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Re: [XTalk] historicity of Jesus

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  • forrest curo
    ... Perhaps for the same reason I find it unlikely. To create a singular personage with wisdom, you need a creator with wisdom of his/her own. Bokonon has some
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 3 12:48 AM
      >I pointed out (message
      >5111) that writers of fiction create "singular personages"
      >every day, the implication being that this does not make them
      >into historical figures. (Bob Schacht said he did not find this
      >suggestion "very persuasive," but does not say why.)

      Perhaps for the same reason I find it unlikely.

      To create a singular personage with wisdom, you need a creator with wisdom
      of his/her own. Bokonon has some good things to say, but you don't get
      Bokonon without Kurt Vonnegut, who is in his own way a holy man in the
      wilderness: clever, not always right, but standing bravely for the
      transcending value of human suffering and happiness. (Jesus would differ
      from him, in insisting that happiness without truth is not a viable
      long-term possibility--and that while "we" are more temporary than we
      realize, our spirits are not.)

      In First-Century Judea, there were not too many publishing outlets for
      fiction, as such. A sudden epidemic of wisdom among the peasantry is
      possible, but unlikely, particularly one that taught a group of people to
      speak and write in aphorisms of great elegance and depth. If instead, we
      have one aphorist of great wisdom and distinctive poetic talent, would he
      have invented fictions about Jesus and found a publisher? If he had such
      fictions, wouldn't he have had to spread them about orally? And once he
      did, what would have been the likely fate of such an author, in that time
      and place, except to be killed by the Roman authorities, probably
      encouraged by their Jewish collaborators? Might this author's name have
      been 'Jesus,' a common enough name at the time? Or were Jesus' sayings said
      by someone with a different name?

      The creature of John and the church, the speaker of long, seemingly
      meglomaniac discources evidently about himself, embodying that uniquely
      tenacious and profitable meme: "Believe the right doctrine (what the church
      says I say) about me and you don't have to die!"--seems to me a plausible
      candidate for fictional character. (The meme served to carry the real
      message, as a modified cold virus carries more desirable material in modern
      genetic manipulations.) But this person is far from the man quoted in the
      synoptics: "He who would save his life shall lose it."
      I know, people of great spiritual discernment have found worthwhile truths
      in John, interpreted symbolically, but only because they were finding those
      truths in themselves.

      Paul, a writer of some eloquence, who understood at least dimly a great
      deal of what Jesus had to say, was not able to write anything of comparible
      density and power. A handful of light-hearted socially-experimental
      Hellenised residents of one of the Galilean cities, the gated communities
      of their day?--no, I don't think so.

      Forrest Curo again
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