Padmasambhava teachings are for all. [More]
Can we live with belongings and wealth or are the goings better without?
At least some Christians after the old couple Sapphira and Ananias who had hid good wealth for themselves, escaped sudden and unexpected death, but the old couple died, struck down (Acts 5:1-11).
There are good reasons to respect the words of Jesus that his teachings are for Jews alone, although with a few exceptions (Matthew 15:24 etc.). This knowledge is a jewel. It can set you free from the Jewish follower's obligation to "do as old gospels tell or go to hell." The liberation from authoritarian, curse-and-threat-based goings may soon enough translate to:
Jesus of the four gospels has sayings against these freedoms. Bullying has many outlets, then. Would you have a bully for a friend and saviour Lord? Straight ones answer no to that. There should be no need to grovel for other hard-hearted ones either.
The history of Christianity may be described as a long march with many setbacks and wars among denominations against some of the demands and commands of the gospels' Jesus for his Jewish followers. It is a plain mistake for a non-Jewish Christian to be beneath them, after all the apostles and the Ghost dispensed with the Law of Moses and did not incorporate anything of Jesus in the Deal for Christians. Many seem unaware of it, but it is in the New Testament all the same (Acts 15:19-29; 21:25).
Decency has its demands on us
To be set free from Jesus-decided indignities and Jesus-endorsed slavery sounds all right if you can handle your freedom. Gradually you may be up to it. Some moral sense tends to go well along with basic regulations set up, like the five commandments of Buddha. The Hebrews got similar ones. The ancient Egyptians had some of them, and your heart should talk to you by and by too. Moral teachings are to go against neglect, misuse of freedom and depravity.
It is the same with truths. The question is how well you are able to attune to or make good of lots of them, or some of them. In this case a gospel truth is "Away from me, you Gentiles, my teachings are for Jews only", and to hypocritical Jewish followers who called him "Lord, Lord" without doing other, sordid things he told - he says plainly: "Get away from me, hypocrites! I don't know you!"
For Gentile followers there are other "rules of the game", so to speak: There are just four basic requirements, and they are no to blood food (black pudding and the like); no to choked animals like wrangled poultry, and to adultery as understood in the Old Testament. They seem to be set on par, so is it decent to eat hens that are strangled in the common ways?
"Mother Hen" for Jerusalem Jews
"Often I have longed . . . as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but . . ." (Matthew 23:37). The "mother hen" longing for Jerusalem Jews was quite in vain. Many parts of his teachings seem to set your path so that you encounter many unneeded hardships and even fail in this life. So it could be one of the greatest blessings not to adhere to the teachings and commands of Jesus if you are a non-Jew, which the vast majority of Christians are.
Here is further good news: It was decided by all the apostles and the Ghost in Jerusalem around 50 AD to make life better for Gentile Christians - who anyway succumbed to martyrdom in the millions, because they did not do better than Jesus in the right spirit (John 14:12), or through mighty prayers (not unlike Jesus denied his prayer on the cross). These poor guys thought the end of the world was at hand and that Jesus had said it. But it was no hit! Not at all. Thus, stick to your blessings. Not being steered along towards doom and gloom by various teachings of Jesus might well be among the big ones.
Gospel teachings of Jesus put to the test
Throw a mountain gently enough into the sea to show his promises hold water. Why did millions of martyrs come to such shame? You may not know all the details, but it stands out they had got gospels with teachings that were for Jews alone, according to gospels . . . Teachings to whom they do not concern, may not be all that helpful - some are in the Old Testament, which is not expressly forbidden reading by Jesus (see Bennet, 1884)
Now, there were very few Jews among the early Christians - perhaps about 120 when he died, for example. By then many of his seventy-two apostles had already diserted him for his hard teachings (Luke 10:1-20; John 6:53-66). The twelve he had first called, still remained, but they fled when the goings got rough before his crucifixion. If the remaining apostles later had listenened to their guiding spirit of truth and rememberance, and all the non-notable gospel writers also, they should have known who Jesus addressed exclusively for most part, who his self-molesting, self-amputating or wincing ways were meant for, for example. Out of respect for that they should have written nothing! The twelve apostles did respect it - they did not include any teachings and commands of Jesus in their Apostolic Decree for Gentile Christians. Not any self-molesting demand or saying of his in basic Christianity, in fact, but no to blood food, wrangled birds and adultery. (Acts 15:19-29; 21:25)
The formidable Bible scholar Geza Vermes finds that the teachings, Kingdom and salvation of Jesus were for Jews only, and that Gentiles were to be strictly excluded.
