Talk:Jesus/Archive 20

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The phrase "more than 40 years"[edit]

It is false to claim that the canonical gospels were written more than 40 years after the death of Jesus. Although there are some people who still hold that view, there is in fact good evidence to show that most of them were written much sooner than that. One simple piece of evidence is the absence of information about the attack on Jerusalem or the martyrdom of the Apostle Paul in the Acts of the Apostles(a book which speak at length about Jerusalem and other martyrs). Because the maryterdom was in AD 65 and jerusalem was attacked in AD 70 it is reasonable to conclude that Luke (which acts is a sequel to) must have been written before that. Also, according to the very commonly accepted 2 source theory of authorship, the gospel of Luke would have been based upon the gospels of Mark and Q which puts their authorship sooner still.

Granted there is evidence that other books (like Revelation) weren't written until almost a century after the death of Christ, and that it wasn't compiled until much later (a fact that people often confuse with the date the bible was written)

Even if you don’t agree with me about the dates of authorship, I think you will have to agree that that information is in far too disputed to be included. Even so I was afraid to delete it myself. This page has a pretty long history and I don’t know if that sentence is a hot button issue!

Still I strongly suggest that that sentence be deleted by someone who has been around for longer than I have.

too long?[edit]

Do we really need the note at the top saying the article is becoming "too long"? Doesn't a topic this important deserve a long, extensive article? rvinall 01:21, 07 November 2005 (UTC)

Intro sentence[edit]

"The preceding paragraph verges on redundancy in its frequent rewordings of what could easily be a three-line paragraph without all the "However, some scholars..." waffling. Its attempt to be 100% NPOV verge on the ridiculous; stuff like "and some also suggest earlier dates for the entire New Testament than those typically proposed" doesn't merit opening-paragraphs mentioning and should be moved to Historicity or Chronology."

I removed this becasue this is an article not something to post your opinion about. Now, I don't really agree with this above. The NT dates are highly debated and while there is a "Main stream" there are also signficant followings for earlier and later dates. The waffling should be avoided, but it should not leave them out either. Many prominent scholars have differing opinions on Jesus. Despite what I said above, I do believe that the introduction is in poor condidtion, lacks clarity, and doesn't go over much about his life which is what an introduction to a biography is supposed to have. Newbie222 01:38, 20 October 2005 (UTC)


Is the introduction's greek stuff, and sentence on some scholars vandalized or is it just my comp not seeing it? Newbie222 01:29, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Broken Unicode[edit]

I fixed it in the first few para's but it seems broken throughout. Do we know the reason whey these things happen and an efficient way to fix? Humus sapiens←ну? 04:14, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Removal: Satanism[edit]

How is Satanism point of view relevant with this article? It looks like its added for a more mischevious benefit. I request for comments and suggest to remove it Yohajohn 05:28, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

Satanism is too minor to merit that much cpverage, and it's an incomplete description of Satanistic views anyway; many Satanists believe Jesus was a normal man, or even that he never lived. Move it to religious perspectives on Jesus and leave at most one line in "other perspectives" on this page for Satanism. -Silence 05:53, 19 October 2005 (UTC)
Although I don't agree with satanism either, it is still another perspective and should be kept as is Mandeaism and new age movement. But it does not need its own "Religious perspectives" section in the article. --a.n.o.n.y.m t 18:52, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
We can't list every religion's view of Jesus; I say we stick to the majors (Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, maybe a couple of others...the major "world religions"). KHM03 18:58, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
Satanism still counts as an "Other Perspective" even if it is not given an own religious section. --a.n.o.n.y.m t 19:03, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
Gain consensus for its addition - if you cannot gain any support then it does not add to the article and should not be included. - Tεxτurε 19:07, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
And we simply can't list everything, or the article would get way too long, unwieldy, and out of hand. KHM03 19:08, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
What are the chances that satanism will gain support on the Jesus page? :) I don't agree with satanism views of Jesus either, but it does not mean they don't count. We should clarify the section rather than remove it. Other perspectives are listed in the section, such as the New Age movement; how is adding satanism any different. --a.n.o.n.y.m t 19:10, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
Nothing here is about supporting satanism. Article on George Bush have criticisms as do articles on the Catholic Church. However, the view of Jesus by satanists does not add to this article. I'm glad to hear that it is covered in the satanism article. - Tεxτurε 19:16, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
I don't see what the George Bush article has to do with this. Iif other perspectives are listed in the section, such as the New Age movement; how is adding satanism any different? --a.n.o.n.y.m t 19:40, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

If the rule is that only the major religions' views on Jesus will be represented, then Satanism should not be included. It's a very small sect.

Gratuitous satanism removed[edit]

I have removed the following just added to the article:

Satanists have a variety of attitudes towards Jesus, just as they do towards Satan. Many prefer to mock him, as when Anton Szandor LaVey writes in the Satanic Bible,
Look at a crucifix
What do you see?
Pallid impotence
Hanging from a tree.
Others recognize Jesus as the son of Satan, claiming that Satan came to the Virgin Mary "as an angel of light" and seduced her, then appeared during his adulthood to teach him during his forty days in the wilderness. Others no longer insist on the traditional rivalry between Satanism and Christianity, recognizing that though both religions have tended to stereotype one another and that rather they could perhaps learn from eachother.

The quote is gratuitous and the other text is vague ("variety of attitudes") or unsupported. - Tεxτurε 18:58, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Good job. KHM03 19:02, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
Satanism still counts as an "Other Perspective" even if it is not given an own religious section. I don't really see vagueness, but I will clarify it more if you want. See satanism article for details. Although I don't agree with satanism either, it is still another perspective and should be kept as is Mandeaism and new age movement. --a.n.o.n.y.m t 19:06, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
You have no consensus for its addition. You need to have some support to override the community. Otherwise, consider adding it to article on satanism. - Tεxτurε 19:08, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
I agree with user:Anonymous editor - this is a valid point of view that should definitely be included in the article. Just because you don't like it doesn't mean it's gratuitous. - ulayiti (talk) 19:17, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
You took my statement out of context. I said the quote was gratuitous and it is when added to this article. I did not say the other text was gratuitous but I did say that it does not add to this article. - Tεxτurε 19:22, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
Again, we simply can't list everything, or the article would get way too long, unwieldy, and out of hand. KHM03 19:11, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
Then what is holding the other "other perspectives" on the article? Anyone of them could be deleted using the same criteria. --a.n.o.n.y.m t 19:14, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
The LaVey quotation is an interesting perspective that could be included. Or maybe we could break out a Miscellaneous views of Jesus article. It should be added to Religious perspectives on Jesusgoethean 19:17, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
Not a good title. "Miscellaneous" is vague and undirected. Are you looking for "Religious views of Jesus"? I don't think that would work if you want to add satanism since it is dubious a religion. Perhaps you should create "Non-traditional views of Jesus". - Tεxτurε 19:26, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
Okay but what then counts as a "non-traditional" view? --a.n.o.n.y.m t 19:37, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
This is why the "other perspectives" section is there. The entire section combined is still smaller than other sections on the page, including mostly about what Christians consider as facts about Jesus. Texture, I propose the following since you found the original version vague. --a.n.o.n.y.m t 19:25, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
Satanists have a variety of attitudes towards Jesus, just as they do towards Satan. Many prefer to mock him, such as LaVeyan Satanists. As Anton Szandor LaVey writes in the Satanic Bible,
Look at a crucifix
What do you see?
Pallid impotence
Hanging from a tree.
Others recognize Jesus as the son of Satan, claiming that Satan came to the Virgin Mary "as an angel of light" and seduced her, then appeared during his adulthood to teach him during his forty days in the wilderness. Others no longer insist on the traditional rivalry between Satanism and Christianity, recognizing that though both religions have tended to stereotype one another and that rather they could perhaps learn from eachother.
The quote is gratuitous and only for shock value. The remaining text is from one single esoteric pseudo-religion and is not at the appropriate level for this article. It should remain in the satanism article. - Tεxτurε 19:30, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
I say move it to Religious perspectives on Jesus. KHM03 19:27, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
I don't see satanism as religious and would not agree to that title. - Tεxτurε 19:30, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
Satanism is a religious, semi-religious and/or philosophical movement
Close enough.— goethean 19:50, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
I would just like to point out that the Religious perspectives on Jesus is not a dump where material that is considered "gratuitous" can be thrown. I am, however, still considering the move proposal, but the "Other Perspectives" section seems acceptable to me. I'd like to say that the "other perspectives" section does not call Satanism a religion. --a.n.o.n.y.m t 19:33, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
Religious perspectives on Jesus is not a dump
You're the only one implying that it is. It's the main article where the less-than-major views are described. Islam and other major religions have around a billion adherents. Satanism isn't in that league. To put the mention in the main article on the subject is not deprecating it. — goethean 19:48, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
Well, I was just referring to various occasions where disputed material was moved off the main article and into religious perspectives article. I agree that satanism has fewer adherents but it can be comparable to the other perspectives listed in the "other perspectives" section. I still don't know whether it can be moved either because of disagreement whether it should be considered a religion or not. --a.n.o.n.y.m t 20:11, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
Satanists are a very small and noninfluential group. Why doesn't the article have a paragraph on what the followers of Adi Da think of Jesus? That's why there's no Satanism section.— goethean 20:31, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
What do you propose then Goethean. So far I have seen you say yes it should be included and no it shouldn't. I told you that many don't consider satanism a religion that is why it can't be moved without discussion (read texture's message). Also there are so many things that are considered "satanism", but aren't. What do you propose? --a.n.o.n.y.m t 20:38, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
Sorry for the confusion. The text on Satanism should be added to Religious perspectives on Jesus, not the article under discussion.— goethean 21:19, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
I don't have a problem calling Satanism a religion, I just think that the "Religious perspectives" page is a more appropo place to put the discussion. This page should really only mention the major world religions. I have too much respect for, say, Islam, to suggest that a tiny religion like Satanism should receive equal coverage in an NPOV encyclopedia. KHM03 20:32, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
Well, in that case, adding it to the religious perspectives page won't be any different will it? It will be alongside major religions like Islam and Christianity. --a.n.o.n.y.m t 20:38, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
As I said at the beginning of this discussion: move it to the religious perspectives page. The fact that not 100% of people think that Satanism is a religion is irrelevant; numerous people do. If we weren't including on the page anything that people dispute the religiousness of, we wouldn't have Buddhist views there either!! Additionally, it's absurd to exclude any philosophical view as long as the religious perspectives page mentions atheism and agnosticism and even irreligion as being "religious"; remove those and add Satanism. Satanism is too minor to merit more than the briefest of mentionings on this page, but it's significant enough to merit a section its own on the Religious perspectives on Jesus page, where many religions are given sections that aren't given much space on the Jesus page (like Buddhism, Bahá'í, and Urantia). -Silence 21:15, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

New template proposal[edit]

Although the Jesus article already has a lot of templates on it (the Jesus one, the Christianity one, the Apostles one), I think we should make a new one, jesuslife or jesusevents or gospelevents or gospeljesus, for events and periods believed by various groups (or, if we want to simplify things, which might be a good idea, just have it be a list of events described in the Gospels, though we may also want to include stuff from Christian lore and other Biblical documents, like "Child Jesus") to have occurred during Jesus' life (assuming he existed at all). This template would include links to the following articles:

I recommend that this template be at the bottom of the articles using it; at the top, it would deprive too many good articles of good images, and the middle would make it too hard to find. However, one could make an argument for making this template the same style and position as the Jesus template, and perhaps even listing it immediately below the template in one or two cases (like on the detailed timeline page), so that it easily flows with the other template and takes up very little space. Another possibility, of course, would be to add all these links to the Jesus template itself, but this would make the template far too large and screw up the layout in a lot of pages, and would be unnecessary; but we could achieve the same effect with a distinct template on some pages, if we wanted to. As a side note, keep Template:Liturgical year in mind in discussing possible layouts, since that template includes three of the items on the above list (Nativity, Transfiguration, Ascension).

Accordingly, the following articles would be removed from the Jesus template: Miracles of Jesus, Resurrection of Jesus. This would free up more space for other large, significant Jesus articles that don't directly fall under the jurisdiction of another Jesus sub-article and thus merit inclusion. Possible candidates for addition to the main Jesus template include genealogy of Jesus, Aramaic of Jesus (title a bit awkward; "Language of Jesus"?), etc. -Silence 21:15, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Jesus without the Resurrection is like PB&J without the PB. I say we keep the Resurrection article in the template...I feel that strongly. KHM03 21:16, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
You could get rid of the Harrowing of Hell; that's not nearly as important. KHM03 21:17, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
I included "harrowing of Hell" because it's such a high-quality, informative, detailed article, and because it does deal with a significant part of the beliefs regarding Jesus' life, even if very little of the Gospels themselves goes into it. Conversely, I was reluctant to include a few of the other articles on the list because they're still comparatively small and dinky.. but I figured that including them would help improve the articles anyway! So, we've got one vote for removing "Harrowing of Hell" and keeping the other eleven links, but for keeping "Resurrection" in the main Jesus template too despite the redundancy caused. Incidentally, keeping Resurrection on both templates is something which I strongly disagree with doing; of course you can have Jesus without the Resurrection, and just about all Muslims, other religions, and secular historians do! The Jesus template is already too Christian-centric even with the removals I've proposed, keeping "Resurrection" on both would make the problem infinitely worse. Plus it's already discussed and linked to on other articles we've got on the Jesus template, particularly "New Testament views"!
Anyway, does anyone else have any views on what to include or not include (and whether to make the new template at all), before any work on it begins? -Silence 01:05, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
But Silence, the Resurrection is the crucial piece for the Christian understanding of Jesus. Take it away and you don't have the Christian POV anymore. It really needs to stay; it's crucially important. KHM03 10:02, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
It's a subdivision (resurrection) of a subdivision (gospel account of Jesus' life) of a subdivision (christian views of Jesus) of a subdivision (religious perspectives on Jesus) of the Jesus article. That may be important to your specific beliefs, but in terms of article organization, it's far from first-tier. We'd be far better off linking to Christian views of Jesus to give a much fuller and truly, indisputably crucial "piece for the Christian understanding of Jesus"—the whole damn thing! Why settle for the biggest slice of the pie when you've got room for the whole pie? Of course, if we added Christian views (or kept Resurrection, which we certainly shouldn't) we'd need to add Isa, and if we added that we'd open the floodgate to Jewish views, Hindu views, etc., and all of those pages are well-covered by the "religious perspectives" article link—even if the resurrection is crucial to understanding Jesus in Christianity, we don't need any more links to articles on religious or Christian understandings of Jesus!!! Even without Resurrection, half a dozen of the articles already listed there deal directly with Jesus in Christianity or, in religious perspectives' case, religion in general. The whole point of the new template is to make it much easier to navigate events of Gospel-Jesus' life, from Reincarnation to Nativity to everything else! Those are the articles in Resurrection's family of articles, not the general infobox for broad subjects concerning Jesus! How important you think this or that is is irrelevant; importance doesn't excuse the redundancy, severe POV bias, mistaken topic grouping, and poor planning and organization of listing "Resurrection" twice just because you think it's special. Once is more than enough, and will make it easier to access and access other articles from anyway! It's not being doubled if we make this template. -Silence 10:19, 21 October 2005 (UTC)'s OK to ignore the group with whom Jesus is most frequently identified...Christians? Understand that in Christianity, Jesus' Resurrection is vital; for Christians, we wouldn't still be talking about Jesus 2000 years after he lived had there been no Resurrection. It is absolutely not only first tier, but right on top. No question. It would be like making a Mohammed template and leaving out the Koran...or making a Ronald Reagan template and leaving out the Presidency...or making a John Lennon template and leaving out the Beatles. Not only would those templates be inordinately POV, they would be extremely poor and inaccurate. If we leave out the Resurrection, which is the piece from the Christian perspective, then there's no point in making a template. KHM03 11:23, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
Have you not been paying attention for this entire discussion? We're not ignoring the Christians! They already have over half the Jesus infobox exclusively to express their own views!! And now I'm recommending we create another infobox, specifically and entirely for Christian beliefs regarding Jesus' life!! And your response is to claim that we're "ignoring the group with whom Jesus is most frequently identified (i.e. most frequently identified BY CHRISTIANS), Christians"? Just because I don't agree that we should REPEAT a random event in Jesus' life that you happen to be particularly fond of that's already indirectly linked from the top template in numerous ways anyway and that clearly is only an integral part of the second template, not the first?
It is absolutely not only first tier, but right on top. - Absolute and utter nonsense. If that was true, we'd have "resurrection" as the very first subsection on the Jesus page, and it would take up half the page of the entire Jesus article. Look at the space it has instead.
It would be like making a Mohammed template and leaving out the Koran - A blatantly false comparison. Mohammad is not to the Koran as Jesus is to the Resurrection, Mohammad is to the Koran as Jesus is to the New Testament - and we already have a link to the New Testament views on Jesus!
or making a Ronald Reagan template and leaving out the Presidency - Another false comparison. Ronald Reagan is to the Presidency as Jesus is to his Preaching, and we mention that quite fully as well.
or making a John Lennon template and leaving out the Beatles. - Another false comparison. John Lennon is to the Beatles as Jesus is to the Trinity, and we mention the Trinity quite extensively in the Christianity on Jesus section, which is linked to both New Testament views and Religious views. Not a single one of these comparisons is even remotely equivalent to the relationship between Jesus and Jesus' resurrection.
Not only would those templates be inordinately POV, they would be extremely poor and inaccurate. - Backwards. They're POV if we repeat the resurrection in every single template that's at all related to Jesus, rather than giving all views and all significant articles equal coverage.
If we leave out the Resurrection, which is the piece from the Christian perspective, - I can't even tell anymore whether you're just exaggerating enormously or outright lying. The piece from the Christian perspective is Christian views of Jesus, not Resurrection of Jesus. Resurrection of Jesus is an important part of the Christian views article; it is not the article itself.
then there's no point in making a template. - No one has suggested leaving out the Resurrection. The suggestion has been to move the Resurrection to a new template that will be specifically focused on the Resurrection and events like it, thus allowing the Resurrection to be linked from more articles, and ones that are infinitely more closely linked to it than the ones that currently have it. You aren't satisfied with this, however, and want to have both worlds at the same time. Not happening; there is no practical reason to list "resurrection" twice and not list any other article related to Jesus twice. To do so would be the definition of lack of NPOV.
Anyway. Here's the current template, quick little simple thing, comment and revise:
Events in the
Life of Jesus
according to the Gospels
Life of Jesus

Portals: P christianity.svg Christianity Bible.malmesbury.arp.jpg Bible

Wikipedia book Book:Life of Jesus

-Silence 11:50, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Silence -- I suggest you review WP:NPA and WP:Civility. I have accused you of nothing, but have strongly advocated for the inclusion of the Resurrection on a Jesus template. I don't think that is unreasonable nor does it justify your tone/language. My view remains that Jesus and his Resurrection need to be tied together at every turn, because no one can understand the Christian view of Jesus (and thus the best known view on the planet) without that topic. I am sincerely sorry if you misunderstood, if I misunderstood, or if I misrepresented my position. KHM03 11:59, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
I apologize. I was unnecessarily harsh and pointed in my above statements. I stand by the meaning, and retract the form through which they were delivered. Until you counter my above points, however, they stand; the Resurrection is already covered thanks to the linking to both Christian views of Jesus (via Religious perspectives on Jesus) and New Testament view on Jesus' life. Two indirect links is better than most articles get; also including a direct link would be beyond redundant. Moreover, it would be POV and easily disputable, because it would:
(1) leave the door open to requiring that we also list other major events in Jesus' life according to the Gospels in the template, even though this whole discussion is about making a new template just for events in Jesus' life according to the Gospels; having Resurrection in the list means that we have no counter-argument against anyone who wants to also have —who are we to rule that X aspect of Jesus' life is the only important aspect, and that X religion is the only important religion? My solution solves all of those problems; yours intensifies them enormously.
(2) leave the door open to requiring that we also list specific core, vital beliefs about Jesus' belief from other religions, such as Isa, or list specific core, vital aspects of various theories about the historicity of Jesus, like the synoptic problem. All of those are enormously important to gaining a full understanding of how people view Jesus in this world, but all of them (Isa, Synoptic problem, Resurrection of Jesus) are terrible choices to include in the main Jesus infobox because they're already linked to indirectly by the infobox: Isa through Religious views, Synoptic problem through Historicity, Resurrection through New Testament views. We should not play favorites whenever we can so very easily avoid it.
The qualification for inclusion in the main Jesus infobox is not that "no one can understand the Christian view of Jesus without that topic", as you suggest; if it was, we would also need to have Trinity and four or five other articles in the main Jesus section. No, this is not in any way related to the purpose of the Jesus infobox, which is not to list every Christian view of Jesus that is vital to understand how Christians view Jesus, but to as briefly as humanly possible give the minimum number of articles that are absolutely required to provide access to all major topics directly related to Jesus. The longer the infobox is, the more inconvenience is causes for the entire series of Jesus articles by giving us less adaptability, less space for images and other infoboxes, making it harder to navigate and align with the text and everything else. We should only include a link to something in the Jesus infobox if we absolutely must because it's not a link that we could expect anyone to find by looking at all the other pages already linked to. Resurrection of Jesus fails that test: it is mentioned and linked to very clearly on New_Testament_view_on_Jesus'_life#The_resurrection, and is quite obviously a sub-page of that article that would still be a part of "New Testament view on Jesus" if it hadn't gotten so large. So, our best option is clear, and ten times as clear now that we're working on a template that will easily provide a link to the Resurrection and other major events on any Jesus page we want(!): remove Resurrection from the Jesus template (it's already a sub-page of the articles listed there) and add it to the Jesus-in-the-Gospels template (where it's much more valuable and topical). Where's the problem here? -Silence 12:33, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

"Racial perspective"[edit]

I removed this bit: Jesus is often viewed from a racial perspective, thus, several African Americans view Jesus as being of African descent. Similarly, Middle Eastern potrayals and some Hispanic connotations stem from different racial perspectives. Furthermore, the racial conflict in regards to Jesus often conflicts that of another, sometimes causing racial tension. It's not that I think this topic shouldn't be discussed, but the wording here seemed unclear to me and there were no sources. Now that there's a Race of Jesus article covering the same (I think) idea, maybe there's a nice way to introduce the topic and link to the main article. Friday (talk) 18:52, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

I am very tired of having to pull tight ropes around here. Everything I do is rejected, and as far as I am concerned, Friday, you treat vandals better than me. Molotov (talk) California state flag.png
19:56, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
I edited the sentence a bit for clarity and added it; I did not link it to the main "race" article (my bad)...maybe someone else could do that. I support this brief mention of Jesus on this page; it has value for a number of reasons. KHM03 19:57, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
I deleted it all together. I came here to help edit...not to have my intelligence insulted by people always telling me I am wrong, here, here, and here. Molotov (talk) California state flag.png
20:08, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
I highly support keeping this section in the article. I have made a small section for the race material and linked it. --a.n.o.n.y.m t 21:07, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

This sentence: "These unique portrayal are sometimes concerning to those of European heritage, and certain portrayals have been the source of controversy." Can someone please diagram the first clause? It just makes no sense to me. I am not contesting the clause's accuracy or objectivity, I just have no idea what it means. (Although I am sure that once I understand what it means, I will ask what the source is, or is this an example of original research?) Slrubenstein | Talk 20:58, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

I think I understand why the first clause is problematic for you. "Concerning" is being used here as an adjective, I think. Perhaps something like "These unique portrayals are sometimes a cause of concern to those of European heritage.." is more clear. Or I could be very wrong. Friday (talk) 21:08, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

I did a touch-up. Hope it's not taken as an insult

Let's be clear. According to orthodox Christian theology Jesus's birth was a miracle. He had no human father. So conventional arguments about his race are irrelevant on this view. God could have chosen to incarnate himself looking like Bjorn Borg, Ho Chi Minh or Eddie Murphy. Artists have generally been working within orthodox Christian cultures and so have accepted this position, using whatever body-type was considered ideal at the time. It was not until the 19th century that ethnic specificity came to be an issue, and even then the assumption remined that his "race" was a matter of divine choice, not of anthropological history. Among some non-believers the "Aryan Jesus" did have a brief vogue, but was always a minority view. It was not uncommon to portray Jesus as blond at this time, but that was more because of assumptions about the "ideal look" than arguments about race. Paul B 21:38, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
Let's. The article Jesus is not about what orthodox Christian theology thinks Jesus' race is—it's about Jesus. In-depth exploration of the specific views of various Christian denominations and noteworthy Christian individuals regarding what Jesus' race is belong on Race of Jesus and, to a lesser extent, Christian views of Jesus; they are extraneous here. We should be working on further trimming down Jesus at this point by transferring information to other articles, not cramming every single detail onto one page. The information you've supplied so far would make an extent beginning to a "Racism" subsection of the "Race of Jesus" article, what with your claims about Jesus being depicted as a Caucasian because that was considered the "ideal" race at the time, rather than just because it's what the artists were most familiar with. Incidentally, I'd love to see some sources for "and even then the assumption remined that his "race" was a matter of divine choice"; not only do I find it unlikely that that was the dominant assumption even into the 19th century, but I don't even think it was a common one, despite the prevalence of racism. -Silence 21:51, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
I confess I can't make sense of your argument here. The article discusses all important views of Jesus – which includes both religious and secular ones (I am a non-believer as it happens). Hence the opening paragraph and sections on religious views etc. If race is to be discussed – and I did not introduce the topic – then these varied perspectives should be included. A brief line is all that's needed here, and that's all I provided. A lot more could be a added to the Race of Jesus article. You say that this article should be 'trimmed down', well that's just your view. It's not a fact. The point about blondness above is not that white Europeans were thought to represent an "ideal race". It's to do with conventional norms of beauty. However several writers including Blumenbach – the inventor of the concept of a "Caucasian race" – did believe that humans were created white. The notion that dark skin was a result of a curse on the sons of Ham was commonplace. See Hamitic and Curse of Ham
BTW, much of this section was badly written and semi-coherent. Many of my alterations were copy-editing. The last sentence on artists was designed to improve the article by creating a smooth lead-in to the section on artistic representations of JC. The picture is a reconstruction of a specific skull, not an attempt toportray a "typical Jew". Paul B 22:53, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
Yes, it provides all important views of Jesus—and you have yet to provide any citations showing that the view that Jesus is one race or another. However, I've been lenient and allowed the passage to stay, as long as it is as clear and brief as possible; please go to Race of Jesus for any elaboration you want to make on it, since, as I said, the Jesus series of articles should convey every important perspective on Jesus in-depth, but the Jesus article itself should avoid going into anything in-depth that fits better onto another, related article anyway specifically created for in-depth analysis and presentations like this.
I'm also already well-acquainted with the Curse of Ham and other ancient racist doctrines of Jewish and Christian thought, and with the origin of the "Caucasian" label. Again, all these matters go into Race of Jesus wherever they are relevant to this specific topic. Also, you are incorrect in saying that the recreation was not based partly on "textual sources" and was not an attempt to recreate a typical Jew living in the time and place of Jesus; please read. -Silence 23:51, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
Your comments merely repeat what I have already said – that I provided a brief summary, but that detailed discussion should go in the Race of Jesus article. That is no justification for blind reverts to versions containing garbled sentences. The link you provide only refers to a textual source being used to justify the fact that the hair is short, which is hardly relevant to race. It also makes it clear that the reconstruction was not presented as that of Jesus himself. On the central issue – the important point to make here is that anthropological arguments about race don't apply within orthodox Christian theology, since JC's conception is considered to be miraculous. His physique is therefore a matter of theological debate. The argument that his physique must have been ideal can of course be co-opted for racist ideologies, but is not in itself racist and should not be characterised as such. To do so is misleading. Paul B 00:19, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
No, the hair issue was only an example of how they used textual and many other sources to help reconstruct the face, not "just a skull" as you've repeatedly claimed. And of course it wasn't of Jesus himself, but it was an attempt to get as accurate a picture as possible of Jesus, and states so many times throughout the article; its stated goal was not "make an image of a random guy who lived in the same general time and place as Jesus".
His physique is only "therefore a matter of theological debate" within certain parts of orthodox Christian theology, and this article is not just about what some orthodox Christian theologians think, or, indeed, just about what religious people think, which is more important to briefly summarize than a single part of a single denomination of a single religion's attitudes towards Jesus' race which you insist on including jsut because you apparently think that it's the only "important" religious view. Oy. Just not including any here makes in any but the most briefest of overview-allusions makes much more sense, as it avoids any possibility of the biased mentioning of one religious POV in place of another that has equal weight and likelihood.
The argument that his physique must have been ideal is not in itself racist (and none of the versions of the paragraphs that have ever been on this page have ever suggested that it was, that's a result of your misreading), but the argument that his race was one of the those physical attributes that could be made "ideal" is inherently racist, which is all the statements have been saying. But, as the discussion below makes clear, including the statement at all is a bad idea because of the amount of explanation necessary to clarify; simply going into depth on the matter on Race of Jesus without bothering to give a half-hearted and half-sided summary on this page is without a doubt the best course of action. -Silence 05:58, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

New edits[edit]

I've trimmed down "religious perspectives" greatly; there's no need to have it be four times longer than every other section in the article when we have a whole article called religious perspectives on Jesus that's still got more than enough room to go into every religion's views in enormous depth.

