Why Didn’t Jesus Write?

That’s a provocative title, isn’t it? Or maybe not. Either way, let me explain where it came from.

Jesus left no writings about his life, his father, the Church he founded, nothing. Not a diary, no letters to anyone, nada. Paul had no problem writing to all of his acquaintances. But Jesus? Nope.

What spurred this to a post was that The Exterminator, over at No More Hornets, has started a little reading group consisting of what he calls Nonbelieving Literati. (Check it out and join us if you’re so inclined.) The first book to be discussed is going to be Julian, by Gore Vidal, which I ordered but which has not yet graced the interior of my post box. So, I was in Borders today, and, while partaking in some therapeutic browsing, or what I call “bibliotherapy“, I pulled the book off the shelf just to get a sense of what I was getting into. I started reading the introduction, where the author mentions that Julian was an actual historical figure, a Roman Emperor, and that there was a lot of material out there that acted as sources for this book, a novel. He mentioned a three volume set of Julian’s own writings, which of course made me think about the dearth of writing we have supporting the existence of Jesus as an historical figure.

Of course, much has been written about the possibility that Jesus did not exist, or that he was an amalgamation or hodgepodge of a number of actual historical figures, or that if he did exist, his “story” was the stuff of myth, blown well out of proportion to the actual man.

So if a relatively insignificant historical figure, such as Julian, could manage to leave us three volumes of his writing, none of which has had much impact on human civilization, other than acting as source material for a 20th century author, and perhaps keeping some historians happy, why didn’t the Son of God, arguably the most important historical figure ever, think it important enough to leave us some evidence of the workings of his mind?

As the Son of God, Jesus certainly must have known that people might question his divinity, his teachings, his very existence. He was, after all, omniscient, wasn’t he? Why not leave some proof, some brain droppings? What better proof than writings , documents, in his own hand, if possible, that clearly and unequivocally demonstrate his existence, his superior knowledge, his intention for the future, his relationship with his Dad, etc.

I’m sure many Christians will say that he did, and point to the Gospels. But that’s unsatisfactory for any number of reasons.

  • First, the Gospels were not written by him. (They weren’t written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John either, but that’s another topic for another day.) They were written by unknown authors anywhere from 30 to 100 years after he allegedly died. Why didn’t he write his own memoirs?
  • Second, they are incomplete. They have little biographical information in them about his first 30 years, for instance, dwelling on his last three, and between the four Gospels, they contradict each other in many respects. Where’s an editor when you need one?
  • Third, the fact that he was supposedly a carpenter’s son, and hence relatively uneducated, should not have prevented him leaving some evidence of his own existence. He was god (for god’s sake)! He could do anything he wanted. To point to his apparent illiteracy is a non-starter of an argument or defense. What’s the point of having someone else write his biography, when an autobiography would have been far more convincing?

So why did he not leave some evidence of his existence? A lock of hair would be nice. Maybe a photograph? (he could do it, he was GOD after all.)

The obvious answer is…well…obvious, isn’t it?

50 thoughts on “Why Didn’t Jesus Write?

  1. Great post. A hypothetical historical Jesus would surely have left some written tidbits around: sermons, letters, notes, recipes, grocery lists, directions how to get to Jerusalem, phone numbers of other members of Godkids Anonymous. If he really wanted people to believe in him, he had a funny way of showing it. Would you entrust four bozos — who can’t even agree on the most important details — to document your life? (Each gospel should really start with the disclaimer: “an unauthorized biography.”) And what’s the deal with allowing an obvious nut like Paul to pass along the basics of his philosophy?

    Maybe Jesus anticipated the Internet and just sent emails and IMs that have long since disappeared into the ether. What I want to know is: how come he doesn’t have a blog today? Four or five truly omniscient posts could go a long way toward convincing atheists of his existence.

    Of course, he wouldn’t actually need to use a computer. He could just make his words appear everywhere by magic. That would certainly be more effective than the occasional Mary-face on a cantaloupe.

