Talk:Jesus

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q 1
What should this article be named?

A: To balance all religious denominations this was discussed on this talk page and it was accepted as early as 2004 that Jesus, rather than Jesus Christ, is acceptable as the article title. The title Christ for Jesus is used by Christians, but not by Jews and Muslims. Hence it should not be used in this general, overview article. Similarly in English usage the Arabic Isa and Hebrew Yeshua are less general than Jesus, and can not be used as titles for this article per WP:Commonname.

Q 2
Why does this article use the BC/AD format for dates?

A: The use of AD, CE or AD/CE was discussed on the article talk page for a few years. The article started out with BC/AD but the combined format AD/CE was then used for some time as a compromise, but was the subject of ongoing discussion, e.g. see the 2008 discussion, the 2011 discussion and the 2012 discussion, among others. In April 2013 a formal request for comment was issued and a number of users commented. In May 2013 the discussion ended and the consensus of the request for comment was to use the BC/AD format.

Q 3
Did Jesus exist?

A: Based on a preponderance of sources, this article is generally written as if he did. A more thorough discussion of the evidence establishing Jesus' historicity can be found at Historicity of Jesus and detailed criticism of the non-historicity position can be found at Christ myth theory. See the policy on the issue for more information.

Q 3a
Is "virtually all scholars" a term that can be used in Wikipedia?

A: The issue was discussed on the talk page:

  • The term is directly used by the source in the article, and is used per the WP:RS/AC guideline to reflect the academic consensus.
Q 3b
What about asking on the reliability noticeboard?

A: Yes, people involved in the page can discuss matters, but an independent opinion from the reliable source noticeboard can further clarify and confirm the sources. An outside opinion was requested on the noticeboard. The outside opinion there (by user:DGG) stated that the issue has been discussed there many times and that the statement in the article (that virtually all scholars of antiquity hold that Jesus existed) represents the academic consensus.

Q 3c
What about the books that claim Jesus never existed?

A: The internet includes some such lists, and they have been discussed at length on the talk page, e.g. a list of over 20 such books was addressed in this talk page discussion. The list came from a non-WP:RS website and once it was analyzed it became clear that:

  • Most of the authors on the list were not scholars in the field, and included an attorney, an accountant, a land surveyor, a film-maker, as well as a number of amateurs whose actual profession was less than clear, whose books were self-published and failed the WP:RS requirements. Some of the non-self-published authors on the list were found to just write popular books, have no academic position and not scholars, e.g. Christopher Hitchens.
  • Some of the books on the list did not even deny the existence of Jesus, e.g. Burton Mack (who is a scholar) holds that Jesus existed but his death was not due to his challenge to Jewish authority, etc. Finkelstein and Silberman's work is about the Old Testament and not really related to Jesus. Tom Harpur holds that Jesus existed but mythical stories were later added to the gospel narratives about him.

The analysis of the list thus indirectly shed light on the scarcity of scholars who deny the existence of Jesus.

Q 3d
Do we have to survey the scholars ourselves?

A: The formal Wikipedia guidelines require us not to do our own survey. The Wikipedia guideline WP:RS/AC specifically states: "The statement that all or most scientists or scholars hold a certain view requires reliable sourcing that directly says that all or most scientists or scholars hold that view." Given that the guideline then states: "statement in Wikipedia that academic consensus exists on a topic must be sourced rather than being based on the opinion or assessment of editors." we should not rely on our own surveys but quote a scholar who states the "academic consensus".

Q 3e
Why even mention the existence of Jesus in the article lead?

A: This was discussed on the talk page. Although scholars at large see existence as a given, there are some self-published, non-scholarly books which question it, and hence non-scholars who read this article need to to have that issue clarified. And note that the statements regarding existence and other attributes need to be kept separate and stating that "Virtually all scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus was from Galilee" would not be accurate, because scholarly agreement on existence is much stronger than on other items.

Q 4
Are the scholars who study Jesus all Christian?

A: No. According to Bart D. Ehrman in How Jesus Became God (ISBN: 978-0-06-177818-6, page 187), "most New Testament scholars are themselves Christian". However, scholars of many faiths have studied Jesus. There are 3 aspects to this question:

  • Some of the most respected late 20th century scholars involved in the study of the historical Jesus, e.g. Amy-Jill Levine, Geza Vermes, Paula Fredriksen, etc. are Jewish. This trend is discussed in the 2012 book "Soundings in the Religion of Jesus: Perspectives and Methods in Jewish and Christian Scholarship by Bruce Chilton Anthony Le Donne and Jacob Neusner (ISBN 0800698010 page 132). While much of the older research in the 1950-1970 time frame may have involved Christian scholars (mostly in Europe) the 1980s saw an international effect and since then Jewish scholars have brought their knowledge of the field and made significant contributions. And one should note that the book is coauthored by the likes of Chilton and Neusner with quite different backgrounds. Similarly one of the main books in the field "The Historical Jesus in Context by Amy-Jill Levine, Dale C. Allison Jr., John Dominic Crossan 2006 ISBN 0691009929" is jointly edited by scholars with quite different backgrounds. In the late 20th and the 21st century Jewish, Christian and secular agnostic scholars have widely cooperated in research. The Muslim Reza Aslan wrote the #1 Bestseller Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth.
  • Regarding the existence of a historical Jesus, the article lead quotes Ehrman who is an agnostic and Price who is an atheist. Moreover, G. A. Wells who was widely accepted as the leader of the non-existence movement in the 20th century, abandoned that position and now accepts that the Q source refers to "a preacher" on whom parts of the gospels were based - although he believes that the supernatural claims were just stories that were then attributed to that preacher. That is reflected in his 2004 book "Can we Trust the New Testament", pages 49-50. While scholars continue to debate the historicity of specific gospel narratives, the agreement on the existence of Jesus is quite global.
  • Finally, Wikipedia policies do not prohibit Buddhist scholars as sources on the history of Buddhism, Jewish scholars on Judaism, or Muslim scholars as sources on the history of Islam provided they are respected scholars whose works meet the general WP:RS requirements in terms of publisher reputation, etc.
Q 5
Why are some historical facts stated to be less certain than others?

A: The difference is "historically certain" versus "historically probable" and "historically plausible". There are a number of subtle issues and this is a somewhat complicated topic, although it may seem simple at first:

  • Hardly any scholars dispute the existence of Jesus or his crucifixion.
  • A large majority of scholars agree that he debated the authorities and had "followers" - some scholars say there was a hierarchy among the followers, a few think it was a flat organization.
  • More scholars think he performed some healings (given that Rabbinic sources criticize him for that etc., among other reasons) than those who say he never did, but less agreement on than the debates with authorities, etc.

As the article states Amy-Jill Levine summarized the situation by stating: "Most scholars agree that Jesus was baptized by John, debated with fellow Jews on how best to live according to God's will, engaged in healings and exorcisms, taught in parables, gathered male and female followers in Galilee, went to Jerusalem, and was crucified by Roman soldiers during the governorship of Pontius Pilate." In that statement Levine chose her words very carefully. If she had said "disciples" instead of followers there would have been serious objections from other scholars, if she had said "called" instead of "gathered", there would have also been objections in that some scholars hold that Jesus preached equally to all, never imposed a hierarchy among his followers, etc. Scholars have very specific positions and the strength of the consensus among them can vary by changing just one word, e.g. follower to disciple or apostle, etc.

Q 6
Why is the info box so brief?

A: The infobox is intended to give a summary of the essential pieces of information, and not be a place to discuss issues in any detail. So it has been kept brief, and to the point, based on the issues discussed below.

Q 6a
Was Jesus Jewish?

A: Yes. As the article states in a review of the state of modern scholarship, Amy-Jill Levine stated that scholars agree that Jesus was Jewish, but she adds that: "Beyond recognizing that 'Jesus was Jewish' rarely does scholarship address what being 'Jewish' means." Hence, discussions on the talk page decided that the article and the infobox do not mention anything further than that regarding his race, a possible nationality designator, etc.

Q 6b
Why is the birthplace not mentioned in the infobox?

A: The question came up in this discussion and there is no solid scholarly agreement on Bethlehem, so the infobox does not address that.

Q 7
Why is there no discussion of the legacy/impact of Jesus?

A: That issue is inherently controversial, and has been discussed on the talk page for many years, e.g. see the 2006 discussion, the June 2010 discussion, the Nov 2010 discussion, etc. One user commented that it would turn out to be a discussion of the "impact of Christianity" in the end; because all impact was through the spread of Christianity in any case. So it has been left out due to those discussions.

Q 8
Why is there no discussion of Christian denominational differences?

A: Christianity includes a large number of denominations, and their differences can be diverse. Some denominations do not have a central teaching office and it is quite hard to characterize and categorize these issues without a long discussion that will exceed the length limits imposed by WP:Length on articles. The discussion of the theological variations among the multitude of Christian denominations is beyond the scope of this article, as in this talk page discussion. Hence the majority and common views are briefly sketched and hyper-links are provided to other articles that deal with the theological differences among Christians.

Q 9
What is the correct possessive of Jesus?

A: This article uses the apostrophe-only possessive: Jesus', not Jesus's. Do not change usage within quotes. That was decided in this discussion.

Featured article Jesus is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on December 25, 2013.
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Aramaic name[edit]

Anyone opposed to me adding "Hebrew: יֵשׁוּעַ‎‎ Yeshua" to the lead between the pronunciation and the Greek? This was Jesus' "real" name even more than the Greek was. Deus vult (aliquid)! Crusadestudent (talk) 21:20, 26 May 2016 (UTC)

The reason why we decided to only include the Greek name is that Greek is the language of the only sources we have about Jesus from back then. Yeshua is just a theory.--FutureTrillionaire (talk) 21:54, 26 May 2016 (UTC)
FutureTrillionaire, please cite a source that suggest that Yeshua is a theory. Not trying to pick a fight, just curious at the source :) Cheers, CookieMonster755 📞 22:34, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
Request seconded. Jujutsuan (talk | contribs) 15:05, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
FutureTrillionaire, I am still waiting for a source to suggest that Yeshua is just a theory. ✉cookiemonster✉ 𝚨755𝛀 23:24, 16 June 2016 (UTC)
Jujutsuan, I would go ahead and add the Hebrew name Yeshua in the introduction, because there has not been a source to suggest that it is just a theory. Besides, if it was a theory, why would the F&A of the talk page of Jesus mention that Yeshua is not as common as Jesus in English? ✉cookiemonster✉ 𝚨755𝛀 05:21, 29 June 2016 (UTC)
There's also the fact that certain Christian movements and Messianic Jewish movements deliberately use Yeshua to refer to Jesus. So "authentic" or not, it's at a minimum become a legitimate name. Jujutsuan (Please notify with {{re}} talk | contribs) 05:37, 29 June 2016 (UTC)

Virgin birth discussion[edit]

I was looking through the article and was surprised to find there is no mention of the translation issue. Has this article already been given the thumbs-down or has everyone just missed it?

http://www.bibleodyssey.org/en/people/related-articles/was-there-really-a-virgin-birth-in-the-bible.aspx

This is another view on the case and quite interesting if correct. I think it deserves a mention in that case. Segis84 (talk) 23:04, 29 May 2016 (UTC)

Because there's no controversy about how to translate the NT word. We don't need to talk about Isaiah 7:14 in this article. StAnselm (talk) 02:17, 30 May 2016 (UTC)
We should cover this topic the same way the RSs cover it. How do the RSs cover it? Jonathan Tweet (talk) 14:57, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
Very sorry, but definitely not following you. There certainly seems to be controversy if some texts say "a virgin" and some "a maiden" (now that you brought it up, Isaiah calls her "a maiden"). The article on Jesus, however, seems to say "it was a virgin, period" and I'm just curious about why there is no discussion about whether or not she was a virgin. And User:Jonathan Tweet, what's RSs? 90.207.151.65 (talk) 21:37, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
RS means a reliable source, i.e. a book or scientific article written by a reputable Bible scholar, which would verify your claim that Mary wasn't a virgin. Besides, there is a difference between "described by the gospels as a virgin" and "it is a historical fact that she was a virgin". Tgeorgescu (talk) 21:48, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I don't think there is too much disagreement that Matthew (and Luke too, for that matter) describes Mary as being a virgin. StAnselm (talk) 21:52, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
So, let's say that as a historical fact it is not certain that she was a virgin, but it does not need a miracle, there are ways in which virgin girls could get pregnant, so the claim cannot be dismissed out of hand as a supernatural claim. Tgeorgescu (talk) 21:54, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
But that would be a very minority view. I would think almost all scholars would accept that the gospel writers are at least claiming something supernatural. (Both stories feature angels very prominently, too.) StAnselm (talk) 21:57, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
No doubt, those writers describe it as a supernatural conception, but historians do not have to take their word for it, since historians cannot prove the occurrence of miracles. What I am saying is that a virgin giving birth is not biologically impossible. As a source for other views see God and Sex: What the Bible Really Says. Tgeorgescu (talk) 22:02, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
Tgeorgescu, we're just lowly editors, so what we think about an issue is irrelevant. What do the experts say? That's what matters. Find good reliable sources about Jesus, and see what they say about the virgin birth. Then, whether you agree with it personally or not, paraphrase that information in the article and cite it. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 18:18, 8 June 2016 (UTC)
The article I mentioned provides a reference wherein Michael Coogan claims that St. Paul believed that St. Joseph had conceived Jesus. Sometimes a philosophical discussion is needed in order to distinguish between credible sources and fringe sources. E.g. sources which would claim that a miracle is a historically true are fringe (as historiography), while sources which claim that Mary was a virgin are not by definition fringe. Tgeorgescu (talk) 22:11, 8 June 2016 (UTC)
Which article? I followed your links and didn't see it. The Historical Views section could use some material on the virgin birth, since critical analysis is restricted from the Gospels section as part of a special compromise. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 14:29, 15 June 2016 (UTC)
The reference is Coogan (2010: 38), see God and Sex: What the Bible Really Says. Tgeorgescu (talk) 22:58, 4 July 2016 (UTC)

