Salvation plots could be wicked. You could be taken in.
Messiah and Christs
It could matter to know what sort of 'Christ'.
The term 'Christ' comes from 'Messiah', which means "the (oil-)anointed one'. Its basis is what happened in 1 Samuel, chapters 8-10. In troubled times the people wanted a king. Judge Samuel told them, among other things, "You yourselves will become his slaves." The people still wanted a king. [1 Samuel 8, a recap.]
In the next chapter Samuel found a young man, Saul, and "took a flask of oil and poured it on Saul's head and kissed him, saying, "Has not the Lord anointed you leader over his inheritance?" [1 Samuel 10:1] That very first anointed Messiah, Saul, selected by God, went insane. Lack of divine foresight was obviously into the whole shebang, or perhaps free will, or both?
The second king, David, wanted another man's wife, and had that man, Uriah, killed and took her. David should have been killed for it on his own word to a visiting prophet that told him a tale and took him to task, but David wailed to Yahweh to be let off and thereby break his own promise. Was there an element of promise promiscuity into it or not?
The third, Solomon with a thousand wives and concubines - and at least one wife too much, it is told -, lost the throne and made the dynasty fall. Jesus called him the wisest man on earth before he himself appeared, wherever he got that from. A throne-losing, favour-losing king - the wisest on earth?
◎ Many ancient term have got expanded or inflated with added meanings in time.
The term 'messiah' through David to Jesus
At the time of Jesus, Jews sighed for a king to free them from oppressing Romans who had invaded their country, among many others. They hoped a messiah would free them from Roman tyranny.
Those who wrote the New Testament, wanted to draw genealogy lines between David, who was the second Jewish king in the Old Testament, and to Jesus, so as to "legitimise" Jesus as king - a descendant of the "house of David".
On the one hand the people wanted an earthly king, and nothing more. On the other hand fervent gospel writers maintained Jesus fulfilled the criteria as a "Son of God" by an angel, and "Son of David" by Joseph, who was not his carnal father if an angel had done a thing with Mary that she was to be stoned for with Jesus in her belly, according to the Law (Deuteronomy 22:23,24) that Jesus grew up to vouch for (Matthew 5:17-19) . . . It is a sad story, and quite in step with "You cannot have your cake and keep it too."
The genealogy lists in the two gospels that contain them, Matthew 1 f, and Luke 3:23 f, differ widely between David and Joseph. And if you are the son of another than Joseph, that does not matter.
◎ Genealogy lists that do not matter should be thrown away so as not to confuse people.
The content of the term 'Messiah' changed slowly
The Bible scholar Geza Vermes (1924–2013) sums it up: Jesus' message was exclusively for Jews. However, they rejected his claim to be the Messiah, as do Jews today. Regardless of that, almost all Christian groups regard Jesus as the "Savior and Redeemer", as the Messiah.
In letters of the New Testament, the term 'Messiah' was translated into the Greek 'Christ', and swelled immensely, to suggest greatness of the man the Jewish authorities had got executed as a criminal lunatic.
As time transpired, the very tense, fresh sect called Christianity grew big, and by the 300s CE it first became accepted as a religion in the Roman Empire, and later made the only official religion there, provided that Christians would serve in the Roman army. They did, and thereby ignored "turn the other cheek" to enemies and so on. They were pacifists no more, for the sake of eartly privileges and power. That was what bishops in part were for - to trade values for more power and influence. They had already borrowed and copied many well-known emblems, signs and imagery from other religions in the Roman Empire so they could impose on people.
◎ Watch out: Enemies may be about if they tell you to resign to evil and bullying. Jesus did (Matthew 5:39-41, etc.)
A world religion formed with Jesus placed on a Roman-looking throne as 'Pancreator' or like a Roman Emperor
As armed Christianity grew bigger, the sect was called a religion, and it incorporated ideas and items of other religions that it competed with for many formative years in the Roman Empire.
In time the term 'Messiah' or 'Christ' became coveted by others, even though it usually refers only to Jesus of Nazareth among Christians. Although there were many different views of Jesus and a wide range of titles attributed to him in the early church, only some of them have been canonised. 'Christ' and 'Son of God' are heavy-weighters, and Kyrios (Lord, Master) refers to him over 700 times. There are also Bread of Life, Light of the World, the Door, the Good Shepherd, the Resurrection of Life, the Way, the Truth and the Life, the Vine. Further, the Gospel of John opens by identifying Jesus as the divine Logos, "the Word". Still, some scholars state that Jesus never made a direct claim to divinity.
◎ The quite early church found the Greek term 'Logos' to be good and lifted it over.
