Liberating the Word of God from the Bible

Liberating the Word of God from the Bible July 5, 2018

When it comes to the Bible, many Christians are sincerely confused. They’ve been told that the Bible is “God-breathed” and “Infallible” by their Pastors, and that it contains no errors, contradictions or mistakes of any kind.

Worse yet, many of them have been told that if the Bible is wrong about anything, it’s wrong about everything and the entire thing should be thrown out.

Sadly, all of this has set many Christians up for a fall.

All it takes, then, is for someone to point out an error or a contradiction and suddenly their faith in God is forever shattered.

But all of this is completely unnecessary and avoidable. The Bible is not a perfect book. It was not written by God, it was written by men, many of whom did not share the same perspectives about who God was and what God was like.

For Evangelical Protestants in America, this fact is very uncomfortable. Most Jewish scholars freely admit that their Hebrew Bible is a collection of varied opinions and perspectives on God and His nature. They are comfortable with the dialog, and the mystery, that these varied voices bring to the table for us to consider.

American Christians are most certainly NOT comfortable with mystery. We don’t want mystery, we want facts. We demand answers. We insist upon having the most exact and accurate information about God possible. Everything is either Black or White, when it comes to God and the Bible. There is no room for any shade of gray.

One way to solve this problem, as I see it, is to allow Jesus to lead us to clarity whenever there is a question or a difficult conception of God in our Holy Bible.

After all, the “Word of God” is not a book, it’s a person. That’s what the Bible tells us, anyway. The term is always used to refer to Christ, the person or sometimes, alternately, to the Gospel message itself which has the power to transform us into the image of Christ.

This “Jesus-Centric” perspective is heavily suggested by Jesus himself when he says that “no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.” [Mt. 11:27]

It is also heavily suggested by the Gospel of John which not only affirms that the Word was made flesh and came to dwell among us, but that this same “Word made flesh” was the only man who has ever seen God at any time, and that revealing God to us was one of the main reasons the Word became flesh in the first place. [See John 1:18]

The Apostle Paul also affirms this, saying that Jesus is the image of the invisible God [Col. 1:15], and “the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way” [Eph. 1:23].

The author of Hebrews even goes so far to stress that in these last days, God has spoken to us by His son” who is “the exact representation of His being” [Hebrews 1].

Simply put, if you’ve seen Jesus, you’ve seen the Father [John 14:9] and without Christ you and I are blinded by a veil when we try to read the Old Covenant Scriptures because the only thing that removes this veil is Christ [2 Cor. 3:14].

This is why I wrote my latest book, “Jesus Unbound: Liberating the Word of God from the Bible“, because I’ve started to notice how many Christians these days seem to be reading the Bible with a veil over their eyes, as if Jesus had never come and never illuminated those Old Covenant scriptures for us so we can clearly see who God is and what God is like.

Speaking of blindness, this is what Paul meant when he said “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

In other words, Jesus is what God looks like. If we fail to see this, then we are blinded to the light of the Gospel itself and we fail to see that Christ is the truest image of God we could ever have.

The Word of God is a person, not a book. That book, the Bible, points us not to itself but to the actual Word of God who is Christ.

If we read the Bible and fail to come to Christ, then we have misused the Bible and missed the entire point of it.

It is a roadmap that points us to Life incarnate. It does not contain life in itself. Jesus said so:

“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to ME that you may have life.” [John 5:39-40]

The Bible points us to the Word of God, but it does not contain Him. The Word of God is alive, and longs for you to know Him in a deeper way than you ever thought possible.

Don’t fall in love with the map. Follow the map to your ultimate destination. He is waiting for you with arms open wide.

**

Keith Giles is the author of several books, including Jesus Unbound: How the Bible Keeps Us From Hearing the Word of God”, available now on Amazon.

He is also the author of the Amazon best-seller, “Jesus Untangled: Crucifying Our Politics To Pledge Allegiance To The Lamb”.

Keith also co-hosts the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast on iTunes and Podbean. He and his wife live in Orange, CA with their two sons.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Matthew

    If Jesus is what God looks like, and if God is love, why did Jesus
    sometimes say things that don´t sound so loving?

