Talk:Jesus/Archive 14

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deletion of material on "pagan godmen"[edit]

I deleted a section someone added to "historicity" because (1) it was written in a highly POV way, (2) it is a fringe theory that at the most merits only a minor mention and link to some other page, and (3) this is something CheeseDreams pushed obsessively, and, before she was banned, we reached an agreement that it was not appropriate here. Slrubenstein | Talk 18:45, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but I don't see how this is a "fringe theory." The similarities between Jesus and these other Pagan Godmen is very well documented and proven. Whether it means that Jesus didn't exist is indeed debatable, but that idea was simply not posted as fact. It was indeed stated that this was a theory, and so I don't see how it could be considered inappropriate. I don't plan to post it "obsessively" as this other user apparently did, but I do feel that it's an important bit of information that doesn't detract in the least bit from the page. It's no less useful than the idea that "a small minority" of scholars question Jesus existence in real life. It's not at all a small minority. I'm placing the information back on the page. If a majority of people feel it should be removed, I'll remove it.

Dirtygreek 18:53, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

It actually is the other way around, most of the pagan idols pointed out as being inspiration for the story of Jesus actually date later than Jesus and the stories written about him. It makes more sense that the pagans adopted the ideas into their mythologies than the other way around. And yes, a small minority of historians feel Jesus never existed as a person. GreatGatsby 22:03, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

In fact, most historians reject the claims you are making. The Jesus article is long and an NPOV article discussing the claims you make would require much more development. Remove the content, put in a link, and create a separate article. Also, check and see what other articles already address these claims. Slrubenstein | Talk 20:05, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Jesus was not a Jew![edit]

The article's description of Jesus as "a Jewish preacher and healer" is based on biased historic propaganda, not evidence. History of populations and the new testament holds substantial evidence against its correctness. I suggest that all blind assumptions of his "Jewishness" are removed, and there should be no reference to his "Jewishness" other than in the form of (or in a section neutrally presenting) arguments for or against why he should be considered a Jew. For those who blindly take his Jewishness as given, this link may shed some light upon you:

Please don't change the article again. -Goethean 18:44, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I was working on it while you changed it (I used an incorrect expression). For Jesus was Judean, who were not same as Jews or Pharisees as they were called. I cannot leave this matter be, before you tell me why you think this is incorrect information. Please explain yourself.
Your link to an editorial article on an anti-semitic website does not trump the commonly known fact that Jesus was Jewish. Please consult any book on New Testament studies written in the past hundred years to confirm this. Examples include Tenney, New Testament Studies; Crossan, The Essential Jesus; Grant, An Historians Review of the Gospels, etc. Again: do not edit the Jesus article. If you do, it will be considered vandalism. --Goethean 19:06, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I leave the rest of editing up to you, but please hear me. I thought that article I found summed up my point pretty well. I have no sympathy for anti-semitism, and you can find countless other completely pro-jewish documents online, which state the same things. "Jewish" is not an accurate description at all. Commonly known, yes, but fact? See the wikipedia article "[[[pharisee]]]"; it states that "Judaism" begun from phariseanism. And Jesus was not a pharisee. Nothing called "Judaism" or "Jews" neither existed at that time, so it is technically incorrect to call ANYONE who lived around then a "Jew" in a NPOV/non-Jewish POV. "Judean" is simply much more accurate. Disagree?
Well, now you're talking about a semantic difference, rather than any substantial one. If we changed the word "Jewish" to "Hebrew", would you be satisfied? (I am moving this discussion to the bottom of the page, which is whre current discussion belong.) --Goethean 19:40, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
"Jewish" strongly suggests that he bore all the traits of what we today consider as a Jew, though he was neither nearly as closely related to Jews as a pharisee nor a talmudist. The term "Jew" is much more specific on religious tradition - it could apply more specifically to pharisees or talmudists, but Jesus? No. Religion is a substantial defining point for Jews or pharisees, whereas Jesus was a Judean Hebrew but not Jewish/pharisee. Notice that in the New Testament he condemns the Jews/pharisees as the "synagogue of satan".
"Jewish" strongly suggests that he bore all the traits of what we today consider as a Jew
It does no such thing. Your statement reeks of racialist pseudoscience and displays a studied ignorance of modern genetics.
Jesus was part of a group of what the Ancient Romans, including Josephus, called Jews. That is to say, Jesus was a Jew. Your inability to emotionally deal with these facts has no bearing on this article. --Goethean 20:12, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Altogether, I think it's just unnecessary and creates too many conflicts. Judean and/or Hebrew would suffice, but I would like to see him described as none of these rather than as "Jewish". Jacob, Moses, Samuel, Saul or Jeremiah are not described as "Jewish" in their respective articles, why should Jesus? If you are not willing to remove it from Jesus' article, then why don't you state it in the articles of the persons mentioned above? That would at least be more consistent.
Can you find an encyclopedia which does not describe Jesus as a Jew? Why should Wikipedia be any different? If you claim Wikipedia should be different because your references are correct, why then do all the encyclopedias which are researched, written, and reviewed by professionals not use your same references? There simply isn't enough evidence to suggest anything different from the mainstream view. Further, any type of Hebrew related religion in Judea at the time, whether you want to call it Judaism or not, was a subset of what we today call Judaism. Jesus adhered to it and considered himself to be the fullfillment of that religion. Thus "Jewish" fits his character appropriately and therefore certainly should not be changed here.--Will2k 20:29, Apr 16, 2005 (UTC)
Of course, you are right, this encyclopaedia must represent the mainstream view. That Jesus was "Jewish" is a mainstream view, but regardless that word is quite "edgy" and somewhat controversial in an objective context. For example, a Finnish book-lexicon of mine defines Jesus in the first sentence as (roughly translated) "the originator of Christianity and the central character of its thoughtworld. He was born..." It sums up the essence of his history as simple as that. Thus My question remains; what about and why not Jacob, Moses, Samuel, Saul, Jeremiah... since they are much less controversially "Jewish" in the mainstream view?
That Finnish book-lexicon is neither scholarly, nor is it NPOV. Jesus did NOT "originate" Christianity. He began and remained a Jew his entire life. "Christians" didn't come into being till after he was dead and/or gone... Scholarly work shows that his teachings were thoroughly Jewish and extant before he was born, or they were developed by the Early Christian Church and put back in his mouth once the Gospels were written.
This is just one of the hypotheses and not necessarily the most believable one. Many scholarly works oppose to what you say. Jesus is and remains a mystery. The debate about historicity of Jesus and his teachings is centuries old and still very alive.
For example, Christian religion started in the environment of Judaism and spread among Jews at first - using Gospels, an important part of which are Jesus' teachings. The Gospels include contradictions, show apostles as unreliable, show Jesus (with two or three prostitutes between his ancestors) in the company of women (more than that, sinful women) again and again.
Jesus' teachings about death, family, women and children are absolutely revolutionary for the antique cultures and especially Judaism. Somewhere in-between (beside his other teachings) he even says that he is not good.At the end, Jesus says to his Jewish disciples that they should eat his flesh and drink his blood to live forever and finally dies being humiliated on the cross (!). Then he rises from the dead. I really can't understand why would the Early Christian Church not write Gospels, including Jesus' teachings, more believably and conformistically, if they wanted to invent a new religion as a forgery in the Jewish-Roman environment.
And yes, of course Jesus was the one who originated Christianity, as the vast majority of Christians believe historical statements about him, included in the Nicene Creed. Even the word itself derives from "Christ" (anointed) - believing that Jesus was a messiah/a king, as foretold by the prophets.
I suggest that this discussion limits itself to what was the original question: whether Jesus was a Jew or not. I would say he was, according to what has already been said - he lived in the Jewish environment, he believed that the New Testament is the continuation and expansion of the Old one and he sent his disciples only to Jews.
The final point: sign yourself. Happy editing! --Eleassar777 08:47, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It is absolutely central to Jesus's story that he was Jewish. King of the Jews in fact. (Grace Note 06:31, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC))

"Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum" in fact, whatever it may mean. Mikkalai 22:42, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Their messiah. Etc. If he existed, he was Jewish in the commonly accepted meaning of that word. However, to suggest that the gospels are good historical sources seems a bit iffy to me and suggesting that Jesus was a preacher and healer doubly so. It's laughable to quote Josephus as proof but ignore other things he said. Many people hold the view that he didn't exist and was an invention, or that if he existed, his reality was very far removed from that described in this article, even in the Mishna he's not the Christian Jesus exactly. I'm not going to bother editing this article -- I have no interest in causing a controversy! -- but I do want to note that the introduction seemed dodgy to me, and Will2K, Wikipedia is not like any other encyclopaedia. It doesn't print "mainstream views" as facts, but as mainstream views. That is the essence of what we are doing here, I believe. I think the first sentence should read that Jesus was "thought to be" or "claimed to be" or "traditionally was" or something that captures the doubt. Grace Note 06:31, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Good points. Jayjg (talk) 07:31, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I just want to point out that I'm not saying we keep it because it's the mainstream view. I'm saying we keep it because the mainstream encyclopedias corroborate our current view and we certainly should not break from that unless there is undisputable evidence to suggest otherwise. Since we lack that evidence, and the professionals lack that evidence, we cannot just try and break off or we lose the standards we are trying to live up to.--Will2k 20:07, Apr 17, 2005 (UTC)

The anonymous user's claim that Jesus was not Jewish is based on a profound misunderstanding of historiography and historical research. It is true that modern Judaism grew out of rabbinic Judaism which grew out of the Pharisees. But that does not mean that non-pharisees were not Jews, or that before there were pharisees there were no Jews. What is true is that the meaning of "Jewish" has changed over the centuries, and is heterogeneous. Certainly, the Pharisees recognized non-Pharisees to be Jews. Even Herod, who was descended from Idumeans, was a Jew -- all historical sources from that time agree that he was a Jew. To say that Jesus was not a Jew because he did not adhere to the Talmud — which was compiled after he was killed – is like saying Robespierre was not French, because he did not grow up in the Fifth Republic, or like saying George Washington was not an American, because he was not born in "the United States of America." Slrubenstein | Talk 17:00, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

In John 8:44-47, Jesus said to the Jews "You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him.... He who is of God hears the words of God; the reason why you do not hear them is you are not of God." Though Jesus was of Hebrean blood, at least from his mother's side (whose "virginity" has truth only in myth),
You are being inconsistent. The NT says that Jesus said to the Jews "you are of your father the devil" and you believe this, but when the NT says Mary was a virgin you don't believe it. It is by no means certain that everything the book of John says Jesus said, he really said. And even if he did say this -- well, maybe you haven't watched Jews in an argument, but they can say some really nasty things to one another. That does not mean that they really don't believe they or their opponent are Jews. Slrubenstein | Talk 18:10, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

the commonly known distinction between Jewry and Christianity was born there.

What is your source for this? Most historians believe that the break between Judaism and Christianity ocurred with Paul, not with Jesus. And some have even challenged this claim, arguing that the Rabbis and the Christians often engaged one another, or at least recognized a common bond and origin, for quite some time after Paul. Slrubenstein | Talk 18:10, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Also, note that neither Hebrews who were Jesus' followers nor Hebrews who are Christian today are called Jews.

So what? Of course today Jews and Christians consider themselves separate, This fact has no bearing on what was going on two millenium ago. Slrubenstein | Talk 18:10, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

So therefore calling Jesus "Jewish" is valid, but only in a very small sense of what the word "Jewish" can mean.

What do you mean "small sense?" Jews are a nation, and that nation has a particular covenant with God. Pharisees, Saducees, Essenes, Zealots, Jesus, and the first Christians all belonged to this nation. Slrubenstein | Talk 18:10, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Most Wikipedia articles are well-written enough not to describe all historical figures with semitic background or who are Israelis as "Jewish". Why is that? Because, "Jewish" is very inspecific and inexact when not applied to religious AND modern Jews. I only ask you, why is it NECESSARY?

It is important for two reasons. For Christians, it is important because they believe Jesus is (was?) the son of the Jewish God, foretold by the sacred books of the Jews. For critical historians, the only way to understand what Jesus may or may not have done, or said, or what his actions and words meant, is to look at them in context -- meaning, a Jewish peasant in Hellenic and Roman-occupied Palestine. Slrubenstein | Talk 18:10, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I just want to point out that it is you ThreadStarter who started the thread. The onus is on you to convice us that it is that necessary.--Will2k 01:02, Apr 18, 2005 (UTC)

It's not necessary to the Hebrews of the old testament, why should it be to Jesus? The word lacks CONTENT,

Do not make the mistake of believing that a word lacks content merely because you do not know what that content is. But no matter, scholars like Crossan, Sanders, Fredricksen, and Vermes know what this content is and why it matters mdash; and our articles are based on scholarly research, not some editor's personal opinion. Slrubenstein | Talk 18:10, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

which other articles have in describing the person in a much more informative way - here are some examples from Wikipedia articles of much clearer ways to describe it...... "Sigmund Freud was born Sigismund Schlomo Freud into a Jewish family in Freiberg" "Albert Einstein's family was Jewish (and non-observant)" "Giacicomo Meyerbeer was born to a Jewish family in Vogelsdorf, Germany with the name Yaakov Liebmann Beer" "Felix Mendelssohn was born in Hamburg, the son of a banker, Abraham, who was himself the son of the famous Jewish philosopher, Moses Mendelssohn." "Gustav Mahler was born into a Jewish family in Kaliste, Bohemia." (perhaps this is so because he converted to Catholicism) "Daniel Barenboim (born November 15, 1942) is an Argentinean-Israeli pianist and conductor... ...his parents were Russian Jews." Even leaders such as Ariel Sharon are described as "Israeli", much more helpful than "Jewish", while for example "Jewish-American" for Steven Spielberg denotes that he is American with Jewish ancestry. --Threadstarter