Jesus . . . proclaimed the arrival of the Kingdom of God in the near future, as it were tomorrow. Hence he demanded . . . a renunciation by the faithful of all material possessions and even the abandonment of their families. It is to be underlined that this appeal was addressed only to the Jewish people, the 'lost sheep of the house of Israel'. The texts are clear: the apostles of Jesus were ordered not to seek to persuade non-Jews. It was Paul, a Greek-speaking Jew and a Roman citizen, who 20 to 30 years after the crucifixion set out to convert the pagans when he failed to win over the Jews resident outside Palestine. [Paul] fought with Jewish Christians and obtained the other apostles' agreement to exempt his pagan flock from the obligation to adopt Judaism and undergo circumcision . . . But Jesus' message, which was directed towards Jews alone, was centred on the Law of Moses. (Vermes 2010:37).
A Jew's teachings only for Jews, are they of interest to a later-developed Christian church or are they forbidden fruit - in the sense that going into them looks like trespassing - not actually respecting the teacher of "Why call me 'Lord, Lord' and not qualify some way or other?" One more Vermes reminder:
During his days of preaching, Jesus of Nazareth addressed only Jews, "the lost sheep of Israel" (Matthew 10:1-8; 15:24). His disciples were expressly instructed not to approach gentiles or Samaritans (Matthew 10:5). On the few occasions that Jesus ventured beyond the boundaries of his homeland, he never proclaimed his gospel to pagans, nor did his disciples do so during his lifetime. The mission of the 11 apostles to "all the nations" (Matthew 28:19) is a "post-Resurrection" idea. It appears to be of Pauline inspiration and is nowhere else found in the Gospels (apart from the spurious longer ending of Mark [Mark 16:15], which is missing from all the older manuscripts). Jesus' own perspective was exclusively Jewish; he was concerned only with Jews. (Vermes 2012)
Actually, this should mean, "Hie away from Jesus, Christians." But customs will have their ways. But something depends on who, what and how you are, and what elbow-room you have. Living depends in part on what you make out of it, how well you play your given cards, and how your circumstances and goings are.
Can the non-Jew do without any particular teachings of Jesus without faking that he lives up to the teachings of Jesus? Definitely, and here is a good thing to know. The first church had no gospels written. Jesus had died a brutal death for Jews, we are told, and that the Jews at large did not want him all the same. The Father's plan Jesus talked of and resigned to, just failed. He died for nothing much, one may add. He had kept his teachings, salvation and Kingdom for Jews alone with few exceptions - and they preferred a Barabbas when the Jerusalem crowd at Passover were given a choice of whether to have either Barabbas or Jesus released from Roman custody. Matthew, Mark and Luke and the accounts in John and the Gospel of Peter say the crowd chose Barabbas to be set free. Jesus was not popular enough, it says, but that gospel story definitely suffers from its weaknesses and its plausibility may be weak and thin as well (Wikipedia, "Barabbas").
A decent Christian may clearly do away with Jesus because Jesus tells he does not want other than Jews to study his teachings. It is in the Bible. Instead, the decent Christian goes to his Ghost and is told truthfully and faithfully what to remember, such as that Jesus was for Jews alone, and that Gentile followers got a better deal (Acts 15; 21:25). There are only four requirements. No to wrangled chickens and to blood food (like Brat, Wurst and Black Pudding) and adultery are three out of four. That is what the New Testament says - and good Christians ignore as if they were paid for it.
Only later "the net" was thrown over Gentiles, with Peter's vision on a roof in Joppa, and what followed. It is described in Acts.
"For Jews alone", simply
After studying the Bible for many years, Bart Ehrman became an agnostic. Word-conditioned faith he had got when young, shrivelled up. Real faith, on the other hand, goes a lot deeper or more inward than word-conditioned faith. (There is Ehrman literature at bottom of the page.)
At this point some words attributed to Jesus in the gospels may come to mind. The good thing to do is to refrain from quoting Jesus, for there are several very good reasons.
Results of plans and guidelines depend in part on how they are, how we are, and what we are able to make out of it, or whether elements of calculated indoctrination and infirmities "get into the bargain". If time permits, I may remove sayings of Jesus from lots of pages on the site. That is decent enough!