A reader requested we add information about the most referenced analysis of the virgin birth, which is reference to a mistranslation of "young woman" in the Jewish Bible, Isaiah 7:14. That's mainstream analysis. Does anyone add it? No, instead our page offers bunch of material about the virgin birth's historicity, a minority, Christian-friendly view. That's Talk:Jesus#minority_view_of_virgin_birth this conversation below. The bias is pretty clear. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 21:11, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

I added a reference to Isaiah 7:14, as found in RSs. But St Anselm has a history of opposing the mainstream view, and he deleted it. The RSs favor this information. Is there a policy against including it? You can share your personal opinion, if you like, but is there a policy against including this mainstream information? Jonathan Tweet (talk) 13:48, 17 July 2016 (UTC)

What Jesus debated with Jewish authorities[edit]

The lead currently says that Jesus "debated with Jewish authorities on the subject of God". I think this is subjective, based on how one interprets his debates about Tanakh interpretations. The current claim is sourced to a book by an openly Orthodox Jew. This is not the most appropriate RS for the evaluation of Jesus from a religious perpective. I think changing the phrase "on the subject of God" to "on religious issues" is milder and closer to a neutral point of view. It would be best to have more than one source for that, coming from authors of different religious background. Nxavar (talk) 08:54, 3 June 2016 (UTC)

Historians say that Jesus' debates are set-pieces invented by early Christians and not authentic. Can you find a better source that summarizes Jesus' career? I've never seen Levine named as an important source on the topic, but Vermes, Sanders, Crossan, Theissen, etc. have been. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 14:21, 15 June 2016 (UTC)
If historians doubt the debates, then the statement that Jesus "debated with Jewish authorities on the subject of God" should be removed from the lead. Can you bring forth some sources? They can be used in a footnote on the sentence summarizing Jesus' work as a rabbi, explaining why the aspect of debates is not included. Nxavar (talk) 08:14, 27 June 2016 (UTC)
I added what I found in the best source I have to the body. Does anyone have any particular reason to trust Levine over Sanders? As for the lead, I would say just strike the reference to debates. They're disputed, if not discredited. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 21:02, 2 July 2016 (UTC)
Thinking twice, I don't think it is appropriate to remove the reference to the debates on purely historical grounds: this is not the article for the historical Jesus. We do need better language than the one at place now though, since "debating God" is heavy language and out of the context of Jesus' times: If he was indeed "debating God" he would be easily and quickly discredited in the eyes of his contemporaries. Nxavar (talk) 06:28, 4 July 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for joining in. You're saying that we can cite historians when they say that Jesus debated with religious authorities but we can't cite them when they say that he didn't? We cite historians plenty, in the lead and in the history section. What's different about this point? Jonathan Tweet (talk) 15:12, 4 July 2016 (UTC)
Citing historians is valuable, but on subjects of religion historians are not the only important source of information, as far as an encyclopedia article is concerned. This article goes a long way to cover what religion says about Jesus. Nxavar (talk) 06:33, 7 July 2016 (UTC)

example of merging Gospel accounts[edit]

You folks deserve a specific example of what I'm talking about when I say that the Gospel accounts are merged. Please see the crucifixion and entombment section. This section takes four different crucifixion accounts—each written to stand alone—and merges them into one account as if they're telling the same story. But there are at least two distinct accounts, possibly four. Whoever merged these accounts also dropped out the elements that contradict each other from Gospel to Gospel. This is traditional Christian practice, to merge Gospel accounts into one by papering over differences. Who was with Jesus when he was crucified? Did both robbers rebuke hm? Where were the disciples? The Gospels contradict each other on these counts. The big one is, did Jesus suffer and cry out in despair? Mark and Matthew say Yes. Luke and John have Jesus accepting his crucifixion without complaint and then dying not from asphyxiation but by an act of will when the time is right. Historians pay attention to these differences because they're informative. It's Christian practice to minimize these differences. As WP editors, it's not our place to pick and choose from four primary documents, creating a new narrative with the elements we like and leaving out the details we don't like.

Do I feel moved to add in the details that have been left out? Maybe. Or maybe I can let the Gospel section be for now. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 15:26, 19 June 2016 (UTC)

This idea for merging sounds very difficult. If, as you say, inconsistent parts of the story are left out, then which parts? Who decides? How to prevent this plan from becoming original research? If the inconsistent parts are left in, then how is the narrative maintained? Isambard Kingdom (talk) 15:56, 19 June 2016 (UTC)
I don't see how we can avoid it being original research if we are deciding ourselves which details the reader should know. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 14:54, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
Interestingly, the whole section is sourced to secondary sources. The section certainly does smooth over the differences between the gospels, but I think that is what one would expect from a top-level, overview article. The idea is we wikilink to more specific articles where there is more nuance. Discussions about how and why Jesus cried out (and scholars disagree over whether "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" is indeed a cry of despair) can be found at Sayings of Jesus on the cross. StAnselm (talk) 18:36, 19 June 2016 (UTC)
Can you name a single tertiary source that describes Jesus and that treats his crucifixion this way? I've never found one. This is not how encyclopedias treat this topic. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 14:55, 1 July 2016 (UTC)

We can avoid OR by letting each Gospel speak for itself rather than using our own judgment to edit the four accounts into one. That's what the page does with the Open Tomb accounts, which are also contradictory. What do folks think? Jonathan Tweet (talk) 14:01, 6 July 2016 (UTC)

minority view of virgin birth[edit]

In our treatment of the virgin birth, the minority view favored by Christians gets more space than the majority view favored by secular scholars.

Most modern scholars, such as E. P. Sanders and Géza Vermes, generally consider Joseph to be Jesus' father.[267][268] They say that the doctrine of Jesus' virgin birth arose from theological development rather than from historical events.[267] Other scholars take it as significant that the virgin birth is attested by two separate gospels though the details of each vary.[269][270][271][272][273] In this view, F. Dale Bruner says that the virgin conception and birth constitute a tradition that fits within the criterion of multiple attestation since the accounts of Matthew and Luke are taken as two independent testimonies of the tradition.[274]

Pretty clear violation of due weight. Can anyone name a single secular, tertiary source where the "double attestation" argument gets any treatment? I've never run across it, the sources here are not top scholars, and the publishers are Christians publishers. This could go in the Christian views section, not problem. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 14:52, 1 July 2016 (UTC)

In fact, the bigger problem in that paragraph is the unsourced statement about "most" modern scholars. I have tagged it accordingly. In any case, there's no problem citing to Christian publishers, and Bruner's view is obviously addressing the issue of historicity, so it's in the right section, at least. StAnselm (talk) 20:01, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
It sure is in the right section, and reputable Christian sources are just as good as reputable secular sources. I use Christians sources myself. Looks like we agree on most things. So, undue weight, but correct section, is that our judgment? Jonathan Tweet (talk) 20:55, 2 July 2016 (UTC)
No, it's not our judgement - the undue weight argument relies on the "most modern scholars" phrase, which has been challenged. StAnselm (talk) 21:36, 2 July 2016 (UTC)
Jonathan, can you add some more content along with citations? Then we can see what we have.Isambard Kingdom (talk) 21:42, 2 July 2016 (UTC)
talk, per your request, and the request of Segis84, I added information with citations to RSs, but StAnselm deleted it. He added back the minority view that's contested, and he deleted the mainstream view that was requested. That doesn't strike me as fair. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 15:20, 4 July 2016 (UTC)
Maybe go slow, add stuff, before modifying existing content? I don't know. Isambard Kingdom (talk) 15:27, 4 July 2016 (UTC)
With your support, I'll keep adding stuff. I think that's a good idea. St Anselm is likely to delete content he doesn't like and say that there's no consensus to add it. I'm happy to keep adding properly-cited material with the hope that good editing will prevail in the end. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 15:54, 4 July 2016 (UTC)
Well, I don't think we had agreed that it was undue weight (I was still waiting for a source for the "most modern scholars" bit). But yes - if you think it's undue weight, you could better deal with it by expanding rather than deleting. Please try to avoid making this a WP:BATTLEGROUND. StAnselm (talk) 19:30, 4 July 2016 (UTC)
I would love for this not to be a battle. I have made efforts to compromise and make peace. Please stop fighting the mainstream view of who Jesus was. WP is based primarily on mainstream views. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 16:57, 6 July 2016 (UTC)

@Jonathan Tweet:, I don't understand this edit summary: "removing contested content, see talk; per BRD, don't restore this until there's agreement to do so on the Talk page" - the content has been there at least since April, so I don't think BRD policy (not that BRD is actually policy) would say that it should be kept out. StAnselm (talk) 01:12, 4 July 2016 (UTC)

It's true that I didn't revert it right away, and we did some D before the R in BRD. In any event, the burden of proof is with the editor who wants to restore content that's been challenged and removed. I see you're restored the material without winning support for it first. Is that edit-warring? Have you positively demonstrated the value of that minority content? See also Isambard Kingdom's comment elsewhere on this page: "It would be sensible to keep any discussion which represents miracles as factual events out of the historicity section of this article (and any other Wikiarticle)." Jonathan Tweet (talk) 15:02, 4 July 2016 (UTC)

Here are the sources the St Anselm says are RSs. None of these names are prominent scholars on historical Jesus. The books are not about Jesus. The publishers are mostly or all Christian. Why are we looking to what these people say when we have top-notch historical RSs to rely on? The only reason an editor would prefer these second-rate sources is that they agree with the editor's personal beliefs. These sources are not weighty enough to warrant use in the historical views section.

  • Bromiley, Geoffrey (1995) International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Eerdmans Publishing, ISBN 978-0-8028-3784-4, p. 991.
  • Craig S. Keener, The Gospel of Matthew (Eerdmans 2009 ISBN 978-0-8028-6498-7), p. 83
  • Donald A. Hagner, Matthew 1-13 (Paternoster Press 1993 ISBN 978-0-8499-0232-1), pp. 14-15, cited in the preceding
  • Millard Erickson, Christian Theology (Baker Academic 1998 ISBN 978-0-8010-2182-4), p. 761
  • Fritz Allhoff, Scott C. Lowe, Christmas – Philosophy for Everyone: Better Than a Lump of Coal (Wiley-Blackwell 2010 ISBN 978-1-4443-3090-8), p. 28
  • Frederick Dale Bruner, Matthew: The Christbook (Eerdmans 2004 ISBN 9780802811189), p. 41
Well, I agree we don't need all these references, but I disagree that (a) we should preference "scholars on historical Jesus" (NT scholars are fine); and (b) there is anything wrong with books by Christian publishers (that in itself is irrelevant to determining reliable sources). StAnselm (talk) 19:41, 4 July 2016 (UTC)
First, most Bible scholars are Christians. So we do not discard out of hand sources written by Christians. Second, "Jesus was born of a virgin" is a notable belief, so it has to be covered. But "Bible scholars have shown the virgin birth to be historically accurate" is not a notable belief and I have argued in another section that it is kind of fringe view. Tgeorgescu (talk) 23:20, 4 July 2016 (UTC)
I would propose the following criterion for discarding unreliable historiography sources:

For Kitchen, the biblical story (at least from the time of Abraham) is true until proven otherwise. Needless to say, he is not troubled by postmodernism or deconstruction, which he dubs "the crown of all follies." His critiques of Lemche, Thompson and others are not without substance, but his own views are too blatantly apologetic to warrant serious consideration as historiography.

More sophisticated, but ultimately equally apologetic, is another volume published in 2003, Iain Provan, V. Philips Long, and Tremper Longman III, entitled provocatively, A Biblical History of Israel.

