Real Jock Dallas Area Spirituality Book Thread: Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan

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    Nov 04, 2013 12:26 AM GMT
    For the month of November, I'm reading the above-titled book.

    If you're reading or have read this book, let's exchange thoughts on this book.

    I'm part of Professor Bart Ehrman's blog community. One of his classes is reading this book. Dr. Ehrman will be blogging on this book before the end of the semester.

    My blog is modest compared to his, but I will be blogging at his site and mine.


    (I used a Christmas gift card (for the only bookstore chain left, it seems). Unfortunately, it's no longer a 30% off bestseller. The paperback won't be out until April, I think.)
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    Nov 07, 2013 9:23 PM GMT
    Disclaimer: I have not read the book.

    This book became a topic of conversation at tennis this summer, with three straight married friends.

    The guy who was reading the book started things off by saying "You know that Jesus was born in Nazareth, right?"

    I said "No,Bethlehem." I accept His birth place as specified in the Bible.

    Yes, some scholars assert that Christ was born in Nazareth. This is important because Christ being born in Bethlehem fulfilled an Old Testament prophecy.

    Next this guy said "And you know that Jesus had many brothers and sisters, right?"

    Christ, as the Son of God, had no brothers and sisters. He could only have had step-brothers and step-sisters, assuming that Mary had other children.

    This book is written by an ex-Christian. Ex-Christians, in my opinion, are the worst. As I recall, the author is now a Muslim.

    The author has reportedly asserted that only two facts can be known about Christ with certainty.

    Somehow, he manages to write an entire book, based largely, I'm told, on the theory that Christ was executed for being a revolutionary.

    The Four Evangelists -- Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John -- allegedly engaged in a conspiracy of silence about Christ's life as a revolutionary.

    Luke was a physician, a scientist, a Gentile, and a historian of the first order. As I've said before, most of Christ's disciples accepted death rather than deny the truth of what they had seen.

    This book is considered by some to be nonfiction, but it has been called historical fiction at best.

    Bottom line: One either accepts the history and theology of the Bible, especially the New Testament, regarding Christ being the Son of God, the Plan of Salvation and life's other great questions, or one doesn't.

    It's an easy choice for informed Christians, in my opinion.

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    Nov 08, 2013 4:17 AM GMT
    JockFever,

    Do you really think, given Jesus' integrity, that he wanted Rome to rule Judea. Did he want the high priests to pay Rome to get the role of high priest? Did he want Judea to no longer have self-determination?

    Steefen
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    Nov 08, 2013 6:08 PM GMT
    StephenOABC: JockFever, Do you really think, given Jesus' integrity, that he wanted Rome to rule Judea. Did he want the high priests to pay Rome to get the role of high priest? Did he want Judea to no longer have self-determination? Steefen

    Mathew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

    In my opinion, God loves His chosen people, and always wanted them to prosper as an independent people and nation.

    But in their stubborn pride they turned on Him, killed the prophets, worshiped idols, and provoked God with abominations like infanticide. God withdrew His favor and protection, and the Jews lost battles, lost wars, were conquered, and even sent into exile.

    The Jewish religious establishment was so corrupt and self-centered that it saw the Son of God as a threat. They stooped so far as to accuse God of blasphemy and of getting His power from the devil.

    The Roman occupation was probably an earned punishment. Additionally, Jesus probably knew that human resistance alone, to the greatest empire on earth, was futile. When the zealots were sufficiently provocative, Titus and his legions brutally conquered and leveled Jerusalem in 70 AD, exactly as Christ, with sadness, had predicted.

    Perhaps Christ's birth was timed so that He faced one of the most degrading and tortuous deaths known to man, Roman crucifixion, as part of the Plan of Salvation.

    BTW, joining far smarter and informed people, I think that the US has defiantly turned its back on God and is under His judgment. We now have more advanced Chinese and Russian nuclear missiles targeting American cities than ever, and leaders determined to cut defense spending, especially SDI, while many Americans are partying, complacent, inert, and/or self-indulgent, much like people were in the days of Noah.

    fall500x290.jpg
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    Nov 12, 2013 3:39 AM GMT
    jockfever

    In my opinion, God loves His chosen people, and always wanted them to prosper as an independent people and nation.

    But in their stubborn pride they turned on Him, killed the prophets, worshiped idols, and provoked God with abominations like infanticide. God withdrew His favor and protection, and the Jews lost battles, lost wars, were conquered, and even sent into exile.

