"He was a humanist in that he was concerned about the plight of the people and said that the religious leaders lacked this kind of compassion. He wasn't anywhere close to a non-humanist in his stance. In fact, the Gospels are nothing but humanistic. "
If "humanist" simply means interested in the benefit and well-being of humans, of course Jesus was a humanist. What religion or religious leader is not "humanistic," by your definition. Well, my mistake, I thought you were trying to make a point.
Generally, however when people use "humanism" to mean something, it is also understood to mean a dismissal of God and religion. . .and this Jesus certainly did not believe. He observed Sabboth (religion) and prayed to God continually.
"It depends on which 'modern Christians' you are referring. Yesterday the U.S. Episcopal Church ordained a gay bishop. They evidently do not hold to such a view that the New Testament is to be literally interpreted (since Paul condemned it).Obviously you wish to pinhole Christianity into a particular set of beliefs that only you find biblical. Nothing you said makes me think you acknowledge Christian denominations outside the ones you are most comfortable. Would you acknowledge the Episcopalians?"
The International Episcopal Church is currently undergoing a massive splintering between its liberal U.S. branch and its other world-wide branches. It wasn't simply Paul who condemed homosexuality but God in the old testimate. Ask a observant (orthodox or conservative) Jew. I am not certain why you find it "obvious," I am uncomfortable with the U.S. Epis. Church beleifs. In fact, I am quite comfortable with them, but I do not think they are honest to the teachings of the bible (Jewish and Christian).
By the way, a good book is still a good book regardless of whether or not you have read it. Another one: "The Torah".
You made some good points:
John 19:31 "Because the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down."
I agree that it sped the process.