I've also made a lot of other edits, like implementing the template changes we discussed above, merging and renaming "Chronology" and "Timeline" articles and reorganizing those sections into the Life section (which we should keep "according to Gospels" on for as long as they obviously deal exclusively with summarizing what the Gospels claim happened, not even bothering to critically analyze most of it), moving around a few images (a pop culture image of Jesus is appropriate in "artistic depictions", and the Baptism image works better in the section that describes that, and once I'd moved that there wasn't enough space for the Jesus-at-12 image, so I've moved that to the specific article about that event until the text's expanded enough to merit it). Also added a new image and moved "races of Jesus" into the section on Jesus' background. Lots of stuff like that. I'm also seriously considering moving "religious perspectives" to near the end of the article, and possibly. Probably what would make the most sense would be 1. Intro, 2. Life, 3. Historicity, 4. Background, 5. Names and titles (or possibly 2, if shortened?), 6. Religious perspectives, 7. Aristic portrayals.

I think I'm also going to have to start a new fight to get Historical Jesus deleted, and to instead give all articles on Jesus a bit of a "historical view" by interjecting where historians dispute X event or Y claim wherever relevant. We don't have a "historical Muhammad" article, now do we? Historicity of Jesus does that job well enough, and there's far too much redundancy right now anyway: Jesus, Historical Jesus, Christian views of Jesus, and New Testament view on Jesus' life all basically tell the exact same story, over and over again. -Silence 09:52, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

Yes, also cut down the redundant sections on Historicity and "Birth", "Death" and "Ressurection". --a.n.o.n.y.m t 15:43, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
Which redundant sections on Historicity, specifically? Are you referring to the page, or the section? I think there's certainly a lot to trim on the Historicity and Life sections of Jesus; the pages, though, I dunno. -Silence 15:48, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
The sections in this article. Also, "Life according to Gospels" section is long and ofcourse features only one perspective of Jesus. Since there is already a main article on this, it needs some major trimming. Thanks - a.n.o.n.y.m t 16:00, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
I agree, though of course in some ways the "Life" section should be one of the longest, since it's the one that actually analyzes what happened in Jesus' life; ideally, this section will eventually become the centerpiece of the article, the first section after the introductory paragraphs, where readers get an idea of what people think happened during Jesus' life, if anything, and then after that comes the analysis of various perspectives on Jesus, analysis of textual evidence on Jesus, Jesus' name and background, etc.; all of that should be secondary to the actual person Jesus, as he is understood.
But for that to happen, first we need to interject much more neutrality and a wider perspective on Jesus' life than it currently has, including other major views on the matter, such as historical and Islamic ones. I'm not sure we need to trim down the section, per se; if anything, I was thinking we should expand a lot of it, since it seems to give only a bare-bones analysis of the part of Jesus' life between his baptism and his crucifixion, putting undue weight on claims of his resurrection and ascension. What we definitely do need, however, is something that's provided nowhere else in all of Wikipedia: an NPOV recounting of Jesus' life. This would be more valuable than simply summarizing the "New Testament view on Jesus' life" article anyway (though if we did merely plan do that, I'd agree on trimming the section significantly; that's not what I hope this section to eventually become, though). -Silence 17:09, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
Well many of the sentences are just minor details that can be moved to the main articles. But I agree that other major views on each section should be added in order to expand. However, if we do this right, we can end up with sections the same size as they are now but offering more diverse views. --a.n.o.n.y.m t 06:47, 23 October 2005 (UTC)


Topics related to Jesus

As I've said before, this article has too little image diversity. The purpose of images on Wikipedia is not only to look pretty, but also to actually provide new information that is specifically useful for the article they appear in! When every image is of basically the same thing on a page, that isn't happening. Previously, out of the ten images on this page, nine were specifically Christian (and the other one is barely of any informative value at all, just showing a generic image of sand dunes), eight of these were European art from the 11th to 17th centuries, seven were paintings (the others being the sculpture and the mosaic), and five were rather generic portraits of Jesus not depicting any specific event, often nearly identical. Considering how many dozens of articles we have in Jesus to use all those images in, and considering the enormous variety of images throughout human history we have available to us to choose from, the Jesus article itself should be a paragon of image selection. I've started to try to fix this, replacing an image of a relatively minor event in Jesus' childhood (though it should be re-added if we expand the section enough for there to be enough room for the image) with a more unusual image depicting an event that had previously had no illustrations: the Resurrection.

I also removed a generic Byzantine image that is nearly identical to the first image on the page and contributes no new information, moved the "Head of Christ" painting to the Religious views on Jesus page (and I think I'll move it to Christian views too) because it didn't contribute information (either in the image or in the description of the image, whereas the new one at least adds the latter) on the many diverse views on Jesus in different religions, and replaced it with an image of Gandhi, who is extremely often compared to Jesus and is one of the most famous non-Christians in history to base his philosophies directly on what he believed to be Jesus'—the only person I can think of who could rival Gandhi for "frequency of comparisons to Jesus" and "noteworthy person who claimed to base beliefs on Jesus' teachings" is Hitler, but I figured that Gandhi would be a much more appropriate, and much less controversial, addition to the section, as well as having the benefit of not being a Christian. If anyone finds any other images appropriate to the specific section, I welcome you to add that image in place of the Gandhi one, since I concede that the image itself doesn't directly relate to Jesus or Christian belief, rather pointing out an important non-Christian religious person who was inspired by Jesus; a better image, one that actually illustrates some non-Christian belief regarding Jesus, would be superb. But until someone does find a better image, I request that the Gandhi image not be removed, since whether that image is ideal or not, it's certainly appropriate, certainly adds some much-needed diversity to the image selection, and certainly helps balance the page out more by putting an image in an area that has previously been a long stretch of un-illustrated text, making it more likely to be read. So: replace the image if you want, but don't just remove it and leave that area of the page barren.

Anyway, I also added an interesting image of an attempt to scientifically reconstruct Jesus' approximate appearance, and added a movie photo of Passion of the Christ, the most famous recent artistic depictions of Jesus. All of this has helped greatly with giving the Jesus page more balance, and makes it look less like a generic gallery of European Medieval Christian paintings. There's still even more that can be done, though: I could see the second image on the page being replaced with an image that actually relates to historicity in some way and is less redundant to the other Jesus images, and some better image illustrating Jesus' background than Image:Judea.jpg would be great, though I'm in no great hurry to fix either problem now that the major concerns of the page's images have been solved; it's just something to keep in mind as we continue to work on the page, and eventually improve when a good replacement image surfaces. -Silence 17:09, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

It strikes me as really strange to not have an image to accompany the introduction to this article, and rather to have a list of links in a box (note my thoughts on "see also" templates). I realize that on controversial topics the idea of choosing a single NPOV image is going to be a challenge (what could you put down that everyone agrees about with Jesus? A photo of Jerusalem?) But the article looks ugly without making a choice. I think that picking a nice picture and saying "hey, this is only one of many popular Images of Jesus" in the caption is a better way to go—especially since that article exists Metaeducation 19:27, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
I don't agree that which image to choose is a matter of controversy; it's obvious without saying anything that any image we choose won't be representative of everyone's views, anymore than an image of Siddhartha Gautama or Moses or Santa Claus will be universally accepted. However, I think this article works fine without an image at the top; many featured articles don't have an image at the top because they work better without them. While I agree with you as a general principle that images are very important, I think the top of this article works perfectly fine layout-wise as is. If you disagree, just pick an image and start experimenting with layouts for the top of the article that incorporate a high-quality image, all the information currently conveyed at the top of the article, and the infobox. (Moving the infobox down too much is a bad idea, as we've already done that with the Christianity and other infoboxes that would normally be at this article's top.. wait, I think someone removed the Christianity template.. oh well, anyway.) If it works well enough, we'll keep it. If it doesn't, we'll keep this. Experimenting never hurts. (Oh, I just came up with an interesting possibility to solve the lack-of-image problem: have you considered adding an image to the top of the Template:Jesus template?) -Silence 21:51, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

Ghandi Image[edit]

I really don't think that the ghandi picture is necessary for this article. Firstly it doesn't have any relevance to Jesus; it just shows Ghandi. Secondly, if we were to use the argument that "Name one non-Christian in all of human history who is more famous in modern popular culture than Gandhi and considered Jesus his direct inspiration" is completely irrelevant to the article in hand. This article isn't going to base itself on popular culture. Using the Ghandi picture is like saying, "here is an picture of someone who was inspired by Jesus". Also why is it in the religious perspectives section? --a.n.o.n.y.m t 21:23, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

Did you read my above paragraph on the Gandhi image, explaining why I chose it? Well, anyway, of course the article has to acknowledge popular culture. Every article where there is an extremely popular conception of the article's subject must acknowledge those popular conceptions, even if they're totally false or ridiculous. In fact, that's the entire reason why this image is so full of depictions of Jesus as a Caucasian, or, for that matter, Jesus as a holy magical glowing being—it's not because it's necessarily true, it's because that's what a very dominant popular opinion on Jesus immediately associates with Jesus. In the same way, almost any generic list of extraordinarily "good people" throughout history will list Gandhi and Jesus; it's practically a cliche. (Another common entry on such a list is Martin Luther King, Jr.) And the image is saying: here's something who was inspired by Jesus. But that person is especially noteworthy for it because he's an example of the people being discussed in "religious perspectives" who have a great, profound admiration for Jesus but aren't Christians. It helps drive the point home that you don't have to be Christian to follow many of what are believed to be Jesus' teachings: basically, it gives several examples of so in the text, and drives the point home with an image! As I said, it's not ideal, perhaps, but it's certainly better than having no remotely relevant image at all, so rather than deleting it because it's not the perfect representation of that section, why not wait until you can find a better one to use in its place? In the meantime, we can get more opinions on whether the image is appropriate from other users by having it on the page, and furthermore it will drive people like you who don't think that the image is appropriate to hurry up and find a suitable replacement (whereas just leaving the area devoid of images will not prompt anyone to bother with finding new images)!
Incidentally, your argument that the image should be removed just because it doesn't directly relate to Jesus, even though the caption makes it clear what the significance is, is much more appropriately directed at the image in the Background section of some random sand dunes. -Silence 21:51, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
I really don't understand your reasoning for why there should be an image there. Can you explain it clearly. I just don't think the argument that "there is too little image diversity" is good enough. --a.n.o.n.y.m t 21:57, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
Hey, one question: would you be as opposed to linking to an image of Gandhi for the religious perspectives on Jesus page, since that page is much more in need of a balanced array of images than Jesus currently is? -Silence 23:11, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Intro paragraphs[edit]

I disagree with the guidelines for introduction paragraphs set at Wikipedia:Lead section, and certainly do not believe that they apply to any article that exceeds the 30,000-character limit they set on articles; that page is based on the assumption that any large article will be divided until it's 30,000 characters or less, which is not a practical, useful possibility for many articles. Longer articles merit longer introductions than the rough guidelines were created for.

Wikipedia rules should not be enforced to the point that article quality suffers; rules are tools and very rough guidelines (even more so when they explicitly are called "general guidelines"), not cages. It's simply the truth that the Jesus article is more useful with the previous, multi-paragraph introduction than with the three-paragraph one. However, I'm willing to discuss a compromise between the two versions, if you truly think that this specific article would be greatly improved by shortening the intro, and aren't just trying to universally standardize every article to a single specific, regulated formula, which is definitely contrary to the way Wikipedia works.

To start with, I'll comment on your current version and the problems I have with it. Please do not be offended by any of my comments if you can help it, as I mean only to give constructive criticism that can lead us to improving the article further:

  • Jesus of Nazareth (Greek: Ιησους Iēsoûs) is Christianity's central figure, where he is believed to be the incarnation of God on Earth. - "where" is awkward phrasing, and, as the previous version of the article stated, numerous Christians don't believe that he is the incarnation of God. Instead, the beliefs most common to all Christians are that Jesus was the Messiah (hence the name "Christianity", not "Jesus-was-God-ianity") and the son of God. Other beliefs are all heavily contested by the various denominations, and even those two core beliefs aren't completely universal. Also, "Earth" is only capitalized when referring to the planet "Earth"; since this article doesn't discuss outer space, "earth" should be used here—if we agree to use that wording at all; it's ambiguous.
  • According to the New Testament, Jesus rose from the dead after being crucified outside of Jerusalem—demonstrating that eternal life can be achieved through his teaching. - Much less informative than the previous summary of his life, mentioning Jerusalem but not mentioning Pontius Pilate or the events that caused him to be crucified. The text after "demonstrating" also comes very close to being dangerously POV by having an air of factuality, and is in any case a very vague allusion to Christian beliefs that doesn't mention salvation or freedom from sin or an afterlife, and instead gives readers an impression of zombie immortal Christians rather than Christians going to heaven to have their "eternal life".
  • The cross has become an icon which represents Jesus, and is Christianity's chief religious symbol. - Fails to clearly connect the crucifixion and the adoption of the cross, like the previous version of the opening did a great job of. The way you have it, it almost doesn't even merit mentioning because it's a tangent; inserting it into the middle of statements about Jesus' death makes it easier to stick to the topic at hand, which is especially important in the opening paragraphs.
  • Though Jesus appears by several names in various belief systems, his importance varies in each. - The "by several names" is meaningless and has nothing to do with the "various belief systems". The fact that he has many names and the fact that there are many beliefs surrounding him are largely unrelated, and synthesizing them artificially will cause confusion. "His importance varies" is also too ambiguous to be informative, and clouds over the fact that he simply isn't important in most belief systems.
  • The prevaling belief among Christians is that Jesus is the Messiah (Greek: Χριστός Khristós) prophesied in the Old Testament, hence they often call him Jesus Christ. - Much less clear than the current paragraphs that "Christ" is the Greek word for "Messiah", as some people won't make the connection between "Khristos" and "Christ". Also fails to explain what the Messiah is, and "hence they often call him Jesus Christ" in this case sounds too casual, like a song lyric.
  • Muslims do not see him as a messiah, but regard him as a very important prophet. - No, many Muslims do see him as Messiah, they just don't see him as the Son of God.
  • Modern practitioners of Judaism reject the notion of his divinity, and Jesus is depicted as having been at odds with Jewish religious authorities of his day. - Fails to mention that Jesus was a Jew, which gives a very false impression of the relationship between Jesus and Judaism to any uninformed people reading this article.
  • Atheists deny that his life could have had a supernatural component, and many question whether a historical Jesus figure even existed. - False. Atheists do not deny that his life could have had a supernatural component; you're thinking of naturalists and other groups that reject the existence of the supernatural. Plenty of atheists are extremely spiritual, religious, and supernatural people; atheism precludes lack of belief in gods, not lack of any belief in the supernatural (common associated is not the same thing as synonymous). Atheists deny that he was divine (though most don't deny that he could have been divine; they consider theism profoundly unlikely, not impossible), but there are actually some atheist liberal Christians. Atheism overall has nothing to do with Jesus, and belongs on the God page instead.
  • The most commonly used sources for information on Jesus are four canonical Gospels, which focus on Jesus's last few years (especially the week before his crucifixion). - Avoid parentheses whenever possible, especially when a lot of text goes in the parentheses. Use comma clauses, emdashes, separate sentences, etc. instead whenever possible.
  • These were not firsthand accounts and were not written during Jesus's lifetime, and their accuracy is frequently challenged by secular historians. - Well of course they weren't written during his lifetime, they revolve around his death! Change to "and were written decades after Jesus' death" or similar. I'm also not the biggest fan of the phrase "secular historians", as it glosses over the fact that many of these historians are religious, and some are even Christian. If you're going to generalize, generalize completely so there's no chance of valid criticism. ;P
  • The exact dates of his birth and death are not known, but the Anno Domini system of reckoning years was originally established by setting the year 1 as the first full year of Jesus' life. - No, this mixes up the past and present too much. The exact dates of his birth and death are not known now, but at the time of the Anno Domini system's creation it was thought that they were known, due to miscalculation. The way it's phrased now, it makes it sound like the creators of that system were aware that Jesus' birth date was still a mystery and made the system anyway, knowing it would be inaccurate.

Hope that was helpful. I'll be reverting the change on the main page, at least until we can resolve all the above issues. -Silence 18:23, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

Silence, I agree with a good deal of what you have written, proposed, and done. And precisely because I am sympathetic to much of what you have written, I think it is important to share with you some history of this article (I am reacting primarily to some comments you have made about how the article should be historical and not have a separate historical section, and some comments about the doiminance of Christian views). You are right that the article on Jesus can't be the 30,000 bits or whatever is the Wikipedia ideal limit. Yet, there are good technical reasons why pages can't be too long. Over the years there has been a good deal of strife over this page, among Christians of different orientations, editors who entirely reject the existence of Jesus, and a range of positions in-between. I personally thought it was important to incorporate into the article some of the ideas of critical scholars, and wrote much of a section that became Names and titles of Jesus and Cultural and historical background of Jesus. You won't believe the conflicts that ensued — some from Christians, but much from people who claimed that any scholar who accepted the existence of Jesus was Christian or Christian biased (implying that there is no such thing as "critical" scholarship per se, just Christian, Jewish, and an extreme (and militant) secular scholarship. In any event, in attempting to represent accurately all points of view, we ended up with an article that was both balkanized and way way too long. Now, I do not like the idea of a balkanized article and I think you do not either. But be forewarned: with controversial topics like Jesus articles end up balkanized. You might put a lot of work into editing this into a seamless and in your good-fath view, NPOV, article, and I promise you if you go away for six months and come back you will not recognize most of the article. The solution that was reached a couple of years ago I think was to spin off different articles that reflected different points of view (e.g. the two that I worked on). At that time someone suggested that it would be much better to include all points of view here, and spin off articles on some other basis. I didn't make that suggestion, although I agreed with it. Nevertheless, no one could come up with a satisfactory solution except to make this article primarily reflecting the Christian POV (but in an NPOV way), with small sections linked to longer articles reflecting non-Christian views. We could try to stitch all the subarticles together and even if we got rid of redundancies and stripped down the prose, this article will still be way way too long and parts will be separated out again. Look, I am just giving you some background. You express yourself well and have some good ideas, I just don't want you to spin your wheels or put in a lot of well-intentioned work that will be reverted pretty quickly, whether for good or bad reasons. And please don't think I am patronizing you, like I said I like many of the edits you have made and I do know that many contributors, including avowed Christians, will accept them. Slrubenstein | Talk 22:13, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
Thank you very much for the kind words and suggestions! You're the second person to warn me to beware this article since I got here, and I can certainly see reason to stay clear of such a controversial article in the archives, where nightmarish disputes seem to have been waged. However, I've actually encountered relatively few conflicts and disputes since my arrival here, most of them concerning summarization tactics and which information belongs in this article rather than in other articles, rather than conflicts over POV representation. For that I'm enormously thankful; though I'm sure it won't last together, things seem to have at least gotten better with approaching an NPOV state of affairs, and that gives me a lot of hope for Wikipedia in general.
If you can actually find your old edits to this page in the ancient history archives, do you think you could possibly link me to them? Some of your old deleted edits might actually be quite valuable to us, if they were removed hastily rather than being incorporated where appropriate. In general, often heavily edited articles will have some great edits hidden in their backlogs with scraps that can be re-added into the current one, and may have been lost due to mistakes or bad edits. But anyway, I'm glad you're back now! Obviously the nature of all Wikipedia articles is flux, but a little hard work and maintenance from a handful of people is all it takes to keep them pretty well maintained and preserves them from veering too far from the middle. It's not easy—but it's not impossible. -Silence 22:25, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
One thing I will add, that I feel strongly about: if you do not believe that a scholar can believe that Jesus existed for reasons that have to do with his or her academic training and not his or her religion or religious background, then you are not capable of NPOV edits. There are scholars, some born Jewish, some Christian, some who believe in Goid, some who do not, some who practice a religion, others who do not, who have made the critical study of 1st century Roman Palestine their life's work, and who believe that Jesus existed. They express this belief in scholarly books that do not assume or espouse any religion's, let alone a religious, point of view. Their work will be included in Wikipedia. Slrubenstein | Talk 22:17, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
Um. Are you still talking to me? Where did I say that I don't think Jesus existed? I don't think he definitely existed, but I think it's highly likely that he did. And even if I didn't, how would that make me unfit to edit an article? I don't believe in interjecting my personal opinion into any article, except where it clearly coincides with reality (e.g., "it is my personal opinion that the moon is not made of cheese"). I especially don't understand why you think that I'm against including any significant POV's works in Wikipedia. What makes you say that? -Silence 22:25, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
Additionally, would you please justify your revert of my latest edit? It is true that many Christian scholars believe that the Gospels have a high level of historical accuracy, and many non-Christians don't; see historicity of Jesus. It is true that the image is a hypothetical reconstrution of what Jesus may have looked like, based on a skull recovered in the general area he lived in, regional and historical and cultural analysis, and textual sources such as the Gospels (from which comes, for example, the long hair); see CNN article. And it is true that Jesus' race has often been a focal point of racist beliefs, and also true that detailed analysis of any one religious denomination's views on Jesus' race belong on Race of Jesus, not on the very brief summary provided on this article.
It's also true that it's both unnecessary and biased to give Islam's perspectives on Jesus two paragraphs in the article while every other religion, including Christianity, gets only a single paragraph in that section, and furthermore it's true that "and some also suggest earlier dates for the entire New Testament than those typically proposed" has absolutely nothing to do with the entire paragraph its in (which deals exclusively with whether Jesus existed, not when he existed), requires citing to be of any value, and probably belongs in a different article altogether, or at best mentioned briefly in the Jesus#Chronology section of this article. So what aspect of my edit do you object to? -Silence 22:41, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
Well, yes, I was talking to you, and if I was talking out of turn I apologize. But I had just changed the following "scholars — predominantly Christian ones &mdash" to "scholars" because that part of the intro was meant to refer specifically to the scholars I was thinking about when I wrote the second comment. And then, if I follow the edit history correctly, you pretty quickly put "Christian" back in. Am I mistaken? I reverted your most recent edit because you effectively reverted an edit I had made five minutes earlier (I tried indicating this to you by providing as an edit summary for the comment in question, "explaining my revert"). And my second comment was precisely meant to explain why. The fact remains that regardless of what I think, or what you think, there are historians and other scholars who believe that key events in the NT ocurred and they should not be identified as "Christian" scholars because their scholarship is neither sectarian nor partisan. Slrubenstein | Talk 22:32, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
Reverting an edit because someone reverted an edit is pretty cyclic logic; if you disagreed with it, why didn't you just explain why in the Talk page? I didn't revert it, per se, though; I rephrased it so it was less editorialistic but still provided the necessary information: that the only people who consider the Gospels to have been highly, or entirely, factual, are, by necessity, Christians, because anyone who thinks that the Gospels are literally true logically pretty much has to become a Christian of some sort, ne? That whole paragraph is nasty and probably should be removed, or reduced to just one line and attached to another paragraph in the intro. It's full of weasel words and says next to nothing, just going back and forth with "some x claim, but some x disagree, although some x don't disagree," etc. Additionally, the fact that many Christian scholars believe that the Gospels are largely true does not mean that all non-Christian scholars believe that they're largely true; "some a think b, therefore all not-a don't think b" isn't correct logic. Though I'd certainly love to see some citations of non-Christians who think that the Gospels are largely or entirely historically accurate. -Silence 22:41, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
I inadvertantly reverted too much and apologize; I will fix it. Slrubenstein | Talk 22:34, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
OK, thanks. Argh, so many edit conflicts trying to make this comment! Three times I had to re-write what I said to add new comments because you'd said more while I was responding to your last statement. :) -Silence 22:41, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
Well, I hope we are square now. For what it is worth "Reverting an edit because someone reverted an edit is pretty cyclic logic; if you disagreed with it, why didn't you just explain why in the Talk page?" — well, that is exactly what I thought I was doing when I wrote in the edit summary, "explaining my revert" and wrote the paragraph that begins "One thing I will add," I was trying to explain my revert (which as I already admitted I now realize but didn't at the time, was overzealous). You misrepresent the text in question. First, I think you draw too fine a line between "people who consider the Gospels to have been highly, or entirely, factual, are, by necessity, Christians" &madsh; there can be a huge gulf between people who believe that the NT is entirely factual and people who consider it to be "highly" factual, that is, factual except those parts involving miracles including the resurection. That little distinction that you elapse is indeed the distinction between someone who is a Christian and someone who is not (or, may not be). I must admit you have lost me when you write "Additionally, the fact that many Christian scholars believe that the Gospels are largely true does not mean that all non-Christian scholars believe that they're largely true," I do not think you are referring to anything I wrote. Earlier you asked me to find my old edits. I do not think I have to . Go to the articles I linked for you above (on titles, and cultural and historical background) and see for yourself. Not all, but almost all of what I wrote has been preserved — and some of the changes others made were indeed improvements. Those articles also provide references. Slrubenstein | Talk 22:50, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
There was nothing terribly wrong with your "One thing I will add" paragraph; the only problems were that it didn't specifically address the change we were discussing, and that you jumped to conclusions regarding my personal beliefs just because of the insertion of one word into a sentence—a sentence I still believe requires that word to make any sense whatsoever. What you should really do if you want your current version to stay is to add in that by "largely true" you mean that these scholars believe that the Gospel is reliable on everything except the descriptions of miraculous events (which in some very real ways is a contradiction, because "largely true" implies that most of it is true and a huge portion of the Gospels describes a wide variety of miraculous events in great detail :)), which will help clear this whole matter up.
My fault on the latter misunderstanding. I meant to say "Additionally, the fact that many Christian scholars believe that the Gospels are largerly true does not mean that all non-Christian scholars believe that the Gospels are not largely true.
Anyway, I'm glad that most of what you wrote was preserved and helped found new articles. If that's the case, then at least the system's more or less working in the end, even if it takes a lot of nasty arguing to get to that point. -Silence 22:59, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
well, thanks — but you should reserve judgement until you have actually read them... Slrubenstein | Talk 23:16, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
I have read them, though not recently. I've been planning to do some copyediting of the "names" article and section soon recently (yay time adverbs!), in fact.

