In one of the other topics, one of the folks seemed not to be so sure of the reception he'd get for saying he was a youth minister at his church. In my experience, Deadheads span the full spectrum from Agnostic to Zoroastrian. I've met atheist Deadheads, Muslim Deadheads, Buddhist Deadheads, Catholic Deadheads, Jewish Deadheads, and Wiccan Deadheads. My Deadhead friends are all over the map on this stuff, and as far as I'm concerned one of the real richnesses of the scene is the ability to see how things look to other folks and, sometimes, experience it from their world. Believe it if you need it, if you don't, just pass it on. But talk about it here, and please maintain a safe respectful place to do so.
Greetings, and let me clarify a few things. #1, I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I also love the Grateful Dead's music. #2, I am not a "missionary" in the way I saw spoke of here. I am not looking to harm any indigenous peoples, as I believe was mentioned, and I'm not on any type of conquest to harm anyone! #3 I am not part of any official organization. I love Jesus. He loves me, and loved me first, and died for me, and I put my faith in Him to give me eternal life. That's what I believe. #4 As for the SYF. Mary, thanks for the way in which you discussed this. The cross of Christ is important to me and I put it in a SYF, actually I didn't, I copied it from someone else who did. The same way I love the Boston Red Sox baseball team and also got a shirt with a Red Sox SYF at a show one time. The same way others have SYF with a dove of peace, a marijuana leaf, their favorite sports team, etc. #5 I mean no one no harm. I have a website, greateststoryevertold.org, that shares the love of Jesus Christ in a way I hope is appealing to open minded Dead Heads and hippies, intertwined with the community that we're all a part of. Finally, I would like to apologize on behalf of any "Christians" you have met, or Christian experiences you have had that have seemed hypocrital, for any misrepresentations by the media or individuals or churches. I have met many who have had bad experiences and all I want people to know is that the real Jesus Christ has often been misrepresented by others, and probably even me, and I'm sorry for that. None of that changes that fact, that as the Grateful Dead sung so beautifully at the end of many shows, Jesus Loves You the Best. Be an honest seeker, check it our for yourself. Jesus said "I am the Way the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through me." He made that claim, I believe it, it's a claim worth investigating. You have nothing to lose and eternal life to gain. Check it out. May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure. Ben Jesus Loves You The Best! greateststoryevertold.org
Keep it real...
I do believe in Jesus, and am very torn about the fact that most Christians would expel me from a church if they new that I smoked weed and like to take a walk with Cid once in a while. I have trouble finding churches that go by scripture and still smoke weed. There is now where in the Bible that does not say you cant smoke weed... well I hope to find that church that smokes and believes. lol heck i may go Rastafari.. JJ but do have much love for them.. peace and love.
when the great wizard discovered Cid,he invited a pretty handful of priests to try it....i dont think it did harm them in any way because i have a book where these guys express their experience and none of these comments is negative:-)(-:Peace AND Love ,Frankly
Any church that would kick you out for smoking weed isn't a church to be in anyways. Those who judge and shun others are just decieving themselves. Keep the faith!
very nicely put.
