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visitor  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, May 22, 2001 4:00:00 PM(UTC)
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Who was Jesus? Why has he had such an impact on societỷ And how do we know what we know about his lifẻ

You had questions for pre-eminent biblical scholar Dr. James Charlesworth of the Princeton Theological Seminary, featured in the program Jesus: The Complete Storỵ And he had the answers. Check them out below.


And thanks for emailing us!


James H. Charlesworth is a professor of New Testament language and literature and director of the Dead Sea Scrolls Project at Princeton Theological Seminarỵ His teaching interests include early Judaism and Christian origins, with special attention to Jesus research. An ordained minister in the United Methodist Church, Dr. Charlesworth has written or edited more than 50 books and 400 articles.


More answers on pages 1 2 3 4


• Didn't people think it ođ that Jesus had no wife or girlfriend?

• What clues do we have to what Jesus really looked likẻ

• Is it possible to trace Jesus' family lineagẻ










Q: Didn't people think it ođ that Jesus had no wife or girlfriend?

A: On the one hand, it seems ođ that Jesus is portrayed as if he did not have a wife; but then some specialists contemplate that Mary Magdelene could conceivably have been his wife or "significant other." On the other hand, the Qumranites (the Jews who left us the Dead Sea Scrolls) did not marrỵ They probably believed they were consecrated to the Holy War against the angels of darkness. Could Jesus have also held this opinion? Perhaps Jesus could not marry, because he could not prove his legitimacy; or perhaps his father, Joseph, who would arrange for his marriage, had passed awaỵ








Q: What clues do we have to what Jesus really looked likẻ

A: We have no photographs before the 19th centurỵ The only pen-portrait of Jesus is the Letter of Lentulus, which is a medieval forgery [see Charlesworth, Authentic Apocrypha]. If Jesus were a 21st-century gentile of the Western world, then he might look like you or me; but he was a first-century Palestinian Jew. We should not remove his Semitic features. Perhaps with the Discovery Channel and BBC research we learn more about what he did not look like than what he really may have looked likẹ Jesus certainly did not look like the pictures supplied by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Salman — many of which hang proudly on the walls of churches and Sunday-school classrooms. If Jesus would return today, as most Christians hope, then he might just pass by all of us with none of us recognizing him.








Q: Since Jesus had an earthly mother, Mary, is it possible to trace the family lineagẻ

A: That would be easy, if we had her lineage and an accurate record of the lineage of Jews living in ancient Palestinẹ All of that was lost, if it ever existed, when the Romans burned Galilee and Judaea in the First Great Jewish War (66-74). Jesus' genealogy is found only in Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38, and it would be wonderful if they had agreed.



More answers on pages 1 2 3 4


visitor  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, May 23, 2001 9:35:22 AM(UTC)
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James H. Charlesworth is a professor of New Testament language and literature and director of the Dead Sea Scrolls Project at Princeton Theological Seminarỵ His teaching interests include early Judaism and Christian origins, with special attention to Jesus research. An ordained minister in the United Methodist Church, Dr. Charlesworth has written or edited more than 50 books and 400 articles.

More answers on pages: 1 2 3 4


• Did Jesus have siblings?

• Why don't we know anything about the two "lost" periods of Jesus' lifẻ

• How can we verify Jesus' existencẻ












Q: Did Jesus have siblings?

A: According to Mark 6:3 Jesus had four brothers and some sisters. The brothers were named James, Joses, Judas and Simon. We know only that Jesus had at least two sisters; the number and names are not supplied by any Evangelist or Paul. Some experts prefer "cousin" or "half brother" for the Greek word adelphos, but that word primarily means "brother," so the reasons for a different translation is theology (to protect the concept of the Virgin Birth).








Q: Why don't we know anything about the two "lost" periods of Jesus' life — the years when he was a teen-ager and in his 20s? How did he support himself?

