Self-preservation rule: Don't let anyone eat your heart
You know what Jesus said about other christs and wolves? He said they were hungry.
Many run for life when meeting with a pack of wolves, because they are so hungry, at least not above suspicion. But there are other dangers in the woods - if we regard the woods as the deeper strata of the mind by use of a figure of speech.
Joan of Arc clearly understood
She was burnt alive. The lines are rendered from "Joan of Arc" by Leonard Cohen.
Great zeal is a kind of fire; the hotter it is the more you could lose unawares.
Jesus of the gospels says his mission was only for Jews. His alleged missionary command at the end of Matthew is a later, added forgery, says Joseph Wheless. See very good reasons for concluding like that.
Now here is a warning: If you have a body, mind, and spirit (soul), and are largely unaware of the innermost, "deep" parts of yourself, how well are you equipped against false guides? One thing is what they teach and indoctrinate about things. Another thing is what some such false helpers may do to your subtle, inner sides, and what they could suck away, some of them.
Let us draw a scary scenario right here: "Vicious ones are stealing or eating your heart-essence - that could be what they live on!"
A worse scenario: "Vicious ones eat your heart out because you did not have the wit, learning and skills to stay away from them in the first place!"
A still worse scenario: "Those whose heart strings are devoured while unaware of such eating, by and by, are unaware on innermost levels. Do some treat devoted followers that way or not?"
Some of those whose own subtle heart essence is quite eaten out, speak for others, as mouthpieces. Maybe they shriek and babble also. Being solid and on some good track in life can be much more.
The real value of such scenarios is to foster less blind belief and a little more carefulness. You may be reminded of "Joan of Arc" by the late poet and songwriter Leonard Cohen (1934–2016). The further reminder: Millions of early Christian martyrs were dispensed with. Maybe they had not got allowed to read the gospel of John's verse 14:12, at the time. Or maybe they had heard or read and believed it, but got awfully disappointed when it was put to the test among angry and hungry animals, in front of a seated, blood-thirsty crowd. But many mistakenly thought the end of time was near - A mistake again! And as for Jesus, another martyr in a plot, he did not save his Jews anyway.
A faith may not work your ruin unless you become another victim of plots through it. However, a foolish faith that works by baits and unfulfilled desires among many - soon enough takes to set-ups that trap its many victims. Granted that, blind faith and gullibility can disable you. There can be many sides to that.
Jesus and ill Jews
Jesus says that he came only for ill people (read: ill Jews), and that healthy Jews do not need him. His apostles and the Holy Ghost did away with all his commands and decrees, for they wanted to make life bearable to Christians. [Matthew 15:24; 10:4-10; 28:18-20; Acts 15; 21:25; cf. Matthew 9:12-13; 19:24]
Something in public, other things in private
Double-talk in two gospels: When very pressed in the supreme Jewish legislative and judicial court in Jerusalem under Roman rule, he said, "I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret. [John 18:20]. However, to his disciples he had said earlier: "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. [Matthew 13:11]
"I have spoken openly to the world," Jesus said. [John 18:20]. Well, the gospel of Matthew does not say that.
Vicious called righteous
Jesus calls a scapegoating, slavery-instituting God righteous If that is righteous, what is unrighteous? [Cf. John 17:25].
He also calls for a righteousness that surpasses that of scribes. [Matthew 5:20; cf. 19:24]."
Deep righteousness also preserves sanity. [More]
The Son of God?
Yeshua (Jesus) is called the son of God by an angel or something, and Son of David through Joseph who was not his carnal father. Unless Joseph was the inseminating angel, the ancestry of Jesus through him is of no substance - at any rate one of the two different ancestry lines that are listed in two different gospels.