What sort of wierdness is going on here? Of course Jesus was a Jew. He was born of a Jewish mother; adopted by a Jewish father; circumcised on the 8th day and thus a member of the Jewish covenant; he worshipped in the Jewish temple; taught in Jewish synagogues as a Jew; interpreted Jewish law as a Jew; he made pilgrimages as a Jew to the Jewish capital, Jerusalem in order to observe and celebrate Jewish religious feasts; he was crucified by the Romans as a claimant to the Judean throne and labelled a "King of the Jews"... Jesus (be he an historical or a fictional character) in point of historical, literary and religious fact (in our consensual world) lived and died a Jew.
Perhaps there should be two separate articles, to depict difference between history and myth. One article for the mythical Jesus Christ, partly constructed by indo-europeans, who according to the bible was a divine healer of sick people, who performed miracles and who ascended from the dead. Another article for Jesus of Nazarene who was, according to historical research, the harsh Jewish teacher; while there is evidence of that he shared views with Jews to a greater or smaller degree, there is no historical evidence of him healing paralyzed or blind people, only a religious myth. The tension between these two entitities has always been quintessial within the Christian church. Alternatively, two separate sections in the same article presenting these two entities. Any thoughts? --Threadstarter
We already have the articles Jesus and textual evidence and Historicity of Jesus linked to from this article in the history-section. Or do you have anything else in mind? Shanes 22:41, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Thank you, I shall read these later. Then, what about the head/intro text of this article? It's a molten mess of historical and mythical conceptions of Jesus which do not necessarily support each others. Should not the difference be made already in the head text? --Threadstarter
Well, the intro should be kept short. So discussions about these things is better placed in the history section and as articles on their own. And the intro allready uses words and statements like "Most secular scholars accept his existence", "little exists outside of the canonical Christian texts", "Christians further believe" and "It is commonly thought that Jesus preached", which will make the reader aware that there are indeed uncertainties and disputes around the factual acuracy of all these statements. A reader who wants to learn more about this will then read on to the history-section and there be pointed to the Jesus and textual evidence and Historicity of Jesus articles. But maybe there could be a more explicit pointer to these things in the intro. I don't know. If you have any specific sugestion, I'd be happy to read them. Shanes 23:08, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Jesus a "Hebrew"? Not really... Hebrew is a language...perhaps he spoke it. Hebrew might appropriately refer to ancient tribes, but not to the historical Jews. To do so is particular Christian POV...c.f. Hebrew.
Jesus a "Judean"? Not really... Judea is a section of Palestine...from which Jesus didn't come. He is explicitly called a "Galilean" which is a different section of the land. A "Galilean Jew"? Perhaps, but that isn't worth saying more than once, unless one is specifically discussing diffences between diaspora Jews and Judean Jews.
Jesus a "Christian"? No way... Christians didn't exist till after his death. If a Christian is a follower of Jesus Christ...Jesus Christ is outside of the set, no?
I never said that. But if Christians follows the morals of a "Jewish" teacher, then how come our religion is not considered a subset of Judaism? Why do we follow the words of a Jewish teacher if we have no desire to be Jewish. --Threadstarter
Good question Threadstarer... (FWIW I was responding to aspects of this entire section and not simply what you wrote.) As I understand it, Early Christianity is indeed considered a subset of Judaism by NPOV scholars. However, after the Fall of Jerusalem when Christianity and Pharisaic/Rabbinic Judaism where the two major types of Judaism left (the Sadducees, Zealots, Essenes, Qumramites etc. being mostly wiped out) these two remaining Jewish religious movements fought over who was the legitimate heir and continuant of Biblical tradition. They both cursed each other and wrote each other out-of-the-family as it were. This sibling rivalry is at the roots of modern antisemitism and a whole lot of trouble. Of course there was quite a bid of "de-Judaizing" of the tradition on the part of Christians, since after the revolt, Jews were in "bad-odor" with the Romans. Christians, believing that Jesus was also the Christ, and understanding the Christ to be the Logos, a person of the god-head, helped distance Jesus from his Jewish humanity, no? It's all very fascinating.
To those of us who are Christian, Judaism is something we disagree with, concerning the unity of God and hierarchy of man (especially between Jews and Gentiles), and it is essential to our Christian faith that we disagree with Judaism on this. The two ideas, God's homogenous unity, and the idea of a "chosen people" is what unites all Judaism (and its laws), including the patriarchs since Abraham. Jesus separated himself from the Jews, if not in both, at least in the latter idea when he abandoned the principle of the "chosen people" and promised redemption to Gentiles and Jews alike. Jesus OF NAZARENE was, according to historical evidence, a Jew by blood, but he taught against the essence of Judaism. However, the mythical figure Jesus CHRIST, son of God, has indeed been "de-Judaized" throughout indo-european tradition (down to the greek word "Christ"), and outside of that tradition his followers saw him above a mere Jew, begotten by God (he was, after all, the manifestation of God himself). The head-text needs to state this distinction. (As for the statement "was a Jewish preacher and healer", was he some kind of a healer except a healer of paralyzed and blind people? If not, then historical evidence ("Jewish") and myth ("healer") are already mixed and messed up in that article.) --Threadstarter
By the way, those of you "anonymously" contributing your two-cents might be a bit more credible if you were to sign and date your contributions...  : -) 20:20, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC) Ahhhhh!!! Hoist by my own petard! I, author of the previous paragraphs, am your humble servant, Emyth 20:27, Apr 17, 2005 (UTC)

The anonymous editor wrote this, above:

One article for the mythical Jesus Christ, partly constructed by indo-europeans, who according to the bible was a divine healer of sick people, who performed miracles and who ascended from the dead. Another article for Jesus of Nazarene who was, according to historical research, the harsh Jewish teacher; while there is evidence of that he shared views with Jews to a greater or smaller degree, there is no historical evidence of him healing paralyzed or blind people, only a religious myth.

... which again reveals real ignorance of history and historiography. The main source we have for Jesus' life is the Gospels. What is this "Indo-European myth?" Some of the authors of NT books were Gentiles, but many were Jewish. What we see in the NT is the formation of a set of beliefs that originally constituted a branch of Judaism, and which then split off from Judaism to become a new religion. Historians do not reject it as myth (a meaningless word in this context) -- they see it as a document produced by a number of people over a certain period of time for certain purposes, and it is this context which provides scholars with a perspective to read it critically. But there is no historical research that starts with some other text. Why do you say that the "historical" Jesus was a harsh teacher? Why is Jesus as the divine healer of the sick not a Jewish Jesus? In fact, historians recognize that Jesus' healing the sick (or at least people believing he healed the sick) is one of the things that makes him Jewish, as this was a very common Jewish practice at the time. Historians do not necessarily believe that these people really could heal the sick -- but they do know that there were many Jews who claimed to have this power, and many Jews who believed them, so Jesus' being a healer is very much part of the "Jewish" Jesus and the historical Jesus. It is true that historians reject the claims about miracles and resurrection. But they still see Jesus as a central figure in the formation of Christianity. This does not mean he was not a Jew. Indeed, Jesus had to be a Jew, because only a Jew could be the messiah (the messiah was of the house of David). The last supper was a Passover seder (a major Jewish holiday). Jesus' followers claimed that he was prophesized by the prophets -- another mark of his Jewishness, since non-Jews didn't care what the Jews' sacred scripture said. He preached in Caperneum and Jerusalem -- both Jewish towns. His two most important "commandments," "The first is, Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these." happen also to be the two central commandments of the Pharisees (and were established as such before Jesus was born). If he were not Jewish, the Sanhedrin would not have tried him (if indeed they did), since they did not have authority over non-Jews. So -- why would anyone think that a guy with a Jewish name, who relies on the Hebrew Bible in his preaching, who preaches to Jews, who has Jewish disciples, who celebrates a Jewish holiday -- why would anyone think this guy wasn't Jewish? Slrubenstein | Talk 21:07, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

"It is true that historians reject the claims about miracles and resurrection." - not necessarily. --Eleassar777 14:05, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

You are right, I should have been clearer I meant critical historians. Slrubenstein | Talk 15:01, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Where do I mention "Indo-European myth"? The myth started from the apostles (either most or all of whom) were semites. It was adopted and developed further by indo-european people, hence the expressions I used were correctly "de-Judaized throughout the indo-european tradition" and "PARTLY constructed by indo-europeans". When I said that according to historical evidence, Jesus was a Jew by blood, I went to accept calling Jesus the person Jewish according to the historical evidence; even though he taught against the fundamentals of the Judaic law,

It is not at all clear that Jesus "taught against the fundamentals of Jewish law;" this is a ridiculous claim. Slrubenstein | Talk 15:01, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Jewish descent qualifies for a person to be called jewish. But according to the Christian religious myth of the Europeans in general, as Christianity spread around the Aegean Sea, the "Jewish" characteristic was removed from the construction of this character (in addition, gaining the greek title "Christ" and portrayed as a white, blue-eyed warrior). As side notes, it is contradictious to us Christians to refer to our patron as "Jewish", or our "Jewish master", and Christians certainly don't speak of "the Jew who saved us all". When Martin Luther adresses Jews in his "On the Jews and Their Lies", he certainly refers to all Jews but not to Jesus. --Threadstarter

I wouldn't want to rely on a piece of anti-Semitism to support my claims, but if you insist — just because Luther was critical of Jews in his day, does not mean that Jesus was not Jewish. In the United States, Democrats today strongly dislike Republicans -- but none of them deny that Abe Lincoln was a Republican. Slrubenstein | Talk 15:01, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Greek title "Christ" denotes "the anointed one", the Jewish Messiah. --Eleassar777 14:12, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
EDIT: The article is shaping up to look better. To many true Christians it would be nearly blasphemy to include Jesus, when referring to Jews in religious (not historical) context - an article about his "europanization" would be useful, but I fear my knowledge is not specific enough at this moment.
By "true Christians" do you mean anti-Semitic Christians? Certainly "true" Christians recognize that Jesus was Jewish. Citing Luke 2:21, the Roman Catholic Catechism states that "Jesus' circumcision, on the eighth day after his birth, is the sign of his incorporation into Abraham's descendants, into the people of the covenant. It is the sign of his submission to the Law and his deputation to Israel's worship, in which he will participate throughout his life." Citing Galatians 4:4, the Roman Catholic Catechism states of Jesus that "His religious life was that of a Jew obedient to the law of God, a life in the community." Quite clearly, according to the Gospels Jesus was Jewish. So why is acknowledging his having been Jewish blasphemous, but talking about this "europeanization" is not blasphemous? Slrubenstein | Talk 16:56, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
No, Christianity is not fundamentally anti-semitic and neither am I. It is however, anti-Judaism, just like Judaism is anti-Christian; we reject their idea of a "chosen people" and the idea of God's homogenous unity. How could Jesus have remained faithful Judaism til the end of his life, if he abandoned their essential idea of a "chosen people" (and possibly also God's homogenous unity)? You also ignored my question about Martin Luther. I hope the article gets reverted back to the yesterday version. --Threadstarter

Christianity may be "anti-Judaism" (according to the Catholic Chucrch, Lutherans, and other denominations, though, it is not), but that does not mean that Jesus was not Jewish. "The chosen people" is not a "central" idea and developed over time, it is unclear as to whether Jews at that time used the phrase. Finally, Judaism was heterogeneous then as it is now, and just as today there are many Jews (and Jewish organizations) that reject the notion of "chosen people," there is no reason why Jews back then could not also have been divided on this issue. And what question about Martin Luther? You never asked any question about Martin Luther -- although I did respond to your statement about Martin Luther above, try reading it. In any case, nothing that you have just written responds to any of the points I made above, referring to the NT and the Catechism. Clearly, there are many true Christians who believe that Jesus was Jewish. If you do not understand how that could be, ask them! Slrubenstein | Talk 19:09, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I am not sure about Lutherans, but Martin Luther himself condemned Judaism altogether in "On the Jews and Their Lies". In their text, at least the way it's written in the Old Testament, there seems to be no-one among Abrahams' descendants who opposes himself to the idea of a "chosen people", and anything in conflict with the text is not Jewish law. God promises to Abraham to make 'his' people as many as the stars in the sky, Isac and other fathers command their sons to marry their cousins, and disgust is expressed for "uncircumcized" people. "Christianity may be "anti-Judaism" (according to the Catholic Chuch, Lutherans, and other denominations, though, it is not), but that does not mean that Jesus was not Jewish." This is something that's hard to understand for me. Clearly, many Christians believe Jesus was Jewish without even thinking about this question, but many Christians also believe the opposite. With God's "homogenous unity" I meant their rejection of the Christian heterogenous triforce, father, son and holy spirit.

You need to read your own Bible. Aside from the verses I quoted above, John 4:9 clearly identifies Jesus as a Jew. By the way, the Jewish concept of "chosen people" is not hierarchical -- God made promises to many other peoples besides the Jews. Perhaps you do not understand the Jewish concept of "chosen people" -- it in no way denies the fact that God chooses other peoples as well. Also, be careful about criticizing God's covenant with Israel because the fact of that covenant is the starting point for Christian theology. I am sorry you do not understand how Jesus could be a Jew. You have to talk to religious and knowledgable Christians, or theologians, to understand why. Slrubenstein | Talk 00:57, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Jesus and Senseless Life(see "No Proof")[edit]

Of course you can decide not to believe in Jesus and continue living your senseless life, but I assure that it will lead to destruction. Jesus lives and he offers you salvation. It is up to you.

Uh, who are you to judge a person's life as senseless, and state with assurance that their life (of which you know nothing) will lead to destruction? Please prosletyse by fear elsewhere; this is an online encyclopedia, where we try to deal with matters of fact, not faith. Thank you. Fergananim

Dating System[edit]

The Common Era dating system is not based on the religious beliefs regarding the birth date of Jesus. To say otherwise is erroneous. Kelvin uses the same scale as celsius, but it is not based on the boiling point and freezing point of water. The anno Domini system is based on the date originally made up for Jesus' birth - the CE system is seperate and just uses the numbering of the most popular calendar. ~

--JimWae 19:49, 2005 Apr 19 (UTC)==Odd theory==

It is commonly thought that Jesus preached for a period of three years, yet it is never mentioned explicitly in any of the gospels. One theory suggests that in the Gospel of John, a timeline is described which depicts a ministry time period of approximately one year (Passover to Passover). This theory of a one year ministry would coincide with the type and shadow of the passover lamb (lamb of God) being a yearling lamb. This, however, is not commonly taught and thus not a wide spread theory.

This was re-insterted by Slrubenstein. Can you (or someone else) please explain why the lead section should be clogged with detail like this, especially when constituting "theories that are not widely spread"? The lead section should only cover the most relevant facts. Fredrik | talk 18:27, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It seems that in his hurry to remove what he mistakenly claimed was POV, he reinserted several things that now appear twice - including a jpg. I have done some editing to clear up text to make it more apparent it is not POV --JimWae 18:43, 2005 Apr 19 (UTC)

Sorry I missed that. I removed it, and a paranthetical that was out of place in the introduction. The introduction should flow from the most general to the most specific, so after a very brief description, the order of information is first, about his name, second, about the sources, and third, about Christian beliefs. I don't see the sense to saying "The primary sources about him and his teachings are the four Gospels, according to which he was a Jewish preacher often at odds with other Jewish preachers at that time," for two reasons. First, we go over the sources in the next paragraph, and second, according to the Gospels Jesus was many things -- why stop with "Jewish preacher," why not say "healer, son of God, messiah," and so on? You just can't provide the view of the Gospels in one sentence, so let's do it later on. I removed the passage about the CE dating system as this is not an article on the CE dating system and if it needs to be mentioned in the article, it shouldn't be in the introduction. I also corrected a few mistakes: Jesus was not just a preacher, he was (according to both religious and critical historians) a healer; also, there is not point to saying that he was at odds with other Jewish preachers since this was true for virtually all Jewish preachers at that time. Also, it is not accurate to say that many scholars believe that the passage in Josephus is "possibly" a forgery -- yes there are some scholars who do not think it is a forgery, but the scholars who believe it is a forgery believe it to be a forgery. I also added mention of the Talmud which -- though anachronistic like the Josephus passage, is still an early document referring to Jesus. Slrubenstein | Talk 19:02, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

JimWae, you have just reverted my changes twice in a row, without explanation. Moreover, it is simply rude to make a major change without explaining it, especially when I had provided a detailed explanation for the changes. Why can't you actually use the Talk page to discuss issues in the article? You assert that "healer" is POV but do not explain why you think it is POV, or what POV is represents. The opening is indeed NPOV because it provides the view of historians, Jesus' Jewish contemporaries, Muslims, and Christians. Slrubenstein | Talk 19:13, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