At one time and for most of my life I was a christian and was active in a church. I went through periods where I would party and periods when I was straight. I loved Robert Schueller and the positive message his ministery preached. I began to study biblical history and archelogy. The discrepancies in the 4 gospels of the new testament began to bother me. I studied even more and as painful as it was at the time I decided to follow the truth ( or at least as I have studied and determined it to be) I still believe in God however not a Jesus the christ centered religion. It doesn't mean I don't believe Jesus never lived-(his name was Joshua though) he did.He said some things that were wonderful and said some things that weren't so wonderful. He was one of many messaniac figures in that region at the time of the Roman occupation. My dilemma is how am I supposed to live a belief system when I can't? I am not willing to throw away all of my possessions as Jesus asked his followers to. I think it is almost criminal to expect to live off the charity of others if I am able to provide for myself. I am not willing to forgive everyone who has wronged me. I may let go of the anger over an incident however if someone has committed a serious crime against myself or a loved one I want to see that person apprehended and punished according to the law. I look at what religions spend on the trappings of bureacracy and buildings and wonder if that is really Jesus or Moses or Muhammed really wanted. To me there are universal truths that belong to all human kind. All can be found in the writings of the different religions and other philosophies. I do know that sometimes when I am totally wrapped in a great GD Jam I feel really connected to humanity. Its odd I have never experienced that with any other type of music. And the road goes on forever.... BobbaLee
Ever read the Gnostic Gospels, BobbaLee? Talking about discrepencies, Mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, etc. had a whole lot different story to tell than the guys did. Is really very interesting reading!!!!!!!!!********************************** Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone, you will still exist, but you have ceased to live. Samuel Clemens
perhaps you all could tell me where and when and by whom these gnostic gospels were written. All I know is that before I became a friend of Jesus I had a lot of hate in my heart, now I have none.
peakin - I thought that this topic was a place to exchange thoughts on spiritual matters and to be open ended and not shut other people down when they speak their mind and hearts. I feel that going "yawn" to other people's spiritual matters is arrogant and not very compassionate and is closed minded. Which is why I for one have had trouble with Christianity over the years. The refusal by many (not all) Christians to respect the beliefs of others. I am not saying that there are not many amazing Christians, what I am saying is there is often a lack of tolerance that I really don't feel is very loving. I will say that many of the most amazing activists I have met in the peace movement are Christians so obviously there are many that are moved by the love they find within the religion and in Christ. Well I guess this may stir up the pot a bit. Peace and love and oneness with others including other forms of life is where it is at for me. I think there are many different paths on the spiritual journey. . If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. William Blake
Very well said!********************************** Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone, you will still exist, but you have ceased to live. Samuel Clemens
well said and well spoken(typed)!!let you who are free of sin cast the first stone.... here take mine! one's personal belief in a higher authority is like a happy place in your mind, no one can force their happy place on you nor can anyone take that happy place from you! peace2all love4all, nobody
And one of the hallmarks of an individual's struggle with their own convictions is manifested in lashing out against others. (Pharaisees toward Jesus and in modern times the Chinese towards the Dali Lama. If you percieve someone as your enemy, that is what they become for you. Even if your judgement of them is wrong.) To be able to tolerate and then move to appreciation other's beliefs is a goal to strive for. Conviction of oneself's absolute knowledge of infinite wisdom smacks of arrogance. And arrogance is so self limiting. None of us are in possesion of all the answers, and the trap of narcassism, the 'I have arrived' is a trap and stops growth. Does one maintain their rearch when they are convinced that they have arrived? Great philosophers, artists, musicisans push those boundaries and are not content to remain static. Did Garcia stop with bluegrass? Blues? Reggae? R & B? He saw the beauty and value of all the hues of the color wheel. Humility and appreciation for and of others that enrich our lives is a goal I strive for. And I continually fall short. Practice, practice, practice. So I continue on the path, recognize that we are all much more alike than different, but stop to smell the wonderful fragrance of each flower in the garden, admire the play of the contrast of the striking colors, watch as the wind, water, and sun affect the myriad of delights and do what I can to encourage the growth there. And with myself.
