Below is part of a response to someone in the comment section of my last blog about the history and origins of christianity as a religion, much of which very few people in america know anything about. To hear modern evangelists talk about it they think the religion spread across the world on the basis of the awesomeness and credibility of the stories in the new testament, having no notion of the fact that it was illegal to not be christian for almost the entire history of the religion. Here is the comment:
“And also, we have
to remember that there were many miracles performed by Jesus so that
people would know that he is God, and so that he would fulfill
scripture. They stood out during that time period too, just as they
To which I said:
The miracles he was said to have performed, resurrections, rising from the dead and ascending into heaven, turning water to wine etc were actually common miracle stories before jesus, and similar miracles were attributed to many other people just within judeo-christian tradition. There are many “heretical” texts describing other people who were believed to be the messiah, were crucified, had devoted followers etc. Jesus was the strand of spaghetti that stuck to the wall so to speak, largely because (if you step back from the mythos for a moment and look at the sociopolitical history) of the conversion of constantine to christianity and his proclamation of christian tolerance throughout the roman empire, followed later by theodosius the first making christianity the official state religion of the roman empire, the largest empire in the history of the planet, and banning all other forms of worship. The nicene creed, complilation of the “bible” from various “accepted” texts (excluding more texts than it included) etc were all decreed by an iron age dictatorship. This was the birth of the religion. Then after the collapse of the roman empire the new dictatorships emerged in the now christian roman empire claiming divine authority and lineage of the royal families and with support of the catholic church which arose in rome as the only legal form of worship. For almost all of the history of christianity (at least 3/4) not adhering to the religion was illegal in the christian world. Even in the early american colonies not attending church services at least once a month (in the age before automobiles when farmers had to travel many miles to attend) was punished by being publicly whipped.
This is historically why christ’s miracles are accepted and others are not (in the christian world, in other places people believe in other miracle stories and reject christianity and they worshiped literally hundreds of gods in rome before it was outlawed).