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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Was Jesus a Lunatic? - Scholars examine the facts about Jesus' claims to be God


Today I came across a very interesting but controversial read about Jesus Christ that I had to share with my readers. I was attracted by Y-Jesus Magazine's text ad that read "Was Jesus a Lunatic? - Scholars examine the facts about Jesus' claims to be God"

Y-Jesus is a single-issue magazine that deals with the evidence regarding the most controversial person who ever lived. The magazine is illustrated with dramatic photos and contemporary graphics, will help both youth and adults understand the evidence regarding Jesus Christ and his radical claims.

Below are extracts from Y-Jesus


JESUS COMPLEX: Is Jesus God?

Have you ever met somebody with such personal magnetism that they are always the center of attention? Possibly their personality or intelligence---but something about them is enigmatic. Well, that’s the way it was two thousand years ago with Jesus Christ.

Jesus’ greatness was obvious to all those who saw and heard him. But, whereas most great people simply fade into history books, Jesus of Nazareth is still the focus of numerous books and media controversy. And much of that controversy revolves around the radical claims Jesus made about himself.

As an unheralded carpenter from an obscure Galilean village in Israel, Jesus made claims that, if true, have profound implications on our lives. According to Jesus, you and I are special, part of a grand cosmic scheme, with him as the center of it all. This and other claims like it stunned everyone who heard them.

It was primarily Jesus’ outrageous claims that caused him to be viewed as a crackpot by both the Roman authorities and the Jewish hierarchy. Although he was an outsider with no credentials or political powerbase, within three years, Jesus changed the world for the next 20 centuries. Other moral and religious leaders have left an impact---but nothing like that unknown carpenter from Nazareth.

What was it about Jesus Christ that made the difference? Was he merely a great man, or something more?

These questions get to the heart of who Jesus really was. Some believe he was merely a great moral teacher; others believe he was simply the leader of the world’s greatest religion. But many believe something far more. Christians believe that God has actually visited us in human form. And they believe the evidence backs that up. So who is the real Jesus?

Did Jesus deserve the title of “great religious leader”? Surprisingly, Jesus never claimed to be a religious leader. He never got into religious politics or pushed an ambitious agenda, and he ministered almost entirely outside the established religious framework.

When one compares Jesus with the other great religious leaders, a remarkable distinction emerges. Ravi Zacharias, who grew up in a Hindu culture, has studied world religions and observed a fundamental distinction between other religious founders and Jesus Christ.

"Whatever we may make of their claims, one reality is inescapable. They are teachers who point to their teaching or show some particular way. In all of these, there emerges an instruction, a way of living. It is not Zoroaster to whom you turn; it is Zoroaster to whom you listen. It is not Buddha who delivers you; it is his Noble Truths that instruct you. It is not Mohammad who transforms you; it is the beauty of the Koran that woos you. By contrast, Jesus did not only teach or expound His message. He was identical with His message."

The truth of Zacharias’s point is underscored by the number of times in the Gospels that Jesus’ teaching message was simply “Come to me” or “Follow me” or “Obey me.” Also, Jesus made it clear that his primary mission was to forgive sins, something only God could do.

No other major religious leader ever claimed the power to forgive sins. But that is not the only claim Jesus made that separated him from the others. In The World’s Great Religions, Huston Smith observed, “Only two people ever astounded their contemporaries so much that the question they evoked was not ‘Who is he?’ but ‘What is he?’ They were Jesus and Buddha. The answers these two gave were exactly the opposite. Buddha said unequivocally that he was a mere man, not a god—almost as if he foresaw later attempts to worship him. Jesus, on the other hand, claimed … to be divine.” READ MORE on Y-Jesus.com

9 comments:

arah said...

Many Christians faithfully believe that Jesus (upon him be peace) came and brought with
him a different law than what the prophets of old had taught. They faithfully believe that
God changed the rules in the middle of the game and even forced everyone to adjust their
way of how they perceived him. The concept of God in the Old Testament is fairly
straightforward and simple. There is One God. Nothing else should be worshipped.
Christians believe that this teaching was outdated and God ordered this new, very confusing
concept of Himself. God was now a mystery that could not be explained. God was one…
but he was also three. He was God… but Jesus was also God. Then something called the
Holy Spirit was thrown in …and IT was God! The very foundation of this doctrine is
illogical and does not stand up to reason. In simple mathematics three does not equal one no
matter how many times you try to reconcile it. What if for every one dollar I had, the bank
would consider it as three. What if the banks counted one dollar for every three dollars you had.
Those same logic bending, mathematically challenged Christians would become math
whizzes overnight explaining to the banks that one=one and three=three! God creates this
world based in logic for our own well being. Then, according to the Christians, he forces us
to worship him in a way that our minds cannot even get around? According to this teaching,
we are to navigate through life with a sound sense of logic and reason in the real world. But
on Sun-day we step into this illogical place where three is one. ‘God can do anything’, is what
may be said. Let us examine that statement. Don’t stop reading this! Let me finish. God does
not do what is inconsistent with being God. In other words, God is perfect and does not do
that which diminishes His perfection. For example, can God manifest himself in the form of
a gnat? You may say, ‘Sure’. OK, that gnat is then flying around some man’s dinner plate and
is swatted and killed. Is this in the nature of God? He does not do things that are
inconsistent with being the Creator, most High. Apply the same logic to God manifesting
himself as a man. A man who hurts, cries, prays and in fact, can be killed.
According to Matthew, chapter 5, verses 17, 18, 19 Jesus explicitly states,”
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Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfill.
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the
law, till all be fulfilled.
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be
called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called
great in the kingdom of heaven.
In Matt 19:16, 17 it says,
And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have
eternal life?
And He said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou
wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
And in Mark 10:19,
Thou knowest the comma ndments. Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false
witness, Defraud not. Honor thy Father and Mother.
Not only do these verses state explicitly that Jesus came as a continuation of the law of
Moses but in the latter verse Jesus plainly differentiates between himself and God when
someone called him ‘good’.
In Mark 12:29 Jesus says,”…The first of all commandments is , Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God
is one Lord…”
The emphasis here is on having no other deity except the One God. Is this the focus of
present day Christianity? Why is the word ‘our’ used? If Jesus is God or 1/3 God, why would
he say ‘the Lord our God is One Lord’? Is he his own God? We are searching for truth dear
reader and we must acknowledge this major inconsistency concerning the words attributed
to Jesus and the teachings of Christianity if we are to be honest in our quest.
Concerning other aspects of the law of Moses, it states in Luke 2:21, 22,
And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus,
which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him
to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;
If we honestly read the gospels, can we come to the conclusion that Jesus came to
abolish the understanding of the One God as taught by Noah, Abraham, and Moses and
replace this with a ‘new’ religion of three gods in one, god-incarnate in man, ritual blood
sacrifice, and vicarious atonement? Where did Jesus speak about any of these things? These
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ideologies could not have been further from the simple message of Jesus which was to
sincerely adhere to the law of God in submission.
GOD OR PROPHET?
One key neglected aspect of the gospels is the overwhelming evidence that Jesus was
understood to be exactly what he was and that was a Prophet of God sent to the lost sheep
of the children of Israel. When searching for the true meanings of ‘revelation’ or ‘scripture’,
it is absolutely necessary to approach and understand the text as it was understood during
the time of its revelation. It is a must that we approach the person and mission of Jesus the
way it was understood by those who knew him and were with him. If we do not do this, we
become susceptible to misinterpretation due to someone’s cultural and linguistic baggage. In
other words, if we view the mission and person of Jesus through the eyes of someone who
did not directly walk with Jesus or through our own interpretation, we unconsciously
compromise the purity of the text. When Christians hear Muslims say that we believe in
Jesus but as a Prophet of God not as part of a trinity, they are taken aback. However, let us
examine what the very people who are reported to have met Jesus believed according to the
book of Christianity. In Matthew, Chapter 13 verses 53-56, it relates the story of how the
Jews in a synagogue in Jesus’ homeland were astonished and offended at his preaching and
began to question him. In Matthew 13:57 it says, “…but Jesus said to them,’ A Prophet is not
without honor, save in his own country, and in his own house.’”.
In Mark 6:4 it reads, But Jesus said unto them, ’A prophet is not without honor but in his own country,
and among his own kin, and in his own house.’
Also in Matthew 11:40-41;
“He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me, receiveth the One who sent me. He that
receiveth a Prophet in the name of a Prophet, shall receive a Prophet’s reward…”
In Matthew 21:10-11;
And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, who is this? And the multitude said,
This is Jesus, The Prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.
Matthew 21:46;
But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude because they took him for a Prophet.
Again, when asked about the commandments in Matthew 22:36-39;
Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said to him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God
with all thy heart, and with all thy soul and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
Then in the very next verse it reads, “On these two commandments hang the law and all the prophets.”
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In Luke 7:16 it reads, “ and there came a fear on all; And they glorified God saying, That a great prophet
is risen up among us…”
In our search for truth, we must use what is consistent in meaning and purpose. We have
already shown that an argument against the idea that Jesus was in fact a Prophet flies in the
face of consistency. The verses that may be used from the gospels to prove that Jesus was
the ‘son’ of God or one of three in a trinity have already proven to be inconsistent with the
rest of the Bible and with the gospels themselves.

branded said...