A: Only Luke contains the data that Jesus was in the temple at 12 (Luke 2:42) and that he began his ministry when he was about 30 (Luke 3:23). He may have supplied the former, because Jesus was a Jew and should be in Jerusalem for his bar mitzvah. The age of 30 may have seemed to Luke like a convenient date for Jesus' maturity as a scholar. The other gospels (Matthew, Mark and John) do not contain anything like Lukés report. We should ask about Lukés motives for ađing these details.


The best way to discern what Jesus was doing before his public ministry, whatever age he may have been, is to study what is said about him when he begins his ministrỵ He knows a lot about the Bible and Jewish laws. He must have been focused for years on studying the sacred traditions in Judaism — perhaps alone or with the guidance of others. Many experts think that John the Baptist may have been his teacher; the support for that conclusion is found in John 1:29-42, 3:22-4:3.


According to the Evangelists Jesus and his group were supported by others.








Q: How can we verify Jesus' existence as a human being who lived 2,000 years ago in an obscure corner of the Roman Empirẻ I mean, beyond simply referring to scripturẻ

A: Many Christians seem startled to hear that we scholars are almost unanimously agreed that Jesus lived. First, Josephus (the first-century historian) refers to Jesus [see Charlesworth, Jesus Within Judaism]. Second, along with Josephus, the Roman historians report that Pontius Pilate had Jesus crucified. Finally, in "scripture" there are non-faith statements; for example, Jesus' enemies claimed he performed miracles because he had a demon. Thus, they affirmed he performed miracles; and if he did he must have lived to do sọ


It takes more faith not to believe that Jesus lived than to accept it as a fact, but what kind of "faith" would that bẻ Also, be careful about calling ancient Palestine "an obscure corner of the Roman Empirẹ" The man who in 68 burned Qumran (the source of the Dead Sea Scrolls) was called home immediately to be the Roman emperor. The man who burned Jerusalem in 70 was none other than the next Roman emperor. Jerusalem and Caesarea Maritima were "metropolises" in Jesus' time; few cities could compete with them in grandeur. Research proves that Jesus' Judaism was amazingly alive, creative and advanced.


More answers on pages: 1 2 3 4


visitor  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, May 23, 2001 9:36:57 AM(UTC)
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James H. Charlesworth is a professor of New Testament language and literature and director of the Dead Sea Scrolls Project at Princeton Theological Seminarỵ His teaching interests include early Judaism and Christian origins, with special attention to Jesus research. An ordained minister in the United Methodist Church, Dr. Charlesworth has written or edited more than 50 books and 400 articles.

More answers on pages: 1 2 3 4


• How did you start doing research about Jesus?

• Is the Shroud of Turin authentic?

• What ever happened to Joseph?

• Do we know anything about Jesus' and Joseph's relationship?










Q: How did you start doing research about Jesus? How did you become interested in this subject?

A: Thanks for your interest. Origins, especially when they are personal, are almost always lost in the mists of timẹ When I was 14, living in Delray Beach, Flạ, I became fascinated with the Dead Sea Scrolls. I wanted to invest my life in what I could evaluate on my deathbed as worthwhilẹ I was emotionally drawn to the spiritual side of the church, but found that institution filled with men who were stifling and full of answers to questions that had never been honestly confronted. I never dreamed I would become a professor, let alone the director of the Princeton Dead Sea Scrolls Project. Kierkegaard was correct to exhort that purity of heart is to will one thing (and so did Pete Maravich and Michael Jordan).








Q: What do you think about the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin? Could this truly be Jesus' burial cloth?

A: From the beginning of work on the Shroud of Turin I surmised that this cloth dated from about the 13th centurỵ It could not be taken, with confidence, back beyond that date, and this period is one of fabricating relics with great skill. The carbon dating tends to suggest a date not far from that centurỵ I wonder if it is possible that the person on it was a Christian who was crucified in a mocking waỷ I must confess that such research belongs to others; my focus and area of specialization is the first century C.Ẹ








Q: What ever happened to Joseph? Was he living when Jesus died on the cross?

