Jesus: God or Nut?

I have heard from many sources that Jewish scholars think that Jesus was a great man and profit, but not the messiah—not a god. This is very strange to me, because if Jesus was not the savior of the Jews—the son of God—he was at best highly deluded.

The issue is very clear, because Jesus made a point of telling people that he was a deity. If one is a god, it is perfectly acceptable—although admittedly arrogant—to tell people about it. Of course, in Jesus’ case, there is something childish about it. Much of what he said could be said by a boastful ten-year-old, “My father’s God and when I die, I’m gonna sit right next to him in heaven and I will be the ruler of everyone!” But if you accept Jesus is who he claimed to be, this is a minor point.

On the other hand, if Jesus was not God or the son of God or whatever (Christian theology is very complicated), he was what we charitably refer to as bat-shit crazy.

It isn’t as though there weren’t always indications of Jesus’ instability. He is highly inconsistent. I think everyone knows Jesus as the “Prince of Peace” and all that stuff about turning the other cheek. But he contradicted this statement, most notably in Luke 19:27:

But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.

I know that there have been 2000 years of apologists who have worked to smooth over all of the problems with the Bible and its numerous contradictions. This is perfectly understandable and legitimate if one accepts that Jesus is a deity. But for those who do not accept this, it makes no sense to hold Jesus in high regard. He might have been an inspired theologian. He might have been a great moral teacher. None of this matters, however. If he wasn’t God, he was a nut.

Update (21 July 2013 3:43 pm)

A good response to this is that Jesus didn’t specifically say that he was the messiah. By this theory, those are all bad translations when he answered in the affirmative as to the question of his divinity. Plus: maybe Jesus just meant that we are all God’s children. That more or less invalidates all of Christianity. It becomes, “There was this prophet and we got the idea that he might be the son of God.” That is a fair characterization, but it seems the whole purpose of the Gospels is to portray him as the son of God without making him look too arrogant. I guess that Jesus could have been something other than a god or a nut; he could have been a charlatan.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

4 thoughts on “Jesus: God or Nut?

  1. When Richard Carrier was asked if it wouldn’t be easier to just believe in Jesus to avoid hell, he said, "If I had to sit in heaven forever knowing that there are these people–millions and millions, probably billions of people–suffering these eternal horrible torments and there is nothing I could ever do for them that, to me, would be hell." I agree completely. And I will see you there.

  2. Hmm… I don’t see a contradiction here, because it’s one thing to save everyone by making them good and peaceful and quite another to defend those who are already good and peaceful from those who don’t even try to understand what good and peaceful is (clearly and objectively). It’s easier to say that He is God, and we are people, which is different. Of course judges and saints are LIKE gods, because God had made made man (us) in His image, so we can obviously accept what He wants, but we don’t have the power to change much because we are quite small and can’t take everything into consideration no matter how hard we try.

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