— John J. Collins, The Bible after Babel. Historical Criticism in a Postmodern Age.
Of course, not everything about Jesus has to be historiography, theology is fine in its own realm, namely of establishing what a certain group of faithful should believe as a matter of true belief. Tgeorgescu (talk) 01:36, 5 July 2016 (UTC)
Well, the Collins quote is related to OT historiography in particular. Now, I get that you prefer Collins to, say, Provan, but we're still left with the question as to why Wikipedia should prefer one to the other. On what basis do we decide? StAnselm (talk) 08:21, 6 July 2016 (UTC)
"I disagree that (a) we should preference "scholars on historical Jesus" (NT scholars are fine)" "we're still left with the question as to why Wikipedia should prefer one to the other" We should prefer the sources that RSs prefer. RSs prefer Sanders, Vermes, Theissen, etc. None of the "pro-miracle" scholars cited here are notable in terms of historical views of Jesus. Do you have any evidence that any of the scholars you cited here are notable in historical circles? Jonathan Tweet (talk) 13:52, 6 July 2016 (UTC)
No, RSs do not "prefer Sanders, Vermes, Theissen, etc." I get the feeling that you define RSs as those that do, but that's begging the question. Anyway, yes - here is evidence that Keener is notable in terms of historical views of Jesus: Keener's The Historical Jesus of the Gospels (2009) "marks a notable moment in the critical study of Jesus" (CBQ); "It is difficult to use too many superlatives for Keener's work here. It is simply invaluable." (JSNT) This is precisely the sort of thing we mean by a reliable source. StAnselm (talk) 19:07, 6 July 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for finding evidence. That's way better than abstract arguments. Are you really saying that RSs acknowledge Keener as a peer of Sanders, Vermes, and Theissen? If so, point to where his work is cited in some top tertiary sources. They cite Sanders, Vermes, and Theissen repeatedly. Who cites Keener? Also, what tertiary source about Jesus makes the historical point you're making about the double attestation of the virgin birth? If other tertiary sources don't cover it, we don't need to, either. Maybe on Keener's page or the virgin birth page, but not here. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 13:34, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I'm really saying RSs acknowledge Keener as a peer of Sanders, Vermes, and Theissen. Of course, I think you've misunderstood the wikipedia definition of RS, and you put far more weight on tertiary sources than WP policy does. WP is based on reliable secondary sources. StAnselm (talk) 18:55, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
OK, now we're getting somewhere, Just find an RS that treats Keener as on par with Sanders, Vermes, and Theissen. I have RSs that cite these three scholars as tops. Who cites Keener as on par with these three leading scholars? Jonathan Tweet (talk) 14:50, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
@Jonathan Tweet:, you say this, and I'm going to call you on it - please provide two resources that say Sanders, Vermes, and Theissen are the top scholars in the field. Just to make it easier for you, I'll let you narrow the field to "historical Jesus". StAnselm (talk) 02:54, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
I notice that you're not making any effort to show me the evidence I asked for. Is that because you don't have any? If I fulfill your request, will you then acknowledge that these scholars are more notable on this topic than Keener? Jonathan Tweet (talk) 13:22, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
See, I knew you were bluffing. You were talking as if you had already found the reliable sources. StAnselm (talk) 21:11, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

There was actually very little about Jesus' family in the family section. It seems as though the section was composed entirely by atheists wanting to disprove the virgin birth and Christians wanting to lend credence to the idea. Editing to push a POV leads to poor content. I have several good RSs, and I just looked up what I could in each of them and added the material in. If someone could find a good source for the desposyni (relatives of Jesus with leadership positions in the early church), that would be great. Comments? Jonathan Tweet (talk) 17:08, 6 July 2016 (UTC)

Who is the minority?[edit]

When it comes down to it, it is highly unlikely that there are more secular scholars than there are Christian scholars, and certainly counting secularists vs. Christians the numbers aren't even close. Going on about how nobody but (most) Christians accepts the doctrine is belaboring the obvious. Mangoe (talk) 03:20, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

How about we just agree to treat it like the RSs treat it? Jonathan Tweet (talk) 18:34, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

open for requests again[edit]

i did this before, and I'm happy to do it again. Does anyone have any requests for areas of the page that should get some work. I have plenty of RSs to draw on. A long while back there was talk about improving the Depictions section, but I don't think it ever got an overhaul. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 14:59, 1 July 2016 (UTC)

Jonathan Tweet maybe the infobox? I was wondering why Jesus' immediate family (such as his siblings) are not listed in the infobox? Do scholars not believe it to be factual? Cheers, Ḉɱ̍ 2nd anniv. 18:04, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
CookieMonster755, thanks. I don't put a lot of thought into the info box. Anyone know what the policy is on including known family members? His brother John is historically notable at the least. And historians basically accept the names of Jesus' parents and brothers because they have no reason not to. His sisters aren't named, naturally enough. Some folks think that "Joseph" is just a lifting from the Hebrew story of Joseph, an earlier hero who is guided by dreams to Egypt, but that's a minority view. Personally, I think Joseph is a fictional character, but I'm here to represent the mainstream view and not my own. Anyone else want to comment on adding family members to the infobox? Jonathan Tweet (talk) 18:31, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
The things, we don't have 'known' family member, nor any family member (except Maria) that there is a consensus for. (My personal conviction is that he certainly had brothers and sisters and that the names of some brothers are know, but I'm also aware that that is not uncontroversial). Jeppiz (talk) 18:46, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

“A Jewish preacher"[edit]

This article in the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz[1] indicates that even the “Shorter Oxford Dictionary” has replaced the old-fashioned (introductory) description of Jesus as “Founder of Christianity” by: “a Jewish preacher (c 5 BC-c AD 30) regarded by his followers as the Son of God and God incarnate”. Especially the first part seems to be highly relevant as Jesus was obviously a Jewish preacher. Therefore I think it would be good to make a small addition to the first paragraph of this article. Now it reads:

"Jesus (...) is the central figure of Christianity, whom the teachings of most Christian denominations hold to be the Son of God."

It would be an improvement to make it this:

"Jesus (...) was a Jewish preacher who became the central figure of Christianity, and whom the teachings of most Christian denominations hold to be the Son of God."

Paul K. (talk) 19:56, 1 July 2016 (UTC)

That's a great idea, but you're not going to find a lot of support for this proposal. Britannica calls him a religious leader (link) It makes sense that we should refer to his career in the opening line. Any objections? Jonathan Tweet (talk) 20:59, 2 July 2016 (UTC)
Hearing no objections... Jonathan Tweet (talk) 13:54, 6 July 2016 (UTC)
Cliftonian moved the phrase to the second sentence, which isn't how I would handle it, but I'm happy to compromise. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 17:09, 6 July 2016 (UTC)
"Preacher" is better I think - "religious leader" is too vague. (And of course, the gospels describe him in opposition to the religious leaders.) I'd probably prefer "rabbi", actually. StAnselm (talk) 18:38, 6 July 2016 (UTC)
He was more than a preacher; he was a sect leader. But I'm happy to compromise so we can keep making progress on the page. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 13:36, 7 July 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for the replies. I am glad that my suggestion has met with approval. I do not think it is a good idea to move these words to the second sentence as this paradox seems to be very essential for Jesus' significance: he observed Jewish law faithfully, according to the gospel he even stated: "Till heaven and earth pass, one iot or one title shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled" (Matthew 5:18), but he became the central figure of Christianity. So, as also Jonathan Tweet seems to indicate, preferably in the first sentence. Paul K. (talk) 21:04, 8 July 2016 (UTC)

Yes, on reflection I think this wording is better. I don't agree it's such a paradox, as you put it, but that's another conversation for another time and place I think. Glad to see progress being made, I do think this an improvement. —  Cliftonian (talk)  22:01, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
Comment: was a Jewish preacher creates the imaged that he stayed dead. Is there any alternative? I guess Wikipedia has to have NPOV. ✉cookiemonster✉ 𝚨755𝛀 03:11, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
Also, Jewish rabbi would be more specific. ✉cookiemonster✉ 𝚨755𝛀 03:12, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

More specific? What exactly is more specific about it? Paul K. (talk) 21:02, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

Definition of rabbi: a Jewish scholar or teacher, especially one who studies or teaches Jewish law. Did Jesus not do that? According to historical evidence, he did just that. So rabbi would be more specific. ✉cookiemonster✉ 𝚨755𝛀 00:52, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

I find the mention of Jesus as a Jewish preacher as a bit over advertising. It is to be well noted that Jesus is considered by mainstream Christians to be the saviour of humanity as a whole but not for just one particular set of race. Before Ascension, Jesus says to his disciples "Go and preach the gospel to every living creature ". Jews believe that the Messiah would come only to liberate Jews but not gentiles which is exact opposite of what most Christians believe. Jews follow the principles of Old Testament and Jesus taught the New testament which is rejected by Jews. So Jesus wasn't a Jewish preacher, since he taught a new testament which is a new covenant, Jews do not accept this new covenant and for them it is irrelevant and out of their community. From the sources of New testament what we get is that Jesus was a Son of God(Gospel of John says he is word of God) not a Jewish preacher. Oxford dictionary is not an official biography of Jesus please! Dont quote newspapers or encyclopedia. I also find the mention of this "Judaism rejects the belief that Jesus was the awaited Messiah, arguing that his death on the cross signifies that he was rejected by God and that his resurrection is a Christian legend" as very critical and blasphemous. It says Judaism rejects??? First of all, Is there anything written about Jesus in Judaism? You can't include a critical statement in the first beginning. Islamic views are mentioned because they have a certain religious belief in Jesus and he is mentioned in Quran within their prophet references. Judaism has no view about Jesus at all, he is irrelevant there since he is not mentioned in Torah nor any Jewish Scriptures. The view about Jesus mentioned here is mischief public rumour/speculation/whispers or whatever you call it. The Atheists believe that Jesus was a mythical legend, if that's kind of common sense being used here, would you even mention that ? So why do we have to put this statement in the first beginning? Can someone please answer me? User:Jonathan Tweet Paul K. User:StAnselm --Chintu89 (talk) 11:12, 13 July 2016 (UTC)

If Jesus existed at all, he was definitely a Jewish preacher who preached to Jews. It is not an overstatement. What may be an overstatement is focussing too much on later writings written long after Jesus' lifetime that make superstitious unverifiable claims about the Jewish preacher.--Jeffro77 (talk) 11:46, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
Chintu89, thanks for sharing your opinion and your reasoning. Wikipedia doesn't really care about our personal feelings. Instead it's based on what reliable sources say. The mainstream view in academia is that Jesus was a Jewish preacher and sect leader, so that's what the RSs say. Maybe the RSs are wrong, but as humble editors we have no choice but to summarize what they say. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 14:43, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
Jeffro77 Sorry to say but you are not an authority here to decide and make us believe whatever rubbish you believe in. You have your own opinion, keep that to yourself. Your opinions are influenced by Godless, atheistic perspective. You seem to be a shortsighted heathen. So we can't expect nothing positive from you.
You should first read the Bible perfectly Jesus Said "And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. "
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
His preaching was not just for Jews but for the whole world. The Jewish ideology does not accept Gentiles outside their community. He broke those laws and created a new covenant for all nations. So he isn't a Jewish Preacher. His disciples went out to other nations and baptized other people mostly Gentiles.
Jonathan Tweet Wikipedia is not at all a reliable source for information. In fact a very misguiding source of information. Anybody can edit anything here and put whatever story and tags they would feel is right as per there convenient. Few days back the article started as Jesus Christ,[e] is the central figure of Christianity, whom the teachings of most Christian denominations hold to be the Son of God. Christians believe Jesus is the awaited Messiah (or the Christ, the Anointed One) of the Old Testament - This was same not changed for nearly 2 years and it was neat and clean, also understandable but now it is badly written as Jesus Christ,[e] was a Jewish preacher who became the central figure of Christianity. Christians believe him to be the Son of God and the awaited Jewish Messiah (Christ, the Anointed One) of the Old Testament . Again in the sentence it is written Most scholars agree that Jesus was a Galilean Jewish rabbi[22] who preached his message orally, How many times will you mention Jewish??? I mean what is this? This people write whatever they like? This people changed words whatever they like? Then on next other day, it will be again changed to something else. Most Christians would not agree on this. You cant allow 4-5 people to decide on how an article about Jesus should be written. Why should millions of people read something based on interpretation by 4-5 editors. These guys are not even scholars.
The Gospels are the only source of Jesus, it is from where we know who he was, how he lived and how he was called. And if someone wants to write an account about him here, then it should be based on the Gospels and I cant see any term within the contexts of scriptures, Jesus was no where called a Jewish preacher. --Chintu89 (talk) 06:35, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
I'm afraid I have to agree with you that, from a Christian perspective at least, Wikipedia is an unreliable source. By WP policy, we have to build the encyclopedia according to human knowledge and understanding. Revelation is excluded as a source of information on WP. We can't use the Gospels as our source for whether to call Jesus a Jewish preacher. I was OK with it in the second sentence because I expect some level of accommodation on this page, but I do prefer it in the first. Anyway, here's the best thing you can do in this case, I think. Find top-notch textbooks or reference books that define Jesus first as the central figure of Christianity and only secondarily a Jewish sect leader. Use those citations to argue for doing it that way. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 21:22, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
Well aren't you an arrogant sod. My 'opinion' was a statement of fact, and it's certainly not trumped by your own theological opinions. Fact: Jesus was a Jew. Fact: Jesus preached to Jews. Fact: stories about Jesus were only written several decades after his lifetime. Your idiotic ad hominem is entirely irrelevant.--Jeffro77 (talk) 12:46, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
Please let's keep it civil. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 21:15, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

Jesus was Jewish, and Matthew 4:17 [1] says that he "preached", though this word may depend on translation. Isambard Kingdom (talk) 22:03, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

@Chintu89, either you are ill-informed about the gospel, or you choose your quotes deliberately in a very selective way. It is true that Mark has written that after his death Jesus appeared again and made the statement you quote. But you fail to mention any of Jesus' statements during his lifetime when he addressed the Jews explicitly. For instance Matthew 10:5/6, where Jesus is quoted as instructing his apostles by saying: "Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter you not. But go rather to the lost sheep of the House of Israel." There are many places where Jesus confesses his mission to the Jews explicitly. And of course you cannot expect Wikipedia to take your religion as a foundation. Wikipedia is neutral, also in religious matters. Paul K. (talk) 15:50, 15 July 2016 (UTC)


Citations[edit]

Place of birth[edit]

Is it simply ambiguity to modify the date of birth (perhaps to c. 6-4 BCE) or at least leave a note stating that if Jesus were born before 4 BCE, he would be born not in the Herodian Tetrarchy but the Herodian Kingdom (as Herod the Great died in that year), or is that worth adding?