Very well put intelligent post!!!!!!********************************** Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone, you will still exist, but you have ceased to live. Samuel Clemens
What a nice way to start my Sunday morning. Words of wisdom from a friend. I think that is how we can often grow the most; through discussion and the thoughts of our peers, is often more meaningful than that of a learned spiritual authority. And thanks for your response Tigerlilly and grdaed73, I was kind of dreading coming and checking this topic, but instead am moved by your words of encouragement. What joy! OK, time to go out and work in the garden, which is actually more like play. Work and play at the same time. There is this amazing band there that sings to me every day, the songbirds . If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. William Blake
I wish every person would live their belief system so that their minds and hearts were empty of hate. From a historical and myth busting standpoint I would like to correct a common misconception. The Pharisees did not persecute Christians. In fact they were in ancient times more like our present day ACLU. They actually defended Stephen ( the early Christian who was later stoned to death). Around 50 CE the followers of Saul (later Paul) turned the the religion from one about Jesus teachings to one about Jesus. This disturbed his original followers, the Nazareen's so much they left Jerusalem. Passages in the Christian new testament were added much later after the followers of Saul (Paul) had completed their domination of the Christian religion. The Saducees and Pharisees were not friendly towards each other. Saul was a Sadducee which were the enforcers of the temple priests, like a Temple of Jerusalem police force. He was a gentile convert. He was raised by a gentile father and mother in a city dominated by Greek philosophies. The infamous conversion scene during Saul's journey to Damascus was a metaphor and did not actually happen .The Saducees had little or no jurisdiction outside of Jerusalem. Damascas was a Gentile city where there were few Christians and a weak local rabbi. If you want to read more read "the Historical Jesus" and 'The Myth Maker" There are many Also read the book of Thomas it is the earliest known Christian book and is a collection of the sayings of Jesus. Like I said there is good and bad in the interpretations of all philosophies. And the road goes on forever.... BobbaLee
dressed myself in greenI went down unto the sea. Try to see what's goin' down, try to read between the lines . I had a feelin' I was fallin', fallin', fallin', I turned around to see, 40,000 headmen hit the ground, Forty thousand headmen couldn't make me change my mind If I had to take the choice between the deafman and the blind I know just where my feet should go and that's enough for me I turned around and knocked them down and walked across the sea Comes a time when the blind man takes your hand Says "don't you see?" Gotta make it somehow just living in yesterdays tomorrow peace2all
Excellent words Hal R. That kind of insight comes straight from the heart. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. May you enjoy peace in your garden.peace and love,pk
for assisting me with that history. I need all the help I can get! As Mark Twain said "It ain't what I don't know that gets me into trouble. It's what I know for sure that ain't so." Take care all.
Havent ever looked at this section before. I totally agree with with Hal R(a page back) about how Christians tend to have a lack of respect and tolerance for others. I am a self proclaimed "Liberal Chirstian" and have respect for all other religions, cultures, opinions, etc. I think that alot of times Christians forget about the way that Jesus would want us to act and spend most of their time judging and hating others and some how talk themselves into beliving that all that hatred is someday going to get them into heaven. I was a hardcore athiest for a few years of my life because of this. It was all I had seen of Christianity so I thought thats all there was to it. Jesus is about love, understanding, tolerance, and respect people!!! and if he was alive today he would totally be digging long hair, tye-die, and the Grateful Dead. Just what I belive anyway. Peace and Love to you all, Trevor "You know the one thing we need is a left handed monkey wrench....."
I would really suggest that everyone listen to Willie Nelson's song "The Trouble Maker" As the quote from Willie says on the album cover - "The message in the song "The Trouble Maker" is even more important today than it was 2000 years ago" "You know the one thing we need is a left handed monkey wrench....."
