The Christ Conundrum: How did a humble rabbi from the rural backwaters of first century Palestine come to be revered as a divine being and creator of the universe? By re-evaluating the evidence from the gospels, from the Apocrypha and the Dead Sea Scrolls, and by reconstructing the historical... read more
““When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining.” The gospel of John (19:23) contains this interesting incident of the Roman soldiers sharing up Jesus’ clothing. After divvying up the clothes the underwear remains. John gives us a description of this item “this garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.” The soldiers do not want to tear up Jesus’ underpants and agree among themselves to draw lots to see who would gain possession. Now, if we imagine Jesus as a humble man from the backwaters of the Galilee then his clothes couldn’t be worth much, and after his previous beating the clothes would have been covered in blood and sweat – why then do the Roman troops want his underwear?”
Many alternative gospels were written, in fact we have ten complete gospels in existence and scores of fragmented ones.Highlighted by 3 Kindle customers
Timetable of Important Events
Chapter One: Making of the Messiah
Israel before the Romans
Features of Judaism in Jesus’ time
Religious tension under the Romans
Political and religious sects in the age of Jesus
Charismatic holy men
Chapter Two: Bias of the Biographers
What is a gospel?
Who wrote the gospels?
When were the gospels written?
How were the gospels written?
Can we know anything about Jesus’ character from the gospels?
Why does Jesus ride two donkeys?
Are the gospels for or against Jewish law?
Chapter Three: When God is a Child
Was Jesus descended from David?
Was Mary really a virgin?
Was Jesus born in Bethlehem or Nazareth?
What is it like being a child god?
Why does Jesus’ family think he is mad?
What happened to Jesus’ brother?
Chapter Four: What Jesus Really Taught
How did Jesus teach?
Was Jesus really a Jew?
What did Jesus wear?
Why does Jesus fight with the Pharisees?
Did Jesus believe the end of the world was near?
Was Jesus a failed prophet?
How should we follow Jesus?
Was Jesus the messiah?
Did Jesus say that he was the Son of God?
Chapter Five: The Meaning of Miracles
What miracles did Jesus supposedly perform?
What were the ancient causes and treatments of diseases?
Could Jesus miraculously heal people?
Could Jesus exorcise demons?
What does Jesus’ control over nature symbolise?
Could Jesus raise the dead?
How unique are Jesus’ miraculous abilities?
Chapter Six: His Execution and Resurrection
How did Jesus die?
Why do the soldiers want Jesus’ underwear?
Why did Jesus die?
Was Pontius Pilate innocent or guilty of killing Jesus?
Why were the Jews blamed for killing Jesus?
Did Jesus really rise from the dead?
Chapter Seven: How Jesus Became God
What did the first disciples believe?
How did the faith spread?
Who was Paul of Tarsus?
Did Paul think Jesus was God?
What was Paul’s understanding of Jesus?
When did Jesus first become divine?
What was Paul’s influence on alternative Christianities?
What did the Jewish Christians think about Paul?
How was the battle of faith won?
What factors contributed to the victory?
Epilogue – The Evolution of Faith
Recommended further reading
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