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back to article Playmobil Bible faces wrath of lawyers

A German evangelical pastor who's recreated biblical scenes from Playmobil figures has been given until 6 April to pull his website, or face the wrath of the company's lawyers. The Playmobil Jesus nailed to the cross According to the Telegraph, 38-year-old Markus Bomhard's principal sin was to adapt the figures - for example by …

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Either Jesus existed or he didn't.

He either did what has been attributed to him or he didn't. Will we hear a "Sorry, our bad" out of Benny 16 if irrefutable evidence proves that there is no way Jesus could have possibly existed or done the things he is said to have done? Will the majority of folks who subscribe to religion change their minds or behaviors? I'm guessing no on both counts (it's called "faith", remember?).

However, adding "and Jesus did endure the Gale Force of the Mighty Hairdryer" to the stations of the cross might spur some discussion.

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@ skeptical i

"He either did what has been attributed to him or he didn't. Will we hear a "Sorry, our bad" out of Benny 16 if irrefutable evidence proves that there is no way Jesus could have possibly existed or done the things he is said to have done?"

Careful: there's a difference between scepticism and wishful thinking. There will certainly never be irrefutable evidence proving that Jesus never existed. That remains an assertion often made by those who cross that line.

The idea that Jesus either did or didn't do what was attributed to him is a simple one. It's quite true, as far as it goes; but it doesn't take into account the fact that the culture at the time was very different to our own. The stories that emerged around Jesus are, I'm sure, deeply rooted in the cultural and religious symbolism of the time. Do I believe Jesus walked on water or raised the dead? No, absolutely not. But we in today's world have a tendency to look at things in black and white terms. Especially when we're emotionally invested in proving ourselves right about something. We've lost track of the purpose of myth (no relation) in the modern day, and that it's possible for a story to contain truth without actually being literally true.

What would be the purpose of the tales of miracles attributed to Jesus? I've no idea - I'm not a first-century Jew and don't have the key to their culture or their psychology. Certainly I wouldn't build a church on the idea that the stories are literally true, and nor would I follow one - but while I'm happy to believe that Jesus didn't defy the laws of physics or biology as we see them in working his miracles, it's going beyond scepticism to insist that he can't possibly have existed at all, or that the people of the time could not have seen truth in stories that were not literal accounts of historical events.

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