Approaching an Analysis of Jesus of Nazareth

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Approaching an Analysis of Jesus of Nazareth

Postby Bob » Mon Mar 07, 2022 5:34 am

If we wanted to do a real analysis of the person Jesus of Nazareth, we would have to know first of all, what language he spoke. As reported on history.com, the is a story about Benjamin Netanyahu and Pope Francis:
The issue of Jesus’ preferred language memorably came up in 2014, during a public meeting in Jerusalem between Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, and Pope Francis, during the pontiff’s tour of the Holy Land. Speaking to the pope through an interpreter, Netanyahu declared: “Jesus was here, in this land. He spoke Hebrew.”
Francis broke in, correcting him. “Aramaic,” he said, referring to the ancient Semitic language, now mostly extinct, that originated among a people known as the Aramaeans around the late 11th century B.C.

If it was Aramaic, which it was likely to have been, there must have been a transition to Greek early on, which was probably the reason for the Pentecostal story of the disciples speaking various languages. How else could an Aramaic speaking Jew have otherwise become so popular in the Greek diaspora and then amongst Greeks? This is not unimportant, because if we take something like the Lord’s Prayer, which Neil Douglas-Klotz (in ‘Prayers of the Cosmos’) translated from ‘The Peshitta’ a compilation of Aramaic scrolls of the Old and New Testament, it sounds unfamiliar:

O Birther! Father- Mother of the Cosmos
Focus your light within us - make it useful.
Create your reign of unity now-
through our fiery hearts and willing hands
Help us love beyond our ideals
and sprout acts of compassion for all creatures.
Animate the earth within us: we then
feel the Wisdom underneath supporting all.
Untangle the knots within
so that we can mend our hearts' simple ties to each other.
Don't let surface things delude us,
But free us from what holds us back from our true purpose.
Out of you, the astonishing fire,
Returning light and sound to the cosmos.
Amen.


This is clearly a different version than the one we are used to, and an indication that something has been lost (or “corrected”) in translation. This reveals an ancient tradition of creation mysticism, and Douglas-Klotz shows in his books how Christianity, and by extension Western culture, slipped into an increasingly narrow, apocalyptic worldview. There are stories of purges on Christian sources that did not fit into the canon that Rome wanted to streamline. The Peshitta, however, is not an original Aramaic source but, as far as we know, a retranslation of the Greek text into Aramaic. It shows us, however, that translation alone can produce a wide range of understanding, and the Dead Sea Scrolls perform a similar service by showing the Gnostic writings that escaped the purge.

This was an early reason for me to step away from the conventional church position (I was elder in the German protestant church) and adopt a more universal appreciation of what the Gospel was teaching. Essentially, it was a step away from anthropomorphising God, and seeing language as metaphoric in nature, and the metaphors of religious language are rich and diverse. This is clear when you read Douglas-Klotz rendering of a mystical view of the first chapters of Genesis, the Aramaic words of Jesus, as well as translations of mystical voices like Jelaluddin Rumi, Ibn Arabi, Meister Eckhart and the Jewish Kabbalists.

If we want to see Jesus in the position as Christ, we have to question whether what we mean by Christ is the same as 2000 years ago. It definitely wasn’t what Jews thought of as Messiah, and perhaps it is in John’s Gospel, where meet the Logos, a cosmic creative force, that we find a return to the mystical creative view of history, and the deification of Christ to make the crucifixion and resurrection a cosmic event. The catholic mystics picked it up in this way, and although there is evidence that the church wanted to retain the feudalistic image, and tried to silence the mystics, creation mysticism was resuscitated by Saint Francis.

So, is the evangelical view of Christ the most probable version? No, not in any way. Rather it shows us our narrow-mindedness, in trying to conceptualise and restrict. I found a quote from my favourite author at the moment that does something to explain this:

There is an important role for ambiguity (polysemy) in all understanding, something which metaphor, symbol, humour, tone of voice, and all the implicit modes of expression of the arts best understood by the right hemisphere, imply. This is not ambiguity in the sense of just not having taken proper trouble to pin down the meaning: but in the sense of having, indeed, taken proper trouble not to pin down the meaning too closely, so as to let it live – the proper rigour of ambiguity. Bringing an unwarranted simplicity to the matter strips away layers of depth, rather than enhancing insight.
McGilchrist, Iain. The Matter With Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World (S.905-906). Perspectiva Press. Kindle-Version.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
When you are out of touch with reality you will easily embrace a delusion, and equally put in doubt the most basic elements of existence. If this reminds you of the mindset of the present day materialist science and philosophy establishments, as well as of the loudest voices in the socio-political debate, we should not be particularly surprised, since they show all the signs of attending with the left hemisphere alone. I live in the hope that that may soon change: for without a change we are lost.
McGilchrist, Iain . The Matter With Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World (S.562). Perspectiva Press. Kindle-Version.
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Re: Approaching an Analysis of Jesus of Nazareth

Postby Bob » Mon Mar 07, 2022 6:20 pm

The second approach would be to ask what the sources are that we have about Jesus.

I take it as a given that Mark's Gospel was written like a classical Greek tragedy, with the climax of the transfiguration on the mountain and the subsequent descent into death. The post-resurrection appearances reported in the last twelve verses of Mark are not found in the earliest manuscripts. In Mark, Jesus is said to be quoting the Greek Septuagint version of Isaiah to make his point. Unfortunately, the Hebrew version says something different than the Greek. In Isaiah 29:13, the Hebrew says, "Their fear of me is a commandment of men, which they have learned by heart," while the Greek version - and Mark's Gospel - says, "In vain they worship me, teaching as doctrine the commandments of men" [Revised Standard Version].

This was apparently considered inappropriate, and scholars suspect that the author of Luke's Gospel consulted an additional source to enhance the message. The stories of the prodigal son and the Good Samaritan come from this source. Like Luke, Matthew is said to have drawn on other sources, but takes a different approach. His Gospel contains several parables, namely the parable of the tares among the wheat, the treasure, the pearl, the net, the unforgiving servant, the laborers in the vineyard, the two sons, and the ten virgins.

John's Gospel is unique in its approach, not repeating the Gospel with additions, but taking a completely different angle. Bart Ehrman says that scholars have long suspected that John, although the last Gospel to be written, had an earlier written account of Jesus' miracles, at least two accounts of Jesus' long discourses, and possibly another passion source.

The Pauline epistles were written about 20 to 30 years after Jesus' death, and Gary Habermas has said that within 150 years of Jesus' death, there are over 42 sources that mention his existence and record many events of his life."

The Flavian source from 95 AD, that of Josephus, has been discredited because it was allegedly written with ulterior motives. The author, Josephus, was Jewish, and his reference to Jesus is atypical of Jewish sensibilities. In his work Antiquities 20 v.9 we read, "...and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, by name James, and some others; and when he had brought a charge against them for breaking the law, he delivered them up to be stoned."

It is curious that James is mentioned as the brother of Jesus who is called "Christ," considering the meaning of the word. In another place it says, "Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man. For he was a doer of amazing deeds, a teacher of men who gladly accept the truth. And he gained a large following both among many Jews and among many Greeks. And when Pilate condemned him to the cross at the suggestion of the leading men among us, those who first loved him did not abandon him. And the tribe of Christians named after him has not died out to this day."

Recognizing Jesus as a "wise man" who was "a teacher of those who gladly accept the truth" is a bit strange for someone who is first a Jew and second a member of the Roman court, where Christians were considered atheists because they denied the existence of the gods. But it is perhaps a more realistic description of how he was seen outside the Gospels.

The mention of Jesus in the Talmud, which occurred several hundred years after the event, is more in keeping with Jewish antipathy toward the man who was supposedly the Messiah whom the Jews did not recognize. In Sanhedrin 43a it states that: "Jesus the Nazarene practiced magic and deceived and led Israel astray." It continues, "Jesus the Nazarene was hanged, and a herald went before him forty days proclaiming, 'Jesus the Nazarene is going out to be stoned to death because he practiced magic and incited and deceived Israel into idolatry.' Whoever knows anything in his defence, let him come and set it forth." But finding nothing in his defence, they hanged him on the eve of the Passover."

Around 116 AD, Tacitus, in the Annals, Book 15, Chapter 44, refers to Jesus, Pontius Pilate, the execution of Jesus, and the existence of the first Christians in Rome: "Christ, the founder of the [Christian] name, was executed by Pontius Pilate, the procurator of Judea in the reign of Tiberius. But pernicious superstition, suppressed for a time, broke out again, not only in Judea, where the mischief originated, but also in the city of Rome." The "superstition" was that Jesus had risen from the grave.

Another Roman writer from around 121 A.D. wrote about a certain Chrestus who was allegedly stirring up trouble among a group of Jews. According to historian James Dunn, "Suetonius misheard the name 'Christ' as 'Chrestus'" and also misunderstood the account, assuming that the followers of someone named Chrestus were causing unrest within the Jewish community because of his instigation."