Post-protection changes[edit]

I'll accept the removal of the Gandhi image, though we should keep our eyes out for some non-Christian imagery related to Jesus. Whenever things have simmered down a bit, the following changes should be made:

  1. Because it breaks flow of the Islam section to add in details, because we go into no detail on, for example, the Book of Revelation in this article's very brief overview of Christian beliefs, and because the paragraph is already more than large enough, the Islam section should be changed back to:
In Islam, Jesus is known as Isa and is one of God's highest-ranked and most-beloved prophets. Like Christian writings, the Qur'an holds that Jesus was born without a biological father by the will of God, that he could perform miracles, and that he will one day return to the world to rid it of evil and defeat an Antichrist figure (Dajjal, translated as "Deceiver"). However, unlike Christians, Muslims do not consider Jesus to have been the son of God, and do not believe that he died on the cross; instead, the Qur'an states that his death was only an illusion to deceive his enemies, and that Jesus ascended bodily to heaven. Muslims also believe that Jesus received a gospel from God (called the Injeel) that corresponds to the Christian New Testament, but that it and the Old Testament have both changed over time such that they no longer accurately represent God's original message to mankind.
  1. Because the article never stated that "jesus was ideal" is supremacist, but rather that the "ideal race" part of that statement was, this information should be re-added to allow people to do further research on the subject more easily, though to clarify what's being referred to as "supremacist" I suggest the wording of:
Jesus was most likely a bronze-skinned man of Middle Eastern descent, based on the area in which he lived; see Race of Jesus. However, this surmisal is more controversial; there is sparse information from the time on what Jesus' racial background was, and many argue that Jesus was white, black, and dozens of other possibilities. These conflicts have been a significant aspect of racist doctrines; some Christian racial supremacists have argued that Jesus would have been of the "ideal" race, based on the belief held by some Christians that Jesus, as the son of God, would have had the ideal body type and physical characteristics.

If anyone has any problems with these changes, let's discuss them here; edit wars are boring. -Silence 00:04, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

I only have a small problem with your Islam paragraph, but ofcourse nothing that we had an edit war over. It needs to be mentioned that the Islamic and Christian conceptions of the anti-Christ like figure and what happens next are different. Islamic belief is different especially concerning Imam Mahdi. I will however accept your paragraph provided I am able to make some minor changes. --a.n.o.n.y.m t 00:14, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
Considering that such details would not really relate to "religious perspectives on Jesus" so much as on "religious perspectives on the end of the world" or "religious perspectives on the Second Coming", I'd really prefer it if we could reserve such details for Religious perspectives on Jesus#Islam, Isa, Second Coming#Islam, End_of_the_world_(religion)#Islam, Dajjal, Islamic eschatology, etc. There are so many good articles on this matter to include this information on, that I don't see why it's so vital to include it on a general-purposes article that has to cover such a huge number of topics so quickly like Jesus. If we had a Jesus#Second Coming section on this page that explored all the views on this matter in more detail, I'd be fine with adding that information; if not, I'd prefer that we just left it to other articles to explain those fine differences between Christianity and Islam (which wouldn't be a bad sister page to make for Similarities between the Bible and the Qur'an, if you're that interested in the subject!), though if you insist, I won't contest future re-addition of those facts to that paragraph as long as you can fit them in smoothly. -Silence 00:27, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
Fair enough. I will leave you solve the racial issues edit war problem with Paul Barlow now. Thanks a.n.o.n.y.m t 00:31, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Dispute paragraph[edit]

:Silence's version: "Jesus was most likely a bronze-skinned man of Middle Eastern descent, based on the area in which he lived; see Race of Jesus. However, this surmisal is more controversial; there is scarce information from the time on what Jesus' racial background was, and many argue that Jesus was white, black, and dozens of other possibilities. These conflicts have been a significant aspect of racist doctrines; some Christian racial supremacists have argued that Jesus, as the son of God, would have had the ideal body type and physical characteristics, including the "ideal" race."

Silence's version: "Jesus was most likely a bronze-skinned man of Middle Eastern descent, based on the area in which he lived; see Race of Jesus. However, this surmisal is more controversial; there is sparse information from the time on what Jesus' racial background was, and many argue that Jesus was white, black, and dozens of other possibilities. These conflicts have been a significant aspect of racist doctrines; some Christian racial supremacists have argued that Jesus would have been of the "ideal" race, based on the belief held by some Christians that Jesus, as the son of God, would have had the ideal body type and physical characteristics."

(My version is not the last one I put on the page, it's the one I was about to put on the page when it was protected. -Silence 01:20, 23 October 2005 (UTC))

Paul Barlow's version: "Jesus was most likely a bronze-skinned man of Middle Eastern descent, based on the area in which he lived; see Race of Jesus. However, there is sparse information from the time on Jesus' racial background. Many envisage Jesus as white, black, and dozens of other possibilities. Some Christians have argued that Jesus, as the son of God, would have had the ideal body type and physical characteristics, including the "ideal" race."

OK, here's my take: firstly, neither of these two paragraphs are any good. Paul's going to hate me saying this, but again we have "some Christians". Which Christians? This seems to imply that a goodly number of Christians have racist beliefs about Jesus. This is not the case, and I feel rather offended by the implication. If we could source who the people are who say this, then I would be a lot happier. I also wonder how many people believe this, or at what time periods these things were being said.

Secondly, I don't understand the edit summary Paul B gives:

"arguing that he looked liked the ideal human is not IN ITSELF racial suprematism. It is TOTALLY MISLEADING to imply that it is. Stop reverting blindly. Read the detail"

This is not what the paragraph says. It says that some Christian racial supremacists have argued this point, it does not say that the argument itself is racial supremacism. - Ta bu shi da yu 00:51, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

The quotation you attribute to me is in fact a compromise between what I first wrote and what Silence wished to write. My first version was rather different. My main intent was to stress that there is a theological tradition concerning Jesus’s appearance that depends on the assumption that his birth was miraculous, and so that normal arguments about what someone from that part of the world would look like do not apply. It was Silence who seemed to wish to – in my view – confuse this issue with the notion of “racial suprematism”. Racial suprematist positions can use either the theological mode of argument or the naturalist one. They are not dependant on one or other of these views. By using the terms "racial suprematism" and "racist doctrines" only in connection with the second view Silence implies that this view is primarily motivated by racism. As for the central claim that theologians have argued that Jesus must have been a physically ideal person, that’s well established. There are a number of descriptions of Jesus from spurious ancient sources that were accepted as legitimate during the middle ages. One 'Publius Lentullus' is supposed to have described him as of “singular beauty, surpassing the children of men". There are several other such idealised descriptions. You can find them on this website [1]. The website itself is a bit idiosyncratic, but the summary of theological positions is confirmed by other sources. I have an old book called ‘’Christ in Art’’ by F.W. Farrar, dated 1901 which contains the same information. There was a theological debate about whether Jesus would have looked ordinary or ideal. St Jerome and St Augustine both argued that he would have been ideally beautiful “beautiful as an infant, beautiful on earth, beautiful in heaven” (Christ in Art, p. 73). Such arguments were familiar to Renaissance artists. Paul B 20:22, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
  • and so that normal arguments about what someone from that part of the world would look like do not apply. - Do not apply within those specific theological traditions, you mean. A number of your edits failed to mention that, just saying that the entire question of race was in every way irrelevant because of a single, narrow theological view on the matter.
My original edit made it absolutely clear that the argument only has force for believers. Even more compressed later versions were pretty clear. It's not a narrow theological view, but the mainstream Christian view. Paul B 00:15, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps your original edit did, but there were plenty of other major problems with your original one that needed fixing. More importantly, your later edits failed to mention the little fact that it's only within that theological tradition that the question of race is irrelevant! Which is one of the reasons why none of your later versions (including the one that's currently on the locked page) were acceptable. -Silence 02:02, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
  • confuse this issue with the notion of “racial suprematism”. - You are the one who first alluded to racial suprematism, you just didn't mention it, which is much more confusing than explicitly stating what is going on. There is nothing "racially supremacist" about thinking that Jesus would have the ideal body—what's "racially supremacist" is thinking that Jesus would have the ideal race, which is the entire issue at hand since the entire paragraph you inserted your text into is concerned with Jesus' race. If you meant to mention a certain tradition regarding views that Jesus had the ideal body in general, you should mention it in a totally different part of the page, not in the paragraph about race. It is not possible to believe that there is an "ideal race" unless you are a racial supremacist. Ergo, you were describing a combination of the view of racial supremacism with the view that Jesus was ideal. You were not just saying that Jesus was ideal, or you wouldn't have mentioned race at all and the section would have been 100% irrelevant to the topic of the paragraph, and you weren't just saying the racial supremacist doctrine, else you wouldn't have mentioned Jesus. You were talking about a belief that occurs when someone holds both views, a necessary consequence of the overlap.
I've no idea how I "alluded to it" but did not mention it. References to racial suprematism were added by you in your edit on 22.06, 22 Oct. Paul B 00:15, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
Your very first edit to the paragraph said "Of course, according to orthodox Christian theology his birth was wholly miraculous, bypassing conventional genetic laws of inheritence, so ordinary arguments about race have no relevance to anyone who accepts the doctrine that Jesus was literally the Son of God. This belief was generally taken as given by the most artists who portrayed him, and whose portrayal reflected the views at the time about the ideal male physiognomy". If characterizing artists portraying him as being of their own race is an attempt to make Jesus' race "ideal", rather than an unrelated issue of people depicting Jesus as they're used to seeing him depicted and with the same race as the artist and the (which is not automatically the "ideal" in the artist's view, contrary to what you seem to think). Either your insertion was a subtly accusation of racial suprematism (in which case it needed clarification) or it was an irrelevant tangent making a paragraph that needed to be concise much, much longer than necessary—the paragraph is about the race of Jesus, so everything in the paragraph should be solely concerned with his race. If your discussing of "ideal male physiognomy" had nothing to do with race, it had absolutely no place in the paragraph (hence my very first attempt to delete your addition and recommend that you go into it on Race of Jesus; I only started attempting to clean up your additions after you reverted my attempt to very easily deal with the problem by moving it someplace where there's room to handle it effectively) and there were countless other places on the page you could have tried putting it. But no, you chose this one—and that is where the problems started. -Silence 02:02, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Racial suprematist positions can use either the theological mode of argument or the naturalist one. - Correct. And in this case, they were using the theological one. Where did I ever write that all racial supremacists believe that Jesus was the ideal race? Plenty of racial supremacists aren't even Christian—I made that quite clear in my versions of the paragraph.
  • They are not dependant on one or other of these views. - No one has ever said that one view is dependant on the other, or even that the two are directly related, except you in your claims that my versions have indicated that. What's been said is that the view that Jesus was the ideal race is a result of having those two views: racial supremacism with "Jesus had the ideal physical body".
Where did you write it? In your 22.06 22 Oct edit, that's where. You added the words "some Christian racial supremacists have argued that Jesus, as the son of God, would have had the ideal body type and physical characteristics, including the "ideal" race." The comment that all racial supremacists are not christian is supremely irrelevant, as you well know. No one ever said they were. Paul B 00:15, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
Of course no one ever said they were. You accused me of implying it, but have no evidence to back that up, so out goes that. I, on the other hand, have already pointed out that your only possible agenda for including a diatribe about the "ideal male physiognomy" in a paragraph about Jesus' race would have been to allude to notions of an "ideal race", and if that wasn't your intent and you just weren't thinking when you wrote the addition, it has nothing to do with the paragraph and must be removed. Either way, the addition is just plain no good. -Silence 02:02, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
  • By using the terms "racial suprematism" and "racist doctrines" only in connection with the second view Silence implies that this view is primarily motivated by racism. - No, I imply the truth: that if one does not consider any one race better than the rest, one cannot believe that Jesus had the "ideal" race. You seem to be trying to cloud over the entire issue by failing to distinguish between people who think that Jesus had the ideal body and don't think that he had the ideal race, and those that do, as though it's not possible to think that Jesus had the ideal body without also thinking that he had the ideal race! This is clearly not the case, as most people today realize that the notion of an "ideal race" is nonsense. Your version is the one that will cause confusion, by making people think that all Orthodox Christians believe that Jesus' race was "ideal", and thus implicitly stating that all Orthodox Christians are racial supremacists! That's hardly fair, and is the reason there's been so much objection to your interjection of that view into the paragraph. Why are you so opposed to giving this view the proper treatment it requires on Race of Jesus? Countless people will read that article in the future, probably more than almost any other Jesus sub-article, so if you're worried that noone will see your additions your worry is baseless. Moreover, you'd have much more space to fully present all sides of the "was Jesus' race the ideal one?" issue on that page, and since it's obviously a much more complex and contentious issue than whether Jesus lived in an area and culture that was almost universally racially Middle Eastern, it needn't be addressed here. That way everyone wins.
iT WAS YOU who suggested that its not possible to think that Jesus had the ideal body without thinking that he had the ideal race because you added the phrase about the ideal race. Paul B 00:15, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
No, it was you who suggested that it's not possible to think that Jesus had the ideal body without thinking that he had the ideal race by adding three lines about Jesus having the ideal body to a paragraph about Jesus' race!! Either the lines were subtly racist or they were irrelevant; I'll assume good faith now and deem them "irrelevant", and ask that you not resist the requests so many people have now made to have them removed (and moved to Race of Jesus, where they can be given the attention they require).
Who are all these people who requested to have what I originally wrote removed, apart from you that is? The passages that some contributers object to are the ones about the ideal race, which are certainly not mine. BTW, I said that he was depicted with the ideal physiognomy, not the ideal body. The word physiognomy was used perfectly correctly. It means the cast of the features, in particular as they are interpreted as an index of the mind. Look it up in a dictionary. However it's certainly true that many theologians and art-theorists also thought he should have the ideal body. The notion of an ideal body was common in the Renaissance. It was thought to mirror the divine order of the universe. Look for example at Albrecht Durer's attempts to construct a geometrically ideal body, or at the images of Vitruvian man. It is crass and inappropriate to idenify this concern with an ideal body with racism. Yes, that does become an issue in the 19th Century, but not, I think, significantly before then. I have already explained the placing of the comments. They were intended to provide a logical transition between the "race" section and the "art" section. It also seemed to be the appropriate place to include a reference to the theological debate about Jesus' physiognomy, since it was in this section that Jesus' physical appearance was being discussed. There is no reason why that should be reduced to the issue of race. Race is an aspect of the history of discussion about his appearance. Paul B 08:58, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
But I don't see how pointing fingers does anyone any good. The whole point of this discussion was to see if you had any evidence for the claim that "Jesus' ideal physiognomy" is significant to the paragraph about race (by citing people who have also made the connection by ), and you've failed to do that. Can we move on to removing your additions from the article now, and going with something like the bolded paragraph I suggested below? More accusations will just keep us running in circles, when they do noone any good. I, for one, apologize for accusing you of trying to implicitly condone racist beliefs by not labeling it as racist, when apparently your additions were just a misguided and unthought-out attempt to make an unnecessary segue into the next section, that went horribly wrong. Since neither one of us meant any malice by our edits, let's just worry about what to do next rather than continuing to blame each other for what we did in the past. -Silence 02:02, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
  • As for the central claim that theologians have argued that Jesus must have been a physically ideal person, that’s well established. - You're still trying to evade the issue. Not one person has disputed that the view that Jesus was physically ideal has been held by a significant number of people in the past. The only thing being disputed is your claim that an extremely common and significant view is that Jesus was racially ideal, which you still have yet to support. You just seem to assume that one must be true if the other is, which is obviously not the case because most reasonable people don't think that there is an "ideal" race; all races are equal. Therefore you still must cite sources for your claim of racial supremacy in some Orthodox Christian views if you want this to be included on any article, Race of Jesus included.
  • St Jerome and St Augustine both argued that he would have been ideally beautiful “beautiful as an infant, beautiful on earth, beautiful in heaven” - Where's the "beautiful as a white boy" part of this quotation that would support your claims?
You really do take the biscuit. You added the phrase about his being of the ideal race and now you keep trying to blame this on me. Either you don't remember that you added the phrase or you are being thoroughly disingenuous. Paul B 00:15, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
You added the phrase about his being of the ideal body type to a paragraph about Jesus' race. All I did was take a dishonest, misleading, and confusing set of lines and make them actually make sense in the context they were in. If you didn't intend them to make any sense, then you shouldn't have added them to begin with, and you should have removed them as soon as you realized that they didn't fit into the context. It was my own fault for trying to find a compromise between our two versions where your additions actually made sense within the paragraph they were in; I shouldn't have backed down from trying to get the lines removed altogether, and I should have assumed that you were just adding the text to the wrong place rather than assuming that you were quietly alluding to Christian racial supremacism. I'll try to do better next time, remembering that sometimes compromises aren't the best thing in all situations: when it's a compromise between a good option and a bad option, you just end up with a mediocre result. -Silence 02:02, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Such arguments were familiar to Renaissance artists. - The argument that Jesus was ideal, yes. But the argument that Jesus was the ideal race? I wasn't aware that Michaelangelo was a member of the KKK. -Silence 23:11, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
I repeat: YOU ADDED THE IDEAL RACE COMMENT, not me. You are attacking yourself, seemingly without recognising the fact. Paul B 00:15, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
Nope. You added the comment accidentally, by making accusations you didn't realize that you were making ("Race, race, race, race, race, race, race, race, race, race, race, Christians think Jesus had the ideal body in every way"). I brought them out into the light so we could address what was being alluded to directly, and it's a good thing I did: because I made it clearer what was being subtly hinted at in your version, we are now drawing closer to having the passage removed and having the subject dealt with on Race of Jesus instead, as should have happened from the very beginning. So, both of us are the victims of a misunderstanding: you misunderstood the implications of your own writing, and I misunderstood your motivations for writing them. And now I finally understand your motivations better, but you still misunderstand the implications and my own reasons for editing your text; hopefully the latter two misunderstandings can be cleared up as soon as possible as well, so we can both stop with the missing and resume the understanding. -Silence 02:02, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
Just to clarify – here is my original edit that led to the dispute. The first part is the previous version. My additions are in italics: "Jesus was most likely a bronze-skinned man of Middle Eastern descent, based on the area in which he lived; see Race of Jesus. However there is scarce information from the time on what Jesus' racial background was, and many choose to envisage Jesus as white, black, and dozens of other, less common possibilities. Of course, according to orthodox Christian theology his birth was wholly miraculous, bypassing conventional genetic laws of inheritence, so ordinary arguments about race have no relevance to anyone who accepts the doctrine that Jesus was literally the Son of God. This belief was generally taken as given by the most artists who portrayed him, and whose portrayal reflected the views at the time about the ideal male physiognomy." Note that there are no comments about "racial suprematism" or references to specific races. The main purpose was to add the important point that orthodox Christian theology has produced a wholly different type of argument about Jesus's appearance than the naturalistic one previously discussed in the article. I thought it important to add this fact. I also thought that the last sentence I added provided was useful as a lead-in to the next section discussing artistic portrayals of Jesus. I still do not understand why Silence declared this addition to be "POV". Paul B 22:06, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
Yes, neither of the above paragraphs were our original versions. My version you probably would have found largely acceptable, whereas his you probably would have found even more objectionable, and because we both (to varying extents) tried to find a middle ground, we ended up in a place where we were both fairly objectionable. :) And, again, my four objections to your above paragraph were:
(1) It paints the view that all orthodox Christians believe that Jesus had the "ideal race" just because they believe that Jesus had the "ideal appearance", implicitly suggesting that all orthodox Christians are racists by conflating the two distinct views that Jesus had the ideal appearance, and there is an "ideal race" (racial supremacism), and therefore Jesus had the ideal race.
(2) It's too long and complex for this page to address adequately, whereas the information that was already there is very nicely summarized and leaves no real loose ends, thus serving as a good gateway into the other article where such matters as the orthodox Christian stance on Jesus' race can be explained in as much detail as is required. Apparently, the only way to include any information on orthodox Christianity's stance is to mutilate it and make it look like all orthodox Christians are racist, ergo the only way to appropriately handle this issue is to give it the fuller, broader treatment it necessitates in order to not misrepresent the views it presents.
(3) It is not NPOV to focus on the historical, scientific view on Jesus' race a little more than on the religious view because the entire section is about a historical look at Jesus' background! Have you forgotten that the entire rest of the section deals with Jesus' cultural, geographic, and linguistic background? As such, a brief mentioning of the dispute over his race is fully appropriate. However, going into a discussion of orthodox Catholic perspectives regarding Jesus' physical perfection is not appropriate. If you consider such perspectives that overwhelmingly necessary, then make a new section of the page where they would really belong, like "Appearance" or "Physical characteristics". Or just stop POV-pushing and put the information where it really belongs, in Race of Jesus. That would work too. :/ If we need to mention every individual denomination of every individual religion's views on what race Jesus was, then you'd better do the same for religious views on what language Jesus spoke, since there are plenty of bizarre and arbitrary perspectives on that too.
(4) While it's not POV to focus on the historical perspective primarily in a section necessarily about the historical perspective, it is POV to represent a single interpretation of a single denomination of a single religion's perspective on Jesus' physical attributes, while ignoring every other religion in the entire world! NPOV doesn't state that every single article has to mention what religious people say about this or that issue when it's not immediately significant or belongs elsewhere, but it does state that you shouldn't favor any religion over any other and act like only the Orthodox Christian view is of any significance in this dispute! By avoiding mentioning any religions or movements by name, the original version ensures that the section remains compact and managable. Your version, on the other hand, will ensure countless future disputes as every religion in the world tries to have its voice heard too in that one, tiny little paragraph. It's simply so much easier to address all of that in the Race of Jesus article, rather than to try to compact every view into one paragraph. The only views we need to mention are the three major, most common and noteworthy theories about Jesus' race: Middle Eastern, Caucasian, and African. That gives all the most basic and significant information, and then we can leave the details and specific rationale and views of individual religious groups for the article we link to. Why is that so terrible? -Silence 23:11, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
Ta bu, I am not involved in this dispute, user:Silence is. I have adjusted this in your message above. --a.n.o.n.y.m t 00:57, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
Cool. I'd like to take the whole thing out if sources can't be provided. Potentially offensive claims require sources. - Ta bu shi da yu 01:05, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
Actually, my version is the result of trying to compromise with Paul because he was unwilling to have the text completely removed from the article, which was my original wish. I believe that even if some Christians hold this view, it's far from a majority view, and there are so many nuances to such a belief and so many people who would object to being represented in this way that the only place to in any way handle this is in Race of Jesus#Caucasian (or its own subsection on that page), where we will have pages to discuss this matter in as much detail and sourcing as is required—as opposed to the Jesus page, where we should have no more than a handful of lines, if that, and where so few lines cannot come close to accurately representing the many diverse religious views regarding Jesus' race, whereas the secular views are comparatively rather unified and simple: he was probably of Middle Eastern descent. I'm glad someone's come to help settle this dispute; two-party discussions tend to get stuck in a rut much more easily than larger ones. -Silence 01:12, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
I didn't see what was so bad about " Jesus is often viewed from a racial perspective, thus, several African Americans view Jesus as being of African descent. Similarly, Middle Eastern potrayals and some Hispanic connotations stem from different racial perspectives. Furthermore, the racial conflict in regards to Jesus often conflicts that of another, sometimes causing racial tension." - simple and to the point, but I am constantly ridiculed - or atleast I feel that way. V/ M
01:09, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
Paragraph one is too complex as well: I submit the FOLLOWING: Jesus is often viewed from a racial perspective, which has been primarily disputed among several races several demographies throughout history. In addition, this controversy has stemmed into several artistic and dramatic portrayings of Jesus, but are contested as their authenticity is disputed." How about that, no races specifically mentioned, thus getting rid of any potentially harmful POV rants. V/ M
01:14, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
No one has ridiculed you here. We just felt that your paragraph, while certainly a good start, could use some improvement and clarification; I welcome anyone to edit any paragraph I've written on any article page in the same way, if they feel they can make any improvements or interesting changes. If you want me to explain the specific problems we found with that paragraph, then just ask and I will; I only avoided doing so from the beginning because I didn't want to accidentally offend you, when my only intent is to help everyone have fun with the editing and improve the articles as much as possible. -Silence 01:17, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
What of this...Jesus is often viewed from a racial perspective, which has been primarily disputed among several demographies throughout history. In addition, this controversy has stemmed into several artistic and dramatic portrayings of Jesus, but are contested as their authenticity is disputed. V/ M
01:25, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
Personally, I don't see what's wrong with the version I had on the page before Paul inserted his text into it:
Jesus was most likely a bronze-skinned man of Middle Eastern descent, based on the area in which he lived; see Race of Jesus. However, this surmisal is more controversial; there is sparse information from the time on what Jesus' racial background was, and many argue that Jesus was white, black, and numerous other possibilities.
Short but sweet, like the Aramaic statement just above it. -Silence 01:30, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
I don't think specific race should be mentioned at all, because the entire dispute is floating around about that. V/ M
01:38, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
Why not? "NPOV" is "Neutral Point of View", not "No Point of View". It's perfectly safe to mention that Jesus' location suggests that he was likely a Middle Easterner, but other races are very commonly attributed to him by various groups for various reasons; and then people visit the Race of Jesus page to get the details on all these claims and more. If you want to ascribe a specific source to the "Middle Eastern" claim so we get fewer objections to it in the future, that's fine, but we should at least provide the basic, bare-bones information, just as we start in the above paragraph that "Jesus' language was probably Aramaic"; stating the languages most commonly ascribed to Jesus should be no different from stating the races most commonly ascribed to Jesus. -Silence 01:42, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Easily avoiding the race factor as I had done only incites the reader to go to the main article. Over 1,000 words discuss the dispute, so a simple paragraph here should introduce it. V/ M
01:45, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
I agree that it is best to not allude to any race. I find this to be a rather droll disagreement/discussion. I guess I have just never considered it. For me, Christ has is always associated with Light; He is no "color" and "every color". I enjoy and appreciate the serene Eastern Orthodox representations of Christ; there I most often see Him as bronze-skinned. There are groups that attempt to put a race to Christ, but they are few. We respect their beliefs, but it is not necessary to curry their favor by stating their issue here. It is sufficient to keep it simple and state many view Christ as belonging to their own race and move on. It is only 2 cents worth. Storm Rider 01:48, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
That would indeed be sufficient, if the Jesus article was exclusively about religious perspectives: the most common perspective among all religions is that Jesus' race is irrelevant. However, this article is also about the historical Jesus, and there is a pretty significant consensus among historians and scholars that Jesus was of Middle Eastern descent, hence that fact is equally (or only slightly less) as noteworthy as the consensus among historians and scholars that Jesus spoke Aramaic. We can very briefly mention opposing religious views in both cases, if they're noteworthy enough, and then go into detail of the individual sides of each party's case on the general articles Aramaic of Jesus and Race of Jesus.
Furthermore, here's something very important to keep in mind: how long a subject has been debated on an article's talk page should not influence what is included on the subject. The content of the discussion should influence what course we take, but to simply say "we've talked about this so long, so it must be too controversial to weigh in on!" is nonsense; only one person has disputed the version of the article I listed above, Paul, and one other person has chimed in in support of something like it (Ta bu shi da yu) or something like it, Storm Rider's comments concern only the religious aspect of Jesus' race, and you have only objected to the inclusion of actual information in the brief line that will link to Race of Jesus because you're terrified that more controversy will emerge if we mention anything; an unfounded fear, I expect. No one's complained about the removal of any of the text of the original version, just about the addition of some extraneous information which should be moved to the article for specifics on the issue, just as insertions like this edit must both be (1) cited and (2) moved to the article for specific information of that nature (Religious perspectives on Jesus in that case, Race of Jesus in this one). People will be more likely to visit Race of Jesus if some sort of statement is actually made regarding Jesus' race in the link to it! Vagueness and weasel words will bore and drive away readers, not allure them! -Silence 03:37, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
What I really want hasn't been addressed. I don't doubt that Jesus was dark skinned (though culturally I don't "see" him that way, this is no way a racial slur!), however I would like to see a source for "These conflicts have been a significant aspect of racist doctrines; some Christian racial supremacists have argued that Jesus would have been of the "ideal" race, based on the belief held by some Christians that Jesus, as the son of God, would have had the ideal body type and physical characteristics". I want to even one example of a racist doctrine that hinges on the skin colour of Christ and spouted by a specific group that claims to be Christian! - Ta bu shi da yu 13:38, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
I move that the protection of the page be lifted. V/M
02:17, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
I say we wait until Paul comments here so we know the edit war won't resume when the page is unlocked. And it's kind of nice to actually take a break and talk about these issues. -Silence 03:37, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

I do not like the "...most likely ..." sentence, for two reasons: first, it sounds like original research. Please provide the source for this assertion of fact. Second, how would anyone know? If all we could do is speculate, then the accurate sentence would be "X has speculated this, and y has speculated that."

