Talk:Jesus/Archive 44

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Life and Teachings section[edit]

Moving the article forward[edit]

Many of you may not know, but Arch has developed a great outline of Jesus related articles on Wikipedia and placed this on his userpage at User:Archola/Wikiproject:Jesus. And as I've said many times in the past, such a biographical article as this should include more of a biography, and I think his outline does a great job of organizing events in Jesus' life as well as his teachings. Based on this outline, I've copied the current article and began reorganizing it implementing Arch's layout. This is located here: User:Aiden/Jesus. If you would like to help by contributing to the summaries of the new sections or discussing changes with the layout, please stop by the talk page. I feel once we get "version 2" of the article up to par, we can work on a acheiving consensus to implement the changes and avoid a conflict this way. I think Arch's outline has great promise and will defitinetly bring the article up to Featured status. —Aiden 21:22, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

The only issue I have is that your version may be too long and detailed. As I understand it, "Life and Teachings" (possibly renamed to "Biography of Jesus") is meant to be a summary of New Testament view on Jesus' life. I've also raised the question about why we say so little about the biographical details of non-Biblical sources. Again, I'm talking here about secular historians, not Christians. Arch O. LaTalkTCF 21:29, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
I agree that Aiden's version based on the outline seems way too long for the biography section. Maybe it would go better for one of the many articles already dealing with that topic in more detail. Next, what exactly do you mean by non-Biblical sources? Finally, in reference to your PS, I got the Ehrman book out of the library and expanded the sections on Ebionites and Marcionites. I'd appreciate it if you or any one else looked it over and edit where needed.--Andrew c 00:25, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
Thank you for your help. As for what I mean, let me put it this way: why is the biographical section titled "Life and Teachings, based on the Gospels" instead of just 'Life and Teachings" based on everything we have? It seems to me that if we limit the biography to the cannonical Gospels, what we wind up with is a minimalist version of the Christian perspective of Jesus: basically the Biblical Jesus stripped of His divinity and all miracles. I just know that Christians are going to find the portait to be too secular, and non-Christians will find it to be too religious. In fact, I've already seen some say that it reads like a Sunday sermon, and that it is more hagiography than biography.
At first I was asking what biographical details from the New Testament apocrypha were used in the historical reconstruction of Jesus. I've thought about it a little more, and what seems to be missing is the historical context, ie some of the stuff in Cultural and historical background of Jesus. One of the things I immediately think of is the politics among Jewish sects and among the Romans that helped to contribute to Jesus' path to the cross. Another thing is that the intro says that Jesus debated with the Jewish authorities, but the biography section gives little mention of this. Arch O. LaTalkTCF 03:12, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
PS: I've also reordered the article so that the historicity section comes before the religious views section. Since Jesus was a religious figure, religion, especially Christianity, is a major part of Jesus' legacy. We've also been expanding the "other views" section, recently adding Gnosticism and Marcionism. I'm still waiting to hear more about the secular philosophical ethicist view of Jesus. Arch O. LaTalkTCF 21:34, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
Whoever did the "Life and teachings..." section - well done it reads so much better. SophiaTalkTCF 21:52, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
We should of thought of that sooner, I always thought it looked odd in that paragraph :/. Homestarmy 22:05, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
That was me. Thanks for the encouragement. The long list of verse links made it hard to read in paragraph form.--Andrew c 00:08, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
Now we are moving forward - where can I read about the collaboration process and what happends next? SophiaTalkTCF 00:20, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Please take a look at my progress with User:Aiden/Jesus#Genealogy_and_Family and User:Aiden/Jesus#Nativity_and_Childhood. Following a modified version of Arch's layout, I've condensed material from each section's main article and information in the current version of this article to yield what I think are more readable, well-rounded sections. Let me know what you think. —Aiden 01:19, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

P.S. Judging by those two sections, which seem to cover a good amount of biographical data without being too long or unreadable, I honestly would have to disagree that the biography section would be too long. I think by merging some of the related sections (such as Geneology and Family, Nativity and Childhood, Resurrection and Ascension) we could cover all the bases without making the section too long. —Aiden 02:14, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
I'll reserve judgement until I see the final version. One of my main concerns is to make sure that we have summaries, not duplication, where appropriate: this goes for every single article on my outline. My other concern is that by limiting the biography to the cannonical gospels, the "life and teachings" section may lack the context that higher criticism provides; ie, we have a stripped-down Biblical Jesus that will be seen as either too secular or too religious depending on the reader's POV. Arch O. LaTalkTCF 03:24, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
Well my intention is to summarize most of what is in the main articles. I've duplicated some information just to get the jest of what each section would look like, but will begin summarizing each section soon. I really would like this to be more of a collaborative effort, so if anyone would like to contribute or sees something that needs changed, please feel free. —Aiden 06:14, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
I shall definitely look through the above as they sound really good ideas but I was referring to the "official" project page on our collaboration - I wondered if outside bodies have been commenting yet? SophiaTalkTCF 08:08, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
I've been wondering about that too, I mean we have a big banner announcing the collaboration and I added in the end date, yet im not sure if anyone is even here :/. I think we're planning to extend it another day since this is our first collaboration or something.... Homestarmy 13:35, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

