Jesus was not widely appreciated in his day - denounced as insane, not just blaspheming. Compare: "He is demon-possessed and raving mad." [John 10:20] and "This fellow is blaspheming!" [Matthew 9:3]
Was there smoke without fire? Or was the gospels' Jesus ravingly insane? See for yourself by ticking off on a set of criteria used by WHO and APA for various disorders. The diagnostic criteria draw sketches of several types of lunatics, and the WHO criteria and APA criteria are much the same. The Bible's Jesus scores astonishingly much in either case.
And if there is a lunatic onboard, what will you do? If it is the ship's captain, claiming to be God (according to later-coming gospel writers), who is the one, will you get ready to abandon ship before he starts whipping all sailors who drink beer? There could be a range of more or less unwelcome outcomes in a case. Better be forewarned, for then you may not end up like HMS Bounty sailors on islands in the Pacific Ocean. [WP sv. "Mutiny on the Bounty"]
In the little table are the main personality disorders. Each is a link to the full lists of criteria used by the World's Health Organisation (WHO) and the American Psychiatric Association (APA). They allow for tentative and humble diagnoses based on Jesus features and many instances that the New Testament's four gospels describe. To the degree the gospels and Acts contain significant features that amply confirm the diagnostic criteria, one may apply the duck test, "If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck." Or "If the madcap cap of criteria fits, put it on him". As simple as that!
And yet, the real Jesus was probably different from the Jesus of the four gospels. It is needed to sort them out to try to get to the most authentic gospel first, and then see. The renowned Bible scholar Geza Vermes has done that job for us in his book, The Authentic Gospel of Jesus (2005), where he scrutinised the sayings attributed to Jesus. Vermes uses the three first gospels as his main sources, since the gospel of John is a much later work and was written for a Hellenistic audience. Among the three first gospels, Vermes regards Mark to be the prime source, as many other Bible scholars do.
Further, Vermez has sorted the sayings attributed to Jesus, has sought to place them in a first century Jewish context, and has got no evidence of verbatim quotations of Jesus. There are also sayings attributed to Jesus from other gospels that did not make it to the Bible. There are dozens of such gospels, as they are called. Some such sayings are similar to sayings in the gospels, while some sayings are different. ◦A list of gospels is here]
This is to suggest that some sayings and actions attributed to Jesus - including very hard words that drove most of his disciples away (in John), are not all that reliable to a Bible scholar who searches for the real Jesus underneath the accumulated, later-added gospels.So be wary with the interpretations of "Nothing will harm you [Luke 10:17-20]" and the fate of millions of martyrs thereafter. The word 'martyr' tells they were indeed harmed.
Wild claims and seeming promises: Words and descriptions of Jesus in John and later additions to Matthew and so on, may or may not be representative of him. Reality check: How often have followers thrown mountains into the sea on Jesus' word from some of the gospels? (cf. John 14:12). Such ideas and ideas of the power of prayer and the Spirit that should remind of them, might not have been aimed at Gentile followers, for while he lived, Jesus said his words were for "Jews only" [Matthew 15:24].
Vermes (2010) says that too. Jesus' teaching, his work, his Kingdom and Salvation were for Jews alone. A Samarian episode is an exception to that grand design. So even if we find a lot good in some of the teachings ascribed to Jesus, we may not bother to "follow him" on any of them, since he says his teaching is for Jews only (Matthew 15:24). If you believe it and are no Jew, apply. If you do not believe it, or anything else he is credited with in the gospels, never mind; you can be a Christian anyway. A strange teaching? It is biblical. First, Acts 15, confirmed in Acts 21:25 shows that the requirements for non-Jewish followers were just four, and abstaining from blood food one of them . . . no teachings of Jesus asked for, only the four things and getting the right Spirit. Paul tells how such as marital sex may put a mate right with God too: "Wife, you might be able to save your husband. Husband, you might be able to save your wife." (1 Corinthians 7:16, ISV; cf. 1 Peter 3:1). There is an opening there.
Thus, if you believe every saying traditionally ascribed to Jesus, his sayings are for Jews only and do not matter otherwise. If you don't believe gospel sayings, it hardly matters in that case either, in the light of the Apostolic Decree (see Acts 15:23-29, confirmed in 21:25): You still have a chance. It is in following Jesus by believing in his wild promises, sticking to his self-molester demands for Jews and so on that danger lies.
The "Jewish Jesus" probably did not claim to be God (Bart D. Ehrman 2014 etc.) Such claims were added later on his behalf, thinks formidable Bible scholars like Bart D. Ehrman (2014) and Geza Vermes (2012). Because the great claims were added and blown up only after Jesus had been executed, there may be a psychopathic hallmark less associated with him.
