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Thursday, 31 January 2013

Jesus Said He Wasn't Good or God!

I wonder how devout Christians come to terms with the Bible saying that Jesus said he wan't good because he wasn't God. No doubt those who've come across it and haven't moved swiftly on, have a good apologetic ready...

For those who haven't yet read the Bible - and I expect that to be most of them - here he is saying it. Stop now if you find it distressing or annoying to read the parts of the Bible that don't agree with you.
And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.

And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
Viewed in the light of the finalized version of the Jesus myth, where Jesus has become the earthly manifestation of the Old Testament god, this makes no sense at all. Why would Jesus be deliberately drawing this distinction between himself and God, and why would he be implicitly admitting to not being good, in other words, to being a sinner, just like other people?

Clearly, this is from an earlier time in the development of this myth when Jesus was being portrayed as the Jewish Messiah in the context of the Jewish Messiah narrative, not in the narrative Paul later invented. In the Jewish version, the Messiah was only ever going to be a human, chosen by God to lead the restored Jewish nation and Jesus was probably at best no more than a claimant amongst many to that title. In fact, it seems that, because the title was commonly claimed by cheats, charlatans, conjurers and pretenders it had by then become a vernacular pejorative term to indicate a fraud and tended to be applied mockingly to people suspected of making false claims.

Stories purporting to be about the real Jewish Messiah, especially when others were claiming he was God or the son of God, would quite naturally have the hero emphatically denying he was God and at pains to point out that he was merely a man. It is entirely consistent with the view that the Jesus myth was originally based partly on an apocalyptic 'prophet of doom' who was telling people the end was nigh and that the only way to be saved was to obey all the Mosaic Laws, hence the reference to the 'commandments' in the same passages.
Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother.

Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
It's a shame that the author of Mark didn't appear to know the Ten Commandments and added an extra one, so implying that Jesus didn't know the commandments he was lecturing others about, but be that as it may.

What we have here then is clear evidence that the Jesus myth developed and grew over time out of a local Jewish Messianic myth, until we have Paul telling people that Jesus was God and that it wasn't necessary to be a circumcised Jew and to obey all the Jewish laws and rituals to be saved - which just happened to broaden the appeal of the cult he was pushing and laying claim to be leader of.

If only the post-Constantine Roman era hadn't been one where state-sponsored Christians of the triumphant Pauline sect, in a stunning display of non-confidence in the truth of their new 'faith' and the power of their new god to defend it, went on a book-burning orgy of censorship, destroying almost all the earlier versions of this and related myths and killing the 'heretics' who could have re-written them (and so incidentally encouraging all the forgeries claiming to be by Paul which clearly aren't his work which subsequently got incorporated into the Bible), we might now have a much better record of how Christianity was invented.

All we have left is a few scraps of parchment which have survived because they were well hidden from the censoring zealots and so almost invariably tend to be of non-biblical 'heracies'. Some, such as the Gospel of Judas, pre-date any known versions of anything in the New Testament, and hints of earlier sects like the the Ebionites and Nazarenes, of which Jesus' brother James may have been a member, who saw Jesus as just a man and Mary and Joseph as his natural parents, and the hysterically genocidal persecution of the Cathars, indicating that they held beliefs which the Vatican found seriously threatening, would very probably give a fascinating account of how myths evolve to become adapted to the needs of the priesthood and the rulers they serve - which of course is one reason rivals were so assiduously sought out and destroyed.

As it is, we have to rely on an intelligent reading of the often copied, amended and edited versions of the few surviving manuscripts which were selected for inclusion in the Bible to reassemble the story from the transitional fossil remnants to be found in them, such as the above little snippets that escaped the censor's pen, possibly because it is tightly bound up with tales about suffering little children and rich people giving up their wealth that it suited the church of the time to keep.

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2 comments:

  1. I've read that the whole myth was a translation error. When translated from ancient Aramaic to Hebrew to Latin to Greek to German to the rest of the modern languages, a few things got, shall we say, lost in translation, one of them being the description of Mary as being a virgin. The word was supposed to have been "young", not "virgin".

    Which certainly is a bit more realistic when one remembers that this 14-year old girl was hanging out with a 30-something year old man... Can you imagine how the news in this scenario would be received today?!? Ha!

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    Replies
    1. Indeed. Not only does Matthew use a mistranslation of the Hebrew almah (young woman) into Greek as parthenos (virgin) but the 'prophesy' he is allegedly citing is also now routinely mistranslated to try to cover up this falsification.

      In fact, the Hebrew for virgin is bethulah and the prophesy in Isaiah 7:14 is very clearly a reference to then current events and the immediate future, written sometime after they occurred, as is normal with biblical 'prophesies', which were written to fool people.

      Laughably the 'prophesy' actually says Jesus will be called 'Emmanuel', a name by which he is never referred in the Bible. It very probably relates to Isaiah's own son, the result of his adulterous relationship with a 'prophetess', which he actually boasts about in Isaiah 8:3.

      I have discussed this falsification here.

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