When I was a little girl, my Dad was a Baptist minister. But he gave it up when I was about 10, to become a psychiatric social worker. He said that he prefered to work WITH people rather than preachin' AT em from a high pulpit. Always thought that was ultra cool, and feel blessed that was allowed to have such an open-minded upbringing about religion. I remember my dad telling me that based on his studies in seminary, he believed that the Bible was a collection of stories to make a point. To teach us how to live peacefully amongst others. For example he told me that he thinks that is quite likely that Jesus was born in the spring, from all of the references to lambs and baby animals, and that early Christians celebrated Jesus' birth when they did, to coincide with a Roman Festival (solstice I think, but sadly don't remember exactly) to avoid persecution. My Dad was also sending young men to a pastor friend of his in Canada, who did not want to go fight in Viet Nam. This made for my first fistfight actually-a kid in school was calling my dad a "communist". Had no idea at the time what a communist was, just knew sounded like an insult to my Daddy. So I pounded the guy. Then when I got sent home, and Dad was talking to me about what had happened-he said that the next time that someone called him a communist, I could answer that Jesus lived a communal lifestyle, and so we considered that word no insult. We visited all sorts of other churches, and learned in Sunday school in my dad's church about other religious beliefs. End result of all of this openness, is that am relatively unconflicted about religion. Was allowed to say that I am not sure whether I believe in God, in the Christian sense of the word, but that I believed that God was a term to lable forces and a spirituality that don't understand, nor necessarily need to. Same feeling for western organized religions in general. I am eternally grateful to my Dad that I grew up learning tolerance, and being allowed and encouraged to discuss what I thought and felt. Think that is what religion is all about. Can admit am conflicted about God, and such complicated terms and structure that most religions bring, but have a deep belief in faith and spirituality. Has given me a freedom to find spirituality in nature, or when dancing at a show, or .... And while I personally find most religions to be too "confining" for lack of a better word-have a hefty respect and appreciation for how important faith is to many others. In a way I sometimes wish I had this deep belief, to help with the harshness that life can bring. Personal Faith is a powerful thing, and should never be criticized. Oy-was trying to keep a very long flow in my head brief here, and is first thing in the morning. Hope is at least a little bit understandable what am trying to say! :-) ********************************** Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone, you will still exist, but you have ceased to live. Samuel Clemens
Thanks for sharing that with us tigerlilly it was a good thing to read right before bed. You were deffinitly lucky to have such a wonderfull dad. Peace and Love to you all, Trevor "You know the one thing we need is a left handed monkey wrench....."
It takes courage to lay open our deep beliefs and share with others, we all grow together when we can openly talk about the great mysteries. If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. William Blake
a dear old friend of mine, who is now departed to the great beyond always said "Sunday night with the Grateful Dead is a religious experience" At least @ Winterland back in the '70's it seemed like it to all of us on the catering crew........as for me, I fought going to Sunday school with mom when I was a kid-just didn't want to go-it all seemed like brain washing & I must've wanted a free mind even as a child- I do think there's a force or a God of some sorts, but it sure seems like everyone should be able to decide for them selves & not have religion shoved down your throat-any religion-It all seems about $, control of the people & power---but that's my own thoughts on it.......Gypsy Cowgirlps-dad had religion shoved on him & he didn't want that for me-so that was cool
Walkup Wear!!! Thank goodness for freedom of thought and expression!!!********************************** Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone, you will still exist, but you have ceased to live. Samuel Clemens
Interesting thread indeed, but I can’t help but feel a little sorry for peakin here. The ‘yawn’ comment may have been a little intemperate, but really we’ve seen a lot worse here and I for one am curious as to why he used that word (was it ‘intolerance’ or something else perhaps?). It's also interesting how one slightly pointed remark has provoked such a rush of creative and fascinating posts. Maybe a bit of edginess can be a positive thing sometimes? Anyway, I think it would be a shame if peakin has now been driven away. I don't share his faith and often disagree with what he says, but imo he has been a fair minded correspondent here. Just because he is an open Christian does not mean he that has to be a paragon of virtue or that his actions should be judged as representative of his faith. If I have any 'faith' it is as an environmentalist and I sure get weary of being expected to act like a green saint the whole time! It's even harder now that I have discovered just how much fun snowmobiling can be. Oops
Tiger Lily Great post as is everyones Peakins response was a response and maybe an attempt to understand more about his own beliefs. To me religion is man made and encompasses the structure and administration of philosophies. It always and always without fail, brokers a power sharing agreement with gov't officials and security forces. This is a symbiotic relationship-one cannot stay in power without the other. Spirituality is the essence of our souls relationship with the world, both physical and metaphysical. It is the bond we feel with one another, an animal a plant whatever.. Let me give you an example. Two summers ago I was hiking in the Grand Tetons with my son David. It was early June snow still on the ground (yeah! we are from Miami) and few people in the park. We were making our way around Jenny Lake and were walking in a deep forest area on the western side of the lake. My son and I are experienced hikers and back pack quite a lot. We also practice "walking meditations" where we try to be as silent as possible while keeping our minds free of any outside thoughts. Living the Now we call it. I felt we were being watched intently however not in a harmful way. I signaled David to pause and we began to slowly lower our selves to the ground. There ahead of us almost directly on the trail was a mother mule deer and a very very young new born. Probably born during the night. The mother stared at us -Her love of her baby and the desire to protect was a force I could actually feel. I as all parents know that emotion. I whispered a slow greeting to the Mama to let her know we meant no harm and slowly backed off about 100 feet. We moved around her while she kept an eye on us. It was a wonderful spiritual moment. I have felt the same feeling in cathedrals, concerts, natural settings, beds and even automobiles while driving. Human beings are connected to the universe through our souls. I hope they are eternal. And the road goes on forever.... BobbaLee
peakin, you still with us?