I understand that at some point in time, the "racial" identity of Jesus became an issue for some groups of people. We should find out (i.e. look for good sources) when and who and say "Around the x century, y began raising questions (or making claims) about Jesus' racial identity; in the year a, b made counter-claims."

From what I have read -- and I have read several of the most well-regarded academic histories of Jesus and his time, (1) people at that time did not use the word "race" the same way people today use it (Dio Cassus, a second century Roman historian, once wrote of a person who was of the "Jewish race" although she had converted. Most people I know of today do not believe one can "convert" one's race, so obviously Dio Cassus and presumably his readers had different assumptions about race) and (2) the typical Palestinian Jew looked a lot like most Mediterranean peoples (there are accounts of Jews being mistaken, on the basis of appearance alone, for Greeks or others during Roman times).

This is the little I know from my research, and I can provide the sources if you want though I would need to dig for them. But my larger point is this: I think most of these conflicts over this paragraph would disappear if we vigorously avoided original research, and instead stuck to our NPOV and NOR policies by providing sources for any of these claims, and deleting claims for which we have no source (including claims that are the result of our — wikipedia editors — interpretations of historical documents). Slrubenstein | Talk 15:52, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Second, how would anyone know? - Because just about all Jews living in Palestine in the 1st century were Middle Eastern. That's where Palestine is. The Middle East.

Well, the sentence is then practically a tautology and I think should be deleted on those grounds. What does "of middle eastern descent" mean? Why not just say "he was a middle-eastern man?" since he lived in the "Middle east." But why even say that? "Middle Eastern is a modern geographic category that did not exist back then; it is anachronistic and thus bad history to identify Jesus that ay. He was born in Palestine and of Jewish parents, according to the New Testament (the only source concerning his birth); why say anything more than that? (by the way, this is a comment directed obviously both to Silence and Paul) Slrubenstein | Talk 15:13, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Nonsense, the statement is in no way a tautology; even if everyone agreed that Jesus was descended from or appeared similar to the people who lived in the area that he lived in (what is today termed "the Middle East"), and clearly a lot of people don't agree (mostly outside of the academic community) and it is thus worth noting to clarify the dispute, it still wouldn't be redundant to say what race we would most likely classify him as were he today in a paragraph leading in to a page about Jesus' race that uses the popular modern definition of "race"!. Additionally, remember that what is disputed is whether he was of the same race as just about everyone around him (bronze-skinned) or whether he wasn't and somehow was of "European" (white-skinned) or "African" (black-skinned) origin. Incidentally, "European" and "African" are no more universal, set-in-stone, inherent terms for referring to those areas of the world than "Middle Eastern" is, so I find it baffling that you would criticize one phrase and ignore the "African" one; what difference does it make that "Middle Eastern" is a relatively new term, if it's in just about universal use now? None of them have been in use forever, no matter how old they are, so the fact that they wouldn't have called Jesus "Middle Eastern" back then is totally beside the

point; the English language didn't even exist back then, of course they couldn't have called him that!! If we are required to make it clear even in that one little paragraph that one of those terms was not in common usage by the people we're talking about the time, then we have to do the same for every term on the entire Jesus page, and on all of Wikipedia. Moreover, even if you would instantly make the connection that Palestine, being in what is today the Middle East, would predominantly be inhabited by people we'd dub "Middle Eastern", that doesn't mean it would be obvious to eveeryone, and it is Wikipedia policy to state the obvious in cases such as this, and not just assume that the reader is aware of what the alternative option is to Jesus being white, black, or another race more common outside of his area, religion, etc. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of laypeople, on reading the Jesus page for the first time, would be surprised to learn that Palestine didn't consist of white people in the 1st century!! Such misconceptions are common in many parts of the world, especially regarding a topic like Jesus. -Silence 05:10, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Good point (re: Africa), however I would agree with SLrubentein that we should define what is meant by "Middle Eastern". It is not clear to me what this means and AFAICS it is far to broad a term. - Ta bu shi da yu 06:47, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
"Middle Eastern" is defined clearly on its own page, and is a phrase in very common usage among most English-speakers. Clarify if you want, but don't give a definition. Additionally, I thought the whole point of using the term was to use a suitably broad, general, wide-spanning term, for the exact same reason that we use black or white, or Caucasian or African. If those terms are acceptable (other than Caucasian, apparently, even though its still in very common use in the US and Europe), what other terms for broad races or racial groupings are? -Silence 09:08, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Also: Note that all terminology on every page of Wikipedia is assumed to be the terms used in modern times, not in historic times, except when mentioned otherwise. That's because the article is being written for people who are alive today, not people who were alive two thousand years ago. Accordingly, while the change in our conception of the word "race" is certainly an interesting (though not centrally important) thing to mention on the Race of Jesus page, and indeed I'd welcome the addition of such a section because it would allow us to discuss the ethnic/racial Jewish issue most clearly (I tried to briefly mention it, but my statement got deleted, so your new additions would help make things clearer to readers on that page), but it's no more vital to mention that the definition of "race" we use today is not the one they used to use in a one-paragraph summary of an entire page than it is to mention that Jesus is not the name that was used in Jesus' lifetime. The way we use words on Wikipedia is based on modern usage, not historic usage, except when it is specifically mentioned otherwise. Moreover, I made sure to link to the Middle East page when discussing the commonly accepted racial background for Jesus, so anyone interested could easily go and see the history of that geographic classification, and moremoreover I'd be perfectly willing to clarify the wording slightly in order to make it even more obvious that people wouldn't have called him "Middle Eastern" at the time (just as they wouldn't have called him "the founder of Christianity" or "Jesus" or a "preacher" or hundreds of other ways we describe him throughout Wikipedia because those are modern conventions, and next to noone would assume that most of those were in usage in the 1st century without reason to do so), perhaps with something like "Because the Jews living in 1st-century Galilee were more or less universally bronze-skinned people who would today probably be classified as Middle Eastern, the dominant theory among historians is currently that Jesus was of the same racial background." What I would not be willing to do would be to remove that information altogether, as you seem to be suggesting.
It is not enough just to say that he was born Palestinian and Jewish, and then just leave it at that and move on to discussing the theories that he was black or white; "Palestinian" and "Jewish" are not accepted as races, and even if they were, to state such would be more redundant than stating that he would be classed as Middle Eastern today, because it's already stated in many places elsewhere in the article that he's both Jewish and lived in Roman Palestine; what isn't redundant is to say what modern racial classification that would probably place him in. If you have a suitable synonym, fine; I'm totally open to considering other options, as long as they would more clearly explain in broad terminology what Jesus' race probably was if he wasn't white or black than just "Palestinian" and "Jewish". It's uneven to compare small ethnic groups to categories as incredibly broad and diverse as "white" or "black"; if we stick to your method, we'd also need to list the several dozen specific countries theorized to be the places Jesus' white or black or whatever ancestry could have come from on this one page's little intro paragraph. All I want is usefulness, consistency, and conciseness; bending over backwards for political correctness is not helpful to our readers. -Silence 05:10, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
And people didn't exactly do the most long-distance traveling back then.

Hmmm. Many individuals did not do much long-distance travelling then, just as most do not today. But most historians consider the Roman Empire to have been pretty cosmopolitan, and have identified trade-networks linking Europe, Asia, and Africa. Slrubenstein | Talk 15:13, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Doesn't matter. What was "cosmopolitan" in the 1st century is practically hicksville in the modern, globalized world, and the fact that most people don't travel a lot even today is misleading, as it misses the point that there's enormously more travel and population intermingling now than there was at the time. Jesus could have been black or white back then, theoretically, but it's an enormously smaller chance than if, say, he was alive today. An enigmatic figure with little to no documentation on him today would have vastly more unknown variables than back then, when it was relatively unlikely for such a thing to occur, especially without any documentation on it surviving! Did people just not notice that Jesus was black and everyone around him wasn't, or did some massive Church conspiracy cover it up? Oy. Conspiracy theories and in-depth sociological studies are not on the same level of credibility, not by a long shot. -Silence 05:10, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
At least, not when they could help it (ah, diasphoras.. see the world, they said..). It's not certain that he was of any one race, of course. But it's a hell of a lot more likely than, say, that he had long hair, or that he was a rabbi. There's no way to confirm how long his hair was or what profession he had except by taking the Gospels as.. well, gospel.. but with something like race, as long as we can trust the most basic details of his life (i.e. "he lived in this area, he was a Jew," etc.), we have at least a good idea of what his racial background was.

I raise my initial objections. First, to whatever extent people used the word "race" back then, they did not use it the way we use it today. You are using race in an anachronistic way, as if races are 'real" in some universal transcendent way. What scientific basis do you have for arguing this? Second, you are making claims about how easy it is to identify one's race back then. I gave you one contemporary historical source, Dio Cassus, that calles into question your use of race, and mentioned that there are other sources from that time indicating that people from throughout the Mediteranian area were often misrecognized. Yet you just dogmatically — it seems — that you know that Jesus' race was self-evident. I am sorry, but Wikipedia is not the place for popular prejudices and misconceptions. We should be writing articles based on research of high-quality sources. Slrubenstein | Talk 15:13, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

But we never address what race Jesus would have been classed as at the time, we address what race he would be classed as now. Both facts have some degree of importance, but if we have to choose one or the other (which we do, as long as we only have one paragraph to discuss the issue), explaining what Jesus would be classed and understood as today is by far the more useful thing to explain, and then we have a whole other article to explore the complications involved in the very concept of "race". Incidentally, if you have so much of a hard time with our use of the term "Middle Eastern", why haven't you brought up that problem on Race of Jesus, where the term's explicitly used as the title of one of the page's sections, along with Caucasian and African? One of the chief problems with the Wikipedia articles on Jesus is inconsistency: someone raises an objection to something on one article, and noone raises it on another, so the two become contradictory. Let's avoid problems like that. -Silence 05:10, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
But, for you, OK—I'll tone down the "most likely" to something more wishy-washy.

Silence, I know your intention is to use levity but you are condescending to me, and missing my point. The point is not be be more "wishy washy," because that does not make the article better. Our job as editors is to make articles better. I take that job seriously and I thought that you did too. I am asking you to comply with our NOR policy. I am sharing with you some of the fruits of my research that contradict your claims. Don't tell me you will make it wishy washy for my sake. Don't do anyything "for me." Do me a favor and just comply with our policies and goals. Do not violate our NOR policy. Make additions based on research. Be open to the research of others. Slrubenstein | Talk 15:13, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Good point. I apologize for the "wishy-washy" barb, that was definitely not necessary. It was, yes, chiefly meant to be a light-hearted off-the-cuff remark, and to express my general annoyance over the running-in-circles nature of much of this debate (not you specifically, I agree much more with what you've said so far than with most of the people here, like all the religious-types who recently showed up to start advocating the outright removal of the "historical perspective" altogether!), but it came out sounding very nasty and uncooperative. Plus even if you hadn't suggested it, I'd probably have made the change eventually anyway, "most likely" is definitely POV even though it's also definitely true. Always best to let the facts speak for themselves than to try to tell the readers what to believe.
Bit of a tangent: I'm very glad that you've returned to work on this article some; not only are you someone who seems more experienced in the subject than I, and not only do you help balance out the Christian/nonChristian dispute that seems to be neverending on this page, but you also criticize me freely and dole out a good dose of hard truth, unlike most people I agree with. It's surprisingly pleasant. I concede to your point that I need to dig up some hard evidence for some of the claims I've made if they are to be included (though my resources are sadly limited), though I do maintain that it is necessary to use a modern term of some sort to explain Jesus' race as long as we're also going to use the modern terms "black" and "white"; to do otherwise would be uneven. I'll propose a new way for us to handle the organization of the information on Jesus' race (and related details of his appearance, etc.) at the bottom of this page, to try and get the wheels moving again on editing Jesus. The page has been locked for far too long for such a trivial little edit dispute that provoked the locking; we're missing out on valuable people who could be contributing to this article on all sorts of topics unrelated to this specific dispute. That's no good. -Silence 05:10, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
I agree that we should find sources for when the race of Jesus has caused disputes and been a particularly contentious subject. Such information would be excellent to expand the Race of Jesus article greatly with.
Your information on the definition of "race" at the time is also very interesting, and should also be added to the Race of Jesus article (perhaps a "conceptions of race" section, which could also explain the "Jew as ethnicity" vs. "Jew as race" problem). However, since we don't have any accounts from the time on what Jesus' race was, the problem of determining his race has nothing to do with how the definition of "race" has changed over time; there are no problems of mistranslation here. Still something interesting to note on the separate article, though.

It is very much a problem, or was in what you had written before. If there is no universal standard of race, and we have nothing that identifies Jesus's race (although we do -- Dio Cassus considerred "Jew" a race and the NT identifies Jesus as a Jew, thus his race was "Jewish"), then any speculation on the part of editors today has no place in Wikipedia article. Or if you are going to include your speculation, you cannot use contemporary notions of race. You wrote "of Middle Eastern descent" and again, I ask what does that mean? Is that how people identified themselves back then? Why is this a meaningful identification? Why not say he was "Asian" or "Terrestrian?" Why do you pick "Middle Eastern" — a geographic region that is really more a product of Cold War politics than any scientific research — as an "identity?" Why od you pick it as a "geographic region?" Don't you see my point? The lines on a map are not visible from outer space, they are social constructions and have meaning only in the context of the social conditions under which these lines are drawn and policed. Slrubenstein | Talk 15:13, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

I don't even understand what you're arguing here; how could it be possible for there to be a "universal standard" for any of this? Anyone who even knows what the words we're using mean on the most basic level should understand that race is not a hard science. However, that certainly does not mean that we can't write about it or use terms that weren't in use two thousand years ago; the Race of Jesus article, and the paragraph introducing it, are both just about entirely about what Jesus' race would be considered by today's definition of the word "race", not about what people would have classified Jesus' race as at the time, when the word meant something totally different to many people. As such, while alternate definitions are noteworthy enough to include in the article, they are significantly less important than explaining what Jesus' race would probably be considered using today's terminology, much as we use modern terminology throughout the entire rest of the article, even when such concepts didn't even exist at the time Jesus was alived; if we were forced to write about historical subjects using only concepts that existed at the time we were writing about, history as a field of knowledge would be useless to us. Our job in historical articles is to explain things that happened in the past to readers who are alive now in such a way that they will understand what happened then. Information about what people thought "race" was at the time belongs more in the historical part of the race article than in an article about "Race of Jesus", which anyone would immediately assume is about how we'd define hiw race, not about how it was at the time, though the fact that the two subjects are related makes it worthwhile, yes, to note the things you've pointed out about the changing meaning of "race" somewhere in the Race of Jesus article text: it's just not the central topic of the article, which is what we should be concerned with in what should be a very brief paragraph about Jesus' race (or a paragraph or two within the "Physical characteristics" section, if we end up with that). In the same way, if the meaning of the word "image" has changed between 2000 years ago and today in a way that is directly significant to Jesus, the Images of Jesus article should mention that somewhere in the text, but it shouldn't overshadow the actual point of the article, which is to write about "images of Jesus" as we understand the meaning of "image" today. All the same principles apply; nothing is different here than in any other Wikipedia article, where common, modern, popular usage is assumed, and archaic usages can be mentioned, but shouldn't be the very first thing addressed when the modern usage of the topic is more immediately pressing. "Atheism" meant something very different thousands of years ago than it does today, but the atheism article doesn't bother with that at the very beginning of the article, because the chief point of the article is to explain how atheism is understood now, not how it used to be understood; it spends a few nice paragraphs explaining the history of the term, but then moves on to the modern usage and doesn't look back once. That's the best way to handle it, else we get too wrapped up in technicalities and don't provide the very basic, simple information that people are looking for with information on the race of Jesus: what race in the modern understanding of "race" his would be equivalent to.
Here's a new proposal: just as I recommended that Paul write up on Race of Jesus the more expanded version of the issue he was discussing before attempting to briefly summarize that issue on Jesus (though it's subsequently turned out that the thing he was writing about wasn't really all that related to race at all, which is why the new section is necessary), I'll recommend now that you write up on Race of Jesus the new section about what people would have classified Jesus' race as way back then, and how understandings of race has changed, and all that, and after we've got all the information down in its expanded form, it'll be much easier to summarize that information somewhere on the Jesus page, and moreover we'll have resolved any disputes over the expanded form before moving on to inserting the basics of it here. How's that possibility strike ye? -Silence 05:10, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Almost the entire Jesus article is unsourced in its entirety. I welcome you to add a "NOR" tag to the top of the page (when its unlocked) to provoke more people into citing claims for new sources as well as ones that are already on the page, but just deleting things left and right is certainly not the correct course. Not only will it make it harder to find sources for those claims, but it would also add more bias to the article if you aren't planning on deleting pretty much the entire text. After all, why is X passage less reliable than Y passage, when neither have sources either confirming them or contradicting them? Don't attack this specific passage while ignoring every other passage; that would be using Wikipedia policy to try to enforce your POV, not applying them uniformly and in a balanced manner. -Silence 21:03, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

I have added a lot of content over the years to this article, content based on research, and to which I have attached sources. And when I question this paragraph I do so because some of the research I have done makes the paragraph questionable, and because it is a new paragraph concerning what for some people is a controversial topic. You have called attention to other passages written by other people, and have made critical comments. I explicitly wrote, above, that I agree with many of your points. Yet when I question something you write, and provide my reasons, you get defensive? Slrubenstein | Talk 15:13, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Again, I apologize. I think this whole affair would be going much smoother if it wasn't for the fact that there are practically a dozen totally unrelated, and largely very minor, problems which are being brought up with the passage at the exact same time, rather than trying to correct the chief one that caused the miniature edit war (that is, where and how we should put the information about whether Jesus had the "ideal body" or "ideal race"). If we could have just focused on that one, this discussion would probably be a tenth as long and just about resolved by now. Of course, I don't mind getting it all out of the way at once; better than prolonging it and having to address many more issues with the passage at once. But it's very difficult to wage a battle on three fronts simultaneously. Heck, I'd prefer it if this didn't seem like a battle at all, but more like a collaboration; I guess I should do more for my own part to make the atmosphere more pleasant; I did not mean to offend you, I merely intended to point out that something is not automatically "original research" not because it isn't yet sourced; "original research" requires that it be actual new information invented by the writer, not old, fairly common information that just needs its citation found. (Of course, my point still stands. There are, what, two footnotes for the entire Jesus article? I just could have worded it a bit more nicely and not made unjustified and counterproductive POV accusations.) -Silence 05:10, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
FWIW, I think that the specific race should be avoided. A lot of people agree with me on this - and that doesn't happen often. A simple paragraph such as: "Jesus is often viewed from a racial perspective, which has been primarily disputed among several demographies throughout history. In addition, this controversy has stemmed into several artistic and dramatic portrayings of Jesus, but are contested as their authenticity is disputed" will do fine. People can add/delete or whatever from there. V/M
19:27, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
Then perhaps things are backwards, and the more people who agree with you, the less likely you are to be right? ;) But seriously: We should not avoid all mentioning of any details whatsoever just to avoid stepping on the toes of religious extremists; to do so would set a precedent throughout the entire Jesus page, where anyone can contest any part of the page and immediately we are forced to remove that part of the page even when the person who's contested it fails to provide a single citation or scrap of evidence to support his assertion (as is the case with Paul so far). Instead of avoiding saying anything related to races when we link to an article about races, why not try to say something slightly meaningful? Otherwise, we might as well just put "Race of Jesus" into the "See also" link at the end of the page without even bothering to write a description. Here, how's something like this:
The race of Jesus, while a non-issue to many Christians due to the belief that Jesus would have chosen whatever appearance was most ideal, is heavily contested among some historians and religious groups. Because the Jews living in 1st-century Galilee were more or less universally Middle Eastern,

Again, I ask if this was a geographical category used by people during Jesus's time? If so, fine, but if not, why identify Jews of that time that way?

For the same reason that we're allowed to call various people in history "Europeans" even if they didn't call themselves that. It in no way implies that such geographical distinctions are inherent, universal, or ancient, and no one has ever said that it does. It's simply a quick, shorthand (but quite understandable to anyone reading it) way to explain an important detail in what's supposed to be a very concise summary of the major views regarding what Jesus' racial background was. -Silence 05:10, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Look, Jordan is a very real place today. But no one would identify someone born in the first century in the vicinity of present-day Al-Jafr or Ba'ir as having been "born in Jordan," that is inachronistic and, well, just inaccurate. Slrubenstein | Talk 15:13, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Then change it to "were more or less universally what would today be considered Middle Eastern" or similar. Or replace the term with something more universal, if you have a more-or-less-synonymous alternative (Arabic? more ethnic or cultural than racial.. at least "Middle East" is geographical, and thus relatively uncontroversial, even if it is Eurocentric..). I'd have no problem with it if you were advocating either of those options. But instead, you seem to be advocating removing that information altogether, just for the sake of political correctness, but without addressing the fact that "black (race)" and "white (race)", as they are used today, are also new terms!! How does that benefit anyone? -Silence 05:10, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
the dominant theory among historians is currently that Jesus was of Middle Eastern descent. (source)

Uh, well, do you have any sources? Or is this entirely a hypothetical model? Slrubenstein | Talk 15:13, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

As I said, I have few resources available to me, else I'd have cited plenty long ago; I welcome you to site some for your version of how best to word the general majority population in Jewish 1st-century Palestine, since you so vehemently disagree with using "Middle Eastern" for some reason. -Silence 05:10, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
However, in the Western world in particular, depictions of Jesus as being Caucasian are by far the most common, as Christianity was largely dominant in Europe and spread by Europeans throughout its history, and this has led to the Caucasian Jesus being the most culturally dominant one in many areas of the world.

The "caucasian race" is not a scientific category, it is a social one, and it is one that did not exist prior to the 18th century. Yet many of the paintings of Jesus predate the 19th century. It would be more accurate to write that "paintings from Europe portray him as fair-skinned, which later led some (or many?) people to think of Jesus as caucasian." I don't think Leonardo Da Vinci or Rafael believed in a "caucasian race" so it would be inaccurate to claim that they painted Jesus as a "caucasian." Slrubenstein | Talk 15:13, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Who ever said how old the term was? Once again you act like it makes the slightest difference how new a term is, especially when we're comparing a hundred years to a thousand years (rather than ten years to a hundred years, which is more significant because of the "neologism" minimum). What matters is how widespread the term is, not how old it is; pages are commonly named and terms are commonly chosen for Google hits, never for historical records. If you object to it, then do you also object to "white" or "European"? Somehow I don't think "fair-skinned" would fly as a section heading on the Race of Jesus page; hardly sounds encyclopedic or scientific either.
And, again, it's not inaccurate to claim that they painted Jesus as "Caucasian" (or "white" or "European" or whatever the current politically correct fad is today) because it's stating what race we would identify the Jesus they painted as being; it never says "they painted Jesus with the features that they considered 'Caucasian'" or anything similar; and, again, the page "Caucasian race" is linked to so anyone can easily check on the term's historic background! Mentioning it on every page the term is used on (and there are many) would be enormously redundant. Replacing it with just "white" would be fine by me; but removing the information altogether (or making it too inaccessible by avoiding picking any term to use, even for the purposes of the Race of Jesus article) is, again, where I start to have problems with it.
Incidentally, the only reason I used any of those terms is because they're the terms that were already being used on the Race of Jesus article from the very beginning. Obviously if you have problems with how that article is run, you should change some things there so we can afterwards start worrying about how to word it here. It's impossible to summarize an article before we know what the content and terminology of that article is going to end up being! I'm not a mind reader; I can't tell what terms you will or won't find acceptable before you do anything about it. -Silence 05:10, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Additionally, other hypotheses about Jesus' race have become increasingly common in recent years, particularly the view that he was African. As there are few, if any, contemporary textual sources that provide information on Jesus' racial background, this controversy is unlikely to soon be resolved.
There. Could you ask for any more than that? -Silence 21:03, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
I agree. Incidentally, Jesus WAS the ideal race, human, homo sapiens sapiensis. The portion that is disputed could be more precisely worded in terms of 'ethnicity', rather than 'race'

Iangreen 20:03, 23 October 2005 (UTC)iangreen

You are confusing race with subspecies, or deliberately slurring meanings. Please read Homo sapiens#Race and ethnicity. Additionally, I, and most of the scientific community involved in the fields of anatomy, biology, etc. would strongly contest the assumption that humans are "ideal". -Silence 21:03, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

To clarify the problems with Paul's very first edit to the paragraph, here's a comparison of my original version to his original version:

  1. Jesus was most likely a bronze-skinned man of Middle Eastern descent, based on the area in which he lived; see Race of Jesus. However, this surmisal is more controversial; there is scarce information from the time on what Jesus' racial background was, and many argue that Jesus was white, black, and dozens of other, less common possibilities.
  2. Jesus was most likely a bronze-skinned man of Middle Eastern descent, based on the area in which he lived; see Race of Jesus. However there is scarce information from the time on what Jesus' racial background was, and many choose to envisage Jesus as white, black, and dozens of other, less common possibilities. Of course, according to orthodox Christian theology his birth was wholly miraculous, bypassing conventional genetic laws of inheritence, so ordinary arguments about race have no relevance to anyone who accepts the doctrine that Jesus was literally the Son of God. This belief was generally taken as given by the most artists who portrayed him, and whose portrayal reflected the views at the time about the ideal male physiognomy.