  2. That’s a great argument, which I’ve never heard before. It does seem a bit weird that the son of an omniscient being wouldn’t realise that his followers were a bit thick and likely to screw up the whole accurate documentation of his life. I mean even Muhammed supposedly dictated his story. The more I hear about these Jesus and God fellas, the more I feel they really didn’t think it through.

  3. A year or so ago I decided to re-read the 4 Gospels. I can’t find my damn notes on the reading (I’d love to cite examples here).

    I found some really interesting contradictions. And, equally, some really FASCINATING agreement. 2 of the books in particular had many word-for-word agreements. Anyone who knows anything about plagiarism will quickly realize what this means.

    If you and I see exactly the same event and then write a couple of paragraphs describing it, the odds against us writing even a single sentence exactly the same are astronomical. A whole paragraph? For all intents and purposes – impossible. Now, if you argue that “nothing is impossible for God”, then the problem is that by not doing it consistently, the obvious impression is left with any reasonable person that some of it was lifted, either by the original author of one of the books or some scribe at some later point. Why would God want to deceive you in to seeing plagiarism?

    The parts that are contradictory are interesting. Here’s one I remember – In one book the scene from Jesus’ burial tomb has certain people coming to it and greeted by an angel as bright as the sun and another book has different people as the first to show up there and greeted by a “man”. Both man and angel both give the same basic story that Jesus has risen.

    We all know many examples from old and new testaments that we can criticize on some level. I think these are particularly telling because the 4 Gospels are the basis of what every Christian believes and fundamentalists will tell you that it’s the absolute unerring word of God. To them I say, how is that possible based on the above?

  4. John, I don’t know what the problem is with my email. I seem to be getting my usual stuff and that IS my email address that I am logged on to your site with. Maybe when I left that message for you I gave you a bad address.

    Delete on!

  5. Interesting, but what seems to be lacking is the word faith, which Scripture bases Christianity upon. I realize those here may not believe or like the word faith, but to discuss the ideas of Christianity without faith is pointless.

    Most of what is said here is based on sight. Many saw Christ and did not believe.

    Most likely He didn’t write becasue He knew people would worship the writings, like some seem to do with the “pictures” and statues of Jesus and others, even though they are just artists’ interpretations.

    As for as the Gospels and contradictions, there are many explainations available, so I won’t comment here as to why most Biblical “contradictions” can easily be settled. As with the angel vs. man, remember in Scripture angels are also seen as men, and not everything in all gospels are in chronological order.

    But on any account, they all agree that He died for the sins of mankind, was buried, and rose again that we might have eternal life. Right? :)

  6. Tim:

    You said: I realize those here may not believe or like the word faith, but to discuss the ideas of Christianity without faith is pointless.And to come to an atheist blog and leave an inane comment, making no reference to man’s ability to reason, is equally pointless. Are you just writing to practice your keyboarding skills, or do you have anything serious to say about what John so eloquently wrote?

    You said: Most likely He didn’t write becasue He knew people would worship the writings.
    It’s so cool the way Christians understand perfectly the mind of Jesus. Why didn’t the rest of us think of that?

    You said of the gospels: …they all agree that He died for the sins of mankind, was buried, and rose again that we might have eternal life. Right?
    Wrong. I don’t remember any of the gospels specifically mentioning those details. Maybe you have the gospels mixed up with stuff you’ve heard from TV evange-a- shills.

  7. Exterminator,

    So what is the answer to, “The obvious answer is…well…obvious, isn’t it?”

    I am not and did not say man cannot reason, I simply noted that the idea of faith was not mentioned (in the post or comments) in conjunction with the idea of wanting something physical to hold as to proof Christ is.

    I am being serious. To try to understand Christianity without incorporating faith would be most difficult, since faith is indeed a major component.

    “Most likely” is just a way to say, “in my opinion” or “I believe” from how I see some religious people act. I see you shared your opinion as to why, so why can’t I? Even though this is an Atheist blog, he is discussing a Chrisian topic.

    As for the gospels and the message, do you not remember or you know for sure they don’t?

  8. Of course it’s obvious. The dog ate his notes.

    As for Tim and his faith premise, it is not possible to have a legitimate argument based on logic and reason when one party insists on bringing in an untestable proposition. The faither can make any claim he wants and because there is no way to test it, no valid argument can develop.

