Sertorio wrote: ↑
Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:23 am
cassowary wrote: ↑
Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:11 pm
Actually collective punishment is effective though unjust on the innocent. In a mutiny or riot or poisoning it is not possible to tell who the guilty are. So you punish all to be sure that the guilty does not escape justice.
This deters crime. The Roman attitude was “better to let 100 innocent die than to let one guilty person escape.”
But Christianity raised the value of human life. So nowadays, it’s “better to let 100 guilty escape justice than to let one innocent man die.”
The security and safety of the state was more important than any individual. That’s the Roman attitude.
Without Christianity, modern Europeans would be watching bloody gladiatorial combats on TV. So low was the regard to human lives, the Romans had.
This is dedicated to you, Cass, and to Neverfail:
Totally by accident I came across a book by Dr. Johannes Lehmann, "Rabbi J"
which I have found extremely interesting, from an historical point of view. Lehmann's idea is that the historical Jesus was a devout Jew, probably associated to the Essene Jewish sect in Qumran, who dedicated his life to two objectives:
1. Restoring the true Jewish faith
2. Freeing the Jews from Roman domination
What we know as Christianity was Paul's work, not the work of Jesus.
The whole book is very well documented, very well written, and very convincing. I'm sure that both of you would enjoy reading it.
I have (of course) not had the opportunity to read this book yet the books title seems to say it all:
1. I have previously pointed out on this website that Jesus was a devout Jew whose precepts were coloured by the Jewish culture he was born into. Yet ironically He often found that gentiles he encountered along the way were more receptive to his message than many of his fellow-Jewry.
2. Jesus was indeed strongly influenced by the Essenes. if you know anything about this sect and there ways then this stands out. However, Jesus differed from the Essenes in a significent way. Whereas members of this monastic order believed in withdrawing from the world
, its cares and preoccupations to remote locations in the wilderness in order to acheive spiritual purity in isolation: Chirst saw his mission as one of carrying God's influence and message into society at large in order to confront evil head-on. Given the establishment Jewish practice of the time of shunning, ostracising perceived sinners Jesus was very much going against conventional Jewish precept and practice prevailing at the time.
3. The 4 evangelists who wrote the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, were NOT Paul. Paul (Saint Paul
to Catholics and Orthodox Christians - only the protestant reformmation demoted him by denying him his sainthood
) only wrote the epistles
- normally considered by Biblical scholars to be
a lesser source of insight.
4. Christ's mission was indeed to restore to restore the Jewish faith: by liberateing it from a moribund body of religious legalism bound by countless, man made, rules and regulations (teased over the centuries from out of the original 10 Commandments) to turn it into a free body of believers moved by The Holy Spirit. Of course it eventually bought Him into conflict with the Jewish religious authorities who liked the legalistic Jewism they were used to as it gave them their POWER. But freeing the Jews from Roman domination? NO!
Sertorio - freeing the Jews from the talons of the Roman peace
was an aspiration widespread in Jewish society at the time: so much so that it led to widespread massiahism
and periodic uprisings against Roman rule; all of which ended disasterously. Christ apparently realised that Roman rule was here to stay for generations to come and did not encourage opposition to it among his disciples:
"Render that which its Caesar's unto Caesar and to God that which is God's
The trouble with conventional Jews of the day is that they saw the ridding of Roman rule necessary because the Romans, like all other Gentiles, were perceived to have been unclean pagans
. So it followed that belonging to their empire threatened all righteous Jews with contamination from and by their sins. (Righteous, establishment Jews of the day must have been really "up themselves
" with pride like that -and Christ must have correctly seen that this would be their downfall.) Christ's mission as far as his fellow Jewry was concerned was to bring these back into God's grace - which he saw conventional Jewish belief and practice of his time as having failed to do.
Why? Because were Jewish society and civilisation to survive the centuries to come within a Roman world it would only do so via God's grace and blessing.