Here is Geza Vermes telling that later-added missionary claims put in the mouth of Jesus-for-Jews were made up later - forged in his name.
During his days of preaching, Jesus of Nazareth addressed only Jews, "the lost sheep of Israel" (Matthew 10:5-8; 15:24). His disciples were expressly instructed not to approach gentiles or Samaritans (Matthew 10:5-8). 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)
Jesus reserve his teachings and salvation for Jews (Matthew 15:24; 10:5-8; Vermes 2012), but only depraved Jews: those of sound moral and spirit are not called by him, and the healthy do not need him (Mark 2:17; Matthew 9:12-13; 12.11). Jesus further puts his sheep on a path to perdition in that he teaches his sheep what is opposed to sound self-preservation. Thereby eyes, limbs, property, fit living-conditions and life itself soon enough are at risk (Matthew 5: 29-30; 39-42). Finally, marring losses come to those who call him 'Lord, Lord' without doing as he tells. (Luke 6:46)
Without a probing effort of some merit, we are stuck with gospel scenes, incidents, stories, sayings and characteristics that reveal a Jesus that amply meets three or four diagnostic criteria of, say, a psychopath who wants to rule the world and lord it over others and so on (antisocial type) - why not recognise it?
The diagnostic approach is basically very simple - and yet not so simple when it comes to determine the best sources. As for the findings, one may be ostracised, excluded from one's congregation for saying, "according to gospels and wary diagnosis work, Jesus was ravingly insane".
This page gives access to all the diagnostic criteria of ten main personality disorders that many should be able to apply well to central gospel parts and then draw their own conclusions if they care.
As you can see in the light of many of the criteria, there is much biblical evidence for supporting a: "Jesus! a histrionic, paranoid and antisocial psychopath and possibly more . . ." If that is a necessary outcome of the duck test, manage to use it with lots of discretion.
The points below are not conclusive, ample as they may be; there are more relevant points in the gospels still. But see for yourself. First investigate. Go to the best sources at hand and steadily refuse to take the gospels at face value. That is what Bible scholars try to, and their findings should not be ignored. Otherwise, the gospels describe him as a multi-psychopath. Take care.
A Lord and his servants
Is there something in "Birds of a feather flock together" and "Like attracts like"? Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." [Mark 2:17; cf. Matthew 9:12-13]
His followers, the sick and the sinners, are they good? That is the pertinent question, and not "Are they good beer-drinkers?" And for sure, there are better folks to be around than sick sinners.
'Sick' in this sayings stands for morally depraved too, not just of ill will, doing bad things to oneself or others, sinning, unrighteous, not set straight. And 'healthy' is a broad, sweeping holistic concept as well. Is there any sane reason to maintain that an impressive multipsychopath is greater than other people who succumb to that one? It might depend on how such a psychopath is and acts, but it is usually very good counsel to stay away from fools - and psychopaths - unless you are armed and alert or something. The healthy do not need psychopaths around; nor do they demand it.
Bible evidence may not be reliable, so take that option into account. This source makes claims to be the word of God, reliable and true. It is clearly not. For example, it tells how Judas died in two mutually exclusive ways. Scholars have found out much else in gross outline, and savoury reasons for it are divulged too. [Link]
But such evidence is mainly what we are to look into in the following; and according to gospels, Jesus was either a liar or insane, or both. It should not be too difficult to find non-Christian experts on mental disorders and diseases to form a discursive diagnosis resulting in "Jesus Was Much Insane or Something" from carefully documented criteria applied to the gospel evidence. Modesty is not all there is to life, remember.
Jesus is the originator of one of the tensest sects in history. And Christianity generates wild sects year by year and tear by tear, so to speak. Look to the fruits to determine the tree, is the teaching. The cult of Christianity took off from Judaism with ruins in its wake. Tens of millions of its cultish members were mutilated and made martyrs for their inculcated faith in time, regardless of all tall powers they were seemingly promised in gospels (e.g. John 14:12-14), such as the powers of healing and waking the dead. Beware of morbid "promises" to your own loss.
If you click on the diagnostic criteria (a link is to the left also) you get definitions of ten main personality disorders to evaluate by, tentatively at first. The World Health Organisation's criteria are offered for each disorder, and those by the American Psychiatrist Association (APA). The criteria are similar. If you apply the criteria of each mental disorder to weighty things about Jesus that stand out in the gospel, you might get astonished and scared, perhaps or perhaps not. At least you may find something to chew on first. Moreover, it helps to be informed, and also to be carefully guarded.
