Class Warfare Blog

March 23, 2017

Finding Jesus … Holy Shit

I just finished watching a recorded episode of a CNN series called “Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery.” In this episode (S1, E9) the title of which is “The Childhood Home of Jesus” we are led to consider whether said home has actually been found. The sole line of evidence for this “discovery” was a reference in a 7th C. document about Nazareth which referred to two churches, one of which was still in existence, the other was lost. The other was reputedly built upon the ruins of Jesus’ family home!

An archeologist had been invited to view the ruins beneath the Sisters of Nazareth Convent which was in a building “said to be built upon the ruins of a church.” The examination of the caves under that building did indicate a former church being there but also there were “walls” within the walls indicating that the church might have been built upon the ruins of a house! Artifacts were found that date to the first century and we are off and running.

The question gets asked, “Could this be the childhood home of Jesus?” We are then treated with breathless commentary along the lines of “the house seems exactly to be the sort that Jesus would have grown up in,” and “this was clearly a home inhabited by a pious Jewish family.” Imagine that. A home in first century Nazareth inhabited by a pious Jewish family, how rare!

They have trouble steering a course through the lack of evidence, of course. They keep asking the question, “Could this be the childhood home of Jesus?” but in a one hour show it takes them to the 59th minute to finally utter “… it is possible, but can’t be demonstrated.”

Really? Then what was used to fill the time between the asking of the question and the answering?

Well, we got all kinds of comments indicating that understanding how Jesus was raised would tell us a great deal about who Jesus was as a man. Really, a god incarnate was going to be shaped by his upbringing and the teaching of his parents? Must be a particularly feeble god.

Part of the filler was descriptions of Joseph and Mary. (I wonder where they got the information?) It was carefully explained that Joseph wasn’t a carpenter but an artisan, a class of people who were consider lower than peasants who worked the land, yet later we were lead to believe that Jesus must have been part of an upper middle class household. (I would guess this was to not offend the upper middle class target audience for this diatribe.) Later we are told that Jesus worked for many years as a carpenter, which is rigorous work, making Jesus into a manly man. Apparently he worked his way up from artisan, making his father proud.

They found artifacts, such as wool spinning tools, which a “woman of the time” would use to spin wool (I’m shocked, I tell you, shocked!) … but immediately thereafter that woman had a name … Mary. Sentences began Mary this, Mary that, etc. They found glass beads that were typical of women’s dresses across the Roman empire for centuries, which would, of course, been part of Mary’s dresses.

Interestingly, Mary was responsible for teaching the boy Jesus how to be a Jew and be part of God’s plan. How a god incarnate would have gotten along without that instruction, is horrifying to consider.

Then there was a longish aside involving a revolt in 4 BCE involving rebels capturing the city of Sepphoris. This city was four miles from Nazareth but 15,000 Roman troops took the city back, crucified 2000 rebels and sold the rest of the inhabitants into slavery. Four miles is a brisk walk of an hour for a mature adult but Jesus was about two years old at the time (having been born in 6 BCE) and could never have made the trip, nor would a two-year old remember anything as an adult from when he was two.* But we were told that “even if Jesus didn’t see the events himself, he would have heard stories from that point onward.” Possibly this shaped his nonviolent mission, it was claimed. Apparently they hadn’t heard about Jesus’ cleansing of the temple. And, the god of all creation fear the Romans? Really? I thought he made the Romans.

Then they segue to a Bible story from Luke about how Jesus went into the synagogue in Nazareth to preach and was rejected to the point of being dragged to a cliff with the intention of being thrown him off of it. But Jesus walked away … mysteriously … never to return to his boyhood home village. How this added to their case for the discovery of Jesus’ childhood home was not made clear.

I think they should have titled this series “Finding Jesus: Fantasy, Fiction, Fable.”

The only “evidence” they have is a mention in a 7th C. text regarding a church reputed to have been built upon the ruins of Jesus’ childhood home. At that time, I am sure there were no false claims of artifacts from that time being holy. The fact that an entire village of houses could have been built from the then known fragments of the cross was just another miracle. So, if that document said it, it is probably true.

They then took the ball and ran with it, using their imaginations and little else, they entertained the fantasy that they had found the childhood home of Jesus and, amazingly, that if that were able to be confirmed that it would tell them something. To most Christians, Jesus is the Creator God of their religion. He is the Father and Holy Spirit as there is only one god. That he was capable of creating the entire universe, the Earth, all of the plants and animals, and the first human beings and still needed his mother to teach him what “God’s plan” was is preposterous. That he would need any help at all is preposterous. That his mission was ever in doubt or in danger is preposterous. Everything must have happened as he planned it to happen. Period.