I've just looked at the recently-revised section "Life and teachings, based on the Gospels." Now that the section mentions the New Testament apocrypha and Josephus, shouldn't we rename it "Life and teachings," or perhaps "Biography of Jesus"? Arch O. LaTalkTCF 15:55, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Robsteadman appears to disagree. I suppose however that since it seems accurate, a name change would be in order. Homestarmy 22:44, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
You are correct. I changed the title to "Life and Teachings," and Robsteadman reverted. Arch O. LaTalkTCF 23:03, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Life and teachings, (based upon the Gospels?)[edit]

I feel like the header for the section "Life and teachings" is inaccurate. It is not describing the life and teachings of Jesus (unless you are from a specific POV). I understand that saying (based upon the Gospels) is not entirely accurate because a link to New Testament apocrypha, a sentence about Josephus are included. It remains that the vast majority of this section is a plot summary based on combining the 4 Gospels (and a touch of Acts in the last section). I personally see nothing wrong with summarizing the Biblical picture of Jesus, as long as it is clear that is whats going on. The current header is missing this, and I would propose changing back or to something else like "Life and teachings according to Christian scripture" which may include non-canonical scripture. And maybe we can work to fill more information in from non-canonical sources, but the fact remains that these are just stories about Jesus, and cannot be confirmed as his actual 'Life and teachings'. I can see it now, if we include more non-canonical sources under "life and teachings", Christians will object that these non-canonical sources clearly do NOT represent Jesus' life and teachings, only the "life and teachings" according to a specific source. Does anyone else see it this way? Any suggestions on possible name changes?--Andrew c 18:44, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

These are the source materials not only for the Christian religion, but also for the historical reconstructionists who accept some details while rejecting others. I like Haldrik's suggestion of "Biography of Jesus." A biography can be either historical or fictional. Arch O. LaTalkTCF 18:50, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
What exactly do we want in this section? If we are trying to include all sources, we need to say that and expand the section (maybe calling it "Life and teachings from a number of perspectives"). I think biography is not accurate because that is an attempt to construct a single narrative about a person (whether real or fictional). But right now, I think I am favoring the format of the Moses article. Say you are giving a plot summary of the NT, and leave it at that. Give the other POV their own sections as opposed to trying to combine them into one 'biography' (and wouldn't that be OR anyway?). --Andrew c 19:16, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
I see the distinction between "Moses in the Bible" and "Moses in history" as well as all the religous perspectives, but for Jesus we already have separate sections on historical reconstructions and religious views. You are right that our Life and Teachings/Biography section includes details that some perspectives accept, and others reject. I guess you can call it "Jesus in the Bible, in the Apocraphya, in Josephus, and in other extant sources." You could, but that's a rather long title. If we limit it to "Jesus in the Bible" or "Jesus in the New Testament," then I don't really see the difference between that and Christian views (other than differences in interpretation). The idea I've been promoting is to have a section on "Jesus according to all sources," followed by sections that distinguish between different perspectives (historicity, Christian, Islamic, Judaic, eastern religions, Ebionite, Gnostic, Marcionite, New Age and Skeptical is what we have now). I'm not sure how many agree or disagree with my idea. Arch O. LaTalkTCF 21:17, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

Seeing the 'Biography of Jesus' title, followed by the plot summary of the Gospels, I have to say I don't like that wording at all. It may work if information from outside of the Gospels is ever included in that section, though I would prefer the plural "Biographies". Until then, I propose at least acknowledging that the section is summerizing the event of Jesus' life as depicted in the NT. If we ever decide to include referenced to Jesus in the Koran, in non-canonical works, and whatever other sources we decided to include, maybe we can call it "Various perspectives on Jesus' life and teachings" something that suggests that numerous and sometimes conflicting accounts of Jesus' life follow. I'm going to re-add "according to the Gospels" . I think the biggest concern here is that under the Family subheader, there is a discussion on outside explanations for the claims within the Gospels. Church fathers and Josephus are mentioned to cast light on what the Gospels meant when they said Jesus had a brother. This is almost a historical accuracy question. It doesn't really fit with rest of the paragraphs, because none of them refer to outside sources, or discuss possible explanations for the words in the Gospels. See where I'm going with this? My main point is I see no problem having a section summerizing the events in the Gospels, as long as it is labelled as such.--Andrew c 00:46, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