  • Like…?

  • Matthew

    Well … Luke 12:47 comes to mind Keith. I´m aware that metaphors and context play a role too … but somehow I was really troubled by this one …

  • I agree. Stuff like that can be troubling. However, I think we often misunderstand the context. Jesus isn’t suggesting that he, or that God, will be the one to “beat with many stripes” but that the fruit or consequence of sowing to the things that lead to death is death, or suffering, but that the consequence of the way of life leads to life. Jesus is always offering us an opportunity to follow the way that leads to life so we can avoid the paths that lead to suffering and death.

    Make sense?

  • Matthew

    Wow … really good … thanks so much.

  • Excellent. And this is exactly what I was taught in Bible school was wrong with “liberal” theology and it’s views on the Bible! BTW, say “hi” to the gang on Facebook for me. I had to delete my account for safety reasons. Long story, but a family member had a Craigs List deal go bad and a wacko threatening violence and contacting her Facebook friends…it got ugly and dangerous. Police are now involved. We are lying low for now. Hope to be back on Facebook in a couple months, once the bad hombre is behind bars.

  • james warren

    There is a difference between Jesus’ unique “voice print” and the theology and dogma that was placed into his mouth by his later followers after the crucifixion.

    Every time the exalted, resurrected Jesus speaks it is not the Galilean who is doing so.
    When Jesus talks on and on about himself and the importance of believing in him, it is not the historical Jesus talking.
    When he sounds like a mystical philosopher and uses no parables and talks in long, dense theological musings, it is not Jesus.

    John Lennon spoke about Jesus and unwittingly anchored himself in the task of biblical scholarship since the late 1700s:

    “Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary [the word “thick” is Liverpool slang for “stupid”]. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me.”

  • Rod Bristol

    His loving is not defined by my liking. His person, work, and message are sometimes painful, for the purpose of healing our diseases.

  • Judgeforyourself37

    Oh, please folks, this is 2018 not 118, get a grip. The Bible was written in a Male Dominated Society, by guess who? Yes, men. Women were chattel in those days and some of our more Evangelical brothers maybe even Evangelical sisters want it to stay that way.

  • Judgeforyourself37

    What do you say to your Muslim neighbors, or Buddhist coworkers? Come now there are many roads to the top of the mountain. Jesus may work for you but your friend or neighbor may have another religion or none at all. People can be good, kind, compassionate, and caring and not believe in any deity.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    “The Bible is not a perfect book. It was not written by God, it was written by men, many of whom did not share the same perspectives about who God was and what God was like.”

    Let me guess……

    This means that you can read the Bible & determine what passages are supposed to be believed & followed and which passages are not supposed to be followed.

    And surprise surprise! The passages you agree with are the ones that are supposed to be believed & followed and the passages you disagree with are the ones that are not supposed to be followed.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    Since the Bible condones buying, selling, and owning people as your slaves, the Bible should be rejected as a guide for moral behaviour.

  • Mr. James Parson
  • C_Alan_Nault

    “There is a difference between Jesus’ unique “voice print” and the theology and dogma that was placed into his mouth by his later followers after the crucifixion.”

    And since none of it can be verified and no miracle in the Bible can be proved to have actually happened, the entire Bible can be considered a collection of fables and myths.

  • John Purssey

    You certainly don’t want to fall into the trap of literalism that the fundamentalists do. It should not be treated as a Book of Rules. Better to view it as Lore rather than Law. It is a failure of hermeneutics to treat it as a Dear Marge agony column.

  • John Purssey

    Isn’t Jesus as the Word a Johannine metaphor? The other Gospel writers and Paul use different metaphors/images. There is a diversity of views presented in the NT, even if a commonality can be found. In any case, the NT midrashim on the Jewish scriptures are not accepted by Rabbinic Judaism.

