Jesus The Liberal of History, Vs. Jesus The Fascist of The Christian Right's Fantasies*
Of the 5400 hundred Gospels, fragments to whole codex's, unearthed, the earliest are copies, of copies, of copies, of copies, from the 2nd-3rd centuries, originals long lost, and from the first found to the next and so on, changes were evident, from subtle to not-so-subtle. Stories were added, subtracted, edited, redacted, changed and went in and out of style, so much so that the most unbiased theologians, myself included, believe that only about 20% of the New Testament represents and can be traced to the authentic words of the itinerant, philosopher, healer, revolutionary theologian and sociologist, Rabbi Yeshua, (Yoshua, Jesus). Jesus, which the evangelists claim was born during the end of the reign of Herod the Great, 8-4 BC, if he did die at age 33, a mystical number, would have died between 25--29 AD. The first gospels were written beginning 37-40 years after the death of Jesus, near the middle to late 60's to early 70's. The current dating of the four Gospels, accepted by the biblical establishment, which includes scholars of every persuasion, is: Mark 65-70; Matthew and Luke in the 80s; John in the 90s-110. The names Mark, Matthew, Luke and John, were not the names of those who wrote the gospels, they were pseudonyms added, "...to give the testaments credibility and prestige..." I would say that trying to give the gospels prestige and credibility by hiding the names of the real writers and adding the names of apostles, reduces credibility, instead . The multiple errors of Jewish culture and history incorporated in the gospels makes it very unlikely that they were written by native Jews of Israel-Example, Quirynius was supposedly the governor when the incredibly inefficient and unlikely means of taking a "census" before Jesus' birth while Mary was pregnant. Quirynius, in fact, did not become governor, (according the Jewish and Roman records), until Jesus' was a teenager. This is only one example of the numerous cultural and historical errors, intentional or otherwise, in the New Testament Codex's. It is far more likely that gentiles or Jews living in Diaspora, wrote the gospels, in fact, all the known information about their origins suggests strongly that that is the case. The last, John's, was believed written between 92-110 AD's, 73-85 years after Jesus' death, making it unlikely that he ever even knew anyone who ever met Jesus. The only possibility of John's gospel being authentic is John lived to the ages of between 100-114-118 years, but then there would be the question, why did he wait so long and why does his, later gospels contain several stories unique to it. Since in John the theology is more developed, is an indication that it was written even later than the early second century. The idea that the gospel was lost for nearly one-hundred years found and updated, is weak and I doubt that having found an authentic writing of "John" anyone would "update" it. It is interesting that the antithesis of Christianity has always been Conservatism. In Jesus' cultural and sociological struggles with the Ultra-Conservative, Chief Herodian Priests and the even more Conservative Roman military and governors, Jesus was viewed as the radical, arch-Liberal, the defender of the disenfranchised, the marginalized, the sick and the infected/shunned, (Lepers), by those who profited from the misfortunes of others. Were Jesus living in the flesh, today, like Chavez of Venezuela, he would nationalize all industries which profit from the unfortunate; Oil and fuel and energy companies, the entire medical industry including the legalized drug dealers who advertise on TV, arms dealer and defense contractors (especially Halliburton), water companies and all utilities. Recall the destruction of the booths of the temple profiteers? His battle's involved requesting the acceptance of those rejected by the Protectors of the Temple, who following Moses ancient rite, banned from entry to the building and inner grounds, anyone with unsightly disabilities and deformities, the blind, lame, poor and visibly ill. Temple guardians viewed these and other physical and cultural disadvantages as the punishment for the wages of "sin" by either the person afflicted or his ancestors.
Jesus arguments were hyperbolic debates demanding acceptance of all regardless of physical or mental condition. All these, he insisted were children of God. He argued further that the minions of Satan were like whited sepulchers, gleaming and bright on the exterior, full of maggots and things dead within. He further argued that men of goodness should sell all they have and give it to the poor. I would argue further that if the congress does not either impeach or hire a Special Prosecutor to indict the Bushites we should open the doors of all the jails especially in the Red States and let all out of prison, rather than face judgment by God as hypocrites, Jesus' pet peeve. The unseen soul, is manifested by the fruits of one's labor and closeness to God and therefore cannot be measured by wealth or health and those who cannot comprehend these things may be associates of the Cult of Evil. Jesus referred to a cosmic battle, but his "handlers" those who later apprehended his image and twisted it to suit their desire for wealth and security, Organized Christianity, created myths about his divinity because Paul who was trying to convert the wealth of gentile merchant classes to "Christianity," knew that Greeks and other gentile pagans, knew nothing of, and were unimpressed by, men who were "sainted" or "messiah's". They, because of their background, which displayed a multiplicity of gods, would/could, accept nothing less than a god as the object of their dedication and worship. Jesus' blood brother "James The Just," "Brother of The Lord" believed that Jesus was the Messiah come to save, but not that he was a god or the Only Begotten Son of God. James was the true first "pope," not Peter or Paul. It was to James that Paul and Peter came for blessings and direction. Paul liked neither James nor Peter for several reasons; one was that both James and Peter were fairly Orthodox Jews (Paul wanted to revolutionize Judaism to Christianity). James Church had 8,000 members, a huge parish even by today's standards, and James advocated Jewry, the religion of Moses, with one slight exception, he added Jesus not as God, for neither he nor any of Jesus brothers or sisters, nor his mother, believed he was a god, or the God, for they knew him well, better