I thought that we were starting to expand that section beyond the Gospels, but perhaps I was wrong. I haven't been working on that section myself (other than to remove links to a disambig page). Arch O. LaTalkTCF 02:35, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
Sorry about all this, I feel like I'm bringing up all these non-issues. I am not working on that section currently either, but I don't want to direct or put stipulations on the direction of that section. I was just saying I felt the current title didn't match well with the current content. If one changes, the other should follow. I'll wait a few days to see what sort of progress happens, but if the content stays the same, I'd like to eventually edit the header back to reflect that. I personal don't see how we can expand that section. For example, take this existing paragraph:
According to the New Testament, Jesus was raised from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. This day is celebrated by Christians as Resurrection Sunday during Easter.
How would we expand that section? Quote the Qur'an and mention Islam's view that Isa survived the crucifixion. Mention docetism and the Gnostics and Marcionites and the wording in the Gospel of Peter's crucifixion scene. Mention various hypotheses that historians hold in regards to the crucifixion? See where I am going with this, any information I could think to add to expland that section outside of the gospels is already include in the other sections dealing with those POVs. Thus, this is the reasoning behind why I have been saying just leave it as is: a plot summary of the Gospels.--Andrew c 03:11, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
You do have a point. Most of the "plot" is in the New Testament, with some of the apocrypha to fill in the gaps. However, a good biography will go beyond plot and place the subject in the proper historical context. What I'd really like to see is more stuff from cultural and historical background of Jesus to provide depth. Arch O. LaTalkTCF 04:03, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

Date notation silliness[edit]

I agree that this subject may be dead on this Talk page, however I knew I would get some quick and educated responses so I posted here. After many endless arguments about "AD/BC" being POV because "Anno Domini" endorses the indoctrination that Jesus is "our Lord" and "Before Christ" is asserting Jesus as "the Christ", I've come to realize something quite simple that technically assures that "AD/BC" is NPOV and "CE/BCE" is unneccesary. If I were to write "JC exists beyond a doubt" at random, this is NPOV because it could be interpreted as "Jimmy Carter exists beyond a doubt", "James Cameron exists beyond a doubt", or anything else. Nowhere in that sentence to I acknowledge that I am reffering to Jesus Christ. Thus the only way that "AD/BC" could be POV is if they were presented in such a context as "Bob was born (in) 100 (years) Before Christ and then he died (in) Anno Domini 2"— saying "Bob was born 100 BC and he then died in AD 2" is literally in no way POV because I could simply interperet it as "British Columbia" and "Andy Dick". For a broader example, writing something like "JCIOLAS" isn't POV until you write it out as "Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior". I think this cripples all presented evidence of a POV stance that accusingly exists with "AD/BC". The POV is only with "Anno Domini" and "Before Christ". Any responses? Cheers –CrazyInSane 21:05, 18 March 2006 (UTC).

This is a spurious argument. Hiding something behind a well-known acronym does not make it either neutral or ambiguous. Alienus 21:12, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
Just because it is well known doesn't mean "BC" automatically means "Before Christ". Actually, there are a lot of alternate meanings for the acronym "BC" such as "British Columbia", "British Council", "Boston College". My point is that, technically, the letters "B" and "C" put together do not assert Christian POV. People are going far enough to assert that "AD" is POV simply because it "asserts the divinity of Jesus", and I'm going as far as to refute it. Nothing spurious. CrazyInSane 21:22, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
There are many who agree with you, and many who disagree with you. Some time ago they worked out a compromise to use both notations, ie AD/CE and BC/BCE. This double notation may be silly, but it's what we have now. Arch O. LaTalkTCF 21:15, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
Using the same agument PBUH would be NPOV too. How many people were born in the year 1950 Andy Dick? As many as in 1951 Mobius Strip? --JimWae 21:16, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
Again, you're missing the point. It doesn't matter that no one was born in "1950 Andy Dick", it matters that "AD" is not ultimately defined as "Anno Domini", thus POV is only present in instances such as "He was born Anno Domini 1950". CrazyInSane 21:22, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
  • this is just silly - responsible editors do not get to make up their own abbreviations -- nor lack of abbreviations --- might as well make up your own language --JimWae 21:29, 18 March 2006 (UTC) PBUH
Silly as it may be, JimWae, people in the outside world would just as equally find it "silly" for people to be throwing around the idea that "AD" and "BC" need to be eradicated because it "offends some people". That's just as ridiculous as being offended by the use of "Wednesday" or especially, "Gregorian calendar"–no one complains about that. So since we're in the spirit of being "ridiculous", I'm going to get down to the wire here: the acronym "AD"–undefined specifically– does not assert that Jesus is God in any way. It doesn't. CrazyInSane 21:36, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Well, you sure spend a lot of energy defending something that has no meaning --JimWae 21:39, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
Both should be used for the simple reason that the literature of Biblical Studies uses both. Not to use both is to risk confusing people. This is, of course, my POV 8-) --CTSWyneken 21:24, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
That's the best explanation I've heard yet for the current compromise. As far as I'm concerned, the current year is 2006. I don't really care if people write AD 2006 or 2006 CE or 2006 AD/CE. I just think it's silly to argue over the notation. 6 of one, VI of the other: different notation, same meaning. Arch O. LaTalkTCF 21:31, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

Let me give you a silly analogy. Imagine if someone modifies the biography of Ariel Sharon to say that he was born in 39 PH, which is to say, 39 years after Hitler was. Do you think this would be slightly POV? Alienus 23:15, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

It would be just as silly to label this 39 CE. Of course, such a dating system is not at all common, but my point is that any POV is just as much in the number as in the notation. If people are bothered by the fact that the Western calandar is based on a hypothesized birthdate of Jesus of Nazareth, we could always go back to the older system, dating years from the founding of Rome. Of course, this is just another POV. The Islamic calander is dated from Mohammed's Hegira. Any calander we use is going to emphazize one year above all others, and thus be POV. Arch O. LaTalkTCF 23:26, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

On second thought, my example could be better. For example, Hitler is an unambiguously historical figure and isn't commonly regarded (even among his admirers) as God. Allow me to repair my example.

Let's say that Nazi numerological researchers anounced that the first true Aryan was born 1,889 years before Hitler, and therefore all dates would be measured from that moment. Henceforth, Nazi puplications give the year of Hitler's birth, not as 1889 AD or 1889 CE, but 1889 DA (Dawn of Aryans). Now, given this, do you think that using DA instead of AD or CE for the year of Hitler's birth implies a political statement that is POV?

It's not the number alone, but what's ascribed to it. "AD" implies that "our lord" was born 2006 years ago. Of course, as the article admits freely, our best evidence suggests that, if he existed, the historical Jesus was born 2 to 8 years further back, which means "AD" is flatly wrong. However, "CE" is still fine, since it doesn't make specific claims about Jesus, or even mention him indirectly.

The very best argument against CE/BCE is that it's less well known than AD/BC. Then again, the fact that Jesus wasn't born on 1 AD is also less well known, yet we don't shy from sharing it. Perhaps a parenthetical remark near the top explaining CE/BCE is in order, so be can then use it instead of AD/BC. Alienus 05:21, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