  • Satan’s Fabulous Twin Brother

    “They’ve been told that the Bible is “God-breathed” and “Infallible” by their Pastors, and that it contains no errors, contradictions or mistakes of any kind.”
    What makes this view even stranger is the fact that it is a (relatively) recent trend in religious circles. While literalism went through various cycles of popularity in the ancient world, it rarely became a major force in society like it is today. Pre-Enlightenment, holy texts were largely treated as philosophical allegory – important, yes, but ultimately just a grand metaphor meant to help humans understand a higher truth that, by definition, cannot be explained or imagined in terms we could truly understand.
    It was only around the Enlightenment, where the shift from spiritualism to hardcore rationalism led to the birth of what we now understand as apologetics, where people try to give scientific explanations to things that, again, were never meant to be interpreted literally in the first place.
    And so we arrive in situations like are explained in this article, where people build their faith around the infallibility of a fallible text and then, when it ultimately turns out to not be perfect and contradiction free (because, once more, it was never designed to be), they are left flailing. Add to that the fact that a lot of texts (especially the Bible) are incorrect due to poor translation and the fact that most readers know next to nothing about the conditions in which their texts were written (which is always important when studying a work) and it’s not surprising that situations like this are becoming more common.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    “Better to view it as Lore rather than Law”

    In fact, with no one so far being able to prove any of the miracles in the Bible actually happened or prove a god exists, the Bible should be viewed as poorly written myths and fables & should be either in the fantasy section or the historical fiction section of libraries and bookstores.

    It should also have a warning on the cover “Not suitable for children”.

  • TinnyWhistler

    Meh, I’d argue this is way way older. Christians have wanted 100% certainty on things for a really long time. I’d argue that the huge emphasis on the Bible in particular started with Luthor and his contemporaries. He didn’t like the status quo of “The Pope is 100% infallable” so he substituted in “The Scriptures are 100% infallable.” My not-researched hunch is that over the years, Christians sought to set themselves apart from Jews by claiming that they were more assured of their tenants of faith and deliberately did away with the Jewish traditions of arguing about literally every bit of scripture and being ok with the fact that there’s an argument (I’m overstating this. Obviously different facets of Judaism have disagreed strongly enough to separate. But not to the degree that Christians have.)

    But anyway. I’d peg the current infatuation with scriptural literalism back to Luther and “Sola Scriptura”

  • Good_Samaritan

    Hah, show me one person who doesn’t ” determine what passages are supposed to be believed & followed” and I’ll show you a liar.

  • Kishan Aria

    The Bible is Gods Word as is Jesus. This is according to Jesus as recorded in the Bible.

  • Linnea912

    I would agree with that. I don’t think beliefs matter as much as a person’s actions- how they treat their fellow humans, and especially how they treat “the least of these,” to quote Jesus.

  • Rev Bob

    The bible even says it is God breathed.

  • cipher

    “Don’t fall in love with the map. Follow the map to your ultimate destination. He is waiting for you with arms open wide.”

    Meanwhile, there are those of us who went on the prosaic “spiritual journey” and ultimately found it fruitless.

    And yes, I know; we didn’t look in the right places, we didn’t hang out with the right people, we didn’t give it long enough, we didn’t try hard enough… we didn’t really WANT to find. People of faith will allow nothing to threaten their fragile hold on whichever worldview affords them comfort and security.

    “Seek and ye shall find” – he forgot to add, “unless you don’t, and then it’s your own damn fault”.

  • Widuran

    The word if God is Jesus Christ and it is the Bible. The Bible says it is God Breathed ie the Word of God.

  • I’ve long wondered whether John 1 was sort of a “Mars Hill” kind of thing. The author was trying to capture the attention of the Jews who were into the Logos doctrine. The belief in the Logos was a Greek religious philosophy, fairly new because they were realizing that their pantheon was probably not real, and this doctrine was imported into Judaism by Philo of Alexandria. Not really that new… it was Plato’s doctrine, but Philo was contemporary with Jesus and, hey, Genesis says “God said!” so maybe Plato’s Logos is equivalent to our God! The author of John extends it to Jesus. Was he speaking to believers in the Logos in the same way Paul spoke to those who carefully worshipped an unknown god, or was he a believer in the Logos himself?

    Either way, the author of John takes what would have been considered a false doctrine and uses it as a jumping off point for talking about Jesus.