[Sources above include WP, "Christ," "Jesus".]
Christianity-Saved and More or Less Sacrificed
It could help to stay away from religions that make a sacrifice of your life, or what?
What is being saved? Being saved from salvation plots should be a big thing and not overlooked. The reason is that wilfully wrong and hazardious teachings and customs have it in them to be able to deform minds and lives if given some time.
The New Testament message of salvation is that it is a channeled gift. However, it is also a deep sacrifice, one may suspect. Most Jews rejected it, and the gift of the Holy Spirit was later poured out on Gentiles. Then Peter said, ". . . They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have." [Acts 10:44-46-47, abstracts]
◎ There could be wisdom in staying away from sacrifices of folks and teachings that talk for human sacrifices.
In Christianity, what is called salvation is being put right with a "I Am" [YHWH] by a spirit taking possession of a human, using that human as a tool for work and talk also. In some cases this leads to be murdered; it happened to millions of martyrs in the early church. The gospel says that in the Right Spirit they should be able to do greater deeds than Jesus, who was executed, and were murdered in the millions [John 14:12 etc].
The Passover lamb and his believers. The Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. [Luke 22:7] – Christ Jesus . . . God presented him as a sacrifice. [Rom 3:24-25] – Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. [1 Cor 5:7]
There was hardly any real need for sacrificing Jesus for Jews, since two goats and a Jewish ritual once a year were all it should take to save the Jews. "This is to be a lasting ordinance for you: Atonement is to be made once a year for all the sins of the Israelites." This the Lord commanded Moses after detailing how to do it. [Leviticus 16:33]
It also showed up that God's plans for Jesus was ill-founded: The Jews did not want Jesus! Soon the net was cast over Gentiles instead, Acts 15 tells. A "Plan C" was set to work, and millions of martyrs followed.
◎ Succumbing to being sacrificed and lots of wrong notions, is that all empowerment?
Set apart people. The body of the Christian follower is to be a sacrifice, the apostle says above, ignoring how a real Jesuan may pray for and have faith in a better fare, making a mountain cast itself into the sea and cursing a fig tree so that it dies, and further. "Everything is possible for him who believes [Mark 9:23; see also John 14:12] "All things are possible with God [Mark 10:27; Matthew 17:21; Matthew 21:21].
It is generally accepted that Christians are also to be special people, set apart. Were they set apart from themselves? In the early church they were largely so, split up in many sects already then.
Here is a parallell to people who were set apart to Jehovah as embodied, "consecrated sacrifices".
If a man or woman wants to make a special vow, a vow of separation to the Lord as a Nazirite, he must abstain from fermented drink. He must not eat grapes or raisins, not even the seeds or skins. No razor may be used on his head. He must be holy; he must let the hair of his head grow long. Throughout the period of his separation he is consecrated to the Lord.
◎ Hannah's son became a sacrifice. It was not through his own will - and he was not allowed to shave his beard when he got one.
◎ One could become a non-shaving nazirite by saying "me too" . . . A "Me Too" movement characterised by abstaining from fermented drink, not eating grapes or raisins, not even the seeds or skins, and long hair groomed with his or her hand and not a comb.
Killing many, a sign of God
The Nazirite Samson got very strong and violent in the Spirit and killed many. Samuel, on the other hand, had the gift of prophesy.
In the Hebrew Bible, a nazirite refers to one who took a vow described in Numbers 6:1-21 - man or woman. He can groom his hair with his hand or scratch his head and need not be concerned if some hair falls out. However a nazirite cannot comb his hair.
The term comes from the Hebrew word nazir, which means "consecrated" or "separated". The nazirite is described as being "holy unto the LORD" (Numbers 6:8), yet at the same time must bring a sin offering. This has led to that some view the Nazirite as an ideal, and others view him as a sinner. The parallels to the "good Christian and sinner" are there, or what?
A Jewish man or woman can become a nazirite by saying "me too" as a nazirite passes by. If he does not specify, the vow is for 30 days. The father has the ability to annul the nazirite vow of his young daughter, and a husband has the ability to annul a vow by his wife, when they first hear about it (Numbers 30). Further, if a nazirite fails in fulfilling the obligations involved, all or part of the person's time as a nazirite may need to be repeated, and the person may also have to bring sacrifices.
Now, rabbis say that the nazirite may drink alcoholic beverages that are not derived from grapes, but the non-rabbinical interpretation is that a Nazirite is forbidden to consume any alcohol, and vinegar from such alcohol, regardless of its source.
