I'm sure it's been discussed to death in this very forum, but I can see nothing on the first few pages and have decided that it's a subject which
deserves a fresh discussion.
Mainstream Christianity says that Jesus was born to Mary, a virgin, by means of immaculate conception. Jesus was capable of creating great miracles,
of walking on water, of feeding vast scores of people on just a little bit of food, of curing the sickly and blind. According to the Bible, he was
crucified in or around Jerusalem and his corpse was sealed in a tomb, as was the custom at the time. Couple days later, BAM! Jesus is back, seemingly
alive, with at least one apostle claiming to have felt his wounds.
Lots of atheists say that Christ never lived, or that if he did live, he was a famous faith healer and rabble rowser and nothing more.
Personally, I believe that Jesus was born to Mary, by means of regular conception. Perhaps she was raped by a Roman soldier named Pandera, the shame
of which could have driven her to tell her son and convince her relatives that God had impregnated her.
When you start to look beyond the scriptures, past the thousands of years of dogma, interesting things start to become clear.
There are contemporary descriptions of an individual or individuals named Jesus, although the Church refuses to believe that they apply to the Jesus
of scripture. There's a lot of evidence pointing both ways, and any written records from the time of Christ are scarce.
I don't believe that Jesus was the Son of God, I'm not even so sure that God exists. I believe that Jesus lived, although not as described as in the
gospels. I think that he probably was a Rabbi or just a great preacher or philosopher who attracted crowds and developed some degree of fame.
A cult of personality formed around him, eventually resulting the New Testament.
Really, with so little proof outside of the Bible, it comes down to personal belief. It's a matter of faith.
Edited to add obligatory Wiki links:
[edit on 31-1-2009 by Monger]