You have now reverted me 3 times. Twice Or was it 3?) before ANYTHING appeared here - and with nothing in edit summaries but "less POV". You complain I did not explain, then complain about my explanation. Healer is POV that he had healing powers. I included healer in mine in a more NPOV way & you reinserted your POV. You have not been following the edits over the last day. Scriptural is overly-reverential (& a redirect) when historicity & specificity are called for - specifically mention of New Testament. Your Talmud insertion is worth considering. Your removal of material on his existence is not. Because sources & existence are open to question, they need to be introduced before asserting any description of him. Putting name content so early delays getting to anything about who he was. I will leave it to someone else to put my last content back until tomorrow so I do not do 3 reverts as you have --JimWae 19:29, 2005 Apr 19 (UTC)--JimWae 19:20, 2005 Apr 19 (UTC)

I don't see an explanation to your revert, except to point out repeated material -- which I removed, following your comment. Healer is not POV because it doesn't claim that he was a good or bad healer, effective or ineffective. Even bad doctors are doctors. You claim that you included healer in a POV way, but in your version "healer" was not even in the introduction (and Vermes and others consider it to have been his principal role). I honestly don't understand what you mean by "Scriptural is overly-reverential (& a redirect) when historicity & specificity are called for - specifically mention of New Testament." And as far as following what has been going on the past couple of days -- well, I have provided extensive explanations for my changes. But except for your 18:43 comment of today, I can't find any explanations that you have provided for your changes. Slrubenstein | Talk 19:25, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Gentlemen - please. Religion is always a difficult POV call, and requires patience. One point - and I'm not getting in the middle of this entire thing - a person can be described as a healer without the implication of a miracle worker. I admit this would be difficult in Jesus' case. But, a healer was a valid category of teacher during the period, whether they healed by the spirit or by more conventional means for the time. Peace. WBardwin 19:35, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Thanks, WBardwin. I am willing to grant that Jesus and his followers believed that he "healed" physical maladies with supernatural means. My point is that he was a healer because of what he claimed to do, and not necessarily because of what actually happened. Let me give an analogous case -- and my purpose of using an analogous case is that if we want to maintain NPOV, we shoulc consider treating Jesus as we would other healers. Now, there is a good deal of scholarly literature on "shamans" (also sometimes called "healers," "witches," "witchdoctors" or "medicine men.") There is some scholarly literature from psychology, but most of it is from anthropologists, historians, or scholars of religion (who may not themselves be religious). Now, virtually all of these scholars assume that shamans can't really do the things that shamans by definition are supposed to do (e.g. heal people using supernatural means). Nevertheless, they all use the word "shaman" (or one of the related terms) to describe their subjects. When Mircea Eliade calls someone a shaman, or E.E. Evans-Pritchard calls someone a witch, they are most definitely not claiming that shamanism or witchraft are "real" (that is, they do not believe that shamans and witches have supernatural powers). It is very common for scholars to describe people using the same language those people themselves use. And it is enough to add that critical scholars "reject the supernatural elements of New Testament accounts." Slrubenstein | Talk 19:56, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Look at my edit summaries which you yourself provided a link to in an edit summary - there are plenty of explanations there. You've really screwed up the first paragraph. To immediately say he WAS born & died & WAS a preacher & healer, is to undermine the possibility from the outset that he never lived. To say his existence is accepted is to ignore the questions that remain unresolved - much of the acceptance he's given is just presumptive because it is undecideable. To say he was a prophet in Islam before saying he is central to Christianity is putting the cart before the horse - that's why I put his centrality in the first sentence. You have repeated Jesus Christ unneccessarily in the 1st two sentences. You have again linked dating to "sacred texts" instead of naming the New Testament. There is now no mention of Common Era in article - and such IS appropriate for intro- and is mentioned similarly in other encyclopedia. There's so much more - please read my version again.--JimWae 19:52, 2005 Apr 19 (UTC)

Edit summaries are no substitute for explanation -- most of the edit summaries you (like me and many others) are so abbreviated as to be cryptic -- they amount to saying "an improvement" without explaining why this is an improvement. I disagree with you about CE, since CE is not used and this is not an article about CE. As I said before, I have no problem with discussing it in the body. The term "sacred texts" does not appear in the introduction. Now, if you want to propose changing all dates to CE/BCE, I have no objection, indeed, I would strongly support that. But if there is a consensus to use the conventional AD/BC, then we should follow that convention. I see no point to adding a discussion of BC/CE in the introduction. As I said, if you want to change all dates to BCE/CE I don't object but youshould see what other people think, first. As for your other comments, some are reasonable and I will try to make changes, in the spirit of compromise. Slrubenstein | Talk 19:56, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I think JimWae's changes were generally for the better. Jayjg (talk) 20:06, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
How about now? Why do you think it is better to have a discussion of CE dating system in the introdcution? Slrubenstein | Talk 20:08, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The dating system is the Anno Domini system, NOT the CE system! What is the problem with stating Anno Domini system (correctly)?

If dating system is irrelevant, fine, but if not, its the Anno Domini system, not the CE.

Hey, I am just replying to JimWae. But the argument against AD is that it violates our NPOV policy. Many editors and readers of Wikipedia do not consider Jesus to be their "lord." To use AD is to imply that according to Wikipedia Jesus really was/is the Lord -- a Christian POV. Slrubenstein | Talk 20:14, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I don't intend to do any editing of this article, but I'd like to say that it's POV and inappropriate to use BC/AD, because as Slrubenstein says, it implies that Jesus really was someone by whom dates ought to be set, whereas the Wikipedia article should only describe who says what about him, but should not take a side; using BC/AD not only takes a side, but does so in an implicit, almost structural way. SlimVirgin (talk) 20:55, Apr 19, 2005 (UTC)
I am not suggesting using the AD dating system in the article, I am saying that the dating system which used the date arbitrarily assigned to Jesus' birth is the AD system. I agree that using the CE system for dates is preferable. The Rev of Bru
I agree. Jayjg (talk) 21:18, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Rev of Bru, what is your evidence that half or more secular scholars of the Bible or Biblical history do not believe Jesus existed? I have read works by several critical scholars (e.g. Vermes, Sanders, Crossan, Fredricksen), and they all claim that Jesus existed. Can you share your research with us? Slrubenstein | Talk 20:14, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Where is your evidence that any secular scholars who are concerned with the existence or not of a christ character believe he existed? Assuming that someone existed because it doesn't concern your study, or assuming that someone existed because it doesn't matter to you, is entirely different from actually studying the issue of whether or not a mythological character was real. Please provide some secular authors who actually investigated the evidence of whether or not a historical Jesus existed and came to the conclusion that he did. All the secular sources who actually looked into the issue rather than ignoring it have at the very least come to the conclusion that he may or may not have existed, not that he definitely did.The Rev of Bru
You are not answering my question -- you are evading it; why? Provide your sources (I doubt you can do that, since you are wrong). As to your question -- why should I repeat myself? Please read what I wrote. If you have done any serious research into this matter, you will recognize the names of four of the most well-established and well-regarded critical scholars of this period. Slrubenstein | Talk 22:37, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Please read what is in front of you before replying. Vermes just assumes that jesus existed, he has not investigated the issue at all. As does Sanders. Crossan *believes* in a historical Jesus: he is not a secular scholar. He presupposes his existence. As does Paula Fredricksen (although she doesn't 'believe' in a Jesus.) NONE of your examples have actually looked at the (lack of) evidence skeptically.

I really don't see what the issues are with the JimWae version, except that is says he was at odds with other Jewish preachers of the time, which I don't think is accurate; rather, he was at odds with the established religious authorities. Jayjg (talk) 21:18, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)


Fish Supper continues to revert my change of "at odds with other Jewish Preachers" to "at odds with Jewish authorities." Why? My change was simply to follow up on the suggestion of Jayjg. If you think Jayjg was wrong, why not explain why on the talk page? In any event, I know of no evidence that Jesus was ot odds with other preachers. Please cite your source. Slrubenstein | Talk 22:00, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

That was my concern as well; which Jewish preachers was he at odds with? Jayjg (talk) 22:06, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Yet Fish Supper keeps reverting! What can I do? I cannot block him/her since I am in conflict, but I just do not see how we can allow an editor who is only disruptive, refusing to participate in discussions on the talk page, refusing to provide evidence or sources, adding nothing to the article, and only reverting everything I do, to continue doing this. Slrubenstein | Talk 22:09, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 22:13, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)) Your course (which isn't fun, but is correct in the long run) is to take the moral high ground and keep to the 3RR.

JimWae, you just wrote an edit summary, "it's being at odds with authorities that is important to story" but as far as I can tell, your edit had nothing to do with his being at odds with authorities. Are you being deliberately deceptive? Or is this a typical Wikipedia glitch, in either how you saved your edit, or how I am retreiving the edit history? Slrubenstein | Talk 22:41, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Look again, I guess, when you are again allowed or whenever --JimWae 23:44, 2005 Apr 19 (UTC)

- Jesus — also known as Jesus Christ, Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus the Nazarene — is the central figure in Christianity and an important prophet in Islam. The primary sources about him and his teachings are the four Gospels, which depict him as a Jewish preacher and healer often at odds with other Jewish preachers and the authorities at that time.
+ Jesus — also known as Jesus Christ, Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus the Nazarene — is the central figure in Christianity and an important prophet in Islam. The primary sources about him and his teachings are the four Gospels, which depict him as a Jewish preacher and healer often at odds with Jewish authorities at that time.
Thanks. You might note that I made this same change several times and Fish Supper reverted it every time. In any case, I am glad we agree (at least on this!) Slrubenstein | Talk 00:59, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I had made the same change much earlier -- but you guys were so intent on reverting you were not paying attention. Btw, How is it you can still post? --JimWae 01:23, 2005 Apr 20 (UTC)

I am sorry that I didn't catch your earlier post. Honestly, all I remember was the clause "at odds with other Jewish preachers." I admit that my first edit was to remove the entire clause, and I provided an explanation on this talk page. I also read and took seriously your explanation for putting the clause back in, and from that point on all I did was delete "preacher" and add "authorities." I think that despite some tension we have reached a point of reasonable compromise and I am glad about that. As for posting -- well, I haven't tried to edit the article lately and as far as I can tell, it is now at a point that I pretty much find acceptable. But I think I was unblocked by others because (1) I explained my changes on this talk page, expressing a desire to improve the page (and I hope you see my not reverting the text you worked on now, as evidence of this), and (2) Fish Supper has given no evidence at all of any interest in improving the article — he never explained his changes and never responded to any of my explanations or questions on this talk page. But the main reason I was unblocked seems to be that people think Fish SUpper is a sock-puppet of CheeseDreams [1]Slrubenstein | Talk 01:35, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I also am quite content with the article as it now stands. I must point out it is substantially as I had left it before you started reverting anything, with some improvements of course. I think it is better now than it was, in part thanks to you but also to those who backed me up, but it should not take all day to accomplish that. The part about Common Era has relevance for 2 reasons - it has bearing on estimates of his birth - it displays how important he is considered that the calendar is STILL "based" on him. But the shorter version now there is an improvement over the longer more detailed one, which content is now included below. I also made the AD-CE & BC-BCE transition - except where context demanded otherwise. I am sure we shall meet again & let's try to "presume" the best about each other then. Cheers, --JimWae 01:53, 2005 Apr 20 (UTC)

I can promise that. By the way, I did just do some rewording of the first paragraph on historicity. I hope you see it as an improvement; if not, I certainly wold like to know why and if you suggest something else (besides just going back to the previous version), Slrubenstein | Talk 02:29, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

3RR violations[edit]

Both Fish Supper and Slrubenstein have been blocked for 24 hours for their respective violations of the 3RR. --Dante Alighieri | Talk 23:36, Apr 19, 2005 (UTC)

the Talmud[edit]

Yesterday I added a clause stating that the Talmud also mentions Jesus. Jayjg had a reasonable argument for deleting that clause, and I accepted his deletion. However, I have been doing more research and have now put the clause in. The fact is, there are at least some scholars who do believe that certain passages in the Talmud refer to the same Jesus who is the subject of this article. It is true that the Talmud was not committed to print until the sixth century, but it contains within it texts from the first and second centuries. Many of the passages that specifically referred to the Christian Jesus and Christianity were censored by the Church in the Middle Ages (or left out by Jewish printers who were afraid of Church censorship), which is why someone who has read the Talmud today would not find these passages. However, Talmud scholars -- I mean critical scholars, not rabbis -- have identified several earlier manuscripts that contain these passages. The passages in the Talmud come from the Tosefta, which originates in the second century -- in other words, not much older than Josephus and the Gospels. If we mention Josephus, who may not even have written the passages ascribed to him, we should at least mention the Talmud. I added a paranthetical to make clear that the Talmud passages in question should not be read as history. Slrubenstein | Talk 15:40, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The issue is not that the passages themselves exist, but rather that they a) do not refer to Jesus, and b) are too late to be historically relevant anyway. Regarding a) the references are to various individuals, including a couple of Yeshus, one who lived 100 years before the gospel events, and one who lived about 100 years afterwards. Various other references are dubious, or based on a later scribal emendation of one manuscript not found in earlier manuscripts. In any event, if they did indeed refer to Jesus, it would mean that the gospels stories were entirely false in almost every detail. Regarding b), the earliest references are from the second century at best, and probably later. The whole Jesus in the Talmud = Yeshu was popular at one point, but is unravelling today. I urge you to carefully read the Yeshu article. Jayjg (talk) 17:27, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • The difficulty of course is how to reword: --JimWae 18:08, 2005 Apr 20 (UTC)
    • Though mention is made of a Jesus in the complete works of Josephus (in a passage considered a forgery by many scholars), nothing else exists outside of the canonical Christian texts....
  • Maybe
    • Other documents from that era make some mention of a person that might have been the same Jesus, but they are all suspect. Lacking evidence outside the New Testament, a number of historians have seriously questioned whether Jesus ever really lived. While most religious and secular scholars presume his existence, many find the question of his existence undecideable by historical means alone.
  • Then discussion of Josephus & Talmud can go in historicity section - making intro more genaral too

