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Chrestos or Christos

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posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 05:43 AM
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One of the biggest arguments that Christians have with other faiths is the standing of Jesus within his historical community. How was he perceived by others of the time?
The New Testament reinforces Jesus' authority by referring to him as "Christos" - the Messiah" but there is evidence that his title may have been "Chrestos - the Good".
If this is the case, did the editors of the New Testament harm Jesus' cause and the new religion of Christianity? By claiming Jesus to be the Jewish Messiah, did they not halt the universality of Christianity? The Jewish faith would not accept a Messiah, but maybe they would have accepted the "Chrestos".

So, what's in a name? Jesus Chrestos or Jesus Christos? The implications are huge.

www.tyndale.cam.ac.uk...

Was Christos adopted to distance Christianity from paganism?




posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 05:48 AM
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Other languages are Cristo, Criste,..... i think most mean Christ.



posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 08:07 AM
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from the link

The Greeks used both the word Messias (a transliteration) and Christos (a translation) for the Hebrew Mashiach (Anointed). The word Christos was far more acceptable to the pagans who were worshiping Chreston and Chrestos.[...]the inscription Chrestos is to be seen on a Mithras relief in the Vatican. According to Christianity and Mythology, Osiris, the Sun-deity of Egypt, was reverenced as Chrestos. In the Synagogue of the Marcionites on Mount Hermon, built in the third century A.D., the Messiah's title is spelled Chrestos. According to Tertullian and Lactantius, the common people usually called Christ Chrestos

Interesting, however this means little more than that people tended to use the word Christos instead of Messias, merely because they were more comfortable with the sound 'christos'. Similar to how the Pope is the Pope, just like, as I have heard, the big man of the mithraic religion in rome was also 'il papa'.

Jesus is pretty clearly laid out as the 'annointed one who will save israel' in the gospels, irrespective of, literally, semantics.



posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 08:19 AM
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Originally posted by Nygdan

Interesting, however this means little more than that people tended to use the word Christos instead of Messias, merely because they were more comfortable with the sound 'christos'.
Jesus is pretty clearly laid out as the 'annointed one who will save israel' in the gospels, irrespective of, literally, semantics.


That's my point. They didn't use the word "Christos". They used "Chrestos" - a word that was around a long time before Christianity began.
I would also argue that semantics have a huge part to play here. If Jesus was not known as "The Christ" but as "The Good", wouldn't it have changed the impact he had on other religions? And although I do agree with you that Jesus would seem to be the "annointed one" within the scriptures, doesn't the stripping away of the title "Chrestos" and replacing it with "Christos" deny him some appeal to followers of other religions?

What I'm asking is why replace one word with another that could potentially cause more harm?



posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 09:07 AM
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Ah, I think I understand. Not sure if it'd cause more harm tho, you are saying that christos is putting it in a jewish context, an unfamiliar context with less appeal than 'the good'. But so much of the other stuff in the gospels is built on jewishness. There definitly was a struggle between jews and non-jews in christianity tho.

The people that were writting the gospels seemed to be all about the jewishness aspect, their emphasising christos instead of chrestos might just be because they wanted to be 'correct'. And then once it was solidified in scripture, the populist-paganish chrestos faded out of usage.

Not sure how the usage of chrestos in that synagoge fits into this tho. Presumably a synagoge would be frequented by jews, to whom the chrestos appellation wouldn't appeal to. But then again we'd expect to see chrestos used in graffiti and 'popular' usage like that (just not necessarily amoung jews).



posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 09:15 AM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
Not sure how the usage of chrestos in that synagoge fits into this tho. Presumably a synagoge would be frequented by jews, to whom the chrestos appellation wouldn't appeal to.


I'm with you on that one.
Strangely it was a Christian synagogue run by a Christian gnostic sect. And quite a powerful one at that.

www.newadvent.org...

New Advent calls them "perhaps the most dangerous foe Christianity has ever known".
The website is undoubtedly bias but it may give an indication about how Chrestos was possibly wiped out to be replaced with Christos. Maybe the name change came about in the war between gnosticism and orthodoxy?



posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 11:47 AM
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The Old Testament is true enough, Moses and the Prophets are messengers of the Demiurge, the Jewish Messias is sure to come and found a millennial kingdom for the Jews on earth, but the Jewish messias has nothing whatever to do with the Christ of God.

Intersting.


I allways find it difficult to reconile heresy when its in opposition to what we at least think the apostles were all about. It seems that this Marcion rejects most apostles and strongly favours Paul.

WHich is interesting from the dualist perspective, since, I think, most dualists favour Paul, and I think one group are called "Paullines"


As far as the name change, it still seems obvious that christos is the original name, and that the usage of chrestos was a populism, a fad, so to speak. Something that made christianity more familiar to the pagan public, like having saints and churches on pagan shrines.

These marcians seem to call the supreme god the 'good god', so perhaps chrestos was a triple meaning for them, a play on christos and chrestos as sounds, and also a reference to the 'good god'.

Tho this page seems to quote them as using "agathos theos", the 'rightly god', so perhaps they wouldn't be using chrestos because of that.

Also, it seems that these marcians recognize christ as, while not messiah of jewish lore, still as God.

I like this line:

To Marcion however Christ was God Manifest not God Incarnate

REminiscent of how the orthodox faith and early church fathers had to consider if christ had a Nature of Man or a nature of God, while still acceptinbg that either way 'christ is god', etc.

Often the whole 'dualistic' bit gets taken as meaing 'jesus is just this guy, see', so its especially interesting to see it as 'well of course he's god".