The thing is that there are people who are bothered by both notations. The longstanding compromise is to use both. Think about this: CE isn't really "common" era, it's only common to Western Civilization. Why? Because of the influence of Christianity, especially missionaries and colonialists. So then you're back to honoring those people who believe that Jesus is both Lord and Christ. Isn't this the same problem? Arch O. LaTalkTCF 07:29, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
Like it or not, it's a simple fact that the common notation for years starts with what used to be thought of as the year of Jesus' birth. However, the claim that this is the year of the coming of our lord is a bit more controversial. In short, even if CE bugs you, it ought to bug you less than AD. Alienus 19:12, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
Regardless of the "formal" definitions, I've always taken BCE/CE to mean "Before/Christian Era," since "Common Era" sounds so goofy to me (like there was no "common-ness" to anything before then, and then everything became common afterward, heh -- obviously it refers to Christianity, not "common-ness"). How about "ABCDE" that covers everything, and it is in alphabetical order! ;) --MonkeeSage 08:35, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
As I said before, we could always go back to dating from when Romulus and Remus decided to build a town on seven hills ;) Arch O. LaTalkTCF 08:56, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
There are people who go through wiki changing BC to BCE and other people who go through wiki changing BCE to BC. It keeps them off the streets. But, in answer to the comment above, the "common" in Common Era refers to the fact that this system of dates is the one most commonly used in the world today. My own habit is to use BC and AD in articles about Christianity, and BCE and CE in other articles, especially those about non-Christian countries. (It sounds silly to say that the Han Dynasty lasted from 200 BC to 200 AD.) On the other hand, I certainly have better things to do with my time that fight over it. Rick Norwood 15:58, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
I agree that it doesn't matter Rick. I don't really think either notation is POV, since it is just a shorthand for refering to a certain type of calandering (just like 10^3 vs. 103 doesn't denote any bias for say, physics over compter programming). But as for "common" in B/CE, I think it is an adjective referring to the eras, not the popularity of the calandering system, which just sounds odd to me, and is why I mentally substitute my own meaning. But that's neither here nor there...just being the grammar/syntax police. ;) --MonkeeSage 16:16, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
"Common era" means that the era is commonly used, not that it is the era of commonality. "Christian era" also works because it was Christians who decided that Rome was no longer good enough to base a calandar off of. As for 10^3 vs. 103, this is much the same thing as when I said 6 of one, VI of another. Arch O. LaTalkTCF 19:16, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
Ah, I guess that does make sense. I didn't see your comment before -- "6 of one, VI of another" -- lol! I'm going to start using that when verbally communicating "Vee Eye of another"! hehehe! That will show the Muslims that I won't be oppressed by their Arabic numbering system (which they stole from the Hindus' Sanskrit in LXVLVMCLVII on the Mayan calander)! ;D --MonkeeSage 20:15, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
LOL! Sorry you missed my comment before, but I last said it right before Alienus brought Ariel Sharon and Adolph Hitler into it. I bring it up every time someone disputes the dating notation. Arch O. LaTalkTCF
I said it before and I'll say it again: no debate about dating conventions is complete without mention of both Ariel Sharon and Adolph Hitler! Alienus 20:46, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

In the UK, everyone uses AD and BC. The idea that AD/BC is somehow POV or pro/anti Christian is regarded as absurd here. Clinkophonist 21:45, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

I am an American who agrees with you. Arch O. LaTalkTCF 23:10, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
A Canadian who agrees CrazyInSane 00:29, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
But I don't mind CE either. It's definitely a Christian era, and only a common one because of Christians. Arch O. LaTalkTCF 00:32, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
It's not quite that simple...oh, why am I bothering to waste time on such a pointless discussion? Jim62sch 17:07, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

The funny thing is that Talk:Historicity_of_Jesus#protected is still gaining votes. Right now it's 14 for AD/BC, 9 for B/CE, and 4 for both, with several stuck out for being "sockpuppets." Arch O. LaTalkTCF 08:32, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Here the issue has been settled by several votes. I haven't had a change to play with more than one Jesus page due to how... vigorous,,, this page is. May I suggest that people there look at and participate in gathering scholarly opinions for the dates in our subpage Talk:Jesus/Dates of Birth and Death? --CTSWyneken 11:16, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

See also Wikinfo[edit]

I just discovered wikinfo. Check their article on Jesus Christ. Interesting case of divergent evolution. Arch O. LaTalkTCF 23:13, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

Note to self: Wikinfo articles on controversial topics are crap. Alienus 23:19, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
But still an interesting case of divergent evolution. Arch O. LaTalkTCF 23:28, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

True. I think it's a valuable lesson in why POV forks are a bad idea. Then again, I thought we had enough examples of that from the Mormonism articles. Alienus 05:09, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

Alternate Antenicene Christianities[edit]

User:Clinkophonist has added data to the Historicity and Religious views sections that need to be fact-checked and cited. If accurate, this data does improve the article. Arch O. LaTalkTCF

I did a copyedit. I notice we now have a mix of American and Commonwealth spellings. Confusing. Arch O. LaTalkTCF 23:08, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
So pick one and copy edit the whole article. I have a preference based on the style and format of the article, but y'all figure it out. Jim62sch 17:12, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Ebionites[edit]

This section looks like it violates NOR. It has only one source, ant it is a primary source. The wording of the passage also seems highly POV. Slrubenstein | Talk 11:14, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm changing the header level, because this is one of the sections that Clinkophonist revised, and the POV language arguably comes from Clinkophonist. The source was added not by Clinkophonist but by later editors. Arch O. LaTalkTCF 14:00, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Okay. I know enough about the Ebionites to know that they are important. But I just do not know of any good studies of them - though I am not claiming that if I do not know, no one knows! If anyone knows the good sources on them, by all means let's learn about them. That said, I am not, however, sure how important they are for this article (as opposed to say, the history of Christianity). Do we have appropriate sources on what the Ebionites thought of Jesus? If we do not, then this may just be something that we have to leave out for now. Slrubenstein | Talk 14:05, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