Mavericks[edit]

Only mavericks maintain that historians could validate miracles. So, the accuse of POV-pushing misses the point, since the view cited to Ehrman is the view of virtually all post-Enlightenment historians. Tgeorgescu (talk) 23:05, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

So, we don't state this view with attribution, we render it instead in Wikipedia's voice, since it is the viewpoint of virtually all scholars. Tgeorgescu (talk) 23:07, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

You will need evidence for this claim. But the specific POV was "miracles are highly unlikely". (I'm not sure what Ehrman means, though - is it that miracles are unusual, or that any given alleged miracle is unlikely to have occurred?) Also, the claim "historians never conclude that a particular miracle probably happened" seems dubious, since lots of (non-maverick) historians conclude that miracles in the gospels probably did occur - and that saying miracles are inherently improbable is not a necessary (or even valid) starting assumption. In any case, there has been a fair bit written about miracles, history, probability, and the gospels - see Graham Twelftree, Jesus the Miracle Worker: A Historical and Theological Study (1999) and Craig S. Keener, Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts (2011). StAnselm (talk) 01:03, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
See http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/miracles/ , but also consider WP:BLUE, methodological naturalism, the argument at [2] and if you need my two cents, historians do not write peer-reviewed articles like "Have leprechauns dictated the Book of Isaiah? An alternative theory for the claim that angels have dictated the Book of Isaiah", "Historical proof that Attila the Hun was possessed by evil spirits", "Vespasian's godly status confirmed through archaeological finds" and "The role of elves and fairies in World War II combats". Tgeorgescu (talk) 02:15, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
WP:RS/AC claim by an opponent of the argument: Graham H. Twelftree (25 May 1999). Jesus the Miracle Worker: A Historical and Theological Study. InterVarsity Press. p. 40. ISBN 978-0-8308-1596-8. At first sight Hume's case seems unassailable, so much so that intellectual orthodoxy has generally succumbed to its charm.  Tgeorgescu (talk) 19:08, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
An interesting read, that section of the book. Thank you. Isambard Kingdom (talk) 19:35, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
It would be sensible to keep any discussion which represents miracles as factual events out of the historicity section of this article (and any other Wikiarticle). Isambard Kingdom (talk) 19:38, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes. But the question here is whether we say anything about them in the historical section - e.g. "many scholars regard claims to miracles as being outside the scope of historical study, but other scholars believe that there is historical evidence for miracles described in the gospels". (This is totally uncited, of course - we would need to tighten this up considerably.) I note we have an entire article devoted to the Historicity and origin of the Resurrection of Jesus. StAnselm (talk) 21:03, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
Hmm, not sure that "intellectual orthodoxy has generally succumbed to its charm" is a claim of academic consensus. StAnselm (talk) 21:03, 3 July 2016 (UTC)

Currently the article says, "Elements whose historical authenticity is disputed include the Nativity, the Massacre of the Innocents, the Resurrection, the Ascension, some of Jesus' miracles, and the Sanhedrin trial, among others." The idea that "some of" Jesus' miracles are of disputed authenticity suggests that other miracles are undisputed. StAnselm (talk) 21:03, 3 July 2016 (UTC)

Twelftree has a speech upon it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTqpMoG94AU . Anyway, historians cannot invite angels in while leaving leprechauns out, they cannot invite Holy Spirit in but leave Vishnu out. So, Twelftree's argument seeks to open Pandora's box. His solution is highly problematic because of organized skepticism from Mertonian norms: arguments about the reality of miracles would alienate skeptics and thus render moot the clause of withstanding skeptical criticism. Tgeorgescu (talk) 22:33, 3 July 2016 (UTC)

"Only mavericks maintain that historians could validate miracles." This is true, can anyone refute it? Jonathan Tweet (talk) 22:56, 3 July 2016 (UTC)

This is a classic example of shifting the burden of proof. StAnselm (talk) 01:50, 4 July 2016 (UTC)
I'll take that as a No, you can't refute what the RSs say: miracle don't belong in history.. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 14:11, 6 July 2016 (UTC)

"It would be sensible to keep any discussion which represents miracles as factual events out of the historicity section of this article (and any other Wikiarticle)." Agreed, Jonathan Tweet (talk) 22:58, 3 July 2016 (UTC)

'The idea that "some of" Jesus' miracles are of disputed authenticity suggests that other miracles are undisputed.' Please cite non-WP sources to support your point. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 22:59, 3 July 2016 (UTC)

I think you've misunderstood my point here, which was that it might be confusing for readers. StAnselm (talk) 01:50, 4 July 2016 (UTC)

I removed "some" and added citation to book by Ehrman. Isambard Kingdom (talk) 23:01, 3 July 2016 (UTC)

At about the same time, I removed the disputed content about Jesus' virgin birth. Per WP:BRD, let's add that material back in when there's agreement here to do so. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 23:06, 3 July 2016 (UTC)

I agree that the virgin birth is multiply attested. If the question is "was it real?" most Bible scholars would choose something between skepticism and "we can neither refute it nor confirm it". Tgeorgescu (talk) 00:09, 4 July 2016 (UTC)
It's true that it's multiply attested. It's also true that no reputable tertiary sources make this point. It's not a notable view. As you say, "Only mavericks maintain that historians could validate miracles." St Anselm tends to edit with a pro-Christian slant, and he has restored the disputed material without first gaining support for the addition on the Talk page. If anyone agrees that it's undue weight, they could remove it again. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 15:06, 4 July 2016 (UTC)

Cause of death = pericardial effusion + pleural effusion[edit]

It's relatively well established by forensic doctors that Jesus died of pericardial effusion and pleural effusion, explaining why blood and water came out of Jesus' side when the Roman soldier thrust a sword into his side in John 19:34 e.g. http://www.gotquestions.org/blood-water-Jesus.html Why isn't this included? 114.75.205.39 (talk) 10:45, 3 July 2016 (UTC)

I realize that people who like websites like gotquestions take objection to this, but it remains a fact regardless - gotquestions is not a credible source of information. We can't use it as a citation for anything but elaborating on the website operators' personal beliefs.Farsight001 (talk) 12:26, 3 July 2016 (UTC)

Minor change: Add "nature" before "miracles"[edit]

Is it all right to change "Jesus'miracles" to "Jesus' nature miracles"? Sources say that the faith healings should be considered "possible";thus they are not seen to be as unlikely as miracles. As people tend to think of healings as "miracles", our readers might think that the healings are just as impossible as the miracles when they read that "Jesus' miracles" are disputed. Putting "nature" might avoid possible misinterpretation.Gonzales John (talk) 04:17, 7 July 2016 (UTC)

This is a tough one. All the nature miracles are doubted, but so are some of the healings. The exorcisms that actually happened didn't feature actual evil spirits talking to Jesus or making a herd of pigs go crazy. Historians say that Jesus may have done some miracles but he didn't do any miracle-miracles. That distinction is hard for readers to follow. I'm with Isambard Kingdom, I guess. Adding "nature" makes the statement more specific than might be warranted. Especially considering the committed opposition to miracles found among historians. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 13:42, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
Insofar as a miracle is something that is not explicable by what we understand as the laws of nature, then miracles can't be in a section (as that under discussion here) that is about "historical" events. Please read the citation to Ehrman [84] and note the following quote: "... historians do not deny the possibility of miracles or deny that miracles have actually happened in the past. Many historians, for example committed Christians and observant Jews and practicing Muslims, believe that they have in fact happened. When they think or say this, however, the do so not in the capacity of the historian, but in the capacity of the believer." Thanks, Isambard Kingdom (talk) 13:50, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
Two things come to mind here: first, this phrasing introduces the same problems as the "some of Jesus' miracles" wording mentioned above (it suggests that the historicity of the other miracles is totally undisputed); second, the phrase "nature miracle" isn't introduced or explained until about 3000 words after the passage in question. -165.234.252.11 (talk) 17:53, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
Isambard Kingdom says, 'Insofar as a miracle is something that is not explicable by what we understand as the laws of nature, then miracles can't be in a section (as that under discussion here) that is about "historical" events.' And that matches my reading from mainstream sources. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 13:15, 17 July 2016 (UTC)

Most Christian denominations?[edit]

The first paragraph says most Christian denominations hold Jesus to be the son of God. Obviously, this is incorrect. All Christian denominations hold Jesus to be the son of God. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.172.208.192 (talk) 02:30, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

Given the diversity of Christianity, across so many countries, I am not sure that we can assert that all denominations hold any particular belief. But, if you can you provide a source we might cite that says, explicitly, that all denominations hold this belief, that would help, certainly. Also, note that Matthew 5:9 says that peacemakers can be called the sons of god. Not that I know exactly what that means. I also note that not all Christians believe in the trinity, and so might not consider Jesus to be god the son. And, again, I don't claim to know exactly what the means either. Isambard Kingdom (talk) 02:38, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
Of course, Song of God is not the same as God the Son. It's my understanding that non-trinitarian denominations would hold that Jesus is the Son of God. Our article on Nontrinitarianism specifically mentions Arianism, Socinianism, Unitarianism, as Christadelphianism as believing Jesus is the Son of God. The Mormonism article says "Mormons believe in Jesus Christ as the literal firstborn Son of God", the Jehovah's Witnesses article says Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus is God's "only-begotten Son", and the Oneness Pentecostalism article says "Oneness doctrine declares that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God, but that this happened only when he was born from Mary on Earth." So I think that just about covers it - we can safely say that all Christian denominations believe Jesus is the Son of God. StAnselm (talk) 04:03, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
Previously hashed over: [3]. Isambard Kingdom (talk) 04:20, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
It seems that Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus is "a son of God": [4]. Isambard Kingdom (talk) 04:30, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
I've added "a son of God" to the Jehovah's Witnesses article. Isambard Kingdom (talk) 04:50, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
No, you've read too much into that source - this page ("What Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Believe?" on jw.org) that say he is "the" Son of God. StAnselm (talk) 05:18, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
Hi. I don't claim to know what Jehovah's Witnesses believe, but the sources seem to be in contradiction. Indeed, [5] says the Jesus is a son of god, and Adam is a son of god too! Isambard Kingdom (talk) 05:31, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
It would be interesting to know if the original Greek (as it was written 2000 years ago) was sufficiently clear to distinguish between "a son of god" and "the son of god". Isambard Kingdom (talk) 05:46, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
As I have indicated at the Talk page of the JW article, although JWs (and most other Christian denominations) regard all humans to be 'children of God' in some sense—and hence Jesus is in that sense a 'son of God'—JW literature explicitly states that Jesus is "not just “a son of God”", and their preferred term is "the Son of God" (with the typical invalid 'Christian' captilisation of the common noun son).--Jeffro77 (talk) 08:30, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

I find this whole notion of "son of god" to be confusing, and I have apparently been confused by the official Jehovah's Witnesses website as to what they believe. Perhaps we might ask ourselves, when the article says that Christians believe that Jesus is the son of god, what point are we trying to communicate exactly? Perhaps the difficulty in interpretation of this phrase is why some qualification ("most") has been in place in this article for some time. Isambard Kingdom (talk) 13:00, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