The philosopher Mara Serapion, a Syrian Stoic philosopher in the Roman province of Syria, is known only through a letter he wrote in Syriac to his son, whose name was Serapion and who lived about 70-140 A.D. (However, some scholars think the letter was written in the second century). He wrote the following: "What advantage did the Athenians gain from the murder of Socrates? Famine and plague came upon them as punishment for their crime. What advantage did the men of Samos derive from the burning of Pythagoras? In an instant their land was covered with sand. What advantage did the Jews derive from the execution of their wise king? Shortly afterward, their kingdom was abolished. God rightly avenged these three wise men: the Athenians starved to death, the Samians were flooded by the sea, and the Jews, despairing and driven out of their own kingdom, live in utter dispersion. But Socrates is not dead because of Plato, Pythagoras not because of the statue of Juno, and the wise king not because of the "new law" he established."

There are also numerous Gnostic gospels, written between 100 and 400 A.D., in which Jesus is described as the bearer of a hidden knowledge, critical of the material world, that points a way to salvation. Many sources are extravagant, fanciful texts, including a scene with a laughing Jesus. These texts bear some resemblance to the proposed Q source but are very different. However, they can be used as evidence for the existence of Jesus. The Gospel of Thomas, much reported recently, is a collection of 114 sayings of Jesus without narrative, leading some to believe it was written early.

There is a letter by Clement of Rome (dating from about 95-97 AD) that is not included in the canonical collection. It alludes to Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and other New Testament literature. Clement is said to have been ordained by Peter. Ignatius of Antioch, considered a disciple of Paul and John, was martyred around 100 AD and wrote extensively on the historical Jesus in Trallians, Smyrneans 1 and Magnesians xi.

The character of these testimonies is largely proclamatory; they call people to faith in Jesus and proclaim him as the Saviour of the world. The titles of the Gospels "according to Matthew" etc. were added late in the second century. For example, Papias (c. 140 AD) knows all the Gospels but has heard only of Matthew and Mark; Justin Martyr (c. 150 AD) knows none of the four alleged authors.

The formation of the Christian canon was a slow development over several centuries. The idea of a "canon" of recognized and authoritative works predates Christianity and began with the development of the Greek schools of philosophy. At the beginning of the second century, Christianity had a problem with a multitude of texts, letters, and gospels, all claiming to be authentic works of the first generation of Christians. Judaism also had a similar abundance of religious texts, from which it selected some and considered them "Scripture" and, above all, the Word of God. It seems that Marcion’s "heresy" gave second-century Christianity the impetus to define which of these various texts had the status of "scripture" and which did not. Marcion held that the coming of Jesus had made the entire Jewish law and scriptures obsolete, and that the "God" of the Jews was in fact quite different from the God preached by Jesus and decided that there were in fact two gods.

It was Irenaeus who first defended the four canonical Gospels-Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John as the oldest and only biblical Gospels, and he did so at least in part on the grounds that these four had always been considered the oldest and most authoritative. Not long after, we get the first reference to a defined list of texts considered biblical. In the sixteenth century, a manuscript called the Muratorian Canon, dating from the late second century AD, was discovered in a library in Milan. However, until the Council of Trent in 1546, there was no definitive statement by the Catholic Church on the composition of the New Testament.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
When you are out of touch with reality you will easily embrace a delusion, and equally put in doubt the most basic elements of existence. If this reminds you of the mindset of the present day materialist science and philosophy establishments, as well as of the loudest voices in the socio-political debate, we should not be particularly surprised, since they show all the signs of attending with the left hemisphere alone. I live in the hope that that may soon change: for without a change we are lost.
McGilchrist, Iain . The Matter With Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World (S.562). Perspectiva Press. Kindle-Version.
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Re: Approaching an Analysis of Jesus of Nazareth

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Mon Mar 07, 2022 6:25 pm

I find this very interesting... I hope you keep on going....

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to put me on ignore, life would be good..

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Re: Approaching an Analysis of Jesus of Nazareth

Postby Bob » Tue Mar 08, 2022 11:09 am

"There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars".

It is known that the ancients used the zodiac, an imaginary belt surrounding the heavens, extending about eight degrees on either side of the ecliptic and containing twelve constellations, as a calendar that went beyond the annual and seasonal calendars we still use today. By charting the course of the stars, they also discovered sacred numbers and geometry, the golden ratio, and much more, and were convinced that this was no accident. Astrology was a central element of Greek and Roman culture. Knowledge of the claims, practices, and worldview of astrology is essential to a comprehensive understanding of religion, politics, and science in the Greek and Roman worlds. However, the implicit role of astrology in Christianity has been underestimated, as has the use of language that shows astronumerology had an influence, as it did in all societies of the time.

The three "wise men" (or kings) who find the Christ child are an easy reference point for people familiar with both astrology and the Bible. But it is said that they were not only “wise men”, but also astrologers who used the "night star" to predict the birth of Christ and find his exact location. However, Christians in the Church are often taught that astrology is false based on selected scriptures, insinuating that the references were not astrological. While it is true that these often-quoted scriptures are taken out of context and reflect a lack of awareness of what astrology is, this should not give the impression that the "times" did not often refer to the ages of the zodiac.

The word "zodiac" is a strange one. It is derived from the Latin zodiacus. It is defined as "circle of life" because it has long been thought that the word "Zodiac" comes from the Greek root "Zoe" which means life. The fact that Israel was made up of twelve tribes and that there were twelve apostles, who included Mary, helps to understand the astrological significance of the use of such numbers. As an aside, Leonardo da Vinci included a very feminine person in his depiction of the Last Supper, and although this is heavily debated, it would allow for the inclusion of the constellation Virgo and explain the doctrine of the "perpetual virgin" in relation to Mary. The ambiguity of such inclusion would be typical of the flamboyant gay man that Leonardo was. But that is what we are talking about here, an ambiguous insertion of symbolism that is prominent in the world at that time.

A distinctive feature of astrology in the Greek world was its democratic character and the fact that it had diversified into a number of practices and schools of thought. There is evidence that until the 5th century BC, astrology was practiced in the Mesopotamian world exclusively in the service of the king and was used to predict individual destiny, avert undesirable events, and determine favourable moments for the establishment of new enterprises. In the Roman Empire, it was also used to advise on financial fate or the state of the soul. It was conceived as a natural science and justified by physical influences or considered as divination of the gods and goddesses.

In the Bible, there are a number of references in Genesis that have astrological implications. For example, the biblical patriarchs are said to have been "shepherds" around 1800 - 1700 BC, when the Great Month of Taurus (bull) ended, and the Great Month of Aries (sheep or ram) began. This symbolism is also found in the Exodus story, where the people turn to the golden calf, which is actually an Apis bull that was worshipped in Egypt, while the symbol of the hated Hyskos kings who waged civil war in Egypt was a ram or sheep. This is perhaps alluded to in the story of Joseph when he warns his brothers not to mention their true "profession," by which their religion was probably meant:
And it will happen when Pharaoh calls you and ask: What is your religion? You will say, "The religion of your servants is the worship of the Apis bull (Taurus) from our youth until now, both we and our fathers" ... for every Hyksos shepherd (worshipper of the ram) is an abomination to the Egyptians. Gen 46:33

But back to Jesus. In recent decades, six very early synagogues have been excavated in Judea and Jordan, and strange as it seemed to both archaeologists and rabbis, all of them had a mosaic zodiac on the floor. In the centre of these zodiacs is a figure with a halo, Helios, the sun god, and the head of Helios was intentionally placed in this zodiac to point to the conjunction between Aries and Pisces. This means that Helios points to a precession date of the early 1st century AD, the exact time when the Great Month of Aries gave way to the Great Month of Pisces. Jesus, according to the records, was born the Lamb of God (Aries) but became the Fisherman of Men (Pisces).

The New Testament speaks much of the end of the "age" (often translated "world" among evangelical Christians): "And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him, saying, tell us, when shall these things be? and what is the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the age?" (Math 24:3). The disciples were asking about the "sign," probably the constellation at the end of the age. We are now said to be at the dawning of Aquarius, which makes it interesting that Jesus asks his disciples to "follow the water bearer," the name for the zodiac sign of Aquarius, which is supposed to symbolize carrying the water of the Word (the Gospel) to evangelize the world. The Rosicrucians, a group of esoteric Christians, believe that the "Age of Aquarius" will bring to mankind real knowledge and the discovery of the deeper Christian teachings of which Christ spoke in Matthew and Luke. These mentions should not be overstated, but much of the symbolism of Christianity comes from astrology.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
When you are out of touch with reality you will easily embrace a delusion, and equally put in doubt the most basic elements of existence. If this reminds you of the mindset of the present day materialist science and philosophy establishments, as well as of the loudest voices in the socio-political debate, we should not be particularly surprised, since they show all the signs of attending with the left hemisphere alone. I live in the hope that that may soon change: for without a change we are lost.
McGilchrist, Iain . The Matter With Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World (S.562). Perspectiva Press. Kindle-Version.
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Re: Approaching an Analysis of Jesus of Nazareth

Postby ExtraCoronas » Tue Mar 08, 2022 12:23 pm

Bob wrote:If we wanted to do a real analysis of the person Jesus of Nazareth, we would have to know first of all, what language he spoke. As reported on history.com, the is a story about Benjamin Netanyahu and Pope Francis:
The issue of Jesus’ preferred language memorably came up in 2014, during a public meeting in Jerusalem between Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, and Pope Francis, during the pontiff’s tour of the Holy Land. Speaking to the pope through an interpreter, Netanyahu declared: “Jesus was here, in this land. He spoke Hebrew.”
Francis broke in, correcting him. “Aramaic,” he said, referring to the ancient Semitic language, now mostly extinct, that originated among a people known as the Aramaeans around the late 11th century B.C.