The problems were:

  • He more than doubled the size of the paragraph with his irrelevant (by his own words; I gave him the benefit of doubt and assumed he was alluding to racist notions of an "ideal" race, but he's since said that he wasn't discussing race directly at all, making the whole interjection a waste of the readers' time having nothing to do with the topic) tangent into Orthodox Christian beliefs regarding whether Jesus had the ideal physical form! In the edit history, it went from five lines to twelve lines.

According to Roman sources he was of the Jewish race. And the problem with Paul's invocation of the "ideal race" is not that there is no such thing, scientifically (and indeed, scientifically, there is no such thing) but rather that he is claiming that some Christians believe this — we just need to ask Paul for his sources. If he has verifiable sources for the claim that some Christians believe this, then the statement can be included as it would comply with both our NPOV and NOR policies. Slrubenstein | Talk 15:18, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

  • He removed ", this surmisal is more controversial;" for no apparent reason.
  • He changed the NPOV "and many argue that Jesus was" to the POV (and irrelevant; this is a discussion of what race people think Jesus is, not what race they choose to depict him as, which belongs more in Images of Jesus and Dramatic portrayals of Jesus than the "Background" section of the Jesus page) "and many choose to envisage Jesus as", which clearly suggests that there is no real dispute over this whatsoever, there are only two valid points of view: Jesus was Middle eastern, or Jesus is the Son of God and chose the ideal race for himself. Everyone else is just "choosing to envisage" what they want to see, fanciful creatures that they are. Frightfully POV.
  • "Of course, according to orthodox Christian theology his birth was wholly miraculous" - "Of course" is a patronizing and unencyclopedically over-casual way to start a sentence in most situations. Especially when it isn't stating something that would be obvious to everyone. And considering that the following lines had next to nothing to do with the previous ones, this really should have started "Off course" instead.
  • "bypassing conventional genetic laws of inheritence," - Not all of them, else why the lengthy genealogy of Jesus systems?

First, the genealogies are of Joseph, not Jesus.

Then the page should be renamed. Why name a page about Joseph's genealogy "genealogy of Jesus"? -Silence 05:10, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Second, the NT genealogies &mdahs even if the NT claimed Joseph were Jesus' father — have nothing to do with "genetic inheritence" since the authors of the NT had no knowledge of genetics. Slrubenstein | Talk 15:25, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Nope. Just because the field of genetics didn't exist doesn't mean that people had no idea that any traits were passed down from father to son. They didn't know why or any of the specifics, but they certainly had the concept. Once again, it seems like you aren't distinguishing at all between terminological and conceptual issues. That a term wasn't used in the past doesn't mean (1) that the idea didn't exist in the past, and (2) that the present idea can't be applied to the past in a meaningful way. If we could only apply past concepts to the past, we'd miss out on entire fields of vitally important history and historical analysis. -Silence 05:10, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
  • "so ordinary arguments about race have no relevance to anyone who accepts the doctrine that Jesus was literally the Son of God." - Ridiculous overgeneralization. I'm sure at least tens of thousands of people believe that Jesus was the son of God and don't believe that he chose his own race, or even that he "bypassed conventional genetic laws of inheritance". Also, spelling error "inheritence".
  • "This belief was generally taken as given by the most artists who portrayed him," - Grammar mistakes, unnecessary "the". Also "taken as given" is vague and makes little sense in context, it looks like you meant something more like "accepted". Also more needless overgeneralizing; are you saying that all artists who have ever portrayed Jesus have "generally" accepted this dogma? You'll certainly need a citation for that claim, as well.
  • "and whose portrayal reflected the views at the time about the ideal male physiognomy." - Misuse of the term physiognomy. Subtle racist undertones both based on context in general ("ideal male physiognomy" in a paragraph entirely about Jesus' race; why would such a thing be at all significant unless there was an "ideal" or a "supreme" race?) and on the "so ordinary arguments about race have no relevance" statement preceding, made even worse by the accusation that almost all artists depicting Jesus succumb to such prejudice, and that everyone who believes that Jesus is the son of God must accept such doctrines.
  • The sentences are awkward and overlong in general, and segue poorly into the next section.

There. I didn't want to have to get into the nitty-gritty of why changes had to be made, but since Paul continues to repeatedly defend his original version and blame the later problems in both of our compromises solely on me, I felt it important to state clearly for anyone who hasn't figured it out yet why the additions were always a bad idea. And now hopefully we can move on from this silly dispute and go back to actually improving the articles? Please? -Silence 02:02, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

What's this rubbish about Jesus looking like the perfect man in the flesh! An early church historian who lived in the year 200 said of him: "There was nothing outstanding about Christ's flesh. And it was just this contrast with his personality that struck everyone. Far from emanating divine radiance, his body had not even a simple human beauty. The passion and humility he suffered left their mark and he was deprived of charm by suffering." See -- Also he had no form or comeliness that we should look upon him, and no beauty that we should desire him Isaiah 53:2b RossNixon 01:03, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

This rubbish as you call it has already been explained here in some detail. There was a theological controversy on the question of Jesus's appearance. Some theologicans took the view you cite - that he would have been undistinguished-looking. Others took the view that he would be ideally beautiful. Jerome and Augustine took the latter view and their opinion was bolstered by some (very dubious) documents purporting to contain contemporary descriptions of Jesus. Paul B 08:35, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Word. -Silence 05:10, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Simple Gramatical Error[edit]

If you search for this:

These is little consensus concerning how and when any of these documents were circulated, if they were at all.

and chage the first word 'These' to There, it would make more sense to me. 02:33, 24 October 2005 (UTC)Skylark

A couple of points here. 1) I agree with Slrubenstein that we should probably avoid this issue altogether - there is no actual research on this subject, and it's pointless to get into it. 2) There is no such thing as a "Middle Eastern" race. People from the Levant and the rest of the Middle East (and we should not forget that the Levant was the "Near East" in ancient times) are considered to be "White"/Caucasoid in a broad sense - obviously not white in the way that northern Europeans are, but part of the same basic population group. Certainly there is no such thing as a "Middle Eastern" race in ancient times which is distinct from the population of the rest of the Mediterranean world. The Race of Jesus article's discussion of the improbability of a "white" or "Caucasian" Jesus is particularly bad in this respect - people from the Middle East are white (or Caucasoids, or whatever), as far as broad, imprecise, racial categories go. Certainly our definition at Caucasian race shows that people from the "Middle East" are generally considered to belong to this (unscientific) grouping. 3) We should not conflate the issue of the representation of jesus with the issue of "how people believe Jesus would actually have looked." It is certainly true that, for instance, Europeans have traditionally depicted Jesus as fair-haired, and that Ethiopians have traditionally depicted him as black. But this doesn't indicate an actual belief on the part of these people that Jesus would have been fair-haired or black - just that they represented him as looking like them. Certainly, by the eighteenth century or so Europeans would have been well aware that Jesus probably wasn't fair. They continued to depict him this way because this was the traditional way of representing Jesus. 4) Fringe views should be avoided. This is particularly bad in the Race of Jesus article, which suggests a conspiracy to avoid showing Jesus as black. This kind of thing is absurd. john k 07:08, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Add "Jesus in Fan Fiction" category[edit]

Like so:

Like many other celebrities, Jesus has become a popular figure in fan fiction. The vast majority of fan fiction featuring Jesus accepts as its basis not only historical details about his life, but also numerous speculations which originated in other fan literature, such as the notion that he was born of a virgin, or rose from the dead. Christian fanon is called "canon".

Many crossover stories have Jesus meet other fictional characters, such as Satan or God. Left unmoderated, discussions of their precise relationship, or "Which is stronger?" disputes, can consume entire message boards as well as continental European battlefields.

Several organizations claim Spiritual Property Rights to Jesus.

Mmm, gotta love a good satire. You might want to consider posting this to Uncyclopedia. Especially consider putting spoiler warnings there above any details of his death. -Silence 05:10, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Proposed new section: Jesus' hot body[edit]

Since it's becoming obvious that the dispute over the "race of Jesus" paragraph simply will not be resolved no matter what wording we choose, I propose that an entire new section of Jesus be made, to give a somewhat fuller look at both the race issue and the "was Jesus' physical body ideal?" one, as well as a brief look at various beliefs and theories and textual evidence regarding what Jesus looked like. This new section, Physical characteristics, would be consistent with many other articles (see Gautama Buddha), and would allow us to address these issues in more than just one paragraph.

I can understand why such a section isn't already in existence: aside from the "popular culture" impression of what Jesus is assumed to have looked like by many laypeople, there's very little consensus as to most of his physical characteristics. That's why all we currently have is "Images of Jesus" and "Dramatic portrayals of Jesus" and other pages and sections that make it clear that we're only discussing how Jesus has been portrayed historically, not actual disputes over what he really looked like. However, remember that nothing on the Jesus page is even close to certain—least of all the details of his life. Avoiding discussing, or even addressing, an issue just because it's controversial is not encyclopedic. As such, the new section should be added someplace in the article, with the race paragraph removed from the "background" section (which can then be returned to its original name, "Cultural and historical background") and moved there, and related subjects mentioned at the same time. Meanwhile, "artistic portrayals" (and possibly "Images of Jesus", especially if this eventually blooms into an "Appearance of Jesus" article or anything like that) should be stripped of actual, serious speculation (no matter how unlikely!) regarding what he looked like, and changed to exclusively focus on how Jesus has been represented, including unconventional representations of Jesus that haven't been based on genuine theories or beliefs regarding how he may have looked when (and if) he lived.

Thoughts? If there's any support for the idea, we can start working on writing it up. The only related issue I can think of right now, once such a section existed, would be whether to put the Image:RFJesus.jpg in the "Physical characteristics" section (because it's truly an attempt to reconstruct in a very approximate way what Jesus may have looked like) or in the "Background" section (because it's more of an image representing the culture and type of people Jesus would have belonged to, despite its stated goals). Not so clear-cut as when the two are in one section.

But other than that, I think making this new section will be a huge help toward straightening out this whole conflict in a way where we can satisfy all the parties involved. The very fact that so much controversy was stirred even when we very briefly mentioned anything related to Jesus' appearance, and that so many totally unrelated concepts regarding Jesus' appearance became embroiled in the discussion, shows that this issue is controversial and complex enough to merit, and perhaps even require, a new section on the page. -Silence 05:10, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

I agree absolutely. The proposed physical characteristics section would allow us to include the theological debate about what his body and face must/should have looked like, along with more naturalist/anthropological arguments about his likely features. The way that these debates feed into arguments about his "race" can also be mentioned without reducing the whole thing to accusations and counter-accusations about racism. Paul B 10:32, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Exactly so. Next question (other than what the actual text will be): what part of the page should it go in? -Silence 10:40, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
We could talk about such pressing theological issues as, Did He have wet dreams? Who did He fantasize about? (In a non-sinful way, of course--perhaps marriage was a part of the fantasy.) Did He touch himself? Do any of His semen stains still exist, and if so, can we use them to clone the Lord? (Saint Teresa of Avila received His Foreskin as a wedding ring.)
Nah, I don't think that would fit into the topic of a "physical characteristics" section. That has more to do with behavior, psychology, sexuality, etc. than appearance, proportions (wink nudge), etc. If you could find any good sources on stuff like that, though, it might make a good separate topic to explore. It would at least address the age-old question: "Who would Jesus do?" (Fufufu.) -Silence 11:41, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Protection removed[edit]

Please edit with courtesy and to address concerns that are had by various people (myself included). - Ta bu shi da yu 06:48, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Lead section modified[edit]

Hi all, I've modified the lead section.

The most commonly used sources for information on Jesus are the four canonical Gospel accounts, which depict him as a Galilean rabbi and spiritual healer who was often at odds with Jewish religious authorities and who was crucified outside of Jerusalem during the rule of the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate. However, the Canonical Gospels also portray Jesus as more than a Rabbi, but as someone with a special relationship with God — the Gospel of John states his divinity; the Gospel of Luke relates the Annunciation; the Gospel of Matthew details the transfiguration of Jesus; and Jesus Resurrection is extensively described in all the Gospels. The canonical Gospels focus primarily on Jesus' last few years, when he was actively preaching, and especially on the last week before his crucifixion.

I have added the extra info because I believe the Gospels see him as more than just a Rabbi. - Ta bu shi da yu 07:52, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Thank you very much. However, I disagree strongly with your additions to the opening paragraphs for the following reasons:
  1. They are sort of worded in an unencyclopedic way, and read very much like an insert due to breaking the flow of the narrative and abruptly referring back to the "rabbi" mention from two lines above.
  2. They destroy the paragraph topicality. The second paragraph is supposed to deal with an extremely neutral, non-religious look at the NT description of Jesus' life (even though those accounts are inherently religious). Then the next para deals with Christian beliefs, then other religious beliefs (I've been thinking about merging paras 3-4 together), then his date of birth and death, and finally his historicity. All very nicely organized, but you've kind of demolished the lines with your additions.
  3. They deal with very specific details of Jesus' life, when all that the opening should have is an extremely brief summary.
  4. On a related note, there have been several rather insistant complaints that we should shorten the opening paragraphs as much as possible. While this isn't really very necessary, we should certainly avoid going in the opposite direction unless we absolutely have to.
  5. They state in numerous lines what could be said in just one: the Gospels attribute supernatural powers and qualities to Jesus. Much quicker and clearer.
  6. They are extremely disputable; there are countless Christian denominations, and each interprets the Bible uniquely, not even getting started on the Islamic, secular, other faith, etc. views. The less we say in the opening, the less controversy we have to deal with.
  7. Everything stated there could easily be moved to an appropriate place in the article, like "life". Perhaps even another article on Jesus.
  8. What's the point of the addition? It tells us, the uninformed readers, next to nothing about Jesus at all; all it does is rattle off a monotonous list of Christian terminology like "Annunciation" and "Transfiguration". Moreover the examples you give seem to have absoutely nothing to do with the point you are trying to illustrate (that he is "someone with a special relationship with God"), and read more like an advertisement than like a brief description of a historical figure.

Again, though, thanks for freeing up editing! I'll wait for responses to my above proposal before doing much, though. Obviously the current "race" paragraph remains unacceptable, so we'll have to do something about that. -Silence 09:08, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

And yet, this paragraph is inaccurate! The Canonical Gospels depicted Jesus as more than just a Rabbi, and I gave the reason why this is. Therefore, allow me to address each of your concerns:
  1. If they are written in what you believe in an "unencyclopedic" manner, then may I suggest you don't remove the paragraph but modify it?
  2. The paragraph is inaccurate (I gave the reasons why it is in accurate in the text). Yet the inaccurate text is still in the lead section that Jesus was mainly seens as a Rabbi in the Canonical Gospels. You say that "the second paragraph is supposed to deal with an extremely neutral, non-religious look at the NT description of Jesus' life (even though those accounts are inherently religious)". Yes, indeed. Yet you mention the Canonical Gospels in a hardly neutral or accurate manner. I have addressed this issue — they don't only deal with him as a Rabbi or spiritual leader, they deal with other very important details. That they are not mentioned is highly misleading, and to be honest with you most Christians may find this article less that useful, and even find it extremely biased due to this sentence. I know I do. It's hardly NPOV.
  3. I fail to see how this is a valid objection. I dealt with the most important facets of Jesus life: the Annunciation, the declaration of divinity and the Resurrection! While they are specific, they are not too specific.
  4. I have no problem with reducing the lead, but I have a bigger problem with having a misleading and inaccurate lead section.
  5. Did you actually bother to read the material? It states that the Gospels ascribe a special relationship between God and Jesus. It's not just about supernatural abilities!
  6. They are extremely disputable? How?! I was very specific about the Gospels in which I quoted, and only talked about what they say. I didn't say it was accurate/inaccurate: I held no position but only detail what they say
  7. Yes, they could be moved. In fact, if you bother to read the article you'll notice that I added material to the life of Jesus (there was nothing on the Annunciation). You'll also notice we have an article on the Annunciation. This topic is extremely important to the Christian understanding of Jesus, yet we had nothing on it in this article. This hardly makes this a comprehensive article.
  8. You can't see the point? The point is that if you are using the Canonical Gospels as a source of historical accuracy and stating that it sees him as mainly a Rabbi, it's not accurate! I find it someone strange that you complain in point 4 that the lead is too long, yet in this point you don't like the terminology. The lead section is a summary of the article, and the Wikilinks will take people to more detailed descriptions of what the terms mean. I totally feel offended that you called my edit an "advertisement" when all I was doing was clearing up a misleading statement. I could change the special relationship with God phrase, but that is entirely the point I was making. You cannot say that Jesus was just a Rabbi or a spiritual leader based on the Canonical Gospels. They don't show this at all! - Ta bu shi da yu 23:29, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
NO one says the intro should say "Jesus was just." Why argue over this? The intro is to introduce the whole article, not to "say everything." There is more to the article than the first paragraph and plenty of room in the article to say all these things. How can the intro say everything? And why should it highlight the Christian point of view -- I mean, the first paragraph? Put it in the next paragraph! Slrubenstein | Talk 00:11, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
Sl, I fear that this is what it is implying. "which depict him as a Galilean rabbi and healer who was often at odds with Jewish religious authorities" gives the impression that is the sole thing that the Gospels depict him as. How can we rephrase this to correct this misleading impression? - Ta bu shi da yu 00:38, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
I'm going to add something about his divinity in the Gospels. - Ta bu shi da yu 00:39, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
I've added something now... please discuss this before you remove it! - Ta bu shi da yu 00:43, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
Ta bu shi da yu, there are two issues here. One is your interpretation of the sentence in question, which, frankly, I find bizarre, irrational, and unreasonable. The second is an issue of propriety, and how to maintain the spirit of NPOV in an controversial article. first, concerning your bizarre interpretation. I have no idea why you think that to say that the sentence, "The most commonly used sources for information on Jesus are the four canonical Gospel accounts, which depict him as a Galilean rabbi and healer who was often at odds with Jewish religious authorities and who was crucified outside of Jerusalem during the rule of the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate" means, or can be taken to mean, that according to the Gospels Jesus was only a rabbi and healer. Read the sentence carefully. In the English language, when we want to indicate that a text makes an exclusive claim, we use words like "solely" or "only." In other words, if we want to suggest or give, to use your word, the "impression," that this is what the Gospels say, we would write, T"he most commonly used sources for information on Jesus are the four canonical Gospel accounts, which depict him as just a Galilean rabbi and healer who was often at odds with Jewish religious authorities and who was crucified outside of Jerusalem during the rule of the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate" or "The most commonly used sources for information on Jesus are the four canonical Gospel accounts, which depict him solely as a Galilean rabbi and healer who was often at odds with Jewish religious authorities and who was crucified outside of Jerusalem during the rule of the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate" or "The most commonly used sources for information on Jesus are the four canonical Gospel accounts, which depict him only as a Galilean rabbi and healer who was often at odds with Jewish religious authorities and who was crucified outside of Jerusalem during the rule of the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate." read the sentences carefully. Do you see the difference? Bu using different words, we communicate different points. You are claiming that the sentence in the intro says something that it explicitly does not say. Now, let me give you an analogous point. Let's assume we are talking to each other in a coffee shop, and I point to someone and say "He's a cop." What do you think that sentence means? Do you think I am saying he is "only" a cop? Do you think that by my saying that "He's a cop," I am giving you the impression that he is not a father, a mason, a Presbyterian, a Democrat, and on a bowling team? Would it be rational for someone to say "Ah, SR is misleading you! He is NOT just a cop, he also happens to be a father! And a bowler! And a Democrat! How dare SR mislead you in this way?" Do you really think that would be a reasonable reaction?
Ta bu shi da yu, the other issue is one of propriety. Clearly, Jesus is the most important figure in Christianity, and clearly, he is more important to Christians than to non-Christians. But this is not a Christian enclyclopedia. We have an NPOV policy. As many people have pointed out, this article already provides far more content from a Christian point of view than from any other view. I think it is unbalanced and comes close to violating NPOV, personally, but it does provide other points of view and has links to other articles with other points of view, so I am willing to accept it. Nevertheless, the very first paragraph should be as neutral as possible. I have explained this to you in several comments on your talk page. I have explained to you that the second paragraph specifies the Christian point of view, and you can bring up Jesus's divinity in that paragraph. I also explained to you that there is a very large section — indeed, the largest section of the article — on Jesus's life according to the Gospels, and you can bring up Jesus's divinity in that section. Why are you not satisfied with this? Why must you push your point of view without compromise in the first paragraph? Isn't expressing your point of view in the second paragraph and in the largest section of the article enough for you? This article in fact does full justice to the Christian point of view. I fail to see how you can possibly claim that the article misleads readers to think that Christians, or the Gospels, do not claim that Jesus is divine. I just do not have a clue as to where you are coming from, when I read the article and see Jesus's divinity all over the place. Slrubenstein | Talk 15:00, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
There is method in my madness. However, before I continue, allow me to say that I don't believe I'm being totally unreasonable. There is a school of thought that Jesus was just a good man, and just a teacher and healer. A cursory read (before your last edit) seems to me to imply that this was all that the Gospels said that Jesus was. I just wanted to point out that this is not the sole thing it says about him, and make this very clear. I also didn't want to make the lead too long: as an editor of quite a few featured articles I know how important it is to keep this to a summary. That is why I asked you on your talk page for some help. I really don't appreciate being called totally unreasonable, especially when I tried to make compromises (you'll notice I kept my edit to one sentence and put in the Bible verses as a comment).
Now, I see that you have also tried to improve things, and done it remarkably well. I am quite satisfied with your edit - it makes it clear that this is not the only thing the Gospels had to say about Jesus. This was what I wanted in the first place - that it is clear to the casual reader that this is not all the Gospels say. I truly believe that if a reader who had not read the Gospels and didn't know much about what they have to say about Jesus would have read this they would have received a misleading impression. You may disagree: this is fine. Just don't call me unreasonable for making an edit you disagree with, especially when it is clear I compromised and didn't just revert wildly. - Ta bu shi da yu 15:10, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
I apologize for calling you unreasonable and am truly glad that you are satisfied by my last edit. The reason I was so upset was this: you did ask me for my views (which I genuinely appreciated) and I thought I had explained clearly why I thought it was important to put claims that only Christians accept in the second paragraph, which still seems pretty prominent to me. I though I had explained that clearly, so when you added a sentence on Jesus's divinity to the first paragraph, and not explaining why you did this (I mean, providing an explanation as to why you were doing precisely the opposite of what I thought I had explained was my view, on your talk page, and asking people not to change your edit without explaining themselves — when I had already explained myself on your talk page, it seemed to me that you were not just ignoring but actually dissing my comments on your talk page. Be that as it may, it was my intention, in my last edit, to accommodate not only my concerns but yours, and I am glad that you accept the edit. Slrubenstein | Talk 15:17, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
The fault here is probably mine... I may not have communicated to you what my issue was. Good job though sl! - Ta bu shi da yu 15:21, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Race redux[edit]

Silence writes:

But we never address what race Jesus would have been classed as at the time, we address what race he would be classed as now. Both facts have some degree of importance, but if we have to choose one or the other (which we do, as long as we only have one paragraph to discuss the issue), explaining what Jesus would be classed and understood as today is by far the more useful thing to explain, and then we have a whole other article to explore the complications involved in the very concept of "race".

Silence, can you explain to me why "what Jesus' race today" is a useful thing to write about, and to whom it would be useful? This is an article on "Jesus," either a man, god, or legend (or all three) who appeared on earth two thousand years ago. How on earth does discussing his race add anything of value to the article, especially when

  • people do not agree as to whether race is biological or cultural
  • people today disagree over the definition of racial categories
  • we know for a fact that the meaning of race and racial categories today are different from in Jesus's time
  • any attempt to identify Jesus according to today's racial categories is both speculative and contentious.

I for one do not see the point.

That said, you must comply with our Wikipedia: No original research. IF there are people who have made claims about Jesus' race, we could certainly have a section providing an account of these claims. But to comply with policy, it would not be what you think Jesus' race is or was, nor even what I think. What you think does not matter. What I think does not matter. What matters is that others, in verifiable sources, have made claims about Jesus' race. Okay, list the different people who have made the claims, provide an account of their claims, and then provide sources. Slrubenstein | Talk 13:54, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

You write:

I don't even understand what you're arguing here; how could it be possible for there to be a "universal standard" for any of this? Anyone who even knows what the words we're using mean on the most basic level should understand that race is not a hard science. However, that certainly does not mean that we can't write about it or use terms that weren't in use two thousand years ago;

You are correct that we can write an article. But that article must comply with our NOR policy. In other words, if there is no universal standard for race or races, then we need to do research before writing about Jesus' race, and try to find out how people identified Jesus in particular of Jews in general back then. And you are even correct that nothing stops us from using modern terms &mdahs; but again, we must comply with NOR. This means that the only reason we would use modern terms is if others &mdadh; typically people who have published, providing us with verifiable sources — have used modern terms. Slrubenstein | Talk 13:54, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

You write:

I'll recommend now that you write up on Race of Jesus the new section about what people would have classified Jesus' race as way back then, and how understandings of race has changed, and all that, and after we've got all the information down in its expanded form, it'll be much easier to summarize that information somewhere on the Jesus page, and moreover we'll have resolved any disputes over the expanded form before moving on to inserting the basics of it here.