A: A good question. Perhaps the question is better than any answer to it. Joseph just disappears after the birth stories. Does that mean he died, as some scholars have suggested? The author of the Gospel of John reports that Jesus went to Capernaum "with his mother and his brothers and his disciples" (2:12). Where is Joseph? Should we assume that Jesus' sisters also went along with him (cf. Mark 6:3)? No one can answer your question since the New Testament does not continue the answers you want.








Q: Do we know anything else about Jesus' and Joseph's relationship other than working together as carpenters?

A: The Greek word translated as "carpenter" really means "builder," and that would include a stone mason. The source for this information is Mark 6:3, which implies that Jesus was a tekton, a "builder." There is a major variant to the Greek of Mark 6:3; according to it Jesus is the son of a builder. If this is historically accurate, we know only that Jesus had a father who was a builder.


Some psychobiographers have had a field day with Jesus' relationship with his father. If Jesus lost his father early, does that explain why he chose "Father" as his favorite ađress to God?



More answers on pages: 1 2 3 4


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#4 Posted : Wednesday, May 23, 2001 9:38:17 AM(UTC)
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James H. Charlesworth is a professor of New Testament language and literature and director of the Dead Sea Scrolls Project at Princeton Theological Seminarỵ His teaching interests include early Judaism and Christian origins, with special attention to Jesus research. An ordained minister in the United Methodist Church, Dr. Charlesworth has written or edited more than 50 books and 400 articles.

More answers on pages: 1 2 3 4


• Is there any historical evidence supporting Jesus' "miracles"?

• Can you suggest a "must read" list?

• Just exactly what are the Dead Sea Scrolls?

• Did Jesus ever write anything himself?









Q: Is there any significant, independent historical evidence that supports any of the numerous "miracles" that Jesus performed, as detailed in the synoptic gospels?

A: In Josephus' account, probably in the sections that reliably derive from this first-century historian, we learn that Jesus "was one who wrought surprising feats ... " Jesus most likely performed miracles, since his opponents — according to the New Testament — did not deny this fact; they claimed that he did them because he had a demon.








Q: Can you suggest a "must read" list for an interested lay person who wishes to understand the main debates in current historical Jesus scholarship?
A: See the following: Charlesworth, Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls [Doubleday]; Charlesworth and W. Weaver, eds., Images of Jesus Today [Trinity Press International]; and Charlesworth and W. Weaver, eds., Jesus Two Thousand Years Later [Trinity Press International]. The last two books contain publications by the leading scholars.








Q: Just exactly what are the Dead Sea Scrolls? What new information have they revealed about Jesus?

A: The Dead Sea Scrolls are leather and papyrus rolls held and read by Jesus' contemporaries. They were found in 11 caves west of the Dead Seạ They help us understand many of Jesus' sayings, terms and concepts. They also help us grasp the spirit of his times.

For more information, see the contributions in Charlesworth, ed., Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls [Doubleday]; also, see Charlesworth, The Dead Sea Scrolls: Rule of the Community [Continuum Pub Group]. The latter contains photographs of the community in which many of the Dead Sea Scrolls were copied or composed, and a color photograph, with transcription and translation, of the most important of the scrolls.








Q: Did Jesus ever write anything himself? If so, are there any records of his writings? Also, how can it be possible for the disciples of Jesus to have remembered what he said so many years after his death?

A: The only evidence that Jesus wrote anything is what he wrote on the sand, according to John 7:53-8:11 (and that passage is not found in our early manuscripts). Most scholars do not think that Jesus' disciples wrote the four canonical gospels; they claim that later followers of Jesus composed these gospels. If so, they worked from oral traditions and some tracts or lists of sayings or miracles. It is not an easy to task to discern what Jesus actually said. That is the task of Jesus research. I and many other New Testament scholars conclude that we do have a pretty good idea of what Jesus' fundamental message was and how it fits into the Judaism of his timẹ


JamesMatt  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, May 23, 2001 1:47:47 PM(UTC)
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“pre-eminent biblical scholar Dr. James Charlesworth of the Princeton Theological Seminary “ chuckled! I AIN’T impressed with “Dr.” James Charlesworth of Princeton Theological Seminarỵ Nhưng dù sao bài này vẫn còn hay hơn xa ca’i bài viết “Sưu Tầm” của Giao Điểm.

