Archive for March 15th, 2008

15
Mar
08

Deacon Blue vs. Nsangoma

turin-jesus.jpgSo, I was visiting one of my favorite blogs yesterday and made the “mistake” of responding to a comment on one of the topics to correct a gross misrepresentation of history (I guess in hindsight it wasn’t a mistake, because now I have a topic for today). The commenter decided to get a bit obnoxious and when I mentioned I didn’t want to take the commentary off topic with our discussion, he basically turned it around to say that I was simply running away because I would lose the argument. Since his nonsense involves the assertion that Jesus never existed, I don’t feel like that is shit I can let stand. Since I really don’t want to take the comments on that blog off topic, I have decided to reprint the comments of myself and Nsangoma here, respond to the points I wasn’t able to before out, and I will invite him to continue the debate here, where it is appropriate.

Oh, by the way, the original blog post that started all this (and which has nothing to do with Jesus, oddly enough), is at the field negro blog, and it is the March 13th post titled “Hillary You Are Breaking My Heart.” Please check it out when you have a chance.

Now, on to the debate:

NSANGOMA SAID:
Jesus is a myth; Jesus is an anthropomorphism of the Sun. Any Negroe (Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr included) telling you that Jesus existed, is lying. Anthropomorphism, as in the Sun took on human form and dwelled here on earth with human-kind for 33 years.

DEACON BLUE SAID:
Kinda like saying Cleopatra didn’t exist man. It was only 2,000 years ago and the man made a splash (and we have reliable history of people’s existence for shite even older than J.C.). Even if you don’t believe he was the son of God, at least give Jesus props for actually being on planet earth. Still, even when you lose me with your line of thought or raise my hackles, Nsangoma, I have to admit you sound awfully cool saying it.

NSANGOMA SAID:
deacon blue, let us be clear. There is no evidence of the physical existence of a Jesus. There is historical physical evidence of a belief in Jesus, but no historical physical evidence that Jesus ever existed.

DEACON BLUE SAID:
How much physical evidence do we have of anyone that far back in the day? Anyone have the prophet Muhammad’s body, either? Or busts of him? Much of what we know of the existence of any ancient personage is historical. There is plenty of documentation about Jesus, dating back to within less than a human lifetime of his ministry…whereas we rely on stuff about Alexander the Great and others as “accurate” that was often written generations or centuries after the person died.

I’m just sayin’, ya know? But I respect the fact that you think he was too fringe to be proven and that you don’t trust the source materials…even if I disagree with you. And I sure don’t want to drag this too far off topic. 😉

NSAGOMA SAID:
… And I sure don’t want to drag this too far off topic. 😉
deacon blue 11:56

Why of course you do not, you will lose. The New Testament of the so-called Holy Bible was written a minimum of 70 years after Jesus supposedly existed. And it was written by people who never met this Jesus, who supposedly existed. Saul was struck blind by the Sun; he is the light of the world. Solar metaphors.

DEACON BLUE SAID:
I’m not interested in a pissing match. Keep your intellectual arrogance if you must. I was being civil (or so I thought). I admit it, you have a bigger dick. (But I use mine with more finesse).

___________________________________

OK, I admit my last comment was a tad snarky, but I had been pretty accommodating until that point. Fact is, I’m not interested in a pissing match. But I’m also not interested in someone trying to undercut my religion based on some absolute bullshit.

My “you have a bigger dick” comment at least had the virtue of getting him to shut up in the commentary since I presume he is under the impression that I am now cowed by his pseudo-intellectual claptrap (a shame, since most of the commenters at the blog are pretty astute). Fact is, I think Nsangoma is either a bully or someone who was bullied in childhood and now wants payback by metaphorically holding people down and hitting them with his verbal/written arguments until they yell “uncle,” and then sometimes hitting them once more thereafter just for good measure.

Now, Nsangoma, I’m going to respond to your earlier points. And if you’re so damn sure of yourself, come here and try to knock my socks off, man.

