Does Jesus' baptism by John The Baptist pass The Criteria of Embarrassment?

There is no reason to think that a Gospel writer would not say something negative about Jesus, so that any portrayal of Jesus in a negative light must be historical. In the Mahabharata [Hindu scripture written around the same time as the Tanakh], the stories of the heroes are full of their foibles, mistakes, wrong doings and more. It is the same with the Iliad and the Odyssey (Greek) — written close enough to a similar time. So the historical data shows ancient fiction and religious scripture is often written with imperfections and such to make the story believable, more interesting, relatable and more.
And take the example of Jesus’ baptism by John The Baptist in the gospel of Mark. This is generally taken as historically sound material about Jesus because it passes the criteria of embarrassment, in that the early church would not want to make up a story about John baptizing the son of God, which is why later gospel writers changed the story.
Now, just to take this example, there is no reason to think the story was embarrassing to Mark at all, even if later writers found it so. Mark may have just thought he was writing a beautiful story about the beginning of Jesus ministry where John The Baptist is passing the torch to Jesus, in the same way as in 2 Kings 2 where Elijah gives a double portion of his miracle working power to Elisha, making Elisha his successor and superior. Mark certainly seems to interpret John The Baptist in terms of Elijah. Mark says “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ ; as it is written in the prophets." Mark immediately interprets John the Baptist as a forerunner of the Messiah (a la Elijah in II Kings 1:8). Mark then clothes John similar to Elijah (Mark 1:6. II Kings 1:8.) He then says John ate locusts and wild honey,the food of the wildernes in which Elijah lived (and so on and so on).
Also, Mark probably didn’t have the high Christology of later writers, so there would be nothing embarrassing for Mark in John baptizing Jesus.
For this example, then, there is no reason to think that the criteria of embarrassment does anything to contribute to the historicity of John The Baptist’s baptizing of Jesus in Mark. There is, therefore, no reason to think John The Baptist ever baptized Jesus.

Not following the logic. That’s not embarrassing doesn’t lead to it didn’t happen. I agree with everything else you say. The different writers had different purposes and each style fit in fine with their time. Problems came in a few hundred years later when people who didn’t understand historical context and had vastly different agendas tried to tack on their interpretations. They certainly had “embarrassment” problems.

You start with a dubious premise and reach a conclusion your argument does not support. If Jesus did exist the story of him being Baptized could have arisen from Jesus being a follower of John the Baptist and taking over his acolytes when J the B was beheaded. This is consistent with Jesus being a minor prophet whom later writers made out to be a god.

There’s also no reason to think anything you just said matters one bit. Jesus was just a nice guy trying to help people. All the religious mumbo jumbo people added later is just that…mumbo jumbo made up by ignorant people trying to get by in an ignorant and harsh time in history.

Keep in mind, both Jesus and John the Baptist were part of a protest movement against Greco Roman culture and economics disturbing their society.

BAPTISM is very important guys because it is still needed…never ignore baptism for any reason

Hmmmm, are you implying that babies who do not have water sprinkled over their head will burn in hell? ??

Missing here is the recognition of a fundamental division within our ‘reality’.

Specifically, the magisteria of Physical Reality vs the magisteria of our Human Mindscape. …” (Or consciousness if you prefer)

Religion is all about the human mindscape*, with its wonderful struggles, fears, spiritual undercurrents, needs and stories we create to give our live’s meaning and make it worth living, or at least bearable.

Jesus and his Passion are about being a guide to help us through our struggles here on Earth, where we create our own heaven and hells. When we die, we die, reabsorbed into the cascade of evolution and Earth’s biosphere from whence we were born.

What’s the point? Religions, Science, political beliefs, heaven, hell, even God they are all products of the human mindscape, generations of imaginings built upon previous generations of imaginings, all the way down.


Guess my point is they are all wonderful stories and do wonders for a select few. Religions are all about shadow plays that help us with the unknowable questions humans can’t stop asking themselves.

God is about who we want it to be.

Paul Verhoeven, aan atheïst looking art what is true in the Bublé, devotes a chapter on his book, Jezus of Nazareth. Je sees it more that Jezus used the fact that Johannes the baptiste was imprissoned to take over his followers

The Bible says that unless you are baptized by water and spirit you cannot even see the kingdom of Heaven. Jesus was God, but was also man. Baptism was required of him. For Jesus it didn’t wash away any sins, but it was still a technical requirement to get into Heaven and if you’re going to present him as both God and man then he has to follow the rules laid out for man or he’s not man at all.

And are you saying that if it’s embarrassing it must be true? In the context of other writings from the Bible this isn’t embarrassing at all, it’s a fulfillment of the requirements for salvation. Jesus was never portrayed as being “above the law”. He couldn’t break the rules or he wouldn’t suffice as a sacrifice. He was given no special privilege. If he had been then the whole story would have been meaningless.

And if your assessment is that if a magical figure from mythology is portrayed in a negative light then the account must be true, Zeus, I believe it was, used to trick women into screwing him as various animals. When Osiris was dismembered and reassembled they couldn’t find his penis because it had been eaten by a crab. Not a story I would be telling the grandkids (assuming I had gotten some use out of it before that point).

This is grasping for straws. It’s assigning attributes and intention to the writers which you couldn’t possibly know to get to the conclusion you had before you started. There is no indication that anything in the Bible is in any way factual, other than the natural occurrences at the time which inspired the story. In fact, there are a couple of chapters in 2 different books, Isaah 37 and II Kings 19, which are very nearly identical. And there are 2 chapters in the New Testament by 2 different writers which are exactly the same story, in the same order, with the same beginning and end, just told in the writer’s own words. I don’t remember the 2 chapters right now, but they are the exact same telling of the exact same story using the author’s own words, but so close to being identical that it was obvious that both writers were rewriting the same manuscript. If I recall the chapters lined up verse for verse.

No, it’s a total embarrassment, simply because Jesus said John was Elijah and John said he wasn’t. The truth was that John indeed was not Elijah as predicted by the Old Testament as nobody left out cookies for him. Thus, Jesus was a fraud as even the Jewish orthodoxy knew this.

The Bible also says, “Thou shalt not kill” AND “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live”. It gives 2 different genealogies for the same people and 2 different accounts of creation. Some of the chapters in different books have word-for-word copies, suggesting the different authors were not telling their own stories, but rather writing down older stories from manuscripts they were studying. Still other chapters are moment-for-moment exact copies, just written using different language by two different authors, suggesting both were rewriting the same manuscripts they were studying. The Bible is rife with contradictions and obvious plagiarism. Even the stories of creation and a savior man/god were stolen from much older religious beliefs. The Bible is about half as reliable as a source of information as right-wing media.