Here of late this blog has been getting unintentionally flattering reviews from kcchief1, the author of The Divine Spark Within. I say unintentional, because it is obvious that has no intention of praising Citizen Tom. Nevertheless, when I read ‘s posts I am hard put to find anything I would have said differently. Well, that is not entirely true. I do wish some of the quotes were not taken out of context.
First of all, I am NOT an Atheist, but a Deist. I have exchanged many comments with John Zande and have found him to be courteous especially during the times we have disagreed. I am curious why you felt the need to band him from commenting on your blog ?
Thank you for allowing my comment here.
That led to another comment to correct a spelling error, “band” was supposed to be “ban”.
I gave a link to the post where I explained why I banned Zande and Arkenaten, WHY I BANNED TWO TROLLS FROM CITIZEN TOM. After that compared my banning of Zande to the persecution that Jesus and His disciples had suffered. Since I don’t consider Christianity an excuse for allowing non-Christians to burden Christians with meaningless guilt, I decided to ignore . Nevertheless, the few replies I gave resulted in three posts at The Divine Spark Within. Since had not posted anything since January 20th, I thought that remarkable.
Then decided to pester one of my commenters with his inane comments and do a blog post on that. Since one of ‘s comments contains an absurdly incorrect citation, I decided to post a correction.
March 27, 2015 at 10:06 am
Anyone watching O’Reilly’s “Killing Jesus” this Sunday? From my understanding, O’Reilly examines the historical view of Jesus, not the theological view, which, in my opinion, is deficient because one cannot truly understand Jesus without the theological view. Without the theological knowledge, Jesus becomes another “historical figure.” There is no doubt — owing to vast written testimony — concerning Jesus’ historicity, but why is or what makes Jesus different from others? Who is Jesus? Sadly, that question and answer is lacking in O’Reilly’s book, and will be lacking in his movie. Pity.
“From my understanding, O’Reilly examines the historical view of Jesus, not the theological view, which, in my opinion, is deficient because one cannot truly understand Jesus without the theological view.”
Here are 2 theological views among many, I doubt you would want O’Reilly to mention. Maybe it’s better that he just presents his historical view.
Church Theologian, Justin Martyr, “And when we say also that the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter” (Chapter XXI.—Analogies to the history of Christ.)
Geza Vermes, wiki says, “He was a noted authority on the Dead Sea Scrolls and ancient works in Aramaic such as the Targums, and on the life and religion of Jesus. He was one of the most important voices in contemporary Jesus research, and he has been described as the greatest Jesus scholar of his time” Vermes described Jesus as a 1st-century Jewish holy man, a commonplace view in academia but novel to the public when Vermes began publishing. Contrary to certain other scholars (such as E. P. Sanders), Vermes concludes that Jesus did not reach out to non-Jews. For example, he attributes positive references to Samaritans in the gospels not to Jesus himself but to early Christian editing. He suggests that, properly understood, the historical Jesus is a figure that Jews should find familiar and attractive. This historical Jesus, however, is so different from the Christ of faith that Christians, says Vermes, may well want to rethink the fundamentals of their faith” (wiki)
What are the errors in ‘s reply to Matthew? either lifted or copied someone who had lifted a quote from Justin Martyr totally out of context. This article, Justin Martyr, Defender of the “true philosophy”, provides some background on Justin Martyr. Justin is surnamed Martyr because he died as a martyr for the Christian faith.
Justin Martyr wrote The First Apology. He wrote it to Emperor Titus Ælius Adrianus Antoninus Pius Augustus Cæsar in defense of the Christian faith. Here is the complete version of Chapter XXI.—Analogies to the history of Christ. If you want to understand just how much ‘s citation of Justin Martyr reeks, please read Chapter XXI from beginning to end.
Chapter XXI.—Analogies to the history of Christ.