If it was Aramaic, which it was likely to have been, there must have been a transition to Greek early on, which was probably the reason for the Pentecostal story of the disciples speaking various languages. How else could an Aramaic speaking Jew have otherwise become so popular in the Greek diaspora and then amongst Greeks?


Jesus spoke Greek and Hebrew. So did many people at the time. Those languages were all in use in that area of Rome. He may have spoken Aramaic, that was used at the time but was still less common than speaking Hebrew was among Jews. And Jesus was Jewish and part of that community. The New Testament was written later in Greek by his disciples, whereas the Jewish “Old Testament” was written in Hebrew. Jesus spoke in both Greek and Hebrew.

This is not unimportant, because if we take something like the Lord’s Prayer, which Neil Douglas-Klotz (in ‘Prayers of the Cosmos’) translated from ‘The Peshitta’ a compilation of Aramaic scrolls of the Old and New Testament, it sounds unfamiliar:

O Birther! Father- Mother of the Cosmos
Focus your light within us - make it useful.
Create your reign of unity now-
through our fiery hearts and willing hands
Help us love beyond our ideals
and sprout acts of compassion for all creatures.
Animate the earth within us: we then
feel the Wisdom underneath supporting all.
Untangle the knots within
so that we can mend our hearts' simple ties to each other.
Don't let surface things delude us,
But free us from what holds us back from our true purpose.
Out of you, the astonishing fire,
Returning light and sound to the cosmos.
Amen.


This is clearly a different version than the one we are used to, and an indication that something has been lost (or “corrected”) in translation.


Never heard of that guy but that’s a pretty silly translation. Everything I’ve seen about the Ancient Greek original text of Matthew 6:9-13 is translated into English very similar to how the Lord’s Prayer is commonly known. Even just typing it into google translate (not perfect for something like Ancient Greek) shows basically the same thing more or less as what we know of the Lord’s Prayer. Nothing like what you posted above.

This reveals an ancient tradition of creation mysticism, and Douglas-Klotz shows in his books how Christianity, and by extension Western culture, slipped into an increasingly narrow, apocalyptic worldview. There are stories of purges on Christian sources that did not fit into the canon that Rome wanted to streamline.


Yet it’s the Roman Catholic Church who still use the proper Bible today, the one with 73 books instead of the Protestant one with only 66 books. Martin Luther removed 7 books from the Bible in the 1500s, before that they had always been included ever since the Bible was finalized.

Just look up the original Hebrew or the original Greek of OT or NT verses and plug them into various translation websites online, or look up translations and try to verify them. I did this a while back, I was curious how much spread of meaning there was in the various biblical translations. Turns out even across many different translations the core meaning is still the same for everything I looked up. It’s not some kind of “mysticism” it’s literally what is written in the Bible. You can verify it for yourself if you want to.

The Peshitta, however, is not an original Aramaic source but, as far as we know, a retranslation of the Greek text into Aramaic. It shows us, however, that translation alone can produce a wide range of understanding, and the Dead Sea Scrolls perform a similar service by showing the Gnostic writings that escaped the purge.

This was an early reason for me to step away from the conventional church position (I was elder in the German protestant church) and adopt a more universal appreciation of what the Gospel was teaching. Essentially, it was a step away from anthropomorphising God, and seeing language as metaphoric in nature, and the metaphors of religious language are rich and diverse. This is clear when you read Douglas-Klotz rendering of a mystical view of the first chapters of Genesis, the Aramaic words of Jesus, as well as translations of mystical voices like Jelaluddin Rumi, Ibn Arabi, Meister Eckhart and the Jewish Kabbalists.


Yikes. No wonder you’re confused. “Jewish Kabbalists”? You’re going to trust them to tell you about Jesus? Lol. Good luck with that.

If we want to see Jesus in the position as Christ, we have to question whether what we mean by Christ is the same as 2000 years ago. It definitely wasn’t what Jews thought of as Messiah, and perhaps it is in John’s Gospel, where meet the Logos, a cosmic creative force,


That verse at the beginning of John with “logos” isn’t anything “mystical”. It means Word. There is definitely some complex philosophical conception there as pertains to the notions of God, truth, and Word, and that’s already part of the underlying Christian understanding.

that we find a return to the mystical creative view of history, and the deification of Christ to make the crucifixion and resurrection a cosmic event.


Jesus was divine, it’s not something made up later. He talked about being the literal son of God, he told people there is no way to the Father except through him, he performed miracles, he referred to both himself and to God the Father as Lord, he rose from the dead and reappeared after his death to his disciples. That’s all clearly in the Bible and no Christian disputes any of it. It’s not some “stretch” or add-on after the fact to think Jesus was divine.

The catholic mystics picked it up in this way, and although there is evidence that the church wanted to retain the feudalistic image, and tried to silence the mystics, creation mysticism was resuscitated by Saint Francis.

So, is the evangelical view of Christ the most probable version? No, not in any way. Rather it shows us our narrow-mindedness, in trying to conceptualise and restrict. I found a quote from my favourite author at the moment that does something to explain this:

There is an important role for ambiguity (polysemy) in all understanding, something which metaphor, symbol, humour, tone of voice, and all the implicit modes of expression of the arts best understood by the right hemisphere, imply. This is not ambiguity in the sense of just not having taken proper trouble to pin down the meaning: but in the sense of having, indeed, taken proper trouble not to pin down the meaning too closely, so as to let it live – the proper rigour of ambiguity. Bringing an unwarranted simplicity to the matter strips away layers of depth, rather than enhancing insight.
McGilchrist, Iain. The Matter With Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World (S.905-906). Perspectiva Press. Kindle-Version.


Yeah. Well if you actually want to understand the meaning of something then you don’t “not look too closely” so you can maintain some kind of half-baked “mysticism” view of it. You would actually examine and think as honestly and completely as possible in order to best grasp the meaning. And it’s not that complicated, the only complication is that we don’t speak the original languages in which the text were written, but that’s not so much of a big deal because you can look up countless translations and compare them for yourself. If you actually do that you’ll see that this weird “mystical cosmic” new age mumbo jumbo view you’re espousing makes no sense at all.
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Re: Approaching an Analysis of Jesus of Nazareth

Postby felix dakat » Tue Mar 08, 2022 2:25 pm

Bob-- What I have read mostly agrees with what you say above, however...

the Dead Sea Scrolls perform a similar service by showing the Gnostic writings that escaped the purge.


Don't you mean the Nag Hammadi library AKA the "Gnostic Gospels" a collection of early Christian and Gnostic texts discovered near the Upper Egyptian town of Nag Hammadi in 1945? I never read that the Dead Sea Scrolls were gnostic in character.
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Re: Approaching an Analysis of Jesus of Nazareth

Postby felix dakat » Tue Mar 08, 2022 3:33 pm

ExtraCoronas wrote:
Jesus spoke Greek and Hebrew.


How do you know?

Yet it’s the Roman Catholic Church who still use the proper Bible today, the one with 73 books instead of the Protestant one with only 66 books. Martin Luther removed 7 books from the Bible in the 1500s, before that they had always been included ever since the Bible was finalized.


Were they? Again, how do you know? What are your historical sources for this claim?

Just look up the original Hebrew or the original Greek of OT or NT verses and plug them into various translation websites online, or look up translations and try to verify them. I did this a while back, I was curious how much spread of meaning there was in the various biblical translations. Turns out even across many different translations the core meaning is still the same for everything I looked up. It’s not some kind of “mysticism” it’s literally what is written in the Bible. You can verify it for yourself if you want to.


Why all the translations if there is no significant difference between them?

That verse at the beginning of John with “logos” isn’t anything “mystical”. It means Word. There is definitely some complex philosophical conception there as pertains to the notions of God, truth, and Word, and that’s already part of the underlying Christian understanding.


First you say there's nothing mystical about the word logos. Then you say there's something complex and philosophical about is. But, you don't say what it is. Then you say it's part of the Christian understanding. What is that exactly?


Jesus was divine, it’s not something made up later. He talked about being the literal son of God, he told people there is no way to the Father except through him, he performed miracles, he referred to both himself and to God the Father as Lord, he rose from the dead and reappeared after his death to his disciples. That’s all clearly in the Bible and no Christian disputes any of it. It’s not some “stretch” or add-on after the fact to think Jesus was divine.


So you take all that as literal fact and can't comprehend why anyone would question it. Is that it?
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Re: Approaching an Analysis of Jesus of Nazareth

Postby Bob » Wed Mar 09, 2022 6:47 am

felix dakat wrote:Bob-- What I have read mostly agrees with what you say above, however...

the Dead Sea Scrolls perform a similar service by showing the Gnostic writings that escaped the purge.