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  • Keith, you talk about how literalists misunderstand the Bible, and how it sets them up to lose their faith. That was certainly true for me (it provided the setup), but I didn’t decide there must be nothing to it until I had considered that liberal Christianity may have offered the answers. Perhaps it would have been helpful to read “Jesus Unbound” (if it’s that old… this was 6 years ago) and I’ll probably read it now, but on the surface it seems that you’re doing the same thing that the literalists do: Imposing the New Testament on the Old. You’re not doing it the same way… they say the Bible has to be 100% true and consistent, so they accept the OT passages that were misused by Gospel authors, the mistranslated “virgin” birth, etc. They ignore the henotheistic beliefs of the early Hebrews that are so clear in the Books of Moses and pass certain passages off as “difficult”. And they do a lot more!

    But you promote the (admittedly Biblical) notion that the whole OT points to Christ. You don’t give specific examples (another reason I’d like to read your book), but why is the assertion that the OT points to Christ any more reliable than the OT itself? And if the Gospel authors are all speaking from the stories they’ve heard, the way they heard them but with embellishments to make their versions fit together, and they can’t even agree on what happened on resurrection morning (when Peter and possibly John ran to the tomb, had they been told the body was simply missing or that Jesus had been raised? Depends on which Gospel you’re reading)… if that’s the case, how do we even know that Jesus actually said the scriptures pointed to him? Is that an author’s embellishment? Is it simply a story that came along long after Jesus died? At some point, if you’re a believer, you’re trusting stories. If you’re a fundamentalist you can easily be proven wrong. If you’re not, then how do you decide what’s real and what’s not?

    In some ways I’m glad I was raised in a fundamentalist denomination, because it made it more likely that I would be jarred when I noticed the discrepancies. Had I been raised knowing they were there, yet believing that the “Jesus part” was real, I may never have had the context to question it. My conclusion has been that there’s simply not enough reason to believe any of it. If the OT authors were “inspired” (as is flatly stated in the NT) then why did they get everything so wrong? How could they have understood so little about this god who inspired them? To me, the only reasonable conclusion is that it’s all speculation, and no more likely to be true than Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, or any other ancient but still widely accepted religion. The fact that Christianity is only “near ancient” casts more doubt upon it.

  • What will you people dream up next – the Word doesn’t need liberating- period.

    But you certainly do- from your vain imaginings.

  • Yes forgo the instruction and it IS your own damn fault- certainly no one else’s.

  • Some strange bedfellows here for sure- Satan’s Fabulous Twin Brother- really?

  • cipher
  • mkp1151

    This is another one of those kinds of articles I see from time to time, the sole purpose of which is to allow the author to promote his or her own book…

  • Patrick Smythe

    Well if the Bible says it is the word of God it must be true! By the way – have you ever heard of circular reasoning?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circular_reasoning

  • Widuran

    Jesus existed and is historically proven and the Bible is historically accurate and the nature of the growth of Christianity prove it is true

  • james warren

    Of course. That’s why I continue to assert I have no evidence that would prove I am absolutely right. I try not to be so arrogant that I think I can even PROVE that I am right.

    “The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there.”
    J.P. Hartley

  • james warren

    I disagree. I see the Bible as a complex blend of remembered history, oral traditions, legends, myths, theologies, allegories, parables [Jesus] and many other genres of literature.

    It was written by human beings who were inspired to acknowledge the belief in God in their lives.

    I believe there were healing miracles, but I also see a difference between curing and healing. I worked with end-stage cancer patients for 14 years and I was privileged to witness healing before the patient passed on. They were allowed to enjoy the healing they had taken on birth for.

    Some skin diseases might have been “cured” by Jesus. He told one woman who had a vaginal hemorrhage ‘YOUR FAITH has healed you.’

    The David Copperfield-like miracles pointed to a greater truth.
    For example, the virgin birth is not about the biology of Mary, but is about the importance of Jesus.

    The context of authentic history tells us that virgin births were seen as common among ancient people–especially their heroes and great men.

