Jesus Christ exiled instead of crucified

I got this AH idea from watching Pasion of the Christ. The Romans (well Pontius Pilate at least) didn't really want to have Jesus executed, but were pressured into it by the Jerusalem Temple priests and their followers. What if Pilate had decided that it would've been better to banish Jesus from Judea (or whatever the client kingdom was called at that time), on pain of death should he return, instead of having him executed? I wonder where Jesus would've gone and how he would've continued his mission. How would've Christianity developed? My guess is that at least the crucifix wouldn't become the Christian symbol.

Fundamentalist Christians will probably react to this AH idea by saying that Jesus Christ's execution was by God's will, but I'm coming from a secular perspective, yet assuming the events detailed in the movie (bar the visions of Satan and other supernatural scenes) were correct in OTL.
 
He would become just another wanderer in the desert, whether he went to Egypt or Syria it would probably be the same. There were quite a few such IIRC

Grey Wolf
 
BRT said:
I got this AH idea from watching Pasion of the Christ. The Romans (well Pontius Pilate at least) didn't really want to have Jesus executed, but were pressured into it by the Jerusalem Temple priests and their followers. What if Pilate had decided that it would've been better to banish Jesus from Judea (or whatever the client kingdom was called at that time), on pain of death should he return, instead of having him executed? I wonder where Jesus would've gone and how he would've continued his mission. How would've Christianity developed? My guess is that at least the crucifix wouldn't become the Christian symbol.

Fundamentalist Christians will probably react to this AH idea by saying that Jesus Christ's execution was by God's will, but I'm coming from a secular perspective, yet assuming the events detailed in the movie (bar the visions of Satan and other supernatural scenes) were correct in OTL.
I would say that if he were exiled, he might become legendary in some regions as a wandering prophet. Not all that different from John the Baptist. Lacking the epxected crucifiction, his teaching might evolve into something along the lines of Islamic beliefs, but along Jewish lines of history and thought. BTW, I'm a Christian :) Just thought I would help bust the stereotype.
 

NapoleonXIV

Banned
BRT said:
I got this AH idea from watching Pasion of the Christ. The Romans (well Pontius Pilate at least) didn't really want to have Jesus executed, but were pressured into it by the Jerusalem Temple priests and their followers.
Which is precisely why the film has been accused of anti-Semitism. Pilate, far from being a manipulated bureaucrat, was noted as among the more vindictive and brutal Roman governors of the time. The Romans in any case were not known for being easily pushed into doing anything. The Temple priests could easily have executed Jesus for blasphemy themselves by stoning but didn't, instead he was crucified, a punishment the Romans reserved for seditionists. Many contemporary historians believe Jesus was killed almost totally on Roman orders and may have been defended by the Pharisees, a view given no time at all in Gibson's movie.
 

Susano

Banned
Jeuss probably was a pahrisse himself, who happened to be the religious intelelctuals of the times. He and his fellow pharisees just discussed tehology, it seems.
 
IMHO, he'd probably return and meet his fate; it's not important if he was Son of God, as long as he believed in this.
 
OT- this is not my field, but who knows what he believed? I've seen it argued that a claim to be the Messiah was in no way a claim to divine status. The word, apparently, simply means "anointed one" and implied kingship. Politically dangerous while the Romans were around, but in no sense a blasphemy against the Jewish faith of the time. Only later did it attach connotations of divinity. But I'm willing to be corrected by anyone who's an authority in this area.
 
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"Which is precisely why the film has been accused of anti-Semitism. Pilate, far from being a manipulated bureaucrat, was noted as among the more vindictive and brutal Roman governors of the time."

True. Pilate probably didn't NEED that much pressure...he was probably a crucify-first-ask-later type. However, there was probably pressure; why would a Roman governor really give a rat's rear end about a theological dispute among the subject peoples?
 

Dunash

Banned
From an Orthodox Jewish perspective, Maimonides writes that all though there can be no greater error than Christianity, it is part of the Divine Plan, whereby the gentiles have preserved the idea that the Messiah is a Jew, and spread it around the world. So that eventually, when the true Messiah appears, people will say "We may have backed the wrong guy, but we told you he would be a Jew all along!".

http://www.shmuley.com/

Where Christianity differs from Judaism is that in addition to claiming that a wayward Jewish rabbinical student who died 2000 years ago was the Messiah, that he was actually the incarnation and corporification of the Creator.
 
