|Posted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 10:13 pm "Church of the Historical Jesus"|
|This OP calls for speculation and opinion.
What do you all think of the possiblity that a Church devoted to the God of Jesus, YHVH, devoid of theological and mythic accretions about Jesus?
Do you think such a "Church of the Historical Jesus" would ever happen?
A recovery of the religion of Jesus, the one he may well have intended. A more universal form of Jewish, ethical Monotheism...more humane, less legalistic and detail oriented?
In short, Judaism the way Jesus intended? What do you think such a "Church" would look like? What would it teach?
Post 11: Mon Nov 14, 2016 11:24 am
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I agree, except for the fact that Jesus seemed opposed to the whole blood-sacrificial system. Quoted Hosea "I desire mercy, not sacrifice", and he turned over the Temple tables.
Jesus by-passsed the Temple in teaching direct access to Father YHVH, as in the Lord's Prayer. He seems to have taught simple repentance, and did not seem to endorse the killing of animals to appease the Father.
In that, Jesus was squarely in the tradition of Jeremiah and other prophets, King David, and John the Baptist, who performed "baptisms of repentance for the forgiveness of sins "
John taught non-Temple forgiveness, operated outside of the authority of the Temple. Jesus followed suit.
Post 12: Mon Nov 14, 2016 2:10 pm
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|Replying to post 11 by Elijah John]
Ok.... I am on my mobile, so will want to look into all that when I get home.
At this time I have it that Jesus demonstrated in the Temple because of the fleecing of folks when they changed their money over to Temple cash. Rome almost certainly took a cut out of all exchange transactions. There was a census of great feast takings by the saving of lamb kidneys during one great feast, obviously used to calculate annual returns to Rome. Jesus certainly did not like any of that, but I take your point that he did not like any of it anyway. Interesting.[
Post 13: Mon Nov 14, 2016 2:30 pm
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Considering that I have been searching for the "historical Jesus" since 1998, certain things have become apparent:
1) The historical Jesus is referring to a person that we can barely prove as having existed. It relates not to religious belief and practice, but to the reality of history that can be ascertained through historical sources within and also outside of the Bible, such as Josephus. It includes the few mentions of Jesus outside the Gospels. It attempts to look into early Christian beliefs as far as the many early Christianities to ferret out what is accurate and what is, shall I say, enhanced, exaggerated and how different early Christian views of Jesus differed. For example: some early groups did not believe that Jesus was ever human.
2) As we can see, historically different views of the same scripture have always created splinter groups. This was also true at the very beginnings of the faith before any scriptures were written. There is evidence, for example, that almost all of the Apostles established their own branches of Christianity, even Mary Magdalen, as well. And there were others. So we have an equally difficult time attempting to find the teachings of the very earliest Christians as we do proving that Jesus was a real man, where he actually came from, etc.
3) This effort is not helped by the fact that proto-orthodox Christianity was already persecuting and destroying those other branches of Christianity. Keeping an open mind: the right version might have been utterly annihilated--leaving no trace. We may not even know that it existed. So, at best, what you are talking about here is attempt to reconstruct the religion based on what you or others think it might have been like. And here I must point out that all of us, every one of us, are attempting to follow and believe in the most accurate version of the faith despite our many differences. That is why there are so many differences and that is why there are 40,000+ versions of Christianity. Your angle is just one of many.
The only hints we have of it are mentioned in ACTS about the Jerusalem Church. I would, at least, suggest that the early church in Jerusalem was the most accurate. So, we know some of the early controversies and we see some of the disagreements between them and the developing form of the religion through Paul and somewhat of Peter. But is that what Jesus intended? What did he mean when he said that Peter is the rock (Petrus) on which he would build his church? Was he pointing to a future branch of the Church and away from Judaism? I am going to point out here that as near as we can tell, the Jerusalem church as it was under James was virtually wiped out during the Revolt at the time of the destruction of the Temple. And I ask you: Would God allow THE one correct Church to be completely destroyed?
Note that I am very intrigued by the earliest versions of Christianity probably for the same reason that you brought this up, but we can't reconstruct it in accordance to what we imagine it would be--or we'd have no more hope of being more accurate than anyone else. I'd say the evidence is there, piecemeal, and we need to seek it out. I also think that our own prejudices may prejudice us against some true doctrine and it would behoove us to maintain an open mind--seeking guidance through the Holy Spirit.
Post 14: Tue Nov 15, 2016 4:26 am
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Click....... I've been studying HJ for many years now, and this is the very first time that somebody has pointed out clearly that both John and Jesus were completely against the sacrificial money-trail in the Temple. Immediately it becomes clear why Antipas had to arrest John, not just because he was popular or disruptive but because he threatened the entire money-go-round that the people felt bound to follow.
Honestly, you are the first to make this quite precisely clear.
Post 15: Thu Dec 22, 2016 1:17 pm
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Good afternoon, Elijah John. I would suggest that you look to the sermons and parables attributed to Jesus to see what kind of religion he was promoting. He was essentially pushing a kind of spirituality where we all would recognize God as our Father and address Him without any need for any intercessor whatsoever. He also spoke of the importance of community and retaining harmony among each other and within ourselves. He worshiped in a synagogue ( in the Second Jerusalem Temple for some of the bigger feasts) and acquired his religious training from rabbis, ultimately becoming a rabbi himself.