However, Dr Jacob S. Jervell points out that Jesus did not call himself the Son of God, Son of David or the King. He used only one title - Son of Man. What is more, the way the Jews expressed themselves in his days - and before, and after - includes figures of speech, in part as used in Aramaic idioms or turns. "Son of the Devil", as authorities called him, might be widely understood as "in close relationship with him", that is, "devilish" and less. Ancient Jews could have used it figuratively, as an expression of closeness and further, and not thinking (so much) of a carnal relationship. The same goes for "son of God" (Jervell 1978:50ff). Dr Geza Vermes confirms it: The phrase 'son of God' was current among Jews and was synonymous with 'son of Israel' or 'a Jew very close to God'. (Vermes 2010:38) [More by Dr Vermes]
"Son of man" - What man could that possibly be? Assyrian-American George Lamsa explains that an Aramaic concept, barnasha, son of man, has four meanings. The lowest is the habit-governed everyday person, the less conscious side to man. The human mind can and ought to be raised; that is well implied in the other meanings of the term. Dr Neil Douglas-Klotz explains that bar means "son" and nasha human being, man and woman, and that the term barnasha is cognate with "frail and forgetful". In order to 'lift up the son of man', Jews used certain methods long before Jesus - and in his days too - to lift up their "son of man" (raise their conscious awareness). (Douglas-Klotz 162-63; Lamsa 1968:xxiv; Jervell 1978:52-54). Compare in passing how Jesus accused scribes and Pharisees of shutting the kingdom of heaven in people's faces, not allowing those who would enter to go in. (Matthew 23:13)
When we don't count in an ancient gossip tale about Roman soldier called Panthera as his possible father, was Jesus the Son of God or Angel, or Jesus Messiah the son of David though a non-existent bloodline? What will it be? It is son of Miriam (Mary) at any rate. [Matthew 1:1-20]
For Jesus to have any chance to be considered a Messiah, he should be of the house of David. That was what Hebrews thought. Accordingly, his line of ancestry goes back to David through someone who did not beget him.
A tomfooling guide
"Truly" as used by Jesus, is a translation from "Amen" in the way he uses it. He intones "Amen, Amen" in front of sayings on mountain-throwing. (Mark 11:23-24; Mark 11:23-24), in front of calls for having faith " (Matthew 17:21), faith and no doubt (Matthew 21:21).
He says "truly" and "truly, truly", and tells of miracles. Many of his hard "truly-assertions" have been put to test and found failing - not only wanting, but failing. Here is a decent stand-by challenge to opportunists who tell they have the Faith: Tell a mountain to jump into the sea and see if it happens.
Some of his words cannot be counted on if they are more than "yes-yes" and "no-no". "Let your "Yes" be "Yes," and your "No," "No' (Matthew 5:37)." Do you know that that means for Jesuan ministers who honour him with their lips, but with their hearts set on other things? (1 Thess 5:22).
Dr Paul Yonggi Cho tells in one of his books about some Christian women who were on their way to a Bible camp in the country. A flood had taken the bridge over the river they wanted to cross. When they clasped hands and went into the water in faith that they could walk over on the water, they were drowned. There are excellent words by Buddha to take into account here. [More]
Jesus also demands of any Jesusian follower to "sell all you own and give it to the poor if you want to be a disciple." He also tells you to turn the other cheek, pluck out our eye if it offends you - things like that are called self-maiming. Little good seems to come out of it. Better do good instead. Also, in case you do not like maiming yourself and rotten teachings, look elsewhere, such as Acts 15, where no strange and wild demands of Jesus are included for non-Jews - for Christians. You could realise that much that was taught by Jesus to other Jews was maiming, and nothing to live up to for good Christians. See if that is not what happened.
Solving Riddles - On the Way
Not neighing phrases like insane, but weighing them sanely, carefully, even professionally, that had better be our approach. In weighing New Testament words that oppose or contradict one another, count how many times each view is vented there, and try to estimate what weight each view carried then and now. It's a beginning. Much better still, have some input from the best scholars. That can help. As a first book in this line, try one of the simpler ones by Bart D. Ehrman, for example his Forged: Writing in the Name of God: Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are (2011). In this book too he goes into "a world of deceptions and forgeries, false attributions, fabrications, and falsifications - that is, into the New Testament. The real gospel writers were not Luke, Mark, Matthew and John, but other ones. In other books he goes into the texts that the church did not want to use, for some reasons or others, of conflicts among some of them.
