• Jacob-B
    77
    Christianity without crucifix?

    Where would Christianity be had Jesus not died on a cross?

    Crucifixion was the Roman favourite execution method. By contrast, the Jewish religion of the biblical times allowed four types of judicial execution: stoning, decapitation, burning and strangulation each of them being horrific in its own way but none comparable to the pronged agony and humiliation of crucifixion.

    And here is an intriguing question; would Christianity progress in a different way, if at all, had Jesus been killed in one of the aforementioned ways. My guess is that it would not.
    My reasoning: Symbols are most [important for followers of any ideology, the more emotive powerful the symbol the easier it is to promote the ideology, It is impossible to think of any more powerful emotion-stirring the than the crucifix. The evocation of Jesus’s agony is combined with the unique geometric properties of the cross. The symbols of other religions or ideologies pale in comparison. So, would Christianity be what is now had Jesus been hanged rather than crucified?
  • Ciceronianus the White
    1.1k


    The cross on which Jesus was crucified wasn't necessarily the cross as depicted by Christianity. It could have been, but could also have been a simple T shape, or some other shape. Flavius Josephus says the men of Titus' legions crucified Jews in a variety of different ways after taking Jerusalem. Sometimes a person was crucified on a single pole, hands over his head. Sometimes a person was crucified with his head down, which I imagine would have been somewhat difficult if the cross of Christianity was used. So I doubt there was any established practice.

    Crucifixion was considered a humiliating form of execution, and wasn't practiced on Roman citizens. The fact that Jesus was crucified served to discourage conversion among "better off" Romans because it was associated with the death of slaves.

    Variations of the cross were also used as a pagan symbol long before the time of Jesus.

    Apparently the use of the cross as a symbol of Christianity began during the reign of Constantine, along with the chi-rho symbol, after crucifixion had been abolished. By that time Christianity was well-established in the empire, so I doubt the cross had played much of a part in the spread of Christianity to that point
  • Frank Apisa
    2k
    It is at least possible that Christianity IS where it is...without Jesus having actually died on a cross.

    Christianity may be the culmination of a long list of things that came together at a particular time...and the supposed "Jesus dying on the cross" may simply have been a means to an end.

    The notion of loving one's enemies...of turning the cheek...and that sort of thing was given lip-service...but did not gain much traction back then. It needed some push. In fact, I suspect it needed lots of push.

    Perhaps this is just the tires finally gaining that traction.

    I'm an agnostic (sorta)...but the matters presently called "the teachings of Christ" are pretty advanced for that age. Hell...they are pretty advanced for the present day. (Wish today's Christians felt about the "teachings of Christ" the way Christ did.)
  • iolo
    227
    I'm an agnostic (sorta)...but the matters presently called "the teachings of Christ" are pretty advanced for that age. Hell...they are pretty advanced for the present day. (Wish today's Christians felt about the "teachings of Christ" the way Christ did.)Frank Apisa
    The execution was clearly important, but for all Christians, I think, it's the Resurrection that matters, as it did back then. The Occupation had done its worst, and he got up and walked! Something must have happened, and I'm at a loss to explain what, but it would give people incredible confidence in all the 'Oh, yes, that would be nice' stuff. Revolutionary is the word, and most current Christians are reactionary in the extreme!
  • Frank Apisa
    2k
    The "Resurrection" was hugely important...and apparently still is, I grant that.

    But Christianity today should spend a lot more time considering what Jesus taught before the crucifixion...than the fact that he was resurrected.

    The "Resurrection" supposedly confirms that he has special status. So it seems logical to suppose that paying homage to that special status should involve observing and following the dictates/suggestions/injunctions of his teachings.

    The "Resurrection" should be little more than an antecedent to following his philosophy.
  • iolo
    227
    The "Resurrection" should be little more than an antecedent to following his philosophy.Frank Apisa

    What I mean is that lots of people think the ideas Jesus came up with were good stuff, but unachievable - very much the way people talk about socialism today. But imagine what it would have been like if the British Government, for reasons we'd have to make up, had executed Marx, and three days later he'd been addressing the Trades Union Conference or something. Whatever happened, it just removed the fear-factor from a lot of his followers and shook up violent opponents like Saul/Paul so that they survived and were recruited. I'm no supernaturalist, but in terms of its time, what Jesus was coming out with was remarkable, and required a vast deal of fixing from the powers-that-be before they could use it. To overcome such a deliberately degrading method of killing like crucifixion just made it more remarkable.
  • Qwex
    366
    He didn't die on the cross.

