But Really, Why Was Jesus Crucified?

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by Ben Masada, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    But Really, Why Was Jesus Crucified?

    There is no secret about it; and the NT can't be more clear. On the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a white donkey, some among the crowd of his followers would proclaim him king of the Jews. (John 12:13) And Jerusalem of all cities! The abode of Pilate, a man whose day was not made till he crucified a Jew!

    Josephus reports in his "War of the Jews" that Pilate took so much pleasure from crucifying Jews that he exceeded into thousands of them. In the case of Jesus, he nailed the reason on the top of his cross: For being proclaimed king of the Jews in a Roman province, which was the Land of Israel at the time.

    On the year 312 ACE, Christianity was being considered for the choice to become the official religion of the Empire by Emperor Constantine, and the charge that Rome had crucified Jesus was a liability bordering on disqualifying the Church for that promotion. Therefore, some pious forgery was in order. For instance, that Pilate had been forced by the Jewish authorities to crucify Jesus, hence the washing of Pilate's hands, by which, guilt would be transferred from Rome unto the Jews. For another, they even set Peter charging the Jews with having crucified Jesus in a speech written by Luke but never delivered in Jerusalem. (Acts 2:14,36) Though it made no sense, as they were well aware, it didn't matter; the Church needed that promotion, and any thing else would be justified. Anyways, the Jews needed to pay for rejecting the new religion.

    Ben
     
  2. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    Its an interesting and thoughtful ordering of events, Ben M.

    Your argument is weakened where the reader has general ignorance about Jews and Romans. What are the motives of these Jews? Who is Constantine? Why would Pilate enjoy crucifying Jews? I have heard that Romans crucified people, yet it seems awful that anyone would want to crucify a human! It is so...Epic! What is a Roman and what is a Jew? That information is not self explanatory. Not many people know anything about Josephus or Maccabees. They are real, yet they are not common knowledge. Crucifixion is real, but it seems surreal. Why couldn't the Romans and Jews just get along with each other?
     
  3. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    Ben, on its own your hypothesis is, I believe, by far the most likely. Pilate perceived a real Messianic Threat from the King of the Jews. So iron nails run in.
    But I think the changes in the NT texts predated Nicea. It is pretty obvious from the pre-Nicean Church Fathers that the role of the Jews as crucifiers was an assumption even at the dawn of the second century. Marcion's Bible (no OT and only ten Pauline epistles, an early version of Luke as NT) is clear proof (at least in the opinion of most academics in this area).
     
  4. salishan

    salishan freesoul

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    Ben Masada
    exquisite creature

    people , 2000 years ago in Palestine
    (& in everyplace else in the civilized world)
    (just like those of us today contributing to forums like this)
    deal in the petty

    they do not care about the bigger picture

    Jesus the Galilean is just one blade of grass
    mowed down by the lawnmower of empire

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Pilate is an ambitious SOB with a job to do
    "keep the Roman Peace"

    Jerusalem (by the way) is not Pilate's "abode"
    he lives on a lush villa on the Mediterranean coast
    but comes up to Jerusalem 3 or 4 times a year
    during Jewish "festival" times , when the city swells in population

    & swells with thieves & potential (political) troublemakers

    Pilate has spies & informants
    (& a businesslike relationship with Temple officials)
    & the guy is proactive

    he quickly dispatches thieves & troublemakers
    & makes an example of them
    (kill ten if necessary , where only two might be dangerous)
    cruel ? (only by modern standards)
    why does he do it ? (to maintain the Roman Peace)

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    the reason Pilate behaves as he does
    predates the Roman Empire , has roots
    deep into the Bronze Age (or before)

    back before there are even Semitic peoples in Canaan
    a form of mixed agriculture is developing , there
    grain agriculture in the fertile valleys
    fruit & vine agriculture on more marginal hills
    grazing of herds & patch-agriculture in steambeds in the wilder hinterlands
    (& each group of farmers & herders needing each other
    as trading partners , to maintain a decent quality of life)

    this mixed system of agriculture (& trade relations) is so successful
    that it spreads south across the coastal regions of North Africa
    & spreads north across Southern Europe to Greece & Italy & Spain
    this happening , long before there is the inkling of a Roman people or of Israelites
    (scholars call this the "Mediterranean system" of agriculture)

    over scores of centuries , empires come & go
    but the Mediterranean economic system remains (largely unchanged)

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    why do empires make war on their neighbors ?

    it is counterintuitive , but the reason is "peace"
    to secure a lasting peace

    war may produce quick profits for a few businesses
    but long-term trade needs a secure peace , free of banditry
    & business-as-usual is the only thing which produces taxable profits
    (produces revenue to build roads & aqueducts & public architecture
    which sustain empire & preserve the peace &
    keep the agricultural system working like a fine timepiece)

    Pilate is serving , not Rome (push come to shove) but
    an ancient agricultural/economic system
    his job ? to keep it running smoothly

    (thieves & troublemakers not wanted)

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    but the Mediterranean system has its limitations
    which become increasingly evident in Roman & later times

    the Romans build a fleet of heavy-duty sailing ships
    capable of carrying large stores of trade-goods
    from the Red Sea to the Southeast coast of India

    but when these ships make port in India , & off-load
    the only items Indian-traders crave are Mediterranean olive-oil & wine
    not the Roman-traders' craft-goods & fabrics
    (Indian traders take the Romans on a tour of their markets & they see
    that the quality of Indian metal-work & furniture & fabrics are already
    two grades of quality superior to every item the Romans have brought with them
    thus the next year , the Romans bring mostly gold & silver)

    not just during Roman times did India , but also China
    far out-produce the Mediterranean in long-distance trade-goods
    why ?