He emphasized sincerity of belief and completely smashed down on hypocrisy. It's cool that you allow latitude for opining on this matter, as opinions on such a thing are really all we have. In a Jesus Movement, where all the myths and theology are stripped away, we are left with the two " greatest commandments": to love God with all our mind, soul, strength and heart and to love our neighbors as ourselves.
To drag Star Trek into this, imagine these commandments as two binary stars around which all the theology and mythmaking revolve like planets around these suns.
Such a church as you propose would probably function rather well for awhile, but then people would start writing out " divinely inspired" legends about Jesus and the founder of this church you propose and then it would take its place among the many denominations that Christianity is divided into today. I am rather of the thought that all these writings about Jesus were originally intended to emphasize the importance of his teachings and then they got distorted to the point where this Good News became more about the man than his message.
A resurrection? Sure, if you mean that the resurrection is a this worldly event where the gospel leads us to recognize our common human condition and we become conscious of the hand of God moving through the world. We become reborn into a spiritual consciousness of the unity of all creation and our individual part of that unity.
Post 16: Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:21 pm
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|Replying to post 1 by Elijah John]
In Search of the Jesus’ of Nazareth
Apparently, all of the great religious Leaders/Teachers (Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Mohamed, Buddha, Confucius, ECT.) were involved in some kind of spiritual communication with a universal power that most people refer to as “God”. There are many powerful influences that control the physical universe including: gravitational, centrifugal, magnetic, electrical, atomic, and nuclear forces. Similarly, there are forces contained within every human being on earth that influence the direction and quality of that individual’s life. Among these forces are self preservation, ego and what I will call the “life force” for good. All of the luminaries above and many more including: Aristotle, Socrates, De Vinci, Newton, Bach, Lincoln, Gandhi, Einstein, Martin Luther King, and Mother Teresa were all clearly operating on a heightened level of “Life force”. This “Life force” is also known as: the Soul, the Divine Spirit, the Conscience, Morality, Spirituality, or what the Dalai Lama identified as “Ethical Compassion” in a May 5, 2009 speech at MIT. He also indicated "there's potential to increase that internal force, just as knowledge can be increased by education”. Jesus of Nazareth declared that the same internal force that drove him was in every individual and he called it “the Kingdom of God”.
I grew up in Central New York State during the 1940s and 50s. My Father had died when I was 7 and my Mother believed that I would benefit from religious instruction. So, I attended the required classes and was confirmed as a member of the Episcopal Church. While I understand that it has become much more liberal, at that time, the Episcopal Church was “Catholic-Light”. The only difference was that divorce was allowed and the services were not conducted in Latin. Even at that early age, I was Math and Science oriented and had a great deal of difficulty buying-into the religious dogma of a flat world, Jonah and the whale, the Sun revolving around the earth, walking on water, ECT. My (takeaway) was “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and I erased religion from my conscious thought. However, there always remained a vague subconscious sense of void.
As I approached the age of 60, my employment had taken us to Austin, TX. At my wife’s urging, we joined the First Unitarian Universalist Church. The Minster, Davidson Loehr, was a Biblical scholar educated at the University of Chicago and a member of Jesus Seminar. He not only introduced me to the work of the Jesus Seminar (1), but to the concept of the three different aspects of Jesus, upon which this analysis is based. For the record, I will define the 3 faces of Jesus as follows:
1. The Theological Jesus – The Religions about Jesus as defined by the various Christian Theologies.
2. The Historical Jesus – The physical Jesus as defined by historical records and Archeology.
3. The Spiritual Jesus – The Religion of Jesus as defined by his Spiritual teaching.
Since my retirement in 2001, I have been developing a personal understanding of the “Historical Jesus” through subscription to the Jesus Seminar Newsletter, reading books, Internet (Google) research, the viewing of Tivoed Jesus TV documentaries, and DVD lectures.
The Lost Tomb
In November of 2008 I completed the reading of “The Jesus Dynasty” (James Tabor, Simon & Schuster, April 4, 2006, ISBN-978-0743287234) and was very impressed with the scope and readability of this work. It has greatly augmented and clarified my own understanding of the “Historical Jesus” and his original followers. Of particular interest was the reference to a 2007 Discovery Channel documentary “The Lost Tomb of Jesus”. This is a highly controversial/religiously in-correct documentary that both the Israeli (Jewish) Government and the conservative Christian establishment are trying to suppress/refute. It therefore has only been aired once. I immediately logged into my wife’s Netflix account and ordered a copy of the DVD. Briefly, during the excavation for an apartment complex between Jerusalem and Bethlehem in 1980, a family tomb was unearthed. The linguistic forms of the names/nicknames on the ossuaries correlated with the biblically identified extended family and Disciples of Jesus of Nazareth/Son of Joseph, with a probability of 99.997% (2). Unfortunately, the significance of this archeological find was not understood before one of the ossuaries was stolen. The genetic material was returned for burial in accordance with Jewish tradition. The ossuaries were contaminated by being placed in the Jerusalem ossuary warehouse. Basic forensic and DNA analysis of potentially the greatest archeological find of all time could resolve some of history’s most important mysteries. However, we now know beyond a reasonable doubt that:
• The physical remains of Jesus were interned in a family tomb, probably having been moved from the temporary tomb where he was placed after his crucifixion.