The nazirite is called "holy unto the Lord" (Numbers 6:8), but at the same time must bring a sin-offering (Numbers 6:11) and his sins are explicitly referred to ("and make atonement for that which he sinned"). Maimonides calls a nazirite a sinner, and points out that a nazirite can be evil or righteous depending on the circumstances. Many later opinions seek to make out that a nazirite is both good and bad.
The practice of a nazirite vow is part of the ambiguity of the Greek term "Nazarene" in the New Testament. Of John the Baptist, who baptised Jesus, it was told that he "shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb", in other words, a nazirite from birth. [Luke 1:13-15)
Early Jewish Christians occasionally took the temporary nazirite vow, and the tradition of the nazirite vow has influenced the Rastafari Movement too, inspired by the text of Leviticus 21:5 "They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard nor make any cuttings in their flesh." The visible sign of this vow is the Rastafarian's dreadlocks. Some Rastafari have concluded that Samson had dreadlocks. Others interpret Samson's "locks" to have been simple braids.
◎ Some view the nazirite as a sinner, others as holy. What about "a sinner who never gave up sideburns or dreadlocks, and never gave in to tonsure"?
Little fish, beware of big fish and fishers too
To sum up in step with "Big fish eat little fish":
Old warning: Dedicated to God - a living sacrifice of a type (being a Nazirite)
New Testament warning: The apostle Peter was to cast the net over heathens and bring them as a sacrifice to God. Saved, as it is called, but not saved from deadly difficulties and discord, or being killed and eaten - Uha (Danish). (Acts 10:9-14, etc.)
Sacrifices on some levels
There are subtle, maybe unnoticed sacrifices and gross ones. Sacrifice equals punishment at times, and losses too. There are deep losses and other losses.
Reduction of spirit signifies mishaps, dire losses of spirit mean disasters. Sacrifices of mental sides signifies being stultified, more or less.
Some signs of having a wrong Spirit is the ability not to greater works than Jesus [John 14:12], such as talking mountains into the sea. Seeing that is believing that. To avoid being taken in by a wrong spirit that poses as God, allow for a little demonstration to sift the credulous from the true followers . . . [Matthew 21:21]
Christianity started as a tense sect of Judaism. Now it is bigger, but is it better? What do you think?
◎ Can one prove that spirits are consumed by giants and called saved thereby? Can one prove it is otherwise? No, there are no hard facts about such subtle things. However, gurus talk for followers being persecuted and getting no physical pleasures, are no good friends! That suggestion is in step with how Buddha and Vedanta (Hinduism) see it.
"If you are called to be a Christian follower, you must be ill, maybe covertly so," maintains Jesus (Matthew 9:12-13), adding that the healthy and righteous do not need him. To be sick as a sheep may be to your loss, and harmful.
Slave-takers are definitely robbers. Jesus either describes or endorses tying victims and plundering them. (Mark 3:27; Matthew 12:29)
When Jesus vouched for the Law in Matthew, he said yes to "Keep the Canaanite slave forever" [Leviticus 25:46]. Hebrews seems to have been Canaanites too; that might complicate matters. [Bible archaeology findings]. Historically, slavery was common among Christians as well until into the 1800s. [Link] [Titus 2:9-10.]
◎ Vicarious sacrifice permeates the Law of Moses, and is based on letting innocents suffer and die for the sake of scoundrels who think they are made clean that way, by religious magic of a sort. Such is the corrupt concept of righteousness in the Bible. Better moral standards may be found. Some are revealed by Buddha.
Bible excursion into the alleged mission of Jesus
Jews did not want Jesus, no matter what he talked about his sheep who knew his shepherd voice, no matter how he longed for them like a mother hen [Matthew 23;37]. Then, when his unseen father (that he was one with, he said) had planned to sacrifice him to assist the Jews [cf. Leviticus 16], Jesus gave in and accepted to be butchered like a lamb for them. The Jewish authorities soon saw to it that he was crucified as a blasphemer, according to the Law they had [Matthew 26;63-7].
You ought to know that you are not popular when people want you crucified and prefer a highwayman instead of you [John 18;39-40].
The Father's Jesus-declared save-the-Jews mission failed. So did major decrees uttered by his own son for Jews only. Adherents of Jesusism (Jesuans) who keep their foreskins but little Saturday-sabbath rest, may not actually qualify as followers - on the words of Jesus. Let it be their problem. [Matthew 10:1-8; 15:24; John 4:22]
Despite the Law what Jesus had vouched for in Matthew 5:17-20, he waived ritual slaughter of animals that the Bible tells God Father had instituted by the Law. And he waived the cramped and rigid sabbath rules that his Father had intended to be a main token of the right belonging. Yahweh had been so strict in such matters that right after he had delivered the Ten Commandments, an old man who had gathered some wood in the wilderness on the sabbath, was executed for it on His command. [Numbers 15:32-36]
Apostles of Jesus and the Holy Spirit soon followed up some waiving when they established Christianity as shown in their Apostolic Decree. They waived the need for Gentile followers to be circumcised [Acts 15:19-29: 21:25], the other of the two key criterions for being God's own - added to the enforced sabbath rest. In the end it stood out that eating blood food (black pudding blood sausage etc.) might be as unwise as adultery and eating wrangled poultry - [More].