-- In support of Slrubenstein, I think his passage summarises the current position well. Although most scholars don't think there is a correspondance between Yeshu and Jesus, this remains an important minority position, and one that is more widespread outside academia. Therefore, I think it should be mentioned, if only to largely dismiss it. I think that the satement should be restored, with the addition of a link to the Yeshu article: "and in the Talmud (although most scholars do not view the relevant passages as historically accurate or as refering to Jesus; see Yeshu)." --G Rutter 18:16, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Thanks, Grutter. Jayjg, with respect I have to disagree with you strongly. Your position implies either that the only material on Jesus put in the article must be historical (in which case we would have to delete a lot of material from the article), or that the only mythology about Jesus that can be allowed in the article must come from Christianity. I disagree with both positions. It is true that there has been considerable work by critical historians and Bible scholars concerning Jesus — anyone who has followed these pages know that I am committed to including their views in the article. But that does not mean that the article should contain only historically accurate material. Jesus is an object of Christian mythology (and I am using "myth" in the academic and not popular sense), and that material should be in the article. Some will say that this material reveals more about Christians than it does about Jesus, but nevertheless I feel it should be included. But Jesus is also important in Jewish mythology. Much recent scholarship has explored the ways that the Amoraim and Tanaim were consciously competing with Christianity in the formative years of Rabbinic Judaism, and their stories about Jesus are very much relevant (and if some scholars say these stories are not about this Jesus, I can provide sources that claim that they are about this Jesus. Both views should be represented, not only one). Only two religions from the Roman world have survived to this day: Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity. And they emerged and first took shape in Roman Palestine. For a very long time people, including scholars, have anachronistically claimed that these two religions are so different that there is no meaningful connection between them. But today, many scholars are revising that view and recognizing how Rabbinic stories of Jesus and Christianity played a role in the processes through which Rabbis saw themselves, and Rabbinic Judaism took shape. I think one sentence that signals this is very reasonable. Slrubenstein | Talk 18:41, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Well, I strongly disagree, but I've tried again by modifying the POV of the existing sentence. Jayjg (talk) 19:01, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I'm happy with the rewrite. --G Rutter 19:08, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Jayjg, can you explain to me why you disagree? My sources are Daniel Boyarin, a Talmud professor at Berkeley, Shaye J.D. Cohen, professor of Hebrew Literature and Philosophy at Harvard University, and Jeffrey Rubenstein (no relation, I swear!), professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University. I am using works they have published within the last ten years; Rubenstein's book is 2002, so this reflects the most recent scholarship. These are three very well-regarded scholars at prestigious universities, so surely you can understand why I believe that the sentence concerning the Talmud should be in the article. You say that many Talmud scholars (and I assume you mean critical scholars) do not believe that the toseftas refer to Jesus. Can you tell me who you are referring to? Okay, you disagree with me, but can't you explain why? Slrubenstein | Talk 23:42, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Historicity Section[edit]

The Historicity section DOES need serious work - another revert war will accomplish nothing. The "acceptance" (as it appears) is a little too facile, but the part about "for ancient standards" (or whatever) is worth keeping. Many people accept his existence just as a presumption - finding it undecideable & not worth the time to argue over. The section also needs expanding --JimWae 18:40, 2005 Apr 20 (UTC)

JimWae, what bothers me is that Rev of Bru will revert anything I write, not because of its contents but because of his vendetta. Slrubenstein | Talk 18:43, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Nonsense. You have written some excellent parts of this article before slrubstein. I was very impressed with some of the rewording you did in other sections for NPOV. All you have to do is stop showing POV in the historicity section. Secular scholars who have actually investigated the lack of evidence for a historical Jesus overwhelmingly doubt his existence. Not liking that fact does not change it. I know you can accept facts on other issues. Please accept this one.
As Jimwae says, many (most) people presuppose his existence, and do not question it. The Rev of Bru
"Secular scholars who have actually investigated the lack of evidence for a historical Jesus overwhelmingly doubt his existence"; which "scholars" in particular are you referring to? Jayjg (talk) 18:56, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Secular scholars who have investigated the issue. Sorry if that was confusing. The Rev of Bru
Cite your sources. --G Rutter 19:10, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Earl Doherty. Timothy Freke. Peter Gandy. Alvar Ellegard. Robert M. Price. Frank R. Zindler. Tom Harpur. G.A. Wells. Marcello Craveri. Luigi Cascioli. Italo Libri. Etc.
Now, one of you cite some secular sources who, ON HAVING INVESTIGATED IT, came to the conclusion that there definitely was a historical Jesus. The Rev of Bru
Off the top of my head: Ian Wilson, A N Wilson, Robin Lane Fox. Also, a number of Christian authors, who became Christians at least partially because they came to the belief that the Gospels were accurate after they investigated it- including Frank Morison, C S Lewis, Alistar McGrath. --G Rutter 21:00, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)
C S Lewis was Christian before he even started studying theology at Durham. He was also gay.
So you agree then that most *secular* scholars who have investigated the issue at least have doubts that there was a historical Jesus. Good. So stop reverting valid edits, please.The Rev of Bru
Oh: Maybe you didn't bother reading what I said. Secular. Secular scholars. Not religious scholars, with their conclusions determined before they start - like Ian Wilson (Who thinks the flood was a real event, FFS). A.N. Wilson, as far as I have seen, also assumes the historicity without bothering to investigate it. Robin Lane fox is the only real secular scholar you have mentioned. Christians are biased. They believe jesus exists. They cannot deal with this issue rationally. It contradicts their faith. And I would not expect them to. But at least be honest.The Rev of Bru

Rev of Bru, I seriously appreciate your kind remarks. But I ask that you give me the benefit of the doubt in understanding that when I make an edit I believe I am writing something that is accurate and that doesn't violate NPOV. If you disagree with me, please take the time to explain why before (or at the very least, immediately after!) you revert. Now, the matter on hand. I do not think that the distinction between secular and religious is always useful. I do understand why you would think so, but I know many religious people who do not believe that the Bible is literally true or describes events that actually ocurred. I also know atheists who don't really understand critical scholarship and make claims that really are tenuous at best, and often just wrong. When I say "critical scholar," I mean someone who assumes that texts, no matter what their claims, were written by people for people; and who uses the critical tools of comparative literature and history to interpret texts. Since I have done a fair amount of research in this matter I feel comfortable with my own judgement, but I know that is no reason for anyone to accept my judgement. So in this particular matter what I do is I ask historians and Bible critics in major (secular) universities what books they assign. I also look for books written by professors at prestigious universities, published by academic presses. I look for books written by people who publish in peer-reviewed academic journals, and whose works are cited by others who publish in peer-reviewed academic journals. And I have to say, several of the people you name fall short.

Now, I believe that the people I have read represent what scholars consider reliable scholarship: From Jesus to Christ by Paula Fredricksen, William Goodwin Aurelio Professor of Scripture, Boston University, and published by Yale University Press; The Historical Figure of Jesus by E.P. Sanders, professor of religion at Duke University, published by Penguin; Jesus the Jew: A Historian's Reading of the Gospels, by Geze Vermes, Emeritus Professor of Jewish Studies at Oxford and member of the British Acadamy; The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament by Bart Ehrman, Chair, Department of Religious Studies, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, published by Oxford University Press — these are all critical scholars whose research is in no way dictated by religious dogma, who teach at major research universities in the US (except for Vermes, who teaches at a university in England that I have heard of, maybe it is a good school), and I am confident that if you asked anyone who has published on Jesus or the New Testament in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, they will agree that these are well-respected prominent scholars – all of these books accept the existence of Jesus even as they question the New Testament account of events, and orthodox Christian interpretations of the New Testament.

Now, as to the people you mention. Earl Doherty, though not trained in NT studies, is certainly a legitimate scholar and his argument is fascinating. But his argument does not require that Jesus never lived, it only claims that the Jesus in the NT was not the "real" Jesus that lived. No one would argue with his claim that Paul and perhaps John created a Jesus very different from the man who lived — which is actually precisely why I think critical studies of Jesus the man are so valuable. Timothy Freke has a BA in philosophy, and to my knowledge was never trained in critical history and hasn't published in peer-reviewed journals. Sorry, but not my idea of a real scholar. Peter Gandy at least has an MA in Classical Civilization, but as far as I am concerned there is no comparison between his credentials and scholarship and that of Sanders, Vermes, etc. Alvar Elegard is a real scholar, but if I understand him, he is claiming (like the scholars I rely on) that the NT reflects the views of Christians in the second century; this does not mean Jesus never existed. Robert M. Price is a very good scholar, but as far as I can tell he is agnostic concerning the existence of Jesus (not the same thing as definitively claiming that Jesus never existed). Frank R. Zindler is a biologist and geologist! He has no training in comparative literature, history, classics or the ancient Near East. Again, I don't see how there is any comparison between his scholarship and that of Sanders and Vermes. Tom Harper is a real scholar of early Christianity, although I do not think he has a PhD. But Rev, you make such a big deal about secular scholars and Harper is not secular!! He is an Anglican priest who taught at the Toronto School of Theology! G.A. Wells was a professor of German, never trained in Roman or Biblical history or literature or language. Credentials are not the only problem. He does not use the critical tools of historical scholarship, and in my book doesn't even rate. I know Marcello Craveri has written on the apocrypha, but I do not know what his credentials are. I do not know what Luigi Cascioli's credentials are either. I have read only a review of his book, but if it is accurate he uses the tools of a lawyer to prove that Jesus never existed. I have also heard lawyers claim that using their standards, God really did reveal ten commandments at Sinai, so I am sceptical of lawyers trying to do history. I prefer trained historians. Italo Libri is a lecturer of mechanical technology. He may be secular, but he is no scholar.

Look Rev of Bru, I know that there are scholars who do not believe Jesus existed and I have never deleted the claim that some do not believe he exists. But be reasonable: when someone asks you for a list of scholars, don't give us a mechanical engineer, a professor of German, and a geologist. If you insist on the article stating that "most secular scholars believe Jesus never existed," I will have to add "scholars of German, mechanical engineering, and geology." When I write "most accept the existence of Jesus" I am referring to prestigious critical scholars of Roman Palestine, the New Testament, or some other field that actually involves expert critical study of Jesus and the NT. I maintain that the scholars I listed are unquestionably among the top critical scholars of the New Testament or Biblical history. And they accept the existance of Jesus. Slrubenstein | Talk 23:36, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Look, I appreciate what you say, but as far as I'm concerned, the quality of the work is what is important. I didn't mention Ian Wilson; Director of Studies in Chemical Engineering and alleged Jesus expert from your list. Technically, Einstein was a patent clerk. Does that invalidate him? Secondary interests can also be viable studies.

I do not know if we are miscommunicating or what. Ian Wilson is not on my list and I am certain that I have never mentioned him. As for Einstein, he may have worked in a patent office, but he had a PhD. in physics and his articles on the photo-electric effect and Special Relativity wwere published in reputable journals and he recieved the Noble Prize. All of this is evidence of the recognition given to him by his peers in physics. Now, there is no Noble Prize Sanders, Fredricksen, Vermes and Bartman can win. But they clearly are well-regarded by other critical scholars of the NT and History. So your Einstein analogy supports my claim. I do not see how it supports your claim. Zindler, Wells, and Libri have no been recognized by experts in this field, so there is no comparison between their situation and Einstein's.

Another thing: I cannot see how you can claim that some scholars are 'critical' when their conclusions are preconcieved. People who believe in Jesus already are NEVER going to honestly say that he didn't exist, no matter what the evidence against it. Christians cannot be critical scholars of Jesus as a historical figure; they already believe in his existence.

You have no evidence that the scholars I rely on had preconceived conclusions, and my reading of their works is that they do/did not have preconceived notions. When you say "Christian scholar" do you mean anyone who disagrees with you? I just do not see how this comment relates to the scholars I listed.

Be reasonable: If someone asks you for a list of secular scholars who believe Jesus existed, provide some secular scholars. And if someone says scholars, lets take the definition : 1. A learned person. or 2. A specialist in a given branch of knowledge. That doesn't mean it is their only field of knowledge.

It is not enough for them to claim to be specialists. Most critical Bible scholars and historians went through rigorous training in critical theory and methods; the ones that I rely on have clearly established themselves among their peers. I am not dismissing Zindler, Wells, and Libri because they have other fields of knowledge. I am criticizing them because their work on this particular topic does not meet the standards of critical scholarship.

I don't claim that Christian scholars are not qualified to discuss history, since they have no training on thinking critically/ rationally. Maybe I should start. Or maybe we should stick with the usual definition of scholar. The Rev of Bru

I do not understand your point here. If by "Christian scholar" you mean someone whose scholarship is based on assumptions that come from their religion, and is meant to serve their religion, I do not understand your point. The scholars on my list are not "Christian scholars" as I made crystal clear above. Slrubenstein | Talk 19:08, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure Fredriksen and Vermes are Jewish, not Christian. Jayjg (talk) 20:06, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I used to think that too, but I think I read somewhere that Vermes was actually a Christian missionary until he started studying the NT critically, which led him to leave Christianity. Slrubenstein | Talk 13:53, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

By the way, I know that your last edit was in the spirit of compromise and I appreciate that. I really do believe we can work out something that everyone will consider accurate. Slrubenstein | Talk 23:45, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Naming specific historians in Historicity section[edit]


(E.P. Sanders, for example, has argued that the documentary evidence for Jesus' existence is as strong or stronger than the documentary evidence for the existence of Alexander the Great).

In the Alexander article we have very specific info, such as -- "In the afternoon of 323 BC June 10, Alexander died of a mysterious illness in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon. He was only 33 years old." Also: somebody had to be the leader for a series of conquests

E.P Sanders may argue that -- but WHY should anyone listen to him? What doubts, if any, does he raise about Alexander?--JimWae 08:48, 2005 Apr 27 (UTC)

There are not doubts about the existance of Alexander. THAT'S THE POINT.-- 16:22, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I put in the E.P. Sanders to replace an allusion to Homer. The reason I did this was simple: the remark about Homer was unsourced. The remark about Alexander is sourced, E.P. Sanders. Why should anyone listen to him? Who cares? People can listen to him or not, that is none of our business. But what is our business is this: representing the views of different scholars (and NOT our own views); this section is about the views of critical historians. Slrubenstein | Talk 16:36, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)

He's the only name mentioned - there's lots of "some historians", "many historians", "most historians", " a number of historians". More names need to be added. It seems extremely unreasonable to doubt Alexander's existence, but far from entirely unreasonable to doubt Jesus'. Is that the best example anyone can give? The Homer one seems more on a parallel --JimWae 19:05, 2005 Apr 28 (UTC)

Jim, when you say "seems more on a parallel" that suggests to me that this is your own view. Am I right? Because that constitutes original research and you cannot put that in the article. Also, when you say "it seems extrememly unreasonable," it sounds like that is your opinion too. But surely you know that we do not put our own opinions into the article. We put the opinion of "Christians," "Historians" and so on. The fact that you happen to disagree with (or question) a historian is just irrelevant here. Before I fixed this section, it read:
They therefore consider that the accounts of the life of Jesus in those Gospels provide as reasonable a basis of evidence, for the historical existence of Jesus and the basic facts of his life and death, as Hesiod's accounts provide evidence for Homer.
"They" refers to scholars. But whoever wrote this sentence didn't name which scholar has compared the evidence for Jesus to the evidence for Homer. I have read a good deal of history and don't know who made this comparison. But I do know that Sanders makes the comparison with Alexander. Since this is a verifiable claim, I put it in. Now, if you want to put the comparison with Homer back in, well, fine — but tell us which scholar makes that comparison; Wikipedia:Cite sources. Slrubenstein | Talk 19:25, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)

You're getting the wrong idea about my intentions - when I have more time I will hunt down the Homerr-Hesiod source--JimWae 19:28, 2005 Apr 28 (UTC)

Well, actually I am not sure about your intentions; my questions were sincere. But I infer from this that you didn't think you were doing any original research but were rather reflecting the views of established scholars. Great! I am looking forward to finding out the Hesiod-Homer source. Since Sanders is widely considered a top critical historian, I don't think including his view needs any justification. I gather your reference is to a well-known and established historian also, Slrubenstein | Talk 19:45, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)


I have some doubts about this phrase in the historicity section, concerning people who take a purely naturalistic approach: "are particularly skeptical" about miracles and such. Maybe people who are inclined toward a naturalistic approach are skeptical, but I think that if we are talking about people who are purely naturalistic this phrase is hedging and I think should be phrased more strongly. I think people who take a purely naturalistic approach flat-out reject miracles and stuff. How about something like, "reject supernatural elements in the accounts, including the resurection" or something? Slrubenstein | Talk 18:23, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I didnt change that because I thought too many 'unnaturalists' would complain. Go ahead and change it if you want. You could link to Jefferson in that too, he was a famous materialist (He did not believe in anything supernatural; he was a deist but thought of his God as a kind of superintelligent alien)