    The Jewish religious establishment was so corrupt and self-centered that it saw the Son of God as a threat. They stooped so far as to accuse God of blasphemy and of getting His power from the devil.

    StephenOABC

    Jockfever, hold on.

    What happened with the 99% movement?
    What would happen if a Son of Man movement went up against the U.S.?

    Jesus' Son of Man movement went up against Rome. Palm Sunday was an act of treason against Rome.

    Is it SO CORRUPT that some in the Jewish religious establishment said, not this time?


    Jockfever

    The Roman occupation was probably an earned punishment.

    StephenOABC

    Reza Aslan says something similar. Something along the lines of before Herod the Great, factions brought Rome into the picture and also brought Parthia into the picture.

    Jockfever

    Additionally, Jesus probably knew that human resistance alone, to the greatest empire on earth, was futile. When the zealots were sufficiently provocative, Titus and his legions brutally conquered and leveled Jerusalem in 70 AD, exactly as Christ, with sadness, had predicted.

    StephenOABC

    I have to disagree there. If he was a Savior and really wanted to save the temple and his beloved Jerusalem, he needed to say more than Give to Caesar that which is Caesar's.

    Jockfever

    BTW, joining far smarter and informed people, I think that the US has defiantly turned its back on God and is under His judgment.

    StephenOABC

    No doubt about it.

    Jockfever

    We now have more advanced Chinese and Russian nuclear missiles targeting American cities than ever, and leaders determined to cut defense spending, especially SDI, while many Americans are partying, complacent, inert, and/or self-indulgent, much like people were in the days of Noah.

    StephenOABC

    On another post I said we need some sermons on Noah.

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    Dec 23, 2013 3:22 AM GMT
    Steefen:

    Jesus speaks of the Kingdom. What sort of king would Jesus make?

    1) Those who would not me as king, bring them here and slay them before me. Luke 19: 11-27

    2) A king prepares a wedding banquet for his son. His servants are sent to invite guests. Some of the king's servants are mistreated and even killed. The king was enraged. He sent his arm and destroyed not only the murderers but he burned their city (harming those who did not commit the crime and some who were not even accessories to the crime).

    The latter is mentioned in Reza Aslan's Chapter Ten: May Your Kingdom Come, ps 115-116.

    The first parable speaks directly to Bart Ehrman.

    Bart Ehrman:

    And so now I want to address the thesis itself, that Jesus is best understood as a political revolutionary intent on the military overthrow of Rome – or at least the expulsion of Rome from the Promised Land and the establishment of a sovereign state of Israel, all to be done by force.


    Steefen:

    How can the parable stand without those who have ears hearing Jesus would have Caiphas and any other of the brood of vipers killed before him? Craig Evans says Caiphas and Pilate enjoyed a partnership of longevity. So, Jesus would have Caiphas and Pilate killed before him. Pilate was not about to want Jesus as his king.

    How did Jesus use Queen Helena, King Izates, Manu V of Edessa, Manu VI of Edessa (remembering Em-Manu-El: God is with Manu)? We know by the time of the Jewish Revolt help from beyond the Euphrates had come to help liberate Jews from Rome

    Eusebius links Jesus to Edessa/Osrhoene with his Abgar/Agabar - Jesus letter writing correspondence. See the connection between Abgar and Manu here: http://www.nestorian.org/kings_of_edessa.html

    Help from beyond the Euphrates had royals who wore crowns of thorns. So, the line of royalty from Queen Helena and Monobazus who had a prince who was his father's "only begotten son" wore crowns that appear in the mocking of Jesus before his death. Look at the coins. Google Images for Ancient Kings of Edessa. You will see a woven crown of thorns mentioned in the mocking of Jesus in the Bible.

    But let me, without the help from beyond the Euphrates, comment. Did Moses seek to be king of Egypt? No. Did Moses seek to be high priest / spiritual leader of Egypt? No. However, Moses confronts a military and political challenge. But Acts of God/Nature fought his battle: volcano, locusts, etc. Since Jesus supposedly had a transfiguration experience with Moses, Jesus must have thought or was inspired to think God would fight the Romans as God fought the Egyptians.

    So, this is one way Bart Ehrman is semantically correct. Jesus wasn't going to take it by force, God was going to take it by force; and, God was going to make him the first Son of Man king who was going to have his enemies brought before him and killed before him.

    Dr. Ehrman, are the two parables above authentic?