Silence, I will not write up such an article. Do you want to know why? I have no interest in the topic. Then, you may ask, why am I writng all these complaints? Because I do care that edotirs and articles comply with Wikipedia policies. I do not want to write an article on the race of Jesus. I do not object to someone else writing an article on the race of Jesus. But I insist, as any editor can and should, that the article comply with our policies. This (and I am not speaking to you personally, now, I am speaking in general) is not a chat room where we just spin out our own ideas. This is an encyclopedia. We do research. We write research-based articles. We provide verifiable sources. That is my main point. As a secondary note, I think it is poor research to write about history using anachronistic terms. This is something history professors teach their graduate students right away, and good historians avoid the practice. Of course, if you have a source that uses anachronistic terms, we can include it in an article, as long as we cite the source and make clear that it is this source's view. Slrubenstein | Talk 13:54, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Silence, please do not get defensive. I am not trying to insult you and apologize if it seems that way. I just want to be crystal clear about the point I have been trying to make. I also want you to know that I am disturbed by some of your responses, specifically, one that asks why I don't criticize other articles, or portions of this article, for violating NOR. It seems to me that when you write these things that you are implying that I am a hypocrite, or — I will take it in good faith that you do not think I am a hypocrite — that you believe that unless I point out and criticize all violations of our NOR policy, I have no right to point out any violations of NOR. Silence, if this is what you were suggesting (and if it is not what you were suggesting, I apologize), you are being unfair, unrealisitc, and unconstructive. Wikipedia has policies. Most of us try to comply with policies. Sometimes, we mess up. And some people do not even try to comply with policies. This is an accurate account of Wikipedia. What, then, are we to do? The reasonable thing to do, in my opinion but I also think in the opinion of most editors, is to go from article to article, some of us following those that interest us, some at random, knowing (because we all have regular lives) that none of us can check every article, and we do the best we can, looking for ways to improve it. I see a section on race in this article. I see that it uses race anachronistically, which I think is poor scholarship and unencyclopedic in general, but moreover in this case seems to be original research. So I point out my criticisms (I couldn't make any changes at the time, because the article was locked). I also posted — twice — on the Race of Jesus article my question that the article seemed to be in violation of NOR. This is precisely what editors should do. It is unfair to criticize me for doing this "because" I haven't checked every sentence of the article, and haven't read through every article on Wikipedia. It is unfair to expect any one person to do it. I spot this error, someone else spots another error in this article, someone else finds an error in another article. Does this seem so unrealistic or inappropriate to you? Slrubenstein | Talk 13:54, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Hear, hear! I could not have put that any better myself! We are focussing on this article, not another one. - Ta bu shi da yu 02:09, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

explaining my revert[edit]

I had hoped my edit summary was enough of an explanation. There was nothing about my recent edit that violates our NPOV policy. If you haven't noticed, this article is twice as long as Wikipedia articles should be. So the last thing we should be doing is wasting space. This article has a section: The Gospel account of Jesus. It goes without saying that

  • the purpose of this section is to provide the Gospel account
  • the contents of this section will therefore represent the point of view of the Gospel
  • the section should not provide other accounts

The article actually has space for other accounts. Other accounts should be in those sections, not in this section — otherwise, we are just wasting space. Moreover, there are sections for debates over how to interpret the Gospel account. Debates should go in those other sections. This is a complex article on a controversial topic, and many points of view are represented — in different sections. To try to represent every point of view in every section would not only make the article a zillion bytes too long, it would be pointless. What do you think we have different sections for? Slrubenstein | Talk 21:34, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

I agree with your edit. - Ta bu shi da yu 10:49, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

Lead section...[edit]

... one-million times better! Great edit, whoever did this! - Ta bu shi da yu 13:35, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

Thanks, but who knows how long it'll stay up. Dawud 09:54, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

Extant text[edit]

What is an extant text? I see this in the article, but no explanation for what this might be... - Ta bu shi da yu 15:54, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

Means, a text that still exists.

Founder of Christianity[edit]

Although I do not question Jesus' centrality to Christianity, I question the claim that Jesus was the founder of Christianity, especially if by Christianity we mean a religion and not a sect of Jusaism. Slrubenstein | Talk 19:34, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

Indeed. As far as I know, the idea that Jesus did not intend to start a religion is backed up by most contemporary non-evangelical NT scholarship. — goethean 19:43, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

How do we re-write the introduction to the article so as to maintain NPOV (i.e. not offend Christians in the process)? Slrubenstein | Talk 19:50, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

Jesus (Greek: Ιησούς, Iēsoûs), also known as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ, is the central figure of Christianity, most of whose adherents worship him as the messiah (Greek: Χριστός Khristós) and as God incarnate. In Islam he is regarded as a very important prophet. Many Christians, including the Roman Catholic Church, believe that he intended establish to the Christian religion.
We can probably put the rest in the body. — goethean 20:03, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

One one hand, there is good reason to doubt that Jesus intended to start a new religion. On the other hand, Christians and others generally regard Jesus as the founder of Christianity--in fact, that's kind of his claim to fame. What to do...?

gospel titles[edit]

Should the titles of gospels be italicized? — goethean 21:18, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

Not really customary. --Dawud

The God Who Wasn't There[edit]

I just saw this interesting documentary raising questions about if Jesus was a real person or if he is a mythological figure. I came to this page to find out more, but I don't see anything that talks about Jesus in any way other than if his existance as a person is 100% guaranteed. I wonder if it would be appropriate to add something to this page or a subpage about questions surrounding Jesus' existance? --Quasipalm 00:56, 29 October 2005 (UTC)

Update, I found Historicity of Jesus and Jesus-Myth under Historicity (although I had no idea what they were about until after finding links to them elsewhere). --Quasipalm 00:59, 29 October 2005 (UTC)

There's a wonderful book called "The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross" (John Allegro), which argues that "Jesus" never existed as a person, but is a sort of code-word for a certain species of psychedelic mushroom. I hope we can work this in somewhere!

But seriously, judging by the volume of scholarly publications (at least the ones that I've noticed), the existence of Jesus as a real, historical person is more than 99 % guaranteed. It's still a useful question to ask, though. --Dawud

The "Exact" Date of Jesus' Birth and Death[edit]

This article goes to painful and excruciatingly irritating lengths to complain that the exact historicity, calendar dates and times of Jesus Christ's birth and death are 'inexact', and 'in doubt'. Okay; I get it. But, is this the most important aspect of Jesus' life? Get ON with it! In fact; all of you skeptics have your own worthless "heroes" to trumpet, that you think are so great. Why don't you go contribute to an article on Bob Dylan or Mick Jagger, or someone like that that you guys "worship". In fact, why don't you dig up some old, phony-baloney pagan "religion" from thousands of years ago, like you like to do, and "explain" to us how it's real; and show us the concocted "proof" that supposedly 'exists' for it. Why don't you leave this article alone; and let people who BELIEVE in Jesus write it? Really. Your "sour grapes" comments are quite annoying. You guys are free to worship your "sacred cows", if it makes you happy. ```` (Oct.)

Sorry, I don't follow. Fredrik | talk 19:27, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

I have a problem with the word "exact." In fact, we don't even have an APPROXIMATE idea of these dates (within, say, five years for his death, or ten years for his birth). Dawud 11:16, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

Only evangelical christians should contribute to the Jesus page, only registered Republicans should contribute to the article on George W. Bush, and only Quebec Separatists should write on the Quebec page, only supporters of communism should write the Communism page. I think we could have lots of fun with this idea. Stettlerj 19:03, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

  • Really, I would like to repeat my former protest and criticism/suggestion for this article. The nit-picking debate over the exact date of Jesus birth and death takes up a lot of space. I wonder that readers might not tire of it and turn to something else. Can't this debate be made into a separate article? Really. Is the exact birth-date and time of Jesus' death of primary significance? Is that all you editors care about? What about His life?! What about what Jesus said; the miracles He did, and how his teachings have impacted and changed this world? I really think that some of the editors are trying to 'pick him to death', and make this into a 'boring article'. 23:28, 26 November 2005 (UTC) (Nov.)


Coming to a biographical article, I expected to see an infobox at the top of the article. I know that there is a lot to be disputed and there would be no photograph available, it would be useful to put this information in a biographical infobox anyway. Perhaps something like, "Jesus / Central figure of Christianity / Born: About 6BC to 6AD / Died: About 33 years later". There would be considerable dispute over what image to use, but some image would be better than nothing. Val42 17:02, 29 October 2005 (UTC)

I don't see any point in duplicating the information in the first paragraph. On the other hand, anything is better than the second table of contents which is currently floated at the top. Fredrik | talk 20:41, 29 October 2005 (UTC)

33 years is a medieval legend. The idea was 30 is the perfect age, so of COURSE that was how old the J-man was when he started preaching. Dawud 11:16, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

Jesus pic?[edit]

Why do people keep taking down pictures of Jesus? Is it because somebody objects to images, or because of the race controversy? Or because somebody doesn't like Eastern Orthodoxy? I think a picture would make it look better, and people wouldn't get confused any more than they do with Buddha (who didn't really have blue hair and gold skin).

Anybody want to pick out a better one from ? Or we could just put up a photo of some other hippy-looking dude! Dawud 09:53, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

You've hit the nail on the head. Unless it is illustrating a fact the article lays down, then really it's not neutral to add any one picture. Lead sections don't always need an image, incidently. - Ta bu shi da yu 11:31, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
How is it biased to use a particular picture, any more than presenting a particular view in text? The motive and its origin must be described in the caption, but that's also all there is to it. Fredrik | talk 15:40, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

Horseshit. Use of a picture wouldn't necessarily imply that Jesus looked like that, or that whatever denomination produced it is better than the others. (The Buddha pages don't have this problem for some reason--more laid back, I guess.) Dawud 11:16, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

Buddhists really don't get their knickers in a knot if someone doubts the historicity of their leader. I might note that noone really does doubt this, even though they really don't have any better sources than Christianity. - Ta bu shi da yu 13:02, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

New section removed...[edit]

... it read as follows:

Christians and non-Christians alike generally perceive Jesus as the founder of Christianity. In fact, many scholars--some of them Christians--doubt that Jesus intended to found a new religion.
Which scholars? Call to authority without sourcing the authority. In other words, using weasel words.
Jesus was, as is commonly observed, a Jew. However, the Judaism of his day centered around the Second Temple in Jerusalem, which was destroyed in AD 70, and differs in crucial respects from Judaism today. Historian Donald Akenson notes that in the wake of the Temple's destruction, two successor religions arose that survive today. One replaced the Temple with a book--the Torah--even though many of its commandments could no longer be followed. The layout of Talmudic text, he notes, resembles an incorporeal temple (with several courts). Meanwhile Christians recognized Christ as the new Temple, i.e. a locus of sacrifice and reconciliation with God.
Jesus is a Jew. Already covered. Pushing a POV... what source is being using to support this, and why is this not incorporated into the main article? Nevertheless, I find a lot of this somewhat pointless and fail to see what point is being made here.
Gradually--owing to the combination of missionary activity among the Gentiles, and disputes with the emerging rabbinic Judaism--Christians ceased to regard their movement as Jewish. Anti-Jewish verses from the gospels may have been composed in this context. See anti-semitism for their subsequent history. A "Jewish Christianity" did however continue in Jerusalem for some time, led at first by Yakob ha-Zadik (see James, Brother of Jesus).
This is not about the Gentiles or anti-Semitism, it's about Jesus.
Many Christian traditions resemble those of the Greco-Roman mystery religions, and Christian writings do often refer to aspects of their faith as "mysteries." Elements which seem out of place in a Jewish context, such as Christianity's commemoration of a dying and resurrected God through a festive meal, may perhaps originate in this context.
This is covered elsewhere in the article.
Some historians suggest that the true "founder" of Christianity was Saint Paul.
Which historians? - Ta bu shi da yu 11:28, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

The purpose of the section was to discuss the issue of "Was Jesus the founder of Christianity?" which also gets us into the issue of his Jewishness. What did Jewishness mean during the Second Temple period? If there are aspects of early Christianity that did not come from Judaism (like, say, veneration of Jesus as a divinity) then it makes sense to discuss that, too.

If you insist on lists of names, I'll dig them up, but this interpretation (Jesus not intending to found Christianity as a new religion) is mainstream enough that it seems rather silly. For Saint Paul I was mainly remembering a book called "The First Christian" but there are others too.

Ta bu shi da yu ("That is not big rain"?), I notice you're very quick to delete this, but not so interested in all the garbage lower down the page. So maybe I should put it at the end, where you won't pay attention to it? Dawud 11:16, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

We don't need a whole section to discuss this issue. This can be better added into the ethnicity section, or even into the historicity section. I do insist on references. As for garbage lower down the page, no idea what you're talking about. Your section was POV, it got removed. Simple as that. - Ta bu shi da yu 12:58, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

External links[edit]

I just now clicked an external link on random, and it turned out to be spam. This list is clearly unmaintainable, and nearly useless to readers due to its overwhelming size. Many of the links are no doubt of questionable relevance or quality. I suggest removing everything except 10 or so of the most general, highest-quality links, adding good descriptions, and keeping things that way. Fredrik | talk 19:30, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

Oh, and the "Sources and further reading" section is nearly as bad. I suggest moving it to List of works about Jesus or something similar, and keeping a list of those actually used as references for use with the "Notes" section. Fredrik | talk 19:32, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
I was about to comment on that. What exactly is the goal of the further reading section, to list every book ever written that mentions Jesus? Also, the "Interpretations of Jesus by influential leaders" section seems completely, 100% useless, since it doesn't provide any such interpretations, it's nothing more than links to a bunch of people who apparently talked about Jesus at some point (not even links to their interpretations, just to all those people). That section would be more appropriately called "List of People Who Said Something About Jesus At Some Point," but that is worthless.Tommstein 19:40, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
Totally agree. I think I might have mentioned this at one point... - Ta bu shi da yu 03:46, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

Trimmed. Aside from removing duplicate entries, broken links, and a couple of instances of spam, I had a quick look to superficially determine which ones seemed the most interesting, serious, and useful. Probably a few were deleted that shouldn't have been, and vice versa. I will attempt to watch new additions and revert generously to make sure the list stays short, and hope others do the same. I think what's most important now is that descriptions of content, point of view, and author are added to all entries. Fredrik | talk 01:28, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

Jesus article too long[edit]

Recently, I was trying to add quotes of Jesus to the article but I got a revert with this response: "this article is long enough - refer reader to wikisource or other articles" Doc glasgow

The problem with this is that many if not all wiki articles on people have quotes of them, and many of them have "quotes" sections.

If the article is too long and you want me to refer to other articles to shorten it up, then I propose we do just that and take some sections away and add a "Other topics about Jesus" towards the bottom that adds the main articles of items we got rid of.

I propose that we condense these topics:

1. Chronology (which is under life and teachings, and we could include a reference to this article's main article in an introduction to the whole Life and Teachings section) 2. Background 3. Names and titles 4. Ethnicity and physical characteristics 5. Artistic and dramatic portrayals

And then, since some of this stuff has sources at the bottom, but is now gone, we can get rid of it.

Also, since most of the sections point to reference articles which discus the sub-topic in more detail, we can get rid of many of the other sources.

This should substantially reduce these sections: 1. Notes 2. Sources and further reading 3. See also 4. External links

After this the whole Jesus article will be much shorter. Then perhaps we can focus on the stuff left over and make it really nice, and maybe Jesus can become a featured article.

What do you all think? Scifiintel 02:06, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

  • Disagree, except for external links which needs trimming. Notes and sources for further reading must remain, IMO, to satisfy Wikipedia:Cite sources. See also is very important as well. Reducing the other sections will also be problematic as it will risk introducing POV into the article (it's taken a LONG time to get here, merely because the article is too long is not a good enough reason to start removing material that is already as summarised as it can get). - Ta bu shi da yu 03:45, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
    • Sources and further reading are not the same. Further reading can go, be condensed significantly, or be moved to a separate page. Fredrik | talk 11:01, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
      • Except... we really aren't a directory for external information... unless you can make a list of books about Jesus and make an article about each one. - Ta bu shi da yu 13:00, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
I added a short (20?) list of quotes, which are also short--and I hope, fairly representative.--Dawud

Yehoshua ben Yosef article[edit]

A new editor seems fairly determined to create a POV fork of this article at Yehoshua ben Yosef, and has resisted my attempts to redirect the article here, despite being made aware of Wikipedia:Naming conventions. Could other editors here please take a look? Thanks. Jayjg (talk) 19:01, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

The other side[edit]

I'm the new editor. Here is the discussion that took place between myself and Jayjg.

This is a work in progress, so don't delete it on me halfway through making it. In defense, I believe there should be a page for "Historical Jesus" that does not use the term Jesus. Furthermore, I believe any attempt to put all topics concerning Yehoshua under the umbrella "Jesus" is blatantly POV. There is the Jesus that Christians believe is the Son of God, and then there is the Yehoshua referred to by the Tesofta Shebota, the Qu'ran, the Ebionites, the Arians-in short, everyone but the Catholic Church after the Nicean creed. I think a page is needed for the separation of the two topics, and that page shouldn't be listed under the title Jesus. Flag of Canada.svg Scientz 11:24, 1 November 2005 (EST)

Wikipedia has existing naming conventions which mandate the use of the name "Jesus", and it strongly disapproves of POV-forks (that is, a new version of an article written from a different point of view). It also has an article on the Historicity of Jesus. Please bring your concerns about the Jesus article to the Talk:Jesus page - the typical fate of POV forks is deletion or re-direction, and it would be so much easier if we could avoid the AfD process. Jayjg (talk) 16:31, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
A user-created encyclopedia has dogmatic naming conventions regarding the use of the name "Jesus"? Where are these conventions written? I would like to read them. To be fair, I think information on a non-Christian perspective requires its own page that refers to him by his historical name, because as is the Jesus page is entirely Christian POV. Flag of Canada.svg Scientz 11:45, 1 November 2005 (EST)
Yes, Wikipedia has naming conventions: see Wikipedia:Naming conventions. Also, the idea that his name was "Yehoshua ben Yosef" is a conjecture and a POV, not an established fact. Finally, WP:NPOV says that multiple POVs must be presented in an article, not just one POV, and that POVs must be presented in proportion to their signifigance. Jayjg (talk) 17:16, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
I looked up the naming conventions, and I think I understand your point. However, I must disagree on the idea of the name Yehoshua ben Yosef being conjecture. It is very simple. There is no contemporary "historical" record of Jesus, there is historical record of Yehoshua, son of Yosef (Joseph). Whether using Qumran scrolls, or the supposed "Q" document, or the Tesofta Shebota, the unaltered writings of Josephus, or even Quranic Sura 4:157, it can be clearly shown that there is a Yeshoshua, but this is not the "Jesus identity" grafted onto Yehoshua by Paul, and later, the Catholic church. I'm only interested in scholarship, not controversy. Christians can believe whatever they want about the mythical figure that became their Jesus Christ, but I believe anyone intersted in historical (non-religious) research should have access to a page that treats the historical Yehoshua separate from the biblical Jesus. Flag of Canada.svg Scientz 13:09, 1 November 2005 (EST)
The only documents we have with Jesus name are Greek ones, dating from decades after his death. We have no documents listing his original Hebrew or Aramaic name, so it's all conjecture. Yehoshua ben Yosef? Possibly. Yeshua bar Yosef? Maybe. Yeshu ben Pandera? Could be. We just don't know. In any event, I'm going to point your article back to the Jesus article now; please work these issues out on Talk:Jesus. Thanks. Jayjg (talk) 18:31, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
I highly disagree with your conclusion, and as such, I no longer believe that you should be considered to have enough knowledge of the subject to edit my information. There is a wealth of information that predate the Greek, and they are known as the Qumranic documents, or the Dead Sea Scrolls. More a hundred authors have written about these 1947 finds, and they really shed on a light on the life of Yehoshua, his ministry, and the more importantly the ministry of his brother James (Yacov), and what the Qumran community thought of Paul and his interpretations. I believe the issue deserves another article with no Christian bias. This is a separate article, and I have no intention of pointing the (Christian) Jesus to my page, so please do not point my page to the Christian Jesus. Keep in mind that I have no interest in this becoming a territorial pissing issue. I'm also curious as to why it bothers you that a fellow Wikipedian would like a page for Yehoshua that treats the information surrounding his life as separate from later-Catholic add-ons. I really have no interest in the article I intend to finish today being constantly deleted by an over-zealous editor with a problem. If your problem is what I name the article, please, sugest another name. If your problem is that I am creating it in the first place, I think you are the one with the POV issue. At any rate, allow me to finish the article, and then open up the discussion to all community members. As it stands now, I feel you are making a decision which you have not been granted the power to make.Flag of Canada.svg Scientz 13:56, 1 November 2005 (EST)
The Qumran scrolls do not mention Jesus, the supposed "Q" document was supposedly written in Greek, by "Tesofta Shebota" I assume you mean "Tosefta Shabbat", which was written in the second century and not transcribed until the 6th century, the "unaltered writings of Josephus" were written in Greek, and Quranic Sura 4:157 was written in Arabic in the 6th century. None of these sources mention "Yehoshua ben Yosef". Jayjg (talk) 18:56, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
The Qumran scrolls do not mention Jesus? Are you serious? Look, I see where you are going with this, and I disagree. Where do those Wikipedians interested in researching a non-Christian perspective go for that information? What should that article be called? Because bar Yosef, or ben Joseph, simply denotes who his father was according to Jewish custom. And anyone not inclined to believe he was a God/Man, must believe he had a father, and the most likely candidate for his lineage is very well known. Not to mention there is clear reference to him being called Yeshu, or Yeshua, or Yehoshua, but "Jesus" is an entirely Hellenized version that comes years after the fact as well. I agree that "Yehoshua ben Yosef" has the potential for conflict, but what should we call it? I do not want to have to sift through information on the Christian Jesus if I am looking into the topic of Yehoshua the Ebionite. Do you not understand what I am getting at? The topic deserves its own page. Flag of Canada.svg Scientz 14:05, 1 November 2005 (EST)
Which Qumran scroll do you think mentions Jesus, and exactly what does it say? Oh, and Jesus is his English and common name, for better or worse. Jayjg (talk) 20:12, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

To be fair, I have no interest in starting a fight, or being a shit disturber. I wanted a real article on Jesus outside of Christianity, and as he is commonly referred to Yeshu, Yeshua or Yehoshua, I felt Yehoshua ben Yosef was an appropriate place to begin. I am open to the idea of placing it under Yeshua ben Yosef, Yehoshua bar Yosef, or any other permutation, but not deleting the article altogether. Flag of Canada.svg Scientz 14:14, 1 November 2005 (EST)

Between Historicity of Jesus and Yeshu, I think it's pretty much covered. Is there any information you think is missing from them? Jayjg (talk) 19:48, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
See also the changes to the Ebionites article. Jayjg (talk) 20:01, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
I agree, there are a few other articles which cover this topic. Since the discussion started, I have also noticed User:Peter Kirby/Historical Jesus as well. As all of these articles appear to be full of controversy, I suggest the following compromise: Two articles.Flag of Canada.svg Scientz 17:19, 1 November 2005 (EST)

A potential compromise?[edit]

1) Jesus

This article would contain everything Jesus from the prevailing Christian (Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, etc.) viewpoint, and intended as an article for research into Jesus Christ the religious figure. This page would contain most of the content from Jesus, but would remove the controversial attempts to add a non-Christian POV. It would, however, include an overview of the separate view points of all denominations of Christianity.

2) Yehoshua ben Yosef (or some other acceptable title)

This article would contain everything "Jesus" from a historical, pre-Catholic viewpoint, and intended as an article for research into "Jesus" the historical figure. Examples for what this page could contain can be found at Yehoshua ben Yosef or User:Peter Kirby/Historical Jesus. This article would include an overview of all serious attempts at scholarship on the issue.

I believe that to merge everything non-Christian about "Jesus" under this new Yehoshua (or whatever it should be called, by consensus) article would be a way to appease both Christian and non-Christian, and allow both the Christian version (which is arguably POV) and the non-Christian version (arguably POV as well) to stand side by side in Wikipedia. If both POVs are represented, it could stop a lot of bickering as to what belongs where. Flag of Canada.svg Scientz 17:19, 1 November 2005 (EST)


  • Your suggestion goes against the very heart of the neutral point of view policy, which in turn is the very heart of Wikipedia. The point of Wikipedia is defeated if new articles are created in response to disagreement. Discussion, not schism, must determine the content of each article. That's why POV forks are not allowed. — goethean 23:25, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
I understand that, which is why I tread this ground very carefully. Can there be anything more inherently POV than the topic of Jesus? Over a billion people believe in his divinity, whereas an equal number do not. I would think it difficult to think of a topic capable of generating more revisions under the well intended guise of NPOV. How does one cover the topic of Jesus in a NPOV manner when his mere-existence, let alone his divinity is highly POV?
George W. Bush is perhaps the most heavily-edited article on Wikipedia, and that is because he is surrounded by ideological POV. But at the end of the day, there is only one George W. Bush, and Wikipedia cannot have two articles on him, for example: George W. Bush (pro-Bush perspective) and George W. Bush (anti-Bush perspective).
It was exactly this line of thinking that led me to understand that, unlike George W. Bush, there are two Jesus'. One could be easily listed as Jesus (Christian saviour) and the other as Jesus (Historical figure). However, in light of what I felt to be a Christian claim to the word, and therefore the concept of "Jesus", I felt it would be appropriate to list the article under a title that wouldn't offend Christians, as well as stick to what most scholars on the topic view as his (Aramaic) name. Based on the controversy in other talk pages, I think everyone can see that Christians will never be satisfied with having a single word in a religious "Jesus" article that covers non-Christian scholarship, likewise, those interested in non-Christian scholarship have no article which doesn't reflect a heavily Christian POV.
Could a "schism" on this issue solve the problem? Flag of Canada.svg Scientz 19:01, 1 November 2005 (EST)
In no way do I support what you are suggesting. This looks like a POV fork to me! - Ta bu shi da yu 03:12, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
Indeed. Completely unacceptable; we already have an article for Christian views of Jesus, to try to remove all historical information from Jesus would be to cripple the article horribly. The point of the Jesus article is to present every major perspective in brief, and link to articles like historical Jesus for the more in-depth analysis of each one. -Silence 03:44, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
I agree entirely with Jayjg, Goethean, Ta bu shi da yu, and Silence. POV forks violate policy in letter and in spirit. We — including the very people involve din this discussion — have struggled, at times quite contentiously, to handle this matter in a way that best complies with our NOR and NPOV policies, and that is encyclopedic. With all due respect, Scientz, I think you are jumping into a complex issue and while I have no doubt that you care passionately about this and have done some research, this is true of almost everyone who has worked on this and related articles. I urge you to be a little patient. Read our Wikipedia: Neutral point of view and Wikipedia: No original research poicies carefully. Then, I urge you to read through the talk concerning this page so you know something of the history. I even urge you to go through some of the archives, if you really want to know what went into prodicing the article as it is (start with archive 9, maybe. Read that and all the subsequent archived talk, and you will really have as much background as anyone could ask). Also, read through the linked articles. I have done a lot of research myself on "the historical Jesus" and I feel that a good deal if not most of it is reflected, some in this article, and a lot in linked articles. Please view this as a whole and look at those linked articles. As for the name and Qumran scrolls, I think you are raising a red herring. Jesus is the popular name (even if what some people believe about Jesus is "wrong" and we do have articles on uses of his Aramaic or Hebrew name &mdash articles that are based on serious research too, I urge you to read carefully not only the Yeshu article but all the "talk" that accompanied it, so you can see what our research standards are. Jayjg is right to question you, where exactly in the Qumran scrolls is there mention of Jesus, and you should answer. Slrubenstein | Talk 18:04, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
I sympathize with your complaints (article too Christian), but disagree with the solution. First, the name issue. "Jesus" is the English name of this historical figure, for better or worse (just as we write "Columbus" and "Aladdin," not "Colombo" and "Allah al-Din" or what have you). If we can't agree on what sort of person he was, that's inconvenient, I suppose, but not something that can be solved by splitting him into two people.
On the other hand, there is a precedent on the "Tibet" entries for a POV split. The "Tibetan Autonomous Region site gives a pro-Chinese perspective, while the others are pro-Tibetan exile movement. Perhaps even more relevant are the two separate entries on Santa Claus and Saint Nicholas.
Jesus isn't in the Qumran mss, by the way, and couldn't possibly be (look at the dates). Perhaps you're thinking of the hypothetical Q document which is entirely different.
The major problem with this site, is that too much of it appears to have been written by Sunday school teachers. Scholars of "Jesus Studies" can be placed along a spectrum, with "minimalists" who doubt most of the gospel material (and argue about what to make of the few snippets they do accept) at one end, and varying degrees of belief moving towards the other extreme. This site, however, does not reflect this. (Subheadings such as the individual gospels seem to have avoided this problem.)
Example: Skeptics would say we have absolutely no idea when Jesus was born (and doubt that it was in Bethlehem), since they reject the reliability of the Matthian and Lukan accounts. The text so far not only leans toward accepting them, but goes into arcane details about whether it was winter or spring, based on the shepherds' activity!
I surmise that problem this is due to the fact that this entry is regularly patrolled by Christians of a certain type, who delete anything that strikes them as against their religion. This in turn discourages people who might otherwise fix the problems, since there is little reason to expect that their fixes will stay in place. Obviously, "Jesus" is the sort of subject that many people will have a strong opinion about, as opposed to a subject like "the synoptic problem" where you have to read books just to know what it is.
Oh, one more thing on the picture issue. What would you say to a grid of say, four different pictures of Jesus? One from an icon, one Protestant-style, one black Jesus, and maybe that forensic-reconstruction one? (Or the "female Jesus" from a few years ago.)--Dawud 12:28, 3 November 2005 (UTC)
P.S. By contrast, the entry for Christ strikes me as excellent.
If we're going to do a grid of different pictures, why not throw in one of a Chinese looking Jesus as well, in the woodcut style? Wesley 15:14, 5 November 2005 (UTC)
Um, I don't have one, but I know of other East Asian Jesus pics that aren't woodcuts. Is that seriously the only objection? I suppose now someone will want an Eskimo one, which I'm sure can be gotten as well, etc. --Dawud

"Roman annals"[edit]

I'm removing the following italicised phrase, but to avoid an edit war with the anonymous editor who readded it after an earlier deletion I will explain:

On the other side of the coin, some scholars believe that Jesus has little or no historical basis despite surviving descriptions in secular Roman annals (e.g., Tacitus).

