So I'm thinking that when I have kids, I would really like to teach them about Jesus, not as the Messiah or as the Son of God, but as a moral teacher who taught lessons that I cherish such as pacifism, charity, compassion, and love. Of course, I would probably not teach them to worship or pray to him(I'd have to discuss it with my other half), but I think that Jesus ranks up there when talking about virtuous figures for children to model themselves after.

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When I have kids, I will tell them about John Lennon.
I was actually just listening to "Imagine" earlier today :)
I think teaching my kids to model themselves after the greatest lie ever told is wrong. There are plenty of other people who actually existed who are better role models.
I think teaching my kids to model themselves after the greatest lie ever told is wrong. There are plenty of other people who actually existed who are better role models.

And, if I may add to Sam's opinion here, what about Bilbo Baggins, Harry Potter, Shrek, Toy Story, Superman, Robinson Crusoe, Hiawatha, Buddha -- and whoever inspires the children of tomorrow. We sometimes also forget that our children are also our teachers -- and that communication should be a two way street NOT some packaged titheway.

Also one could try teaching them to surf. As an Australian, with each of my children my first plans were to teach them how to swim, to save themselves or others. Surf Life Saving is a small step towards experientially understanding "true salvation for many - and irrespective of creed".
And, if I may add to Sam's opinion here, what about Bilbo Baggins, Harry Potter, Shrek, Toy Story, Superman, Robinson Crusoe, Hiawatha, Buddha -- and whoever inspires the children of tomorrow.

Wow - Hiawatha! Haven't heard that name in years. As a Michigan girl, I always really, really loved Hiawatha when I was little. Though it may have been the Great Lakes setting as much as the story.
Sam,

That position puts you miles outside of any historical consensus. Sure, the religion that grew around Jesus is based on later inventions ("lies") but the guy existed alright.
Matt, when you speak of "later inventions" in Christianity after the death of Jesus, I doubt whether you - or anyone -can prove beyond reasonable doubt that all is a Big Lie.
Yes, actually, I can. And so can just about every scholar. Read a Geza Vermes or Bart Ehrman book for examples.
Could you recommend a particular work by Geza Vermes that addresses this topic? He's written quite a few books. Which have you read?

Same with Ehrman.
Hi George,

Sure. On the broad subject of how early Christianity drifted away from its Jewish apocalyptic roots, both scholars have written extensively on the subject.

My personal favourites are:

"Jesus the Jew: A Historian's Reading of the Gospels" - Geza Vermes

"Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium" - Ehrman

"Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew." - Ehrman (which I think is his best book)

And one of the best books on the subject still remains:

"Allison, Dale (1998). Jesus of Nazareth: Millenarian Prophet"

Take care,

Matt
Back at you. Ehrman and Vermes are not theologians, they're not even Christians.
Yes, he's a very distinguished historian and possibly the best scholar on this subject of our time.

And you tried to claim this man was a theologian who couldn't be trusted on the matter of Jesus' existence. Yet your bibliography alone proves that that is not true; and even if it was, the fact that he's a Jew blows the idea that he's not objective on this topic out of the water: if anything he would be biased against Christianity.

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