Don't you mean the Nag Hammadi library AKA the "Gnostic Gospels" a collection of early Christian and Gnostic texts discovered near the Upper Egyptian town of Nag Hammadi in 1945? I never read that the Dead Sea Scrolls were gnostic in character.

Hi Felix, yes, of course you are right, I made a mistake there. Unfortunately, I can't correct the text, but it should read the Nag Hammadi library.

As you can see, I am giving an account of all the influences that made me question the account given to us, which have been many, and the personal experience with mystic sources did the rest. A modern appreciation of the workings of the mind, which echo (in my opinion) that which we have in traditions of the east, also show that the certainty with which the dogmas of the church were presented blocked the ability to appreciate "the Gospel between the lines", the spiritual and often ephemeral aspect of our awareness, that the mystics picked up. We just don't have an antenna for it, it seems, and the materialistic approach oversimplifies the reality which confronts us.

I have struggled with the next "instalment" because I have been making use of the weather and preparing the garden for the spring, and also been mulling over the contradictory information we have been getting about the Ukraine conflict. Sorry.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
When you are out of touch with reality you will easily embrace a delusion, and equally put in doubt the most basic elements of existence. If this reminds you of the mindset of the present day materialist science and philosophy establishments, as well as of the loudest voices in the socio-political debate, we should not be particularly surprised, since they show all the signs of attending with the left hemisphere alone. I live in the hope that that may soon change: for without a change we are lost.
McGilchrist, Iain . The Matter With Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World (S.562). Perspectiva Press. Kindle-Version.
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Re: Approaching an Analysis of Jesus of Nazareth

Postby Bob » Wed Mar 09, 2022 7:58 am

ExtraCoronas wrote:Jesus spoke Greek and Hebrew. So did many people at the time. Those languages were all in use in that area of Rome. He may have spoken Aramaic, that was used at the time but was still less common than speaking Hebrew was among Jews. And Jesus was Jewish and part of that community. The New Testament was written later in Greek by his disciples, whereas the Jewish “Old Testament” was written in Hebrew. Jesus spoke in both Greek and Hebrew.

So, the Pope was wrong? There is a strong possibility that the Gospel writers were using a Greek Septuagint when writing, judging from the quotes they made, which differ to the Hebrew text.
ExtraCoronas wrote:Never heard of that guy but that’s a pretty silly translation. Everything I’ve seen about the Ancient Greek original text of Matthew 6:9-13 is translated into English very similar to how the Lord’s Prayer is commonly known. Even just typing it into google translate (not perfect for something like Ancient Greek) shows basically the same thing more or less as what we know of the Lord’s Prayer. Nothing like what you posted above.

Okay, so you’re using conventional sources and google. Fine. Please excuse me for offering a different source.
ExtraCoronas wrote:Yet it’s the Roman Catholic Church who still use the proper Bible today, the one with 73 books instead of the Protestant one with only 66 books. Martin Luther removed 7 books from the Bible in the 1500s, before that they had always been included ever since the Bible was finalized.

Just look up the original Hebrew or the original Greek of OT or NT verses and plug them into various translation websites online, or look up translations and try to verify them. I did this a while back, I was curious how much spread of meaning there was in the various biblical translations. Turns out even across many different translations the core meaning is still the same for everything I looked up. It’s not some kind of “mysticism” it’s literally what is written in the Bible. You can verify it for yourself if you want to.

You underestimate my age and my experience with the Bible and both the Protestant and the Roman Catholic Church, my deep conversations with Preachers, Pastors, Priests, Monks, and the spiritual context of nursing. I have read widely, and probably in literature that doesn’t appeal to you. If you add up the conclusions that I have drawn from these multiple sources, you come to my appreciation of the unconventional, and of meditation and contemplation, recitation and conservational or environmental spirituality.
ExtraCoronas wrote:Yikes. No wonder you’re confused. “Jewish Kabbalists”? You’re going to trust them to tell you about Jesus? Lol. Good luck with that.

Superficial reading, I see …
ExtraCoronas wrote:That verse at the beginning of John with “logos” isn’t anything “mystical”. It means Word. There is definitely some complex philosophical conception there as pertains to the notions of God, truth, and Word, and that’s already part of the underlying Christian understanding.

It’s quite funny really, to hear that the grand opening of John’s Gospel is anything but mystical and cosmological. Felix and I have speculated on the translations give for LOGOS, and the possibilities certainly circle around the “Word”, but with its many connotations, including consciousness, or “nephesh”, which is a Hebrew word relating to the aspects of sentience, and in the Bible, human beings and other animals, and even plants, are described as having nephesh. In Genesis 2:7 the text says not that Adam was given nephesh, but that Adam "became a living nephesh."
ExtraCoronas wrote:Jesus was divine, it’s not something made up later. He talked about being the literal son of God, he told people there is no way to the Father except through him, he performed miracles, he referred to both himself and to God the Father as Lord, he rose from the dead and reappeared after his death to his disciples. That’s all clearly in the Bible and no Christian disputes any of it. It’s not some “stretch” or add-on after the fact to think Jesus was divine.

If we read that God breathed into Adam and he became a living “nephesh”, it could be that we have overlooked that that divine spark is given to us all, which echoes the Vedic Brahman-Atman teaching from a period between 1500 and 400 BC. Christ being called “the first fruit” of a spiritual harvest could also indicate that our potential to follow Christ is larger than we thought.
ExtraCoronas wrote:Yeah. Well if you actually want to understand the meaning of something then you don’t “not look too closely” so you can maintain some kind of half-baked “mysticism” view of it. You would actually examine and think as honestly and completely as possible in order to best grasp the meaning. And it’s not that complicated, the only complication is that we don’t speak the original languages in which the text were written, but that’s not so much of a big deal because you can look up countless translations and compare them for yourself. If you actually do that you’ll see that this weird “mystical cosmic” new age mumbo jumbo view you’re espousing makes no sense at all.

I can understand people holding on to conventional teaching and (obviously) I have also supported dying patients in their faith, rather than presenting my own views. But when I was teaching in various settings, I tried to widen the perspectives of the listeners to accommodate a more than tribal view of Christianity and expand their intercessory prayer to include not only their immediate concerns, but go wider abroad, and include the people they mistrust and the environment. I also tried to persuade people to look between the lines, and experience the spirit of texts, but also the spirit of interaction with other people.

The sense of the magical arose in many cases, and people came out of meetings surprised at what had happened. Obviously, some became sceptical, and a few conservative Christians were mulling over the possibility that it wasn’t the “Holy Spirit” that had electrified the conversation, but generally, people were happy at the outcome, and some even called me an evangelist. For me it was a sense of enchantment that can happen anywhere, anytime, if we are enthralled by a landscape, a painting, a poem, a song, a melody, or a pretty face. It is something primordial, something essential that we have lost in our choosing rationality over everything else.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
When you are out of touch with reality you will easily embrace a delusion, and equally put in doubt the most basic elements of existence. If this reminds you of the mindset of the present day materialist science and philosophy establishments, as well as of the loudest voices in the socio-political debate, we should not be particularly surprised, since they show all the signs of attending with the left hemisphere alone. I live in the hope that that may soon change: for without a change we are lost.
McGilchrist, Iain . The Matter With Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World (S.562). Perspectiva Press. Kindle-Version.
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Re: Approaching an Analysis of Jesus of Nazareth

Postby Bob » Wed Mar 09, 2022 10:45 am

The social criticism of Jesus

The decline of Israel as an egalitarian society with laws that restored the social order every fifty years and thereby attempted to narrow the gap between a few rich and powerful elite and a mass of poor, landless peasants, as well as the indictments and predictions of prophets like Amos, show that much was already lost by the time of Jesus. Many of the supposed “Messiahs” instigating uprisings of that time did not address these issues, instead the occupation by the Roman army was their main concern.

Jesus was different, and he saw this social order as essential to the Israelites' covenant with God. His words echoed the Prophets and emphasized that God established their people in gracious love and wanted people to live in community with one another. Therefore, he was very critical of the scribes who interpreted the Torah, calling them hypocritical and accusing them of depriving widows of their inheritance. The opposition of the scribes was a rational interpretation of the law, aimed at keeping the peace, but Jesus was unconventional in his approach, which confounded them.

The Sermon on the Mount, which was composed as a parallel to the giving of the Law by Moses, was probably a collection of sayings that were compounded into one continuous speech, and it is quite possible that these were repeated on many occasions, which became ingrained in the disciple’s memory as “the” teaching. His unconventional beginning, and focus on the Kingdom of God, which was a spiritual kingdom, reveals that it is amongst, or in the midst of the members, or in them, and not a conventional kingdom, with palaces and rulers.