• The tomb also, originally contained the remains of his brother James who was executed in 62 CE. He was the last known leader of the direct followers of Jesus in Jerusalem.
Also of interest is the chevron over circle that appears above the entrance to the tomb and the cruder chevron over dot symbols that have been found incised on contemporary “Early Christian” ossuaries including that of Simon bar Jonahs, who helped Jesus carry his cross.
From Jesus to Christ
The most critical input to both the “Historical” and “Spiritual” Jesus stories is an analysis of “The Baptism of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark”, a article on the Ebionites in the Fourth R (Westar Institute) Volume 18 Number 5 September – October 2005, where Sakari Hakkinen (Lutheran pastor/Diocese officer and PhD. In Theology, University of Helsinki, 2000) asserts:
“Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by john. And just as he got up out of the water, he saw the skies torn open and the Spirit like a dove descending into him. There was also a voice from the skies: "You are my favored son - 1 fully approve of you.” (Mark 1:9-1 1)”
“In contrast with later evangelists Mark here uses the Greek preposition eis ("into") to describe the descent of the Spirit into Jesus, not upon him, like most translations for some reason have it. The posses¬sion of Jesus by the Spirit was an early view of Jesus' significance. He was seen as a prophet who acted in the power of the Spirit.
Mark obviously believed that Jesus received the Spirit only at his baptism, not before. The Spirit in fact possesses him at the moment of his baptism and immediately afterwards takes him to the desert. Jesus then preaches, heals, and exorcizes in the power of the Spirit. His true identity is recognized only by those possessed by spirits. The Gospel of Mark thus represents possessionist Christology in its most typical form: Jesus was an ordinary man-not divine-before he was filled with the Spirit at his baptism. Both the authors of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke rejected this kind of Christology, as can be seen in their nar¬ratives of Jesus baptism (in which the Spirit descends upon, not into, Jesus) and in their addition of the birth and childhood stories of Jesus. For them, Jesus was the divine Son of God already from his birth.”
Mark is the earliest Gospel writer that overlaps (in time), the original followers of Jesus. Mark’s Gospel begins with the Baptism of Jesus and, in its original form, ends with the empty temporary tomb. We must assume that any part of the story that he left out was ether because:
- He considered it unimportant and irrelevant to the readers understanding of the “Good News”.
- He was unaware of those details, possibly because they had not yet been created.
It is interesting to note God’s quote “You are my favored son - 1 fully approve of you”. This would imply that God has other children. After all, we are all children of God. Here, he is selecting Jesus as the favored one and, as we will see later, literally giving him the “Keys to the Kingdom”. They didn’t have cars in those days.
The Historical Jesus
Now that we know the beginning and end of Jesus the Christ, let’s return to Jesus of Nazareth. Before presenting an analysis of the Historical Jesus, I would like to lay out two principals:
1. Gospel means “good news”. The gospels are editorial commercials representing the author(s) perception of the new, evolving, fragmented religion that we know as ‘Christianity”. Gospels where targeted at the conversion of a particular demographic group such as: Jews, Gentiles, Pagans, Romans, Greeks, or Gnostics. While based on real people and events, Gospels are not historical chronologies and are primarily based on evolving theological traditions that were transmitted orally for many years before being written down.
2. My education in Math and Science and many years of experience in business management, have lead me to conclude that there is no such thing as a complicated solution. There are simple solutions and there are the problems caused by previous complicated solutions.
The later Gospel writers asserted that Jesus was the actual the son of God through Immaculate Conception and a Virgin Birth. While anything is possible, this is very unlikely. The original Gospel (Mark) makes no reference to a “Devine Birth”. Mark specifically describes the entry and possession of Jesus by the Divine Spirit at his baptism at which point he becomes the “adopted Son of God”. In the first three Gospels, Jesus does not claim to be a God or the “Son of God” and often refers to him self as the “Son of Man”. Only in the last conical gospel of John, does Jesus claim to be God/Son of God, completing the evolution from the teachings of Jesus to a Religion about Jesus. The divinity of Jesus is most likely a device of the later Gospel authors to elevate Jesus above the Gods/Profits/Leaders of the other beliefs, from which they wish to gain converts.
Jesus and his younger brother James were known by the formal suffix “Son of Joseph”. They were entombed by relatives, with “Jesus Son of Joseph” and “James Son of Joseph” inscribed on their ossuaries. It is not unreasonable to conclude that Joseph was probably their Father. Jesus’ youngest brother/Mary’s last Son was known by a nickname (Yose “Joses”, a diminutive of "Joseph"). With out the formal “Son of” suffix, we have no clue as to his Father. However, it is likely that Joseph was deceased by the time of Joses’ birth, since it was not customary to name a child after a living relative.