    The Bible is a whimsical tale about a sky God.

    It has so many stupid fans who like the book so much they interfere with intellectual discussion and institutions; please stop Christianity.
  • Frank Apisa
    2k
    He didn't die on the cross.
    Qwex

    And you KNOW that...how?

    Do you KNOW it the same way Christians KNOW that there is a GOD...that Jesus was its son...and that he died on a cross?


    The Bible is a whimsical tale about a sky God. — Qwex

    Interesting guess, Qwex.

    As I see it, the best guess that can be made about the Bible is that it is a self-serving history of the early Hebrew people...a relatively unsophisticated, unknowledgeable, superstitious people who had many enemies in the areas where they lived. Their enemies worshiped barbarous, vengeful, wrathful, unforgiving, demanding, murderous, petty gods. And to protect themselves from those gods, they invented an especially barbarous, vengeful, wrathful, unforgiving, demanding, murderous, petty god...worshiped it...and incorporated it into that Bible.

    But that is just my guess.


    It has so many stupid fans who like the book so much they interfere with intellectual discussion and institutions; please stop Christianity. — Qwex

    Wow.

    Rather judgmental.

    I understand, though. I feel that way about atheists.
  • Qwex
    366
    What the fuck does 'He' mean? - Je'sus
  • iolo
    227
    14

    What the fuck does 'He' mean? - Je'sus
    Qwex

    Qwex - Don't you think you are perhaps getting caught up in a very American reaction to nonsensical 'religion'?
  • Qwex
    366
    Not really, the man uses a strange method of communication.

    He uses the pronoun 'He', in a strange way that assumes I must know the person (He calls Jesus) - I was merely addressing that.
  • Frank Apisa
    2k
    What the fuck does 'He' mean? - Je'susQwex

    What the fuck does "What the fuck does 'He' mean? - Je'sus?

    What were you asking there...and to whom were you addressing the question?
  • Frank Apisa
    2k
    Not really, the man uses a strange method of communication.

    He uses the pronoun 'He', in a strange way that assumes I must know the person (He calls Jesus) - I was merely addressing that.
    Qwex

    WHO does?
  • Qwex
    366


    You use the pronoun 'He' in a stupid manner.

    I said Jesus didn't die on the cross - he doesn't exist.

    You then said ' how do you know He didn't.'

    Skipping the argument, forcing religion down my throat.

    Merely assuming he exists is stupid. You have to argue your case from the root.

    You can't just skip it, with strange pronoun usage.
  • Frank Apisa
    2k
    You use the pronoun 'He' in a stupid manner.Qwex

    No I do not. I use it exactly as it is supposed to be used.

    I said Jesus didn't die on the cross - he doesn't exist.

    You then said ' how do you know He didn't.'
    — Qwex

    NO I DID NOT.

    If you are suggesting that I capitalized the "H" in "he" when referring to Jesus...I DID NOT.



    Skipping the argument of whether or not he exists, forcing religion down my throat. — Qwex

    What are you talking about???

    I am not a religious person in any way.

    I am what you would term an "agnostic."

    You first must prove he exists, merely assuming he did is stupid.

    We both know whom I am speaking of when using the name Jesus here. If I were speaking of Harry Potter, we would both know whom I am speaking of. I would NOT have to "prove" he exists in order to speak of him.

    Whether Jesus was one man or a combination of thinkers is not germane to what we were discussing.

    Get under control...and let's have a friendly discussion. It is an interesting topic.
  • Qwex
    366


    You said you didn't, and at the end you wrote a statement of how you did.

    So, before I continue, does Jesus exist?

    If you say 'yes', I'm arguing 'no'.

    What then? You say 'how do you know?' - a stupid, nonsensical question that makes no argument and rests on human stupidity.

    Don't assume I know this man. He's not Godly, holy or special enough to surpass my mind.
  • Frank Apisa
    2k
    You said you didn't, and at the end you wrote a statement of how you did.Qwex

    I did no such thing.