It sounds as though you're over-thinking this. It is probably fair to say most in the absence of a source saying all, since there are so many Christian denominations and there's probably at least one that believes some other thing. Apart from that, "Son" in the phrase "son of God" should not be capitalised unless quoting a source that capitalises the term; however, "God the Son" is used as a title and hence should be capitalised.--Jeffro77 (talk) 13:13, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
I agree with Jeffro77. Identifying a variety of denominations that view Jesus as the Son of God (with capitalization) will never fully address the issue because there will always be a possibility that a denomination has been overlooked. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Unless someone can come up with a very reliable source that unequivocally states that all denominations hold Jesus to be the Son of God, we have no choice but to use the term "most". Sundayclose (talk) 16:41, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
Though some Christian denominations may not believe Jesus is the Son of God, all Christian denominations believe him to be the Jewish Messiah. ✉cookiemonster✉ 𝚨755𝛀 17:10, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
Again, we need a reliable source for that also. Sundayclose (talk) 17:16, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
Oh really? We already have reliable sources. If you don't believe Jesus is the Jewish Messiah, than they are not a Christian. Christian derives from the Koine Greek word Christós (Χριστός), a translation of the Biblical Hebrew term mashiach, meaning Messiah in English. Christ means Messiah, which means "anointed" or "anointed one". So yes, if you are a Christian, you believe Jesus of Nazareth is the Jewish Messiah. If you don't believe that, than you would not be a Christian, according to definition. ✉cookiemonster✉ 𝚨755𝛀 17:34, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes really. What are the sources that we already have that unequivocally state that all Christian denominations believe that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah? An analysis of Hebrew is irrelevant because we are not talking about the definition of "Christian" according to the Hebrew language or any particular person's definition; that would be WP:SYN ("Christ means 'anointed one'; therefore everyone who follows Christ believes he is the Jewish Messiah."). We are talking about specific denominations that identify themselves as Christian. Sundayclose (talk) 17:53, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
It is quite likely but not certain that all Christian denominations consider Jesus to be the son of God. It is far more certain that all Christian denominations consider Jesus to be the 'Messiah'. Christ (from Greek) and Messiah (from Hebrew) both mean the same thing.--Jeffro77 (talk) 08:47, 11 July 2016 (UTC)

I think the OP is probably correct...Christians believe Jesus was the son of God and the Messiah...this is by definition...if groups don't believe this they are unlikely to be considered Christians by mainstream, reliable sources...68.48.241.158 (talk) 20:28, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

Except on Wikipedia, "mainstream reliable sources" must be cited. And so far no one has done that. Sundayclose (talk) 21:53, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
I think you're looking at it backwards though..it would be necessary to find reliable sources that suggest there are Christians who don't believe this..68.48.241.158 (talk) 22:05, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
That's not how Wikipedia works. We are required to find reliable sources to confirm what is in an article, rather than failing to find reliable sources for what is not in an article. Sundayclose (talk) 22:24, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

OK, so how about replacing "most" with "virtually all"? I don't have a source for that - but then, there's no source for "most". I agree with Isambard Kingdom that saying Jesus is a/the son/Son of God is a rather weak claim - but that's what happens when we talk about lowest common denominator beliefs across Christian denominations according to the broadest definition. StAnselm (talk) 22:10, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

saying something along the lines of "Christians believe Jesus is the son of God" with no hedging is totally proper as far as I can tell as it's "true" (ie this is what mainstream, reliable sources would say/agree to)...to demand hedging would require reliable sources that there are Christians who don't believe this....68.48.241.158 (talk) 22:14, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
68.48.241.158, this isn't a matter of "hedging". This is supposed to be an unbiased encyclopedia, not a website promoting personal beliefs. We are required to source what is in the article, especially if it is challenged. Please read WP:V. That is Wikipedia policy. And again, failing to find sources that disconfirm article content is not how Wikipedia operates. If it was Wikipedia would be a huge mess of unconfirmed personal opinions. StAnselm, "virtually all" is better than "all", but I prefer "most". Sundayclose (talk) 22:24, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
but again I simply think you're looking at it exactly backwards...reliable sources should be brought forth to justify saying anything other than all Christians believe Christ was the son of God...do you see what I'm getting at? I agree with you as far as reliable sources etc but we're approaching it from exactly opposite directions...(I'm sure there are fringe groups who don't believe this and claim to be Christians but mainstream reliable sources would not consider these groups Christians...but odd cults or something etc)68.48.241.158 (talk) 22:33, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
It's not a matter of what I believe or what you believe. It's a matter of following Wikipedia policy. That's clear and simple. Doing it your way is against policy. You "agree as far as reliable sources", but in the same sentence you want to do something without the support of a reliable source just based on what you think is true. You write, "mainstream reliable sources would not consider these groups Christians." Please give us one or two of these sources. Sorry. We can't do it that way no matter how much any of us would like to. Have you bothered to read WP:V? Sundayclose (talk) 22:52, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
there's a communication problem here..saying "Christians believe Christ to be the son of God" should be the default, obviously...wanting to say "some Christians" or "most Christians" believe this should require the person who wants to say this to bring forth reliable sources that suggest there are Christians who don't believe he was the son of God...68.48.241.158 (talk) 23:09, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
No, there's a problem of not understanding a Wikipedia policy. I'm finished trying to explain it because I can't make it any clearer. Maybe someone else wishes to try. Or maybe you should discuss at WT:Verifiability. Have a good day. Sundayclose (talk) 23:18, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
we agree on the policy but we're coming from different directions as far as the application of the policy...68.48.241.158 (talk) 23:29, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
From my perspective, we don't agree on the policy. But, as I said, I don't wish to try to explain further. Sundayclose (talk) 23:36, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

Proposed text, taking out "most" and "all" and just leaving it straightforward:

Jesus (/ˈzəs/ JEE-zuss Greek: Ἰησοῦς, translit. Iesous; Hebrew: ישוע‎, translit. Yēšū́aʿ, lit. 'Yeshua; "He saves"'‎;[1] c. 4 BC – c. AD 30), also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ,[a] was a Jewish preacher. Jesus became the central figure for Christians, who believe him to be the Son of God and the awaited Jewish Messiah (Christ, the Anointed One) of the Old Testament.[2]

I hope this helps. Isambard Kingdom (talk) 22:30, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

I think that gets us closer to agreement. Similar wording is supported by a source cited in Christianity (Woodhead, Linda (2004). Christianity: A Very Short Introduction). Does anyone have a copy to confirm that it is stated unequivocally? Sundayclose (talk) 22:33, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
it's fine but obviously "all" is implied in this wording..which is also fine as imo reliable sources would have to be brought forth to imply something other than all...68.48.241.158 (talk) 23:29, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
I think we would lose important meaning if we change "Christianity" to "Christians". Perhaps we could have was a Jewish preacher who became the central figure of Christianity. Christians believe him to be the Son of God and the awaited Jewish Messiah (Christ, the Anointed One) of the Old Testament. StAnselm (talk) 01:16, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
Your suggestion seems good to me. Maybe you can put this in? Isambard Kingdom (talk) 01:18, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
OK, thanks. Done. StAnselm (talk) 02:38, 11 July 2016 (UTC)

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ "The New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers 1990)
  2. ^ "John 4:25-26". 

References[edit]

  1. ^ The New Testament records a variety of names and titles accorded to Jesus.

Lead paragraph[edit]

Recently there was a major change in the lead paragraph, a result that followed this discussion. I think that a few extra minor additions and a shortening are helpful. Namely

  • mention the when and where of Jesus life, and
  • merge the two sentences on importance in Christianity

using the following text:

Jesus (/ˈzəs/ JEE-zuss Greek: Ἰησοῦς, translit. Iesous; Hebrew: ישוע‎, translit. Yēšū́aʿ, lit. 'Yeshua; "He saves"'‎;[1] c. 4 BC – c. AD 30), also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ,[a] was a 1st century AD Jewish preacher who lived in present-day Israel. He is the central figure of Christianity, believed to be the Son of God and the awaited Jewish Messiah (Christ, the Anointed One) of the Old Testament.[2]

I believe these edits do not touch on interpretations, opinions or views, they are just general lead editing. In merging the sentences I opted for a brief mention on Jesus' role in Christianity, so that the end result is as neutral as possible. Nxavar (talk) 11:44, 13 July 2016 (UTC)

This treatment matches what I see in RSs, so i approve. My personal opinion is irrelevant. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 14:52, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
Putting "present-day Israel" in there throws up all kinds of red flags to me, particularly as Jerusalem is not recognised internationally as being in Israel and not even Israel itself claims places like Bethlehem. Leave that out, we already say Galilean in the second paragraph. Also, I see no reason to put "1st century AD" in there right after we put "c. 4 BC – c. AD 30"—it's quite clear already. —  Cliftonian (talk)  17:11, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
I agree. There are Christians in the West Bank, an area where Jesus preached, and yet now NOT really part of "modern Israel" --- and we don't need to get into related red-flag issues, here. Dates of Jesus's life tells it specifically enough. Isambard Kingdom (talk) 18:27, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
I agree with Cliftonian. He preached in many places that many these days may not reprieve as "Israel", especially Jerusalem which is international territory. ✉cookiemonster✉ 𝚨755𝛀 04:03, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

I also object strongly. Historic Palestine is obviously not the same as "present-day Israel". And changing the current phrase "Christians believe him to be the Son of God and the awaited Jewish Messiah" to read "believed to be the Son of God and the awaited Jewish Messiah" would suggest that not only Christians, but all people believe Jesus to be the son of God, which is clearly not the case. Paul K. (talk) 17:18, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ "The New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers 1990)
  2. ^ "John 4:25-26". 

References[edit]

  1. ^ The New Testament records a variety of names and titles accorded to Jesus.

"Significance" section?[edit]

I agree with this edit of User:Isambard Kingdom: the BC/AD thing doesn't belong in the lead. I think it should stay, though, and there should probably be a "significance" section. I guess I'm thinking of more general cultural significance, rather than significance to Christians. The fact that he is consistently mentioned as the "most significant figure in history" should be mentioned.[6][7][8] (Though he famously missed out on top spot in The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History.) StAnselm (talk) 18:57, 13 July 2016 (UTC)

According to WP:Lead the fact that information mentioned in the lead is not covered in main body is not to be taken as an exclusion rule. Nxavar (talk) 07:00, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
St Anselm, I'm right there with you brother. Jesus is one of the most significant figures in world history. Years ago, there was a "Legacy" section, and I wrote glowingly in it about all the good that this man has inspired. But later the whole section got nixed, and there might even be a reason why in the FAQ. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 22:39, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
Ah, OK - I see the discussion. StAnselm (talk) 22:52, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, it could have been beautiful. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 02:04, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
Nxavar's subjective interpretation of the guideline about the lead aside, the fact remains that the statement does not belong in the lead (or the article) without an appropriate source. Some kind of 'significance'/'cultural impact' section is probably warranted.--Jeffro77 (talk) 08:17, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
From WP:Lead: "This admonition should not be taken as a reason to exclude information from the lead, but rather to harmonize coverage in the lead with material in the body of the article.". How do you interpret this passage? I reverted your edit and added sources. Isambard Kingdom disagreed and reverted, without explaining why "it doesn't belong to the lead". I agree that a "Significance" section would be good and that is the place where the calendar era information should be put. Removal is obviously not warranted for a lack of the appropriate section. As long as it is important and relevant it should be included. Nxavar (talk) 09:07, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
Nothing you've said allows for unsourced statements in the lead that are not represented or sourced in the body. I see in the history that you did add some sources and another editor removed it again, but those were only dictionary definitions (only one of which actually mentions Christian, and neither mention Jesus), not sources that discuss the subject in a manner suitable for making the statement in the lead without further discussion in a relevant section of the body. For a start, there's no evidence supporting any claim that Jesus was actually born in 1 AD, since if any claims in the 'gospels' are to be believed, he would have to have been born no later than 4 BCE.--Jeffro77 (talk) 09:15, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment: Given that it's now sourced, and there was a previous consensus not to have that specific section, I'm inclined to keep it in the lead. After all, this is a pretty big thing. (Though I note that neither Isaac Newton nor Blaise Pascal have their associated SI unit in their lead.) StAnselm (talk) 09:28, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
I have made the incorrect wording more accurate. The claim that it is based on Jesus' birth is not supported by the cited sources, nor is it supported by any historical sources.--Jeffro77 (talk) 09:31, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
The CE era indeed mirrors AD era and both are based on the birth of Jesus. I restored the content adding source, using the wording "based on" rather than "begins with" since the latter is indeed historically inaccurate. Nxavar (talk) 13:48, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
The additional source isn't great. At least it mentions Jesus (unlike the dictionary definitions which require that a reader is already familiar with the subject to make the connection to Jesus), but it incorrectly calls CE 'current era' and falsely states that it begins with the birth of Jesus, which is definitely wrong. 'Based on' is maybe okay wording in the article text, but it is still misleading.--Jeffro77 (talk) 22:24, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
How do tertiary sources about Jesus treat this information? I think they leave it out, so I'm left it out of our lead, If other tertiary sources about Jesus make this connection, show me, and I'll happily put the information back in. Let's set aside our personal opinions and represent the RSs fairly. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 13:13, 17 July 2016 (UTC)

fleshing out the historical views section[edit]

There's lots more to say than we have, so I'm hitting the books and trying to make sure that the basics are covered. I think I can find a couple good summaries to draw from. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 22:43, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

Added historical information about the disciples. Can anyone find a reference for the socio-economic status of the disciples? Should we mention their connection to the Gospels, epistles, and Revelation? Jonathan Tweet (talk) 13:44, 17 July 2016 (UTC)

Fleshed out his teaching. It's a lot to cover, and so right now it's just the highlights. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 19:38, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

dubious tag—John of little value to historians[edit]

There's a broad historical consensus that John has almost nothing of historical value not found in the Synoptics. A Bible Lit source is cited on the page challenging the historians' consensus. For the historical view section, let's stick with the historical consensus. The view that there's a growing appreciation for John doesn't show up in historical RSs. It's POV pushing to give undue weight to a small minority view like this.