It is not really important as to exactly when Jesus was born. However, it is human nature to want to know. So, I offer the following analysis. We know, from historical/biblical records, that he was born between 8 and 4 BCE. On the Web site http://www.eclipse.net/~molnar/ concerning The Star of Bethlehem: the Legacy of the Magi by Michael R. Molnar and published by Rutgers University Press. (ISBN: 0-8135-2701-5), there is the following question and answer:
“What was the Star (of Bethlehem)?
On April 17, 6 BC two years before King Herod died Jupiter emerged in the east as a morning star in the sign of the Jews, Aries the Ram. The account in Matthew refers twice to the Star being in the east with good reasons. When the royal star of Zeus, the planet Jupiter, was in the east this was the most powerful time to confer kingships. Furthermore, the Sun was in Aries where it is exalted. The Moon was in very close conjunction with Jupiter in Aries. Modern calculations suggest that this was close enough to be an occultation (eclipse). The Sun’s glare would have hidden that event. Saturn was also present which meant that the three rulers of Aries’ trine (Sun, Jupiter, and Saturn) were present in Aries. Saturn and Jupiter were said to be "attendants" on the rising Sun, another regal aspect for astrologers. By modern expectations this is trivial. For ancient stargazers this configuration was truly awesome. (p. 96-101)”
The month of April also coincides with the only time of year that shepherds would be tending their flocks at night (referred to in Luke 2:8) to protect the spring lambs from predators.
We really don’t know where Jesus was born. However, it almost certainly was not Bethlehem. Again, Mark makes no reference as to the location of his birth. However, there are contemporary historical records to verify that there was no censes conducted in Galilee/Jerusalem around the date of his birth. The nearest one was some 10 years later. In any case, residents were counted where they lived so they could be found. The Roman’s did not want their subjects running around the country going to their place of birth, but rather to stay home and keep working to pay their taxes. The attribution of the birth to Bethlehem is apparently an attempt by the Gospel writers to align Jesus with Old Testament prophecies that the messiah is coming from the “House of David”/Bethlehem. Since Jesus was known as “Jesus of Nazareth”, I will go with the simple solution that he was probably born in or around Nazareth.
There is great confusion as to the relationship and relative ages of Jesus’ siblings, caused by a conflict in religious dogma and a lack of biblical facts. I have seen it stated that:
• At least one of Jesus’ sisters was from a previous marriage of Joseph and was in attendance at his birth.
• A different mother named his sister Mary, since children were never named after a living relative.
• One or two of Jesus’ brothers were older stepbrothers from Joseph’s previous marriage.
• There is general (non-Catholic) agreement that at least two brothers were younger brothers from Mary (3).
This is not significant to the historical Jesus story. The only relevance is that they were among his original followers James took over leadership upon Jesus’ death. Both James’ and a younger brother’s (nicknamed Joses) ossuaries contribute to the identification of the previously discussed family tomb.
There is much speculation and debate about the so called “lost Years of Jesus” between birth and the beginning of his Ministry. From the Gospel of Mark we learned that the reason that they were lost was because they were not important. During this period, Jesus acquired the experience, skills, and religious education that would be necessary to fulfill his ultimate mission. This time was probably spent in around Nazareth and the larger neighboring city of Sepphoris.
The period between Jesus’ Baptism and Crucifixion is variously documented in the Gospels and need not be reviewed in order to conclude the outline of the “Historical” Jesus. Obviously, the divine possession at the Baptism profoundly affected the “Spiritual” Jesus.
The Spiritual Jesus
I now turn to a subject that I have only recently begun to consider. I have to admit that this is way out of my comfort zone and will require a great deal of education and analysis to adequately address. So I will outline the preliminary structure that I have developed for future research and conclusions.
We will never know the exact Divine Revelation that was instilled in Jesus during his Baptism or the details of the Belief System that he evolved over the next 40 days (a long time) of communing with God in the wilderness. In order to understand the Spirituality of Jesus we must reconstruct these things from his Teachings. Unfortunately, 2000 years of transcription errors, poor translations, editorializing, and misattributions have seriously clouded the record of Jesus’ spoken words. The fact that he deliberately tried to obscure the meaning of his parables and sayings, also contributes greatly to this problem. Even grouping them by the Jesus Seminar’s “color codes”, doesn’t significantly alleviate their apparent confusing and contradictory nature. The Jesus Seminar used font colors to indicate the probability that a particular biblical quotations content and wording originated with the “Historical Jesus”. Quotations printed in red are most likely the spoken words of Jesus.
What we need is the decoder ring, the encryption key, and the parsing filter to understand the underlying philosophy and structure of Jesus’ teaching. That key was found over the entry of “the Jesus Family Tomb” and scratched into contemporary ossuaries. The symbol of the early followers of Jesus is known as “The Eye of God”. After all, the use of a cross as a symbol then would be equivalent to the use of the electric chair today. The eye of God (4) is based on the specific eye of a specific god (Horus/Ra) of Egyptian mythology. However, in general usage it represents the “The Omni Presence of God”.
The most relevant teaching of Jesus is that the kingdom of God is not some far away place in a far away time that we can only dream about. It is here and now, among and within us. Jesus put it this way:
One day the Pharisees asked Jesus, "When will the Kingdom of God begin?" Jesus replied, "The Kingdom of God isn't ushered in with visible signs. You won't be able to say, 'It has begun here in this place or there in that part of the country. For the Kingdom of God is within you." (TLB, Luke 17:20-21)
This is probably close to the spiritual inspiration that Jesus received from God.
The Gospel of Thomas (5) clearly and directly presents Jesus’ teaching on the “Kingdom of God”. Here Jesus says,
"If those who lead you say to you, 'look, the Kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds will get there first. If they say 'it's in the ocean,' then the fish will get there first. But the Kingdom of God is within you and outside of you. Once you come to know yourselves, you will become known. And you will know that it is you who are the children of the living father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you live in poverty, and you are the poverty." (Thomas 3)
Given that “The Kingdom of God is within you”, the question becomes how do we develop our divine spark, soul, or spiritual existence as opposed to our natural self/mind generated egocentric reality?
"If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you." (Thomas 70)
Jesus, just as University Professors today, taught curricula appropriate to student’s level of intellectual development. The “achieving the kingdom of God on earth” concept presented in Thomas is a “Graduate Level” extension of the basic "works" and/or "grace" as the dichotomy found in the canonical gospels.
Jesus addresses the Disciples: 1And he said to them, "I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power." Mark 9:1. Here Jesus is clearly referring to the few that will be able to unlock the Kingdom of God that is within them.
The concept of “The Kingdom of God/Personal Spiritual Development” clarifies many of Jesus’ Teachings including:
• The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." Mark 10:24-25
• Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. Matthew 7:3-5
• He said to them, "Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don't you put it on its stand? For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear." "Consider carefully what you hear," he continued. "With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him." Mark 4:21-25
• 10But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, 'Friend, move up to a better place.' Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." Luke 14:10-11
• The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us what Heaven's kingdom is like." He said to them, "It's like a mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds, but when it falls on prepared soil, it produces a large plant and becomes a shelter for birds of the sky." – Thomas 20
• Jesus said, "Whoever drinks from my mouth will become like me; I myself shall become that person, and the hidden things will be revealed to him." – Thomas 108
• His disciples said to him, "When will the kingdom come?"
"It will not come by watching for it. It will not be said, 'Look, here!' or 'Look, there!' Rather, the Father's kingdom is spread out upon the earth, and people don't see it." – Thomas 113
• The Lord’s Prayer - Matthew 6:9-13.
English vernacular version
Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.
“The Good News according to this Paul”
The “Historical Jesus”:
The preponderance of evidence indicates that Jesus of Nazareth:
• Was born a human child.
• Matured from a precious adolescent into a relatively well educated man.
• Was baptized by his cousin John the baptizer.
• Was immediately Spiritually possessed by God
• Preached this spiritual reality for a short period of time.
• Died on the cross in Jerusalem.
• And his physical remains were interned in a family tomb.
This “Historical Jesus” is completely compatible with all other monotheistic religions and if not unifying, is at least harmonizing. They are all talking about the same God and only differ in teachers, philosophers and prophets. To paraphrase Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along”?
Whether through birth or baptism, Jesus of Nazareth was clearly selected by God to be the Messiah, the Christ, meaning the anointed one, to proclaim God’s spiritual message on Earth.
The “Spiritual Jesus”:
Is a philosophy based on the “Kingdom of God is in you” – which drives personal Spiritual development. This concept represents the advanced Spiritual teaching of Jesus, which was understood by only some of his Disciples including Judas and Mary Magdalene as indicated in the “Gospel of Mary” (6). This connection between God and human Spirituality is universally applicable and holds the potential of uniting Mankind. The Religion of Jesus is at once very powerful and very demanding. It requires every individual to develop their internal life force in order to realize the “Kingdom of God” on earth.
Notes: (See Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page)
1. The Jesus Seminar is a group of about 150 individuals, including scholars with advanced degrees in biblical studies, religious studies or related fields as well as published authors who are notable in the field of religion, founded in 1985 by the late Robert Funk and John Dominic Crossan under the auspices of the Westar Institute One of the most active groups in biblical criticism, the seminar uses votes with colored beads to decide their collective view of the historicity of Jesus, specifically what he may or may not have said and done as a historical figure. In addition, the seminar popularizes the quest for the historical Jesus. The public is welcome to attend the twice-yearly meetings. They produced new translations of the New Testament and apocrypha to use as textual sources. They published their results in three reports The Five Gospels (1993), The Acts of Jesus (1998), and The Gospel of Jesus (1999). They also run a series of lectures and workshops in various U.S. cities.
