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Entry 1186, on 2010-04-25 at 21:17:39 (Rating 3, Religion)
I have received some answers to my theological questions (the ones I talked about in my previous blog entry) but I really feel that I don't know a lot more than I did before! Nothing in theology, especially in the area of history, is simple. There is no black and white, everything is shades of grey. Of course, I shouldn't have been surprised by this but perhaps since I work with computers I have got too used to things being predictable and positively defined.
Have a look at my previous blog entry and you will see the questions I asked in relation to the historicity of Jesus. The good news is it seems the questions I asked were quite good. My theologian friend said "Firstly, blimmin excellent questions - and ones I wish more church-goers would actually either even think of, or have the courage to ask and find out about!". A fairly casual appraisal but at least I have no reason to believe my questions were too trivial or mundane!
So what is my conclusion regarding the questions after receiving this reply? I think I'm slightly more positive about the idea that Jesus existed but I see no reason to put any credence at all on the actual stories we have about his life.
So the people who say Jesus didn't exist at all are probably wrong but the people who say we have great evidence he existed and the stories are well verified are definitely wrong. Unless some extraordinary new evidence is discovered regarding what really happened 2000 years ago my current conclusion would be that someone existed which the Jesus story is based on but the story has been distorted so much that it's basically fiction. Also, we are never likely to know what really happened, or what parts of the story are true, or what Jesus really said (assuming he did exist).
My advice to anyone who cares about the subject is to treat the words of Jesus like the words of Socrates (another famous figure whose existence is uncertain). Appreciate them for their philosophical wisdom but don't take them too seriously and realise they are just one set of ideas and should only be considered in the greater context of the sum of human philosophical, theological, and moral knowledge.
Comment 1 (2661) by Jim on 2010-05-18 at 12:44:50:
Where can we see the answers to these questions. Perhaps other people might like to look at the evidence instead of just taking OJB's word for it!
Comment 2 (2663) by OJB on 2010-05-18 at 21:22:41:
Like all good skeptics I would never recommend just believing what one person tells you (even me) so the link to the questions and answers is here.
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