Train yourself and be prepared for repercussions too. To publicly proclaim that "Jesus is a horrible Multiple Psychopath as judged by the gospel evidence" is based on your understanding of it, and might reflect on you somehow. And even if you are sound as a fiddle, others may attack along such a vein, speaking of character murder or worse.
So stick to the evidence at hand, and be geared to possible nuisances if you decide to speak your mind along these veins. It is good to have backup (support). It is well to conclude from the data given, without stretching the evidence or findings beyond the legitimate borders. Blind belief and blind disbelief are not fit solutions. Eventually you may not be served by talking too big and as a result get a bizarre reputation; instead be well guarded. The proper procedure is: Make up your own mind and guard the privacy of your own thoughts for safety. But if at least three symptoms of any personality disorder seem to fit him nicely, do not be afraid to note it down and weigh him as well as you can.
The four requirements the Gentile Church is founded on, are they merely asides?
Demands to abandon. The influence of Jesus with strange and self-molesting demands coupled with those of hard-headed fools around could mar the fare of lives of today. Think about how he really promotes the spread of great badness by decreeing that as his follower you should cut off your offending limbs, even eyes, give in to robbers and not press charges, and yield insistent beggars who want your housing even, choose poverty, cast mountains into the sea, and so on.
However: See what well-off, so-called followers of Jesus actually do, and note how divergent his demands are. What is wrong in such a picture? Is is hypocricy and arrogance, or is there a good enough reason at the bottom of these things? Or a marring blend of not knowing and ignoring what is Christianity for non-Jewish followers [Acts 21:25], and disregarding the stiff demands of Jesus anyway?
The danger of hypocrites. There can be many dangerously misled Christians - Many cliché-ridden followers seem to be fake followers or rude hypocrites in that they do not obey him and do not show the gospel's key signs of true, poor followers - Mark their signs in passing here: [Things followers can do].
Moreover, the authoritarian, commanding Jesus is reported to have condemned hypocrites to hell. That might have included flaunting followers who disregard some of his key sayings too, if it were not for Acts 15. The decisions there may have saved non-Jewish Christians from obeying Jesus: Merely to call him "Lord, Lord" in a strange "faith" that does not make mountains cast themselves into the sea won't do the trick, nor would the faith that does cast mountains into the sea and prophesies correctly (for once). Jesus condems such people too - "Condemned if you do, condemned if you don't" - if he finds you are a hypocrite, that is. [Luke 6:46; Matthew 7:22-23]
❋ To be lulled in a strange or odd faith is not the best there is to life.
For Jews Only, He Said
As luck would have it, Jesus - "son of David" through Joseph, and "son of God by an angel, and God? - or . . ." - said he came for Jews only, and would not deal with others.
Who was he the son of, except Mary? Why have Christians been keen on telling she was a virgin who conceived? Opposed to that odd tale, for centuries Jews have been fond of telling that his father was a Roman soldier, an archer called Pantera. Origen quotes Celsus from the 100s CE in order to refute him:
Jesus had come from a village in Judea, and was the son of a poor Jewess who gained her living by the work of her own hands. His mother had been turned out of doors by her husband, who was a carpenter by trade, on being convicted of adultery [with a soldier named Panthéra (i.32)]. Being thus driven away by her husband, and wandering about in disgrace, she gave birth to Jesus, a bastard. Jesus, on account of his poverty, was hired out to go to Egypt. While there he acquired certain (magical) powers which Egyptians pride themselves on possessing. He returned home highly elated at possessing these powers, and on the strength of them gave himself out to be a god. 
The story is about as old as gospels or gospel parts, and is at least from the second century, yet there is no reliable evidence to confirm it. Jesus was at any rate accused by the Pharisees of being "born of fornication" [John 8:41]. Further, Jews had strict rules for name-giving. A son was named after his mother only when the father was unknown. In Mark 6:3, Jesus is referred to as "the carpenter, the son of Mary (etc.)."
Questions about his father put aside for now, rest reasonably assured that the later-added missionary command at the end of Matthew was made up and inserted long after - a few centuries, perhaps. But as tough luck would have it, his commands are for Jewish followers and not for non-Jews.
Still, non-Jewish believers - there were very few other believers in the early Church - were made martyrs in the millions. Why were they not reminded of words to surpass Jesus in the right Spirit [John 14:12,14], and pray off as they should? [Matthew 19:26; Mark 9:23; Matthew 17:21] They should have easily avoided the calamity and got splendid lives too. But somehow they did not. They became victims of less than first-class teachings.