2. Ossuary inscriptions associated with the “Jesus Family Tomb” - Six of the remaining nine, from the original ten, ossuaries have inscriptions. The other three ossuaries have no inscriptions. As translated in The Lost Tomb of Jesus and The Jesus Family Tomb, they read as follows:
• Yeshua bar Yehosef, Aramaic for "Jesus son of Joseph"
• Maria, written in Aramaic script, but a Latin form of the Hebrew name "Miriam" ("Mary")
• Yose, a diminutive of "Joseph" mentioned (in its Greek form ιωσης "Joses") as the name of one of Jesus's brothers in the New Testament (Mark 6:3)
• Yehuda bar Yeshua, Possibly Aramaic for "Judah son of Jesus"
• Mariamene e Mara. According to the filmmakers this is Greek for "Mary known as the master." The similar name "Mariamne" is found in the Acts of Philip: Francois Bovon, professor of the history of religion at Harvard University has suggested based on his study of that work that Mariamene, or Mariamne, was the actual name of Mary Magdalen.
• Matya, Hebrew for 'Matthew'—not claimed to be Matthew the Evangelist but "possibly a male relative of Mary or the husband of one of the women in an unmarked ossuary". The filmmakers claim that there is evidence that Mary mother of Jesus had many relatives named Matthew. Genealogists have purportedly traced Mary’s lineage back to the Priestly branch of the House of David in which Matthew is a common name.
The film further claims that the tenth ossuary, which went missing years ago, is the James Ossuary purported to contain the body of James, the brother of Jesus.
• Mass spectrograph testing proved that there was a match between the patina on the James and Yeshua` ossuaries and referred to the James ossuary as the "missing link" from the tomb of Yeshua` (Jesus);
• The ossuary that became missing from the tomb of Yeshua` had actually been the infamous James ossuary believed to contain the remains of the brother of Yeshua`. The ossuary was inscribed with “James son of Joseph” and the thieves apparently added the forged “Brother of Jesus”. Since, Removed from the context of the Jesus tomb, the original inscription would have no meaning/value.
The chance that a Jesus son of Joseph buried with four other people whose linguistic form and combination of six names that are clearly identified in the Bible as relatives/companion, is not the Jesus of Nazareth, is less than 1 in 30,000. This mathematically equates to a 99.997% certainty that the tomb contained Jesus’ physical remains.
It is tempting to speculate that the child’s ossuary inscribed “Yehuda bar Yeshua” or "Judah son of Jesus" belongs to the son of Jesus of Nazareth and Mary Magdalene. However, Jesus was a common name and the tomb contained the marked and unmarked ossuaries of several women, anyone of which could have conceived a child with a different Jesus. The only way to confirm paternity is through nuclear DNA testing. The documentary indicated that the deteriorated genetic residue could only support mitochondrial testing for the determination of a maternal relationship. In any case, the remains are of a child and there is no evidence of any other offspring that could have potentially perpetuated the bloodline of Jesus.
3. Mary Mother of Jesus - Early traditions, first visible in the writings of Papias (During the first half of the 2nd century), have identified her sons James and Joses/Joseph with the "brothers of Jesus" of the same name and made her the mother of the "brethren of the Lord". This is the exact cluster of family names associated with the “Jesus Tomb”, which strengthens the credibility of both hypotheses.
Mary of Clopas or Cleophas (Greek: Maria he tou Klopa) the wife of Clopas who is believed to be the brother of Joseph, was one of various Mary’s named in the New Testament. Mary of Clopas is explicitly mentioned only in (John 19:25), where she is among the women present at the Crucifixion:
“Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary [the wife] of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.”
1st century Jewish tradition was for an unmarried brother to marry the widow of his deceased sibling. This has led some modern writers, such as Robert Eisenman or James Tabor, to claim that Mary of Clopas actually refers to Jesus’ mother as well. It is possible that the youngest brother of Jesus (Joses) is the son of Clopas and Mary and was named after his deceased uncle Joseph. This seems like an unnecessary complication, since Mary of Clopas could just as easily refer to Mary’s sister-in-law.
4. The Eye of Horus (Wedjat) (previously Wadjet and the Eye of the Moon; and afterwards as The Eye of Ra) or ("Udjat") is an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection and royal power from deities Horus or Ra. The symbol is seen on images of Horus' mother, Isis, and on other deities associated with her. In the Egyptian language, the word for this symbol was "Wedjat". It was the eye of one of the earliest of Egyptian deities, Wadjet, who later became associated with Bast, Mut, and Hathor as well. Wedjat was a solar deity and this symbol began as her eye, an all seeing eye.
The Definition and Meaning of the Eye as a Christian Symbol may be found at (http://www.catholic-saints.info/catholic-symbols/eye-christian-symbol.htm). The Eye Christian Symbol stands for the "all-seeing eye" representing the eye of God the Father, the all-knowing and ever-present God. In later examples of Christian art the eye was pictured in a triangle with rays of light to represent the infinite holiness of the Trinity. The all Seeing Eye is based on the following passage in Psalm 33:18:
“But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love.”