And when we say also that the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter. For you know how many sons your esteemed writers ascribed to Jupiter: Mercury, the interpreting word and teacher of all; Æsculapius, who, though he was a great physician, was struck by a thunderbolt, and so ascended to heaven; and Bacchus too, after he had been torn limb from limb; and Hercules, when he had committed himself to the flames to escape his toils; and the sons of Leda, and Dioscuri; and Perseus, son of Danae; and Bellerophon, who, though sprung from mortals, rose to heaven on the horse Pegasus. For what shall I say of Ariadne, and those who, like her, have been declared to be set among the stars? And what of the emperors who die among yourselves, whom you deem worthy of deification, and in whose behalf you produce some one who swears he has seen the burning Cæsar rise to heaven from the funeral pyre? And what kind of deeds are recorded of each of these reputed sons of Jupiter, it is needless to tell to those who already know. This only shall be said, that they are written for the advantage and encouragement of youthful scholars; for all reckon it an honourable thing to imitate the gods. But far be such a thought concerning the gods from every well-conditioned soul, as to believe that Jupiter himself, the governor and creator of all things, was both a parricide and the son of a parricide, and that being overcome by the love of base and shameful pleasures, he came in to Ganymede and those many women whom he had violated and that his sons did like actions. But, as we said above, wicked devils perpetrated these things. And we have learned that those only are deified who have lived near to God in holiness and virtue; and we believe that those who live wickedly and do not repent are punished in everlasting fire. (from here)
The reference to Geza Vermes’ work is relatively accurate. The mistake here is that Geza Vermes did exactly what complained about. Vermes’ tried to reduce Jesus from the Son of God to a historical figure.
But Mr Vermes’s real fame came from his contention that the historical Jesus, whatever his followers came to believe later, was first and foremost a Jewish holy man, one of many such itinerant preachers and wonder-workers. When his book “Jesus the Jew” came out in 1973, that approach seemed revolutionary. In many respects, the two faiths were in a state of mutual ignorance. Jewish scholarship and piety shunned the Christian scriptures: what could be gained by studying a self-proclaimed messiah and his mistaken followers? For their part Christians all but ignored Jesus’s Jewishness. Mr Vermes, somewhat combatively, highlighted the neglected common ground. (from here)
Vermes is a Jew who became a priest and then a Jew again. Since Vermes still experienced antisemitic persecution after he had become priest, we probably should not be surprised Vermes wanted to remind Christians that Jesus was a Jew. In that respect, Vermes did something useful.
It is also likely that Vermes conversion to Christianity never was sincere.
He was born in Makó, Hungary, to assimilated Jewish parents. His mother, Terézia, was a schoolteacher, and his father, Erno, a journalist and poet who associated with leading Hungarian intellectuals. When the family moved to Gyula, Vermes was enrolled in a Catholic primary school, and the family converted to Catholicism – “to give me a better chance”, as he wrote in his autobiography. That may have been his father’s intention, but his mother took the conversion seriously and became a devout Catholic. Vermes also seems to have taken it seriously enough to consider becoming a priest, when he graduated from the Catholic gymnasium. It was 1942 and life was becoming increasingly difficult for Hungarian Jews. The family’s baptismal certificates proved useless to protect them. Vermes was desperate to further his education but saw little chance, as a Jew, of gaining a place at university. Entering the priesthood offered a way forward. (from here)
The point is that Vermes is a Jew. So we have no reason to be surprised that a Jew doesn’t think Jesus was the Messiah. We would be surprised only if it was otherwise.
Anyway, I don’t have the time rebut nonsense. I don’t have to agree with the conclusions of the people who post here, but I will not permit obvious falsehoods. When people comment here, I expect what they post to be at least factually correct. And no, I don’t permit quotes deliberately taken out of context. The quote from Justin Martyr’s work was reprehensible.
Therefore, if a commenter like wants to post anti-Christian drivel (garbage that is not even factually correct), he will have to do it on his own blog. Otherwise, will have to do a little research first.
Note: If you wish to understand why I titled this post as I did, pleased check out ‘s comment here.