Jesus was very, very likely circumcised to be acceptable in the Jewish community, for such was the Law-enforced, ritual custom. The Christ, the image of God or the highest representation, was not found to be quite good enough unmaimed: they cut off his foreskin. He was maimed to be one of them. In the end they got rid of him anyway. A waste of foreskin it was.
◎ Sins we are not aware of could be hard. Few think it that bad.
◎ The cramped "God's people" found their "sure schemes".
"Fallen is Virgin Israel" - destroyed, and never to rise again
Jesus said he was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel. [Matthew 15;24]. If by that he meant the ten northern tribes of Israel, God had already crushed and killed them all, say Amos and Hosea, and those sheep were never to rise again. It is in the Bible. There were no such lost sheep to save, and to the degree he tried [Matthew 10:5-8; 15:24], he and his sent disciples were on a wild goose chase.
"I will put an end to the kingdom of Israel." [Hosea 1:4] "I will crush you". [Amos 2:13] "Fallen is Virgin Israel, never to rise again". [Amos 5:2].
As for Judah,
It does not say when and for how long Judah will lie waste and desolate and none can live there, though, if 'destroyed' means destroyed.
At any rate, for demagogic or other reasons many disregard the Bible's words that there were no lost sheep alive to save at the time of Jesus. Israel was fallen long ago (in the 700s BCE), destroyed, says Amos and Hosea, even though King David (10th century BCE) bragged, "The Lord, the God of Israel, chose me from my whole family to be king over Israel forever . . . He was pleased to make me king over all Israel. [1 Chronicles 28:4]." Israel did not last, the kingship did not last, and 1 Samuel 8 describes the king as a slave-holding enemy of his people. Jesus as a Jewish king? Ow-oo.
◎ Don't always be deceived by religious and murky propaganda.
◎ Study to detect what is right, instead of just getting jammed.
While he was alive, Jesus stuck to that his mission lay in reserving his efforts and so on for Jews. That failed. Even neighbours of his and his own family wanted him stoned. That failed too. In the end the Father saw that his plans for Jews had floundered. Then "the net" of Christianity was cast on Gentiles (Acts 10). That's how terrible circus molestations and killings of Christians started along with a with a strong and wrong faith that the end of the world was near. Jesus was an apocalyptic preacher, one whose main message was that the end of history was near, that God would shortly intervene to overthrow evil and establish his rule on earth, and that Jesus and his disciples all believed these end time events would happen in their lifetimes, holds Dr Bart D. Ehrman in Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium (2001).
All were wrong. That stands out.
Will all our ritual prayers go unheard since God refused to answer Jesus in the olive grove and on the cross?
Can God create a stone that is so heavy that he cannot lift it? Is it possible? (Mark 10;27; 9;23)
Towards the end in Gethsemane Jesus said in anguish, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death." He fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me." [Matthew 26;36-9 extracts; cf. Luke 22;44; Mark 14;35-41].
Not possible, not with his God. He called on the Canaanite El. Dr. Steven DiMattei concludes in "Are Yahweh and El the same god OR different gods? (Gen 14:22, 17:1, 21:33; Ex 6:2-3; Ps 82:1 vs Deut 32:8-9; Ps 29:1, 89:6-8)" of ◦January 27, 2013:
Recent archaeological, biblical, and extrabiblical research has led scholars working in the area of the origins of Israelite religion to assert . . . that the original god of Israel was . . . the Canaanite deity El. . . Who was El? And why is he even mentioned in the Bible . . .?
El was one of many major ancient Near Eastern deities. 'El' was also the supreme god of the ancient Canaanite religion. As recorded on the clay tablets of Ugarit [in today's Syria], El was the husband of the goddess Asherah with the big breasts. (Smith 2002; WP, "El (deity)"; "Asherah")
DiMattei also finds parallels and similarities between descriptions and cultic terminology used for El in the Canaanite texts and those used for Yahweh in the biblical sources.