Dead Sea Scrolls?[edit]

Which fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls refer to Jesus? Jayjg (talk) 20:55, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Hmmm... I did not think that any of them did. As far as I understand it, the significance of the scrolls is that they reveal some similarities between Jesus' views and the Qumran community, presumably Essenes -- which indicates that Jesus' thought was not so divergent from Jewish views at the time, and suggest, some believe, that he even spent time in an Essene community. Slrubenstein | Talk 13:51, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I'm not aware of any of them doing so either. I think there is a fragment several letters long that some people have rather dubiously suggested might be from a gospel, but even that certainly doesn't mention Jesus. JimWae, can you explain? Jayjg (talk) 17:23, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

My revert: the reasons[edit]

As a passing stranger, I reverted some recent edits by User:Rossnixon for the following reasons: 1) the "a" before "Jesus" when discussing Josephus is a sensible rider and 2) a statement that no serious historian doubts the existence of the Jesus is far too sweeping. It only takes one reader to adduce one historian who does doubt this to call into question the accuracy of this article and, by extention, the whole of Wikipedia. This kind of sweeping statement cannot be made without cast-iron referencing. Filiocht | Blarneyman 09:35, Apr 27, 2005 (UTC)

That was me. On consideration, I would concede point "2", as this was a historical quote from around 1972, which could easily be (or become) outdated. However, the statement accredited to Josephus obviously points to Jesus. ...Regarding the extra-biblical sources I have added, you will find most of them confirmed (with details) by looked at the articles and I will revert, and remove the sentence I concede to be potentially outdated. RossNixon 09:53, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Thank you. Filiocht | Blarneyman 09:55, Apr 27, 2005 (UTC)

I was unaware of the when I wrote the article, some of it is now redundent. Since this one paragraph is so highly disputed and open to abuse by those on both sides of the debate, I advocate that we restore the link to the Historicity article as it demonstrates in a NPOV way, the esential test through which historians determine the Historicity of a text, and the arguments for and against the historical reliablity of the New Testament, the primary source material for the person Jesus. Rclose 13:42, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Sorry for deleting "Jesus the Nazarene"[edit]

It was a silly mistake and when I realized what I had done I went to put it back but it looks like someone already has.

tightening up the intro[edit]

I fixed the following passage:

A number of historians have seriously questioned whether Jesus ever really lived, and while most religious and secular scholars presume his existence, many find the question of his existence undecideable by historical means alone.

The problem with it is that it sounds redundant, because it is poorly organized. It contains three claims: (1) A number of historians have seriously questioned whether Jesus ever really lived, (2)most religious and secular scholars presume his existence, (3) many find the question of his existence undecideable by historical means alone. Obviously the first and third claim go together -- people who seriously question Jesus' existence are also likely to find his existence undecidable by historical means alone. I do not want to delete content, so I will not delete one of these redundant claims. But it is poor organization to have a "jesus didn't exist" claim followed by a "jesus did exist" claim and them followed by a "Jesus didn't exist claim." This isn't a debate (or a tennis match) -- we just want to communicate different positions. So I put claims (1) and (3) together. Also, I deleted the following: "However, ancient historical and mythological figures are often portrayed only from references written centuries after their deaths." What is the point of this here? Maybe ancient historical and mythological figures are often portrayed after their deaths (or what they claim is the date of their deaths). So? All that matter here is Jesus. The fact that one person's death was not recorded until centuries later does not prove anything, one way or the other, concerning another persons' death. And if this is a point specifically made by a historian concerning Jesus, well, let's put it in the historicity section -- it is extraneous here. We have communicated two views: some believe he existed, some do not. A detailed catalogue of the reasons belongs in the body, not the introduction. Slrubenstein | Talk 21:36, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Weasel words and other changes[edit]

Rev of Bru, please read weasel words and you will see this article to be full of them: e.g. Many historians - how many (many implies a majority if no reference point is given).

AD and CE are different? I fail to see how. Leaving aside the arguments about usage, they are absolutely identical in their reckoning of years.

I changed skeptical to doubtful. These words are equivalent in the current context. However, skeptical is American English whereas doubtful is neutral. This was my reason for changing it. I'm reverting it to doubtful, but what was your reason for reverting to skeptical?

At one point I replaced undecideable, a very clumsy word that doesn't appear in most dictionaries (e.g. this one). I see it has also been reverted. Can we come up with something else please? Arcturus 22:13, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Arcturus, that you fail to see how AD and CE are different does not mean they are not different, it only means that you do not see the difference. The difference is this: "CE" in no way suggests that Jesus is Lord. Many people consider this a very important difference. By the way, I am unhappy with both skeptical and doubtful (the former suggests a general attitude and if we have to choose, is better than doubtful) -- people who take a purely naturalistic approach do not "doubt" that miracles take place, they flat out reject their miraculous nature. Slrubenstein | Talk 22:19, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I have contributed to the debate about AD vs. CE. I am, therefore, aware of all the arguments and the differences. In fact, they are identical. CE notation is just another name for AD notation (or vice versa if you like). It placates those, who for various reasons, object to AD. The one has not been derived from the other. To make such a claim would be analogous to stating that Myanmar had been derived from Burma.

Skeptical, doubtful.. what might be better? Arcturus 22:36, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)

OK, I see you've changed it - nice one. Arcturus 22:42, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)
CE/ AD : "Leaving aside the question of usage" - if you DONT leave aside the question of useage, you will see why they are different. As Slrubstein says, one presumes (and accepts :P ) that Jesus is lord. That is the difference.The Rev of Bru
There may be better examples than the one I've given (Burma/Myanmar) but it does demonstrate the futility of your argument; Burma [BC/AD] and Myanmar [CE/BCE] are obviously the same thing but the military junta of Burma [militant non-christians, the PC brigade etc] don't like the designation Burma [BC/AD], so they call it Myanmar [CE/BCE] and think that in so doing it changes the nature of it. I'm sorry, but I'm not going to debate any further with people who are naive enough to think that two identical things are different simply because they are called something different. Arcturus 21:46, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)


Rev of Bru, do you want to take this to mediation? You revert what I write, you refuse to explain why, and you refuse to respond to my explanations. This is inappropriate behavior. Slrubenstein | Talk 18:42, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I see it as you reverting what I write. What exactly is wrong with the passage you keep reverting? As far as I can see, you are violating NPOV by putting a slant on the article. MOST people have not investigated one way or the other the evidence, lack of, surrounding the existence of the character Jesus Christ. It is not correct to say that they accept it; they simply presume it.The Rev of Bru
Additional: I explained why this was the first time it was added. It is not true to say I refuse to explain why, I simply have not written the same thing several times. What is inappropriate behaviour is reverting valid edits to reflect a slanted, biased POV.The Rev of Bru
Additional 2 - You did not respond to the earlier discussion on the subject either, simply stating 'you're wrong.'The Rev of Bru

This is what I wrote: "Although most religious and secular scholars accept the existence of Jesus, a number of historians have seriously questioned whether Jesus ever really lived and find the question of his existence undecideable by historical means alone." Now, please explain what "slanted, biased POV" is expressed in this sentence? Slrubenstein | Talk 19:29, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)

This is what I wrote: . A number of historians have seriously questioned whether Jesus ever really lived, and while most religious and secular scholars presume his existence, many find the question of his existence undecideable by historical means alone. However, ancient historical and mythological figures are often portrayed only from references written centuries after their deaths.. You keep reverting this with no explanation. This paragraph is more explanatory, less POV (secular scholars don't in general bother to investigate whether or not there was a historical Jesus, but those who do usually, by a gret margin, conclude that there is no reason to think that he did exist (Which, before you start, is not the same as concluding that he definitely did not exist.) Secular scholars and scholars of other religions DONT accept his existence, they simply do not question it. That is the nub of the argument. I am sorry if this was not made clear earlier, I thought several of the edits mentioned it. Sometimes they are too cryptic. Making it clearer : the problem is with the first phrase, not the rest of it.The Rev of Bru

  • I do not find a large difference between the two, however --JimWae 19:58, 2005 Apr 30 (UTC)
    • many (non-Christian) religious scholars might NOT accept his existence
    • not only those who seriously question it might find it undecideable by historical means alone, many religious scholars (even Christian ones) might also

Jim, I appreciate your desire to compromise, but I have the same problem with what you wrote as with the earlier version. There are two positions being represented here -- some think he didn't exist, some do. In the version you came up with, the second position was placed in the middle of the first position (in other words, the sentence opens by saying some don't think he existed, then saying some do, then saying some don't). I just think this is poor style. There are two positions. Express each of them -- once. I do not care in what order (in other words, I do not care if it says "Although most religious and secular scholars accept the existence of Jesus, a number of historians have seriously questioned whether Jesus ever really lived and find the question of his existence undecideable by historical means alone." OR "A number of historians have seriously questioned whether Jesus ever really lived and find the question of his existence undecideable by historical means alone, although most religious and secular scholars accept the existence of Jesus." But represent one position, then the other -- not one position, then the other, then the first one again! Slrubenstein | Talk 22:03, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I have no problem with the compromise version JimWae just came up with. I hope Rev of Bru feels the same way. Thanks, Jim. Slrubenstein | Talk 23:56, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I have no problem with the word, phraseology or sentence order. I have a problem with the misleading word 'accept.' And also very much with the completely misleading phrase 'do not doubt.' This implies they are convinced it is true. Change to 'do not Question'? That would be suitably NPOV.The Rev of Bru
A request for mediation was filed in regard to a dispute. It was answered by mediator Stevertigo, talk

Hoping to resolve this: Accept is a common word but it has connotations which are not apparent/ used by everyone.
Accept : To regard as proper, usual, or right / To regard as true; believe in:
Presume : To take for granted as being true in the absence of proof to the contrary
The Rev of Bru

Given these definitions, "accept" is clearly the more appropriate word. For you to insist on "presume" is simply an example of POV warrioring. You refuse to accept the fact that many scholars disagree with you. Slrubenstein | Talk 17:48, 1 May 2005 (UTC) Your POV is showing. There is no way that an honest scholar should believe in things without any evidence. Stop pushing your POV. List these scholars. I have requested that you do so on many occasions. I provided a list of several secular scholars who feel the evidence does not suggest a physical character. You have yet to name any secular scholars. You have the POV issue.The Rev of Bru

You are lying. Your list of "secular scholars" is mostly crap -- a German teacher, geologist, and mechanical engineer may be scholars of German, geology, and mechanical engineering, but they are not scholars of NT history. Moreover, I provided you with a list of the top NT scholars in the world. I explained that they are critical scholars, and I explained what a critical scholar is. My POV is this: if I want to know what scholars think, I look at scholars and see what they think. This is precisely the "POV" editors of an encyclopedia must have. Your POV on the other hand is this: you read books, and any book that supports your preconceived beliefs you call "scholarship," and any book that challenges your preconceived beliefs you dismiss. this is precisely not the POV that an encyclopedia should have. Slrubenstein | Talk 19:39, 1 May 2005 (UTC)

You have no evidence that Sanders, Fredriksen, Bartman, Vermes, or Crossan never questioned whether Jesus existed or not. Indeed, their books reveal that they have considered this question. Slrubenstein | Talk 19:46, 1 May 2005 (UTC)

I have been thinking more about JimWae's compromise. Although initially I liked it, I now think that the phrase "no doubt" is inappropriate. We do not know for sure whether any of the major historians who accept Jesus' existence have no doubts. No doubts suggests a dogmatism I think historians universally eschew. Even historians who firmly believe that Jesus exist admit that it is possible that he didn't. Slrubenstein | Talk 23:14, 1 May 2005 (UTC)

I have protected the page, to settle the mediation matter between Slrubenstein and Rev of Bru at Wikipedia:Requests for mediation/SV:SR-Rob, and to coordinate an appropriate compromise here on talk. Regards to all. -SV|t 23:38, 1 May 2005 (UTC)


I was asked to comment on this yesterday; sorry for the delay. I know nothing about the specific topic, but regarding the issue of scholarship, this is an academic subject, and therefore the sources deemed authoritative for Wikipedia must be academic sources, by which I mean a person holding a relevant academic position in a recognized university, or someone who has held such a position for a significant period of time, and who is publishing on this topic in peer-reviewed journals or whose books on this topic have been published by an academic/university press. The issue of peer review is the crucial one. The distinction between religious and secular scholars is irrelevant, in my view: the point is to survey peer-reviewed academic opinion, regardless of the personal spiritual beliefs of the academics in question. SlimVirgin (talk) 22:46, May 2, 2005 (UTC)

At odds with other Jews. . .[edit]

I was the one who started "Jesus is not a Jew". After some reading and dialogue with other Christians, I've come to the conclusion that "Jews" throughout are not nearly as homogenous as I initially thought. When he said "You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him.... He who is of God hears the words of God; the reason why you do not hear them is you are not of God", was his attack exclusively directed at the Jews who lived by the Talmud? According to some interpretations I've read, this was because he saw in them a distortion of the Torah, and the supposedly-false idea of the Talmud that "the Chosen People" applied to Jews only?

The Talmud was written 500 years after the time of Jesus, and the idea that the Jews are "the Chosen People" comes straight from the Bible. Jayjg (talk) 16:12, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
"Pharisees" apparently have much to do with "Talmudists" (ancestors I guess, unless they were called Talmudists back then). According to one Christian article I read (which was unfortunately in Finnish), the idea of a "Chosen People" in the bible would have meant "God's people", good people, people who followed their way of goodness and truth (though it becomes a mystery, why God ordered Abraham's offspring to be circumcized). It also suggests that the Talmudist "sects" distorted this idea into a matter of ancestry. Sorry I don't have anything in English to show you, but what does this interpretation look like to you folks? Also, I apologize for my earlier stubborness. --Threadstarter
Genesis is pretty clear that is all has to do with descent, that's not something invented by "Talmudist sects"; read the verses provided below. Jayjg (talk) 20:23, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
Also, the fact that one Jew is critical of other Jews does not mean that the critic was not Jewish. Slrubenstein | Talk 18:04, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
Revisiting the issue of definition of "Jewish", I recently found this page linked from wikipedia: - On one hand this seems like non-true anti-Zionist propaganda, based on my conclusion that it assumes Arthur Koestler's theory of Askenazi-jews as a fact, though it's in reality just a theory. But I can't see much anti-semitism on, considering it features articles friendly to anti-Zionistic Jews. --Threadstarter
For the origins of the idea of "Chosen People," see Genesis 12:2, 15:18-21, 17:1-22 (especially 14!), 22: 16-18, 26:2-5, 28:13-15; Exodus 3:14-22. Slrubenstein | Talk 19:15, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

Yes, it's been a while since I read those - harsh evidence. But then again, Jesus seems to have disagreed with the Pharisees/Talmudists on the (remaining) validness of these texts. Otherwise, why the "You are of your father the devil..."? --Threadstarter

Don't ask me! The fact is, Jews couldn't care less about quotes like that since we know they are not true. Also, it could just be an idiomatic saying. I have said "Go to hell" or "I'll kill you" to others withougt literally meaning it, but just to signal that I was angry about something. Also, how do you know Jesus even said this? Slrubenstein | Talk 16:07, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps it was because they didn't believe in the possibility of redemption for everyone, or maybe I'm mistaken. In any case, he said it to the Jews who didn't believe what he said. Why would John 8:44 be less true than everything else in the NT? --Threadstarter
Jesus doesn't appear to have disagreed with the validity of those texts, though later views (particularly of Paul) do. Jesus was quite clear that his self-proclaimed mission was only to Jews, and he called non-Jews "dogs". As for that "father the devil" sentence, the likelihood that Jesus actually said that is quite low. Jayjg (talk) 17:47, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
He called non-Jews "dogs"? And how could any Christian ever agree with this (since the whole idea of Christianity has it that Jesus promised redemption to Gentiles as well). And what about when Jesus said to the gentile on the next cross, in Luke 23:43 "Already today we shall be in together in the paradise"? --Threadstarter
Yes, he called non-Jews dogs: Mark 7:27. As for why Christianity's beliefs differ so strongly from Jesus' words, you'll have to work that out on your own. In any event, that's not what Talk: pages are for; if you have any specific issues with article content please don't hesitate to bring them up. Jayjg (talk) 18:59, 4 May 2005 (UTC)

more than 12 apostles in gospels/acts[edit]

1. Shimon bar Yona [Mt16:17] or Shimon bar Yochanan [Jn1:42] 2. Yaqov son of Zebedee and his brother: 3. Yochanan (together called Boanerges the Thunder Brothers) 4. Andreas brother of Shimon, disciple of John the Baptist [Jn1:35,40] 5. Philippos from Bathesda 6. Bartholomaios 7. Maththaios, a tax collector 8. Toma (the twin) 9. James son of Alpheus 10. Thaddaios [Mk3:18,Mt10:3 majority] 11. Judas son of James [Lk6:16,Ac1:13] or Judas not Skariotes [Jn14:22] 12. Lebbeus [Mk3:18,Mt10:3 v.l.] 13. Shimon the Zealot [Lk6:15] 14. Judas Skariotes (the assassin)

John's Gospel says Jesus said the Father is the one true God[edit]

John 17:3. Father is the one true God; Jesus is the one sent by God, the Messiah

Jesus didn't claim to be God; The Gospels don't claim Jesus is God; The Letters of Paul don't claim Jesus is God. It's a later proclamation of the Church of Rome, its source is the gnostics who where the first to claim that Jesus was God and the first to invent the extra-biblical concept of the Trinity

Sorry but you are mistaken. You need to look at all the verses that are pro and con "Jesus being God", then weigh it up. In some verses Jesus is subservient to the Father; in some verses he is equal with the Father e.g. "If you have seen me, you have seen the Father". RossNixon 10:04, 5 May 2005 (UTC)
I did this once. It turned out to be inconclusive. What's more relevant is what his immediate followers taught, based upon their beliefs. It appears that their teachings were quickly obliterated by Paulinism, and that they were almost completely annihilated as a group during the destruction of Jerusalem. Later on, the increasingly organized adopted Trinitarianism and excommunicated anyone who disagreed with the doctrine of homoousis (see Nicaea).
I did this once. It turned out to be inconclusive. What's more relevant is what his immediate followers taught, based upon their beliefs. It appears that their teachings were quickly obliterated by Paulinism, and that they were almost completely annihilated as a group during the destruction of Jerusalem. Later on, the increasingly organized adopted Trinitarianism and excommunicated anyone who disagreed with the doctrine of homoousis (see Nicene Creed). The long and short of it is that the earliest extant writings of non-Paulinists do not contain any mention of Trinitarianism nor of Jesus' supposèd divinity. Heavy tomes have been written, in fact, about the overwhelming evidence that the vaguely trinitarianist ideas in the earliest writings are actually later insertions. If they are, I'm not of the school of thought that they are deliberate attempts to heavy-handedly alter the texts in order to enforce dogma, but rather that they were originally included as "notes" to assist the reader in understanding the "true meaning" of the text (obviously, according to the POV of the inserter of such notes). This is seen in numerous places even in the 1611 Authorized Version, as well, where notes are inserted into the text in order to guide the reader to a Christian understanding of the text. A subtler form of POVizing translations can be seen in the translation of certain names or words in some places, and not in others. So, for example, in some places mashiach is translated as "annointed", and in other places it's simply transliterated as Messiah, all according to the Christian understanding of which is the appropriate reading. That said, the idea that a poll of Jesus is God vs. Jesus is not God passages is going to leave you with a long list in both columns, and ultimately you'll figure out, some writers have a clear bias one way, and others have a clear bias the other way...and then you're going to eventually realize that you've wasted your time, because (1) your lists ultimately prove nothing relevant to your original query and (2) the whole thing is a matter of interpretations: yours, the writers, the witnesses, etc. Have fun tho. It's a good way to spend a few weeks, and you may learn something you didn't know before.  :-) Tomer TALK 21:03, May 8, 2005 (UTC)
One point to note. Where Jesus is shown to be subservient to the Father; this does not necessarily make him not equal to God. He accepted a different role. (Much like when a wife accepts a subservient role to a husband.) RossNixon 21:02, 9 May 2005 (UTC)

Common Era v. Anno Domini[edit]

User:Arcturus objects to use use of Common Era

You keep reverting ALL changes I make to the Jesus article. Maybe some of these are reverted accidently in your attempts to replace AD with CE. Maybe you just want everything your way all the time - which is it?
Regarding the use of AD as against CE, if you can show me anywhere in the Wikipedia style guidelines that state AD notation is POV then I'll stop using it right now! If you can't, then please stop trying to push your agenda (whatever that might be) into the Jesus article. AD is not POV. To use non-christian dating systems in articles about christianity is nothing short of an insult to the followers of that religion. Have a look at Britannica. They have no problem with AD/BC in their article about Jesus, so why do you? Arcturus 23:16, 7 May 2005 (UTC)

Arcturus has characterized his reverting of my use of Common Era as "reverting vandalism & minor edits"[2]. This is either total misunderstanding of Common Era, or an attempt to disguise his changes

I introduced Common Era on April 19 after discussion on this page (copied between lines below)

... Now, if you want to propose changing all dates to CE/BCE, I have no objection, indeed, I would strongly support that. But if there is a consensus to use the conventional AD/BC, then we should follow that convention. I see no point to adding a discussion of BC/CE in the introduction. As I said, if you want to change all dates to BCE/CE I don't object but youshould see what other people think, first. As for your other comments, some are reasonable and I will try to make changes, in the spirit of compromise. Slrubenstein | Talk 19:56, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I think JimWae's changes were generally for the better. Jayjg (talk) 20:06, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
How about now? Why do you think it is better to have a discussion of CE dating system in the introdcution? Slrubenstein | Talk 20:08, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The dating system is the Anno Domini system, NOT the CE system! What is the problem with stating Anno Domini system (correctly)?

If dating system is irrelevant, fine, but if not, its the Anno Domini system, not the CE.

Hey, I am just replying to JimWae. But the argument against AD is that it violates our NPOV policy. Many editors and readers of Wikipedia do not consider Jesus to be their "lord." To use AD is to imply that according to Wikipedia Jesus really was/is the Lord -- a Christian POV. Slrubenstein | Talk 20:14, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I don't intend to do any editing of this article, but I'd like to say that it's POV and inappropriate to use BC/AD, because as Slrubenstein says, it implies that Jesus really was someone by whom dates ought to be set, whereas the Wikipedia article should only describe who says what about him, but should not take a side; using BC/AD not only takes a side, but does so in an implicit, almost structural way. SlimVirgin (talk) 20:55, Apr 19, 2005 (UTC)
I am not suggesting using the AD dating system in the article, I am saying that the dating system which used the date arbitrarily assigned to Jesus' birth is the AD system. I agree that using the CE system for dates is preferable. The Rev of Bru
I agree. Jayjg (talk) 21:18, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

CE and AD are not really equivalent[edit]

On April 25 this was surreptitiously changed by an anonymous editor who also added clear proselytizations - which were later deleted, but not the AD/CE change until I redid that recently

CE & AD are not equivalent (as Arcturus has said in his edits) -- they may be the same in extension (semantics), but not in intension. JimWae 02:28, 2005 May 8 (UTC)

Exactly. The BC/AD system intends to inculate readers the beliefs that the Jewish rabbi Jesus is in fact Jesus the messiah, Jesus the Christ, Jesus the song of God, and Jesus a part of the Godhead itself. That is why over the last fifty years an increasing number of Bible scholars - including many Christians - have stopped using this system when writing academic articles, but feel free to use it in articles written from a religious Christian point of view. RK 20:57, May 8, 2005 (UTC)

The Jesus article is NOT an article about Christianity, it is an article about Jesus in as NPOV as possible. There are already numerous POV articles on Jesus: Christian views of Jesus, Religious perspectives on Jesus, New Testament view on Jesus' life, Christianity and who knows how many other near-duplications. There is, it turns out, also a Jewish view of Jesus, but not yet an Atheist views of Jesus, Mormon view of Jesus, Unitarian views of Jesus :)

Why would use of Common Era be an insult to the followers of "that religion" - unless it offends them that not everyone worships Jesus as Lord? Consider how those (the majority) who do not take Jesus as "the Lord" must consider seeing Anno Domini every time they see a reference to the calendar.

I think it does offend some people in precisely this manner. There's probably no use in discussing things with such people. However, to be fair, I think that most Christians don't see the BC/AD dating system in this way at all. It has been used so often that it is part of common English useage; therefore they don't see it as proselytizing or condescending. Since they do not mean to insult, we should not take it as an insult. Nonetheless, there is no compelling need to use the traditional Chrisitian AD/BC system, and a great many reasons to use the non-partisan BCE/CE system. I think that many readers are angrilly reacting to this change not because they want to proselytize, but because they (incorrectly) see this change as being anti-Christian. They would be wrong, but I do want to be sensitive to their feelings. RK 20:57, May 8, 2005 (UTC)

Notice AD & BC are used when discussing the Anno Domini system developed by Dionysius Exiguus. It is particularly important in the Jesus article, perhaps more than in any other, to use Common Era to avoid the appearance of POV endorsement that Jesus is Lord.

To reiterate: The Jesus article is not an article about Christianity, it is an article about Jesus done as neutrally as possible.--JimWae 02:28, 2005 May 8 (UTC)

Who cares! As long as the numbers coincide, there can be no confusion. Whoever is offended by either dating description is either very "thin skinned" or ultra-pedantic. As a born-again Christian, I concede that CE is superior to AD; as Jesus was probably born around 5 BCE anyway. RossNixon 04:54, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
That is simply false, and dangerous close to an ad homenim criticism. We have explained in detail the reasons why the traditional Christian dating system is not a good idea, and your rejection of all these reasons as merely being "thin skinned" reveals that so far you refuse to even take the discussion seriously. RK 20:57, May 8, 2005 (UTC)
FWIW I vote in favor of keeping it AD for the simple reason that it's by far the more common of the two, and thus is familiar to more readers. Not everybody knows what CE refers to even if the dating systems are similar. The BC/AD system is well known though, and since this is an encyclopedia geared toward making information accessible to wide audiences, that's the system that should be used. As to JimWae's whines that AD is somehow a POV since it refers to Jesus, it's just plain silly. The months of July and August refer to Julius and Augustus Caesar yet nobody's demanding we change them for giving undue favoritism to their namesakes, so why change the BC/AD dating system due to its namesake being Jesus? In fact, one could reasonably argue that you are espousing a POV yourself that's aimed at singling out and excluding Jesus' name from a widely accepted and almost universally used dating system while not caring one wit about other dating systems that are based on other significant figures of history. Rangerdude 06:34, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
- RD, your continued use of ad hominems towards me, whenever we disagree, speaks volumes about your character--JimWae 04:35, 2005 May 9 (UTC)
I'm not one of the usual editors who hangs out here, but this is something important to me. BCE/CE is the current prefered notation for people doing academic writing in history, archaelogy, world literature, etc. I just proofread a book of Byzantine archaeology, a book about Christian churches, and everything was C.E. It just plain looks more professional. A.D. looks old-fashioned. If we want to be taken seriously, we should write to a professional standard. Zora 08:25, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
Rangedude, for writings that violates our NPOV policy, being "more common" doesn't cut it as a reason. Many common beliefs and practices have no place in an encyclopedia. RK 20:57, May 8, 2005 (UTC)

Quote from Wikipwedia manual of style Eras[edit]

Both the BCE/CE era names and the BC/AD era names are acceptable, but be consistent within an article. Normally you should use plain numbers for years in the Common Era, but when events span the start of the Common Era, use AD or CE for the date at the end of the range (note that AD precedes the date and CE follows it). For example, 1 BCAD 1 or 1 BCE1 CE.

No mention of POV there. Nor does it say either era is acceptable, except in articles about religion. CE/BCE is not well known outside of America, though it does get used in some non-American academic circles. To say that CE looks more professional than AD is a quite extraordinary claim, and as for writing a professional article, this current article is about as far from professional as you can get - at the moment. JimWae says this is not an article about Christianity. However, line one states Jesus, also known as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus the Nazarene, is the central figure in Christianity and is considered an important prophet in Islam.. So it's an article about the central figure in Christianity then.
This article was commenced by a contributor who used BC/AD. This was used right up to a short time ago when someone unilaterally decided to change it. Of course we will never achieve agreement on this point - views are too entrenched. To state usage of AD/BC is POV shows a complete lack of understanding of what Wikipedia policy on POV is all about. Furthermore, to argue that AD and CE are diffent is also a strange claim; they are two names for the same thing. As I've noted earlier in this debate, it's like claiming Burma and Myanmar are two different countries.
The most disturbing thing about CE notation, from my point-of-view, is that it was brought in on the PC bandwagon.
Quote by JimWae It is particularly important in the Jesus article, perhaps more than in any other, to use Common Era to avoid the appearance of POV endorsement that Jesus is Lord.. Like I say, missing the point completely about POV/NPOV. Use of AD/BC endorses nothing. It is a worldwide date-naming standard that everyone understands. I vote to use it in this article. I also suggest that until the matter is finally resolved we revert to the status quo; AD/BC has been used in this article right up to a few days ago. Arcturus 09:16, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
And another thing JimWae - you changed AD to CE after a "discussion" on 19 April lasting 29 minutes and involving yourself and about four other contributors. Hardly a consensus! For that reason alone it should be reverted. Arcturus 09:30, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

Arcturus is being churlish. Although he defends BC and AD, he has not real criticism of BCE and CE. In any event, several people have agreed that BC and CE is more appropriate. Five people against one certainly is good reason to make a change. But even if there were no discussion, the change is fully justified because AD violates our NPOV policy. Earlier, Arcturtus wrote "if you can show me anywhere in the Wikipedia style guidelines that state AD notation is POV then I'll stop using it right now!" which is either woefully ignorant or disingenuous. Wikipedia has article on Naziism, Race, the Holocauts, Fascism -- and in each of these articles NPOV has been an issue at one point or another. An encyclopedia as expansive and inclusive as Wikipedia cannot have a specific policy on every specific phrase that comes up in Wikipedia. It is absurd to think that our NPOV policy has to catelogue all conceivable violations of NPOV. No, a policy is general so it can be applied to a variety of cases. AD reflects the views of a particular group, therefore it is POV, period. AD means Anno Domini means Our Lord means Jesus is our Lord. There are many people who do not consider Jesus their lord, do not use the terms BC and AD, and object to using BC and AD in secular works. Of course I fully understand why Christian works would use BC and AD. Earlier Arcturus claims that an article about Christianity should use AD — another patently absurd claim. First, this is not an article about Christianity, it is an article of Jesus, a character (real or fictional) of interest to Christians, Muslims, Jews, as well as secular/critical historians. Second, even if this were the article on Christianity (i.e., Christianity) I would argue that we should use NPOV terms like BCE and CE. Surely, you do not think that in the article on Hitler, we should take Hitler's point of view? Similarly, an article on Christianity should not take a Christian point of view — it should provide as many various views as are important, in an NPOV way. Slrubenstein | Talk 17:15, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

I concur. If he has substantial reasons with a logical argument, let him present this logic. RK 21:03, May 8, 2005 (UTC)

Arcturus, first: stop ignoring the discussion on this page. Second: stop reverting when you are in the minority. See if you can change the minds of others. Also, familiarize yourself with our NPOV policy, as you keep violating it. Finally, do not claim I have provided no explanation when I have provided considerable explanation. Slrubenstein | Talk 17:20, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

Arcturus is correct. There was no legitimate basis per wikipedia policy or common usage for JimWae to change it from BC/AD to BCE/CE. When somebody makes a unilateral change like that it is incumbent upon them to justify it and make a solid case for doing so. JimWae simply did not do that and instead inserted his own personal belief that BC/AD was somehow POV even though Wikipedia policy clearly indicates that its use is perfectly fine. That policy is what we have to go by - not JimWae's POV opinion that AD is non-neutral. Not your POV opinion that AD is non-neutral. But wikipedia's policy, which says AD is just fine as it is. Nor is it "five people against one" as you claim. I have certainly weighed in favoring BC/AD, as have several others who have either commented on it or reverted JimWae's unnecessary edits. Rangerdude 17:30, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
The burden of proof for establishing good reason to make a change lies with the proponents of a change. That burden has not been met. Gene Nygaard 18:57, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
Not at all. If that were the case, we wouldn't have many edits on Wikipedia articles. As for the "burden of proof", it would like on those people who claim that dating everything in history based on the idea that Jesus is God and the messiah is somehow not a Christian concept, which I would imagine is impossible. Please re-read the reasons that scholars are no longer using the traditional Christian terminology. RK 21:03, May 8, 2005 (UTC)

Rangerdude, This is not about JimWae's individual point of view. JimWae, Jayjg, SlimVirgin, Rev of Bru, and I all agree that BCE/CE is better. Even if you agree with Arcturus, you are still in a minority. But this is not just about numbers, this is about reasons. I provided a lengthy explanation above, and you have not even responded to it. Please explain how calling 2005 or any other date "the year of our Lord" is neutral? As for Gene Nygaard, the "burden of proof" has been met, through the explanations provided by myself, JimWae, Jayjg, Slim Virgin, and Rev of Bru. Here you simply assert your own opinion. Don't use a "burden of proof" argument to excuse your own ignorance or laziness — if you have good reasons for using AD, and a response to my explanation above, provide it. If you do not, your case is weak. Slrubenstein | Talk 19:06, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

Slrubenstein - You and others may favor BCE/CE, but there are also persons who disagree with you and wikipedia's consensus policies oblige you to at minimum take that fact into consideration. One could also reasonably contest your characterization of the other position being in the minority when the entire history of changes to this article is taken into consideration. Just glancing over the last week or so I see at least four different editors who have attempted to restore part or all of the original BC/AD designation. Each time they have been reverted by one of only two people: you or JimWae. You are indeed correct that this is about reasons though, and as I have noted, none of the reasons given thus far rise to a sufficient level to merit your change. Why? Because your reasons all revolve around your belief that BCE/CE is more "neutral" than BC/AD, yet this finding is in conflict with Wikipedia's style guide that explicitly says "Both the BCE/CE era names and the BC/AD era names are acceptable" so long as the same one is used throughout the article. IOW, this issue has already been decided elsewhere for wikipedia in general and that decision did not give any advantage or favor to one over the other. That you, JimWae, and a handful of others believe favor should be given to BCE/CE over BC/AD, thus justifying your proposed change, is in conflict with the remainder of wikipedia, which deems that no such preference should be given to one over the other. That fact deprives you of the dominant justification for your change, and since changes that are made without any legitimate reason are automatically subject to scrutiny, that defaults us back to the original use that existed in this article from its creation: BC/AD. Also, please be mindful of making an excessive number of reversions in 24 hours, Slrubenstein. I have made the limit and will not revert beyond that until after the proper time expires. You, OTOH, have made no less than four reversions between 17:00 and 20:00 today alone. You're currently in excess of wikipedia's reveresion policy, so I suggest that you cease and desist for the time being. Rangerdude 20:01, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

RFC on AD/CE[edit]

Notice I have listed this debate on the Wikipedia:Requests for Comment page. Summary of Debate (read this entire section for details):

  • Some people want to identify dates with BC/AD. One reason is that this is a page about Christianity and to use another way of identifying dates "is nothing short of an insult to the followers of that religion." Another reason is that this system is common.
  • Some people want to identify dates with BCE/CE. They contend that BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini=Year of Our Lord) are POV, and that BCE (Before the Common Era) and CE (Common Era) are NPOV. They also claim that this manner of identifying dates is becoming more and more common and has been embraced by many scholars and non-Christians.

Definitely use BCE. It's what historians use. --goethean 19:33, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

Actually that generalization is far from accurate. Historians are known to use both so long as the same style is consistent throughout the article or book. When the sum of scholarly literature (and general literature at that) is examined, BC/AD is still more common than BCE/CE by a long shot. On an article by article basis, it all depends on the writer and source. This is also why Wikipedia's style guide says explicitly that "Both the BCE/CE era names and the BC/AD era names are acceptable" so long as it is consistent within the article. Since wikipedia itself explicitly gives no preference to one over the other, it is inescapably the insertion of a POV to make a change based on the belief that one should take dominance over the other (which is the reason used to justify the proposed change from AD to CE). Rangerdude 20:01, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

Dude, if as you say the policy allows either AD or CE, then you have no ground to stand on. Essentially, If Wikipedia policy accepts both, then there is no strict policy. Put another way, the policy supports JimWae and the rest of us at least as much as it supports you. That means that this dispute has to be decided on other grounds than Wikipedia's style guide. JimWae, I, and others have explained our reasons. You still have none. Slrubenstein | Talk 20:38, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

The style guide accepts either. It's the same as with US/UK spellings. That is to say, keep articles consistent and don't switch between systems. As far as I can tell, this article has used BC/AD for most of its existence, so it will stay like that. There is no good reason, based either in Wikipedia policy or in common sense, why the article should switch to the silly, politically correct BCE/CE system. In addition, if we consider that the type of article in question has some bearing on the matter (and there is a precedent for this if we consider the similar US/UK spelling issue), then an article on Jesus obviously points to the BC/AD system being sensible. Furthermore, as a non-Christian, I would find it kind of groovy if we went back to the ab urbe condita system, or something based on the age of the planet, but that is not happening any time soon; so as long as we use a system based on the birth of Jesus, we might as well call a spade a spade (BC/AD). P.S. I take AD to stand for Anno Domini Christianorum, and don't worry myself any further.  ;) Chameleon 21:13, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
Slrubenstein - you are incorrect about that. The Wikipedia style manual gives preference to neither, yet it is YOUR justification for the change that CE should take precedence over AD on this article, not mine. The argument you and JimWae give asserts and imposes non-neutrality between the two. That conflicts with the neutral treatment of the two given by the style manual. Therefore the justification you use to make your change is invalid. Furthermore, in conflict with your claim that I "still have none" in terms of reasons to keep it AD, I have given several:
  • 1. BC/AD is by far the most commonly used system of dating in the world.
  • 2. BC/AD is more familiar to the average reader of wikipedia and its general audience as an encyclopedia.
  • 3. BC/AD was the original dating system used from the beginning of this article several years ago until JimWae's proposed changes late last month(if it ain't broke, don't fix it).
  • 4. The reasons stated by JimWae and you for changing to BCE/CE endorse the POV that this alternative system is superior to BC/AD, and that is in conflict with the wikipedia style guide's explicit neutrality between the use of the two.
IOW, if you wish to make the change to BCE/CE you need to come up with an NPOV justification. Changing it because you personally think BC/AD is POV and thus inferior when Wikipedia's style guide explicitly treats the two as coequal synonyms is no justification at all. Rangerdude 20:53, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
It is the job of an encyclopedia to educate, and not merely make readers feel comfortable. Given this, your first and second reason do not seem to be compelling. As for reason three, most of our articles started out with kind of formatting, dating system and logic, but over time were improved and refined. In fact, if anything, earlier versions are often flawed. Look, I am not insulted by the BC/AD dating terminology, and if the article retained that system I would not be upset. Nonetheless I feel that the reasons for adopting the newer, historical system are compelling. RK 21:06, May 8, 2005 (UTC)
The first and second reasons Rangerdude gives are very compelling. The job of an encyclopaedia to educate people about what they want to be educated about. It is not our job (particularly as we are NPOV) to educate them about anything any WPians thinks they should be educated about.
The reason they are compelling is because they think of the reader - by which I mean the WP reader (the general public). We are not writing for academics, so what style is or is not preferred by various academic journals (and there's a mixture of styles here) is irrelevant. We do ask ourselves what makes readers most comfortable.
BC/AD notation is, as noted above, by a long long way the most common way of referring to things. So much so, and particularly for this article, that people will wonder why it is not used. That is, using anything else would be tantamount to making a statement rejecting BC/AD - and it is there that we would have NPOV problems.
Also, the established WP practice is that we do not change from BC/AD to BCE/CE notation arbitrarily - which is what will have happened here. Kind regards, jguk 21:11, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

RK - It is our job to educate readers on factual information by facilitating their use through a format that is friendly and readable. It is NOT our job to encourage readers to adopt a less common dating system that a small fraction of WP editors believe to be superior to the standard one for whatever reasons you or anybody else may think. If we use BC/AD there's little doubt that 99.9% of readers who come along will comprehend exactly what it means. When they see the date 12 BC they know that it means 12 years before the year 1, which is traditionally considered the year of Christ's birth. The same cannot be said about the BCE/CE system, which is hardly even known of outside of scholarly circles, and even there its use is a modern phenomenon that's still in the minority. If they have to click on a link to figure out what "CE" means it distracts and detracts away from the ease with which the present article is understood. Seeing as wikipedia is official neutral over which of the two is appropriate, seeing as the original article used BC/AD, and seeing as this system is substantially more familiar to wikipedia's target audience, the concept of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" applies. Right now I have seen little to no compelling reason exists to merit a change, and only blatant POV renderings aimed not at justifying BCE/CE per se but rather passing judgement in favor of its precedence over BC/AD, which as I noted conflicts with wikipedia's official neutrality on the two. Rangerdude 22:07, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

    • As jayjg once said, "Wikipedia should call a spade a spade". [3] Changing BC to BCE will not change the fact that the calender is based on the birth of christ (I have no belief in Jesus, God or any other deity by the way, so don't say I'm biased, as my bias would be to chuck the system and base the calender on the first civilization or something). Also, where does it stop? You do realise of course that every day of the week is named after a god? God of the moon, god of the sun, Thor, Saturn etc. Maybe wikipedia should change all the days of the week to something NPOV? What a great idea. We could have day one, day two... Ok, back to reality. I'm sure you already realise the majority of people use BC/AD, and will likely be confused if they see BCE/CE etc instead. Not to mention, I didn't even know what AD meant until tonight, I did know what BC meant, but I've never cared. You are creating a mountain out of a molehill. I came accross CE earlier today and didn't know what it meant. I say until the norm changes, wikipedians shouldn't waste their time and confuse people. --Silversmith 21:25, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
(after multiple edit conflicts)
  1. I doubt very much that BC/AD is the commonest system; check population distributions, and then look at those countries (and groups of countries) that use other systems. What are the grounds for your claim?
  2. Even if it were, your assumptions about what "the average reader" is familiar with is plucked out of the air; what is your evidence?
  3. What do you mean by "broke"? If enough people want to change it, that's evidence that it is "broke".
  4. When the style guide is neutral, then it's up to the editors on the article to make the choice; you can't use the neutrality of guide against those who want change.
  5. Whether the difference between the dating systems is PoV is in large part dependent upon the context; when the context is religious, as here, then the use of an explicitly religious dating system becomes an issue, even if it isn't in the context of an article on cars or the periodic table.
  6. I'd add that the BCE/CE system is in wide use in the academic and even the popular non-fiction worlds of publishing, so that changing to it need indicate nothing more than that we're following current trends. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 21:28, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

Here is just one of the many google searches which shows a huge number of hits in favour of BC. 3000 BC 3000 BCE--Silversmith 22:19, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

Mel Etitis - Though there's no completely accurate way of calculating use of the two, a simple informal google test indicates that BC/AD is more common by far. The search terms BC and AD get over 7.5 million hits versus about 1 million for CE and BCE. Spelled out, "Anno Domini" gets 268,000 hits and "Before Christ" gets 271,000 hits. "Before the Common Era" gets only 19,000 and "Common Era" gets 89,000, of which most have nothing to do with the dating system. Use a little common sense here. If you walked up to the average person on the street and said "X happened 366 million years before the common era" a good number of them would say "what the hell are you talking about?" If you asked the same thing saying "Before Christ" though, 99 out of 100 would comprehend. Since this encyclopedia is explicitly geared to the average person, that's the terminology we should probably use. Furthermore, that "enough people want to change it" is far from the case here. If you view the article's history you will quickly find that almost every single edit to insert or reinsert CE/BCE is made by one of two different editors. That's hardly a mandate by any means, and since both of those editors have been reinserting it by way of reversions that exceed 3, 4, or even 5 in less than 24 hours, it's probably a strong indicator that a very small number of people are trying to gatekeep this article at the expense of neutrality and wikipedia's open-edit policies in deference to their own personal points of view. Rangerdude 22:07, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