    That’s why two believers talking about their ‘faith’ usually sound ridiculous.

  9. Tim

    Bringing faith into an argument is a cop out. It’s a way to avoid agreeing or disagreeing with whatever proposition is being asserted. With faith, as Ric says, you can assert anything.

    “Jesus didn’t write anything because he knew people would worship his writings” and of course you have faith that that is the explanation, ignoring the fact the the writings we do have from others have done nothing to explain anything with any certitude, have been used to justify the most horrible actions against our fellow man, and encourage disagreement at every turn.

    Personally,I have faith that if Jesus even existed, and if he had made his wishes known precisely, rather than leaving it to his disciples, you and I would not be here having this discussion. It would be unnecessary because the answers would be as certain as the sun rising tomorrow.

    So now what do we do with MY faith?

  10. I’ll start posting under “John B” since the owner is also named John.

    Tim, I can’t add much to what has already been pointed out about “faith”, but you should really think deeply about what these people are trying to tell you.

    Faith is considered by many to be an admirable trait. It is not. Unless you mean it in the sense of “hope”… like I have faith in man’s ability to rise to a higher plateau. But when you see the word “faith” in this light, it also shows you what you are really saying about Christ – “I have HOPE that he is my savior”. Because that is really all you have when you have faith.

    You, by the way, have no more “faith” than Osama Bin Ladin has in Allah or Mahatma Gandhi had in Vishnu or Julius Cesar had in Jupiter. As strongly as you feel your “faith”, so did all of them and the intense believers in any of the thousands of religions that have existed throughout history.

    As Richard Dawkins frequently says, “We all know exactly what it is like to be an Atheist. You are an atheist about Zeus, Ra, Thor, Allah, Brahma. I just go one god further”. Your faith is represented, simply, by a complete lack of evidence. That’s why we don’t discuss it.

  11. BTW –

    If Jesus didn’t write because he thought his writings would be “worshipped”, why do you suppose he didn’t tell his followers not to do it, since those writings are now worshipped and even called the literal “Word” of God (Jesus)?

  12. I’m not sure that worshipped is the correct term exactly, but it is puzzling to me how insistent believers are that every single word of their scriptures is true, there are no actual mistakes, blatant contradictions are only apparent, and so on, to the point where a believer has to put “contradictions” in scare quotes if it follows the word Biblical.

    Why is it so vital to insist that not even minor mistakes could have slipped in here and there? It actually weakens their case to do so, because then they are stuck having to swallow elephants and strain at gnats to ‘explain’ what in any other type of document would be chalked up to simple human errors.

    Normal historical documents aren’t held to that kind of standard, and historians don’t plotz when they find a small discrepancy between contemporaneous accounts of the same event. If two entirely different genealogoes of Jesus are recorded in the Gospels, as is the case, the commonsense historian’s response is to say one or both of them may not be entirely accurate; believers don’t do that though, they will come up with all kinds of bizarre scenarios to insist that both versions must be true!

    I suppose the thought is that if you can doubt the small details then you can doubt the larger points, but I don’t think it’s really a winning strategy; all that happens is that a smorgasbord of small implausibilities have to be swallowed on top of the banquet of large ones.

    Can you tell it’s getting close to my lunchtime?

  13. Ric,

    What about the SI’s idea that the writings of Christ’s own hand would be proof enough of Him being the Son of God, etc.? I mean, in the same posts, whereas Christians believe the writers of the gospels are indeed Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, who where disciples of Christ, yet SI and others believe these are not the actual authors. Why would one believe, if they found a book by Christ, that Christ, as the Son of God, was the actual author?

    As XanderG mentions Muhammed is supposedly a prophet to have received word directly from God, yet no one here believes his writings, so why would you believe if archeologist suddenly found the writings of Jesus Christ? What would convince you that this was the real Jesus Christ, the Son of God? Would the writings be enough? Why or Why not?