A decent Christian may clearly do away with Jesus because Jesus tells he does not want other than Jews to study his teachings, but not the four requirements highlighted in Acts 15:19-29. No to wrangled chickens and to blood food (like Brat, Wurst and Black Pudding) and adultery was and is what all the apostles and the Ghost agree on. A Christian might like to be alerted to just that. [Rubbing in Black Pudding]
In yoga - Buddhist and Christian or otherwise - higher yoga contains ways and means to go to heaven and further. Higher yoga consists of meditating deeply, as Yajnavalkya sums up. You could do well to take up good meditation.
The four gospels of the New Testament were selected from among dozens of contenders, and then much edited, adapted and reduced. But it should not matter to a Buddhist and a Hindu.
Why should some non-Jews feign one follows Jesus through disregarding his no to get into his teachings and not follow up on them either?
It is a sick world. The teachings of Jesus in the gospels are not meant for Gentile Christians. The follower had better respect the teachings that say the teachings are not for non-Jews. That is my opinion.
And if they are false sayings, so much the worse. Bible scholars have detected many forged sayings in the Bible. Barth Ehrman has laid bare some. Joseph Wheless had laid bare many others before Ehrman. The Missionary Command is a false, later-addition, he holds.
This is to say that Bible stuff is not a street of truth. In fact, early Christian writings were infamous for forgeries, Ehrman says.
A way to deal with spurious, unsourced and inauthentic sayings is not to trust them, and be set free. In that way life may be lived for greater good. While some hold the goal is to enter Heaven, such a goal is not good enough, holds Buddhism and Hinduism. The best, or apex, is to be set free from Heaven too, in what is called Self-realization, Self, knowledge (Atmajnana) by Adi Shankara.
After coming to clarity in this lore, maybe you should ask what is the freeway to Heaven and a lot further, for it is not had by croaking and talking a lot. After you have aligned yourself to good teachings in the matter, you find you have done things that are taught in the Forbidden Teachings - gospels for non-Jews and all the dozens of gospels the church eventually discarded, that is - and life gets better! Let us hope that for now, shall we?.
In yoga - Buddhist and Christian or otherwise - higher yoga contains such methods. The best methods may be at your doorstep or hard to find. Higher yoga consists of meditating deeply, as Yajnavalkya sums up.
Infirmities may hinder valuable, tall teachings. First see to it that you are robust enough to handle some truths, and with care. The way to clarity in textual matters depends on fair investigations, maybe by thousands for hundreds of years on end. That is how the Bible has been studied. Textual studies of the Bible have yielded lots of fruits and many good books to study for oneself. An opening by Luke should also be noted: "I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account". [Luke 3]. Lack of truths and infirmness can both wreck havoc later on. Take care not to be deceived.
Dogmatic assurance is one way to get deceived. For example, in the fourth century Augustine bully-declared that every part of the gathered New Testament text had been chosen by God, although written by various Christian writers. Church fathers superficially went along with this, but many of them disagreed and wrote so too. And more important, around the middle of the fourth century the New Testament as we know it began to be put together, and in or about 367 AD Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria gathered together a selection of writings that were approved by two church councils in the 390s. Over the centuries, these texts were further "edited". By that many sections were excluded, very likely because the church found they undermined its grasp on people.
"Chosen by God" - yet changed a lot later, heavily (not heavenly) edited! The four gospels of the New Testament are selected from among dozens of contenders, and then much edited, adapted and reduced, so much that even the "real" history of Jesus remains an open question, and likewise his teachings. But does it really matter? Not if you are a Hindu.
That brings on another question: "Jesus says clearly in several gospels that his teachings, kingdom and salvation are for Jews only, and Gentiles were refused. (Vermes 2010;37,41; 2012). The first church, which all the apostles and the Ghost founded around in Jerusalem 50 AD, agreed to lessen the conditions and lighten the burdens for Gentile converts, after Peter had had a vision on a roof in Jappa - Gentiles, formerly regarded as unclean and unfit for Jehovah and Jesus, were all at once called acceptable inner-heaven-food to eat. That is how Christianity started with the vision of Peter at Joppa with the "Eat and kill unclean animals (Gentiles)" as well implied (Acts 10:9-18; 44-47). Was it a plot or not?
Words and commands of Jesus did not get into the church at first, as Acts 15 shows. The first church prospered on "kill and eat" with figurative overtones without teachings of Jesus included. Gospels were written, selected, added and edited only decades and generations later, based on no written sources we know of. The earliest records of the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John appear within 80 years of the death of Jesus.
The gospel teachings of Jesus were for Jews only. The much later-added missionary command served to "legitimate" the spreading of gospels among non-Jews, but the missionary command was most likely a forgery suited to the changed conditions of the Christian community - with no end of time in view, for "that train had gone" centuries earlier, and the priesthood put in some favourite rituals and dogmas they finally settled on without good sourcing, it may be added.