What were these people thinking?

And if that place really was Jesus’ childhood home, how could it have been forgotten? Oh, yeah, God lived around her a long time ago but we forgot where. Really?

What were these people thinking?

Oh, I forgot, thinking is not encouraged. It is entirely okay to get some press for your believers and provide them with some support for their beliefs even if it is entirely patent nonsense.

Just listen to the pretty stories and, above all, do not ask any questions.

* * *

* According to BibleWalks.com “The city (Sepphoris) is not mentioned in the acts and events of Jesus, but he probably has (sic) visited the city, which is in the near proximity of his childhood village of Nazareth. The city was a commercial center for the whole area and he may have received work as a carpenter.” And the beat goes on … they have no evidence but “he probably has visited the city,” looking for work … in the site of the horror that lead him to fear the Romans so very, very much.

 

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28 Comments »

  1. The indoctrination goes on. Lee Strobel’s book, “The Case for Christ” has been made in to a movie for chissakes. The evangelicals are going all biddy over this latest version of christian apologetics

    Comment by lbwoodgate — March 23, 2017 @ 8:42 pm | Reply

    • I read a couple of pages of that book (sent to me by my Christian sisters) and I was appalled at the lack of scholarship and the vacuous arguments. Should make a great movie … pandering, pandering, we are all rejoicing … pandering for the Lord!

      On Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 8:42 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Comment by Steve Ruis — March 23, 2017 @ 8:56 pm | Reply

  2. You’ve got patience in places I’ll never have, Steve. I can’t bring myself to watch what clearly looked like nonsense from the start.

    Comment by persedeplume — March 23, 2017 @ 8:52 pm | Reply

    • I turned it off after the first five minutes but I had recorded it, so I decided to view it to be able to share my “review” of the bilge that passes for cable TV programs of a religious sort. Amazingly appalling stuff … but I don’t think the producers lost any money on it and the production values make “low information” Christians think this is hot stuff. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, the series “Ancient Aliens” is making money hand over fist.

      On Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 8:52 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Comment by Steve Ruis — March 23, 2017 @ 8:58 pm | Reply

  3. Wally, a fundamentalist evangelical blogger,just returned from a Disneyland trip to the HOLY LAND. Skimming through his posts was like reading a Donald Trump speech. “This could have been where jesus prayed…,” “this might have been…” “Here is where jesus perhaps…”

    Comment by john zande — March 24, 2017 @ 5:12 am | Reply

    • Does dear Wally intimate the spot where Mary Magdalene gave Jesus a *”tuppenny upright”?

      *substitute the equivalent in Shekels.

      Comment by Arkenaten — March 24, 2017 @ 5:48 am | Reply

      • It was a little painful to read. I left it alone, but Kia went to town on him.

        Comment by john zande — March 24, 2017 @ 5:55 am | Reply

        • I can well imagine Mike doing just that! I may take a peek.

          Comment by Arkenaten — March 24, 2017 @ 5:58 am | Reply

    • There were oh so many ironic statements in this hour. The church in Nazareth that was still standing is the Church of the Annunciation, which draws many thousands of visitors every year. Then, after praising Mary for being this marvelous icon of womanhood, they explain she must have been a total idiot because she knew she was bearing God’s child (what the Church of the annunciation was all about), but still explained to Jesus what it was to be a Jew and be part of “God’s plan.” It seems that as soon as a sentence left someone’s lips, a contradictory idiocy was soon to follow. Maybe part of the producers plan? Wait a minute … do you think the producers were “nones” and putting this out as anti-religious propaganda? … Naw, too subtle.

      On Fri, Mar 24, 2017 at 5:12 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Comment by Steve Ruis — March 24, 2017 @ 8:04 am | Reply

      • Comment by john zande — March 24, 2017 @ 8:31 am | Reply

        • Now I know why we aren’t supposed to ask questions! ;o)

          It would have been much more extraordinary if some genius back then thought all of this through and then eliminated all of the … um, embarrassing stuff. Asking a lot, I know.

          On Fri, Mar 24, 2017 at 8:31 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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          Comment by Steve Ruis — March 24, 2017 @ 8:40 am | Reply

    • Funny, they never include the places Jesus took a shit on these fanciful tours!

      Comment by Zach — March 25, 2017 @ 9:56 am | Reply

      • Imagine … holy coprolites! The financial opportunity is almost petrifying.

        On Sat, Mar 25, 2017 at 9:56 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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        Comment by Steve Ruis — March 25, 2017 @ 10:33 am | Reply

        • “HOLY COPROLITES, BATMAN!” … Master Robin might exclaim as the wafer is lifted to his mouth during the Eucharist! Now, the CNN broadcast of ‘Tune in to discover the cow chip trail of christ … the final proof of finding Jesus’ … even Geraldo would be envious! And the world would be saved!

          Comment by Zach — March 25, 2017 @ 11:34 am | Reply

          • Now THAT would be an episode to watch! 😀

            Comment by Nan — March 25, 2017 @ 11:37 am | Reply

            • Imagine the pay-per-view take on that one! If sponsored by the Vatican they could pay off all there pedophilia lawsuits and get back to the work of evangelism!

              Comment by Zach — March 25, 2017 @ 11:45 am | Reply

              • The Mother Church … evangelism? Much too mundane. Besides they are, sniff, important enough for the proles to come to them. They shouldn’t have to do any, ugh, advertising, or marketing.

                On Sat, Mar 25, 2017 at 11:45 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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                Comment by Steve Ruis — March 25, 2017 @ 9:37 pm | Reply

                • Ah, you forget! Pope Francis is the Vatican’s public relations wet dream … 24/7 marketing … all style while defending FAITH traditions down the line. By the way … I believe there is a new ‘Finding Jesus’ episode on CNN tonight. My question is when the companion game app is coming out? 😇

                  Comment by Zach — March 26, 2017 @ 8:23 am | Reply

  4. Was the archaeologist, Ken Dark by any chance?

    Comment by Arkenaten — March 24, 2017 @ 5:44 am | Reply

    • Didn’t catch his name. Is it important? If so, I still have the recording.

      On Fri, Mar 24, 2017 at 5:45 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Comment by Steve Ruis — March 24, 2017 @ 7:58 am | Reply

      • Ken Dark worked on the Kokh Tombs under the church, up the road from Sepphoris/Yaphia. There’s apaper somewhere. I looked over it online. Was a while back. He also made allusions re: the whole Nazareth nonsense.
        Not really important, just that I’ve come across so few archaeologists who have been willing to go one record about anything to do with the character, Jesus of Nazareth or the entire nonsense.

        Comment by Arkenaten — March 24, 2017 @ 9:45 am | Reply

        • You mean a real archaeologist as opposed to a “biblical archaeologist?”

          Now you have my curiosity piqued. I will check.

          On Fri, Mar 24, 2017 at 9:45 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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          Comment by Steve Ruis — March 24, 2017 @ 10:09 am | Reply

    • Ark, you got it in one! I dug the video out of the “recently deleted” folder and ffed to his first appearance, and voila! Gosh, I can’t imagine an archaeologist devoting his career to such foolishness … oh, I forgot, “biblical archeology used to be a big time specialty. So sad.

      Comment by Steve Ruis — March 26, 2017 @ 8:51 am | Reply

      • Ah … thought as much. Sad indeed.
        But then, ”Nazareth” makes Big Bucks, so who’d want to kill that Goose?

        Comment by Arkenaten — March 26, 2017 @ 8:57 am | Reply

        • In politics and religion it always serves to “follow the money.”

          On Sun, Mar 26, 2017 at 8:57 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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          Comment by Steve Ruis — March 26, 2017 @ 9:16 am | Reply

  5. Like persedeplume, I saw it listed and was almost tempted to watch, but decided, after weighing the probable content of the film, that re-runs of The Simpsons would be a better investment of my time! Looks like I made the right decision.

    Comment by Holding the Line in Florida — March 24, 2017 @ 10:00 am | Reply

  6. That was on CNN? No wonder Trump calls them fake news.
    P.S. I’m not surprised that Joseph was made out to be both an artisan and a member of upper middle class: today, word “artisanal” is probably the best indicator that a product is being marketed to the upper middle class or upper middle class wannabe.

    Comment by List of X — March 24, 2017 @ 10:31 am | Reply

    • CNN, the Christian Neener Neener network, apparently. This is what happens when networks get bought (remember when A&E was A&E?). We remember what they used to be before they became ratings hogs.

      On Fri, Mar 24, 2017 at 10:31 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Comment by Steve Ruis — March 24, 2017 @ 12:00 pm | Reply


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