The Bible expert Bart Ehrman shows that New Testament is riddled with contradictory views about who Jesus was, and reveals that many of the books were written in the names of the apostles by Christians living decades later, and that central Christian doctrines were the inventions of still later theologians. This has also been the standard and widespread view of scholars for two centuries. A major challenge for some of the Bible scholars is to reconstruct the life and meaning of Jesus.
When one has plunged into lots of this material, one problem may be to come up again and enjoy the birds singing.
What about finding another heaven than one you will not be allowed to enter by the doorman? That is not too alarming, according to John 14:12. (Cf. Matthew 7:21-23; Luke 6:47-49).
If you are a non-Jew that calls him Lord and still eat blood food, you could be taken to task by the Spirit that sanctioned the Apostolic Deal, although you don't know how bad that can get [Acts 15; 21:25].
In weighing the opposing views here, you may conclude that eating blood food looks about as offensive as adultery and eating wrangled chicken. Are all who talk rudely down on adultery and eat black pudding, given to rude, unaware clowning? And are they victims? Of what and who?
Too loudly of being for Jews only
Jesus sent out twelve apostles, telling them not to go to the Gentiles or enter any Samaritan town. They were to go to the lost sheep of Israel. However, if they could find them, they were not all that lost . . . (Matthew 10:5-6). He also told in another place that salvation was from the Jews. It was found in no one else [John 4:22; Acts 4:12]. But then Babaji came along, teaches the Americanised yogi Yogananda. He also teaches the whole, wide world is illusory. It is a world that contains Babaji, Yogananda and his teachings by necessity. Do we get a dim, uneasy feeling of a dilemma here?
Back to the Bible: Many quite confusing sayings were for Jews only, Jesus said. In a later-added, obviously forged passage he seems to have changed his mind (Matthew 28:19-20), but that is a later-added forgery, most likely.
For Non-Jews followers there is the Gentile Deal, as explained in the Apostolic Decree (see Acts 15), with not even one peculiar command of Jesus mentioned.
Vouching for the Law - not refusing slavery and cruel mistreatment of animals (vicarious sacrifice) as instituted in the Mosaic Law
Jesus says he came to fulfil the Law and the prophets, but let Mary live when he was a foetus in her belly . . .
And may it be added: Much of that Law - such as regulated slavery - is barbarous and cruel to innocents too.
Was Yahweh stupid to sacrifice a claimant son "for Jews", largely in vain? Weigh and judge for yourself. But most of all, let these things be problem, not yours or ours. Avoid being duped and impressed by 'God' massed over and over in garrulous books. [More]
Saying he came to fulfil the prophets while disregarding almost every prophet saying
Jesus told he came to fulfil the Law and prophets, without really doing it. He disregarded the commandment of keeping the Sabbath holy in the way his said Father had instituted it by Moses. [Blatant abuse of prophets]
The promised spirit of Truth did not tell all the gospel writers what it took to write truthfully. Falsifications followed in the form of forgeries and counterforgeries, etc. (Ehrman 2013). These people could not even get straight the records about how Judas died. There are two different versions: In Matthew 27:5 he hanged himself. In Acts 1:18 "Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out." [More]
There is talk of the Counsellor Spirit of truth [John 15:26] - to be with followers forever - [John 14:16] [and to] guide lots of followers into all truth [and] tell what is yet to come. [John 16:13] - [bringing] glory [John 16:14]
Sounds good, but check the fruits also: Not everything in the New Testament is true. Apostles did not seem to record central happenings of the gospels, and there are widely differing versions. Lots of passages with words of Jesus apparently got lost. As for foresight, the evidence of the New Testament is also that the apostles and Jesus expected Doomsday to come soon, and long before AD 400, and mind that it did not come as foretold either. Telling of things to come that did not come when apostles expected it to happen, shows that Jesus got the end of the world embarrassingly wrong, so wrong that according to the Old Testament he qualifies as a false prophet - one of those to be killed and not feared. (Deuteronomy 18:20-22; cf. Jeremiah 50:36; Ezek 13:9 and why not Matthew 5:17-19) [More]
Deceptive followers are not sound sheep
Very few of those who call Jesus 'Lord, Lord', do not make themselves poor, do not turn the other cheek when things get difficult, and do not show the signs of discipleship, such as mountain-throwing. They do not maim and mutilate themselves for desires either (thank God for that). They bluntly live out many "bargains" agreed on in groups, cults. That is to say, commands of Jesus and some of the basic requirements for non-Jewish Christians are more or less "traded away" by group agreements or massing under some leaders, or as if under some wicked spells. It could be common. A book could be written about "deceptive followers are marring Christians" alone.