This echoes the conversation of God with the prophet Samuel, in which God is critical of Israel wanting a king, saying “…they have rejected Me from being king over them…” (1 Sam. 8 ) telling Samuel to say, “This will be the procedure of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and place them for himself in his chariots and among his horsemen and they will run before his chariots. He will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and of fifties, and some to do his ploughing and to reap his harvest and to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will also take your daughters for perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and your vineyards and your olive groves and give them to his servants. He will take a tenth of your seed and of your vineyards and give to his officers and to his servants. He will also take your male servants and your female servants and your best young men and your donkeys and use them for his work. He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his servants. Then you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day."

All Kings, including David, were typical of monarchy at that time, which is what the people had wanted, although the Torah makes it clear that Israel should have been very different. Only King Josiah (or Yoshiyahu) who was the 16th king of Judah (c. 640–609 BC) was different. Josiah is credited by most biblical scholars with having established or compiled important Hebrew scriptures during the “Deuteronomic reform” which probably occurred during his rule. It was so called because the book of the Law found in the Temple of Jerusalem was the basis of the reform. It is considered by many scholars to be the same as the law code in the book of Deuteronomy.

Interestingly Josiah had Hilkiah, the priest, consult Huldah, a female prophet, after the discovery of the book of Law, not Jeremiah, and she said, “This is what the Lord says: I am going to bring disaster on this place and its people, according to everything written in the book the king of Judah has read.” Rabbinic tradition says that, “The king addressed her, and not Jeremiah, because he believed that women are more easily stirred to pity than men, and that therefore she would be more likely than would Jeremiah to intercede with God on his behalf.”

Jesus taught about topics such as prayer, but also about the nature of the kingdom of God, about justice, caring for the needy, the proper use of religious law, divorce, fasting and judging others. He pointed out the consequences of hypocrisy, especially in relation to the pious of his time, for whom salvation was central - this sounds somehow familiar. In the Gospels, Jesus makes it clear that his followers were to live significantly differently than other people and hold themselves to a much higher standard of behaviour - the standard of love and selflessness that Jesus embodied. When questioned whether he was claiming the throne, he said that his realm was not of this world. That is, not the way Kings are normally seen, meaning his was a spiritual kingdom, which should have had its centre in the temple, not in the palace.

This aspect of social criticism is downplayed today, mainly because the oppression of the poor has remained, but the rich have skilfully built a middle class that helps maintain the division. Many Christians are part of the middle class, but say they are "blessed" even though they are part of the problem by Jesus' standards. This reminds us of the scribes, Sadducees, Pharisees, and tax collectors who were intent on maintaining the status quo in Jesus' day. According to Jesus, God blesses the meek, those who make peace, and those who show mercy to others. This was the bottom line when it came to upholding the law, and in this he saw the shortcomings of those who were responsible for teaching the law. He taught that possessions are not important, but that people should seek significant spiritual "treasures" and not worry, because God will take care of them. The entrance to his spiritual kingdom is difficult to pass through - like a narrow gate - but making the world hell is easy, like a wide gate.

The takeaway for me when reading scriptures was the fact that Jesus was most critical of those people who thought of themselves as pious and just. He pointed to “fallen” people, like prostitutes, tax-collectors, and those considered smitten by God, as those who had better chances to enter the kingdom than those who thought it was already theirs. He preached, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor: He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and to restore sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are trodden down, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” (Luke 4:18 & Isaiah 61:1,2 (see Septuagint); Isaiah 58:6)

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick, and you looked after me, I was in prison, and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matth. 25: 34-40)
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
When you are out of touch with reality you will easily embrace a delusion, and equally put in doubt the most basic elements of existence. If this reminds you of the mindset of the present day materialist science and philosophy establishments, as well as of the loudest voices in the socio-political debate, we should not be particularly surprised, since they show all the signs of attending with the left hemisphere alone. I live in the hope that that may soon change: for without a change we are lost.
McGilchrist, Iain . The Matter With Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World (S.562). Perspectiva Press. Kindle-Version.
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Re: Approaching an Analysis of Jesus of Nazareth

Postby felix dakat » Wed Mar 09, 2022 5:45 pm

Bob wrote:
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick, and you looked after me, I was in prison, and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matth. 25: 34-40)


What if when we looked at others we saw God?
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Re: Approaching an Analysis of Jesus of Nazareth

Postby Bob » Wed Mar 16, 2022 8:14 am

Some time ago I enjoyed conversations with a Philologist, who explained to me the deepness of Hebrew and Aramaic in comparison to our modern languages. Martin Luther is said to have said: “The words of the Hebrew tongue have a peculiar energy, ... It is impossible to convey so much so briefly in any other language. To render them intelligibly we must not attempt to give word for word translations, but only aim at the sense and the original Author's idea.” Another quote should suffice to show this energy: “The bible is a remarkable fountain: the more one draws and drinks of it, the more it stimulates thirst.”

My friend the Philologist made it clear that Hebrew readers have a multiple input when reading the original texts, and this is hardly translatable. If we read Hebrew or Aramaic, we need to take this into account. When we read the Greek texts translated into English, much of this has already been lost. In a disputed quote from Luther, he says, “Hebrew [and Aramaic] is like an ocean, Greek is like a river, and Latin is like a puddle.” Therefore, it isn’t surprising when followers of Christ get caught up in the words of the King James version, supposedly a “true” translation, that they have already found that they can’t swim in it.

I found Neil Douglas-Klotz to be an inspiration nearly twenty years ago, because he imparted some of that buoyancy that we need for a spiritual life, in order to let go and have ourselves be carried by the message of the New Testament. It led to resistance from theologians, but I found that many people understood the implications intuitively, even though some were startled by it. That is why I think that, to understand Jesus (or Yeshua), we need to hear what he has to say.

„If we consider Jesus’ words in Aramaic, we can then participate in an important Semitic language tradition: translation and interpretation as personal spiritual practices, rather than as academic pursuits. The practices themselves have many layers and nuances. […]

To begin with, a single word in Aramaic or Hebrew can often mean several seemingly different things. For instance, the Aramaic word shema (as well as its Semitic root ShM, or shem) can mean light, sound, name, or atmosphere. If we consider the admonition of Jesus to pray “with or in my shem” (usually translated “in my name”), which meaning is intended? According to Middle Eastern tradition, in the words of sacred scripture or words of a prophet all possible meanings may be present. One needs then to look at a given statement several different ways. In addition, Aramaic and Hebrew lend themselves to rich and poetic wordplay, like inner rhyming of vowels, repetition of consonant sounds, and parallel phrasing. These devices further increase the possible translations and interpretations of a given statement.

When a root word like shem becomes modified, its meaning may expand further. For instance, the first line of the prayer usually called the Lord’s Prayer or “Our Father” contains the word shem-aya, usually translated “heaven”. The ending added to shem implies that its effect extends without limit. In order to hear more of the possibilities, one needs to render the phrase from the Aramaic Gospels, Abwoon d’bashmaya, several different ways – something like this:

O Thou, the One from whom
Breath enters being in
All radiant forms.

O Parent of the universe, from your
Deep interior comes the next wave
Of shining light

O fruitful, nurturing Life-giver!
Your sound rings everywhere
Throughout the cosmos.

Father-Mother who births Unity,
You vibrate life int form
In each new instant.


The King James version gives us “Our Father which art in heaven.” Three hundred years later, the New Jerusalem Bible improved this only by shortening it slightly to “Our Father in heaven.” In both, the additional nuances and suggestions of the Aramaic, which would have been heard by the Semitic listener, are missing. It’s not that these English translations are wrong; they are simply very limited. They can’t hold the spiritual possibilities of the original Aramaic – and there are many others, even for this one line of the prayer. Metaphorically, they are like fruit juice that has been strained through a very fine filter and heated, leaving all of the valuable vitamins, minerals, trace elements, and pulp behind.

Each Stanza of my poetic translation above is itself incomplete yet points towards a unity that is only expressed in the Aramaic word themselves: Abwoon d’bashmaya. Likewise, when read aloud, one line may be heard more clearly than another by a particular person, depending upon her or his life experience. According to Middle Eastern tradition of spiritual interpretation, this would be the translation of the moment for that person.

In this tradition of translation and interpretation, the words of a prophet or mystic – stories, prayers, and visionary statements – challenge listeners to understand them according to their own life experience. These traditions propose that we can only fix the meaning of a sacred text at a particular time and place in relation to our own experience. This type of translation-interpretation not only bridges language, but also connects that which can be said in a language and that which remains a wordless experience. It is a “translation” between our outer and inner lives, as well as between our lives as individuals and as members of a community. As we look at major themes in Yeshua’s teaching, we need to remember that the search we are engaged in is for our own souls, rather than for some so-called objective notion of who Jesus was.”
Neil Douglas-Klotz: The Hidden Gospel 1999. Pages 19-21
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
When you are out of touch with reality you will easily embrace a delusion, and equally put in doubt the most basic elements of existence. If this reminds you of the mindset of the present day materialist science and philosophy establishments, as well as of the loudest voices in the socio-political debate, we should not be particularly surprised, since they show all the signs of attending with the left hemisphere alone. I live in the hope that that may soon change: for without a change we are lost.
McGilchrist, Iain . The Matter With Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World (S.562). Perspectiva Press. Kindle-Version.
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Re: Approaching an Analysis of Jesus of Nazareth

Postby Bob » Sun Mar 20, 2022 9:43 am

If we look at the biblical story from the perspective of metaphysical idealism (MI), I find that many things fall into place. In particular, MI states that all of reality is the manifestation of a universal consciousness that is the ground of all being, what we call matter or energy. The way we perceive this manifestation is controlled by our brain, which provides us with a "user interface" that allows us to interact with "reality," much like a modern computer protects us from the I's and O's of machine language. This is the understandable analogy of a computer scientist (BK) that also works for me.