5. The Gospel of Thomas (A Coptic papyrus manuscript discovered in 1945 at Nag Hammadi, Egypt.) begins, "These are the secret sayings that the living Jesus spoke and which Didymos Judas Thomas recorded." Both the words "Didymos" (Greek) and "Thomas" (Hebrew) mean "Twin" and are not actually names. The teaching of salvation (i.e., entering the Kingdom of Heaven) that is found in The Gospel of Thomas is neither that of "works" nor of "grace" as the dichotomy is found in the canonical gospels, but what might be called a third way, that of insight. The overriding concern of The Gospel of Thomas is to find the light within in order to be a light unto the world.
The PBS Font Line program “The Gospel of Thomas” offers the viewer his 'secret teachings' about the Kingdom of God (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/story/thomas.html). Elaine H. Pagels, The Harrington Spear Paine Foundation Professor of Religion at Princeton University, states: “Now, [in the Gospel of Thomas], this Jesus comes to reveal that you and he are, if you like, twins.... And what you discover as you read the Gospel of Thomas, which you're meant to discover, is that you and Jesus at a deep level are identical twins. And that you discover that you are the child of God just as he is. And so that at the end of the gospel Jesus speaks to Thomas and says, "Whoever drinks from my mouth will become as I am, and I will become that person, and the mysteries will be revealed to him.””
The Gospel of Thomas does not refer to Jesus as "Christ", "Lord", or "Son of Man" as the New Testament does, but simply as "Jesus." Since the Gospel of Thomas is a “Sayings Gospel”, it also lacks any mention of Jesus' birth, baptism, miracles, travels, death, and resurrection. However, over half of the sayings in Thomas are similar to sayings and parables found in the canonical gospels.
The Gospel of Thomas
Translated by Stephen Patterson and Marvin Meyer
(Visit the Gospel of Thomas Collection for other translations and additional information)
These are the secret sayings that the living Jesus spoke and Didymos Judas Thomas recorded.
1. And he said, "Whoever discovers the interpretation of these sayings will not taste death."
2. Jesus said, "Those who seek should not stop seeking until they find. When they find, they will be disturbed. When they are disturbed, they will marvel, and will reign over all. [And after they have reigned they will rest.]"
3. Jesus said, "If your leaders say to you, 'Look, the (Father's) kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the (Father's) kingdom is within you and it is outside you. When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you live in poverty, and you are the poverty."
4. Jesus said, "The person old in days won't hesitate to ask a little child seven days old about the place of life, and that person will live. For many of the first will be last, and will become a single one."
5. Jesus said, "Know what is in front of your face, and what is hidden from you will be disclosed to you. For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed. [And there is nothing buried that will not be raised.]"
6. His disciples asked him and said to him, "Do you want us to fast? How should we pray? Should we give to charity? What diet should we observe?" Jesus said, "Don't lie, and don't do what you hate, because all things are disclosed before heaven. After all, there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and there is nothing covered up that will remain undisclosed."
7. Jesus said, "Lucky is the lion that the human will eat, so that the lion becomes human. And foul is the human that the lion will eat, and the lion still will become human."
8. And he said, "The person is like a wise fisherman who cast his net into the sea and drew it up from the sea full of little fish. Among them the wise fisherman discovered a fine large fish. He threw all the little fish back into the sea, and easily chose the large fish. Anyone here with two good ears had better listen!"
9. Jesus said, "Look, the sower went out, took a handful (of seeds), and scattered (them). Some fell on the road, and the birds came and gathered them. Others fell on rock, and they didn't take root in the soil and didn't produce heads of grain. Others fell on thorns, and they choked the seeds and worms ate them. And others fell on good soil, and it produced a good crop: it yielded sixty per measure and one hundred twenty per measure."
10. Jesus said, "I have cast fire upon the world, and look, I'm guarding it until it blazes."
11. Jesus said, "This heaven will pass away, and the one above it will pass away.
The dead are not alive, and the living will not die. During the days when you ate what is dead, you made it come alive. When you are in the light, what will you do? On the day when you were one, you became two. But when you become two, what will you do?"
12. The disciples said to Jesus, "We know that you are going to leave us. Who will be our leader?" Jesus said to them, "No matter where you are you are to go to James the Just, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being."
13. Jesus said to his disciples, "Compare me to something and tell me what I am like."
Simon Peter said to him, "You are like a just messenger."
Matthew said to him, "You are like a wise philosopher."
Thomas said to him, "Teacher, my mouth is utterly unable to say what you are like."
Jesus said, "I am not your teacher. Because you have drunk, you have become intoxicated from the bubbling spring that I have tended."
And he took him, and withdrew, and spoke three sayings to him. When Thomas came back to his friends they asked him, "What did Jesus say to you?"
Thomas said to them, "If I tell you one of the sayings he spoke to me, you will pick up rocks and stone me, and fire will come from the rocks and devour you."
14. Jesus said to them, "If you fast, you will bring sin upon yourselves, and if you pray, you will be condemned, and if you give to charity, you will harm your spirits.
When you go into any region and walk about in the countryside, when people take you in, eat what they serve you and heal the sick among them.
After all, what goes into your mouth will not defile you; rather, it's what comes out of your mouth that will defile you."
15. Jesus said, "When you see one who was not born of woman, fall on your faces and worship. That one is your Father."
16. Jesus said, "Perhaps people think that I have come to cast peace upon the world. They do not know that I have come to cast conflicts upon the earth: fire, sword, war.