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    in the Mediterranean system , agricultural products are central
    as are public works (roads , irrigation et cetera)
    & both estate-scale farming & imperial building projects require
    a large slave workforce (slavery being quite rare in India & China)

    this Mediterranean focus upon large bodies of manpower
    stunted the development of craft-colonies (traditions of quality) like in India
    & stunted the kind of product-innovation (tinkering inventiveness) found in China
    stunted those kinds of "progress" which are centered in cities
    cities which swagger with commercial openness
    (something that would begin in Mediterranean basin , slowly
    only after Roman times , but
    the kernel of this could be found in trading-cities across the Roman Empire)

    & of the 20-some sects of Judaism in Roman Palestine
    (with the exception of Temple priests & their wealthy families
    who assure Rome that Judaism is just another Temple religion)
    most of Judaism's sects have deep (historical) distrust of
    the Mediterranean (highly-secular) system , & consequently
    deep dislike of the Roman Peace (wanting a different kind of "peace on earth")

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    but throughout human history , people are petty
    (see only "politics" when they should be seeing the "bigger picture")

    the urban middle-class Pharisees & the peasant "followers of the way"
    are the only Judaic sects to have more than ideological daydreams to offer
    & thus these two survive as urban religions (as the Roman Peace begins to implode)
    in centuries to come , in the forms of Rabbinic Judaism & of Christianity

    the economic cutting-edge to come will arise in "cities"
    (with notions of an economically independent self , not tied to clan nor estate)
    & it is these two Judaic sects (whose
    morality & spirituality are a good fit) who will
    hoist their flag abreast this new urban-based reality

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    sure , Ben Masada
    history contains lots & lots of pettiness
    (politics & blame-games)

    but some people (thru the interstices of dogma)
    do glimpse , thru a glass darkly
    something meaningful to give them (to give life)
    new purpose

     
  5. Etu Malku

    Etu Malku Mercur├Žn

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    The way I see it, religions have always had sacrifice, but at the most it was animal or with some (Aztec) human, so naturally the Church needed to up the ante so they sacrificed the Son of God . . . beat that! Ha!!! - point - match - game!
     
  6. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    Hi Dream. If you have ever read a book about the History of Rome, especially of the Republic period, there was never a people during the many years of the Roman Empire so hard to govern than the Jews, whom the Romans lost most of their legions to. They grew to hate Jews so badly that, second to them, only in the war against the slaves under Spartacus, they crucified a terrible number of men. That explains why they could never get along with each other. Jews can rather easily be controled by strangers, but in strange lands, not in the Land of Israel.
    Ben
     
  7. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    Do you know something, Radarmark? I don't think Pilate had the Herodian problem to fear a local "king of the Jews." Rome was way too powerful to even lose a minute of their sleepless nights on this issue. And a Messiah, for that matter, they would laugh at the idea. Herod, yes, he was scared all his life of a potential Jewish revolt.
    Ben
     
  8. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    Well, Salishan, what can I say after reading such a fantastic wealth of historical information? I am astonished at how much info this post of yours contains. Just one thing, and more for not losing my taste at controversy, I would like to remind you that, at that time, the word "Palestine" had not yet found its place in the map. The name was the Land of Israel.
    Ben
     
  9. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    First of all, I did not know that God had a son. Perhaps, you mean Zeus. But then again, Jesus was a Jewish man; and in Judaism, which was his Faith, there is no such a thing as the Greek Mythology of a demigod. Have I beat that?
    Ben
     
  10. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Fanciful, but obviously an anachronism.

    Or, if your thesis is carried to its logical conclusion ... the whole thing is a fabrication from start to finish.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  11. Etu Malku

    Etu Malku Mercur├Žn

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    You're in the Christianity forum . . . Jesus is called the Son of God numerous times in their bible. Of course if you are referring to the idea that Jesus was the physical manifestation of God, then the Jews killed a part of God. Which ever way you break your bread . . . the human sacrifice was stepped up a notch to that of divine or semi-divine sacrifice.

    . . . oh, and beat "this" ;)
     
  12. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    Ben -- I never said Rome or Pilate were scared. They did not have to be, any civil threat (regardless how small) was handled in the typical Roman Manner in accordance with Roman Law.
     
  13. Servetus

    Servetus New Member

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    I don't mean to belabor the point, but this statement from Maimonides might relate to the subject of this thread:

    The "sages of blessed memory" is probably not a reference to the Romans and the reasons for Jesus' "punishment," whatever that punishment may have been, are by Maimonides given. With that said, I don't doubt that Jesus also encountered deadly opposition from Roman, Imperial authorities as well. One thing seems sure: whatever sense one makes of his experience, Jesus didn't go unnoticed by the power elites of his era.
     