    How can I test what has been said here, as in if there were writings of Christ Himself, it would be easier for all to believe? Couldn’t they just be saying that? I mean, if people do not think what Scripture calls sin now to be actually sin (or immoral), why would it automatically change to them by simply having the actual writings of Christ? Would people simply believe Jesus Christ wrote them – but would they accept it as gospel and repent from that which it says is sin?

    SI,

    I understand that faith can be used as a cop out. And when we as Christians don’t fully understand something, but we chose to use faith (hope) in that we still believe God and the Scripture, it can be seen to some as such.

    There is a difference between what you have written as “your faith” and the faith of which I believe in. We have no handwritten writings of Jesus Christ, but I have faith that Scripture was written by men moved by the Holy Spirit to write what God wanted us to know. In this we do have the Scriptures, even though some may discount them and the authors. But you mention “faith” (which I assume you only do for the sake of explanation) in “what if’s” that did not happen. So, it is not that one could not hold to the faith that you mention, but more importantly would be about their faith in the present with what we do have.

    It is like the thought that “I will believe if God will show Himself”. That is good, but why can’t one believe before God shows Himself? If God is (which I believe), then we should believe whether or not we see Him or not right? I mean I didn’t see Shakespeare, but I sure had to believe he lived and read his writing in school. But why would merely seeing God move you (or anymore) to turn from what they believe to follow what God has said?

    John B,

    What I meant was that man would worship the actual papers and writings of Christ, the original documents – which admittedly we do not even have of the Scriptures. I could be wrong with my thought of why, and you are free to disagree. My faith is not that I believe man would worship His originals writings, but that God’s wisdom chose who He wanted to write the Scriptures and the Spirit moved them to do so.

    BT,

    Even through the “mistakes”, “contradictions”, etc. (which vary by point, translation, etc.) the mainstream message of the gospel is clearly preached. With all of what you have said regarding the Scriptures, you believe, then why are you an Atheist and not simply a believer?

    Sorry, I’ve gone on too long…

  14. Tim said: “yet SI and others believe these are not the actual authors. Why would one believe, if they found a book by Christ, that Christ, as the Son of God, was the actual author?”

    Strawman. SI was simply pointing out that it’s interesting that Christ, assuming he existed, didn’t leave some words for the “faithful”. You are right that it wouldn’t prove anything, to those of us who require evidence, but SI wasn’t suggesting that it would.

  15. It’s rather obvious that Muslims come a lot closer to ‘worshipping’ the Koran than Christians do the Bible, but
    Mohammad himself did not in fact write anything down, for the very good reason that he was illiterate, or at best semiliterate, i.e. perhaps able to keep commercial accounts but not much more. The Koran and Hadith are later transcriptions of what he said collected together.

    While Tim is probably right that no one here believes the Koran is the literal Word of Allah, millions do, despite its having one or two internal inconsistencies of its own. (The Koran has fewer of these than the Gospels, but then it has a single author if several transcribers.) The Muslims do exactly the same kind of dancing to resist admitting that any word of it is false, as the Christians do with respect to the Gospels.

    It’s a bit difficult to argue that Jesus was illiterate, even short of accepting that he was one with the omniscient God; even if he were just a solidly middle-class Jew he’d almost certainly be literate, and the scriptures indicate that he was not only literate but a bit of an amazing scholar as a boy. Why he wasn’t encouraged to a scholarly life isn’t obvious, given that he was such a prodigy, but if he had been then he would certainly have written commentaries of his own on religious and legal matters.

    I don’t see how revering an actual document written by Jesus, in the same way Muslims revere the transcribed teachings of Mohammad, would have been such a bad thing, given that Christians are supposed to revere Christ’s transcribed words as direct teachings from God. All it would do is remove one possible source of error in transmitting the detailed teachings; of course Christians don’t acknowledge the possibility of scriptural errors anyway, do they?

    Of course the Jews did manage to misplace the only other document supposedly written personally by God, and that one was chiseled onto rocks. Perhaps, like some other authors I know, God’s just loathe to part with his originals after the first time they got lost!