The Ebionites have been there for quite a while, although the reference was briefer until recently. Since the Ebionites were already there, and since a comment on the Good Article Collaboration of the Week suggested the Gnostics, we added the Gnostics and Marcionites to the article. The other point is that these aren't entirely historical. As I believe the linked pages indicate, there are neo-Ebionites and neo-Gnostics, though I don't know whether or not they identify as Christian. However, if there are also neo-Marcionites, I am not aware of them. Finally, we may need to condense the data from all of the article sections and take some of it to appropriate subpages. Jesus is starting to get a little long again. Arch O. LaTalkTCF 14:15, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Fair enough. I know that many histories of early Christianity (e.g. Hall) address the Marcionites and Gnostics in detail; Pagels has written extensively on Gnostics. i just haven't seen as much on Ebionites - but I'd love to learn! Slrubenstein | Talk 14:49, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm the one that expanded the Marcion and Ebionite sections during the GA/FA drive. The source I used was Bart Ehrman's The Lost Christianities. I added the book to the references section, but didn't include inline footnotes. The book is at work, and when I get there I can cite the page numbers from where I got the info (such as the vegetarian sentence). I also tried to focus on what their actual views were on Jesus as well, however I do believe it is beneficial to give a little bit of background on these early sects. I guess if we want to make these sections more concise, we could cut out the paragraph about the Ebionite's gospels. As for the Marcionites, it appears that most of the information that I added about how they viewed Jesus was lost (perhaps it was redundent?) But now, that whole section is basically the quote and talk about their canon.--Andrew c 15:04, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
I think this information was lost when Clinkophonist merged the Gnostic and Marcionite sections. The reference SOPHIA provided on the Gnostics was also lost (I originally wrote the Gnostics paragraph based on other Wikipedia articles). The factual data added, if accurate, is valuable, but some of it belongs in other articles. Arch O. LaTalkTCF 15:12, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Ehrman is, as far as i know, a very well-recognized and well-thought-of source. I think it is a good idea to provide an inline citation, especially as others may at some point add more info. from other sources. The best source I know of on Gnostics is Elaine Pagels' The Gnostic Gospels which hews pretty closely to source material she is discussing i.e. other scholars may rely on other sources and add important stuff missing from Pagels' account. Slrubenstein | Talk 15:33, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Well, I condensed the Gnostic paragraph. I restored SOPHIA's citation, but not her quote, and moved the details of gnosis to that article. I'll let Andrew c rework the Ebionite and Marcionite sections. Arch O. LaTalkTCF 15:46, 20 March 2006 (UTC) PS: Andrew, you should explain how the Marcionites differed from the Gnostics, or the sections may be merged together again. Arch O. LaTalkTCF
Here are the relevant portions of Schaff on Ebionism: 2:11 §112-114. I'm not overly familar with the Ebionites or current scholarship on that subject, so this may be superfluious. --MonkeeSage 21:20, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Other ... views[edit]

