the message in the words.
Except that one doesn't use fiction without making it clear that it is fiction.
I have a book that purports to be the "true" biography of James Bond. Truth or fiction?
If it is fiction masquerading as literal truth then it's untruthful
Who says the Bible is "masquerading" as truth? I'll ask again: Do you need a neon sign flashing "---> FICTION <---"?
John's Gospel strongly implies that he was there.
The "true" biography of James Bond strongly implies - i.e. states flat out - that the author interviewed James Bond in person. Treasure Island strongly implies that Jim Hawkins was an eyewitness. Truth or fiction?
With the possible exception of Luke they would all have gotten the information either first or second hand.
There's a good reason why second-hand testimony isn't acceptable in a court of law - it's unreliable.
The dialogue is written in such a way that I am led to believe that it is a telling of how it actually happened.
A lot of writers write good dialog. Good dialog is not a sign of "truth".
And what about the dialog that they most likely didn't witness - e.g. the trial(s)?
The message of the cross is central to my faith.
Maybe the message of Jesus should be central to your faith.
Of course I read the Bible differently than I would Treasure Island.
It wasn't all second hand and this isn't a court of law.
Our standards should be higher, not lower.
In all likelihood at least Matthew and John witnessed the trial. Also Mark collaborated with Peter who was at the trial.
It seems to me that we have threads in the Bible Inaccuracy and Errancy Forum that suggest that the trial itself is historically implausible - a bit like Alice's trial beyond the looking-glass.
How do you read the Bible? Do you see any validity in any of it?
Are you paying attention at all? I see the Bible as much more valid than a mere historical document. Yesterday's news is fit for wrapping fish and lining birdcages, but fiction can convey timeless truth.
Is it just a book of good moral teachings or is it not even that?
There are good moral teachings in it. There's good poetry in it. There are good adventure yarns in it. There's humour in it. I don't know why you would use the adjective "just".
Is there any divine inspiration anywhere in it?
*shrug* I think there's divine inspiration in Hemingway too.
If so; how much?
Six pounds. (How do you measure "divine inspiration"?)
Is any of it to be taken literally?
Not much. As I said, it's better than that.
Is Jesus God incarnate, a prophet, a good man or did He even exist at all.
Doesn't really matter. It's the message that matters.
I see the creation story and other many other OT stories as being true metaphors but I read the story of the crucifiction as being a fair and accurate account.
I've asked other literalists how they separate metaphor from literal truth and I've never gotten a straight answer. How do you?
... what Jesus did on the cross is a huge part of the message.
Not really. What He did off the cross was much more important.
Brian's thread on the incident with Barrabas is intended to painstakingly investigate what would have been well-known to anyone who lived in that time and in that area.
That's an entirely different situation.
Sure, Jesus' contemporaries knew more about their own culture and traditions than we do. But we're talking about Jesus' philosophy.
Remember that He came to earth for the express purpose of overturning a lot of the traditions and practices that went against His phlosophy. Small wonder that his contemporaries would misconstrue Him - intentionally or not - in order to preserve at least some of their comfortable status quo.
Jar wants to ignore such passages because it doesn't make sense to him. He wants to "modernize" the ideas so that it WILL make sense to him.
You may be starting to catch on. :)
What was written in the Bible was written from the perspective of 1st century traditions and practices. But Christianity ought to be timeless.
It ought to be for us as much as it was for Jesus' contemporaries. So of course we have to "modernize" it so that it WILL make sense to us.
Do you think we should still be living by "Don't pull your ox out of a pit on the sabbath"? Do you think it's okay to put in seven-day weeks at the office just because you don't own an ox?