Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


NEW TESTAMENT EVIDENCE AGAINST JESUS MIRACLES

The four gospels contain stories about the miracles of Jesus. We will see that this evidence contradicts earlier statements by Christian apostles and scholars. The miracles of Jesus never happened.

 

MARK

 

The gospels recount an episode where Jesus gets angry with those who seek signs and says its a sign of lack of faith.  He promises however one sign - that of Jonah. Jonah is linked with a call to repentance.  Usually the sign of Jonah is taken to refer to how Jonah came back three days after being swallowed by a fish and Jesus was to return three days after being entombed by the earth.  The best interpretation though the Matthew gospel would disagree is the repentance one.

 

There is a story in Mark where Jesus encounters a deaf and dumb man and takes him away privately to cure him.  If there is any truth in the gospels, it is probable that Jesus always took sick people away from the public eye to pray with and for their cure.  Nobody says that Jesus tried to cure everybody.  That meant that if any of them got better they were going to think it was Jesus that did it.   If this was Jesus' technique, then it was a craftier one than what most faith healers got up to.  They worked up their "patients" and told them they were cured.  This was about show. Jesus not only got fame for being humble and discreet but for being powerful.  He walked off with the credit for miracles and cure that never actually happened.  It was effortless but effective.  A miracle that is totally based on hearsay should be dismissed outright.


Jesus in Mark 1:41 gets angry when a leper approaches him for healing. Most texts say he got compassionate not angry. Bruce Metzger stated on the matter, "It is difficult to come to a firm decision concerning the original text. On the one hand, it is easy to see why ὀργισθείς (“being angry”) would have prompted over-scrupulous copyists to alter it to σπλαγχνισθείς (“being filled with compassion”)...

As the leper had said to Jesus if he wanted to he could cleanse him of leprosy it makes sense for the text to have meant angry.  Or perhaps Jesus hated people looking for signs.

PAUL DISBELIEVED IN JESUS’ MIRACLES
 
The first existing Christian writings are the letters of St Paul. Apart from Jesus’ being born of a Jewish mother, being crucified, dying, rising again and appearing to certain witnesses Paul never gives any details about him. He never says Jesus did miracles. He even goes as far as to say that God raised Jesus from the dead so Jesus didn’t even raise himself up. This might be wrong if it is true that Paul believed that Jesus was God (which is unlikely when we turn to 1 Corinthians 15:28 where Paul says that Christ will be subject to God which is not possible if they are the same being).
 
In 2 Corinthians 8 he says the Corinthians are to remember that Jesus was rich but for their sake he became poor to make them rich out of his poverty. He added that this didn’t mean that to give relief to the starving and the poor they had to make things difficult for themselves but to use their surplus! So Jesus then was clearly a totally rich man who gave it all up. This denies the gospels which have a Jesus who was born in a stable, had poor parents, had to wander about homeless and often hungry and whose invectives against the rich were harsh in the extreme. Paul means that Jesus was literally rich. There is no room for the idea that he only meant that Jesus had the supernatural power to take whatever he wanted and was rich in that sense but didn’t use it. God or the Son of God incarnate then should have the power to enjoy all the gold in the world for its theirs and their magic can get it for them. Jesus then was only acting poor but wasn’t poor at all if he was one of these. He was like a multi-trillionaire who doesn’t use his money but lives in a box with the homeless. Such a man wouldn’t be poor. In Paul’s description of Jesus as rich and then poor we see that he denied that Jesus was God or had the magical power to turn stones into bread or even bread into money. He denied the gospel Jesus who claimed supernatural powers. So Jesus was literally rich but gave it all away. This isn’t in the gospels at all and he contradicts them so they are false.
 
Paul informs us that the most important thing in Christianity is to teach that Jesus died for us and rose according to the scriptures. He asserted that Jesus proved it by manifesting himself to many (1 Corinthians 15:3). Paul knew that the OT prophecies alone proved nothing and so did his people so he was admitting that there was no evidence for Jesus being God’s Son apart from the witness of those who said they saw the resurrected Jesus. How do I know that? Because the Jews would have taught that the resurrection may have been a satanic hoax. It did not do any good to persuade people it was not the Devil’s work so Jesus performing benevolent miracles was necessary to prove that God was doing good through him. If Paul had known of Jesus doing miracles he would have included them as an essential part of the solid basis of the gospel.
 
If Jesus had did miracles then Paul would not have argued for the resurrection of Jesus on the basis that the faith would be nonsense and the witnesses liars if it were not true (1 Corinthians 15). Why? For in the first place he was talking to those who did think the witnesses were liars and he used a bad argument for his backup. He was not saying that the resurrection is true for people saw Jesus for nobody stressed it more strongly than him that the religious opinions of most human beings cannot be trusted. He was trying to convince unbelieving “Christians” (v12). He would not have used a weak argument if Jesus had performed miracles. He would have mentioned the miracles and told them to investigate them for if they verified them that would mean that Jesus rose for it would be most likely. When a man tries to do his best to prove something and his best is a shambles it is obvious that he can do no better.
 