    Jesus told parables and the early Christians told parables about Jesus.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    “It was written by human beings who were inspired to acknowledge the belief in God in their lives.”

    The key word in that statement is “belief”. They believed a god exists. It doesn’t matter how many people believe something, the belief does not make it true.

    “I believe there were healing miracles”

    You are free to believe whatever you want to believe.

    “I worked with end-stage cancer patients for 14 years and I was privileged to witness healing before the patient passed on. They were allowed to enjoy the healing they had taken on birth for.”

    What you have presented here is a personal anecdote. It isn’t evidence for anything.

    “Some skin diseases might have been “cured” by Jesus. He told one woman who had a vaginal hemorrhage ‘YOUR FAITH has healed you.’”

    The fact remains: with no evidence for the divine Jesus of the Bible ( as opposed to a non-divine person named Jesus who may have existed but performed no miracles), there is no reason to believe the Biblical Jesus existed or cured anything.

    “For example, the virgin birth is not about the biology of Mary, but is about the importance of Jesus.”

    That example can be considered fable or myth until someone can prove it actually happened.

    “The context of authentic history tells us that virgin births were seen as common among ancient people–especially their heroes and great men.”

    Again, these stories can be considered fable or myth until someone can prove it actually happened.

    With no evidence for the Biblical Jesus, there is no reason to believe the Biblical Jesus existed. He can be considered on par with Hercules, Perseus, Horus, etc.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    And with no evidence for a god, there is no reason to believe a god exists.

  • Steven Waling

    Errrr… when Luther was around papal infallibility was not a thing…

  • james warren

    And with no evidence for no god, there is no reason to believe a god doesn’t exist.

  • james warren

    There is a massive consensus of scholars and historians who share the opinion that Jesus existed.

    And truth is not just found in the factually correct. Metaphor points to the truth behind the matter.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    And using that logic, there is no reason to believe Zeus, Thor, Anubis, pixies, leprechauns, and the tooth fairy do not exist.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    “There is a massive consensus of scholars and historians who share the opinion that Jesus existed.”

    Do any of these scholars & historians have the opinion that Jesus was divine, performed miracles, and was resurrected after death?

    It is quite possible a historic Jesus existed & the stories about him were exaggerated over time.

    But with no evidence presented for any miracle described in the Bible, there is no reason to believe the Biblical Jesus existed.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    “And truth is not just found in the factually correct. Metaphor points to the truth behind the matter.”

    Sure, metaphor can point to the truth behind the matter. And having pointed there, when evidence is found to confirm it, it becomes factually correct.

  • The Mouse Avenger

    Regarding the last half of your statement:

    Well, that’s just, like, your opinion, man. 😉

  • james warren

    There are plenty of reasons that Jesus existed.

    Also, it seems to me that you are not aware of the real difference between Jesus’ authentic “voice print” found in his parables and short one-liners as contrasted with the elevated, theological discourse placed into his mouth by the early church.

    Miracles are expressions of great meaning. When we take them literally it is easy to miss their epic claims and hope.

    I can affirm the resurrection of Jesus because I am aware of what the term really means.

    It is simply a metaphoric way of saying that after his death, Jesus’ power and presence was still available to his followers.

    And not all Christians thought the resurrection was important.

    Many early communities just valued his sayings and teachings.

    In fact, not one representation [painting, mosaic, sculpture] of Jesus hanging on the cross was not found archeologically until well into the 5th century CE.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    “There are plenty of reasons that Jesus existed.”

    Never mind reasons, can you present evidence that Jesus existed?

    “Also, it seems to me that you are not aware of the real difference between Jesus’ authentic “voice print” found in his parables and short one-liners as contrasted with the elevated, theological discourse placed into his mouth by the early church.”

    It seems you are not aware that unless you can prove Jesus existed … THEN prove that he actually said what the parables say that he said … your entire statement can be dismissed.

    “Miracles are expressions of great meaning. When we take them literally it is easy to miss their epic claims and hope.”

    Are you saying the supernatural miracles described in the Bible didn’t actually happen? In that case, any claim or belief that Jesus was divine can be dismissed.

