The Hidden Story of Jesus

by Luke Muehlhauser on November 9, 2010 in Video

Two-hour Channel 4 documentary comparing Jesus to the Saviors of earlier faiths:

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Hermes November 9, 2010 at 2:09 pm

(8:00-11:00) The similarities between the word “Christ” and the word “Krishna” could be because the root words could be similar. The Catholic Encyclopedia notes that;

The word Christ, Christos, the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew Messias, means “anointed.”

That is, it is a title given to someone based on their role in society not an organic name handed down based on parentage.

That said, not knowing the root words for the word “Krishna”, I doubt that the two words are from the same source. The words could be related in the same way that a city leader would be called Mayor in English but may be called something else in another language though the meaning — city leader — is still intrinsic in the title; you take the job, you get the title.

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Dan November 9, 2010 at 7:41 pm

This guy has made a couple amazing documentaries about Christianity, in a way debunking it’s claims. So I’m puzzled why at the beginning of this documentary, he still calls himself a Christian.

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Hermes November 9, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Dan, he paid attention in his theology classes. While he went a bit further than is usual, much of what he did not say — but he would probably agree with — are dirty little secrets of priests who went to seminary; Christianity isn’t what’s on the recruitment brochure except for the most general points of dogma. The regular people and the enthusiastic true believers who act as recruiters are the ones who aren’t informed. I would guess that only a few % of self-described Christians even have a clue about much of their own religion.

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Jugglable November 9, 2010 at 8:18 pm

Paul said he became all thing to all people. The maker of this documentary blithely asserts this meant that he borrowed pagan mythology.

That’s the least charitable interpretation possible. I think what it means is he adapted his teaching to different cultures. For example, in the Bible we read that there were pagan altars to many gods, even an altar to an unknown God. And Saint Paul said in his sermon, “I see you have an altar to an unknown God. This is the God I came to talk to you about today.” And he began preaching the Gospel.

To me, that’s what it means that he said all things to all people. It’s right there in the Bible. To say it means he admitted to borrowing pagan mythology is reading way too much into it in the least charitable way!

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Bill Maher November 9, 2010 at 8:24 pm

Jugglable,

I could be wrong, but the host didn’t to be asserting that. It seemed like he said that he more or less “spoke the pagans lingo.” I thought his tone was rather inclusive.

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Steven Carr November 9, 2010 at 11:45 pm

‘The maker of this documentary blithely asserts this meant that he borrowed pagan mythology.’

I thought it was 2 Peter, not Paul , who borrowed pagan mythology like ‘Tartarus’

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Shane November 10, 2010 at 12:30 am

I’m always a little unimpressed by the specific parallels, but Robert is a great presenter. I think there are certain doctrinal “attractors” that certain religious structures gravitate towards. What is remarkable about Mark is how *little* theology is in there… That Christianity then adopted a lot more questionable stuff is perhaps unsurprising.

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Jugglable November 10, 2010 at 8:19 am

Well Shane, remember that the epistles were written before the gospels. I think you have the core essentials of the theology of the gospels in the epistles. But remember, to convey similar theological points different authors will use different symbology. It’s not always as obvious to us in our culture, but to their intended audience it was clearer.

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Felipe November 10, 2010 at 8:21 am

Bummer : ( No subtitle .. I guess I have to go rent that movie someday

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Shane November 10, 2010 at 9:46 am

Yeah right, Jugglable :-)
The problem is that if this stuff is the word of god, them we (and everyone else) ARE the intended audience.

Unless of course the gospels and epistles are indeed the parochial written remnants of a purely human cult with no supernatural influence at all.

Which is indeed the case. No?

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orgostrich November 10, 2010 at 5:39 pm

I have a somewhat relevant question. This might not be the right forum for it, but I’m not sure what would be better.

You’ve said on this site that you became an atheist, in part, because you stopped believing in the historical accuracy of the Bible and the Jesus story. What made you go from believing that Christianity isn’t true to believing there is no God at all? Did you look into other religions (Abrahamic or non-Abrahamic?)
I’m asking because I really am curious. It seems in many of the deconversion stories I’ve read on the internet, the reasons given were all Christianity-specific. I’m just wondering what made people take that next step.

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Luke Muehlhauser November 10, 2010 at 6:16 pm

orgostrich,

I went from doubting Christianity straight into philosophy of religion, which rather quickly had me doubting the supernatural altogether, which kinda brings the hammer down on most religions.