This has been a very insightful thread. A thank you to all involved. peace,pk
that's really lovely.
A very beautiful story. Must have been an incredible moment. And how you told it, can imagine it very well. Also ABSOLUTELY pkpotter. This thread is flowing in a most fascinating way. People discussing their religious thoughts, questions, and beliefs in an open-minded and sharing manner. In a way is a religious experience in itself-we're making an example that a few others out there in the bigger world could heed. Respect for thoughts and freedom to speak-would all be better off if outside deadnet were as peaceful on this topic is going.********************************** Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone, you will still exist, but you have ceased to live. Samuel Clemens
Thank you for the nice comments.There was an interesting post where the words "Practice ,practice practice" are used. How true. Let me expand a little bit. Not to delve into my private life a whole lot I am a typical "A" personality. Lots of to-do lists,wanting to be in charge, setting goals and constantly monitoring my progress or lack of progress. being as my wife said the General of my world. She as a psychologist has really opened my mind to the work of Jon Kabat -Zinn of UMass School of Medicine. His work on Mindfulness Meditation has been a big help. Mindfulness is a 2500 year old Buddhist meditative technique. It helps you strengthen your moment to moment non-judgmental awareness. The classic example is =When you are in the shower are you really in the shower? or are you obsessing about a problem or work or school? Let go and feel the water on your body. It requires a lot of practice. Practice Practice Practice I don't think it is a coincidence I discovered the Grateful Dead at the same time. The music is in the moment and it can be a wonderful communal event. I wonder if the guys knew that 30-20 years after they were playing something it would still be really effecting people? And the road goes on forever.... BobbaLee
My "yawn" wasn't from intolerance. I love you all and don't think I'm better than anyone else. I just didn't see how gnostic gospels have anything to do with the ones I try, and sometimes fail, to live by. Anyway, I loved reading all your thoughts! Peace
Glad that you were not offended, that is not what I was trying to do, your "yawn" just raised some questions that I have had over the years with Christianity and much of organized religion. Funny how one word can start a whole, very interesting discussion. And a reminder once again that with email or the web we do not see the facial expression and know exactly what the other person is saying. Peace to you too. If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. William Blake
Peakin. No stress, no controversy, but I believe that if one is trying to live by the gospels, then one should try to live by all of them-and not just the "accepted" or "non-censored" ones. If you believe in the Gospels-these should be no different. These women knew Jesus as well, and their versions are JUST as viable as those of the men, if you ask me.********************************** Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone, you will still exist, but you have ceased to live. Samuel Clemens
if you'd asked me in 1972 I could have given you chapter and verse, but I've lost quite a few brain cells since then. But I too have always found it a little off-putting, standing outside the confines of my ancestral religion, that the Bible as we know it is the product of assorted gatherings, the first of which was long after the death of anyone who'd been there for the primary experience, deciding amongst themselves, this book's in, this one's out. Now there's some that believe that process was driven by divine guidance; to me it seems equally possible that it was driven by some human agenda of the time. For that matter I recall that it was somewhat controversial when St. Jerome translated the Bible into a language most people of the time could read. (Of course I also recall my old theology professor regaling the class with the Gospel of Thomas, I think it was, having the child Jesus striking the neighborhood bullies dead for teasing him, as an example for why some of those books fell out of the canon.) So I think the gnostic gospels are out because somebody didn't like 'em, fundamentally. That's humans for you. It's also pretty inevitable with religions; humans are involved. I well remember back in 1983 startling Gans (whom I had only recently met) considerably with a long screed on how the transition from Jesus to St. Paul to St. Augie was certainly not a pretty one and it was incumbent on all of us who were around for the primary GD experience to document the primary experience as comprehensively as possible so the revisionists who came after wouldn't be able to redefine it to suit themselves. Because there was never any doubt in my mind from the moment of Ripple on 12/31/80, my first show, that that was what we were dealing with, a primary religious experience. And I've said it before, there's a pretty good case to be made that the guys' greatest achievement was NOT turning it into a church. My hat is off to them every day for that.