What would help your idea I think is to find a group that doesn't beleive in the divinity of christ and refer to him as chrestos.



posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 12:11 PM
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Originally posted by Nygdan

The Old Testament is true enough, Moses and the Prophets are messengers of the Demiurge, the Jewish Messias is sure to come and found a millennial kingdom for the Jews on earth, but the Jewish messias has nothing whatever to do with the Christ of God.

Intersting.


I allways find it difficult to reconile heresy when its in opposition to what we at least think the apostles were all about. It seems that this Marcion rejects most apostles and strongly favours Paul.

WHich is interesting from the dualist perspective, since, I think, most dualists favour Paul, and I think one group are called "Paullines"


As far as the name change, it still seems obvious that christos is the original name, and that the usage of chrestos was a populism, a fad, so to speak. Something that made christianity more familiar to the pagan public, like having saints and churches on pagan shrines.

These marcians seem to call the supreme god the 'good god', so perhaps chrestos was a triple meaning for them, a play on christos and chrestos as sounds, and also a reference to the 'good god'.

Tho this page seems to quote them as using "agathos theos", the 'rightly god', so perhaps they wouldn't be using chrestos because of that.

Also, it seems that these marcians recognize christ as, while not messiah of jewish lore, still as God.

I like this line:

To Marcion however Christ was God Manifest not God Incarnate

REminiscent of how the orthodox faith and early church fathers had to consider if christ had a Nature of Man or a nature of God, while still acceptinbg that either way 'christ is god', etc.

Often the whole 'dualistic' bit gets taken as meaing 'jesus is just this guy, see', so its especially interesting to see it as 'well of course he's god".

What would help your idea I think is to find a group that doesn't beleive in the divinity of christ and refer to him as chrestos.


'Christos' or 'Chrestos' is the same...it means the one assigned with the task. In Greek:

ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ



posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 04:18 PM
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Originally posted by Leveller
By claiming Jesus to be the Jewish Messiah, did they not halt the universality of Christianity? The Jewish faith would not accept a Messiah, but maybe they would have accepted the "Chrestos".

So, what's in a name? Jesus Chrestos or Jesus Christos?
[...]Was Christos adopted to distance Christianity from paganism?


not Jesus Chretos...

Christos was only ever used because it means Anointed One
it does NOT carry the same connotation as Messiah

HIS Name is YAHSHUA (YAHVEH's Salvation)

YAHSHUA Ha MASIYACH
journals.aol.com...

Christmas, transubstansiation, Easter... are ALL Pagan.
...Christianity assimilated in the 3rd century to became the pagan empire religion



posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 04:11 PM
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Originally posted by Leveller
They didn't use the word "Christos". They used "Chrestos" - a word that was around a long time before Christianity began.


You need to document who precisely used this word, and in which texts this usage is recorded.

Candidly I think you have fallen into a misunderstanding. But look it up and see.

All the best,

Roger Pearse



posted on Dec, 3 2005 @ 12:06 AM
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On a purely linguistic level (being that of the NT Greek):

χρηστός is 'chrestos' and it means (as has been noted already):

employed, that is, (by implication) useful (in manner or morals): - better, easy, good (-ness), gracious, kind

and it comes from the word 'chraomai' which means 'to furnish what is needed.'

So, 'chrestos' describes that which, to me, brings forth the idea of 'magnanimous'. While this is only the word which comes to my mind and is therefore not a directly translatable 'fact'--I was somewhat surprised to find that the 'official' dictionary definition of 'magnanimous' is:

1. Courageously noble in mind and heart.
2. Generous in forgiving; eschewing resentment or revenge; unselfish


from the roots 'magnus' for 'great' and 'animus' for 'soul.'

Then we have:

Χριστός which is 'Christos' and which literally means:

one who has been consecrated (usually by manner of christening or anointing with oil) to an office or religious service; one who has been anointed.

This is a word which is correctly and directly translated as 'Messiah'--which, in the Hebrew, is 'mashiyach'

which means:
anointed; usually a consecrated person (as a king, priest, or saint);

and which comes from the word 'mashach'


meaning:
to rub with oil, that is, to anoint; by implication to consecrate.

Back to 'chrestos'--it is found in the NT in the following verses:

  • Matthew 11:30
    For my yoke is easy (chrestos), and my burden is light.
  • Luke 5:39
    No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better (chrestos).
  • Luke 6:35
    But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind (chrestos) unto the unthankful and to the evil.
  • Romans 2:4
    Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness (chrestos) of God leadeth thee to repentance?
  • 1 Corinthians 15:33
    Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good (chrestos) manners.
  • Ephesians 4:32
    And be ye kind (chrestos) one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
  • 1 Peter 2:3
    If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious (chrestos).


I think any confusion between the words 'chrestos' and 'Christos' must surely be rooted in either misunderstanding or poor translation of some sort.

Not that there isn't inherent value in the opening post's statement of:


If this is the case, did the editors of the New Testament harm Jesus' cause and the new religion of Christianity?


I just don't think the root causes or evidences lie in the confusion of these two words--although I do see the point of the given website, I don't see the use in the NT being questionable as far as being unclear or potentially questionable....

From a point of view focused on nothing other than word usage/accurate vocabulary/translation, I think the problem lies outside of the scriptures, in this case.



posted on Dec, 5 2005 @ 05:29 AM
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Originally posted by queenannie38
I think any confusion between the words 'chrestos' and 'Christos' must surely be rooted in either misunderstanding or poor translation of some sort.


The confusion is an ancient one, however, since Tertullian (Apologeticum) refers to people calling names at Christians, while not being sure whether to say Christian or Chrestian.

Similarly UK papers used to sneer at 'evangelists' while meaning 'evangelicals' (a term unfamiliar to UK journalists 15 years ago).

The more familiar word is confused with the less. This would be more acute in a less literate society.

All the best,

Roger Pearse



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