The following passages excerpt from http://www.wts.edu/general/historỵhtml This is a part of history explained how Westminster Theological Seminary(WTS) formed bởI vì trong qua’ khư’ trường WTS này từ bỏ Princeton Theological Seminarỵ
…..
.."When formal theological seminaries were organized, one of the first to be formed was the Theological Seminary of the Presbyterian Church at Princeton, New Jersey, where instruction began in 1812. A remarkable feature of the school at Princeton was the continuity of the intellectual and spiritual outlook which characterized the institution. Founded by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, the seminary held to the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms as its doctrinal standards.
Princeton's first professor was one of Americás ablest theologians, Archibald Alexander. From his day onward, Princeton showed a line of distinguished teachers who devoted themselves vigorously and effectively to the development, propagation and maintenance of the Reformed faith. In opposition to the New England and New School theology, the institution adhered with foresight and integrity to the scriptural system of the Old School theologỵ A line of distinguished theological periodicals was edited by members of the Princeton facultỵ Among those who were best known as teachers of the great scriptural system of theology set forth by the successors of Archibald Alexander were Charles Hodge, J. Ạ Alexander, B. B. Warfield and J. Gresham Machen (pictured above) In the days of the last two, a movement designed to bring to an end the adherence of Princeton to the scriptural theology which had made her great began to gain ground increasinglỵ Finally, in 1929, a coalition of modernist and indifferentist forces in the Presbyterian Church in the ỤS.Ạ accomplished the reorganization of Princeton Theological Seminarỵ Its new board of control included two signers of the modernist Auburn Affirmation of 1924. "

(Sau biê’n cô’ năm 1929 cho tơ’I nay, trường Princeton Theological Seminary trở thành một trường thần học liberal, chẳng còn gì gọi là “trong tră‘ng” trong thần học nữa (lờI của JM))
" But there were at Princeton many lovers of the old biblical faith. They included a majority of the faculty and many members of the student bodỵ Among those who had been teaching at Princeton and who loved the Reformed faith were Robert Dick Wilson, J. Gresham Machen, Oswald T. Allis and Cornelius Van Til. As a result of their faith and loyalty it was determined to continue the teaching of the biblical faith which Princeton had so nobly upheld for nearly a century and a quarter. Almost immediately after the reorganization, therefore, Westminster Theological Seminary was founded in Philadelphia and the four men just named, with others who were invited to join the teaching staff, continued the exposition and defense of that great body of biblical truth which the old Princeton had loved and sent forth throughout the earth.
Westminster prospered increasingly, but this made her the object of frequent attack from the opponents of her faith. Her militant defense and propagation of the truth resulted in criticism and opposition. Westminster has remained constant, however, in her loyalty to the Bible and to the systematic exposition of biblical truth which is known as the Reformed faith. To her has been committed a noble trust which she honors and reveres. Her foundation is the infallible Scriptures. Her constitution prescribes the following pledge for every voting member of the faculty: ........."
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#6 Posted : Wednesday, May 23, 2001 4:22:15 PM(UTC)
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Sigh_Mo

Graceful  
#7 Posted : Thursday, May 24, 2001 1:34:57 AM(UTC)
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Study about Jesus' life is an old storỵ
So many scholars and theologians have spent their live to study about Bible and Jesus' teaching.
The thing is what are you looking for when you try to understand Biblẻ
A person seeks for Faith will find Faith.
Those who seek for something wrong in the Bible will find so many ridiculous things, so many questionable things in the so-called Holy books.
Therefore, it's a matter of WHO YOU ARẸ
It's really not a matter of WHO JESUS IS.

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