And why would the evangelists claim that Jesus was born from a virgin? In that time in the Roman/Hellenic world it was important to say that remarkable men were born from a virgin and were fathered by some god. So was said of many of the Roman Emperors too. Those times that increased the credibility of the story! Linking Isaiah there is an attempt to prove this to the jews too. But mistaking that "almah" means a virgin! The only link to Jesus is that the child in the profecy is remarkable. Nothing about the life of Jesus.Finn, the Jews didn't care about the false gods of the Romans or what the Romans thought of them. They didn't even like the Romans. They wouldn't have tried to make Jesus the Son of God just to impress the gentiles.
Only Luke and Matthew mention the virgin birth.
According to most theologians (including the fundamentalists) Luke wrote for the gentiles. So it would be understandable if he wanted to explain Jesus in a way that fitted the pagan mindset.
Matthew on the other hand is considered to have been through and through jewish and writing to the jews. So you got me there
Mark and John make no such claim. Nor is Jesus himself reported saying he was born without sexual intercourse.
And if these miracles of the nativity stories really happened, why Mary and Josef did not readily understand what the 12 year old Jesus was doing in the Temple and later tried to call Jesus home because they thought he had gone crazy? If eastern magi really brought gifts to baby Jesus, why didnt the whole of Judea talk about it?
(btw the nativity stories of Luke and Matthew can't be harmonized, but that's another issue)
But maybe Jesus really did say that he was the Son of God? And that was the final proof to execute him. Actually quite justly according to jewish law! But even being a or the son of God should not necessarily mean he was physically inseminated by God. Sounds like a primitive explanation of primitive minds to me. The confusion is shown when the gospels include Joseph to their versions of the Jesus genealogy.
And early on there was unsubstantiated rumors that Jesus was an illegitimate child of a Roman soldier. I don't take that very seriously, but that would be a natural explanation. And a root to his identity crisis.
But the virginity-issue is a totally separate thing to the point we are discussing. That the prophecies about Jesus in the OT would prove that Bible is true and trerefore Christianity is superior to other religions. The point is that when honestly read by anyone, not just by that Jim Lippard, those prophecies dont fit to Jesus! The NT writers twisted their original meaning. A pious fraud, but a fraud still. You ought to be get out of the mindset that the Bible has a coherent story and is somehow a holy book. In fact it is a collection of books that condradict each other both historically and theologically. Modern theologians know this,have known for a hundred years. (I myself have never studied theology, I studied first biology, then history at the Helsinki university, then worked as an internet geek and now I think I am a farmer or a landowner
You ought to be get out of the mindset that the Bible has a coherent story and is somehow a holy book. In fact it is a collection of books that contradict each other both historically and theologically. Modern theologians know this, have known for a hundred years. Paradoxically if one really respects the Bible, one respects the purpose and circumstances of each text and that leads to admitting that there never was a coherent story and purpose in the book we call the Bible. "Fundamentalist" sects claim to know that there is, and to each of them it is different. Some lie that the Holy Ghost tells them the right interpretation, and that "knowledge" differs too from sect to sect. That all is completely dishonest, in effect claiming to be the all-knowing God yourself.
The Jews did not accept Jesus partly because in the jewish faith and writings the Messiah would be a man, not son of God. Claiming to be the son of God was pagan polyteism and a good reason for execution.I agree, so what compelled the Apostles to persist in a belief that could cost them their lives? Were they insane? Were they on drugs? Were they just deluded? It's possible. It's aslo possible that Jesus did what they said he did.
Well, Hindus have suffered martyr deaths willingly. Many mormons died for their faith, which originated when some nutcase made stuff up in a tent. Pastor Jim Jones convinced a a lot of people to kill themselves. UFO-cultists made a mass Suicide believing an UFO is coming to get them behind the comet Hale-Bopp. Terrorists flew aeroplanes into skyscrapers in the name of Allah. So this must prove to you that their faith is the true faith? That kind of thing was far easier in the first century, people were much more gullible then. They were not necessarily mentally ill, just gullible and uneducated. In our time we should know better.
I don't know Mr. Jim Lippard but he talks sense. That is more honest than taking some religion like yours as base facts.I don't know him either, but I honestly felt his arguments were not well thought out.
There are also claims Mr. Lippard makes such as how Jews never saw other prophecies as messianic and those assertions can be disproven by the Talmud.
I once tried to read the Talmud, and to me it seemed like endless blurred discussions in which no solid meaning is found. But then, I'm not a Jew, maybe I just don't get it.
That Jim Lippard page was just a quick way to show something from the Internet. I have though those profecies long before that. The only thing that I personally could suspect to be a propechy about Jesus, is psalm 22. But the translation about piercing hand and feet is disputed by the jews (even in the Finnish translation that bit is about lions) , Jesus ate notoriously well so his bones were not showing, theologically it don´t fit because the guy in the psalm wants to get out of there and anyway it is not said to be a propechy, just a suffering man. Jesus could very well have quoted the psalm or the evangelist written like he did even if he didn´t.
The rest is rubbish as Jesus-prophecies. Even Isaiah 53 fits to anyone who is suffering unjustly. I´m sure it was an inspiration to many people, including Jesus. But Jesus is not mentioned to have been ugly. Even more so with "sick" in some translations. Nor was Jesus despised by all, according to the Bible he had lots of followers when he was alive. Nor does "Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong" really sound like God's Only Son who has been given all the power in heaven and earth.just somebody suffering and getting compensated at the end. And surely an inspiration for Jesus to go and suffer for others. He was not the first or the last messiah-claimant to do that and suffer a cruel end.
And Jesus knew that the Messiah was supposed to ride a donkey to Jerusalem. So he borrowed a donkey. Even I could do that.
I think Jesus could have neen an ordinary man or a mad cult leader or an enlightened sage, or even some divine creature. But he was not the Jewish messiah.
As for the archaeology part, I hope you are not just going to dismiss it because your faith says that the Bible is true. The evidence contradicts that and and the same time provides physical evidence for a different kind of history. This is not an evil hoax. The fundamentalists are free to dig there too.Finn, I don't dismiss something just because the Bible seems to say so. I've learned things from people of other religions as well as my own and from atheists, but I'm not going to dismiss my faith just because someone does a surface skim of the Bible and things don't seem to line up or because someone bagan their search with a preconceived idea and "low and behold... I was right!" I will look at the site objectively, but I'm already aware that archaeology proves nothing either for or against religion.
The archaelology link I showed was of course just about one book. But it was the best summary I could find. I understand that there is dispute on details such as was Solomo's kingdom totally insignificant or could he still have had a medium-size state for that period. But there is wide agreement in history research and among non-fundamentalist real university theologians that the Exodus never happened, it is a myth, made-up official history by later Hebrew kings. There goes a lot of the OT!
(Better so, the God depicted there is a mass-murdering monster. Why do you wish he exists? Are you a fan of slaughtering women and children?)
And of course archaeology can prove against religion. And so can science. The Bible makes natural and historical claims that can be examined just like all ancient legends. It is you who has the preconceived idea that your favorite myth is true. In my neck of woods most people have not taken the Bible more literally than our national Kalevala for a long time. If the stories of the Biblical God are not true, then that God does not exist as such. Unless you can keep some kind of dishonest doublethink-mode, which is sadly typical for religious people.