This is the introductory sentence to a paragraph explaining the 'Jesus myth' theory. It should simply introduce the theory, not attempt to disprove it before it's even explained. The phrasing of the italicised section is misleading. The expression 'Roman annals' implies a reference to archival material. Yes, Tacitus's book is usually called "The Annals", but that's not what the phrase implies. It suggests that there are several specifically archival references to the historical Jesus – hence "(e.g. Tacitus)". True, the death of Jesus under Pilate is mentioned by Tacitus, but the obvious explanation for this is that Tacitus is repeating what is stated in Christian sources, not that he is using Roman archives. The reasons for this interpretation are clearly articulated in the article Tacitus on Jesus. Paul B 13:12, 5 November 2005 (UTC)

I agree with Paul, in principle. As I see it, the intro should provide the briefist and most "neutral" description of Jesus as possible (i.e., statements that both Christians and non-Christians would accept); explain why he is important and to whom, and introduce all of the complex and controversial elements that the rest of the article will go into, but in a succinct and non-argumentative way. That is, communicate what the different positions are, without trying to justify or critizeany of them. Slrubenstein | Talk 13:47, 5 November 2005 (UTC)


I changed exorcist to healer. I know this is a source of contention for some, but I don't think it should be, so please hear me out. I can understand why Jesus would be considered an "exorcist" — according to the NT, he cast out demons, and this is not what we mean by "healer." But even while I understand that this was an edit made in good faith, unquestionably, I reject it for two reasons. First, calling him an ecorcist is anachronistic. Today even the Catholic Church thinks exorcisms are treatments for a very specific and narrow range of ailments. This was not the case in first century Roman Palestine (see Geza Vermes, A Jewish Jesus) where, based on the sources available to historians, most people believed that all illnesses were caused by demons. In other words, to be a good healer one had of course to be able to exorcise demons. But the point was to heal. In other words, Jesus was a healer; the "disease-theory" of all or virtually all healers in the Galillee at that time was based on a theory of demons, not germs, but they still se their task as healing the sick. Second, I am anticipating an objection to "healer," that this violates POV since we scientific people know that you do not really heal people by casting out demons. I happen to agree with this assertion, I just do not think it means calling Jesus a healer is POV. Look, we all agree he was a preacher (or teacher). Maybe he preached bad things, baybe he was an awful teacher. Maybe most people who listened to him never learned anything at all (I am not claiming this, just making a hypothetical point). But to call him a teacher or preacher is simply to name one of his major activities was preaching or teaching, it makes no claims as to whetherhe was a good or effective teacher. Similarly, claiming Jesus was a healer is simply to identify another of his major activities. It is not to claim that as a healer he was operating on the basis of a modern scientific theory of disease. It doesn't even claim that he's a good healer (I am Jewish and yet I do not contest calling Dr. Mengele a "doctor" but boy, don't think that that means I think he was a good doctor who made the sick healthy!). For all I know Jesus was a total bungler as a healer, and the NT is keeping out all the various examples of malpractice. Good or bad, though, he was still a healer. To say he was a good healer or a bad healer — I agree that would violate NPOV. To state that according to the Gospels he was a healer is to me an NPOV and verifiable statement: yes, the Gospels do depict the living Jesus as spending a lot of time, and being famous for, healing. That is all I mean to claim. Can we agree on this, and have peace? If not, if someone still has doubts, I can look up the Vermes passage and quote and cite him. I trust that would satisfy everyone. But is it necessary? Personally, I think this is anothe one of the many things that ought to be spelled out in the body of the article (e.g. what kind of a healer was he? What beliefs did 1st century Jews in the Galillee have about disease and healing, and so on) Slrubenstein | Talk 14:24, 5 November 2005 (UTC)

  • But the text no longer attributes his being a healer to the gospels alone, Steve, but states (I think from you) "most critical historians portray Jesus as a... healer". Btw, do you think a god could be unaware of the germ theory of disease? --JimWae 03:38, 6 November 2005 (UTC)
  • I believe that there are such things as demons. So it doesn't satisfy me, for two reasons. At least one clear incident of Jesus casting out demons is documented in the New Testament in Luke 8:26-38. This specifically says that he cast out demons into a herd of pigs. While I believe the account, any objection that is stated in words like "that's not possible" is really not valid, because it's not about what the modern secular post-modern influenced relativist human (I'm being absurd on purpose - that's not aimed at slrubenstien) believes about the matter: it's about what the gospels say about casting out demons. Secondly, wtih the greatest of respect to Slrubenstien, but you are talking as if the gospels detail that Jesus was an ordinary every day healer (ala modern day doctor). None of the accounts are like this: all the accounts detail Jesus healings as miraculous. I don't think any of his miracles went disasterously wrong, but then that's because he's the son of God and this just wouldn't happen. - Ta bu shi da yu 05:26, 6 November 2005 (UTC)
Uh, "exorcist" was my doing. Yeah, it's probably true; yeah, it does make him sound like a weirdo; and no, it's not crucial to include it here as far as I'm concerned. I only did it because at that point the text had called Jesus a "healer" twice, as if trying to reinforce some sort of positive impression of him based on that. --Dawud
I don't see why the designations 'healer' and 'exorcist' should not both be used. Jesus is specifically described as a caster out of demons – both in the case of Mary Magdalene (who apparently harbored seven of them) and the Gadarene swine. He is also described as a healer. I don't claim any expertise on the subject of ancient Galilean medical theories, but surely it is a fact that non-spiritual causes of illness were accepted throughout the ancient world along with spiritual ones. There's Greek, Roman, Vedic and other literature on medicine in which physical causes for conditions are accepted. I'm sure there were also folk remedies in non-literate communities. Anyway, surely things like broken limbs, wounds from battles etc, were understood to have non-demonic causes. Even if a demon trips you up or inspires the fight, it would still be pretty obvious that the immediate cause of the injury is physical not spiritual. The Gospels describe Jesus as a healer of physical disabilities and as an expeller of demons, so surely "healer and exorcist" would be correct. Paul B 13:24, 6 November 2005 (UTC)
In response to JimWae and Ta bu shi da yu: first, thanks Jim for the humor, I need it and appreciate it (I am serious). Second, in response to Jim, perhaps we should say "Critical scholars, referring to Gospel accounts" because when they describe Jesus as a healer they are indeed drawing on Gospel accounts. As to Ta bu shi da yu I understand your point but I think you miss mine. With all due respect, I think you are being anachronistic in your use of miracle. If by miracle, you mean something out of the ordinary, well, people view allopathic physicians and surgeons today as miracle workers ("a miraculous cure"). Second, Jesus's healing people does make him special, in the New Testament account, but not because he used supernatural powers to heal. Many healers in the Galilee used supernatural powers to heal; indeed, according to scholars of that time like Geza Vermes, most Jews in the Galilee (I cannot speak for the Gentiles) believed illness was caused by demons and that healers were people who cast out demons. My point: what made Jesus special was not that he cured people miraculously, because all healers back then in that place cured people that way. With all due respect, Ta bu shi da yu, I think you are reading Jesus's deeds like a 20th or 21st century person, not like a 1st century person. Back then, no one had antibiotics or sulfa drugs or SSRI medication or anything like that. Most people thought most diseases were caused by spirits, and most people thought healers were people who could cast out spirits. What made Jesus special was not what kind of healer he was, what made him special was that he was a healer. But he was not the only healer. Historians have documented that people healing the ill by casting out demons was relatively common, certainly typical, back then (and valued very highly, just as we today value highly a find physician or surgeon. Not every doctor is like Dr. House, you know). I mean, of course, that historical accounts present this kind of healing as common. These accounts tell us what people believed. Whether people "really" were sick because of demons or "really" cured by someone who could cast out demons is something written records cannot tell us. The reason I prefer the word "healer" is because being a healer is as it always has been something special. To call Jesus an exorcist is to use a modern category to describe something in the past, because fo us "exorcists" are very different from physicians. My point is back then, people did not make that distinction. I fear that if you use "exorcist" people will think that he was unlike all the other healers back then, who were not exorcists but regular doctors. But there were no regular (modern) doctors back then — I am talking about the Galilee, not Rome, by the way — and I think that much later in the text is the place to explain that people back then blamed illness on demons and Jesus healed because he could cast out demons. Slrubenstein | Talk 19:36, 6 November 2005 (UTC)
I think it's a mistake to completely equate exorcism with healing, even in the first century context. Granted, they were highly related in people's minds, but surely they would have accepted other possible causes, even if those other causes were other superstitions. Among the Jews at least, sin was thought to be such a cause. For instance in John 9:2: "And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?" This is comparable to the thinking of Job's friends in the book of Job. In other cases Jesus first forgave a person's sins, and when people grumbled that only God could do this, he confirmed his ability to forgive sins by healing the person physically. There's also the story of the lame man by the pool of Siloam (sp?); apparently the people there believed that the first one into the water after it was disturbed by an angel would be healed. While this is certainly not consistent with germ theory, it has no reference to needing to have a demon cast out. In the story of the woman with the "issue of blood" (Luke 8:43-48) it mentions that (a) she had spent all she had on physicians; (b) she was healed just by touching Jesus' clothes; (c) Jesus attributes her healing to her faith. No mention of demons, but there is a mention of physicians. And finally, while I'm sure there were other healers at the time who healed people by whatever means, how many others raised people from the dead? Wesley 18:08, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
To claim that exorcism is not the same as healing is certainly a POV statement; to make the claim that they are the same is also POV...there's no way around it. My personal view is that it is irrelevant; the witnesses and Gospel writers without question believed the two to be separate kinds of miracles, which is really the point. To make the claim, therefore, that "Jesus was known in his day as both a healer and an exorcist" is NPOV, since in the first century the two were not equated. Just my two cents! KHM03 18:34, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

Comandante Jesus of Nazarteh[edit]

Is it just me who wonders why Jesus is listed as a revolutionary? Can somebody explain? I don't really understand. And if Jesus is a revolutionary, why isn't Malcolm X and Huey Newton? (Okey, I will add Huey to the revolutionaries category) 22:50, 6 November 2005 (UTC) list Malcolm X Scifiintel 00:16, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

The official charge against him, which led to his execution, was rebellion against the state. Since he was found guilty, I guess he was a revolutionary!
Seriously, the "Kingdom of God" language may well have a political interpretation, which would absolutely not have been welcomed by those in power.Dawud 14:13, 26 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Of course, given every opportunity and encouragement by politically minded peers, he tended to dismiss overt political actions in preference to subversions like using scriptural authority to counter pharisaical authority or performing acts that followed the golden rule while violating the accepted interpretation of scriptural law. Dystopos 23:22, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Thoughts on the lead section?[edit]

I think the current lead section is excellent: it focuses on the most important facts, is fairly well structured, and not too long. The rest of the article is of mixed quality, but I wouldn't mind seeing this lead section in a printed edition of Wikipedia. Let's just hope it doesn't start growing cruft again. Any ways it could be improved? - Fredrik | talk 21:21, 10 November 2005 (UTC)


Shouldn't we capitalize all pronouns referring to Jesus? While being a Christian myself, I think this fits well with the NPOV philosophy, as it is good practice to show respect when talking about other people's religion. Maybe the practice of capitalization could be briefly explained in the beginning of the article. JorgePeixoto 12:59, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

I agree. Since we refer to living royalty as HRM, HRH etc, we should use the appropriate form of address when referring to Jesus. If no objections will be listed in the next few days, then we should capitalise all pronouns referring to Jesus. Moreover, the Christmas article already capitalises His pronouns, so we have a precedent. Brisvegas 04:56, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

See: Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style#Religions.2C_deities.2C_philosophies.2C_doctrines_and_their_adherents --JimWae 05:01, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

I'll propose a change to that. Jorge 02:18, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

That would surely violate NPOV --JimWae 03:02, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

Jesus of Germany?[edit]

Does anyone know where this title comes from? I've never heard it, even though I'm a librarian of a theological seminary. If no comment is forthcoming, and there's no objection, I'll delete it. --CTSWyneken 12:03, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

It's just some nitwit playing a joke. Sadly this article gets vandalised several times a day. Paul B 12:47, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

Proposed deletion of Redundant Comment[edit]

At the beginning of the page, we have:

To what degree the gospels are reliable as historical documents is disputed, and all other known sources, of which there are few, provide only limited, second-hand information. Nevertheless, the majority of scholars agree that Jesus did, at least, exist.

I'd like to delete it, since the disputes are mentioned in great detail throughout the article. Any objections?--CTSWyneken 21:08, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

  • The lead is an introduction to what is in the article - so obviously everything in lead should be discussed later. To omit this from lead is to cosmeticize it.--JimWae 04:06, 19 November 2005 (UTC)
I disagree. It is tangental to the topic -- Jesus of Nazareth. An intro should be very short and -- as the word suggests -- lead into the topic, not discuss the thread. Removing it streamlines the presentation, something which this whole article needs. The intro is no place to take up a very detailed debate, which requires much to be NPOV. --CTSWyneken 11:43, 19 November 2005 (UTC)
How about making it just one sentence. I suggest -

Despite the dispute over the reliability of New Testament texts, most scholars believe that Jesus did exist. RossNixon 02:56, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

I appreciate the attempt, but this is not the place to take up a side thought, which leads into what will require extensive work to remain NPOV. It is a parenthetical thought without the parentheses. It is unnecessary to have this information here as it appears later -- some of it implicit in a passage not a few paragraphs later. Please note this is a point in favor of English style. It has nothing to do with statement itself, other than it is poorly placed and poorly worded. So, it should go.

--CTSWyneken 03:23, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

  • The reliability of information about Jesus is not tangential to an article about him. The historicity section is a major section of this article & is rightfully introduced in the lead. How is it that your first contribution ever to this article is to propose the deletion of 2 sentences (which have been painstakingly worked down from a lengthy paragraph) and then delete them without awaiting even discussion (no less consensus)? These 2 sentences let readers know that the following article will include critical analysis, not just be a peon to Jesus, and that it is not written just for Christians. Neither the historicity section nor this intro to it is disrespectful, nor is it POV. If you think it is taking sides, inform us which points it is taking sides against and let's discuss what needs to be added or removed to restore balance - without removing all of it. If your concern is rather to shorten the intro, you might look to reducing some of the repetition it includes. If your concern is that these two sentences are not related enough to the paragraph in which they appear, perhaps we should restore them to their own paragraph & further develop them. --JimWae 04:42, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
Please note that I placed a note here before I made this delete. I waited before I did this. You reverted without even so much as saying a word here first. I will reply in detail later, but I stand by my analysis. These sentences disturb the flow of the article. Please read the parargraph again, with and without the two sentences. This is the most significant problem with it.
I intend to be at this article for quite some time, but do not have either the time or the energy to take on more than one edit at a time, especially when other editors are going to revert my changes, even when I ask first and receive no objections. I am working on a half dozen articles here.
I do believe that there is much that is POV here. In addition, I find it very repetitious, in some cases poorly worded, and not inclined to take advantage of the ability here to take information into sub-articles.
More later.--CTSWyneken 13:17, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
  • You have made numerous vague claims about POV, redundancy, irrelevancy, length, too much-detail for lead, style, flow, placement. You have switched around which you lay emphasis on and have substanitiated none of them. Look elsewhere for shortening. --JimWae 21:17, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

I would appreciate it if you would engage my issue. Since we all are equally allowed to edit these articles, your last sentence is also way out of line. Try talking about the issue.
So far, I have said that it is tangental because it moves away from the main direction of the article. It is evident, as I said, when you read the paragraph without the sentences. The main point does not change. This is the meaning of tangental. It also shows that it interrupts the flow. Therefore it is too much detail for an intro. So it makes the article longer than it has to be. How much substantiation of these do you need?
You have countered that there is a major section on the subject later and so it should be in the intro. I don't have the time at the moment, but I suspect many articles in Wikipedia and standard articles in print encyclopedias have intros that don't repeat every detail of their articles. So I must disagree.
As far as POV, simply mentioning that most scholars now believe that Jesus did exist enters a bias that requires something like: a few 19th century scholars did not believe Jesus existed. Most, however, never doubted his existance. Today, almost all scholars agree he is a historical figure. Of course, then, we will fight over every word and then extend the article even longer than it is, since we then have the section below, which of course we will have a fight over deleting...
I will leave the text alone for the time being. Convince me it should remain and I'll leave it alone permenently or work on modifying it. But simply calling me wrong over and over again will never win me over. --CTSWyneken 01:41, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
  • the main topic of that, the 2nd paragraph, is the sources. The info in it about Jesus is given to start providing some biographical content. To talk of sources w/o discussing their reliability is worthless. The lead does not need to present every opposing point of view - as long as it fairly summarizes them & they get presented later. It is not only in the 19th century that people have doubted Jesus' existence (remove that part & you'd see how much more vandalism there is [and has been] stating Jesus never existed) - and, of course, it is not only his existence that is questioned (but that much, at least, [and not much more] is most widely accepted). Reading the lead without those 2 sentences, one is left with text compatible with a totally worshipful presentation - which the article clearly is not--JimWae 01:11, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
Jim, I disagree with your logic. The fact that one states that the life of Jesus is sourced by the four gospels is sufficient...that is the source. The fact that the sources are doubted by some is a secondary issue and not necessary for the first paragraph. Simply state the source and then later follow up with more information. I think CTS has better logic on his side. Storm Rider 08:05, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
  • You don't disagree with my logic, you disagree with my point. How far down in the article would you think any mention of the historical validity of the source should be moved then - or should it be the very first main section? Suppose the article were about Robin Hood - should the reader not find any clear mention until the 17th paragraph the extent to which the historicity of the events is questioned --JimWae 09:12, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
I've taken a look at the articles on Tacitus, Suetonius, Mishnah, Pliny the Younger, Augustus and Tiberius. None of them even mention the sources of information about them in the introductory paragraphs or often in the whole article. There is no mention of disputes over the exact text of those sources, nor any question of their accuracy, when such disputes are present with every one of them. Why, therefore, is it vital to mention this in the Intro to the Jesus article. Aren't we supposed to treat this article like any other biography?
The focus of our article should be biographical. The talk of the accuracy of sources distracts from that. Why we take up the sources at all in the intro is even a good question. But one issue at a time. --CTSWyneken 12:07, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

JimWae is absolutely correct. The article is not "biography of Jesus," it is "Jesus" and before we make biographical claims, we must first address the question of his existence. The question as to whether Jesus is or is not a fictional character (that is, whether the Gospels are or are not fictionalized accounts) is surely a fundamental question that has to be acknowledged in the introduction. This is logical, and also complies with our NPOV policy. The comparsion with Tacitus, Suetonius, and Mishnah are specious. For one thing, the writings of Suetonius and Tacitus do not claim that Suetoneous and Tacitus performed miracles; moreover, there is no significant body of scholarship that calls into question their existence. Of course, if there were major disputes as to whether or not Tacitus were a fictional character, that should indeed be in the introduction to that article. But there are no such debates, so it is not in the intro. As for the Mishnah, there is no debate that the Mishnah is real and was edited by human beings around 200. The Mishnah contains interpretations of the Torah and the article makes clear that these are interpretations. It makes clear that some people believe that the Mishnah was revealed to Moses at Sinai — and admittedly contentious claim — but the article makes clear that this is a view held by a specific group of people and the article does not endorse this view. Slrubenstein | [[User talk:Slrubenstein|Talk]] 17:25, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

Few, if any, scholars doubt the existence of Jesus. Today there is no debate about his existence. In fact, if you know of any scholar who has challeged the existence of Jesus in the last fifty years, I'd appreciate a citation to that effect. Since no one now questions his existence, NPOV demands we treat him as historical. In fact, few, if any, question that he was born between 8 BCE and 1 BCE, with most going with ca. 5-6 BCE. Few, if any, non-Muslims doubt he was crucified ca. 28-33 CE. There is rare, close to unianimous agreement on these points. To have to include the question of his existence here is like having to include that some people believe the earth to be flat in an article about our planet.
It is biased, therefore, to treat Jesus any different than we treat Tacitus, or Suetonius or R. Hillel. The New Testament, and the Mishnah, deserve the respect to be given the benefit of a doubt, at least when it comes to details that fit the times and places they chronicle. I would not dream of doubting the existence of Josephus, R. Gamiliel, etc. Even though their existence is mentioned in only an handful of sources, many of which are based on manuscripts no earlier than the nineth century.
To do otherwise would be to call into question every detail we have about ancient life, since most depend on a single source, unlike that of Jesus, which depends on four gospels, the letters of Paul, references in the Mishnah, Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, and, I think Pliny the Younger.
So, back to my point. These two sentences are wholly unnecessary. If and when we speak about a detail that is in dispute, such as where Jesus is born, we can introduce both sides of that issue. I suspect, but haven't checked, that the Gospel article covers all views of the controversy on the reliability of the accounts of the life of Jesus. There is no need to confuse a causal reader with complexities they are not seeking. That is what other articles and sub-articles are for. --CTSWyneken 00:55, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
Today I have consulted the Jesus article in Encyclopedia Britannica, Collier's Encyclopedia and Academic American Encyclopedia, Encyclopedia Americana. All of these have introductions no more than three paragraphs long. None of them mention the debate over the historicity of Jesus in their introductions. Britannica continues with a discussion of sources, assuming throughout the historicity of Jesus. They allude to the discussion on the reliability of the Gospels, but do not take it up. Americana takes up the sources, explaining critical theory on the origin of the texts and then calls the Gospels, "The only reliable sources" for the life of Jesus. Collier's proceeds im much the same manner. In a section later in the Academic American piece, the historicity of Jesus himself is described as "good." Since all these Encyclopedias do not feel compelled to bring up this matter in the intro, why should we? --CTSWyneken 20:10, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
Anonymous user, please consider registering. Now, in what way is any of what you wrote meant to help us improve the encyclopedia article? This is, after all, the purpose of talk pages. Slrubenstein | [[User talk:Slrubenstein|Talk]] 07:13, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
All your base are belong to U.S.!!! Or, all your base are be long to Jew S.!!! It's you!!! TomerTALK 11:20, 28 November 2005 (UTC)


would you like to publish this mean piece of article? -- Zondor 22:05, 27 November 2005 (UTC)


Made an addittion to a quote in Daniel "Son of Man" as a possible origin for said title.

Also, I find that referring to the theme of Jesus's preaching solely as "apocalyptic repentance" is inaccurate. I'm a Christian, yes, but I'm referring to the portrayal of the character according to the actual texts. According to Jesus himself: "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved" (John3:17). Jesus spent a great deal of time speaking of divine grace and, according to the Gospels, he acted in accordance to this through divine provision (healing, spiritual cleansing, forgiveness, food) as a result of faith, repentance and obedience. He is also known to provide a more merciful application of Mosaic laws than his Pharisee contemporaries. To portray him as a herald of doom is an imprecise character analysis where the actual texts are concerned. CubOfJudahsLion 03:23, 29 November 2005 (UTC)


I changed the initial description of Jesus to "preacher and healer" because that is a description a wide variety of people, Christians and non-Christians, religious people and atheists, could agree on. I think there is no need to go into any greater detail until the body of the article, which of course should discuss what he preached, how he healed, and other things scholars of various stripes say about Jesus. Slrubenstein | Talk 23:02, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

Usage of the word "attest".[edit]

The intro says:

Beyond the historical information accepted by most secular scholars, the gospels attest that Jesus was the messiah prophesied in the Old Testament (or Hebrew Bible); that he was God, and the "son of God" ...

But the word attest means to give evidence of. The gospels as factual are disputed so is this the right word? 23:19, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Jayjg has made I think addressed this concern, dropping "attest" while keeping all the content. Slrubenstein | Talk 23:36, 1 December 2005 (UTC)


I added material to the legacy section. I understand this material may be troublesome to some, but NPOV requires a balanced discussion of Jesus' legacy. For many non-Christians, Jesus' legacy has been bad. I have tried to include this in as NPOV a way as I can. Slrubenstein | Talk 23:27, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

What is the Islamic View of the 'Messiah'?[edit]

  • I have read that according to 'Islamic tradition', Jesus the Messiah will 'return', but He will be 'Islamic'; He will kill the anti-Christ in combat 'with a spear', and He will also kill 'all the Jews and Christians'. Afterwards, He will live 'for another fourteen years' (I believe it was), having many wives and children, and then finally dying. (Dec.)
Not true. Islamic belief is that he will return to the world in the flesh with Imam Mahdi to defeat the antichrist, once the world has become filled with sin, show people that Islam was true, and then live out the rest of his natural life. Islamic belief is that Jesus like all other prophets are Muslim and there is nothing about killing any group of people.
  • I'll believe it when I don't see it. (Dec.)

What Evidence Is There That Jesus Ever Visited Qumran?[edit]

I have read more than once that Jesus was a member of the Essene community. What evidence is there of this? (Dec.)

I have never read that (in a reputable source) although I have read that there are some similarities between the beliefs or rhetoric of the Qumran community and Jesus's teachings as recorded in the Gospels. There is no evidence I know of that Jesus ever lived at Qumran — but that does not mean he was unfamiliar with their ideas. Slrubenstein | Talk 22:55, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

Move article to "Jesus of Nazareth"[edit]

Should this article not be titled "Jesus of Nazareth" rather than "Jesus"? It is more in keeping with an encylopedia entry and other wikipedia articles. --nirvana2013 12:46, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

I think either is fine. Folks know who you mean when you say "Jesus", so there's no problem with leaving it here. KHM03 12:54, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Edit More[edit]

Now that your all editing this page you have to make it a page that you watch so that you can come back and make sure it stays good. 05:41, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

I think that the article is short enough to be a featured article. I shortened the sections that don't actually describe the story of Jesus' life, so that the main biographical items are still present. And I added things that Jesus said. Let's try and get this article peer reviewed again so it can be a featured article. Scifiintel 06:46, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
You have made some sections that were 6 or 7 paragraphs down to one sentence. That may make the article shorter, but does not make the article better. This will all need to be restored unless you can find a way to edit while still keeping the main ideas --JimWae 07:00, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Agreed - the summary sections are now too short, and the article has been turned into "The Christian view of Jesus". Jayjg (talk) 16:18, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Disagree, I wouldn't call it so much the "Christian" view of Jesus as the biographicl view of Jesus. In that biography, a NPOV should be presented. I do not think that a totally neutral point of view exists yet, but as editors feel the representation of Jesus' life in this article does not present all the facts, they should add the facts that support the other view and cite the sources that show Jesus as having done those things.
The main ideas are still there, just in their most basic form. In genereal, on Wikipedia, the main thing shown for articles about people is biogrphical content, and that has been left in detail. The other content is stil available but not on this page because it isn't biographical; however, links pointiong to any content that was condensed exist and all the content is still on Wikipedia.