Now our awareness of the reality behind our perceptions depends on the extent to which we believe that the user interface is "it", that it is indeed everything, as the materialists and reductionists would have us believe. There are numerous problems with this, as many physicists in particular have found over time, but consciousness itself also presents itself as a "hard problem" because we have to accept that consciousness cannot be generated from matter (especially from our brains).

Early traditions believed that consciousness is the beginning of everything, and Brahman and Atman were an example of universal consciousness being in man, but also the Bible speaks of God "breathing" into the clay figurine and making it a "living nephesh," a "living soul," as it is translated into Greek, and passed on to us with all the baggage that the Greek concept of soul carries. The Hebrew association refers to the throat, where our life experience might be located, since food, water and air flow through the throat, but the blood that flows through the brain is also nearby. In Hebrew, nephesh also refers to the whole person, just as one counts the "souls" in a congregation. Incidentally, a murderer was a "nephesh slayer," that is, we do not "have" a nephesh, but are a "nephesh" (Aramaic: naphsha). In essence, that which is manifested by God.

Although this is found at the beginning of the Bible and everywhere, especially in the Psalms, there is talk of the nephesh (often translated as "I") thirsting for God, it does not seem to have had the meaning in Christianity that it should have had because the Septuaguint was used, and Christianity therefore used the Greek concept. But the concept of individual consciousness yearning for cosmic consciousness to be whole again seems to be what Jesus picked up on, considering that his vernacular was Aramaic, where holiness is about wholeness, a reminder of the ground of being, the ultimate mystery and unity of God. The people of Israel were called to become aware of this unity and to abandon silly idols that tended to "thingify" God instead of understanding Him as something with which they were intimately connected.

Having found a starting point, we can see that the "incarnation" of the Christ (not Jesus, who was a nephesh or manifestation of universal consciousness) is a concept that transcends this existence. Jesus was "incarnated" as we all are, our births are equally impressive, but the form of the Christ or the Johannine Logos is something that transcends and was "foreseen" in the birth scenarios of Luke and Matthew. Christ is referred to as the "first fruits" of the harvest that brings us back to the awareness that we are one with God. And since everything is a manifestation of consciousness, there is an order, a way, a process that we must accept for what it is. We call it a law, but in a translation of the Aramaic, Jesus says (Matt. 5:18):

“Until light and form,
individuality and community,
heaven and earth,
finally merge again into Unity,
not the smallest part of every guidance
that relieves our weakness will pass away,
until it has fulfilled its purpose
and is no longer needed.”


This means that while we will return to the whole, until then we must follow the guidance that is given to us. For Jesus, this is summed up in the "most important commandment":

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul (nephesh/ naphsha) and with all your mind and with all your strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like it, namely, You shall love your neighbour as your self (nephesh/naphsha)." (Mark 12:30-31)

It is clear that the use of the words heart, mind, and strength only emphasizes that our whole "self" is to love God from deep within.

But it is the prospect of reunion with the whole, the oneness, the cosmic consciousness, for which people should be prepared and to which Jesus points in many parables. This preparation happens primarily through a holistic view of the world (McGilchrist: using both hemispheres of the brain) and not just by discussing the finer points of the Old Testament, but by introspection on how we live love in our part of the world; and also, by looking to nature, animals (also nephesh/naphsha) and all living things to learn from them.

I believe that his lesson to his followers was a spiritual one, that he interpreted messianic prophecy as a spiritual reality, and that the concept of the king (which God rejected in Kings) must be withdrawn in favour of a priestly king. Therefore, I think the course the Roman church took was wrong. And his self-denying journey to Jerusalem served to expose the structures that had been formed as hypocrisy, regardless of what would happen to him.

I think there is reason to believe that the cosmic Christ had precursors, of which there were several in the Old Testament, understood as a process in motion. Also, I think Jesus can be understood as the ultimate Christ, the one who opened up a long overdue consciousness, but I fear that his influence was not what was hoped for, but it lived underground for a long time in the last two millennia. Instead, Rome erected an idol that pleased the Caesars and kings and was little more than a symbol of the legitimacy of their claim to the throne. Only when we break away from the images of pomp and pageantry and return to humble service to humanity does something of the Gospel emerge.

In modern times, Christ is either militant or harmless, rather than the force of love that prepares humanity for its reunion with God. This reunion is what I think the discussion of purgatory and hell is about, and Jesus' warnings are quite disturbing for people who do not want to love, who will miss the mark but ultimately realize the error of their ways. Of course, it is also not good to revel in their ruin, because by doing so you join them. The commandment of love also applies to those we dislike, even our avowed enemies. Love is the standard by which we are judged, for we are one in God.

I think that the Gospels have been edited over time to present Christ in some passages as Rome preferred, and a lot of Greek influences have crept in, but looking at them from a different angle, as (Sufi) Neil Douglas-Klotz has done, shows us that many of the truly spiritual traditions have connections to this mystical understanding of our existence.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
When you are out of touch with reality you will easily embrace a delusion, and equally put in doubt the most basic elements of existence. If this reminds you of the mindset of the present day materialist science and philosophy establishments, as well as of the loudest voices in the socio-political debate, we should not be particularly surprised, since they show all the signs of attending with the left hemisphere alone. I live in the hope that that may soon change: for without a change we are lost.
McGilchrist, Iain . The Matter With Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World (S.562). Perspectiva Press. Kindle-Version.
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Re: Approaching an Analysis of Jesus of Nazareth

Postby Bob » Thu Mar 24, 2022 8:38 am

Scholars Marcus J. Borg (1942–2015) and John Dominic Crossan refer to Paul as a “Jewish Christ mystic,” and explore what the phrase “in Christ” meant to Paul:

He was a Jewish Christ mystic because . . . Paul was a Jew and in his own mind never ceased being one. He was a Jewish Christ mystic because the content of his mystical experiences was Jesus as risen Christ and Lord. Afterward, Paul’s identity became an identity “in Christ.” And as a Christ mystic, he saw Judaism anew in the light of Jesus. . . .
Paul’s transformation involved an “identity transplant”—his old identity was replaced by a new identity “in Christ.” . . . We have in mind an analogy to modern medicine’s heart transplant, in which an old heart is replaced by a new heart. In Paul’s case, his spirit—the old Paul—had been replaced by the Spirit of Christ.

Borg and Crossan view Paul’s mystical teaching on the gifts of the Spirit, from 1 Corinthians 12–14, as an extension of his identity transplant “in Christ.” Here they reflect on the implications of Paul’s reflections on love, “And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love” (13:13):

The love of which Paul speaks is a spiritual gift, not simply an act of will, not something we decide to do, not simply good advice for couples and others. Rather, as a spiritual gift, love is the most important result (and evidence) of a Spirit transplant. As the primary fruit of the Spirit, it is also the criterion by which the other gifts are evaluated. . . .
For Paul, love in this text is radical shorthand for what life “in Christ” is like—life in the “new creation,” life “in the Spirit,” life animated by a Spirit transplant. As the primary fruit of a Spirit-filled life, love is about more than our relationships with individuals. For Paul, it had (for want of a better word) a social meaning as well. The social form of love for Paul was distributive justice and nonviolence, bread and peace. Paul’s vision of life “in Christ,” life in the “new creation,” did not mean, “Accept the imperial way of life with its oppression and violence, but practice love in your personal relationships.”

To make the same point differently, people like Jesus and Paul were not executed for saying, “Love one another.” They were killed because their understanding of love meant more than being compassionate toward individuals, although it did include that. It also meant standing against the domination systems that ruled their world, and collaborating with the Spirit in the creation of a new way of life that stood in contrast to the normalcy of the wisdom of the world. Love and justice go together. Justice without love can be brutal, and love without justice can be banal. Love is the heart of justice, and justice is the social form of love.
Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan, The First Paul: Reclaiming the Radical Visionary behind the Church’s Conservative Icon (New York: HarperCollins, 2009), 26, 138, 204–205.
Quoted by Richard Rohr in his Daily Meditations https://cac.org/an-identity-transplant-2022-03-24/
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
When you are out of touch with reality you will easily embrace a delusion, and equally put in doubt the most basic elements of existence. If this reminds you of the mindset of the present day materialist science and philosophy establishments, as well as of the loudest voices in the socio-political debate, we should not be particularly surprised, since they show all the signs of attending with the left hemisphere alone. I live in the hope that that may soon change: for without a change we are lost.
McGilchrist, Iain . The Matter With Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World (S.562). Perspectiva Press. Kindle-Version.
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Re: Approaching an Analysis of Jesus of Nazareth

Postby Arcturus Descending » Fri Mar 25, 2022 6:28 pm

felix dakat,

What if when we looked at others we saw God?