  16. Oh, I forgot to reply to Tim’s direct question to me:

    BT,

    Even through the “mistakes”, “contradictions”, etc. (which vary by point, translation, etc.) the mainstream message of the gospel is clearly preached. With all of what you have said regarding the Scriptures, you believe, then why are you an Atheist and not simply a believer?

    Isn’t it obvious? I don’t disbelieve because of the trifling inconsistencies; worrying over obvious errors like the two genealogies of Joseph is for people who think the texts really are the inerrant Word of God.

    No, I consider the mainstream message itself to be arrant nonsense, completely unsupported by evidence or logic, and fundamentally flawed in its basic precepts.

  17. One could also argue that Jesus, assuming he was a real person, claimed that the end of times was not that far off. He would not have felt the need to write anything.

    Putting myself in a Christian’s shoes, I might argue that Jesus did not need to write anything given that Christianity is so widespread today.

    Actually, what I want to know is why there is no book of Noah, if he supposedly lived for 900 years. I mean come on, if you live that long, you must have something worthwhile to pass on to future generations.

  18. It wouldn’t matter if you found something written by Christ. Such writing wouldn’t prove his divinity any more than me writing that I am god would prove I am god.

    I could write I am green and come from Mars, and if I were indeed green and came from Mars, writing it wouldn’t prove it.

    Even if we assume that Christ existed because the Bible mentions him, so what? At best the assumption would mean that this guy existed and may have been a Jewish rabbi. None of the rest of the story can be proven, and lacking proof, it is not worthy of belief. Historically verifiable proof he even existed is at best doubtful. If he was such a big deal, why are there no other contemporary documents talking about his life and death?

    Add to that the fact that the elements of the story – crucifixion, resurrection, blah blah blah – are common elements of religious myth, in various forms and various religions, pagan and otherwise, and what have you got? You’ve got early Christian writers stealing myths to pimp their own set of beliefs.

    Maybe a rabbi named Christ existed. Maybe he preached some interesting bits of philosophy. So did a lot of other people. If some Greeks decided to pimp Socrates by claiming they saw him walking around after he died, would the world be full of Socratists now? And there’s no evidence any of the Christian writers saw JC before or after he died. If he even lived.

    Christians have got pretty much a lot of made-up nothing that they are determined to foist off on the rest of us, even if they have to kill us all to do it. And it’s certain that historically, and currently, they are damn good at killing people, ideas, societies, philosophies, science, anything that disagrees with their fantasies.

    Damn, it would be a good thing if their comical Rapture comes and gets them the hell out of our way.

    And yes, I despise their religion, and Islam, and Judaism, and the other god religions. Let’s not misunderstand and believe that I can be reasoned with by people who have neither use for nor understanding of real-world reason.

    Grumpy Lion

  19. HE couldnt read he just dictated…told his followers and they write lol. Plus If u remember Moses went to the mountain and came back with the tablets nobody saw God write them.

    The word the church use to convince people that everything in the bible is true, that you should listen to all that they preach is FAITH. In other words you are to close your eyes and jump and believe with all your might that you wont fall…let the blind lead the blind.

  20. Just to let you know, the gospels were very likely written by the authors who names are attributed to them, particularly Luke – if the Gospels were going to be assigned names fictionally, they’d be known as the more popular disciples, like Peter, & James. Of course, much later – seeing that those names weren’t ‘taken’, in an attempt to fill in the holes left by the earlier gospels, later books were written under those names. Anyway…otherwise, interesting stuff.

  21. One more note, the Christian concept of Jesus as ‘God’ is oft-misunderstood, and it should be noted that even in Paul’s letters – where one would think that such a doctrine had been expanded upon – Jesus appears to, though in some sense divine, relinquish his rights to use his ‘God-ness’ in any way. The fact that Jesus sometimes appears to act like God is explained in the Bible simply as the fact that he relies upon the Holy Spirit perfectly…that is to say that Christian theology says that, though Jesus was IN ESSENCE God-as-Man, he lived his life (and thought as) a spirit-empowered-human. Hope that makes things as clear as mud. ;-)

  22. I read your response there. You’re well reasoned.

    On a somewhat unrelated note, but since you brought it up there (related to your pick) – ‘communion’ was really nothing ‘new’…at the last supper he simply used certain aspects of the passover meal and symbolically related them to himself related to a specific Hebraic messianic understand of the Messiah, Son of Joseph (the ‘suffering servant’ – not the ‘Messiah, Son of David, which is the ‘Kingly Messiah’, as understood by that interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures). So, basically, didn’t invent a strange new ritual – he simply said, “hey – I think this particular part of the Passover Meal is explicitly about me and what I’m about to do.”