  14. salishan

    salishan freesoul

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    Ben Masada
    exquisite creature

    thanks
    but only about one-quarter accurate

    "Israel" disappears from the map in 722bce
    when the Assyrians defeat the Israelite Northern Kingdom
    & deport most of the male population
    (named Samaria after that , Land of the Samaritans
    half-Jew , half-Assyrian immigrants)

    Philistia ("Palestine") has already been in existence for about 4 centuries
    "Land of the Philistines"
    "Philistines" being the name which Israelite tribesmen call
    the Sea People , the (Mycenaean) invaders from the Aegean

    but u are correct
    even in Jesus' time , Philistia is just a coastal strip where Pilate has his villa
    & is not the formal name for Judea & Samaria & Idumea & Parea & Decapolis & Batanea et cetera
    (these are the political or informal designations , during that era
    "Israel" as a designation does not then exist on anybody's map)

    yes , Palestine is just that thin coastal strip
    till an angry Hadrian wipes the Jewish "homeland" from the Imperial map in 135ce
    now labeling this entire terrain Philistia (Latinized as "Palestine") on Roman maps
    & that it stays

    power has its privileges

     
  15. Princely

    Princely Interfaith Forums

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    Jesus was crucified to show that a person who is dead in there sins can rise from the dead if they continue in His words and believe in Him. So the crucifiction alone isn't why He died but also to rise from the dead. They go hand in hand. He only appeared to His disciples because those who truly follow Him are the only ones who can see Him, meaning the truth ,the word of God. It was Symbolic. He didn't actually die . He went back to the Father.
     
  16. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    Princely, for my sake please either empower the spelling-grammar check or (like I try to always do) write in word and paste into here.
     
  17. Bhaktajan II

    Bhaktajan II Hare Krishna Yogi

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    The first rule of spiritual life is "You are not this body, You are spirit-soul"

    When Jesus rose from the dead it taught that we are not the body but spirit soul.
    -- this is the sum and substance of his buisness here on earth 2000 years ago.

    Thus, any simply and uneducated common person living in the Roman empire and throughout the known world at that time would be forced to reconcile the gosple of Christ's pastimes and immediately conceed that 'the soul is not temporal but transcendental, etc etc etc., and all conceeded with nothing other than faith to anchor this Philosophcal maxim'--such a thing is on its on strength enough to set the course of history for the proceeding two centuries . . .

    There was more to Jesus's knowledge and mission, but he said that he could not yet reveal, at that time and place.

    "We are not the body we are spirit souls" --everyone in history up until the present is beholding to Jesus for this revelation.

    Jesus was an Avatar and/or a Boddhisattva preching "according to time an place" . . . teaching, by example, the first elementary Rule of Spiritual Life:
    "You are not the (material) Body; you are Spirit Soul".

    This "primary lesson of Spiritual Life" was taught at at time of great existential angst.
    And I was taught and understood with little more than one simple act:


    Jesus Died on the Cross and Rose from the dead and went to the father in heaven

    ---in such a way that all levels of society were privy to this affirmation that, "We are not the Body; we are Spirit Soul".

    Jesus's "Lord's Prayer" is universally appealing to basic logic ---it is a mantra given by an avatara.


    Christ's pastimes are very reminiscent of the path of Boddhisattvas; and very reminiscent of the purpose of an "Avatar of Godhead Incarnate" ---as Krishna says to his hesitant cousin the Prince Arjuna [on the 1st Day of the start of a Major Civil-war]:

    Gita 4.7:
    Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion--at that time I descend Myself.

    Bhagavad Gita As It Is, 4: Transcendental Knowledge, Text 7.

    The rule of thumb has been written:
    God advents and preaches, as per "Time and Place" ---as per the conditions of the persons living in that "Time and Place".

    Alas, we spirits in the material world [of temporal passing Time] are accorded facility to access the goal of our free-will. That means we are tested repeatedly until we cultivate the proper ettiquette required to be "Like our father in Heaven" ---our free-will to be a lover of God is up to our 'free-will'. At least we are present to hear the lessons when those lessons were taught. Now we are on our own recognisance.

     
  18. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    That overturns the objection, and what you've said about Jews in foreign lands is easily proved true. Incidentally do you know of a good book (in English) about various old public records of Jews? I'm sure there are numerous old government records about them, tax records and courts cases etc; but I wonder if anyone has gone about collecting that information.
     
  19. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    And according to the concept of probability, you may not be too far from the truth.
    Ben
     
  20. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    Oh, that's rather easier. The fact that I am in a Christian forum does not help. Christians have picked up a Jew to promote a distorted picture of his Faith which was Judaism. Thus, I am here to stop that vandalism.

    And for Jesus being a physical manifestation of God, I find no problem to admit it; however not on an individual basis but rather as part of the People of Israel, by means of which God manifests His glory in the sight of the nations. That's in Ezekiel 20:41.

    Nu! How was it?
    Ben
     

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