Wow!
Great recount. The inconsistency is very confusing.May be the best way is to go by what our parents taught us and the beliefs they suscribe to coz am sure this case will never rest!

Thanks for passing by!

Anonymous said...

WEll. are you a lunatic bc Christ sure wasnt. He NEVER exactly said he was God. He was also God's son, so technically he was part God. Im a little girl dont write these things. I love God and jesus

arah said...

My dear Branded,

How are we sure what our parent taught are right?

Almighty God the Creator are very kind and merciful to provide brain to everyone of us. So let used them and start by asking Why?

http://www.usislam.org/converts/converts.htm

Cheers

arline said...

to arah:
hey, you are taking it too literally...you do not understand the way Jesus speaks. He came to serve us...not to boast that He is God....Jesus is God's son. He is the human form of God. all three of them, GOD, HOLY Spirit and Jesus all had different parts in God's huge plan. They are all the same being. But we (humans) don't have enough wisdom to comprehend what that means. Its beyond our ability. Jesus was humble and modest, that is why he didn't go around boasting that he is God. He called God his father and God called him his son. But they all are the same being. If you become a christian....its easier to understand.
Sorry if i offended you or something...im just trying to help somehow...and if you don't get what im saying then...its okay ask another christian and he/she will explain.
i hope you get it.....God Bless :)

Anonymous said...

Dear arah,

Don't ever say those things again.
God doesn't FORCE you to obey Him. He lets you do what you want. But if you want to go to heaven, you must obey Him. And if God DID turn himself into a gnat, He wouldn't be just ANY gnat. He's God. He is immortal. You can't squish God. And also, He wouldn't need to prove anything to you. And He is still YOUR God, even if you don't acknowledge Him as your god. Don't just say that God doesn't exist just because some things in the Bible aren't clear for you. And also, If you are so determined to prove the TRUE faith wrong that you would look into the book that you yourself do NOT believe in, shame on you. I pray God helps this things become clear to you.

Sincerely, your brother.

arah said...

My dear friend.

What the purpose of heaven and hell prepared by Almighty God the Creator ?

We are given brain to think and choose what is right and wrong, to do good or bad.

Almighty God the Creator does not need to become man or sent his beloved son to die for the sin of mankind.

The Old Testament and the Final Testament (Al Quran) clearly mentioned who is Almighty God the Creator.

“Though shalt have no other Gods!”

Jesus most important commandment
"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." (NIV, Mark 12:28-31).

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Say: He is Allah, the One! (1) Allah, the eternally Besought of all! (2) He begetteth not nor was begotten. (3) And there is none comparable unto Him. (4)

How the Bible Led Me to Truth:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYMKQKSV0bY&feature=SeriesPlayList&p=7D7717C794608157

Anonymous said...

JESUS IS MY SAVIOR, I DON'T APRECIATE THE WAY YOU TALK ABOUT MY LORD. I AM NOT PERFECT AND I STILL A SINNER, BUT I BELIEVE IN MY HEART HE IS THE SON OF GOD, EL MESIAS. WHO EVER WROTE HE HIS A LUNATIC" WHAT YOU REAllY SAYING IS THE YOU ARE SO DESESPERATE FOR LOVE ,YOU BEEN HURT SO IT IS HARD FOR YOU TO BELIEVE THEIR HOPE, BUT LET ME TELL YOU . YOU DON'T NEED TO WRITE ABOUT THE KING OF KINGS WHO DIE FOR YOU AND ME , YOU COULD HAVE A GREAT LIGE IN THIS WORLD. I CAM PROMESS YOU WILL NEVER FEEL SAD. BUT WITH JESUS COULD HAVE HOY AND PEACE. THE PEACE THE GOD GSVE AS THROUGHT CHRIST .GOD BLESS YOU AND JESUS NAME AMEN.

Anonymous said...

Jesus is my savior, and who ever wrote abuut JESUS is a Lunatic, I think you really need the LORD because you feel so lonely, and you asking for love, just come to him and he will give you a new life. I believe he died for you and me on the cross. In this world we are not perfect but he is always with us. Open your heart, read the bible and proud your self if his word is true or not. JUST READ IT . GOD BLESS ALL