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Author Topic: need help with researching the Life of Jesus...  (Read 1454 times)
Falthor
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« on: April 03, 2018, 08:51:35 AM »

okay.  So on Easter Sunday I was sitting in my church (we don't go very often at all, fairweather Christians), but I thought it might be an interesting idea to write a story about how people can build people into gods, and how Jesus could have easily just been another man who we raised to this level.

I'm looking for anything, from both sides of the argument about the life and times of Jesus, his deeds etc, that might help with this?

Does anyone want to point me int he right direction?
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JBeachum
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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2018, 09:59:04 AM »

It's hard to know where to begin, because more biographical stuff has been written about Jesus than any other person in history. That ironically makes it easy, too, because you don't have to hunt for info - although it can be difficult to find something credible and authoritative among the gazillion works written about Him.

I'm going to actually point you to a Wikipedia page as a good place to start. I like Wikipedia as a starting point for research because usually the initial sources are cited, so it's easy to find other works. This page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ_myth_theory) is where I'd begin.

(Full disclosure: I'm a Christian.)

Edit: There's actually a trading card game that recently covered this topic (recently being a few years ago). In Magic: the Gathering, there's a plane (or world) called Theros that is a play on the Roman/Greek mythical world. The gods of that plane are created through belief. The ones that exist now in the story haven't always existed; they exist only because people believe in them. There were older gods, but the people lost faith in them and started believing in other beings, who were then elevated to godhood. The main villain of that story arc is a satyr called Xenagos who ascends to godhood through this process. This is a good piece in that story arc that explains it: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/magic-story/kruphixs-insight-2014-06-11. I personally think it's fascinating and a good place to start from a fictional standpoint.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2018, 10:02:51 AM by JBeachum » Logged

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Falthor
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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2018, 04:25:59 PM »

I'm also borrowing a bit from the feelings i got reading "American Gods" which follows something close to the same story line that this magic the gathering game did as well.  the idea that Gods existed but need belief to survive.

I'm just spit balling right now but I like the idea that the person in question started out with good intentions and by the end when he/she realised what was happening tried to stop it.  IDK...  just the barest nugget of an idea right now, so I'm not sure factual and believable where any god, or Jesus himself is concerned isn't necessary.  I want to read the believer's side and the non believers side and a couple ideas in between hoping for some ideas to flesh out my nugget of a story so far.
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JBeachum
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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2018, 04:58:56 PM »

It brings to mind the interesting metaphysical debate over whether we live in an objective reality or we create our own. I think the premise of, "Can man create its own gods?" is pretty interesting, especially if you can manifest it in a central character who plays somewhat of a reluctant hero.

Jesus Himself isn't a good framework for this, since He very much meant to tell others He was God in the flesh, but His life could still be helpful. A closer parallel to that central theme would be the deification of Roman emperors and how myth was built up around mortal men.
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Zach777
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« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2018, 11:18:41 AM »

I'd recommend looking at the undersigned coincidences in the New Testament for information about Jesus's life. I am a Christian, so I may be bias in saying I believe the Bible is reliable, so that's why I recommend looking at Lydia McGrew's Hidden in Plain View: Undesigned Coincidences in the Gospels and Acts. Also, works by early non Christians such as Josephus, Tactus, and Plimy the Younger.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 07:44:43 AM by Zach777 » Logged
Rachael846
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« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2018, 05:49:53 AM »

Try Zealot by Reza Aslan.
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Falthor
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« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2018, 10:23:46 AM »

all good, keep it coming.

I want to see things from both sides of the equation here...  the believers and those that don't.
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HLHumbert
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« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2018, 02:26:03 PM »

There was a TV series called The Naked Archaeologist that may help you with biblical archaeology and life in the ancient Holy Land. The host of the series also participated in some other documentaries that were pretty interesting.

You may also want to expand your research into some of the other cultures around the Middle East and Mediterranean. The Persian Empire treated their king like a living god and a few of the Egyptian rulers also tried to deify themselves. Many of the Greek and Macedonian royal lines claimed to trace their lineages back to gods and demi-gods. Claiming some form of divinity was actually quite common in several of those ancient cultures.
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« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2018, 06:27:57 PM »

One interesting twist might be someone who "becomes a god" because of the work of others. For instance, there's a long history of scholarly thought that Paul played the role that Jesus warned about in Matthew 24:5 — "There will be many who come in my name..." Paul's evangelical work played a huge role in the spread (and to many, the distortion) of early Christian communities. A similar history comes with Haile Selassie's role in the thinking of Rastafarians: Selassie specifically denied his divinity, but that didn't stop Marcus Garvey from believing, or from speaking about the work of Selassie as that of Jah. There's probably tons of others.
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