How do we know?

26 Feb

This week a few religious scholars are in an uproar over a Discovery Channel documentary that raises a dangerous question: what if Jesus Christ did not ascend into heaven, and what if he had a child?

A few simple thoughts come to mind.

How do we know Jesus did not have a family? The Gospels do not say that he did, but they do not say that he didn’t. Of course, both the Old Testament and New Testament have some gaps. The OT doesn’t refer to dinosaurs or other creatures that existed before humans appeared on the spot, but we’ve got tons of fossils that tell us otherwise.

Besides bringing out all the nuts who claim to be descendants of Jesus Christ, what would be the big deal if Christ did have a wife and son or daughter?

And let’s ask the big question–what if Jesus Christ did not ascend to heaven? Such a fact would certainly undercut a big chunk of Christianity’s beliefs. We could go one step further and ask what if he didn’t rise from the dead after being crucified.

There’s one thing here, though, that wouldn’t be changed by any of these what-ifs: the message of Christ’s teachings. Love one another as I have loved you. Care for the sick, the poor, the homeless, the hungry. Blessed are the meek, the peacemakers, and others who aren’t exactly in the ruling class.

Thomas Jefferson edited the Gospels to remove all references to miracles performed by Christ and his resurrection/ascension, but that preserved his teachings. Would it be so bad if such a text was the basis for one’s faith?

Oops, gotta run. I sense a lightning bolt is headed my way.


3 Responses to “How do we know?”

  1. mannabozo February 26, 2007 at 1:54 pm #

    Good questions, my friend. To this list I would add my questions:

    Why do we take it on faith that there ever WAS a person named Jesus in the first place? Where is our proof? I’ve heard that this is actually in debate, and that there is some non-consensus among the scholars on this subject.

    “Would it be so bad if such a text was the basis for one’s faith?”

    I think this is the great question, and I say, no, it wouldn’t be a bad thing at all. It’s a shame, however, that so many people who name their belief systems after Christ don’t seem to follow his example much at all.

  2. jeremiasx February 26, 2007 at 1:58 pm #

    Here is an interesting article…but it’s all speculative.'ve+found+the+coffin+of+Jesus%2C+says+film+director/

  3. Paul Koloszar February 26, 2007 at 3:56 pm #


    per your proposal, amen.

    All the truly pious, caring, empathetic, generous and devout folk(kindly treat that as a logical expression), please avert your eyes from the following:

    I normally pursue the role of an unassuming atheist. But, I’m pretty sure I adhere more faithfully to the tenets Christ may have (more lightning?) taught than many espoused Christians do.

    Mebbe folks could worry less about where they can see the ten commandments if they’d just start living like they cared more about what the commandments MEANT?

    Just sayin’.

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