    “I can affirm the resurrection of Jesus because I am aware of what the term really means.

    It is simply a metaphoric way of saying that after his death, Jesus’ power and presence was still available to his followers.”

    In other words, the tomb wasn’t empty & none of the disciples or anyone else saw Jesus returned to life.

    “And not all Christians thought the resurrection was important.”

    And many do think it is important.

    But hey, if you want to assert that the miracles didn’t happen & that Jesus wasn’t resurrected that’s fine. It also means that any claims the Bible makes about heaven & the afterlife & the soul and the existence of a god can be dismissed.

  • james warren

    There are plenty of extra-canonical sources for his existence–pagan, secular and religious.

    There is a MASSIVE consensus among scholars and historians [who follow the matrix of historical methodology] are quite secure in their claims that a real Jesus existed.

    I hold that “Jesus was a man” is a statement of FACT.
    But I am also aware that Jesus as Messiah, virgin-born, Savior, Son of God, etc. are statements of FAITH.

    I am all-too-aware that my conclusions are provisional. Tomorrow some text might be discovered that says definitively that J

  • james warren

    Uh, can you present evidence that he didn’t exist?
    No you cannot.
    Using facts, evidence and data that any objective viewer would recognize, go for it.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    “Uh, can you present evidence that he didn’t exist?”

    No.

    Which is why I have never claimed he did not exist. Having seen no evidence that the Jesus of the Bible existed ( a Jesus that performed miracles, was the son of a god & was resurrected after he died) I do not believe he existed.

    One reason is that there is also no evidence for ANY miracle ever having happened.

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/miracle

    Definition of miracle: an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs

    With no evidence for the Jesus of the Bible, and no evidence for any miracles, there is no reason to believe the Biblical Jesus existed.

    My non-belief could be wrong. All that someone has to do to prove my non-belief wrong is to present evidence for the Biblical ( divine) Jesus.

  • james warren

    You make the same mistake religious fundamentalists do–You take miracles literally. They are metaphors that point to a larger truth.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    “You make the same mistake religious fundamentalists do–You take miracles literally. They are metaphors that point to a larger truth.”

    You make the same mistake the people that are faced with problems the Bible passages create when read…. you say that the passages don’t really say what they say.

    The standard excuses people like you employ are:

    – you are taking it out of context ( but they are never able to present a context where owning another human being as property would be moral, or where killing someone because they happen to be homosexual is moral)

    – that’s a mistranslation ( but they ignore the fact that there are no original texts to use for any type of comparison, so any and all translations or versions can be dismissed until originals can be found)

    – that passage makes prefect sense & is not contradictory when properly understood ( a variant of “that’s a mistranslation).. meaning that if you interpret the passage the way I say it is supposed tom be interpreted, it makes sense

    – that’s a parable/metaphor…. meaning the passage might say that but that isn’t what it means

    “You take miracles literally. ”

    In fact, I dismiss all claims of miracles because no proof for any miracle has ever been presented.

    “They are metaphors that point to a larger truth.”

    I have heard claims of a so-called “larger truth” before, but no one ever explains & defines what they mean by that term… the same issue arises when they are asked to define the god they claim exist or asked to define what they mean by spiritual.

    Maybe you will be the first…. what do you mean by the term “larger truth” ?

  • james warren

    Truth is what highlights the conflict between two opposing ideologies. It is not found IN one thing and NOT IN the other.

    It is found in the relationship between them.

    Today’s scholars and historians study the forms and history of oral tradition, the cross-cultural evolution of stories and myths, the history of ancient economies, the brutality & rapid commercialization of the Roman Empire, DNA studies to illuminate textual mapping, archaeology, sociology–in other words, the first-century matrix of the first century in the Mediterranean.

    Scholars amass facts, evidence and data that any objective observer would recognize and then uses these basic building blocks to build a theory that will be open and honest and ready for peer and public review.

  • james warren

    Caesar Augustus was known as the son of a god, the Redeemer, the Savior of the World and Lord.

    These EXACT titles were carved into the stone of the buildings and temples and stamped on all the coins.