The Jewish king - bad news
Much play on "king" by followers is distasteful in the light of 1 Samuel 8, where Messiahs, or kings, are bad, no matter what. In other traditions some kings were regarded as god-men. That is different. [More]
Did not know what he was doing, or was not up to snuff
Jesus may have thought, "I know what I am doing". But did he? He said he came for the Jews only, and "fretted" so much that he appeared as a fusser and was refused. As if a bunch of goats could not do the tricks that were asked for? [Lev 16:21-22; 29-34] [More]
He had said he came for Jews only, but was rejected almost wholesale. Those he claimed was his people, were long gone, if Amos and Hosea got it right: They told God had destroyed Israel utterly [Matthew 10:6; 15:24; Hosea 1:4; 13:9,11; Amos 2:13; 5:2]. So there should be no lost sheep of Israel at the time of Jesus, according to the prophets . . . [Matthew 10:6; 15:24]. [More]
You are now being made aware of a mess.
Truth be told: the apostles did not meed with the end of the world
Jesus claimed he was the way and the truth and the life, and that none came to the Father except through him. [John 14:6]
For one thing, life existed independently of Jesus both before he was born, all around him, in plants, animals and Sanhedrin, and after he was crucified.
Jesus claimed he was truth, but if he had been telling truth, the end of the world should have come while his apostles lived.
As for the way, ask, "the way to what?" For hypocritical followers - he says his teachings were for no others - he might be the way to a very bad place. (Luke 6:46-49; Matthew 7:21-23)
This entire universe has the (Supreme) Deity for its life. That Deity is Truth. He is the Universal Soul. You are Himself. (Chandogya Upanishad 6:8:7)
Professor Friedrich Max Muller explains that what exists, exists by the subtle essence (the Sat, the root of everything), also known as Self-hood, the True (that which truly and really exists), the Self. [Read on]
One is to guard well against insolvency
In the Old Testament mammon is good for upright fellows, even a sign of God's blessing for adhering to dictated pacts with him.
There is also a British proverb "Better a castle of bones than of stones [Dp 227]." [cf. 1 Cor 3:16] Castles and temples can be great tourist attractions, but the sheep grazing beside them, and the little birds that sing nearby, have a higher life value. Humans ought to reach up still higher, eventually.
Wealth is fit for thriving. Spending wealth on worthy ones can be good. Morally upright beings may be worthy.
In the "ladder" of yoga, many work to raise their consciousness by the ways of yoga-meditation.
Burkett, Delbert, ed. The Blackwell Companion to Jesus.. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011.
Douglas-Klotz, Neil. The Hidden Gospel: Decoding the Spiritual Message of the Aramaic Jesus. Wheaton, IL: Quest Books, 2001.
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.
⸻. Forgery and Counterforgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.
⸻. Jesus, Interrrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don't Know About Them). New York: HarperCollins, 2009.
⸻. Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why. New York: HarperCollins, 2005.
⸻. Studies in the Textual Criticism of the New Testament. Leiden: Brill, 2006.
Encyclopaedia Britannica Online or as a yearly DVD suite. London: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2015.
Lamsa, George Mamishisho. Gospel Light: Comments on the Teachings of Jesus from Aramaic and unchanged Eastern Customs. Philadelphia: Holman, 1939. (Originally published by the University of Michigan).
⸻, tr. The New Testament. Philadelphia: Holman Bible Publishers, 1968.
Jervell, Jacob S. Historiens Jesus. 3rd ed. Oslo: Gyldendal, 1978 (1962).
Harvesting the hay
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