I don't know whether someone has commented on this already, but here it is: for my taste the section on other's views is bloated with information on the groups themselves, e.g. Marcionites, Ebionetes etc. when this article should be about Jesus and about views on him. Wiki-linking these groups should be enough and their views only be include when being concerned with Jesus himself. Str1977 (smile back) 14:48, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree - I think lots of detail is good, but belongs in an article on Christianity or early Christianity. Slrubenstein | Talk 14:50, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
Again, a lot of this comes from the edits that Clinkophonist made yesterday. When I wrote the Gnostics paragraph, I only mentioned the material/spiritual duality and the importance of gnosis in one sentence: the rest was about their view of Jesus. Andrew c (I think) likewise wrote a paragraph on the Marcionites that focused on their views of Jesus, and added that the Ebionites held an adoptionist view of Jesus. The rest that is there came from Clinkophonist. I didn't remove the tangential data because I thought it should be fact-checked before we move it to other articles. Arch O. LaTalkTCF 14:59, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Str brings up a good point, we should be detailing how different groups view Jesus rather than talking about who they are so much, let other articles do that :/. Homestarmy 15:02, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree, I just think we should fact-check the tangential stuff before we move it to other articles. When I copyedited I tried to remove obvious POV language and add a few "citation needed" tags, but my copyediting was fairly light. Arch O. LaTalkTCF 15:07, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
Also, part of my contributions to this section was adding the info on their different gospels. Because the bio section and intro focus almost exclusively on the 4 canonical gospels, people had discussed somehow incorporating more info from non-canonical sources. I felt that adding this info under the different sects was one way of doing it, but perhaps it takes the focus away from the main subject matter (namely Jesus).--Andrew c 15:09, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
It is probably enough just to say that these sects had holy texts beyond Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. For the Gnostics, all I said is that they wrote several texts. I would have linked this to a separate article on (all) the Gnostic texts if such an article had existed. Arch O. LaTalkTCF 15:17, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
PS: What I think is missing from the "Life and Teachings/Biography" section is more about the historical/cultural background than about noncannonical texts. How many people miss the point of the Good Samaritan parable because they don't know of the existing antipathy between Jews and Samaritans? How many people don't realize that Hillel the Elder expounded a version of the Golden Rule before Jesus did? Not to mention that the complex relationships between various Jewish factions and the Roman occupiers contributed to Jesus' path to the cross. Arch O. LaTalkTCF 15:25, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
At this point, why don't we ask for another peer review, we need to figure out what exactly is supposed to be in this article, and at this rate, more of the article will be about a list of who believes what about Jesus than stuff that is actually about Jesus. Homestarmy 16:37, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
I suggest that we give Andrew c a chance to rework the info on the Ebionites and Marcionites so that it focuses on their views of Jesus. Andrew's working off of Lost Christianities and will work those citations in when he gets the chance. After that, then we can request a peer review. Tomorrow, perhaps?Arch O. LaTalkTCF 16:46, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Ebionite Messiah?[edit]

I commented out the reference to Jewish Messiah because it seems to contradict the information in Ebionites. That article maintains that Ebionites saw Jesus as both a potential Davidic (kingly) and Josephic (priestly) Messiah due to his lineage as the natural-born son of Mary and Joseph. However, that article states that Ebionites believed that Jesus never actually became the Messiah (of either type), but rather became the last and greatest of the prophets (much as Muslims see Mohammad). Also, modern Ebionites, who identify as Jewish and not as Christian, do not believe that Jesus was the Messiah.

Is this correct? Arch O. LaTalkTCF 04:45, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

Schaff says that the "common Ebionites, who were by far the more numerous" held that "Jesus [was], indeed, the promised Messiah, the son of David, and the supreme lawgiver, yet a mere man, like Moses and David, sprung by natural generation from Joseph and Mary. The sense of his Messianic calling first arose in him at his baptism by John, when a higher spirit joined itself to him." (2:11 § 113.II.1(a)). That seems very close to the Ebionite article, excepting the messiah bit. I'm not sure where they got their info from there, however. Schaff is older (1910), so it may not be up to date with the latest scholarship. --MonkeeSage 22:38, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
Here is Ehrman: "The Ebionites Christians that we are best informed about believed that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah sent from the Jewish God to the Jewish people in fulfillment of the Jewish Scriptures." p. 100, Lost Christianities. This is from 2003, but I am not exactly sure the source of Ehrman's claim. I guess both authors are going on what the early Church Fathers wrote about them. If you want, I can try to track down a translation of these primary sources to see what they say. Otherwise, I think its pretty clear that some, if not most, historic Ebionites believed Jesus to be the Jewish Messiah.--Andrew c 23:05, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
As I understand it, the word "moshiach" originally referred to any leader (priest, prophet or king) annointed with oil to show Divine favor. During the Roman occupation (or perhaps before, I'm not sure), the word began to be applied to the prophecized leader/redeemer of Israel.
"Jewish Messiah" is misleading because there was a diversity of first-century Messianic views, some of which differed in various ways from both the modern Judaic (mostly Davidic) concept of Messiah and the mainstream Christian view of Christ. "Messiah" would thus be better phrasing than "Jewish Messiah."
Obviously, if Ebionites regarded Jesus as a prophet they would have thought of him as a Messiah, but not necessarily the Messiah. It really comes down to asking what "Messiah" meant to the Ebionites. Arch O. LaTalkTCF 23:41, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

Jesus Seminar[edit]

