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Yeshua Hanotzri or Jesus Christ

The writers of the New Testament claimed:

  • that Yeshua Hanotzri was the man chosen from among the people and appointed by God to rule Israel.
  • that he represented the true values of God
  • that his opponents had judged him by their own false standards
  • that he had fulfilled the 'scriptures' predicting his death.

The opponents of Yeshua searched these same 'scriptures' but could not relate the writings to the man.

On the surface, this seems understandable - there were particular and exact statements by the prophets that when the 'anointed' of God appeared, the fortunes of Israel, then at their lowest ebb, would be restored.

But therein lay the basic fallacy! The opponents were relying first on personality, words and events to lead them to their 'messiah' whereas Yeshua's followers relied first upon fundamental values, then adduced words in their support. For them, Yeshua was the 'spiritual' fulfilment of the Israelite hope.

The most important proposition of the New Testament is that Yeshua Hanotzri, a man dead and buried as far as the general population was concerned, had been 'anointed' with the full power of God as God's delegate to establish the Kingdom of God on earth.

The most important lesson of the New Testament is that one should never judge by external appearances. (John 7:24). The Establishment, by concentrating on personality, words and events and ignoring basic values, demonstrated its flawed thinking.

The personality cult of 'Jesus Christ', promulgated by the Christian churches, does not reflect the man, or his mission - it reflects the same attitudes and displays the same flawed thinking as the priests of Jerusalem.

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An awful lot of quotes of Jesus in the Bible certainly appear to support what you appear to be calling a cult of personality (ill-defined as the charge is). Off the top of my head, the vine/branches passage (John 15:1-8)

1"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

5 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8 This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."

I would bold all the first person pronouns above for emphasis, but Jesus repeatedly emphasized his importance in the process.

And to put a further emphasis as to where Jesus saw himself, consider just the next chapter where He says

John 8:58 "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!"

Going Old Testament for a moment, what was the name given to Moses by the God of the Burning Bush?

Exodus 3:14 "God said to Moses, "I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'" (that's also a fun pair of verses for your divinity claim to handle.)

Now while Jesus did repeatedly say that all glory that is His is really the Father's (as He is the Father's servant), He made no bones about being the "the way and the truth and the life." (John 14:6)

As to the most important teaching, Jesus chose a different one (Mark 12:28-31)

28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"

29 "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' 31 The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'There is no commandment greater than these."

A teaching echoed repeatedly throughout the New Testament, e.g., in John 15:17 "This is my command: Love each other."


You are quite right, Jody. It was a poor choice of words on my part to say the the "most important teaching of the New Testament is..."
What I should have said is that 'the most important lesson we can learn from the New Testament is..."

The remaining issues you raise in your comment will be addressed in forthcoming posts.

Jonathan B. Hobbs

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