And all those who call Jesus "Lord" without doing what he appears to command, may not be that bad, after all. The vast throngs who think they fail miserably in following Jesus, have they been duly informed about those relaxed "rules of the game" for non-Jewish followers? There are four requirements for non-Jewish followers, just four, Acts state, and commands of Jesus are not mentioned a bit. So there may be hope for those who have ignored Jesus and not delighted in black pudding, odd as it may sound to the uninitiated.
Acts 15 (and Acts 21:25) in the New Testament contains those pivoting passages, the very foundation for non-Jewish followers. There are only four requirements, it says. One of them is no to blood food, which is scoffed at nowadays, even though there is no Bible evidence that it is OK to discard or circumvene it. There are many bluffers around. Make sure you are not among them, and study well. Consider there could be worse things yet to come for all who have eaten black pudding, according to a Scripture. The kernel of the thing is that all the apostles and the Holy Spirit agreed on these four requirements:
The apostles and elders, with the whole church . . . sent the following letter: The apostles and elders, your brothers, To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: Greetings . . . we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell. [Acts 15:22-29]
The four requirements are repeated in Acts 21:25. "As for the Gentile believers, we have written to them our decision that they should abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality."
Blood Food Is Relished by Christians in Many Countries -
One of the marked rascality sides to current Christianity, at least where I come from, is to delight in blood food and looking down on adulterers, without even for a second consider that these things are rather equal, according to the Deal for non-Jewish followers - that is, almost all who call themselves Christians, without doing what Jesus tells followers are to do and are able to do anyway. And if you are honest, you may disregard and shoo Christianity altogether, for the sake of health, thriving, and sound development, for example. There are other good reasons too. "Stay as classy as you can" should be a great one.
And now, back to diagnostic surveys:
Diagnostic surveys on
Apply the key points of various mental disorders to the Jesus you find described in the gospels, and deal warily with the findings, since the gospels are not all that reliable witness accounts, for one thing. You may go on and grade the suspected symptoms you detect, into "(they are) there" and "more severe (ones)", for that is how mental disorders are diagnosed in outline: Pick your choice, try to excel in the art of matching the assembled, official characteristics and striking features of a person.
There is biblical evidence that Jesus was a histrionic, paranoid and antisocial psychopath, for example - not just outrageously garrulous. But do not be scapegoated for "canonising" your findings by making the verdicts official as your stand in public in some dangerous, overly explosed place like a cliff [cf. Luke 4:28-29] or whatever: Consider the consequences . . . for example that some that are set on being hailed as God, or banding with such a one, can be of sick minds, quite insane, even dangerous criminals under the surfaces. Such criminals and sickly sheep are not just marked by rude unconcern. And what is more, Jesus did not come for healthy persons, he says, and also told that being healthy is better than being ill - not to speak of better than being a slave and sheep (conform at it too). [Matthew 9:12-13]
Opposed to criminals and sick sheep, going for health of mind and spirit and survive thus is no error. Since the gospel's message is that healthy ones do not need Jesus and therefore should not be called by him - nor should non-Jews - some sheep that escape him, might have potential for something better and lead all right lives too.
"What is the use of worrying? / It never was worthwhile," writes George Asaf (1880-1951) in a song [Oq 423]. Many times it is, though. Do what is apt with mockingbirds and untruths, but furnish and keep some mental space or "room" for openings too.
Points pertaining to Jesus of the New Testament by diagnostic criteria
Note: The diagnostic criteria used by WHO and APA are shown on a separate page. Click on the headlines for getting to them. And see how Jesus scores! Clear evidence is usually required for at least three of the specific items in a clinical description list, and the lists below relate to solid gospel evidence. Do gospel part recount truths solidly, or are they for most part figments of fancy centuries after the life and its events? Some narrow believers think of gospels as truth. Critical bible scholars don't. To recap: In this field we are in, when marked incidents and descriptions the New Testament substantiate three points, it is time to get suspicious.
Eleven. Judged from accounts in the four canonical gospels, Jeshua ben Miriam was a psychopath (sociopath) as estimated in line with the most updated, current standards. There is one more thing: The list above is far from conclusive. There are several other incidents to draw on. Besides, other gospel instances could be added to substantiate various points in the list given here.
Now, as Kahlil Gibran said, a thread in a web (Jesus among his people) may break if the web is wrongly made. The Scottish psychologists Ronald Laing takes that point into account too, when someone deviates markedly from society and is not welcomed for that reason, or turns bad or mad from it. Simply put: It might be the fault of the society, or might have been so at first! The chosen people was not really a good choice, or so it seems. There is still much to consider.