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Jugglable November 10, 2010 at 8:38 pm

Shane, if the Bible is the word of God, that’s no excuse not to read it intelligently. Quite the opposite. We should read it carefully.

Take it into account in its historical context. To whom were the Pauline epistles read aloud?

Now you’re thinking.

I’m sorry, but an attitude of ‘hey, it’s supposed to be the word of god, no interpretation required’ is a sign of checking your brain at the door.

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Baal November 10, 2010 at 9:44 pm

(8:00-11:00) The similarities between the word “Christ” and the word “Krishna” could be because the root words could be similar. The Catholic Encyclopedia notes that;
That is, it is a title given to someone based on their role in society not an organic name handed down based on parentage.That said, not knowing the root words for the word “Krishna”, I doubt that the two words are from the same source.The words could be related in the same way that a city leader would be called Mayor in English but may be called something else in another language though the meaning — city leader — is still intrinsic in the title; you take the job, you get the title.  

Sanskrit Lexicon

The original meaning of Krishna in Sanskrit was black, dark or dark blue.

чрънъ
чрънъ (črŭnŭ) Old Church Slavonic
1. black
From Proto-Slavic *čьrnъ, from Proto-Balto-Slavic *kirsnos, from Proto-Indo-European *kr̥snós (“black”). Cognates include Lithuanian kir̃snas (“black”), Norwegian and Swedish harr (“grayling”)[1], Old Prussian kirsnan (“black”) and Sanskrit कृष्ण (kṛṣṇá, “black”).

Once established as a god there was a lot of theological interpretation of the meaning of the name Krishna. Hare Krishnas and others have tried to tie Krishna to Christ but from a dishonest motive of proselytization. It is an article of faith for many Hindus that civilisation started in India and spread outwards and they will go so far as inventing etymologies. The Krishna-Christ thing is a preaching hook to attract people of Christian backgrounds.

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Shane November 10, 2010 at 11:51 pm

Jugglable, LOL, I don’t think it’s *me* checking my brain in at the door :-)
Yes, the historical context and style are entirely relevant, and as I mentioned these actually support the hypothesis that the bible is a human creation. Yes, a lot of Christian theology is derived from Saul Paulus, not Jesus the Nazarene, and many people read the bible having their theology already established, and engage in the most extraordinary feats of eisegesis that would put Nostradamus nuts to shame.

But again, I will restate my point that it is perhaps remarkable how little theology is present in Mark – to my mind (and I am aware that many differ here) that indicates that at least some historical significance should be attached to it. But then we have other pseudohistorical tales in the bible, such as Esther, which are entirely fictional. People wrote novels back then too.

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Steven Carr November 10, 2010 at 11:51 pm

I’m sorry, but an attitude of ‘hey, it’s supposed to be the word of god, no interpretation required’ is a sign of checking your brain

I guess dumb people are going to burn in Hell as they are too dumb to understand the Bible. Shame, but it is their fault for being dumb.

I suppose it’s a bit like the American Constitution. It has to be interpreted, and human beings have to say what it might mean. Is slavery banned in the constitution, like slavery is banned in the Bible? It depends upon your intepretation.

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Hermes November 11, 2010 at 6:48 am

Baal, thanks for the details! I’m not surprised that Hare Krishnas were just doing dishonest marketing. I’ll sacrifice a bull in your honor, or eat a hamburger and think of you, or something like that.

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Jugglable November 11, 2010 at 10:38 am

Shane”

“…actually support the hypothesis that the bible is a human creation”

Well, it was. It was written by human beings. As Vatican 2 put it, the Bible is the word of God in the words of men.

“pseudohistorical tales in the bible, such as Esther, which are entirely fictional. People wrote novels back then too.”

Much fiction, like the plays of Shakespeare for example, can bear profound truth and lessons.

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Shane November 11, 2010 at 11:46 am

Indeed. And Shakespeare is not the word of god either. The bible is not god’s word at all, whether it is in the words of men or not. If you’re making the simplistic point that very many works of literature are of value, you will get no argument from me. I love the bible, but I don’t pretend it’s something that it is not. Neither should you.

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Jugglable November 12, 2010 at 7:56 am

Shane, simple assertion won’t get us very far. I was making the point that pointing out it’s written by humans doesn’t really bother me; I believe that.

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