As far as I can make out (and I'll admit there are many subjects that I find of far greater interest) one argument is that the Gospels portray Jesus as being crucified on a political charge, the Romans being fooled into this by the Jews who want him dead because of his blasphemies. However, the truth is that a claim to Messiahdom would not in itself be blasphemous, nor would the promise to destroy and rebuild the Temple. What the religious authorities objected to in Jesus was the fact that a claim to being the Messiah implied the end of the existing political set up and they were doing very nicely under the Romans. In other words, Jesus was executed for political reasons, not religious.
 

Susano

Banned
That is what the bible tells. But the gospels were written to BE roman-friendly, for reasons of missionary activities.
 
BRT said:
I got this AH idea from watching Pasion of the Christ. The Romans (well Pontius Pilate at least) didn't really want to have Jesus executed, but were pressured into it by the Jerusalem Temple priests and their followers. What if Pilate had decided that it would've been better to banish Jesus from Judea (or whatever the client kingdom was called at that time), on pain of death should he return, instead of having him executed? I wonder where Jesus would've gone and how he would've continued his mission. How would've Christianity developed? My guess is that at least the crucifix wouldn't become the Christian symbol.

Fundamentalist Christians will probably react to this AH idea by saying that Jesus Christ's execution was by God's will, but I'm coming from a secular perspective, yet assuming the events detailed in the movie (bar the visions of Satan and other supernatural scenes) were correct in OTL.
You assume that there was ever a Jesus, or that even if there was, that there could be a trial of such depiction. I won't be the first to suggest that the tales were woven to create a founding figure for a religion that had already existed by the 1st century CE, nor will I be the first to suggest that the manner in which the story is told, and the manner of the "trial" makes no sense given either Jewish tradition or even Roman.
 
BRT said:
I got this AH idea from watching Pasion of the Christ. The Romans (well Pontius Pilate at least) didn't really want to have Jesus executed, but were pressured into it by the Jerusalem Temple priests and their followers. What if Pilate had decided that it would've been better to banish Jesus from Judea (or whatever the client kingdom was called at that time), on pain of death should he return, instead of having him executed? I wonder where Jesus would've gone and how he would've continued his mission. How would've Christianity developed? My guess is that at least the crucifix wouldn't become the Christian symbol.

Fundamentalist Christians will probably react to this AH idea by saying that Jesus Christ's execution was by God's will, but I'm coming from a secular perspective, yet assuming the events detailed in the movie (bar the visions of Satan and other supernatural scenes) were correct in OTL.
Isn't the answer obvious? He would've taken Mary Magdalene with him to Marsilia and their children would become a line of French Kings.

LOL
 
The Jewish historian Josephus (who wrote a book about the 66 AD revolt) tells of how, in either 61 or 62 AD, "James, brother of Jesus, the so-called Messiah," was killed (I can't remember how...I think he was either stoned or chucked off the roof of the Temple).

Therefore, someone named Jesus existed who claimed to be the Messiah in the 1st Century, and that James the apostle was associated with him to some degree. Josephus wasn't exactly sympathetic to Christianity, so this isn't propaganda.
 
Dunash,

The Jesus Seminar, which in many cases seems rather skeptical of orthodox Christianity, cited that passage from Josephus on their web-site.

However, your sources raise some interesting arguments. I will have to investigate further.
 

NapoleonXIV

Banned
Matt Quinn said:
"Which is precisely why the film has been accused of anti-Semitism. Pilate, far from being a manipulated bureaucrat, was noted as among the more vindictive and brutal Roman governors of the time."

True. Pilate probably didn't NEED that much pressure...he was probably a crucify-first-ask-later type. However, there was probably pressure; why would a Roman governor really give a rat's rear end about a theological dispute among the subject peoples?
Because the theological disputes of this particular subject people often involved the religious necessity of driving the Romans into the sea with fire and sword. An attempt to do so was the reason he was there in the first place, I believe. If a 'holy man' were to come into Jerusalem at the head of a throng and then cause a major disturbance at the Temple the Pharisees and Sanhedrin both would probably not be able to prevent his arrest.

The evidence for a historical Jesus is indeed thin, but it equals or exceeds the evidence for many other figures we accept. That a great amount of what we regard his teachings was grafted on later from or to already existing movements is accepted to some extent even by staunch Christians.