This edit is in line with the dispute over Isaiah 7:14, in which the mainstream account of the virgin birth (the young woman/virgin translation) is kept off the page, in favor of another minority view about the importance of the story appearing in Matthew and Luke. How about we stick with what the best sources say? Let's remove this dubious view about John and add in the mainstream view about Isaiah 7:14. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 02:01, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

Firstly, I don't think you understand what the Society of Biblical Literature is. Secondly, there is no reason to privilege "historians" over "biblical scholars" - that's not how we decide on reliable sources. As it turns out, the source is specifically about "John, Jesus, and History". So, your claim that there is a "broad historical consensus" is virtually irrelevant because of the "historical" bit; in any case, the SBL reference is a decade later than the other ones you tried to add - the consensus may well be changing, or even have changed already. StAnselm (talk) 02:09, 15 July 2016 (UTC) Just to clarify, the "broad historical consensus" is not as important as the "broad scholarly consensus" - we don't privilege "historians" over "biblical scholars". StAnselm (talk) 02:28, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
Anderson, Just, and Thatcher are respectable scholars; I don't see their claim as a fringe view. I could see rewording the sentence to attribute the opinion directly to them, but not removing it. The editors of Gospel of John (of whom I am one), for example, have no problem with their work. Jujutsuan (Please notify with {{re}} talk | contribs) 02:13, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
Claims about scholarship (e.g. "Most scholars believe...") are generally not attributed if they come from reliable sources, unless contrary claims have been made in other reliable sources. StAnselm (talk) 02:19, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
Indeed, if we were only going to cite "historians" we wouldn't have E. P. Sanders, Gerd Theissen, or Annette Merz. StAnselm (talk) 02:16, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
Show us a tertiary source describing Jesus and making this point about John. That would help us ascertain due weight. As it stands, this line doesn't tell the reader anything about Jesus. All it does is cast doubt on the mainstream consensus. Can someone tell us what these Bible scholars think historians can learn about Jesus from John? Can someone actually connect this information to Jesus himself? If not, it's just a line thrown in by an editors who opposes the mainstream view of John and Jesus. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 13:11, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
Once again, we rely on reliable secondary sources, not tertiary sources. But if it makes you feel better, let's call Anderson et al a tertiary source. The gospel of John and other historical evidence are the primary sources, the "more and more scholars" represent secondary sources, and the assessment of what "more and more scholars" believe constitutes a tertiary source. StAnselm (talk) 03:11, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
So no, this doesn't get covered in Britannica, Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, or anywhere else. Just this one reference. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 19:10, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

And within 15 minutes, the dispute tag has been removed, as if the dispute has been resolved. The purpose of these tags is to spur discussion. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 02:12, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

post-crucifixion section[edit]

An editor who opposes the mainstream view has issues with the post-rucifixion section in the historical views section. They say that it has grammar errors and is "all over the map". Would someone like to help fix it? I added the White reference in because I know that opponents of the mainstream view like it, but it looks like Original Research to me. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 14:00, 17 July 2016 (UTC)

The section was fine the way it was. I'm not seeing how your version is an improvement. It's much more disorganized, unfocused, and full of superfluous info. Details such as those belong in the sub-articles, not the main article.--FutureTrillionaire (talk) 15:11, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
How about you rewrite the section so that the information is preserved but it reads better? For everyone else, here's a link to the diffs link. Anyone want to take a look and help this section look more like what good encyclopedias offer? Jonathan Tweet (talk) 19:08, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

Flesh and Bone[edit]

In the Resurrection and Ascension section under John's Gospel, the author of the article talks about how Christ visits to show Thomas that he has flesh and blood. It does not say in John 20 (KJV) that he has flesh and blood. In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus states that he has "flesh and bones". Later in the New Testament, in Corinthians 15:50, Paul states that "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God;". How can this minor error be removed? Mthephoenix47 (talk) 16:07, 20 July 2016 (UTC)comment added by Mthephoenix47 (talkcontribs) 16:05, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

The article doesn't have a single author, it is written by a team of volunteers. We don't use original research by any volunteer, we only summarize professionally published mainstream academic sources for articles like this. Ian.thomson (talk) 16:13, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

Due weight on "most" historians[edit]

The phrase "most historians" or something similar indicating a general overwhelming consensus pops up a lot in the piece, but the sources used (Sanders seems to be popular) are limited. I don't post this to say something is definitely wrong, but I am a little wary about the suggestion that some of the items discussed (i.e. that the canonical gospels are the best source for understanding the historical Jesus) are really as much of a consensus in general scholarship as they are presented. I have no doubt that among Christian historians that they are, and I will plead a certain degree of ignorance as my reading is limited to some selections of the broader amount of work out there, but I think the wording may be a bit much in some places. Sourcing the claim to Sanders, or others who definitely have that world view, is somewhat problematic because there's a potential conflict of interest. In just recent memory, I can think of a few works (including some not so fantastic ones like Aslan's Zealot...) that reflected a more diverse set of opinions on whether the canonical gospels were of greater or sole credibility than other period sources outside the bible (Jospehus, etc). I am offering this as a point of conversation, not necessarily a criticism. But in reading the article, it does stand out in several instances that we seem to be making a claim in wiki's voice that may be a bit overreaching. 12.11.127.253 (talk) 18:07, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

Certainly, any claims about "most historians" must be explicitly cited. IF we say "most historians say X", it is not enough to quote Sanders saying X, we need Sanders to say "most historians say X". Someone should go through and check all these claims in the article; I'm a bit suspicious of them. StAnselm (talk) 18:42, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
Oh dear. Yes, it was as I feared - the very first claim I checked ("Most scholars agree that Jesus was a Galilean Jewish rabbi") was not in the citation given. I have tagged that statement, but I think there will be any more. StAnselm (talk) 18:49, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
Hi Anonymous. It's a little tricky to parse. All four gospels have information about Jesus' life. But then only the synoptics are original sources of historical information, not John. Christians like to think of all four gospels as equally reliable, and lots of atheists think of them as equally unreliable, but historians make a big distinction between the synoptics and John. Even scholars who are hostile to Christianity see historical value in the synoptics. Anyway, i don't like the phrasing we have about all four gospels being sources of information, but it's what the reliable sources say, so we follow suit. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 19:05, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

Anglicization: Divine Anointed Savio(u)r[edit]

Yeshua: Savio(u)r, Yehoshuah: Godly Savio(u)r, Christos: Anointed

nickname: Divanoi — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:587:4101:1200:507C:1152:B1C3:A7D9 (talk) 17:28, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

Why is Islam in this Wki page?[edit]

If you're going to put another religion into this, be fair and put all religions that claim to believe in Jesus in this page too. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 158.222.173.178 (talk) 23:22, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

Totally agree, Christianity does not have a right to exclusivity on the historical figure "Jesus" and this article should contain various religious beliefs about Jesus rather equally. We have Jesus in Christianity, Jesus in Judaism and Jesus in Islam for instance to handle religious specifics for those inclined. Lipsquid (talk) 23:39, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

Anon 158.222.173.178, could you tell us which religions are omitted in this article? Sundayclose (talk) 23:55, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
Buddhism and Hinduism have no official view upon Jesus, although many Buddhists and Hindus may accommodate him as Enlightened person or an Avatar. Tgeorgescu (talk) 00:29, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
I know that question was not for me, but for starters the first sentence or at least the first paragraph should be a synopsis of the article and inclusive of all the major beliefs. Currently, the first paragraph is entirely Christian and that is probably not appropriate considering his importance in other faiths, especially in Islam. Lipsquid (talk)
No, the article emphatically does not have to "contain various religious beliefs about Jesus rather equally". This is what WP:WEIGHT is all about. As the article stands, the last paragraph in the lead is devoted to Islam, while also mentioning Judaism. There is a case for mentioning Bahaism in that paragraph, but a single sentence would suffice. In any case, Islam should not be mentioned in the very first paragraph since Jesus is not the most important figure in Islam, as he is in Christianity. StAnselm (talk) 00:52, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
That is your opinion, I disagree and would use Abraham as a good example of an inclusive and neutral first paragraph. Lipsquid (talk)
I agree with StAnselm that we are not obligated to give equal weight to non-Christian religions in this article, including the lead. Jesus is notable in other faiths, but not at the same level as he is in Christianity. As for Abraham, that's an entirely different matter. He was a patriarch of Judaism, a religion which had a direct influence on Christianity and Islam. It's an invalid comparison. Sundayclose (talk) 01:31, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
Jesus is also the Messiah in Islam. It is a totally valid comparison and any relevance ranking of notability in x over y would be impacted by the religion of the reliable source. If you can find any reliable sources, preferably Muslim ones, that say Jesus is more important to Christianity than to Islam, then I would agree with you, but you won't because it is not going to be found in any Muslim reliable sources and is therefore WP:OR and/or WP:SYNTH. Lipsquid (talk) 01:48, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
Islam may use the word "Messiah" in describing Jesus, but the meaning attributed to the word is far from equivalent to most of Christianity's use of the term. As for finding a "reliable Muslim source", what does that mean? Does it mean a Muslim scholar? Wikipedia places tremendous weight on the consensus of unbiased scholarly opinion. An ideal source is not one that is identified as Christian, Muslim, or any religion. Sundayclose (talk) 02:03, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
Your kidding right? The second sentence of the first paragraph uses the Bible as a source, not even a weak secondary , but a primary reference. This article has anything but neutral sources. I have no issue, but come on lets take off our blinders and be neutral to other religions in the lead. That is all. Lipsquid (talk) 16:45, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
First, your comments are incredibly confusing. "The second sentence of the first paragraph uses the Bible as a source."???? Which paragraph? Are you claiming that the article used the Bible as a source that Islam views Jesus' status as the Messiah in the same way as Christianity??? No, I'm not kidding, but I ask you the very same question: Are you kidding? Are actually arguing that Islam's view of Jesus as Messiah is no different than mainstream Christianity's view of Jesus as Messiah? Are you claiming that Islam views Jesus as the one and only Messiah? That Islam accepts the Christian messianic view that Jesus is the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity? Is that what you are seriously claiming? And again I'll ask, what do you mean by "reliable Muslim source"? Sundayclose (talk) 17:47, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
I was remarking on your comment that the best sources are neutral. It is odd that anyone would think the Bible is religion neutral. Maybe it is confusing, I don't think it is. Read WP:PRIMARY this article is littered with primary sourced quotes from the Bible. That is generally a no-no. Lipsquid (talk) 18:09, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
Also, yes, Muslims consider Jesus the one and only Messiah. It is weird you would think otherwise, assuming you had any familiarity with Islam. Lipsquid (talk)
Did I say that the Bible is a neutral source? Did I say that all of the sources cited in the article are neutral? Do you disagree that the best sources are not identified as Christian, Islam, or any other religion? And just to be clear, are you claiming that Islam accepts the Christian messianic view that Jesus is the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity? If so, it is weird you would think that, assuming you had any familiarity with Christianity. Sundayclose (talk) 18:16, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
You keep moving the target. We agree the article has way too many primary sources, I guess you were waiting for me to arrive to make note of it. No, I would not claim that Islam believes in the Trinity, that would be stupid and I actually know what I am talking about in regards to both religions. Lipsquid (talk) 18:38, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
No, I have not moved the target because I never claimed that the Bible is a neutral source or that the article has nothing but neutral sources; please cite diffs of my original target with those claims. And if you don't see Islam's view of Jesus as Messiah as identical to Christianity's view, it was pointless for you to state that Islam views Jesus as Messiah as an argument for including equal weight for any religion besides Christianity. I actually know what I am talking about in regard to both religions. And for the third time, what do you mean by "reliable Muslim source"? Sundayclose (talk) 18:47, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
"Are you claiming that Islam views Jesus as the one and only Messiah?" [9] Yes, that is a true statement, since then you have moved the target and your question shows a lack of understanding of very basic precepts in Islam. Lipsquid (talk) 18:59, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
You obviously used "Jesus is also the Messiah in Islam" to bizarrely try to make a case for equal treatment of non-Christian religions in the article, but now you can't explain your point in doing so. And you also obviously can't explain what you mean by "reliable Muslim source." I might as well ask my questions to a lamp post than to continue with this meaningless discussion. We're finished here. Sundayclose (talk) 21:38, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I did use it as a case for equal treatment. Amazing that one of us uses logic. I also provided the diff you asked for where you asked a dumb question about if Jesus is the one and only Messiah in Islam? Yes, he is. I am glad we are finished, discussions about editing require WP:COMPETENCE. You and the lamp post probably have about equal grasp of the topic. Lipsquid (talk) 22:46, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
Lipsquid, I put in some citations (as you know), to try to address your concerns. I hope this helps. Isambard Kingdom (talk) 17:32, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
Thank you very much, those are much better. Lipsquid (talk) 17:34, 24 July 2016 (UTC)