So Jesus called on a Canaanite god who reputedly had a wife. And Hebrews seems to have been Canaanites - at least it is hard to discern any difference between them, says Mark S. Smith (2002). Quote:
Early Israelite culture cannot be separated easily from the culture of "Canaan". . . . Canaanite and Israelite material culture cannot be distinguished by specific features in the judges period . . . The Canaanite (or, West Semitic) background of Israel's culture extended to the realm of religion. . . . Israelite society drew very heavily from Canaanite culture. (Chap 1, passim).
There were some places in the south of Palestine - such as Mount Sinai - that Yahweh was linked to and El not, though.
Chosen, but . . .
On the surface of it one may discern murky lack of foresight and lack of faithful scribes:
The betrayer Judas had been hand-picked by Jesus and never sent to Antarctica to prevent future calamity. Nor did Jesus dispense with him in other ways when there was plenty of time. As he said, "You did not choose me, but I chose you" [John 15;16].
Do not ask why Jesus chose largely illiterate followers and a deceiver to follow him around, and why nearly all the seventy disciples he empowered and sent out later turned away from him.
◎ It is likable to do better than clowns by and large, allowing for exceptions.
Don't freak out: It is better not to be in contact with a crook
"I will ask the Father will give you another Counsellor to be with you forever - the Spirit of truth." [John 14;12-3,15 - Excerpts]. "The Spirit of truth" - it sounds so good.
For all that, those who wrote the four gospels did not get it right even when they wrote of core happenings in the gospels and Acts. For example, Judas died in two different ways it says (Matthew 27:4-8; Acts 2:15-19). That seems sick. [Link]
Bart D. Ehrman has written books about forgeries in Christianity. [Here are annotated book references]
So, ardent prayers of Jesus were done away with; he was to be slaughtered, sacrificed for the sins of others, even though two goats rightly handled wold be quite enough on a yearly basis [Leviticus 16:21-22; 29-34]. Slaughtering an innocent for the sins of others, be it animal or Jesus, is a dismal, corrupt take, probably. The Norwegian poet Johan Herman Wessel (1742-85) wrote a poem about a much similar event: The people of a town executed an innocent baker instead of the smith who had killed someone. For the town had no smith to spare, but two bakers and all too much corruption.
◎ The proverb "As you bake, so shall you eat," is not always worth listening to. (Fergusson and Law 2000, 228)
A couple of goats were dropped
Normal people know that if a father loves his fairly all right son or is just, or both, he won't have his son slaughtered for the misdoings of others.
We can see that Jesus prayed to the Bible God as "righteous Father" [John 17:25]. But see through the demagoguery: God of the Old Testament (and Bible) instituted not only slavery, but also a hard scapegoat religion with heavy butchering of innocents - prime cattle, other animals and birds were to be killed for sins, neglects and gross offences of guilty guys. This went on year by year by year with no reneging. "Sin, but let animals pay and feed priests!" In psychology, those who succumb to primitive scapegoating may turn into hard mental cases. It could be good to be warned.
The basic scapegoating plot permeates the New Testament too, with some obvious links to mental cannibalism in the sacrament: "eat his body, drink his blood".
God had Jesus slaughtered like a lamb because he was not better than that, regrettably. Today we call brutal ones who kill innocent people to favour criminals, something else than righteous. Besides, there was no real need for man-slaughter: A couple of goats would have averted the calamity that year, if anyone had remembered what is in the Old Testament. Two goats were enough to clean the Hebrews for a year. "You will be clean from all your sins . . . it is a lasting ordinance . . . This is to be a lasting ordinance for you: Atonement [by two goats] is to be made once a year for all the sins of the Israelites," the Lord commanded Moses. [Leviticus 16:21-22; 29-34]. Well, well well!
The idea behind sacrificing Jesus was to help criminals on and up. How many criminal activities are due to that we may have no counts of, although suspicions may loom large and many.
Few Jews converted to Jesus, so don't be taken in. God's plan may seem mysterious, cruel and corrupt, but it failed if God really was out to save Jews by letting them welcome Jesus as a Messiah. Heart-felt prayers of Jesus were denied, but a scapegoating killing to help sinners go on was planned against his first wishes (Leviticus 16 and later).
◎ He that helps the evil hurts the good. [Fergusson and Law 2000, 134]
Ehrman, Bart D. Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium. Paperback ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.
Fergusson, Rosalind, and Jonathan Law. 2000. Dictionary of Proverbs. 2nd ed London: Penguin Reference.
Smith, Mark S. 2002. The Early History of God: Yahweh and the Other Deities in Ancient Israel. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing.
Harvesting the hay
User's Guide ᴥ Disclaimer |
© 1997–2019, Tormod Kinnes, MPhil [Email]