Also, not a few multinational corporations may be diagnosed thus too, as psychopathic. They are marked by striking unconcern with long-range profits. One may see a psychiatrist's diagnosis of the multinational corporation in the Canadian documentary The Multinational Corporation. The Norwegian TV channel NRK sent the eye-opener on 21 April 2007. Dr. Robert Hare, a consultant to the FBI on psychopaths, draws parallels between a psychopath and the modern corporation. His findings confirm the following behaviour:
Source: The Corporation, a 2003 Canadian documentary film written by Joel Bakan, and co-directed by Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott.
Eight so far. Born to parents who fled with him, and he himself escaping angry Jews too, crying on Getsemane to be spared, feeling apprehensive in the extreme. He asked followers to main themselves ruthlessly, if it was meant literally. Most of his disciples left him. The Bible tells he felt rejected by the scribes in the extreme, and that his original missions "for Jews only" failed. His dramatic anxieties might at first be at least partly due to circumstances he got tangled in.
Nine. The borderline case is emotionally unstable. Jesus surely cursed and argued and spoke of doom and gloom and denounced "good people" that he found were "hypocrites!" and who happend to disagree with him.
Eight. He let himself be crucified to oblige his Father who was him and so on, felt very helpless for it, and it also proved to be largely in vain in that most Jews have never welcomed him.
Three. A fig tree did not escape his theatrical, inappropriate cursing. To be recognised as Messiah (Big Boss of Jews) attracted him greatly or alarmingly.
Eight - where just three would call for suspicion. Occupied with quarrels about being Messiah - son of God. That seems to have been a goal, and to "shanghai disciples", for example Peter, served it.
A score is not settled. "Be ye therefore perfect" depends on "as your Father in heaven is perfect". That Father wanted to use his claimed son as a ransom for the sins of others. In other words: the Father stood for injustice of this rude kind: "Sacrifice someone else to atone for you." Scapegoating is primitive and beneath good folks. If you say it is glorious, you are deceived and may be scum. Buddha has explained sides to this very carefully. [Apannaka Sutta]
Seven. More than twice as much as is needed.
Two, but - It depends on the family too. They wanted to kill him on one occasion. As for sex experiences, let it rest.
Six. Twice as much as needed. And when odd beliefs get dogmatised onto others, are they odd still? When eccentric conduct is hailed as divine, is it still eccentric in the eyes of the dumbfounded many?
It adds up. Three signs makes one suspicious. Well over sixty signs call for a lot else, Bible study, and studying the findings of able Bible scholars, like Bart D. Ehrman. If you don't ask what may be called for, apart from leaving Christianity for a better life, I will not say what here and now.
As for his present followers or "followers", many call him "Lord, lord", without doing all the self-maiming he favours in the gospel of Matthew 5:1-ff. Most are justified in not doing those terrible things he calls for, since all the apostles and the Holy Spirit agreed that not even one word by Jesus was needed for non-Jew followers (Acts 15; 21:25). This means you should not feel called to become a homeless hobo either. Instead you are given a Counselor to be with you - the Spirit of truth. [John 14:12-15]
"Did the martyrs forget to ask for good lives?" is a pertinent question. An answer: They did not realise that the teachings of Jesus - all of them - are for Jews only. [Matthew 5:1-10; 15:24; Vermes 2012.=
And alas, followers who allegedly had got the spirit of truth - they were Christians - wrote different gospels . . . Besides, there are two very different tales of how Judas died. (Acts 1:18-20; Matthew 27:5]
And if you don't qualify - yet - never mind. It is not by just intoning "truly, truly" that things come to pass.
Antony, Martin M., and David H. Barlow, eds. Handbook of Assessment and Treatment Planning for Psychological Disorders. New York: The Guilford Press, 2002.
Ehrman, Bart D. How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee. New York: HarperOne, 2014.
Livesley, W. John. Practical Management of Personality Disorder. New York: The Guilford Press, 2003.
Morrison, James. DSM-5 Made Easy: The Clinician's Guide to Diagnosis.. New York: The Guilford Press, 2014.
Ratcliffe, Susan, ed. The Oxford Dictionary of Thematic Quotations. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.
Stone, Michael S. Personality Disordered Patients: Treatable and Untreatable. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing, 2006.
Vermes, Geza. The Authentic Gospel of Jesus. London: Penguin, 2005.
Vermes, Geza. From Jewish to Gentile: How the Jesus Movement Became Christianity. Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR) 38:06, Nov/Dec 2012.
Vermes, Geza. The Real Jesus: Then and Now. Minneapolis, MI: Fortress Press, 2010.
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