There are many religions who claim Jesus is the Messiah. If you're going to put Islam, you have to be fair and put all the other hundreds of mainstream religions that claim to follow Jesus too. How about the Jesus in Mormonism? The Apollo Jesus? The pagan Jesus... There are so many Jesus' In other religions who say Jesus is the Messiah too. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.87.116.56 (talk) 02:41, 24 July 2016 (UTC)

I have no issue with that assuming they can all be reliably sourced. Again, a more specific article like -Jesus in XXX- can be used to make points about specific religions. Lipsquid (talk) 06:26, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
Please read WP:WEIGHT. Sundayclose (talk) 02:44, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
I do have to point out that (a) Jesus is very important in Islam (the second most important prophet with dozens of references in the Quran) and (b) that a substantial percentage of the world's population are Muslim; the combo gives the weight necessary to mention Muslim attitudes towards Jesus in the first paragraph. I would take the first sentence of the last paragraph of the intro and make it the last sentence of the first paragraph. Then we have the paragraph about historical consensus, then the paragraph on Christian beliefs, then the paragraph expanding on Muslim and Jewish beliefs. Full expansion of all points further down in the article. --Erp (talk) 00:14, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
I would also concur with this layout, which is similar to the articles for Abraham and Moses who also figure prominently in several religions. Lipsquid (talk) 00:40, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
But in terms of what he is known/notable for, it is still far behind his place in Christianity. In any case, the relevant guideline is MOS:OPENPARAGRAPH: "The notable position(s) or role(s) the person held should usually be stated in the opening paragraph. However, avoid overloading the lead sentence with various sundry roles; instead, emphasize what made the person notable." StAnselm (talk) 03:07, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
Agree that MOS:OPENPARAGRAPH is quite clear that this needs to be modified. I wish I could read Wikipedia in Arabic and see how much bias, if any, it has towards Islam and if there is minimalization of Christianity. Does WP has a translator between languages? My guess is that much of this bias is associated with the belief systems shared by English language sources, if we were all reading Arabic, it would be a whole different story. c'est la vie. Lipsquid (talk) 03:33, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
  • The long discussion above is increasingly repetitive. It would seem as if StAnselm and Sundayclose have explained the issue very well, and it is rather revealing that their factual arguments are increasingly met by personal attacks rather than on-topic arguments. There seems to be no reason to change the introduction, nor is there any bias in having the current introduction. Just to compare, I checked Muhammad to see how much attention was give to the Bahá'í or Druze views of Muhammad. Not one word. So the accusation that there is some Christian bias in focusing on Christianity here does not seem factual. It's a simple matter of fact that Jesus is connected with Christianity and Muhammad with Islam, even though other religions also hold one or both of them to be important. Jeppiz (talk) 12:41, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
You must not have read MOS:OPENPARAGRAPH. Also, I am fairly sure St.Anselm is an advocate for rewriting the lead even though they note that notability is higher with Christianity. Thanks for your input, though it isn't really inline with Wikipedia guidelines. The argument certainly seems repetitive with people pushing to ignore existing policy. Erp suggestion is right on target and would follow that same outline as other historical figures in this multi-religion position like Abraham and Moses. Lipsquid (talk) 14:49, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
No, I clearly said "Islam should not be mentioned in the very first paragraph..." StAnselm (talk) 18:30, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
I apologize for misrepresenting your statement. Lipsquid (talk) 18:46, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
That's OK. StAnselm (talk) 18:58, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
It is the large numbers of Muslims (~1.6 billion in contrast to about 2.2 billion Christians) and the high regard that they hold Jesus that makes it significant enough to include in the opening paragraph (the Baha'is lack numbers, 5 or 6 million, though they hold him in high regard and the other major religions do not hold Jesus in any special significance). Counting both Christians and Muslims means that a bit over half the world's population revere Jesus (ignoring that a percentage of those counted as Christians or Muslims are agnostic/atheist). Counting Christians alone leaves a bit under a third worshiping Jesus (admittedly this is a synthesis but I'm sure someone who can be cited has done the calculations). At a minimum there should be a line indicating that some other religions also revere Jesus though in a different way so people reading the first paragraph don't think that only Christians consider Jesus important. --Erp (talk) 01:08, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I don't think it's the number of Muslims that's the issue, but the relative importance of Jesus in the religion. Jesus is only mentioned a few times in the Islam article. (For what it's worth, he is mentioned about 11 times on the Arabic article on Islam; also, the Arabic article on Jesus does not mentioned Islam until the final paragraph of the lead.) StAnselm (talk) 02:02, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
I'm not sure I would use Wikipedia to judge relative importance (remember there are also a lot of Arabic Christians) (frankly I think that article was just translated from an earlier version of this article). I would look to the Jesus in Islam article if anywhere in Wikipedia. However while debating the relative importance of Jesus in Islam (I note that he is likely more important in the Sufi tradition than in some other traditions) would you at least agree that a sentence mentioning that some non-Christian religions (which btw make up 20% of the world's population) consider Jesus as a revered figure should be in the intro paragraph? --Erp (talk) 05:36, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
I'm not ready to commit to that - I think I'd want to see the proposed sentence first. In any case, it looks like a few other editors propose the change also. StAnselm (talk) 18:47, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
I want to to reply to @StAnselm: who made a wrong conclusion about the Arabic Wikipedia (who I occasionally contribute and read from), see there is TWO Jesus article in Arabic Wikipedia, one titled Yasūʿ (Christian view) and one titled ʿĪsa ibn Maryam (Islamic version). So Jesus is definitely an important figure in Islam, even the lack of mention in the Islam article which is not focusing on Islamic prophets. Alexis Ivanov (talk) 19:01, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
Oh, OK, Thanks. StAnselm (talk) 19:04, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
@Sundayclose: Is there any other al-Masīḥ (Messiah) in Islamic theology that we should be aware of ? Alexis Ivanov (talk) 19:41, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
Since you are an Arabic writer, a big question would be if the lead paragraph of this article should have some mention of Jesus' importance in Islam? How does this compare to Arabic Wikipedia for consistency? Lipsquid (talk) 19:47, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
@Alexis Ivanov: I just wanted to clarify that the Messiah in Islam to which Lipsquid referred is the same one he/she was using as a rationale that the article should have equal emphasis on Islam compared to Christianity. I think it's best if you can get that straight from Lipsquid; maybe you'll have better luck getting a clear explanation. Sundayclose (talk) 21:29, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
Since there is only one Messiah is Islam, yes, it is the same one I am referring to. I am not sure why I would have to clarify which Messiah when there is only one. Not sure why this is complicated and yes, it should be in the lead sentence of the article. I will add it under MOS:OPENPARAGRAPH in the next few days. Would love to have feedback from Arabic speakers, Muslims and/or members of the Bahá'í Faith... Lipsquid (talk) 22:09, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
You don't have a consensus to add it. Note that MOS:OPENPARAGRAPH, even your very personal interpretation of it, is a guideline. WP:CON is a policy. Sundayclose (talk) 22:59, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
That is why I would like feedback from additional editors. From MOS:OPENPARAGRAPH consensus will come. Lipsquid (talk) 23:39, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
"I will add it" means that there is no question that it will happen. "From MOS:OPENPARAGRAPH consensus will come" means that there is no question that it will come. Feedback from other editors is always welcome, of course, but let's wait to see what happens instead of relying on your crystal ball. Sundayclose (talk) 01:17, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes, yes and definitely, but I don't have one. Lipsquid (talk) 01:47, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
Additional editor here. Islamic view of Jesus is certainly pertinent to notability, but the space devoted to it should not exceed that allotted to the Christian view, since Jesus is not "the central figure" in Islam (I'm not sure how to compare his importance to that of Abraham and Moses, or even Mary). Here's my proposal for a conservative addition to the opening paragraph: "who became the central figure of Christianity and an important figure in Islam". Eperoton (talk) 13:52, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
Thanks we will see if we can get something added. Lipsquid (talk) 14:51, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
There is no consensus to make a change. Using the verb "will" does not change that fact. Sundayclose (talk) 15:01, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
Calm down, we need more editors to chime in, we are getting closer to consensus. We will get consensus whether you or I like it or not. Lipsquid (talk) 15:15, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
I'm calm, thanks. We are not close to consensus. Consensus isn't determined by how many times an editor uses the word "will". Also remember that an editor involved in a discussion cannot declare consensus unless there is virtually no disagreement. Sundayclose (talk) 15:37, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
I have a plan, but thanks. We need more editor input. I am fully aware of what consensus requires and what be bold requires. Lipsquid (talk) 15:43, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
Lots of us have plans for articles, but that doesn't mean we always get to implement them. I think most of us here have a plan that we do not allow disputed changes in an article without a consensus. I'm glad you're aware that "bold" does not override the requirement for consensus; that should reduce the chances of inappropriate changes being made to the article. Sundayclose (talk) 16:01, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
Give it a rest, I don't want to go and use the nanny nanny boo boo defense. I am trying to get consensus and you are being disruptive with constant threats of why an article can't be changed, any article can be edited. Lipsquid (talk) 16:10, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
Please don't call something a threat that is not a threat, unless you're willing to call your own comments threats. As for "nanny nanny boo boo", I'll ignore such an opaque and meaningless comment. But I do agree, both of us need to stop commenting on this one issue unless there are inappropriate changes to the article or inappropriate declarations of consensus. Sundayclose (talk) 16:25, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

If we want additional editor input, we should open an RFC. I can do that, if you help me gather the competing proposals. I know mine, and, if I understand correctly, Sundayclose proposes to leave the opening paragraph as it is. Are there other proposals? After we open an RFC listing the alternatives, we can each add our arguments for and against them. Eperoton (talk) 16:42, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for your suggestion. I ask that anyone who writes the RfC opening statement to post it here first for the rest of us to see. This is not directed at you, Eperoton, but often the wording of RfC opening statement is biased. There might be more participation if a link to the RfC is posted at WT:WikiProject Christianity and WT:WikiProject Islam. By the way, I don't think I'm the only editor here who has not agreed to changing the opening paragraph. Thanks. Sundayclose (talk) 16:49, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
@Eperoton: You say "since Jesus is not 'the central figure' in Islam " that doesn't mean Jesus is held in a lower position Alexis Ivanov (talk) 17:29, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
My belief is that Jesus should be mentioned as a major prophet and the Messiah of Islam in the first paragraph of the lead. Also, the names in the first sentence should probably include Isa ibn Maryam. I would leave the specific wording to an Islam expert. Lipsquid (talk) 18:18, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
@Alexis Ivanov: ... than God the Son? Eperoton (talk) 18:10, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
@Eperoton: Good joke. Alexis Ivanov (talk) 18:19, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

@Sundayclose: It looks like ours are the only proposals put on the table. In fact, I'll add a third one. Per your request here's my proposed text for the RFC:

There is a disagreement regarding the wording of the opening paragraph, which currently reads: "Jesus (...), also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ, was a Jewish preacher who became the central figure of Christianity. Christians believe him to be the Son of God and the awaited Jewish Messiah (Christ, the Anointed One) of the Old Testament."

Please indicate which of the following proposals you support and why:

Option 1: Leave the paragraph as it is.

Option 2: Change it to read: "who became the central figure of Christianity and an important figure in Islam."

Option 3: Change it to read: "who became the central figure of Christianity and an important figure in other religions."

