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Sunday, 29 March 2015

Drivel

"Christianity didn’t begin until a century after the crucifixion; Jesus and all his apostles died Jews"

So a takedown by Brook Wilensky-Lanford of a life of Jesus.

I guess it depends what he thinks he means by "Christianity". The early Church was all Jewish, but it wasn't long before they agreed that Gentiles could be followers of Christ without circumcision or adopting Jewish food laws. Within the lifetime of Peter, for instance, members of 'The Way" were already being called Christians.

So as long as by Christianity he doesn't mean "a movement of people who followed the teaching of, and were accepting the name of, Christ" - then what he's saying isn't necessarily drivel.

I'll leave it to you to decide.

9 comments :

  1. I don't think Jesus and his apostles were still waiting for a(nother) Messiah to turn up, but I'm not clever enough to write for the Guardian, so what do I know?

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    1. I think Peter and Paul were certainly Jewish, but saw Jesus as fulfilling, not superseding, the Jewish faith. But then Ihope that, as that's what I believe.

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  2. Somehow I think that both the writer of the Guardian is free comment and the man who wrote the book and the film makers are all totally ignorant and wouldn't know a biblical truth if it was staring them in the face.

    Everyone knows that the barriers between Jew and Gentile were broken down on the cross and while it took a while for the message to cross the divide, that certainly happened soon after the Ascension. Paul and Peter attest to it.

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  3. I wouldn't describe it as 'Drivel'. 'Incoherent tosh' was the phrase that came to mind - but that was a 'safe for Twitter' description.

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  4. Or even better: "Miracles, by definition, no matter how discreet, cannot be counted as fact."

    It's the "by definition" and "cannot be counted" which really impress me!

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    1. You saying Guardian people can't have their own definitions? You'll be saying their little bubble is relevant next.

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    2. Look, it's an opinion piece. [and, for the record I had nothing to do with it and would guess it was commissioned in New York]. That miracles can't happen is a perfectly respectable opinion -- at least I hope it is, having been driven to it by numerous testimonies that they have.

      And it is I think obviously true that Christianity was not understood as separate from Judaism till some time after Jesus' death (though the 1st century seems a stretch). The writer's real complaint is that Bill O'Reilly has produced an orthodox-ish Christian interpretation of the life of Jesus. He's right that that isn't objective history, and wrong to suppose that his interpretation is. There just aren't enough facts to prove either to the satisfaction of a neutral historian, whoever that might be.

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    3. I never blamed you, Andrew. At the Beaker Folk we've always held to your immaculate nature.

      Your view that miracles can't happen is clearly empirical, so on scientific grounds perfectly reasonable. That may or may not be a category error. But the point is that it is not, unlike the author of the piece in question, merely defining what is and isn't allowed. On that you win.

      And if you want a neutral historian, just let me know....

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  5. (bubble glub buggle blug bubble)

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