I think it's fair to include their views. KHM03 (talk) 19:27, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Not only fair but essential. The biography cannot be called an NPOV biog without them and other views - otherwise it must be called "christian" spin. I am not happy that Gator1 has reverted the valid addition - childish and prpotectionist in the extreme. Robsteadman 19:30, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
Watch the name calling, Rob. A section that large just needs to be dicussed first before addding it in. That's all.Gator (talk) 19:34, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Well, I'd favor their inclusion (not that I personally agree with all of their opinions). They represent a significant academic POV. I think Rob's proposed paragraph can be tailored a bit to be just fine. KHM03 (talk) 19:36, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Well, Gator, I thought we were trying to achieve NPOV and isn't "be bold" a tenet of WP? the current article is unacceptable as it not only gives undue prominence to one viewpoint it ignores a major school of scholarship. To revert in the way you did is unacceptable. Robsteadman 19:40, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
Sure it is, whatever. Just discuss the seminar and stop the complaining. Enough.Gator (talk) 19:46, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
Poppycock! Robsteadman 19:49, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
I think they ought to be mentioned too, but if I remember correctly, the way the Jesus seminar "decided" what was "historical" and what wasn't was to basically cast votes, and historicity is not decided by democratic process, it is what it is :/. This doesn't mean we can throw them out, but it also means we can't give them preference in terms of authority over other sources, in other words, if their findings conflict with most sources we've already got, we should note this and possibly an explanation of how or why (or both) on why they conflict. And by the way, what's so bad about being childish? Some of my best memories are from my childhood.... Homestarmy 19:44, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
Stop fighting. Homes, the votes were not like votes for President or dog-catcher. In many cases where a panel of scholars is convened in academe to discuss an issue, there is a vote process based on the evidence. This has naught to do with a democracy, rather it is a valid method of assuring that what the panel presents is accurate. My personal opinion is that they were quite probably right, although I think they may have erred on the side of conservatism.
Rob, if you approach this stuff a bit more calmly, things might go better (a number of your points are valid, but presentaton is often 90% of the battle). Just an observation. Jim62sch 17:51, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
So the Jesus Seminar voted. How is this any different than when we voted? Grigory Deepdelver AKA Arch O. LaTalkTCF 18:41, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't see how it matters how different it is or isn't, at the end of the day, all we have to do is simply note the Jesus Seminar's work, describe what they did and how they did it (including the voting process) and who they were, where some of the controversy came from and why, and then I don't see why we can't be done with it after that. Homestarmy 18:47, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
It does matter and it is different. Think of it the same way as Rabbis getting together and discussing the Torah or the Talmud. They are experts in the field. Same with the people involved in the Jesus seminar. You might want to find a source for the voting, though -- OR based on recollection isn't going to cut it.Jim62sch 23:50, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
We have a few of their publications listed above under "#Sources of the philosophical views of Jesus." Interesting collection of data. BTW have Rabbis ever voted over the Torah or the Talmud? Did they ever conduct a Moses Seminar? If so, than I am unaware of it. If not, than your anaology is flawed. Grigory Deepdelver AKA Arch O. LaTalkTCF 00:15, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

They casted votes based on the verifiable - unlike the article which currently retells the NT story of "jesus" with no factual back up. Robsteadman 19:49, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

There certainly are problems with the way in which the Seminar has operated (see the article on the Seminar for more). But that doesn't mean their voice isn't an important one to represent. KHM03 (talk) 19:51, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
Then if they somehow casted votes on the verifiable, that needs citation, and beyond what the Jesus Seminar decided, what criterion they used to vote should be cited as well considering the controversy over their study and the problems with their general inability to find unamity in many cases. Besides, the NT is the facts, what more do you want? Super-facts? I don't know.... Homestarmy 19:57, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
That's the point - the NT isn't FACTS! Robsteadman 20:04, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
But it is a collection of data, not all of which is supernatural. Arch O. LaTalkTCF 21:25, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
A "collection of data" is a meaningless phrase. If I take random pages from a cookbook, cut out a sentence from each, throw it in a hat, and toss the stuff around, I have a collection of data. Yippee! Jim62sch 23:58, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
Sounds like a lot of theology. It takes an expert to make sense of all the data. Grigory Deepdelver AKA Arch O. LaTalkTCF 00:15, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

I think if we reinstate Rob's proposed paragraph, we can use that as a place to start. Heck, it's just one paragraph. KHM03 (talk) 20:00, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Then it seems we have reached an impasse -____-. But anyway, all we have to do is look up what they say, compare it to everything else if there are stark differences, and so on and so forth. Homestarmy 20:17, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I think Robsteadman's short sentences work okay in this article. However, we need page numbers. I'm sorry to say it, Homes, but it won't be that difficult to find a scholar who doubts the historicity of the Masscare of the Innocents. There's a reason we don't mention this in the second paragraph: it's not as widely accepted. Arch O. LaTalkTCF 21:21, 20 March 2006 (UTC)