Eperoton (talk) 03:04, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

The other proposal on the table was to move the first sentence of the last paragraph ("In Islam, Jesus (commonly transliterated as Isa) is considered one of God's important prophets and the Messiah.") to make it the last sentence of the first paragraph. StAnselm (talk) 03:31, 30 July 2016 (UTC)
@Eperoton: StAnselm is correct about a fourth proposal. The wording for the RfC is fine with me. Thanks for setting up the RfC. Sundayclose (talk) 03:42, 30 July 2016 (UTC)


I would like Option 2: Change it to read: "who became the central figure of Christianity and an important prophet and the Messiah in Islam.'" Sorry for the delay, I was not on earlier. Lipsquid (talk) 04:43, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

That sounds like it should be Option 5. StAnselm (talk) 05:23, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

Jesus name: The name Jesus is an Anglicization of the Hellenized name for the Hebrew name Yaushua, or in English Joshua[edit]

The name Jesus is an Anglicization of the Hellenized name for the Hebrew name Yaushua(יהושוע), or in English Joshua. The Koine Greek name of Jesus being Transliterated: Iesous or in transcripted Koine Greek: Ιεσους, the same name as the Israelite warlord Joshua from the Book of Joshua. In the Koine Greek Septuagint, the name for the Israelite warlord Joshua in the Septuagint's Book of Joshua, is the same exact name and spelling in Koine Greek as it is for Jesus in the New Testament in Koine Greek; Iesous i.e. Ιεσους.

I see fit to revert back to my previous edit in its full context, which states an alternative name for Jesus in English is also Joshua, for maximum clarification, not sure what "no sourcing" means since it's just as sufficient as the other unsourced content in the same area of the article.

Don't know how to sign my name properly yet so I hope this will do for now -Editguy111 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Editguy111 (talkcontribs) 02:16, 24 July 2016 (UTC)

The lede generally summarizes the rest of the article, and so only needs sources when it makes a statement that either the article does not make or is contentious enough that need be sourced following each occurrence. The majority of English speakers do not call Jesus Joshua, even if that would be a potential translation. Ian.thomson (talk) 02:22, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
Agree and we generally use the most common recognizable names even though a more proper or official name can be sourced. WP:UCRN See Vanilla Ice or Mark Twain... Lipsquid (talk) 06:33, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
Jesus in Hebrew is ישוע, Yeshua, a variant on יהושע Yehoshua but not exactly the same. —  Cliftonian (talk)  06:38, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
Cliftonian is right. Joshua comes from Yehoshua, while Jesus comes from Yeshua, which comes from Yehoshua. Ḉɱ̍ 2nd anniv. 17:56, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

Jesus' religion[edit]

Was there a consensus against mentioning Jesus'religion in the infobox, or is fine to put "Jewish" there now that the lead contains info about Jesus' career?Gonzales John (talk) 14:24, 25 July 2016 (UTC) Never mind, I just read that the meaning of "Jewish" was rarely addressed by scholars.Gonzales John (talk) 14:32, 25 July 2016 (UTC)

Gonzales John, I think it should be added. The intro says he was a Jewish preacher (of Second Temple Judaism) so I think that should be added as his religion. What do you think? Ḉɱ̍ 2nd anniv. 18:06, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
Here's what the FAQ says: "Q 6a: Was Jesus Jewish? A: Yes. As the article states in a review of the state of modern scholarship, Amy-Jill Levine stated that scholars agree that Jesus was Jewish, but she adds that: "Beyond recognizing that 'Jesus was Jewish' rarely does scholarship address what being 'Jewish' means." Hence, discussions on the talk page decided that the article and the infobox do not mention anything further than that regarding his race, a possible nationality designator, etc." Here Levine shows up again, not a major voice in Jesus scholarship, but a local favorite because of a few choice quotes. Her statement contradicted by Ben Witherningtion III and mainstream scholarship, saying that one can understand Jesus only in the context of his Jewishness. The argument in the FAQ is wrong. Jesus was Jewish and in fact a Jewish sect leader. Are there any evidence-based objections to adding his religion to the infobox? Jonathan Tweet (talk) 18:59, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
Levine is certainly a significant scholar, and her statement should stay. She's specifically surveying scholarship - this is the intro to The Historical Jesus in Context, in the Princeton Readings in Religions series. When you say that Witherington contradicts her, are you saying that Witherington says scholarship does not rarely address what being Jewish means? In any case, there is a general feeling in the community (Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 126#RfC: Religion in biographical infoboxes) not to include religion in infoboxes. StAnselm (talk) 19:20, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

Son of God claim[edit]

I noticed that the lede states the Quran's rejection of Jesus' claim to be the Son of God. However, there does not appear to be a corresponding statement in the lede covering the fact the New Testament does assert he made that claim. (Specifically, "Son of Man", Jesus' favorite self-title as recorded in the New Testament, is a reference to Daniel 7:13-14.) For balance, it appears to me that either both need to be stated, or neither, in the lede. Thoughts? Jtrevor99 (talk) 17:01, 27 July 2016 (UTC)

@Jtrevor99: I'm not sure I understand your point. The lead states, "Christians believe him to be the Son of God". A specific reference to New Testament verses is not necessary; it's reliably sourced. Maybe I have misunderstood what you mean. Sundayclose (talk) 17:11, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
In my mind, there is an important distinction between "Christians believe him to be the Son of God", and "Jesus claimed to be the Son of God". The Quran statement negates the second one, not the first. Properly paired statements would either be "Jesus claimed to be the..." followed by "the Quran says Jesus did not claim...", or "Christians believe him to be..." followed by "Muslims do not believe him to be...". But the two bolded statements are used, meaning that it is not fully balanced. Of course, it's also possible I'm overcomplicating this! Jtrevor99 (talk) 18:28, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
You are. And your statement is even more imbalanced - on the one hand it contains the unqualified statement "Jesus claimed ...", while it qualifies the opposing statement with "the Quran says that ....". --Stephan Schulz (talk) 18:37, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
We also have the problem of finding the literal phrase "Son of God", which I don't believe we have as a quotation by Jesus (I'll ask others to correct me if I'm wrong), and the interpretation of the meaning of "Son of Man". Certainly there are such interpretations of the phrase "Son of Man", but I don't think we can make a statement that Jesus described himself as "Son of God" based on an interpretation of a different phrase. To make it more complicated, we get into the dispute about whether the translation from Daniel into English should be "Son of Man". In any event, such Biblical interpretation seems inappropriate for the lead. Sundayclose (talk) 19:01, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
Your analysis is incorrect, Stephan Schulz. See my opening statement, where I clearly remarked Jesus claimed in the New Testament to be the Son of God. That is properly balanced by the Quran statement. Jtrevor99 (talk) 15:17, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
User:Sundayclose, I agree with the difficulty of the translation of Daniel 7:13-14, but would posit (as have many scholars) that Jesus intentionally described himself using the same phrase as that found in Daniel 7:13-14, which was regarded by Jews of the era as an allusion to a coming savior - either God himself, or equal to God. He also made the claim (as recorded in the New Testament, at least) in John 8:58, John 10:30-33, etc., and did not rebuke others making the claim of him in Matthew 14:33, 28:9, etc., as would be expected if he did not agree with it. But all of this detracts from my original point: that "Christians claim that..." and "the Quran states that..." are not balanced statements. Jtrevor99 (talk) 15:17, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
@Jtrevor99: I understand your perspective and I'm sure many would agree with you, but I think we simply don't have enough to state that he made the claim that he is the "Son of God", especially in the lead where these details cannot be given a lot of explanation. His failure to reject the term others used to describe him isn't the same as his unequivocally referring to himself as the Son of God. Sundayclose (talk) 15:32, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
@Sundayclose: I am not trying to argue that "Jesus claimed...". I am trying to argue that "The New Testament states that Jesus claimed...". This is indisputable from the above passages. It is indisputable fact that he is recorded as making the claim, whether he actually did or not. All I'm trying to establish is that "The New Testament states that Jesus claimed..." is preferential in the lede to "Christians believe that..." when the opposing statement, "The Quran states that...", is in the lede. If the "The New Testament states that Jesus claimed..." statement doesn't belong in the lede, then neither does the Quran one. Jtrevor99 (talk) 16:09, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
@Jtrevor99: Sorry, but I respectfully disagree that it is indisputable unless we have an accurate translation of Jesus literally stating that he is the "Son of God". I don't have a problem including somewhere in the article that others used that term to describe him (if it is adequately sourced and weighted and in appropriate context), but that doesn't belong in the lead. Sundayclose (talk) 16:18, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
What do you make of John 10:36 then? Look, all I'm saying is that if "The Quran states Jesus is not the Son of God" belongs in the lede, then so does "the New Testament states Jesus is the Son of God", OR the related "the New Testament records Jesus stating he is the Son of God". I'm just looking for balance when it's not currently in the lede. Frankly, I think both statements belong in the body of the article, not the lede. Jtrevor99 (talk) 17:13, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
Can we just replace "the Quran states that..." with "Muslims believe that..." in the lede and be done with it? That would satisfy me. Jtrevor99 (talk) 17:17, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
@Jtrevor99: Which comes back to "Muslim believe that, the Quran states", unless you are willing to state what other source that the Muslims extracted their information from. Alexis Ivanov (talk) 17:37, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
@Alexis Ivanov: You missed my point entirely. "Christians believe that" and "Muslims believe that" are parallels, as are "The New Testament states that" and "The Quran states that". The latter statements are subjectively stronger than the former, in that "[a text] states that" is more concrete and incontrovertible than "[certain people] believe that", at least when it comes to assessing the veracity of the claim. Yet we are using the first and fourth statements right now. Does it follow that if "The Quran states...", then "Muslims believe..."? Yes, absolutely. I'm not contesting that. All I am highlighting here is that the two statements are not parallels, and the Islamic statement (at least subjectively) is stronger than the Christian one. WP's policies on such matters are clear, and it follows that the two statements should be of the same character, or not in the lede at all.
Am I making a mountain out of a molehill? Perhaps. But I did not expect such animosity around what should be uncontroversial acquiescence to WP policy. Frankly, I thought the response would be "good point, let's make the two statements parallel or take them out of the lede". Jtrevor99 (talk) 17:55, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
The statements should definitely be parallel, assuming that the respective books make the statements. Lipsquid (talk) 18:00, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────@Jtrevor99:I am not seeing animosity from anyone here, just disagreement. And it is not "uncontroversial acquiescence to WP policy". I like the idea of parallel, but not at the expense of accuracy. To my knowledge there is no place in the New Testament where Jesus says, "I am the Son of God". Anything based on other wording is an interpretation. I won't get into the Quran issue. But there is nothing to support the lead stating that Jesus said he is the Son of God. Sundayclose (talk) 18:16, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

  • Could I point out that the New Testament is not a reliable source on anything else that what the New Testament says (literally, not any interpretation). This also means that the NT is not a reliable source on anything Jesus said or did. Furthermore, most scholars would agree that the NT does not say that Jesus is the "Son of God" in the trinitarian understanding of today. As for the need for "parallel statements", could anyone cite that police and provide a link to it (in other words: not give your own interpretation of a policy, just cite it and link to it). Jeppiz (talk) 18:19, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
I'm also curious about the policy behind "parallel statements". My solution, of course, would be to look at other encyclopedias and see how they handled it. Right now the lede refers basically to stuff in the synoptics that scholars think is historical. We could add the ahistorical stuff in. "In addition to the Synoptics, Christians look to the gospel of John to understand Jesus. There, Christians learn that he is the divine Word made flesh and that he claimed the divine name for himself". I wouldn't single out the Son of God thing. But really, it's policies and RSs that I'm interested in. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 18:51, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
I have no idea about Wikipedia policy on "parallel statements", but I only meant to say that when making comparative analysis statements, which is what people are doing, one should endeavor to minimize the variables as much as possible. There is nothing wrong with saying Christians believe X and Muslims believe Y, in fact it is a great comparison. As mentioned above, Christians believe X and the Quran says Y looks like a crappy comparison and is going to be called out over and over because it is a crappy comparison and trips people's bias alert systems. Just change it to Muslims believe Y for consistency, correct form and lack of future hassle. No need to critique or look for any deeper or hidden meaning, especially in the lead. Make the change an move on, it reads better and is completely factually true. Lipsquid (talk) 19:03, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

best sources and notable sources[edit]

St Anselm says that his sources are as good as mine. He cites scholars I never heard of to make claims that I've never run across before. For my part, I cite the field's best scholars to promote the mainstream view. Is anyone else interested in comparing sources and really seeing which ones are best, which are notable, and which are forgettable? I can put my notes together if people want to see why I keep saying that Sanders, Vermes, and Theissen are better than Keener and whoever else St Anselm cites. But if St Anselm is the only one interested, it might not be worth the work. Jonathan Tweet (talk) 19:15, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

Anything that makes Wikipedia a better encyclopedia is a worthwhile endeavor. Lipsquid (talk) 19:22, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
As far as citing scholars you've never heard of, I can't help your ignorance. You said you had reliable sources that cited Sanders, Vermes, and Theissen as the top scholars, but you were not able to produce them. StAnselm (talk) 19:50, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Could I point out that the term "best scholar" is not applicable. We can see who the most cited scholar are (notability), but that is not by definition the same as the 'best'. Any scholar that holds a position at a recognized university, publishes with respectable publishers, and is cited by others is a notable scholar. Jeppiz (talk) 20:02, 28 July 2016 (UTC)