as i was just about to post this in reference to that incredible little yawn! and see a new post and read your reference to this song... chillsRipple in still water When there is no pebble tossed Nor wind to blow peace tc
that I am not so drawn to gnosticism or dualism in general. But that's me.
that I can pinpoint my conversion moment quite precisely to "if I knew the way, I would take you home" in that particular Ripple. I'd never heard the song. I'd never been to a Dead show. I was torn between being tickled that there were still hippies in 1980 and a little unnerved by some of the weirder aspects. And here was this whole hall of people intensely focused on this one guy singing, thousands of people clapping in time and singing along, and the guy's response to having all that power was "if I knew the way I would take you home." That was pretty much it for me.
for this wonderful thread. I have been energized by this dialogue and awestruck at the wonderful stories and perspectives shared. I appreciate you all helping me slow down. It has been tough getting back in balance since those wonderful 10KLF shows and suddenly back in the workaday world, but "a little bit further, a little bit more, a little bit further than you gone before".... ..Take care.............
The actions and words of all humankind are but a ripple on the water. They start from a single drop of energy and spread outward until the whole body is affected. It is how you react to that ripple, and how you send it back into the body of water that makes up the world we live in. Listening to the music and lyrics of the Grateful Dead for numerous decades, I still hear notes and words every day that expand that body of water and therefore make me strive to send back out those ripples with peace, love and above all thoughtfulness to all humankind.peace and love to all in this wonderful world, pk
Regardless of what you guys think of "organized" Christianity, and I don't blame ya, I think that if "everyone" in the world lived the way "Jesus" taught us to live, there would be no war, no crime, no poverty, no hunger, no hate, no greed, and a healthy planet. That's why I believe. Gimme,gimme, gimme,gimme some love! Ain't no time to hate, barely time to wait.
and leery as I am of human authority, I think churches (of whatever stripe) can be a great community for folks and do wonderful stuff. People's trips and the wish to impose them on people sure do get in the way though.