Scifiintel 14:24, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Can we do away with the "Other topics" section altogether, and just list these links under "See also"? KHM03 14:59, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps, but I'm not sure if that would leave all the proper information, I'm for it but it may be too extreme because those topics possibly need a little explaining. Scifiintel 15:52, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

I'm pretty happy with the page as it is. Do you think we should request another peer review? Scifiintel 19:24, 6 December 2005 (UTC)


There is a fundamental problem with any article that is a biography of Jesus: some people claim he never existed, others call into question the validity of the primary sources on his life, and still others draw on those sources selectively and interpret them according to their knowledge of non-canonical sources. I see only two alternatives: first, "Jesus," "Jesus Christ," "Jesus of Nazareth," etc. all lead to a disambiguation page that lists the full range of articles on Jesus, from different points of view. Or – and this is I believe the strategy we have been employing so far (not that it is written in stone, but over the years many editors had reasons for preferring this strategy) – have a main article on Jesus that draws primarily on the Gospels as they are the historical documents that talk most about Jesus, but with sections outlining the positions of people who believe he never existed, or who believe that the Gospel account is entirely fraudulent, or who believe that the Gospel account is not entirely fraudulent but must be interpreted using the methods of modern critical history, philology, and comparative literature, and have links to more developed articles on those views. I am just not sure which of these Jayjg, Scifiintel, KHM03, and JimWae prefer. Honest. I'd rather not express my own view right away, but I think that any constructive discussion of the article has to be based on a consensus for one of these two alternatives. Therefore, I ask you to express your views on this fundamental issue, perhaps discuss it a bit, and then see if we have a consensus. If we do have a consensus, I think a lot of other discussions will become much easier. Slrubenstein | Talk 19:35, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

I personally don't have a problem with outlining the "popular" understanding of Jesus' life, with attention to modern critical scholarship. But the notion that Jesus never existed is so out of mainstream academia and such a tiny minority view, I don't think we should give it "equal status" to mainstream academia, which does support the idea that Jesus existed, even if it doesn bot / cannot make any claims regarding divine status, etc. Is this the kind of opinion you're looking for? KHM03 19:47, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

I certainly didn't mean to start a debate on whether Jesus existed or not. You should know, however, that there have been editors who vociferously insisted on this position and cited sources. My point here is not that you are wrong, just that we (at Wikipedia) always have to understand that sooner or later fringe views will be asserted, vigorously. But my main point is that a Jesus page, even a Jesus biography page, will always be more complicated and raise more issues than most biography pages (e.g. Richard Nixon, Tom Seaver, Walter Cronkite, Frank Sinatra). So the opinion I was looking for was this:

  1. should we have a "main" Jesus page that privileges no one point of view, and has summaries of and links to articles that address those issues that complicate any biography of Jesus, or that represent divergent points of view? OR
  2. should we have no such "main" page but instead a disambiguation page listing all Jesus related articles (thus, one article could be "Christian view of Jesus" and another "Critical historians' view of Jesus" and so on down the line)?

I am not specifically advocating for one over the other. I am only suggesting that if most contributors to this article agree on one or the other, it will be easier for us to come to agreement on editorial conflicts. Slrubenstein | Talk 20:13, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

It may simply be that those people who say Jesus never existed don't exist anymore and maybe that he didn't exist isn't up anymore because A. everyone believes he did, and B. they have no sources saying Jesus didn't exist. If they think that they can find sources where Jesus didn't exist let them edit Wikipedia and show that to us with sources.

I think we should change the title of "Life and teachings of Jesus according to the Gospels" to "... Gospels and other sources. I think this way all points of view can be met on Jesus life. As a biographical account... the Gospels will be employed but also it will be ecouraged that other sources be employed and cited to portray Jesus' life from a NPOV. I think this is the best solution to the problem described by Slrubenstein because it keeps the article NPOV and it keeps the article short. Also, with the Other topics and See also sections towards the bottom, a clear representation of nonbiographical and a few extreme biographical views are still given by way of links. Scifiintel 21:19, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

But Sanders and Fredricksen have biographies of Jesus that very from the Gospels in a number of ways. You would include their views in the same article? Slrubenstein | Talk 21:25, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Sure.... include those views... however, if they are not mainstream or important views but are extreme, they need not necessarily be mentioned because most of modern scholarship and people don't agree with it. If it's obsolete it shouldn't be included in an encyclopedia article, should it? We could put extreme views as a link if we must. Scifiintel 23:01, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

I find Slrubenstein proposal to be an excellent way to move this forward. We can split the articles as follows:
  1. Life and teachings of Jesus Chirst according to the Gospels
  2. Alternative biographies of Jesus of Nazareth
≈ jossi fresco ≈ t@ 21:31, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

To be clear, are you expressing a preference for the first of the two options I proposed, above? This is important because if you do, I think we would end up with far more than two articles. For one thing, while people may claim that the Gospels speak for themselves, others will claim that we have access only to different "readings" or interpretations of the Gospels. Moreover, there are several alternate biographies. We would definitely have more than two articles. In any event, I would like to know what other contributors, like JimDwae, Wesley, Jayjg and others think. Slrubenstein | Talk 21:34, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

I would say that we need as many articles as this subject deserves. ≈ jossi fresco ≈ t@ 23:56, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
I think something definitely needs to be done if this article (or series of articles) is ever going to be of any benefit to the casual reader. I think the split between "Life and teachings of Jesus Christ according to the Gospels" (or, to put it a slightly different way, from a Christian perspective) and "Jesus according to the Koran/the Muslim faith" (we already have this at Isa) and an article for the rest would be a useful start. Later, it may become appropriate to merge them again, but it's well worth an experiment to see whether decent articles can arise from it all. I'm not too concerned if, as Slrubenstein suggests, there is initially a small proliferation of new articles to begin with. They can always be condensed and merged (or if apppropriate deleted) later on. The only thing remaining would be to decide the location of the articles. The Muslim one is already at Isa, and it would seem appropriate to have the Christian one at Jesus Christ. Jesus would have to become a mini-portal (or disambiguation) page. As far as what to call the other bits, I don't know, jguk 22:26, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
In principle I would not support a Wikipedia:POV fork for this article. The sanctioned guideline is this:
"As Wikipedia articles grow, they often need to be segmented, or branched, into manageable parts. This is an accepted premise for forking an article, and the nature of that split more often depends upon consensus — e.g. a "Criticism of" article may be justified if there is enough (or going to be enough) material to justify a separate article, and it is substantially and fairly represented on the main article, linking prominently to the segment.
Articles should not be split as POV1/POV2, but as main article/sub-article. The branch must be approached in a manner consistent with NPOV. Branch out to a sub-article when the section would be far too long in the main article, but you must have a fair summary in the main article. e.g. "Criticism of" articles." Dystopos 23:16, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

We already have a long-standing fork of this article at Isa. However, I was not suggesting support of diverging this article as a long-term solution, but as a short-term one, that could produce articles, or a series of articles, that could later be re-merged. This is because this article has been exceptionally difficult to get to any decent quality for months and months (years?) now. Exceptional situations call for exceptional solutions. Maybe the solution would fail, in which case we'd get a merged article which looks dire - but that would be no worse really than what we have at present. Let's give it a shot. See if Slrubenstein's proposal works in practice. If it doesn't, I really don't think we've lost anything, jguk 23:23, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

I respecfully disagree that having several articles on this subject can be considered a POV fork. We are not talking here about a "pro" article and a "con" article, but about presenting all viewpoints on a very substantial and fascinating topic as this certainly is. If we have several articles on Jesus (and there is no reason why we should not), we can then summarize them all into a main article in which we feature a small section on each one of the sub-articles prefaced by the {{details|article_name}} tag. This should hopefully address the concerns of POV forking. ≈ jossi fresco ≈ t@ 23:52, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
I disagree with Jguk (and with Slrubenstein) that anything is to be gained by splitting the article as a temporary measure. Whether intended as a POV fork or not (and I tend to think that it is), it would either have the effect of a POV fork or it would just multiply the current POV problems and heap redundancy problems on top of them. I think any article division should take a long term view. That said, I agree with Jossifresco that a number of articles may be needed in order to present a fuller picture of Jesus. One possibility is to distinguish information on Jesus as a historical figure (jew, revolutionary, victim), religious figure (rabbi, teacher, prophet, charlatan), theological concept (messiah, christ), and cultural icon (in art, in history, in politics, etc). These divisions, or other schemes, might by nature attract some POV's more than others, but they should be undertaken for the long-term betterment of Wikipedia's neutral coverage, not for the short term deflection of editorial factions. Dystopos 00:26, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
Isn't this article already doing what jossi fresco suggests? The various subarticles on Jesus, such as Child Jesus, Jesus-Myth, and Race of Jesus all have links and are mentioned at the appropriate place in the article or in boxes. There is certainly room for those paragraphs in the "Life and teachings, based upon the gospels" section with their own articles to be more concise. I don't think this Jesus needs his own disambiguation page. Call me a syncretist, but there is only one "Jesus of Nazarath" that the many different interpretations, theories, ideas, positions, etc. are about. -Acjelen 00:34, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
The main article is now the "Christian view of Jesus" fork, and everything else is shunted off into sub-articles. If this is going to be a proper article about Jesus, then it makes sense that the Christian view is the most significant, but it needs much more balance from other views. Jayjg (talk) 16:11, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
There are "Christian view of Jesus" forks at Christian views of Jesus and New Testament view on Jesus' life. I'm not sure how the article could be more balanced without losing focus, though some sections could be more precise as I've said above. -Acjelen 17:11, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Gospels claiming Jesus is God[edit]

An anonymous editor keeps trying to insert in the intro that the gospels claim Jesus was God. This is a theological and disputed claim; many scholars point out that there is no direct claim of godship in the gospels themselves, but rather more ambiguous statements. The anon is no trying to insert the quotation used in support of the claim, John 10:31. However, not only is this a less clear claim, and an attempt to promote a POV, but it is also too much detail for the intro, and in any event is ambiguous given John 17:20-23. Jayjg (talk) 23:31, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

This is an ongoing dispute, not only here, but on several other articles. A hard one to crack, IMO. ≈ jossi fresco ≈ t@

Well, now it's being justified based on Thomas's outburst "My lord and my god", an outburst of one individual rather than a claim of the gospels. Again, an overly detailed and disputable theological claim made on unclear evidence which does not belong in the intro. The gospels are quite clear about the other claims. Jayjg (talk) 16:07, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

That is in the gospels, I am not sure what your definition of a "claim" is condidering the storytelling tyle of the gospels verses Paul's more doctrinal educational approach. How about John 10:30 "I and the Father are one." That seems a little clearer, not just an "outburst." Or "I am in the Father and the Father is in me . . . " John 14:11. We can use other verses, but the Christian gospels are fairly clear about the divinity of Jesus and the unity of Jesus with God.Gator (talk) 16:22, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

As I point out in my first comment in this section, John 17:20-23 also talks about the apostles being "One", but no-one claims they were God. This is a much debated topic amongst Bibilical scholars and historians of Christianity - when did the notion of Jesus being God develop? Not all early Christian groups believed this, nor do all Christian groups believe this today. Inserting this disputable (and disputed) claim in the introduction alongside other very clear claims of the gospels is misleading and POV. Jayjg (talk) 16:25, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

You supposedly rejected the first verse because it was something less than a "claim" by the gospels. So I gave you a verse (John 10:30 "I and the Father are one.") that is a clear example of the gospel that 'does make such a claim. Yet, that's not good enough either. I'm not surprised by this, but you obviosuly rejected the first verse for reasons other than the low quality of the example. Judging my your statement, it seems that you are simply opposed to putting any reference regarding the believed unity of Jesus and God in this part of the article, because some groups don't beleive it. well, I can't argue with that point and I don't think there is anything I can say to change your mind other what I've put forth and the fact that this part of the article cannot possible represent what everyone believes but can clearly state that this is what some or most of Christains beleive and then provide the verse.

If you wanted a better gospel example, I gave it you. Beyond that, I cannot be of much use. Good luck.Gator (talk) 16:35, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

I'm not sure you've read all of my comments. A claim that someone is "one" with someone (or something) is not a claim that they are identical or the same thing. As I pointed out, similar statements are made regarding the apostles, yet no Christian groups consider the apostles to be God. The issue here is not what Christian groups believe, but rather what claims that gospels clearly and unambiguously make. The other claims listed in the introduction are clearly and unambiguously made in the gospels, but the claim that Jesus is God is certainly not - in fact, as I point out, it is so unclear and ambiguous that many Christians both then and now do not believe the gospels make the claim at all. For this reason this particular claim does not belong in that section in the introduction, even though the vast majority of Christians actually do believe Jesus to be God in some sense. Jayjg (talk) 16:41, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Well I think you've intentionally created a unreasonable high standard of proof. If that verse isn't good enough for you, then nothing will be and I could never hope to persuade. Sorry.Gator (talk) 16:47, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

John certainly has the clearest statements concerning Jesus' divinity. Another example is John 1:1, 14: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." In a number of other passages, Jesus forgives someone's sins, some observers object that only God can forgive sins, and Jesus then proceeds to confirm his power to forgive sins by healing the person. That Jesus is God is certainly a theological and disputed claim, but that the gospels claim this quite straightforward. The scholarly disputes I've seen concerning when the idea of Jesus' divinity might have been "added" to Christianity mostly focus on dating the gospels, and guessing which parts of the gospels might have been borrowed from somewhere or made up and added to the text at a later time, rather than pretending that the text of the gospels we have today contains no claims that Jesus was God.
Your suggestion that the gospels lack this claim is especially entertaining when contrasted with Earl Doherty and friend's claim that the gospels don't really say that Jesus is a man, but that he is only some sort of divine aeon or purely spiritual being. Seriously, which scholar says the gospel texts as we have them today do not claim that Jesus is God? Do said scholars make him out to be some sort of aeon or angel instead, or a strictly human prophet/teacher? Wesley 17:16, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Well said. Better than I could have put it. I concur.Gator (talk) 18:30, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Wesley, you quote from one of the Gospels, while asserting thjat "the Gospels" claim Jesus to be God. The Gospel of John makes mystical assertions that seem to equate Jesus with God, though it never says directly that Jesus is God. The other Gospels make no such claim at all, since the phrases about the Son of Man and Son of God would not be usually understood as assertions of divinity unless they were read back with that sense in mind. Can't we just say that the "Gospel of John seems to equate Jesus with God".? Paul B 18:47, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

No. See Matthew 1:23, Mark 2:5-11, Matthew 3:3, Luke 1:17.Gator (talk) 18:54, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

none of these verses assert divinity. Any number of interpretations can - and have been - made of them. Paul B 00:13, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
John 1 directly asserts divinity. Verse 1 says "the Word was God" while verse 14 identifies the Word with Jesus when it says "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us." "became flesh" is synonymous with "incarnate." If you know of a scholar who has tried to interpret this differently, please provide the citation. The other gospels are generally less explicit, but it would seem difficult to explain the disciples worshipping someone they thought was just a really good teacher and healer. I still maintain that most of the controversy has been not about what the gospels say, but how and when they came to be written. As for early Christians that did not think Jesus was God, I suppose this is a reference to the Ebionites. I was under the impression that they did not use or affirm the four gospels though. Am I mistaken about them? Or was a different "Christian " group being alluded to?Wesley 17:43, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
There's no point in doing the "dueling gospel" quotes to prove this; I could simply counter with John 5:18-19, John 10:33-36, John 14:28-31, Mark 10:17-18, Mark 13:32. Putting verses like you have in the opening is the opposite of NPOV, and only leads to difficulty, because then countering verses must be added as well. Jayjg (talk) 20:22, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Then don't put any verses to back it up, just leave it uncited if you think it will lead to dueling verses. I'm ok with that.Gator (talk) 20:26, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

The point is that there is no verse in the gospels which states he is God, just various verses that indicate to some people that he is, and other verses which give the opposite impression, which is why some Christian groups have always insisted that the gospels don't claim he is God. If you want to remove all quotations on the subject, I'm fine with that, but if you insist on inserting quotations intended to prove one thing, you also have to be NPOV by inserting verses which prove the opposite as well. Jayjg (talk) 20:33, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

I disagree with your interpretation. I think there are plenty of verses that clearly say he is God, you just interpret them differently. No more quotations or verses. I think the way I did it is fine. Nice and simple.Gator (talk) 20:37, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

The way you did it was to make false claims; the gospels do not claim he was "God incarnate"; rather, people interpret various verses as meaning that (and other people say they don't mean that). Either you cite the exact verses which make the claims, or you don't make claims at all. Jayjg (talk) 20:40, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Please don't call my edits nonsense, that's not helping. I think I've come up with a good compromise that doesn't involve "dueling verses." What do you and, more importantly, other people think?Gator (talk) 20:43, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Your version is not a compromise, but rather a confirmation of your own viewpoint. I've NPOVd it again, and I'd prefer if you stopped reverting me, you've done so 4 times already today. Jayjg (talk) 20:48, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

It seems to me that since Christology (sp?) was and still is an important element of Christianity and the history of the "Jesus movement", that arguments about Jesus' divine nature and "relationship" with God warrants mention in the introduction along with more concrete biblical claims; in a new paragraph in the introduction. -Acjelen 20:50, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Look, please stop revertng, I'm not interested in an edit war and please don't threaten me (especially since you've reverted me as many times as I've reverted you), none of this is helpful. I think my compromise is very fair and we need to get other people's opinion. I think saying "arguably" fairly covers it without having to actually make the arguments.Gator (talk) 20:53, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

I made one small change to your edit, but other than that I think it's a solid NPOV edit. Well done!Gator (talk) 20:58, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

"Arguably" is not a good NPOV word, it sounds like Wikipedia is making the argument, which is a no-no. As far as whether the gospels claim Jesus is God...that's a matter of theological debate and doesn't really belong in the intro. It's really only one particular claim about what the gospels claim, not an undisputed fact about what the gospels claim. --MPerel ( talk | contrib) 21:01, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Ah, nicely done Acjelen. Much better presentation. --MPerel ( talk | contrib) 21:10, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

It seems the anon is back, and can't resist inserting quotes in the wrong paragraphs. Jayjg (talk) 23:50, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

I reverted because it was duplicate material already added to other more appropriate paragraphs. Removing the list of things the gospels say resolves issues regarding contentious claims. --MPerel ( talk | contrib) 00:18, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Raymond E. Brown In Theological Studies #26 (1965) p.545-73 he wrote the article entitled "Does the NT call Jesus God?" which can be summarized as follows: Mk10:18, Lk18:19, Mt19:17, Mk15:34, Mt27:46, Jn20:17, Eph1:17, 2Cor1:3, 1Pt1:3, Jn17:3, 1Cor8:6, Eph4:4-6, 1Cor12:4-6, 2Cor13:14, 1Tm2:5, Jn14:28, Mk13:32, Ph2:5-10, 1Cor15:24-28 are "texts that seem to imply that the title God was not used for Jesus" and are "negative evidence which is often somewhat neglected in Catholic treatments of the subject." Also: "Jesus is never called God in the Synoptic Gospels, and a passage like Mk 10:18 would seem to preclude the possibility that Jesus used the title of himself. Even the fourth Gospel never portrays Jesus as saying specifically that he is God. The sermons which Acts attributes to the beginning of the Christian mission do not speak of Jesus as God. Thus, there is no reason to think that Jesus was called God in the earliest layers of New Testament tradition. This negative conclusion is substantiated by the fact that Paul does not use the title in any epistle written before 58." And "The slow development of the usage of the title God for Jesus requires explanation. Not only is there the factor that Jesus is not called God in the earlier strata of New Testament material, but also there are passages, cited in the first series of texts above, that by implication reserve the title God for the Father. Moreover, even in the New Testament works that speak of Jesus as God, there are also passages that seem to militate against such a usage - a study of these texts will show that this is true of the Pastorals and the Johannine literature. The most plausible explanation is that in the earliest stage of Christianity the Old Testament heritage dominated the use of the title God; hence, God was a title too narrow to be applied to Jesus. It referred strictly to the Father of Jesus, to the God whom he prayed. Gradually, (in the 50's and 60's?) in the development of Christian thought God was understood to be a broader term. It was seen that God had revealed so much of Himself in Jesus that God had to be able to include both Father and Son." 22:05, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

How about putting, "In John's Gospel, Jesus makes the claim 'I and the Father are One.'" and citing it. Or putting "Most scholars interpret that the Gospels claim Jesus is God." or even "Most Christians believe Jesus is God." These are all true statements. They are all NPOV. They are all central to the figure of Jesus. At least one of them should be in the intro, because people believing that Jesus is God is Jesus' #1 claim to fame. TheTruth12 22:49, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

possibly an edit war?[edit]

Are we really having an edit war over "possibly" and "possibly not"? Dang. - Tεxτurε 20:59, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Lord, I hope not! LOL.Gator (talk) 21:00, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

In all fairness, neitehr have goen back and forth over the SAME language, jsut different language any time, so I think it's all been in good faith and in the spirit of compromise.Gator (talk) 21:01, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Well, that didn't last long. Jayjg (talk) 23:10, 7 December 2005 (UTC)


It needs to be very clear that islam does not consider Isa/Jesus as anyone in the west might consider him. He's considered a liar and a fraud by Islam. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 06:00, December 8, 2005 (UTC)

How is it incorrect? He's not considered the son of God as he says, he's not considered a virgin birth by islam. He's not the son of God by islam. If he claims to be x, and islam says he's not x, then one of them is wrong. By pointing out the islam considers him to be a liar by the NT accounts, is simple fact.

There's a difference between calling the New Testament accounts inaccurate and calling Jesus a liar. Many modern critical scholars doubt that Jesus ever called himself the Son of God in a literal sense or that the virgin birth claims were contemporaneous to Jesus' life. Firebug 06:18, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

The problem is that islam considers him to be just another prophet and a fairly minor one, with very poorly understood retellings of the Jesus mythology. I can't understand why islamic references are made whatsoever on this page. It should simply be 'islam considers him to be a minor prophet, and disagrees with any divinity claims the New Testament makes'. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Monty2 (talkcontribs) 06:23, December 8, 2005 (UTC)

  • Where do you get this "fairly minor" prophet stuff? Please read Isa and tell us the parts that are wrong. (Also, please sign your posts with ~~~~) --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 06:29, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Fairly minor. Read the NT and the koran, compare the versions of what they say. The koran considers him a minor teacher compared to the "greatness" that the NT bestows on him monty2

  • Well, I'm out of here for tonight; someone else please help educate Monty2. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 06:36, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

I see you're determined to keep up the islamic side of things. NPOV problem. Bigtime. Jesus is not an Islamic concept, and it does not need any mention except for the fact that it disagrees completely with the typical western ideals. monty2

I appreciate the latest edits, but shouldn't Joseph Smith's version of Jesus be included in the opening paragraphs if mohammed's version is? monty2

No Jesus is not an "islamic concept" he's a person, a person whose significance is interpreted differently in Islam and in Christianity. It's also interpreted differently between different branches of Christianity. In Islam he is one of the most important prophets, and is certainly not considered to be a "liar". The opening para cannot describe all possible forms of christology. It's reasonable that it speaks only of the most significant and widely held positions. Islam is one of the major world religions. Paul B 09:53, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
In addition to considering Jesus a prophet, I was under the impression that Islam also believes in Jesus' virgin birth. Wesley 17:21, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

And please, no one should say "just" a prophet. You may reject the existence of prophets altogether, but for those who do not, identifying someone as a prophet means a lot. In any event, the real problem is that the unsigned user above just does not understand our policies, esp. NPOV and NOR. Slrubenstein | Talk 17:30, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

  • a) Joseph Smith is manifestly operating within the Christian belief system of sacrificial redemption, and Muhammad is not. (Hence Islam's status as a separate faith.)
  • b) Roughly one billion people practice Islam, so this faith system's take on Jesus merits clear and unapologetic mention here. Unless the article is actually planning to move to Jesus in Christianity, which I doubt.
  • c) Anyone who believes that Islam holds Jesus/Isa in any way, shape, or form to be of minor status is working from principles of bigotry or ignorance rather than from actual, how shall I put this, beginner-level familiarity with the Quran or Sunnah. He is widely regarded by Muslims (for instance) to have been born without sin or the capacity for sin (unlike Muhammad in that), his birth is seen as miraculous (unlike Muhammad in that) and he is ranked with Abraham, Noah, Moses, and Muhammad as one of the five great prophets.
  • d) Does that high status equate to the claims of divinity promulgated by contemporary Christian doctrine? No. Should we say that? Yes. Can one create that sentence for an encyclopedia without at the same time saying that Muslims somehow "dis" Jesus? Remains to be seen. BYT 18:07, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

There are more Mormons than Jews in the world now. It's ridiculous to use the number of followers like that to justify including or excluding mentions in the opening paragraph. islam's claims have no basis in being a part of this article except as a very minor mention somewhere towards the end. And it should absolutely mention islamic hypocrisy in regards to the fact that they disregard what he claims in the NT versus what mohammed said about him. monty2

Oh, I noticed BYT's homepage, his bias is obvious and noted. monty2

  • Let me get this straight -- a Christian posting here is not by definition biased on these issues, but a Muslim is.
  • Re: "More Mormons than Jews"... have to be honest, I'm not entirely sure what this has to do with the discussion.
  • Tell you what. If you have language you'd like to suggest, why don't you just post it here so everyone can evaluate it and offer comments. BYT 18:53, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

I'm not a Christian, so I'm unsure what you're refering to. However, the islamic perspective and your agenda in particular is completely a-historical and should not be mentioned in the article except as how I noted in regards to islamic hypocrisy in attitudes about Jesus. monty2

For what it's worth, I'm a practicing Mormon and I'm satisfied that the intro's general representation of the Christian perspective on Jesus adequately covers LDS belief, and no further mention need be made there. There are some differences between LDS theology and mainstream Christian theology, to be sure (see Mormonism and Christianity), but those differences are not significant enough to warrant special mention in this article, especially in the introduction. I think the Islamic perspective is, however, sufficiently unique and significant to merit a place in the intro. Alanyst 19:03, 8 December 2005 (UTC)


I do not think that Christology should be defined as "the study of Jesus," because there are studies of Jesus that are clearly not Christological. Can someone fix that recent edit? Slrubenstein | Talk 22:26, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Archive ?[edit]

Should this page be archived and a new one started because it is so long? Scifiintel 23:13, 8 December 2005 (UTC)