If Jesus was exiled he might find his way to whatever part of the Hellenistic world (Greece, I think) was being startled by the miracles of Simon Magus. He tells his sad story to this master showman and becomes an apprentice. The pair travels the world over and pick up one other, a certain Saul of Tarsus, who worked for the Romans in Judea but always wanted to be an entertainer. The trio now refine their act into a truly death defying series of tricks, miracles and 'healings' that wows audiences from Londinium to Ctesiphon. Soon, while S&J are 'converting' the local bimbos in the parlors Saul is in the back room writing the story of their miraculous youth. This novel becomes a best seller (25 copies sold in the first week alone :rolleyes: ) and sparks a movement. I'd go further but this lightning bolt in my shoulder is just so damned annoying :D
 
A few thoughts ....

I have heard it argued that the Gospels are written in such a way as to free the Romans from blame because Christianity still had to operate within the confines of the Roman Empire and if it were to gain any acceptance at all it could not blame the Romans.

Personally I tend to believe that Caiphus wanted Jesus dead because he presented a potential threat to his (Caiphus's) control over the population. Caiphus wanted to make an example of Jesus. Kind of a "challenge me and not only will you die, but you'll die in a most horrific way".

Pilate was a brute who had men killed in horrific ways for very little. He had twice been warned by Rome to curb his brutality. Of course Caiphus had no way of knowing that Pilate had been warned to curb his brutality and so he presents Jesus, insisting he's a traitor, and hoping Pilate will just crucify him because that's what Pilate did. Pilate's initial preference for leniency probably was not born out of sympathy for Jesus or a belief in justice but rather out of fear for his own hide with Rome.

Had Jesus been exiled I suspect he would have gone on to preach elsewhere. Eventually, like most of his Apostles, he would have met a bloody and horrific end.
 
My (somewhat liberal) Christian take.

First off, claims that Christ may not even have existed strains Occam's razor in many ways. One has to accept a conspiracy theory that Josephus was tampered with. More importantly, it is hard to accept that a small sect of Judaism would ever have spread so fast and become the state church of the Roman Empire in 350 years without some pretty strong experiences galvanizing its early founders. Since these experiences are all claimed by the early gospel writers to focus on a man named Jesus, it seems needlessly complex to claim (with absolutely no information) that he did not exist at all. It seems to me that skeptics are much better off accepting the basic premise that a dynamic and controversial prophet named Jesus existed who threatened the status quo and was executed by the Romans - and then question the particular claims Chistianity makes about him and his divinity.

"Passion" is not anti-semetic, period. It does take the Gospel claims about the Jewish priestly leadership's culpability at their face value - as well as the the biblical sympathetic portrayal of Pilate. However, throughout the film, Gibson makes the point of showing Jews (even some of the temple priests) opposing his crucifixion - and many Romans come of as brutish SS thugs much worse than any of the Jews. It may or may not be what actually happened, but it is a fair retelling of the gospels. I even found the alleged "bad guy" Caiaphus presented in a manner that you could understand.

Regarding the original question, what happens next all depends on what you believe Jesus was and what he actually believed about himself. If he did indeed believe he was the Messiah and his death was needed to absolve the sins of mankind, he and his disciples would eventually make sure he was put to death somewhere or sometime else (and we'd never bear about the Pilate story in the gospels). Christianity might still develop along much the same way as in OTL (at least that what Christians like myself have to believe).

If he wasn't the Messiah - or if the gospel writers put those words into his mouth after his death, then it's reasonable to assume Jesus would have accepted this banishment willingly. He and his version of Judaism might have taken hold in Parthia or some other place at the outer edges of the Roman Empire. If the sect survived and found converts, it is also reasonable to assume it might have gradually spread back into Judaea and the Empire after Jesus's death. It might or might not have reentered the mainstream of Judiaism, or developed - like Islam - as another Abrahamic monotheistic faith (The God of Abraham does have this annoying habit of trying to make people believe in him! - oops sorry). It might have turned Judaism into an expansionist evangelistic religion, replaced it, or competed with it and other cults for Roman citizens. I doubt very strongly if the Jesus cult would have become dominant, however, because without the particular claims Christianity makes about Christ, it would have been not all that differenet from any other Jewish sect (and probably would not have reached out much to gentiles).
 
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