Weighing in. I actually dislike the BCE/CE notation since, as was referred to obliquely earlier, by one of the more "churlish" chatters here, it is the result of an attempt at social engineering, specifically designed to de-Christianize the calendar, rather than an actual honest attempt at creating a universally unoffensive dating system. Such a system does exist: in the computer world, time began at midnight Jan. 1, 1970. I'm surprised that nobody has yet bothered to threaten to make a point by redating everything using BTY/YFN notation, a much more NPOV, from the perspective of offending anyone, system. For example, I was born April 15, in 33 BTY. Computer time started at midnight Jan. 1, 35 BTY. The next US presidential elections are slated for 3 YFN, and the Chinese are hoping to have the Olympics in Beijing in 3 YFN as well. I'm not sure yet where they'll be in 7 YFN tho. THAT SAID, I don't care one way or another whether BCE/CE or BC/AD is used, as long as it's done so consistently, especially within an article. I do, however, think it's incredibly "bad foam" (cf. Cap'n Hook in the movie Hook) to go around from one article to the next changing back and forth between the two notations, as several users (usually anonymous cowards) seem to have a penchant for doing. It does not "improve" the articles, all it does is demonstrate the POV of the person who does it. As for whether either term is more or less scholarly, that's a matter of opinion; in my experience, people who use BCE/CE because they believe it to be more "scholarly" are generally vainglorious dweebs. OTOH, people who insist that BC/AD is "better" are wrong as well. Everyone should use the only relevant system: that by which this year is 5765. Now. Stop calling each other names, shake hands, and make it all BCE/CE, since the only places in this article where such notation is used, either BC/AD or BCE/CE, it is nonsensical to use BC/AD. Herod tried to kill Jesus, yet he died 4 years BC. This makes no sense. Tomer TALK 21:44, May 8, 2005 (UTC)
This discussion really belongs on the Talk:Political correctness page becauase it's too Christo-centric. Nobs 22:01, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
Googling gives you a set of statistics heavily weighted by Internet use — thus neatly excluding vast areas of the world, with vast populations, inclusing most of Africa, China, India, the Middle East, etc. And Tomer makes a very good point about the internal absurdities caused by the "BC" system in this article. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 22:24, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
I've yet to see you propose a better means of estimating the use of varying dating systems. As for google's use as an informal measure, one thing that google does excel in is estimating use in English language speaking countries. BC/AD is overwhelmingly the preference for dates given in the English language and since this article is in the English section of wikipedia, it would make little sense to use a Chinese or Arabic language dating system. Rangerdude 22:33, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
You have made no showing of a significant different in usage outside the internet.
Why do you insist on a point of view that "Common Era" would be the proper terminology, yet on the other hand you seem hell-bent of proving that it is not a "common era" with your comments about "vast populations" in Africa and Asia not using it?
A great many people who use another calendar for some purposes also use the Gregorian/Julian calendar for other purposes. Gene Nygaard 04:42, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
  1. Er, well, actually that was exactly what I did in my first comment above. Why, though, have you suddenly switched to talking about English-speaking countries? And are you including India in that category? Also, why do you prefer the measure of Internet use rather than printed-book use?
  2. There are also the other, positive points, which you haven't addressed. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 22:40, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

You guys are going over old ground. See Dechristenization Movement and the New Calender Nobs 22:43, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

Mel - Actually, no. You didn't give us any better estimate of dating systems in your first comment. You simply asserted your position to be so and dismissed all others. Quod gratis asseritur, buddy. As for English speaking countries, their use of the English language is about as broad a measure as one can get for determining the most commonly used dating system in the English language for an encyclopedia written in English. If you're so keen on other dating systems, make your edits as appropriate on the Jesus article here Rangerdude 22:58, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

I see; so what does "check population distributions, and then look at those countries (and groups of countries) that use other systems" mean to you? Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 23:01, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
    • So, I suppose it doesn't matter that the Encyclopedia Britannica uses BC/AD?

[4] [5] And, looking on Italian google, searching only pages in Italian, you get thousands more for BC than BCE. 3000 BC 3000 BCE Also, as for books not internet, here are just a few I have looked at: Glass, 5,000 years - Hugh Tait. Glass Source Book - Jo Marshall. The Splendor of Ethnic Jewelry - France Borel. Quotes:

  1. "A group of early Mediterranean coreformed vessels...About 550-400 B.C."
  2. "All Ptolemaic period, about 1st cntury B.C."
  3. "Glass ear ornaments of New Kingdom date (about 1375-1150 B.C)."

I've yet to see any proof that BCE/CE is more common. --Silversmith 23:28, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

It may not be more common (that would make sense, actually), however, it is now the prefered method in the professional scholarship. El_C 02:29, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
It means a proposed yet unsubstantiated methodology with no validating test, Mel. As an aside, wouldn't your complaint against the use of BC/AD, viz. that other cultures don't use it, also exhibit a transitive relationship of application to BCE/CE, being that BCE/CE is substantially less common than BC/AD where it is used? IOW, you claim that BC/AD should be dropped due to lack of use in China etc. yet your proposed solution is even more obscure and less common. Strange. Rangerdude 23:33, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

I pulled some books off my shelf to see which dating system is commonly used by scholars and historians who have written on the topic of Jesus. Geza Vermes, not a Christian, uses BC/AD. N.T. Wright, who is a Christian, also uses BC/AD, however, he has expressed that some editors of his books have required him to use BCE/CE and that he did not feel it was a big deal to do so. Personally, I prefer BCE/CE in most cases, as it sounds more neutral to my nonChristian ears. However, since both dating systems are acceptable to Wikipedia, and scholars do in fact use both, if any article is going to use BC/AD, this one on Jesus is probably the most appropriate place to use it. --MPerel ( talk | contrib) 03:24, May 9, 2005 (UTC)

  • There are 2 separate questions here--JimWae 04:21, 2005 May 9 (UTC)
    1. Is Common Era preferable for all wikipedia articles?
    2. Is Common Era preferable for the Jesus article?
  • For MOST articles it might make little significant difference, but to repeatedly use the system that takes Jesus to be "the Lord" undermines any attempt to be truly NPOV in the Jesus article.
  • It is obvious that it means a great deal to some people that this particular article use AD, many of these same people often anonymously, or without comment, or with offensive or misleading comments add additional obvious proselytizing at the same time (or more than one of the above). All the more reason to see that use of AD is part of an agenda that undermines NPOV on this particular article.
  • It does not matter which is more common -- What matters is that this particular article has special problems with appearing neutral.
  • For those unlearned in what Common Era is - a partial explanation & the appropriate links are already included in the same paragraph & even the same sentence in which it is introduced.
  • The article is for people of all religious & non-religious persuasions. How can non-Christians (the majority in the world) read the article & not conclude that allowing hidden references to statements that Jesus is Lord is a subtle way of presenting POV?
  • Obviously there are benefits to everyone using the same calendar. It should not be a requirement that non-Christain cultures accept having "Jesus is Lord" forced upon them simply because they desire to has a universal calendar. Those who desire to force this on others are reprehensible bullies in my book - and have a warped view of Jesus too, if they think he would condone such.
Because of actual usage, insisting on CE/BCE is much more a case of pushing a particular point of view than AD/BC is. Gene Nygaard 04:42, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Note that my first change to Common Era stood unmolested for a full week - until it was surreptitiously changed by an anonymouse proselytizer. My second edit to Common Era was changed by Arcturus under false pretenses of reverting vandalism --JimWae 05:31, 2005 May 9 (UTC)

There are several problems with your arguments, Jim.

  1. First, contrary to your implication, a great many who have posted in favor of retaining AD are NOT anonymous, have NOT been proselytizing, and HAVE given material reasons for our position. Indeed, this likely constitutes the majority of us who have commented in favor of retaining AD. For you to impugn persons who oppose your view with these characteristics when in fact they are generally absent from our posts and arguments is dishonest to boot.
  2. Second, in addition to making no preference for either system, Wikipedia's style manual makes absolutely no distinctions whatsoever about the propriety/impropriety of using either AD or CE in certain circumstances over others. Given Wikipedia's policy, you have no more of a basis in asserting this to be a "special case" than you did when you implied that CE was somehow more neutral than AD.
  3. Including separate explanations and links to inform the readers what "Common Era" means is extraneous to the article itself and distracting from the text itself. It's also unnecessarily complicated when the alternative of AD works just fine.
  4. You're returning to a POV argument against using AD on the basis that it translates "the year of the Lord," yet as previously noted, Wikipedia's style guide does not share or sanction your view that this violates NPOV. Wikipedia's policy of neutrality and sanction for the use of AD takes precedence over JimWae's personal viewpoints on what constitutes a POV violation.
  5. As Gen Nygaard succinctly pointed out, usage makes CE/BCE a much clearer case of POV pushing than AD/BC, which is in common use and has been for many centuries. This circumstance is further evidenced by the fact that the original use in this article that stood for many years was AD/BC. You came along and changed it, Jim, thus pushing a far less common and less popular dating system onto the article and on very flimsy ground at that.
  6. As for your change being "unmolested" for a week, you should note similarly that the original BC/AD designation stood unmolested for several years before you got here.

This is the exact same kind of nonsensical hairsplitting you attempted over on the articles pertaining to secession, Jim, not to mention the Morrill Tariff before that. In both cases you came along, saw something that evidently did not mesh well with your personal POV, and then attempted to expunge it by claiming that whatever you didn't like was not NPOV itself. In both cases, as with this one, your standard for NPOV was not one of wikipedia's policies on how articles should be written, but rather your own personal opinion. You didn't like the way that historians portrayed the Morrill Tariff, so you responded by trying to alter their views to suit your own opinion. You didn't like how the dictionary defined the word secession, so you responded by trying to change the definition to suit your own opinion. Now you don't like that wikipedia tolerates the traditional BC/AD date system, so you respond by trying to cast it as non-neutral even though wikipedia's policy finds nothing wrong with its use and gives no deferrence to the alternative you propose in its place. Wikipedia is not your personal playpen to bog down with JimWae's "opinion of the week" whatever it may be. If you want to make edits around here you need to grow up and start making constructive edits instead of the POV-driven censorship that characterizes your posting patterns. Rangerdude 07:17, 9 May 2005 (UTC)

For the claim by some that BCE/CE is minimally used, a quick Google search on Caius reveals the following:
  • Caius CE: about 92,200 hits [6]
  • Caius AD: about 63,300 hits [7]
What does this tell us? Certainly not that the terms BCE/CE are extremely rare in English in connection with comparable topics...!
There seems to be several reasons why the use of BCE/CE is better than the use of BC/AD in articles of this kind:
  1. It is pretty well established that BCE/CE is NPOV terminology.
  2. In this particular article, an estimated birth time of Jesus as "6–4 before the Common Era" seems quite a bit better from a logical point of view than "6–4 years before [Jesus] Christ".
  3. There have been a number of ad hominem attacks here, mainly by proponents of the BC/AD view. This certainly makes me more inclined to trust the arguments of the BCE/CE proponents as less POV-driven.
  4. It has been claimed that readers will have trouble understanding the meaning of, e.g., 30 BCE and 30 CE. I personally doubt very much that this is that difficult to figure out for those who haven't come across these abbreviations before.
I vote for using the BCE/CE system in this article, since that seems to be the method that makes the most logical sense AND since this system is widely-enough used and easy-enough to figure out on first acquaintance that its use is of no significant inconvenience. -- Olve 19:49, 10 May 2005 (UTC)

CE or not to CE[edit]

My 2c. I've never liked "Common era". Who has it in common with whom? Whatever we call the years, they're dated from the presumed birth of Jesus. I'm an atheist and I don't give a fig about AD meaning "anno domini". It's just a pair of letters. I don't see any great need to replace them, and I don't like the fabrication of a "common era" to do so. It does have some currency though, so it has to be considered. The stuff about offending the nonChristian is utter bollocks. You'd need a very thin skin to get offended at that! I don't see anyone agitating for dates to be given in other calendars.

But that's just my opinion. Had I seen it on the page when I came to it, I certainly wouldn't change it. My view is we should go with whichever was used first. There's precedent for that on Wikipedia and I think it's a good way to resolve what is otherwise an intractable argument. I'm not going to go back and look but my small voice is added to the clamour for whichever it was. Grace Note 04:54, 9 May 2005 (UTC)

Grace Note - I concur that an anti-Christian POV is often driving the BCE/CE use, especially when it is being intentionally used to supplant an existing and long standing use of BC/AD. If JimWae was writing a new article and started out with the BCE dating system from the beginning I wouldn't be inclined to object as much, but here he is clearly imposing BCE/CE as a preferred alternative to BC/AD and in doing so giving deference to it on NPOV grounds that are inconsistent with wikipedia's official policy of neutrality between the use of AD and CE. Wikipedia says either is acceptable so long as it's consistent within the same article, thus when JimWae claims that CE is more neutral than AD he is asserting his own personal POV that conflicts with wikipedia's style manual. Rangerdude 07:07, 9 May 2005 (UTC)

-that's your opinion & you are of course entitled to it. It is not, however, about being offended; it is about being forced to accept (swallow) "Jesus is Lord" when there is a more neutral alternative.--JimWae 05:05, 2005 May 9 (UTC)

I don't believe it is neutral as it happens. It's defiantly antiChristian. It uses the Christian system of dating and pretends it is something else. I think I argued that you are not required to "swallow" Jesus is lord. It takes a special kind of mind to feel oppressed by the letters "AD", which, as I noted, are just letters for most of us. Grace Note 05:34, 9 May 2005 (UTC)

No, it is purposely an attempt to be non-Christian, not anti-Christian - to not include acceptance of Jesus as Lord in the calendar. It's acceptable to have the years be based on the faulty reckoning (for want of a better, non-disruptive system) -- but that's quite enough. It is not acceptable (to me and to many anyway) to have to also (for all time) accept surreptitiously that Jesus is Lord. Do you not care about the attempts of some others to make a few improvements in the world? Are you content to also let all manner of cultural biases be permanently entrenched?--JimWae 05:48, 2005 May 9 (UTC)

Morning Star & Evening Star have the same extension (semantics), but not the same intension. Ethnic & sexual slurs and more neutral terms also ... Humanity makes some rogress when this is realized and changes are made. Note the objections above that Common Era is more of that PC stuff - as though being "PC" were immediately an argument about eternal worthlessness --JimWae 06:01, 2005 May 9 (UTC)

The idea, which you imply, that to continue to use the BC/AD notation that we are all familiar rather than some new-fangled politically correct one makes us all bigoted Christian-POV-pushers is as offensive as it is crass. I'm not interested in your political theorising. I'm interested in NPOV - and that means using usual terms to discuss usual concepts. We don't then try to deconstruct the terms, feign offence and claim everyone should adhere to our politics if we don't want to slur you. Get real! And think outside America - where this terminology is very rarely used and little understood. Kind regards, jguk 06:17, 9 May 2005 (UTC)

If it is true that Common Era is not understood outside America, then your argument is with wikipedia manual of style, not me. Btw, I am "outside America" myself. And AGAIN it is not about being offended, it is about insensitivity & could care-less-ness --JimWae 06:36, 2005 May 9 (UTC)

Then the important thing is to be sensitive to our readers - and they (as a whole) will be more familiar with BC/AD than anything else. I'm not interested in risking offending the majority for the sake of a few with political agendas, jguk 07:03, 9 May 2005 (UTC)

The method of dating using Anno Domini is not, Western, Christian or Eurocentric; it is currently commonly used globally by all cultures and civilizations, Islamic, Sinic, Japanese, Hindu, etc. The United Nations, for example, all UN Resolutions are dated using Anno Domini calender, as do all UN NGO's conduct business as such. Jesus, what a sterile debate. Nobs 06:52, 9 May 2005 (UTC)

It is sterile because people are needlessly politicizing it. I am uninterested with these sort of religious/political or politically-correct explanations and considerations; I am uninterested with what people here like or dislike themsleves; I am even somewhat unintersted in what is common and even what is generally used in most highschools. The only tendency of use for AD/CE I'm interested in is that of the critical scholarship most applicable to the field/s in question, here, for this article's topic. That's for Wikipedia, in Simple Wikipedia, the standards may well shift in an oppositie direction. Also, there could and probably should be a footnote or something to that effect qualifying AD/CE either way (as opposed to just internally linking it); it seems very pertinent to such an article. El_C 07:25, 9 May 2005 (UTC)