In such ways the growing Gentile Church came to disregard and grossly dishonour the gospel-sayings of Jesus that his teachings were for Jews alone. Early Christians came to ignore those sayings, and in so doing disrepected Jesus and his teachings, of course. Within a quite short time the early church for non-Jews came to disrespect Jews and get estranged from the Jewish outlooks in the first church, where there were only Jews for a while, and then a mixture og Jews and Gentiles, as Geza Vermes explains (2010).
Someone did not remind the gospel writers that you cannot eat your cake and have it too; cannot say no to giving teachings to non-Jews, and then let them have them by some hush-hush, pretences and selections among a lot of gospels, so as to "edit up" a cogent-looking story - one with big holes in it. The big holes are what is left from excluded matters in those "streamlined" four gospels..
Among Nag Hammadi documents uncovered in Egypt in the 1940s, there were more gospels and other gospel versions than the four that eventually were included in the Bible. The Gospel of Judas has risen in status since a complete text was found there. Geza Vermes has studied the Nag Hammadi texts extensively as well (Vermes 2010b). [◦Nag Hammadi works]
Gospels claim to recount the life of Jesus, to preserve his teachings, or to reveal aspects of God's nature. Many other gospels exist, or used to exist. Some of them have left considerable traces. A good number of these other gospels were written second and third centuries. They were excluded in part because they did not accord with orthodox views on Jesus, church structure and women's place in the church. So can anyone be certain that the gospel accounts included in the New Testament are authentic and authoritative? No, concludes the Bible scholar Geza Vermes, author of The Authentic Gospel (2005). And there is an unknown amount of differing gospels, but at any rate dozens of them. And to use forbidden teachings - as all those in the gospels of the Bible - could backfire. Self-molestations, yes to slavery are not results of right judgements. There should be no problems in dropping the sayings of Jesus and the gospels wholesale. The first Christians did without any gospel. Gospels came dozens of years later, in part some hundred years later.
So if a person has got a guiding, reminding Truth-teller on board, dropping the expressly Gentile-forbidden sayings should not matter. They were for Jews only, and contained self-defeating teachings for sure. And a host of them are unreliable - there is not one quotation of Jesus we can say for sure is verbatim, asserts the Bible scholar Geza Vermes (2005).
If you wait till you are a hundred years to get wise enough to follow up on this justly, as James the Just found good for all Gentile followers and all the other apostles agreed with, and the Ghost, maybe you have put scores of years to wrong use and been too hard on yourself - or had blood food without even considering it a sin about as bad as adultery, and delighting in it at Christmas too (Acts 15:19-29; 21:25). What do you say?
Bennett, W. H. The Mishna as Illustrating the Gospels. London: George Bell and Sons, 1884. ⍽▢⍽ The Mishna or Mishnah is the first major written redaction of the Jewish oral traditions known as the "Oral Torah" of Rabbinic literature. The Mishnah was redacted at the beginning of the third century CE. It tells of how Jews are to deal with (1) prayer and blessings, tithes, and agricultural laws; (2) festivals and the laws of the Sabbath; (3) women, marriage and divorce, some forms of oaths and the laws of the nazirite; (4) damages, civil and criminal law, the functioning of the courts and oaths; (5) "holy things, such as sacrificial rites, the Temple, and dietary rules and regulations; (6) laws of purity and impurity, the dead, the laws of food purity and bodily purity. There might also have been regulations as to (7) scribal practice and blessings. (WP, "Mishnah")
Burkett, Delbert, ed. The Blackwell Companion to Jesus.. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011.
EB: Encyclopaedia Britannica Online or as a yearly DVD suite. London: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2015.
Ehrman, Bart D. Forged: Writing in the Name of God: Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are. New York: HarperCollins, 2011.
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⸻. Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.
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Evans-Wentz, Walter Y, ed. The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation or the Method of Realizing Nirvana through Knowing the Mind. London: Oxford University Press, 1968.
Guenther, Herbert. The Teachings of Padmasambhava. Leiden: Brill, 1996.
Metzger, Bruce M., and Bart D. Ehrman. The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restauration. 4th ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.
Vermes, Geza. The Authentic Gospel of Jesus. London: Penguin, 2005.
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⸻. From Jewish to Gentile: How the Jesus Movement Became Christianity. Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR) 38:06, Nov/Dec 2012.
WP: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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