Originally Posted by bendog
I'm not at all sure he knew he would be "resurrected" in the sense the new testament describes ... well, it describes it differently. As I recall there were two or three instances of people meeting him after resurrection. The apostles saw his bodily form, at least one other instance had him with no bodily form. However, the gospel of mary has a teaching on what happens to the soul after death.
Some Christians believe the new testament and entire bible are the inerring words of God. (Jews don't believe that of the torah, btw.) I don't. Jesus taught by parable, or analogy. He often didn't explain what he meant. And, it seems to me that there were alterations to the synoptic gospels as they were transcribed through generations even before being codified.
Jesus was a magician. Other majicians did raise people from the dead. He was a mystic, as were other majicians. These folks were not all that uncommon for their time. What seperates him from them was that his ministry transcended death. That's the mystery of Christianity. Jesus knew that unless he abandoned his social radicalism he would be nailed to a tree. That was the fate that befell several majician/revolutionaries before him. Jesus was preaching that the people abondon the social structure that allowed 5% to live in luxury, something like 45% to live fairly poorly and 50% to basically starve. The 5% were going to kill him, and Rome wasn't gonna let anyone diss the social structure. The Garden of Gesethme is possibly allegory. Did God directly talk to Jesus? I don't really know. But he had to know that when he entered Jerusalem (on a stolen donkey) he would be nailed to a tree, and typically death did not come in one day, but rather 2-3 days.
Why did Jesus's ministry survive? God chose to use the Holy Spirit to give the apostles the courage to seek similar worldly fates. If one doesn't believe that central tenet, one cannot be a Christian. The Holy Spirit continues to move people, but not always unerringly, as the RCC and sexual abuse and perhaps even the Episcopal bishop Eugene Robinson illustrate. So, when people make the argument "what would Jesus do," or "the scriptures are unerring to our belief of what they say," I tend to think it's just not that simple.
To postulate the miracles of Jesus into mere "magic" that is common in the period ignores that Jesus' miracles were the engine behind his popularity and gave him the platform to teach.
It seems like you take a little of what you like out of the scripture and ignore the rest. I dont think that thats a responsible way to go about your studies. There are heavy unfying philosophies that unite the text, and that's why Nicea ignores the Apocryphal books and the other texts floating about. Those texts have some significantly different ideas. The gospel of Thomas condones beating women, etc.