    Do you believe Caesar existed?

  • james warren

    Jesus rose from the dead. But no one, anywhere or at any time causes dead people to resuscitate after being dead three days then something else is goings on.

    Use common sense.

    The earliest Christians did not mention resurrection at all. They merely preserved Jesus’ sayings. In fact, paintings, sculptures, mosaics depicting Jesus hanging on a cross were not in existence until well into the 5th century CE.

    Some Christians described Jesus as being “taken up.” Others used the term “Sitting at the right hand of God.” Others referred to Jesus as “anointed.”

    The followers who used the resurrection metaphor were aware that Jesus’ power and presence were still available to them after his death.

    “The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there.”
    –J.P. Hartley

    Metaphor, not the factually-correct, is the language of all of the world’s faiths.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    “Truth is what highlights the conflict between two opposing ideologies. It is not found IN one thing and NOT IN the other.”

    Something is either true or it is not true.

    “Scholars amass facts, evidence and data that any objective observer would recognize and then uses these basic building blocks to build a theory that will be open and honest and ready for peer and public review.”

    And so far none of that has produced any actual evidenece for the existence of any god or any evidence that any miracle has ever occurred.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    “Do you believe Caesar existed?”

    Sure. I believe a person named Caesar existed.

    Do I believe this person was the son of a god, the Redeemer, the Savior of the World and Lord? No.

    Jesus may have existed ( it was not an uncommon name).

    Was he the son of a god? No evidence has been shown to prove that claim.

    Did he perform miracles? No evidence has been shown to prove that claim.

    Did he die & get resurrected days later? No evidence has been shown to prove that claim.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    “Jesus rose from the dead. But no one, anywhere or at any time causes dead people to resuscitate after being dead three days then something else is goings on.
    Use common sense.”

    Common sense shows us that there is no evidence to prove Jesus rose from the dead, so that claim can be dismissed.

    “Metaphor, not the factually-correct, is the language of all of the world’s faiths.”

    And religions are called faiths because in that context faith is defined as “firm belief in something for which there is no proof.

    ( or as Archie Bunker put it in the show All In The Family : “It ain’t supposed to make sense; it’s faith. Faith is something that you believe that nobody in his right mind would believe.”)

    Since no proof has been presented for the existence of any god or for any miracles occurring, all claims of a god & of miracles can be dismissed until proven.

  • james warren

    All the rational, logical poofs of God’s non-existence or his existence don’t disprove or prove anything.

  • james warren

    I agree. But the evidence [and a massive consensus of historians] believe he existed. And the fact that he never insisted he was divine or was a sacrifice for people’s sins even points more clearly for me that he did.

    Besides, it would be puzzling that he would have to be baptized by John or told parables that indicated that the Jewish God was to be found in the unclean and the corrupt. Also, the Roman pagans’ criticisms of Christian “heresies” have never concluded that Jesus was a mythical figure who never existed.

  • james warren

    “That man is a beast.”
    “A Big Bang occurred in the universe.”
    “The Kingdom of God is spread out upon the earth and men do not see it.”
    All metapors.
    All partly true and partly false.

    No proofs or disproof of the existence or nonexistences of God are rational or logical.

    The truth is that the sun does not rise or set. That is a metaphor. The earth actually revolves towards the sun or away from the sun.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    “No proofs or disproof of the existence or nonexistences of God are rational or logical.”

    If someone makes a positive claim ( in this case, says either a god exists or says a god does not exist) that person has the burden of proof & must prove the claim IF they expect others to accept it as a valid claim.

    As an atheist, I have NEVER said god does not exist. I have said I do not believe a god exists.

    My claim is I don’t believe a god exists.

    I can prove that claim every time I say I don’t believe a god exists.

    My non-belief in a god can be proven mistaken when someone presents evidence that proves a god exists.

    “The truth is that the sun does not rise or set. That is a metaphor. The earth actually revolves towards the sun or away from the sun.”

    In fact, the truth is the Earth revolves on it’s axis & this causes the appearance of the sun rising & falling.

    The Earth DOES NOT revolve towards or away from the sun.