    Sorry you were raised Catholic, though – really, I am.

  23. saintlewis

    Thanks. In some ways I’m sorry too. In other’s I’m not. I yam what I yam, as Popeye says, because of my Catholic upbringing. How much was good, and how much was bad, is for others to say. I can’t be objective.

  24. Pingback: Swap Blog » Blog Archive » Why didn’t Jesus write?

  25. “Even through the “mistakes”, “contradictions”, etc. (which vary by point, translation, etc.) the mainstream message of the gospel is clearly preached.”

    If that were true, than why has that mainstream message been interpreted so radically differently by different Christians and Christian sects over the last two thousand years?

    In fact, I believe that’s the entire point of this post. The central message of Christ isn’t clear. Not in the slightest. People have fought wars and set each other on fire because they disagreed over what Christ’s central message was. If Christ wanted to make his message clear, he could have written it down. (A really good point, btw. I can’t believe that it hadn’t occurred to me earlier. I’m definitely going to be linking to it.)

  26. No offense, mam – but you clearly have no idea what you’re talking about.

    Seriously.

    I’ve been reading about Christianity since long before I was a Christian, and I’ve read all of the ‘greats’ from the Gospels, through the early church fathers, though to the present day, and let me say this: the gospel has not changed.

    Just because on occasion some nutjob pops up and proclaims a ‘false gospel’ doesn’t make the overall consensus of the church any different. Even now I occasionally participate in Bible studies with friends from Greek Orthodox, Presybyterian, Methodist, Catholic, Charismatic, and even Pentecostal churches, and believe you me – we all agree on the major, central points of our faith, and those who don’t will often agree that the Bible is disagreement with their position, and that they simply reject the Bible’s position on the subject (i.e. – they are ‘theological liberals’).

    Anyway…back to the books.

  27. Heatlight

    the gospel has not changed.

    Where did I say it did? That wasn’t the point of the article. My point was that Jesus has not left us anything of his own, to direct us, give us some idea of his thoughts, etc. He left it for others to relate many years after he died (assuming he even lived). In a court of law, that’s called hearsay, and would be excluded as evidence. The reason hearsay is excluded is that it has been proven time and time again to be unreliable. We don’t slap fines on people, or put them in jail on the basis of hearsay. How can we base an entire religion on it?

    But now that you’ve mentioned it, have you read Bart Ehrman’s “Misquoting Jesus”. He makes a fine case that in fact, the Gospels as we know them have changed from the originals, primarily through the practice of scribes to remove items they disagreed with, add items that they like, and edit sections to more closely resemble their own interpretations. So in that sense, they have changed.

    Check it out. Its a good, readable book. And Ehrman seems to know what he’s talking about.

  28. Tim, not only is that message not clear, it’s cobbled together from several different places. Look at all of the tracts on getting saved. Think about the mnemonics – the ABCs of salvation, the Romans road, etc. Look at the verse references. None of them have all of the information in one nice, easy to read place, and most of them are not in the Gospels at all. If salvation is such an important message, why wasn’t it written down in one spot the way the tracts do it? It’s an idea stitched together from single statements in vastly different places in the Bible. In fact, I heard a pastor say once that individual witnessing is so crucial to spread the word BECAUSE there’s almost no way you can eke it out of the Bible on your own. That makes me quite suspicious that salvation the way it’s preached by most churches is even the way it was “originally” intended, no matter who wrote it down.