___________________________________

Point #1: Jesus is a myth

Highly unlikely that someone made up Jesus to create a new religion, generated so many conversions and spawned so much written material about his life…and no one refuted his existence. The Roman historian Josephus mentions Jesus and, if I recall, there are Hebrew texts from the time that refer to Jesus as some kind of sorcerer stirring up trouble in the region.

Point #2: Jesus is an anthropomorphism of the Sun

This is the kind of shit people come up with when they get some education, start thinking they’re smarter than everyone else, and get wild notions up their asses. This idea is ridiculous. Are we to believe that at a time when there is Judaism, innumerable temples devoted to the Roman/Greek gods and who knows what else, someone decided to just create a new sun god?

Apollo is an anthropomorphism of the sun. Jesus is not. In addition to the metaphors about light, Jesus was said to be the “way and the truth” and it was said that if “you knock he shall open the door” and he was the “good shepherd” and much more. According to Nsangoma’s logic, someone not only made a new sun god, but also made him the god of roads and doors and the patron deity of animal husbandry. Jesus was about much more than light.

If one is going to argue against the divinity of Jesus, one would be better to claim he was an updated rehash of Osiris, an Egyptian god associated with resurrection. Claiming he is an embodiment of the sun is nonsense.

Point #3: There is no evidence of the physical existence of a Jesus.

Unless you were a ruler or other kind of high-flying muckity-muck and people mentioned you on all the papyrus scrolls and made busts and statues of your ass, there isn’t much physical evidence of anyone in the ancient historical record.

But the New Testament documents of the time around Jesus were widely distributed and word of him spread quickly, particularly after his death and resurrection. That no historian of the time refuted Jesus’ existence, and the fact that some mention him, is proof enough he existed.

The church had to start with a fairly sizable number of people in order to be able to grow and spread as fast as it did. Those people would have been people who had been with Jesus or seen him. If Jesus hadn’t existed, there is no way any sizable number of people would have believed in him and formed a religious experience around him because you don’t gather around someone who never existed. Even cults have to have a real person to gather around, much less major religious movements.

Point #4: The New Testament of the so-called Holy Bible was written a minimum of 70 years after Jesus supposedly existed. And it was written by people who never met this Jesus, who supposedly existed.

Actually, the oldest known, surviving copies of New Testament documents date to around 70 years after Jesus’ ministry. Those documents were almost certainly based off older copies and the original texts, which would have likely been written less than a generation after Jesus’ ministry and death. Those would have been written by the authors to whom they were ascribed, all of whom traveled with Jesus.

Furthermore, the accuracy and reliability of these older copies is almost irrefutable (that is, they are very accurate to the original copies) as there are thousands of copies of New Testament documents from a variety of regions and in a variety of languages, which show the same information being transmitted. Pretty impressive for a time and day when no one had phones and photocopiers.

By contrast, the only ancient document that even comes close to having so many copies that remained true to the original through the ages was the Greek Iliad.

In point of fact, most of the ancient history we simply take as truth is based on documents for which the oldest surving copies date to centuries after the chronicled events. Thus, the proximity of the original New Testament documents so close to Jesus’ life means that anyone who wished to refute them (i.e. I was around then and I know there was no Jesus) could have put an easy end to Christianity long before it gained momentum. We trust ancient documents about people like Alexander the Great and Ramses that have fewer copies to corroborate things and which were removed by hundreds of years, yet doubt documents that were 70 years after the fact. Talk about hypocrisy and ignorance.

OK, Nsangoma, the ball is in your court now. Take your best shot. Hell, swing at me a few times. I can take the hits. My savior’s reputation has survived the efforts of the Hebrew priesthood, the Romans and many others to sully it, and the spiritual legacy he left behind has endured and prospered and spread across the world in a way that can only be explained by the fact it resonates with truth. It isn’t going away just because you want it to.




Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley

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