    So, before I continue, does Jesus exist?

    No...Jesus does not exist. If such a person existed...he is long dead.

    If are actually asking if Jesus EVER EXISTED...which is what you should have been asking if you were not so wound up...

    ...my answer would be: How the hell would I know?

    It does seem that a philosophy was born somewhere in the Middle-East during the early years of the Roman Empire...and expanded to what is now known as Christianity (or Islam). Tradition has it that it was started by a single individual, Jesus of Nazareth. That may or may not be so...and there is no goddam way I know which. In any case, whether it was or wasn't...is not particularly important t me when discussing the philosophy. (We may speak about that more if you get under control.)

    For now...I have answered your question.

    So where do we go from there?

    And when do I get an apology (or explanation) from you for your distortion of what I said earlier?
  • Qwex
    366
    My apologies.
  • Frank Apisa
    2k
    My apologies.Qwex

    Thank you, Qwex.

    I was going to say, "Don't mention it" to lighten things up a bit...but instead, allow me to extend an apology of my own for getting worked up myself. Sorry!

    This religion stuff does tend to bring out the worst in each of us.

    I do want to go on record as seeing "religion" being used to good advantage to many decent, moral, and intelligent people. Of course it has a superstition element to it, but...so what.

    As for the indoctrination of kids...I know many skeptics, agnostics, atheists, and in-general non-believers who were indoctrinated...and worked their ways through it. I'm one. Perhaps you are also.

    "Working ones way through it" is a valuable experience...and taking away an opportunity to do that (by outlawing religion in some way) may be a greater impediment to maturity than allowing the indoctrination.
  • Ciceronianus the White
    1.1k
    There are some references in ancient sources to a person who was worshiped by Christians, which may refer to Jesus or may not. Pliny the Younger refers to Christians worshiping a person called "Christ" in his famous letter to Trajan, and notes that whether people are Christians may be determined by seeing whether they were willing to deny "Christ." Tacitus mentions a "Christus" from which the name "Christian" derives was executed during the reign of Tiberius by Pontius Pilatus. Flavius Jospehus mentions such a person as well, but it's thought that portions of his writing on this point were tinkered with by zealous Christians. None of these sources were contemporaries of Jesus, if he lived when it is claimed he did.
  • alcontali
    1.3k
    Where would Christianity be had Jesus not died on a cross?Jacob-B

    And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain. Rather, Allah raised him to Himself. — Quran 4:157–158

    The idea that the son of Mary was crucified, is based on a forgery, i.e. the replacement of 'Jesus Barabbas' by simply 'Barabbas' in the narrative. It is Church father Origen who is responsible for this forgery:

    Benjamin Urrutia, Latter-Day-Saint and co-author of The Logia of Yeshua: The Sayings of Jesus, agrees with a theory in biblical scholarship[15] which says that Yeshua Bar Abba or Jesus Barabbas may have been none other than Jesus of Nazareth, and that the choice between two prisoners is not historical. Despite this, early scholars, such as Origen, found it unlikely that the story was fictional, pointing out that the incident occurred with a decision between two people with extremely similar names, as having such a similar name to Jesus by appending Yeshua to Barabbas would have been heretical, which is evidenced in some manuscripts by the removal of the common name Yeshua from Barabbas in order to differentiate between him and Jesus Christ.Wikipedia on Origen's forgery of the name 'Barabbas'

    "Bar Abbah" means: Son of [a/the] Father, which was used to designate him as: "Son of an unknown Father", meaning: "bastard". Hence, Jesus Barabbas was the Son of Mary, who was indeed considered the son of an unknown father, and who was released by the Roman governor. It is the other Jesus who got crucified.

    The reason why there were two "Jesus" figures in the narrative, is clearly because the Rabbis had designated two convicts as "Yeshu", i.e. "heretic", to be put to death.

    Therefore, the name "Yeshu bar Abbah" means: the heretical bastard.

    Jesus had no known father and he had been saying things that the Rabbis considered to be utmost disturbing and even blasphemous. Hence, his name says exactly what the Rabbinical clergy thought of him.

    Since the original Gospels clarify that "Yeshu bar Abbah" was released, the entire view on the crucifixion in Christianity is solely the result of Church father Origen's forgery.
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