  29. Sorry ‘Spanish’ – I was responding to Greta, who now rests her case, apparently. I have read “Misquoting Jesus”, but I don’t remember much of it – it’s the same sorta of stuff put out by much of the Jesus Seminar folks – I’ve attended their ‘workshops’ (well, 2 of them)…it’s interesting, but not convincing (but I must say, I devour most of Borg’s work, even though we find much to disagree on). Nothing that Craig Blomberg’s “Historical Reliability of the Gospels” and “The Historical Reliability of John’s Gospel” or most anything that N.T. Wright’s work hasn’t responded to adequately some time ago.

  30. Ha! I was told this this font was too small. You did say “mam”, not “man”. Whoops.

  31. Isn’t the very definition of “faith” that you believe something WITHOUT needing proof? That you believe something despite the absence of evidence (or the presence of contradictory evidence) ??? So then why are the Christians always so determined to “prove” that Jesus was real?? They say “You just gotta have faith” – but if their “faith” is sufficient, then why do they feel the need to “prove” it?? I just don’t get it. . . .

  32. Excellent. I love the “circular reasoning” tee shirt. I said to one bible thumper “There has to be independent verification. No book can be used as evidence for itself.” But he insisted that indeed a book may be used to prove itself.
    I said, “Then that means that EVERY BOOK THAT WAS EVER WRITTEN IS TRUE. Not just the bible, but every single one of them!” This guy was a hard core kook, he believed the earth is only 6,000 years old. The ones who are that crazy, well they’re mentally ill. It’s no use even trying to talk to them. I mean, think about it. This dude is saying that HE knows more about science than all the scientists in the world. Geology, climatology, archaeology, physics – he knows better than all of these university trained PROFESSIONAL SCIENTISTS. And I should take HIS word above theirs. What kind of a person would present this?? That’s not just arrogant, it’s downright delusional. PS – I love your illustration at the top of the page – can we get THAT on a tee shirt?? with the caption “Jesus Christ: The Other White Meat.”

  33. I love your illustration at the top of the page – can we get THAT on a tee shirt?? with the caption “Jesus Christ: The Other White Meat.”

    Oh, that’s just evil. I love it.

  34. “Most likely He didn’t write becasue He knew”…yata, yata, yata…
    Comment by Tim 08.02.07 @ 4:40 pm

    It amazes me how easily Christians can read God’s mind

  35. Yea, typical.

    If he “…knew they would worship his writings…” then the most likely scenario is that he would start with this admonition:

    To all my believers: Before thou readeth the following, I sayeth unto you, that all who shall worship my writings shall surely be thrown into the fires of hell…

    Next objection.

  36. Of course, it should be pointed out that, in many ways, it’s not nearly so important was Jesus taught – at least not word for word – the thing that was of primary importance was what HE DID: ie. – crucifixion & resurrection. Why write, when it’s about your life, and not primarily your words? I guess, personally I don’t really see the big deal, anyway.

  37. Maybe he did write, but what he said was contradictory to the plans to form a new religion so they scrapped it. Hey, there’s the theory that Mary Magdalen was Jesus’ favorite and Peter got bent and fixed that little problem. Maybe Peter was a real dick. Who knows what he did?

  38. As a kid I was always told that the bible was writen by Man… insired by God. They wrote what they witness when with Jesus. I guess maybe that’s why Jesus didn’t write, he didn’t need to write about himself… he was living it.

    Others wrote of what they expirence. Like any of us would do.

    I beleive there has to be something after this life… it more then we can ever understand.

  39. Let me put together a few reasons here why I believe Jesus didn’t write. I have borrowed a few from previous posters.

    1) I realize those here may not believe or like the word faith, but to discuss the ideas of Christianity without faith is pointless. Jesus did not need to write anything given that Christianity is so widespread today. The gospel, the main message of the new testament has not changed. It’s still about Jesus’ death for the sins of mankind and his resurrection.

    2) Jesus’ message was much simpler than the Church has made it out to be. The message, spoken and lived, was simple. Clear. There was no need to write it down. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. Help the poor. Heal the sick. You don’t need to read thousands of pages; you don’t need a degree in theology to understand Jesus’ message. I read the Bible for insight on Jesus’ life.