That is a very interesting question. I cannot even begin to know what that God would appear to be to me.
I kind of think that God would have to show this person or that person in a way which God knows we would recognize...God ...and that might be different for everyone. Psalm 139 might be a great help. I love that psalm.

Or then again, perhaps it is just one person within our life who reflects everything which we see as being a part of God or the God which has come to visit us in the form of a human being.

The next question would be then - What then would we do? But that might probably be within your question.

Your question is a great question to contemplate.
BE MELTING SNOW. WASH YOURSELF OF YOURSELF.

YOU WANDER FROM ROOM TO ROOM
HUNTING FOR THE DIAMOND NECKLACE
THAT IS ALREADY AROUND YOUR NECK!

DANCE UNTIL YOU SHATTER YOURSELF!

THERE IS A VOICE THAT DOESN'T USE WORDS. LISTEN!

LIFE IS A BALANCE BETWEEN HOLDING ON AND LETTING GO!

LET SILENCE TAKE YOU TO THE CORE OF LIFE!
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Re: Approaching an Analysis of Jesus of Nazareth

Postby Bob » Thu Mar 31, 2022 5:42 am

Since both “soul” and “religion” are difficult words to get hold of, maybe this is the place to offer some definitions: In my in-depth understanding of the word, religion is our creative and concrete response to the mysteries that permeate our lives. When I refer to religion as an institution or organization, I’ll be explicit, calling it formal religion. My intention is to deepen our understanding of the religious traditions, but I’m aware, of course, that they can get in the way of the deep religion I’m seeking.

I use the word “soul,” another mysterious word that eludes definition, the way it comes up in everyday speech. We talk about people, places, and houses that have soul. Soul is the unreachable depth, felt vitality, and full presence of a person or even a thing. A person with soul gives you the feeling that he has really lived and has a strong personality. For millennia theologians and philosophers have said that the world has soul, too.

Soul is the invisible, mysterious, and softly radiant element that infuses your being and makes you human. Like plasma in your veins, it gives you a sense of meaning, feeling, connection, and depth. If you have soul, you have a visible glow and are alive and present. When people encounter you, they see a real person.

Without soul, we and our world are dead. Without soul there is no real substance and value, no possibility for love and care, no heart and no real power or tenderness. Without soul we live shallow and metallic lives, not really touching each other and not engaged with the world. Without soul we feel a hollow emptiness and a vague sense of being lost. Without soul many act out their unconscious passions in antisocial behavior. When you encounter them on the street, they look past you, because there is a vacancy where the soul should be. Without soul we become preoccupied with ourselves, because it’s the soul that gives us a real life.

When I think of a place having soul, I remember the old homestead near Auburn, New York, where my family settled after emigrating from Ireland in the nineteenth century. The weathered barns and sheds, the rusty rakes and plows, the cozy, musty house without running water and the antique smells of the kerosene stove and closed-up rooms—in my memory the place reeks of soul.

People often focus on the spiritual side of religion: beliefs, morals, eternity, and the infinite. But religion also has a soul. Like the old farmhouse, religion has its rich history of evocative teachings, paintings, architecture, music, and stories. It can feed the soul as well as inspire the spirit. What I remember most about my Catholic childhood is the smell of beeswax candles and smoky incense and mysterious chanting in Latin. To my soul, sensing was more important than understanding. Sensations remain in my memory, inspiring affection for the religion, while the teachings and admonitions fade.
Moore, Thomas. A Religion of One's Own (S.2-3). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle-Version.

I offer this introduction to the book that touched my soul, as did many of his books, which helped me in my nursing vocation. I believe that we forget this earthy type of connection to following Christ, and the earthy sensations that support our memory, giving religious experience a wider horizon, as though we were walking through the Land with him, seeing through the surface by his guidance, our sensations alive.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
When you are out of touch with reality you will easily embrace a delusion, and equally put in doubt the most basic elements of existence. If this reminds you of the mindset of the present day materialist science and philosophy establishments, as well as of the loudest voices in the socio-political debate, we should not be particularly surprised, since they show all the signs of attending with the left hemisphere alone. I live in the hope that that may soon change: for without a change we are lost.
McGilchrist, Iain . The Matter With Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World (S.562). Perspectiva Press. Kindle-Version.
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Re: Approaching an Analysis of Jesus of Nazareth

Postby Ichthus77 » Thu Mar 31, 2022 7:10 am

Tatian’s gospel harmony, the Diatessaron (c150-160), contains 96% of John’s gospel.

And the Word, (with) God in the beginning, became flesh. The fullness of the Godhead bodily dwelt among us. He is the fulfillment of the law and the prophets, summed up in loving other as self.

He died bodily to demonstrate that love is ACTUAL. The tomb was found empty. He appeared bodily after his death. Skeptics before his death became converts after those bodily appearances. He is coming again bodily.

Not to be confused with the Holy Spirit of the Father & of the Son.

don’t believe all the “hyp”gnosis that is ad hoc nihil with very late roots
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Re: Approaching an Analysis of Jesus of Nazareth

Postby Bob » Thu Mar 31, 2022 9:03 am

Ichthus77 wrote:Tatian’s gospel harmony, the Diatessaron (c150-160), contains 96% of John’s gospel.

“Tatian's harmony follows the gospels closely in terms of text but, in order to fit all the canonical material in, he created his own narrative sequence, which is different from both the synoptic sequence and John's sequence; and occasionally creates intervening time periods that are found in none of the source accounts.” (McFall, Leslie; "Tatian's Diatessaron: Mischievous or Misleading?"; Westminster Theological Journal, 56, 87–114; 1994)

It is, of course, okay to play with these texts, since they are not historical but instead compositions of sayings and narrative, which have each their own agendas. I see your interest in creating a similar gospel harmony has probably come from this.

Ichthus77 wrote:And the Word, (with) God in the beginning, became flesh. The fullness of the Godhead bodily dwelt among us. He is the fulfillment of the law and the prophets, summed up in loving other as self.

He died bodily to demonstrate that love is ACTUAL. The tomb was found empty. He appeared bodily after his death. Skeptics before his death became converts after those bodily appearances. He is coming again bodily.

There is a profound experience to be had by re-enacting the narrative via the liturgical year, celebrating the important festivals of autumn, winter and spring in the church year, interpreting the passages of the bible in personal experience. The constant state of expectancy that eschatological prophecy evokes can also have some deeper meaning, but I tend to enjoy the sensual awareness of the miracle of life in its diverse forms and the marvel of spring growth after a winter of demise. I see God between things, following the guidance of the Gospels, and between words and between lines, in the sunbeam and in the dark of night.

I have no need for a physical appearance to be assured of the love of God, as reassuring as I am aware the story of the resurrection is. The manifestation of the world, and our ability to perceive its majesty, like the flower in a wall, is enough to fill me with awe. I admit that the story has a deeper symbolic meaning for me, and Jesus is a supreme mixture of man and myth, pointing to a transcendence of life, our celestial beginning and a return to that source of being, after our last breath, speaking, “It is done!”

Ichthus77 wrote:Not to be confused with the Holy Spirit of the Father & of the Son.

don’t believe all the “hyp”gnosis that is ad hoc nihil with very late roots

You like things to be specific, not this but that, whilst at all times they overlap, creating paradoxes and mysteries, sometimes as ephemeral as a breeze, sometimes as short lived as a shining star. A momentary experience, perceived in passing; a sudden notion that fades quickly, all of these things are sources of insight, and gnosis, the recognition, detection, or realization of God’s presence, is as old as human beings are.

The Lord gives wisdom [ħokhma] (sophia), from his face come knowledge [da'ath] (gnosis) and understanding [tevuna] (synesis)" — Proverbs 2.6
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
When you are out of touch with reality you will easily embrace a delusion, and equally put in doubt the most basic elements of existence. If this reminds you of the mindset of the present day materialist science and philosophy establishments, as well as of the loudest voices in the socio-political debate, we should not be particularly surprised, since they show all the signs of attending with the left hemisphere alone. I live in the hope that that may soon change: for without a change we are lost.
McGilchrist, Iain . The Matter With Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World (S.562). Perspectiva Press. Kindle-Version.
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Re: Approaching an Analysis of Jesus of Nazareth

Postby Ichthus77 » Thu Mar 31, 2022 9:16 am

I have no need for a physical appearance to be assured of the love of God, as reassuring as I am aware the story of the resurrection is.


Love is not love without demonstration. The evidence for your distortions has no ground. It is called antichrist by John himself. Paul called it empty and useless.

emptiest of meaningless things

versus

the greatest of great things

I’ll take the latter.
Fall semester ends 12/16/22. Apologies if I do not reply immediately.

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Re: Approaching an Analysis of Jesus of Nazareth

Postby Bob » Thu Mar 31, 2022 9:30 am

Ichthus77 wrote:
I have no need for a physical appearance to be assured of the love of God, as reassuring as I am aware the story of the resurrection is.