I am with you there. For me however there are many sources to the truth and I find the teachings of and living example of Jesus to be one of the many shining stars to guide me on the road of life. Peace brother. If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. William Blake
"The actions and words of all humankind are but a ripple on the water." We all need to slow down and realize this. Thank you to all who have shared your thoughts and stories in this interesting thread. One common theme in these stories though is the open mindedness, tolerance and peace that have been instilled upon you through your religious beliefs. To me this sounds like these are the issues that are not taught through religion, but by your parents and your surroundings; the religion aspect only seems to grow from these teachings. This leads me to a the theory that religion is not at the core of our values, rather our environment is, which is another reason to protect it. Guess you could say that I am one of those people on the science side of the argument :) "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." - Albert Einstein ~littlebri
Peakin' says... if "everyone" in the world lived the way "Jesus" taught us to live, there would be no war, no crime, no poverty, no hunger, no hate, no greed, and a healthy planet. I say...Amen to that! Marye says... I think churches (of whatever stripe) can be a great community for folks and do wonderful stuff. People's trips and the wish to impose them on people sure do get in the way though. I say...agreed, churches can be great, and if everyone shared the love of Jesus in the way He shared/shares His own love, and if we share it in the way in which He'd have us to share it today, then I don't think people would be making others feel like they were imposing and getting in the way. It seems like one of the things that people have a hard time with, or don't like, is Jesus' claim to be the only way. He says that He is The Way, The Truth, and The Life, and that there is no eternal life apart from Him. I believe in Jesus. I also pray that many would experience the love of Jesus, in the way He intended. Peace, and may you experience Jesus, the Prince of Peace, Ben Jesus Loves You The Best! greateststoryevertold.org (if you want a free CD(s) with Jesus-centered jam music, Jesus-centered reggae music, or Jesus-centered blues/rock music, email me and I'll send you free CD's. p.s. I'll be in San Francisco the next 3 weekends for Outside Lands Festival, Phil Lesh & Friends @ Slow Foods Festival, and Power to the Peaceful Festival. Hope to see you there!
What Jesus was reported to have said and what he actually said is a topic of great interest to me perhaps because a lot of what constitutes "Western" civilization is based on these writings. The man we know as Jesus was born around 6 BCE. His name was Joshua not Jesus. an apostrophe was left on a translation from the original Aramaic to the Greek editions of the Gospels. He was a Nazarene and as most Hebrew males was given a decent enough education to read the Torah and geometry. Evidently he was an intelligent man because he was known as "techton" meaning a designer-builder ( not as a carpenter as most people believe). In other words he designed buildings and supervised their construction like a general contractor today. He spoke both Greek and Aramaic. Hellenistic influence was heavy in the area. some of this was evidenced in the writings of having eternal life etc. Jesus was born during a time of great turmoil for his people. The Romans had taken over his country and allowed the Herodite family to govern. The Herodites were more than happy to cut a deal with the Romans and taxed the people almost to the point of starvation. The Jewish tradition of forgiving debts every 7 years was disallowed. This forced large amounts of people off their farms and into slavery- many fled into the cities. The Temple in Jerusalem was rebuilt and the temple priests lived lavishly while the average people had a hard time surviving. The area we know as the Holy Land was a smoldering fire with countless uprisings. Messianic figures were common, the population had to endure both the tyranny of the Romans and their own Jewish kings. There were many many "prophets" urging the Jews to rise up. Into this world came Joshua. His message was different. He did not want the people to overthrow the Romans, he expected God to do that. He preached a return to the old Jewish traditions. "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors" was a plea to stop dealing with the Romans and the temple priests and return to their roots. The stories of his healing are probably accurate. He had a following of perhaps a few hundred people. Around 35 CE he decided to go to Jerusalem and confront the temple priests. His actions at the Temple in which he overturned the tables of the money changers was a direct challenge to the temple leaders. He wanted to be arrested.His night of prayer in the Garden was one where he pleaded for God to come and smite the Romans. It did not happen. He did not expect to be crucified. " My God My God why hast thou forsaken me?" was the cry of a man broken at last by the knowledge he had failed. In later years his original followers the Nazarenes broke away from the followers of Paul who had decided to make Joshua a diety. The belief was adapted by the Roman empire who then used it to their own ends. I used to be a Christian and find many people to be good examples of their faith. I do however think we should know what we believe in whether it is Jesus, Buddha or whatever. And the road goes on forever.... BobbaLee
Quite the Biblical historian you are-should tell my dad to come to this thread and read some of this stuff. He would be soo delighted to read such an intelligent discussion on religion. " I do however think we should know what we believe in whether it is Jesus, Buddha or whatever" Agree with you 8,000%, and is think is a favorite nugged phrase of this fascinating thread!!!!!!1 ********************************** Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone, you will still exist, but you have ceased to live. Samuel Clemens