than any priest or minister does today. Paul had greater ambitions, the conversion and wealth of Greece and the west, and he could not attain that with preaching James vegetarian diet, his austere habits, never shaving or cutting his hair or beard, never washing or bathing, eating sparsely, self critiquing, fasting from pork, being circumcised, such a strict observance of the Sabbath and more, but mostly following a man, not a god. This would not go with converting the Gentiles; they would accept nothing less than a god and would not countenance a lack of cleanliness. Ninety-five percent of Jesus' miracles, including the food miracles were dedicated to helping people of empathy, rather than those whose approach to life was based upon violence, hypocrisy or Imperialism. (I exclude the nature miracles, which while indirectly they could be viewed as helping people believe, they were more in the nature of "proof" miracles. The Chief Herodian Priests were Ultraconservative, they had to be to serve a king like Herod and his sons, (Off with their heads-Herod") (Although Phillip was sympathetic to Jesus and less aggressive than his brothers.) and the Romans were farther to the Right than Attila the Hun. Denying that Jesus was a Liberal is a hypocritical attempt to excuse one's own support of avarice, bigotry, mass murder, genocide, abortion, capital punishment, torture, Imperialism and worse. Denying Jesus healing mission by calling it anything but widely empathetic and loving of those with an intellect, open-mindedness and good will toward others, is somewhat like denying that GW Bush, Attila The Hun, Stalin, Mao or Hitler are/were not Conservative. The very Act of Creation and of retrofitting man to receive an intellect and a soul is an act of generosity, empathy and Liberality. The entirety of Jesus life was one of giving, never taking, and right up to refusing to defend himself. That Jesus' attitude and approach to dealing with problems and people, his progressive empathetic feelings for others, could be interpreted as anything but extremely Liberal, would be news to him and to the early church. The truth is that if one acts in a tightly close minded, unforgiving, and acquisitive one-upsmanship, bellicose, shamelessly self-promoting, self gratifying and manipulative, covetous mode, one who supports a regime in any nation or community which is similar and if that one is also is not empathetic and Liberal, that one is not a Christian, but a hypocrite, as Jesus, in so many ways, so often displayed and said. When encountering even strangers who were rivals/enemies, as Jesus demonstrated empathy, as with the story of the Good Samaritan, and the Samaritan Woman at Jacob's Well, as well as his healing of a Roman's slave and a Samaritan or Gentile woman's issue of blood, is the epitome of empathy and generosity, both of which, as a part of a person's character IS liberality. Defending a woman under the threat of Capital punishment for adultery is empathetic and is generous and liberal. To move through the lives of those around us spreading, empathy and generosity, for not only one's own nationality and faith, but of that of all men, is an imitation of Christ and is courageous, not sycophantic. If you believe in God, as I do, and are a Christian as I am, then read the major writers of the lives of Rabbi Yeshua, (Jesus), Geza Vermes, Meier, Borg, Bart D. Ehrman, Fredrickson, Pagels, Crossan, Brown, and/or learn the archaic languages and translate for yourself. Anyone who has done that and has an honest, generous and loving, heart cannot come to any other conclusion. If you also believe yourself to be a Conservative, it might not be a bad idea to Google the freedictionary and read the definition of Liberal and Conservative. However, assuming you have no desire to find out you were wrong, and may not do so, or may not have time, below are such definitions for those who fantasize that they are Christians, but instead are enemies of God. If, after you read the definitions, you still want to cling to Conservatism then it might not be a bad idea to do a complete self-analysis or consult a psychiatrist.
Look up the definition of Conservative in a good dictionary, and then look up the definition of Liberal. After doing so, who in the Hell would want to be known as a Conservative? In addition, who in the Hell would not want to be known as a Liberal? Only a fool, as we have/shall seen. See below for dictionary definition culled from 5 college and graduate school dictionaries. From several college and free-dictionary sources Lib ·er ·al (lbr-l, lbrl) adj. 1.a. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry. More likely to rebel against dictatorships or authoritarian rule. b. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded, like the framers of American laws, Constitution and Bill of Rights. c. Of, relating to, or characteristic of liberalism. More likely to die for a cause, vis-ed-Jesus d. Liberal Of, designating, or characteristic of a political party founded on or associated with principles of social and political liberalism, especially in Great Britain, Canada, and the United States. 2. a. Tending to give freely; generous, empathy for the lame, sick and poor: a liberal benefactor. b. Generous in amount; ample: a liberal serving of potatoes. 3. Not strict or literal; loose or approximate: a liberal translation. 4. Of, relating to, or based on the traditional arts and sciences of a college or university curriculum: a liberal education. 5. Respectful of women, sensitive to the problems of others, empathetic to the woes of others con ·ser ·va ·tive (kn-sÃ»rv-tv) adj. 1. Fears innovation, favoring of "the old ways" stale views ; tending to oppose and fear change. 2. Traditional or restrained in style: seemingly paranoid about differences, likely to be bigoted, untrusting of things new 3. Moderate, cautious, timid, socially fearful, unadventurous 4. Unlikely to be innovative, fearful, seldom intellectual, more likely to be hubristic, and accepting of authoritarian and dictatorships, out of fear of being ostracized from prominence 5. Threatened by things they do not understand or comprehend, which are many, vis-ed: Homophobic and denigrating of women. Unsympathetic to the lame sick and poor. 6. Envious of those smarter than they and often slanderous of that which they are incapable of comprehending. 7. Uncharitable, selfishness, fear and avarice tends to make them unmoved by the suffering of others. *From The Book, The Gift of Gnosis, by Professor Emeritus Peter Bagnolo, ©1994, LOC