Lemuel K. Washburn: “Ideas of Jesus”

There is a vast difference between knowledge of the Bible and knowledge. A person may know all there is in the Bible, and not know but little. In fact, so much of the Bible is either pure fiction or doubtful history that one is not sure when he has got hold of what is reliable. Probably no person whose name appears in the Bible is less a historical figure than Jesus. As we see him in either Gospel he is more the product of the artist than the work of the biographer. He is less a human being than the character of a drama.

Had Jesus been pictured as a man, who was born as men are born, who worked as men worked, who lived and died as men live and die, then there would be less divergence in the views entertained respecting him. Today, the Jesus of Galilee is looked upon as either a God or a tramp; a divine savior or an impostor; the perfect man or a lunatic.

The reason for this is that the Gospels are found, as it were, with photographs of all those characters labeled Jesus.

A person with no fixed idea of what Jesus was, whether human or divine, whether a Christ or a madman, would be unable, after reading the Gospels to come to any intelligent conclusion as to what he was. He certainly could not accept the statements of the authors and regard Jesus as a man.

We fail to understand how anyone can read the New Testament story of Jesus and not regard him as a myth.

No being ever lived on Earth and performed the miracles recorded in the Gospels. That is just as sure as the light of the stars. Miracles are not evidence of divinity, but of falsehood. Where we read that a man was raised from the dead we know that somebody has written what is not true. How human beings, who are possessed of ordinary intelligence, can accept the accounts of miraculous events in the four Gospels as records of actual facts surpasses our comprehension.

Those persons who see in the words of Jesus evidence of his divine character, see in such words, when in the mouth of any other person, proof of insanity.

There are contradictory ideas of Jesus contained in the Gospels. He is spoken of as a man, as a Christ, as a son of God, and as God himself. Now, he could not have been all these. Which was he? Was he God? Was he the son of God? Was he the Christ or king of the Jews? Was he the son of Mary and Joseph? Was he a man? Or was he neither?

Our opinion is that Jesus is a myth, that no such being as is painted in the New Testament ever lived. This seems to be the only rational idea of Jesus.

About The Great One

Am interested in science and philosophy as well as sports; cycling and tennis. Enjoy reading, writing, playing chess, collecting Spyderco knives and fountain pens.
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