    3) The role of scribes. Related to this, the rarity of literacy made for an excellent business of scribal activity! And the paradigm of the day did NOT require that a teacher be the one writing down his own works — rather, he would hire a scribe to do it as he recited his teachings. Thus the general objection that Jesus did not write anything misses the point, because it anachronistically assumes a modern view of the importance of writing upon ancient peoples.

    4) His purpose was to save Mankind, not promote scripture or himself. Jesus did not come to promote the Bible. He wanted people to start thinking so that Earth could be saved. He was not setting himself up as “God.” Jesus is reported to have said, Why do you call me good? Only your Father who is Heaven is good.”

    5) What language would He have written in? Obviously the people who spoke what ever language he chose to write in would believe they were the blessed ones, the most important, and the only ones whom His message was meant for. This would do more harm than good. Why not let writers in many different languages write of His life?

    6) Jesus never wrote anything down because God never intended a text-based, or rules-based, Christianity. If you have a few spare hours a week, wouldn’t it be better to volunteer at a soup kitchen than to commit yourself to a proof or defense plan of the a Bible. (What would Jesus do?) I think that Jesus not writing anything down suggests that we should be acting more and leading and speculating less.

    Speaking of which, why am I spending time here? Later…

  40. Pingback: Christian Symbols and Christian Resources

  41. I think the point of the discussion got lost in the debate, at least the reason I had when I googled this statement hasn’t really been discussed.

    The point isn’t specifically no writing’s, it’s no nothing from JC. This has nothing to do with JC himself or what he wanted or didn’t want. It has to do with humans collecting stuff of any kind from famous people. I know a person that has kept a plastic cup that Bon Jovi drank out of for over 10 years. Where’s JC’s hammer, tool belt, plate he ate last supper on. How about the napkin he used or the clothes he left behind, the thorn crown, or the spear that pierced his side. These things would have been kept even by people that did not believe he was the son of god.

    With that said, these thing would not prove he was who he said he was and if their were writings claiming to be for him all us non-believers would most certainly try to disprove them, but the absence of any physical object or at least the claim that ” this screw driver once belonged to JC” is disconcerting and leaves a glaring hole which forces you ask WHY.

    Well thanks for your time and any responses. I truly enjoy open, intelligent discussion.

  42. Good points, Scott. I never thought of that.

    But then again, there’s the Shroud of Turin. Perhaps someone is holding on to the Loincloth of Lyons, or the Toothbrush of Budapest, just waiting for the market to be right to put it on eBay. 8)

  43. You may enjoy this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uxMQy0Qn6U&feature=channel which is what bought me to this post – I am a Christian but also willing to put my faith to the challenge.

    The question is a very interesting as to why is there no Gospel of Jesus but there is no concrete answer but guesses to the answer as for somebody who is an atheist that means appealing to logic and reason.

    So let’s think about it a bit more

    Does God write big words in the sky – Hi I’m God – believe in me? No he doesn’t. If somebody is sick does he instantly heal them – no he doesn’t. If there is a God then is it not possible that he can decide a course of action that is totally illogical to us with a limited understanding but makes sense to him who has a view of all of humanity and operate outside of space?

    Part of that choice is allowing for free will and many would argue that it makes no sense from a humanistic standpoint – look at all the killing, injustice in the world.. but then is having no choice and being forced to perform his will any better? that we don’t know as we don’t operate in such a Universe but given that there is a God then he has chosen that this is the best course of action

    The conclusion I reach from reading the Bible is that God works through people to achieve his purposes. People are fallible and to us again it doesn’t make sense. Tithing does not make sense where you give away money but don’t lack because of it..but they are based on principles that have been put in place.

    Just like Gravity is a natural law there are other laws that have been put in place that govern how things work in the spiritual realm.

    If we take that God works through other people then we see that God did not write on the tablets but it was Moses who wrote down his words, that other people recorded what Jesus said and did.

    This then begs the question of why Jesus healed people and perform miracles while on Earth.. but then I see that as demonstrating what he wanted others to do and to show the principles at work.

    I am just thinking out while typing… but that is my rationale why I think Jesus did not write out. Personally I feel that if you believe in God then the brain we were given was created by him and the logic we have is limited but created by him.

    Paul

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