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Jesus

"Love your enemy, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you." --Jesus

Jesus Christ (original name Yeshua, meaning Yahweh saves, also Jesus of Nazareth, about 4 BC to 33 AD) was a jewish preacher that's said to have been the messiah, son of God, whose life along with alleged miracles he performed is described by the Bible (specifically its New Testament) and who is the center figure and founder of Christianity, the world's largest religion; as such he is arguably the most famous of all men in history (probably followed by Hitler, kind of his opposite). Just one fact proving this claim is that we count our years more or less from his birth. He gained many followers as he lived in times when the coming of messiah was greatly expected. Historical facts about him are most likely extremely distorted by now, but traditionally it's said he preached love of God and other people and established a kind of universalism in religion: according to Bible he said that God has changed his laws and would accept all "well behaved" people into his heavenly kingdom -- that is not just jews, the chosen people, as was previously the case, established by the God of Old Testament. For having stirred up a social disturbance, a kind of revolution, and for calling himself the messiah he was later crucified, as he himself allegedly predicted -- according to the Bible he sacrificed himself by this act to redeem the sins of all people, was resurrected after death and came up to the heaven to dwell by the God's side. Along the lines of Martin Buber's quote -- "I don't believe in Jesus, but I believe with him" -- also we appreciate his teaching alone, that is without necessarily subscribing to any mass religion or even having to believe in God (but also without taking away the freedom to do so), our LRS is highly aligned with much of the teaching of Jesus, especially that of non violence, love of all people (even one's "enemies"), modesty, frugality and so forth.

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"Artist"'s depiction of our Lord and Savior.

{ Jesus Video by Andreas Eschbach is an amazing fiction book about literally what the title says, one of the best books I've ever read. The movie is shit, read the book. Also the 2006 book Jesus Dynasty about historical Jesus is excellent -- the view of historical Jesus here is mostly taken from this book. ~drummyfish }

As perhaps the most influential man in history whose image has been twisted, used and abused over the centuries, we have to nowadays distinguish two separate characters:

Jesus was anarchist, pacifist, communist and explicitly rejected capitalism and all violence (even in self defense and against those who would "deserve" it), though stupid American capital and military worshippers tattoo shit such as "What would Jesus do?" on their asses, they somehow seem to masterfully apply selective blindness and completely ignore his quotes such as:

(Americans are stupid idiots who say they love Jesus but rather love to reference Old Testament for their pragmatics life decisions, however the law of Old Testament was explicitly cancelled by Jesus and updated to a new one, based on love and nonviolence rather than violence, punishment and revenge -- this is the whole point of why Jesus came to Earth in the first place. Old testament is basically the Jewish part of the Bible, obsolete for Christians -- some Christians even completely reject Old testament, e.g. Cathars. It's why the book is called New Testament, it means "The New Law". But as it's been said, Americans are stupid.)

fun facts about Jesus:

Is Jesus God? Or was he just his son? Or is God and Jesus the same? What about the "holy spirit"? This seems to not actually be easy to answer, different people will tell you different things, some point to passages in Bible where they believe he literally says he is the God, others say the translation is not precise or even that it doesn't matter (anyone can really say he's a God) etcetc. The whole thing around holy trinity and so on is not easy to resolve objectively (some Muslims have even been entertained by this fact that Christians can't even get to agree on who their god is), but basically most Christians pray to Jesus, call him "our Lord and Savior" and generally treat him as if he was the same as God, so we can really see him that way.

Life Of Jesus In Summary

This is a quick summary of life and death of Jesus Christ, mostly according to the gospels (which however sometimes disagree) but also taking into account the views of historians, let us see this as a summary of the traditional plot plus our "best guess" of reality.

{ There is a nice safe public domain book from 1898, digitized on gutenberg.org, called Bible Pictures and Stories in Large Print -- it's a very nice, quite short retelling of the Bible, with nice pictures, like a Bible tl;dr. Check it out. ~drummyfish }

Jesus was born around 6 to 4 BC (this offset is cause by an error made in Middle Ages when they wrongly calculated his birth year, the error was only revealed once year counting had already been long established) in Bethlehem (which is in Israel, however some say he was actually born in Nazareth) to Mary and Joseph, with Mary still being a virgin -- a miracle claimed by Bible but denied by historians and even some churches; his father is said to be God, Mary was made pregnant by Holy Spirit. Some historians theorize Mary got actually pregnant with someone else before Joseph, maybe the roman soldier Tiberius Pantera, and that Joseph then took her for wife, adopting Jesus by doing so (and after that had other children with Mary). Jesus grew up in Nazareth and became a "carpenter" (or rather a mason), like Joseph (though there is actually quite very little evidence about his profession). Even as young he was very knowledgeable about the scripture, something like a "prodigy".

The gospel of Matthew gives a legend that says that Jesus's birth was followed by a bright star appearing above Bethlehem that led many people to visit the place and bring gifts to baby Jesus, among them three wise men from the east. The king Herod heard about this and that "a new King of the Jews was born in Bethlehem" and out of fear he ordered all children under 2 years of age to be killed there (Jesus and his family escaped to Egypt so he was saved) -- this is known as the massacre of the innocents, but no evidence of it having happened was ever found.