Love is not love without demonstration. The evidence for your distortions has no ground. It is called antichrist by John himself. Paul called it empty and useless.

emptiest of meaningless things

versus

the greatest of great things

I’ll take the latter.

Your interpretation, but do you notice what you are doing here? You call the assurance of the love of God from a vast number of sources, including existence itself, evil. You evoke the devil and fail to love, so why should I be convinced that you have chosen the better?
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
When you are out of touch with reality you will easily embrace a delusion, and equally put in doubt the most basic elements of existence. If this reminds you of the mindset of the present day materialist science and philosophy establishments, as well as of the loudest voices in the socio-political debate, we should not be particularly surprised, since they show all the signs of attending with the left hemisphere alone. I live in the hope that that may soon change: for without a change we are lost.
McGilchrist, Iain . The Matter With Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World (S.562). Perspectiva Press. Kindle-Version.
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Re: Approaching an Analysis of Jesus of Nazareth

Postby Ichthus77 » Thu Mar 31, 2022 11:15 am

Where is the failure to love? There is love in correction. If you genuinely, authentically love the truth, stop accepting it from every source except the Wholeness you counterfeit.
Fall semester ends 12/16/22. Apologies if I do not reply immediately.

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Re: Approaching an Analysis of Jesus of Nazareth

Postby Bob » Thu Mar 31, 2022 12:56 pm

Ichthus77 wrote:Where is the failure to love? There is love in correction. If you genuinely, authentically love the truth, stop accepting it from every source except the Wholeness you counterfeit.

Do you say that truth is only reliable from one source? Do you actually live outside of your faith?

Have you noticed how much knowledge we have amassed in 2,000 years?

Have you any idea of other languages, let alone Hebrew, Sanskrit, and other ancient languages?

Have you considered that the OT record has great similarities with traditions that were around in Babylonia when Israel was exiled there?

Have you noticed the multiple “coincidences” between the story of Jesus and other divine personalities in mythology?

Have you heard that civilizations in the world are older than Israel, like Çatalhöyük (c. 7,500 BCE – 5,700 BCE), the Jiahu culture in China (c. 7,000 BCE – 5,700 BCE), Ain Ghazal (c. 7,200 BCE – 5,000 BCE), Mesopotamia (c. 6,500 BCE – 539 BCE), Ancient Egypt (c. 3,150 BCE – 332 BCE), the Indus Valley Civilization (c.3300 BCE – 1300 BCE), the Akkadian Empire (2334 BCE – 2154 BCE) …?

Of course, if you think that Genesis is a historical document with an accurate account of time, you might think that the world was created 10,000 years ago …
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
When you are out of touch with reality you will easily embrace a delusion, and equally put in doubt the most basic elements of existence. If this reminds you of the mindset of the present day materialist science and philosophy establishments, as well as of the loudest voices in the socio-political debate, we should not be particularly surprised, since they show all the signs of attending with the left hemisphere alone. I live in the hope that that may soon change: for without a change we are lost.
McGilchrist, Iain . The Matter With Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World (S.562). Perspectiva Press. Kindle-Version.
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Re: Approaching an Analysis of Jesus of Nazareth

Postby Ichthus77 » Thu Mar 31, 2022 8:01 pm

Many sources, sure, but contradiction is the proof of error.

Check out Eternity in Their Hearts by Don Richardson. Yes, it is young earth, but needn’t be (see biologos.org/questions). What I find interesting is how it shows common elements between cultures going way back, and distinguishes between authentic elements and artificial distortions. But you’re not talking mere essentials vs peripherals… antichrist is lies, not diversity. Some try to stretch quite a bit to make Jesus out to be a copycat myth. They have the burden of proof, and none of it works.

Why be okay with contradiction? What drives that?
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Re: Approaching an Analysis of Jesus of Nazareth

Postby Bob » Fri Apr 01, 2022 11:27 am

Ichthus77 wrote:Many sources, sure, but contradiction is the proof of error.

Contradiction isn’t in itself proof of error. Just because someone has a different view doesn’t mean that I am in error. In fact, it may well be that we’re both in error, because our knowledge is temporary, and our perception of reality is transitional. We have a different understanding today than fifty or a hundred years ago. One thing that has always proven difficult is conserving wisdom. At some stage, people have to find those who know what a sentence or a manuscript means, because we have lost the language or the cultural affinity to be able to read a text in the way it was meant.

The best way has been to keep wisdom alive, and the ancients used stories and narratives, songs and poems, to keep it in their minds and to re-enact it. We have lost any common knowledge of Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek, so that we can’t recite those texts, or tell those stories in the way they were two thousand years ago. We interpret and try to get the gist of a text, but philologists will tell you that much more resonates through the words in the original language. Our tendency to even select translations as “the” translation shows our ignorance of this.

Ichthus77 wrote:Check out Eternity in Their Hearts by Don Richardson.

You’ll laugh perhaps, but years ago I knew a German missionary in the Black Forest, who worked with Don Richardson in New Guinea and I spent two days looking at his pictures and listening to his stories. It was fascinating, but I had to ask whether the fact that they were receptive of the Gospel depended upon anything external. It appears there was. The Bible teachers encouraged the indigenous people to adopt the values and arbitrary customs of Westerners in terms of music, dress, forms of worship, etc. The missionaries rarely seemed to realize that they had interpreted the gospel through their own cultural lens, which led to serious distortions. They were only concerned with getting the natives to abandon their pagan culture and exchange it for theirs. This has happened in other parts of the world as well, and I can hardly see an animistic worldview, which these people had, as a preparation for monotheism. However, the charm of Christianity was the love it preached, and as often is the case, the women warmed to this quickly. With the men it was difficult, and there were many setbacks along the way.

Ichthus77 wrote:Yes, it is young earth, but needn’t be (see biologos.org/questions). What I find interesting is how it shows common elements between cultures going way back, and distinguishes between authentic elements and artificial distortions. But you’re not talking mere essentials vs peripherals… antichrist is lies, not diversity. Some try to stretch quite a bit to make Jesus out to be a copycat myth. They have the burden of proof, and none of it works.

Your insistence in bringing this “antichrist” attitude into the argument makes a discussion difficult. It is also telling (but not usual) to use language to deflect the facts, rather than admit that cultures overlap, and always have done. The discoveries of recent years have been suggesting a far older spread of culture, and developments interrupted by cataclysms of huge proportions, leaving remains of cultures, mostly megalithic structures, that may even be older than those I mentioned.

All this does is show that the OT has elements of other cultures which have been written into a narrative for Israel, not for the world. It is like a broad tapestry with a pattern only in the middle, leaving much of the surface blank. The narrative is ingenious and full of symbolism that shows that the people who collected the writings and redacted them were incredibly sophisticated, and scripture has much to offer for that reason. However, the idea that it is history in the sense of the word as we use it now is clearly wrong. And the coincidences observable in Christianity with pagan rituals and symbols are widely accepted. It is basically because it all comes from a common cultural development which has diversified as groups split off and separated, as we read that Abraham did.

Ichthus77 wrote:Why be okay with contradiction? What drives that?

To be honest, I don’t even know what you mean by this.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
When you are out of touch with reality you will easily embrace a delusion, and equally put in doubt the most basic elements of existence. If this reminds you of the mindset of the present day materialist science and philosophy establishments, as well as of the loudest voices in the socio-political debate, we should not be particularly surprised, since they show all the signs of attending with the left hemisphere alone. I live in the hope that that may soon change: for without a change we are lost.
McGilchrist, Iain . The Matter With Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World (S.562). Perspectiva Press. Kindle-Version.
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Re: Approaching an Analysis of Jesus of Nazareth

Postby Ichthus77 » Fri Apr 01, 2022 12:14 pm

The Jewish scribes were too particular about making perfect copies for your claims about losing their knowledge to hold any weight (plus compare with your inversion with the bit on what philologists would say on original words—words you claim to say we need, have lost, then instead you choose late distortions!!). Any discrepancies among early copies don’t effect doctrine. Applying that standard to other historical texts would toss a lot of history. The best way to keep history real is to not rewrite it. Difficult enough as humans are its authors… why accept late distortions??

The contradiction you accept (gnostic antichrist) isn’t a matter of best translation. This is like believing Abraham Lincoln did not physically sign a physical copy of the emancipation proclamation on an actual day in actual history, and that it did not go into actual effect (though at first a small one). What would drive such a distorted view of history? What would motivate one to rewrite history?

I don’t have my copy of Richardson’s book on hand, or a pristine memory, but he addresses whether or not each of the various cultures had ever been exposed to other cultures, or if it was first contact—he discusses the difference between a correct understanding & a distortion (as gnosticism is—though you are oddly still fine with that) & isn’t ignorant as you assume (though you are seemingly not ignorant & yet are still okay with distortion??). Suuuper interesting stuff.

The “all peoples” promises given to Abraham have had to be repeated and preserved because of going off track throughout history — or, rather — of God getting things back on track. This culminates like labor pains to the present track. Like a broken record. Almost as if we …prefer… broken records. What is driving it?
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