Wednesday, April 30, 2008

JESUS and History


I am not convinced that Jesus was ever a formal, appointed "rabbi" of the traditional schools of Judaism. In the Gospels, over and over, his "enemies" appear as the "scribes and Pharisees." The latter were traditionalist and orthodox people, "people of the book," which Jesus was clearly not.:) Also, there are some historical sources that claim that the term "rabbi" was not used to designate an official, formal, teacher or leader in Judaism until after the death of Jesus; so, it might be an anachronism.

Jesus was clearly not orthodox. In some ways, he was just as clearly antiorthodox, as when, in Matthew 5, he in effect denied the infallibility of the "written" Scriptures and recommended that we follow the heart.

Other texts, such as the famous John 17:3, imply that he might have been a gnostic (mystic). For there, in prayer, Jesus says, "This is timeless life, to know (Greek, form of gnodsein) you, the only true God, and the one whom you emanated, Jesus Christ." This kind of thinking/talking was purest mysticism.

I am not convinced that there is any historical data whatsoever that proves that Jesus was married. If he was, great! Also, if he was not, great! His beautiful teachings of Love are not altered one way or the other. I know that, since the "tempest in a teacup" caused in the official Catholic Church recently, many people will argue to the death that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalen. I believe, and remember, that they were the closest of friends. But there is no solid, good, scholarly evidence that they were married. In a gnostic work, the "Gospel of Phillip," it says that Jesus used to kiss her on the mouth with fair regularity, so they were not only friends, but intimate friends. (This Gospel says even that the other disciples were jealous!) And Mary Magdalen was recognized, in place of Peter, as the founder of the later church, by gnostics of many traditions. And this fact is also very impressive.

I know and agree that Jesus was no carpenter; only Joseph was. And the people said that he was a carpenter; but the people also said that he "had a demon." So, you cannot, as always, rely on the crowd to prove anything! Yet there is consistent scholarly consensus that he was no carpenter, popular myth to the contrary.:)

Yes, the orthodox, official Church was powerfully misogynistic, and this alone is a good enough reason-- as if another were needed-- to reject the leadership of the official and orthodox Church. (There are many other good reasons for rejecting, even renouncing, this Church. For one, it mistakes Jehovah for the sweet Lord of Love!:)

Jesus rejected the title of "messiah." There was a good, sound historical reason for this: The Jewish "messiah" was predicted to be a powerful and bloody general who would liberate the Jewish nation by spilling the blood of tens of thousands of Romans and other Jewish "enemies." This nightmarish, hideous "prophecy" did not at all fit the gentle teacher of Love.

The unreliability of the canonical Gospels, which went through many hands of many scribes, is indicated by the fact that, in Mark, the oldest of the official Gospels (including also Matthew, Luke, and John), Jesus tells Pilate that he is the "messiah." The "messiah" was nothing more than a popular Jewish superstition; Jesus did not buy into it at all, and certainly never made any claims to be the messiah. Like the word "rabbi," this word is also an anachronism; the word was not even used during the life of Jesus, but came along later.

The Greek word khristos, "Christ," is much more than a mere translation of the Hebrew mashiahh, or "messiah." Like "Buddha," in Sanskrit, the word "Christ" referred to a level of enlightenment, as the "anointed" one-- "anointed" by the Spirit (God or Love). But when Christianity historically abandoned many Jewish customs, holidays, and Levitical requirements of the Law, such as sacrifice, it somehow clinged tenaciously to the doctrine of the messiah-- in some ways, the most harmful of all. (Maybe this appealed to the Church because it was ruled by the lower nature.)

No comments: