The Instigator
Dagolas
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
DeFool
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

Jesus was black and Jewish

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
DeFool
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/4/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,184 times Debate No: 25992
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (2)

 

Dagolas

Pro

Good morning,

This is a debate regarding Jesus' skin color and religion. I shall be taking the position of Pro, and my opponent that of Con.

First round will be acceptance.
DeFool

Con

I want to thank my partner for presenting this challenge, and I am happy to consider this topic.

I understand that it is the position of Pro that:

Jesus was "black" by which he most likely means of sub-Saharan African ancestral descent. That is, he was anthropologically similar to the normal racial types found in Central, South and Eastern sections of Africa.

Jesus was "Jewish" meaning that:

1. He considered himself to be Jewish
2. He was a member in good standing of the Jewish community during his lifetime
3. He was described as Jewish by those who knew him
4. The religion of Jesus was Judaism, and his Jewishness did not come about as a result of cultural origin. In other words, Jesus must have been an observant Jew, and not simply a resident within a Jewish community

This is contingent on the antiquity of the Jewish tradition. Therefore, we should also establish whether or not the modern notion of what should properly be called "Jewish" applied in ancient Judea, or whether or not this concept has evolved since that time into something that might have been unrecognizable to either party - the modern observer or the ancient Judean observer.

Further, as a literary character, we may draw from literary works, such as biblical narratives, to assist us in this discussion. However, as an examination of an actual historical person, I'm afraid that this discussion will be impossible to 'prove' either way - there is no actual archaeological data upon which we can form any compelling argument. The best we can hope for in this regard is to use archaeology to better describe the literary narratives, and hopefully shave the probabilities somewhat.

For my part, I should mention, I have no idea what my personal opinion is for this topic. I look forward to the research that will be involved, and should mention that I reserve the right to change my position - even if this means conceding the debate to my partner. I want to stress that this action would not constitute an act of improper conduct, but intellectual integrity.

I await my partner's argument.
Debate Round No. 1
Dagolas

Pro

I agree with the definitions you proposed.

So, let us start with Jesus' race.

JESUS WAS BLACK(?):

Now, according to the Bible and other sources, Jesus spent a good part of his childhood in Egypt. But in Egypt, it would appear that he did not stand out from the others, or I imagine it would have been mentioned. Most Egyptians would have been Black, and if he did not stand out from Black people... Well, he was Black.
What's more, I will go a bit off the debate topic. Traditionally, he is depicting as having Long Hair. Where as in those days, Long Hair was very unpopular. This would mean that he most likely had short hair.

I shall now quote the Bible.
"for his feet shone like Bronze"

Bronze, the alloy of copper and tin, is a fairly dark brown. If his feet shone like this metal, that would mean his feet were Black (or that he was a hobbit, but let us dismiss that idea). And, if his feet were black, we can assume that the rest of his body was too.

JESUS WAS JEWISH(?):

As we all know, Jesus mother Mary was Jewish. This means that Jesus was Jewish. Also, some of his followers even called him "rabbi". He also taught and read in the synagogue.
Also, let's be logical. Christianity was invented after The CHRIST's death, obviously. Mohammad invented Islam in about 610 A.D. So, Jesus was, by elimination, Jewish.



REFERENCES:
http://news.bbc.co.uk...
http://fr.wikipedia.org...
DeFool

Con

Many thanks to my partner for his argument, very concise. I am glad that we have agreed fairly quickly on the definitions segment. This is important to my argument.

What my partner is here proposing is essentially a matter of worldwide interest, which if true, would change forever the popular conception of the worlds second largest religion. Needless to say, such a mighty paradigm change would require a lifetime of devoted study, extensive peer review and tomes of scholarly research. Sadly, a convincing case for this proposition is not made here.

Essentially, my partner makes an argument that is so bare, that it can almost be repeated here word for word, with little need for paraphrasing.

Now, according to the Bible and other sources, Jesus spent a good part of his childhood in Egypt. But in Egypt, it would appear that he did not stand out from the others, or I imagine it would have been mentioned. Most Egyptians would have been Black, and if he did not stand out from Black people... Well, he was Black.

Jesus was born in modern Palestine, and lived most of his life in that region. While it may be the case that he visited Egypt, the fact that his race did not unduly concern the Egyptians is unconvincing if used as the main component of this argument. For three main reasons.