Paul’s evangelism for Charismatism proves that he did not believe that Jesus did miracles. He regarded the charisms as signs and said that they were needed to develop perfect knowledge of the gospel and moaned that he did not have this knowledge (1 Corinthians 13:8-13). Perfect knowledge does not mean the completion of revelation for Paul held that the apostles knew all that God wanted the world to know and were the foundations of the faith. By perfect knowledge he means being sure that Christianity is true. The charisms were required to provide evidence meaning that apart from Jesus’ apparitions they had no evidence.
 
Not once did he ascribe magical prowess to his Lord Jesus. If it had been at the back of his mind he would not have endorsed charismatic miracles that were so obviously fake. He would have pointed those who wanted evidence to the miracles of Jesus. He was obviously desperate for evidence to justify his Christian faith when he had to present the charisms.
 
Paul proclaimed the charisms to be true miracles. He knew that if one could not be sure at times who was sending the miracles God or Satan that it was undeniable that these miracles are not evidence for anything.  If those miracles are not evidence then no miracles are. He would have been making nothing of the miracles of Jesus by accepting something as ineffectual and flimsy as the evidence of the charisms. To have them considered evidence he would have had to ban the charisms. 
 
Some say that he would have to say that the charisms are not evidence for anything for they could be affected by Satan but that this couldn’t be said about the miracles of Christ because Christ being the Son of God was beyond the influence of Satan. If so, then Paul could use the charisms but not count them as evidence. But he did and that is that. And he also said that our perception that Jesus was the Son of God is a charism, the supernatural gift of faith.

Paul knew nothing of a Jesus who had done miracles of healing and raised the dead.
 
Paul wrote that Jesus had been so changed by the resurrection that what he was before that time is to be forgotten (2 Corinthians 5:16). His rejection of Jesus having done miracles could not be clearer.
 
Paul said that the pre-existing Jesus laid aside his glory to become a man and kept it concealed until he rose from the dead (Philippians 2:7, 8). According to the Church which is anxious to avoid what this implies, this means that he hid his divine beauty as in image. But seeing his glory is not seeing his appearance for a spirit doesn’t have one. It is seeing what he does and all his acts are miraculous including everything that happens on earth for he holds all things in being. How could he show his glory by an act that is not miraculous? It is impossible! Jesus “manifested his glory” at Cana when he turned water into wine (John 2:11). Jesus ordinary kindness was not showing his glory for it could have been that of an ordinary man to the mind of his observers. Doing miracles would have been showing his divine glory. If Jesus’ glory was beyond human sight then he did no miracles.
 
The testimony closest to Jesus lets it slip that he did no miracles. The hints are a little hard to find which shows that nobody can say they are later interpolations inserted for the mischievous purpose of ruining Christianity. As time went by the Church made up miracle stories which even came to be believed by the Jews who thought they were black magic.
 
Paul may have thought that only the risen Jesus does miracles.

2 CORINTHIANS 5:16
 
Paul wrote, “We estimate and regard no one from a [purely] human point of view [in terms of natural standards of human value]. [No] even though we once did estimate Christ from a human viewpoint and as a man, yet now [we have such knowledge of Him that] we know him no longer [in terms of the flesh]” (2 Corinthians 5:16, The Amplified Bible).
 
To find the meaning of this we have to work out what from a human viewpoint means.
 
Paul does not say it is a wrong human viewpoint so that is out. He isn’t accusing it of being wrong but there is some flaw in it.
 
Christians argue that it means judging Christ by human standards and not God’s. But he says we. He is speaking for the Church which was still mainly Jewish then and he was a Jew himself. He judged Christ by God’s standards for he had God’s Law.
 
Other Christians think that he is just saying that natural faith in Jesus as God’s Son is human estimation for it is not miraculously caused by God. And that supernatural faith which is faith that is a gift from God is the kind we have now. But he wrote we including himself.  He received the gift when he fell off his horse during a vision of Jesus and had no time to have anything other than supernatural faith (Acts 22:10, 11; Galatians 1:12-16).
 
What Paul means by human viewpoint is knowing Christ and other people as human beings. We do not know them that way anymore but know them in their changed supernatural or unnatural state as children of God for the past is to be forgotten. The life Jesus had before his death and resurrection are now irrelevant. All that is relevant is the risen Jesus dwelling in his people who is known by the spiritual favours he gives not by going to see him or talk to him. There would be no point in putting the life of Christ out of mind unless it were an ordinary run-of-the-mill life. There is nothing interesting about it. This proves that Jesus did no signs or miracles. It would be blasphemy to say that they don’t matter and Paul wouldn’t have said it.