There is almost nothing known about the majority of his life -- before he started his ministry -- this is called his unknown years. Some wild theories state that he traveled to Egypt, Asia or even the British islands, however those are mostly not accepted. More realistically it is thought that during this time Joseph (his father) died (he may have been a lot older than Mary), as he stops being mentioned completely later on, and that Jesus had to take care of his family, he probably had to work very hard; he may have worked on rebuilding the city of Sepphoris.

An important event was the baptism (the ritual of "purification by water") of Jesus in Jordan river by John the Baptist around 28 AD. This is seen as a real historical event nowadays. John the Baptist was a preacher similar to Jesus -- some historians even say they were genetically related and knew each other since young years. John started a kind of movement and baptized people in the Jordan river, and he foretold the coming of Jesus -- many of John's followers then went on to follow Jesus. Some historians say John's role has been greatly downplayed by the church so as to make Jesus the one true prophet, but more realistically it seems that John and Jesus were equals or perhaps that John was at times seen as even greater than Jesus; the Jewish prophecies for example talk about two prophets, not one, and before John's imprisonment (and execution) John and Jesus were both baptizing people together (something not often shown). Later gospels leave out more and more things that hint on this fact, there is likely a lot of divergence between the church version and historical truth.

After this Jesus went on to preaching, he chose twelve apostles (each as a ruler for one of the twelve Jewish tribes), the closest followers to further preach his words to others; they were (there seems to be some differences between the gospels) Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James, Judas, Simon and Matthias. Some of them were likely his own brothers. Jesus spoke in parables and is said to have performed miracles like healing the blind, walking on water, feeding masses of people with only five loaves of bread and even resurrecting dead (Lazarus). His preaching was mainly about the love of God, coming to God's kingdom after death, forgiveness (people should forgive others and their own sins will in turn be forgiven by God) and loving other people, even one's enemies, he advocated nonviolence, modesty and frugality.

As he arrived to Jerusalem, he was very famous and seen as a messiah by many, and as he broke many religious traditions, he began to upset the Jewish religious leaders, creating tension. He criticized practices of the leaders, e.g. commerce in temples. The Jews decided to arrest Jesus and lead him to Roman court.

Another important moment is the last supper, the final meal of Jesus which he shared with his apostles, that took place on 3rd April. After this one of the apostles, Judas, betrayed Jesus (which Jesus foretold) in Mount of Olives by leading the temple police to Jesus; Judas did this for the reward of 30 silver coins, later he regretted it and committed suicide.

The Jews have taken Jesus to Pontius Pilate, Roman governor, to be put on trial for the various offenses he committed. According to Bible Pilate didn't find Jesus guilty but as the Jews pressured, he gave them a choice: he said he would either release Jesus or Barabbas, a murderer. The Jews chose Barabbas to be released, condemning Jesus to be crucified. Before this Jesus was also sent to Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee. Bible paints a picture in which he isn't found guilty in the trials but the pressure of Jewish people leads to his execution -- this was again challenged by historians as an attempt at blaming the Jews for the death of Jesus and for showing Romans in favorable light, to strictly separate Christianity from Judaism; this seems to be inconsistent with historical facts such as that Pontius Pilate was known for his cruelty and letting people be executed whenever he could, and with Jesus actually having many supporters among Jews.

The crucifixion of Jesus is also seen as a true historical event now, which took place most likely in 30 or 33 AD, on April 4th, according to some^([not important who]) it happened from 9 AM to 3 PM (when he died). Before death he was tortured, whipped and was put on a crown of thorns (to mock that he was supposed to be the "king of Jews"). He was led to a hill in Golgotha, just outside Jerusalem, to where he had to carry his own cross, onto which he was then nailed and left to die, alongside two other criminals. According to some gospels he said various things on the cross, for example "father, forgive them for they don't know what they do", "father, why have you forsaken me?" and finally "it is finished". Historically speaking he probably didn't believe to be the son of God and didn't think he would be resurrected (a myth created later on), he just thought he was a prophet, he may have believed he would be saved from death by God in last moment, hence the words about God "forsaking him".

His body was then buried in a tomb (which by historians is seen as unusual) of one of his followers -- this burial was probably just quick and temporary because celebration of Passover were near. According to Bible, 3 days later he was resurrected (his tomb was found empty) and left the tomb, he went and visited some of his followers, and then, 40 days after the resurrection, ascended up to the heaven. Historically this is of course denied and there is a lot of mess around the resurrection, for example the gospels themselves disagree greatly on who and when discovered the empty tomb, and the original version of oldest one (Mark) doesn't even say ANYTHING about resurrection at all! It literally ends with the tomb being discovered empty, which doesn't imply anything about resurrection -- it might just have been that someone took the body from the temporary tomb and buried it properly. I.e. the oldest source apparently doesn't bother to mention probably the greatest and most important part of the today's version of the story of Jesus; it is proven that a new ending with the resurrection was added to Mark later on, so it's all probably just made up propaganda. Besides this there are also "alternative" theories that Jesus for example didn't actually die on the cross, that he was just in coma and woke up in the tomb but these also seem to have very little support.

After his death his brother James probably took over leading the movement, but this branch of original "jewish Christianity" was to be suppressed by the interpretation of Paul the apostle who actually never met Jesus, but who got a "vision" of him and created the kind of universal religion we know today, he came up with the idea that Jesus was son of God, that whole Torah (Old Testament) is obsolete etcetc.

See Also


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