1. He also lived in the area of Palestine, which was predominantly occupied by Arabic persons, who also did not note his racial appearance. It seems that the same argument that could have been used to indicate that he was a black Egyptian (that his racial appearance was not noted), would also apply here. Stronger evidence is needed.

2. The story elements that describe his life in Egypt are exceedingly sparing, consisting only of a few sentences. It is not unsurprising that his interactions with the Egyptians was not detailed - nothing else was, either. It remains possible for him to have visited Egypt, and not been black - just as it would be possible for me to not be black and to visit Egypt. I doubt that the multiracial Egyptians would make much of my whiteness.

3. As he did not "stand out" from Aramaic people, and next to nothing was ever written about his experiences in Egypt, his ancestry becomes quite important: he was said to have been descended from King David. King David was not black, but Arabic, having been born in the area of modern Israel. The bible gives at least two different lists of genealogy that trace his ancestry from - not Mary, but Joseph, his father, to the illustrious King David. The point is clear: Jesus was a modern version of David. David, who was unblack.


I shall now quote the Bible. "for his feet shone like Bronze"
Here my partner attempts to describe the feet of Jesus in terms that he feels might indicate that he had black feet. Unfortunately, I cannot make much of this evidence. I simply do not know what shiny feet look like - and I have seen many different shades of bronze.

As we all know, Jesus mother Mary was Jewish. This means that Jesus was Jewish. Also, some of his followers even called him "rabbi". He also taught and read in the synagogue.

I am convinced that there were times in the life of Jesus when he was Jewish - however, throughout the totality of his life, this cannot be so easily said. There were also times when he was seen as something other than Jewish.

Because Judaism holds that anyone who becomes convinced, or convinces others, that Jesus is a god should be removed from the Jewish community and considered an apostate - this debate must necessarily turn on how we view the divinity of Christ. If we find that Jesus believed that he was the son of a god - then he must also be considered an apostate under the strictures of conservative Judaism. [1]

There are many accounts of his life in the bible. There are far too many interpretations of this narrative to allow for any definitive analysis. To further complicate matters, the biblical narrative is random and contradictory - and this becomes clear when we consider whether or not Jesus was ever in Egypt.

Taking into account the nearly extreme rage that Jesus elicited from Jewish scholars of his time, I do not feel that he could have possibly been considered a Jew at the end of his life. It is more than clear that the Pharisees considered him to be at least a heretic, if not an outright apostate. [2]

But the Egyptian connection is even more tenuous. Egypt was a multiracial region, accustomed to many racial types. It is not surprising that Jesus' race was not particularly noteworthy. Further, the literature clearly indicates that he was the descendant of King David.

Kind David was certainly Jewish, and certainly not black. The bible, in taking great pains to trace Jesus' ancestry back to David (through Joseph - and not Mary), makes plain that many resemblances to David were present.

Although it may have been the case that some portions of Jesus' life may have been Jewish, it remains unlikely that he was never black. Therefore, it could not be the case that both conditions were likely to exist in Jesus at the same time.

Also, let's be logical. Christianity was invented after The CHRIST's death, obviously. Mohammad invented Islam in about 610 A.D. So, Jesus was, by elimination, Jewish.

This is not true: Jesus could have been Zoroastrian, or Mithraic, or Hellenist.

Bottom line:

Jesus may have been black. However, there are no passages from the literature that makes this case explicitly. Moreover, no passages exist that can be convincingly used to indicate that Jesus was a member of any group other than what was normal around the region of Nazareth and Bethlehem in around the First Century. As for his Jewishness, although he was born into a Jewish family, he intentionally seems to have deviated significantly from traditional Judaism - into something else. This is made clear when we find an atheist - who was born into a religious family. Is she not an atheist therefore? I maintain that since the Jewish community rejected Jesus, and Jesus rejected the authority of the Jewish council, he could not have been called a Jew throughout his entire life.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...

Debate Round No. 2
Dagolas

Pro

Dagolas forfeited this round.
DeFool

Con

I want to thank my partner for his efforts here, and for presenting this challenge.

Despite the anticlimactic conclusion, I hope that readers will still render judgement on our performance by voting.

Thank you to any who followed this debate.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by One_Winged_Rook 4 years ago
One_Winged_Rook
DagolasDeFoolTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Obvious win by Con is obvious... I like that he took a stance against both black and jewish though... the prevailing notion that "jesus was a jew" is a very compelling one and I'm happy that DeFool stood against this contradictory statement.. cheers!
Vote Placed by emospongebob527 4 years ago
emospongebob527
DagolasDeFoolTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: FF