For there will be five in a house: there'll be three against two and two against three, father against son and son against father, and they will stand alone."
17. Jesus said, "I will give you what no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, what no hand has touched, what has not arisen in the human heart."
18. The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us, how will our end come?"
Jesus said, "Have you found the beginning, then, that you are looking for the end? You see, the end will be where the beginning is.
Congratulations to the one who stands at the beginning: that one will know the end and will not taste death."
19. Jesus said, "Congratulations to the one who came into being before coming into being.
If you become my disciples and pay attention to my sayings, these stones will serve you.
For there are five trees in Paradise for you; they do not change, summer or winter, and their leaves do not fall. Whoever knows them will not taste death."
20. The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us what Heaven's kingdom is like."
He said to them, "It's like a mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds, but when it falls on prepared soil, it produces a large plant and becomes a shelter for birds of the sky."
21. Mary said to Jesus, "What are your disciples like?"
He said, "They are like little children living in a field that is not theirs. When the owners of the field come, they will say, 'Give us back our field.' They take off their clothes in front of them in order to give it back to them, and they return their field to them.
For this reason I say, if the owners of a house know that a thief is coming, they will be on guard before the thief arrives and will not let the thief break into their house (their domain) and steal their possessions.
As for you, then, be on guard against the world. Prepare yourselves with great strength, so the robbers can't find a way to get to you, for the trouble you expect will come.
Let there be among you a person who understands.
When the crop ripened, he came quickly carrying a sickle and harvested it. Anyone here with two good ears had better listen!"
22. Jesus saw some babies nursing. He said to his disciples, "These nursing babies are like those who enter the (Father's) kingdom."
They said to him, "Then shall we enter the (Father's) kingdom as babies?"
Jesus said to them, "When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male will not be male nor the female be female, when you make eyes in place of an eye, a hand in place of a hand, a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then you will enter [the kingdom]."
23. Jesus said, "I shall choose you, one from a thousand and two from ten thousand, and they will stand as a single one."
24. His disciples said, "Show us the place where you are, for we must seek it."
He said to them, "Anyone here with two ears had better listen! There is light within a person of light, and it shines on the whole world. If it does not shine, it is dark."
25. Jesus said, "Love your friends like your own soul, protect them like the pupil of your eye."
26. Jesus said, "You see the sliver in your friend's eye, but you don't see the timber in your own eye. When you take the timber out of your own eye, then you will see well enough to remove the sliver from your friend's eye."
27. "If you do not fast from the world, you will not find the (Father's) kingdom. If you do not observe the sabbath as a sabbath you will not see the Father."
28. Jesus said, "I took my stand in the midst of the world, and in flesh I appeared to them. I found them all drunk, and I did not find any of them thirsty. My soul ached for the children of humanity, because they are blind in their hearts and do not see, for they came into the world empty, and they also seek to depart from the world empty.
But meanwhile they are drunk. When they shake off their wine, then they will change their ways."
29. Jesus said, "If the flesh came into being because of spirit, that is a marvel, but if spirit came into being because of the body, that is a marvel of marvels.
Yet I marvel at how this great wealth has come to dwell in this poverty."
30. Jesus said, "Where there are three deities, they are divine. Where there are two or one, I am with that one."
31. Jesus said, "No prophet is welcome on his home turf; doctors don't cure those who know them."
32. Jesus said, "A city built on a high hill and fortified cannot fall, nor can it be hidden."
33. Jesus said, "What you will hear in your ear, in the other ear proclaim from your rooftops.
After all, no one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, nor does one put it in a hidden place. Rather, one puts it on a lampstand so that all who come and go will see its light."
34. Jesus said, "If a blind person leads a blind person, both of them will fall into a hole."
35. Jesus said, "One can't enter a strong person's house and take it by force without tying his hands. Then one can loot his house."
36. Jesus said, "Do not fret, from morning to evening and from evening to morning, [about your food--what you're going to eat, or about your clothing--] what you are going to wear. [You're much better than the lilies, which neither card nor spin.
As for you, when you have no garment, what will you put on? Who might add to your stature? That very one will give you your garment.]"
37. His disciples said, "When will you appear to us, and when will we see you?"
Jesus said, "When you strip without being ashamed, and you take your clothes and put them under your feet like little children and trample them, then [you] will see the son of the living one and you will not be afraid."
38. Jesus said, "Often you have desired to hear these sayings that I am speaking to you, and you have no one else from whom to hear them. There will be days when you will seek me and you will not find me."
39. Jesus said, "The Pharisees and the scholars have taken the keys of knowledge and have hidden them. They have not entered nor have they allowed those who want to enter to do so.
As for you, be as sly as snakes and as simple as doves."
40. Jesus said, "A grapevine has been planted apart from the Father. Since it is not strong, it will be pulled up by its root and will perish."
41. Jesus said, "Whoever has something in hand will be given more, and whoever has nothing will be deprived of even the little they have."
42. Jesus said, "Be passersby."
43. His disciples said to him, "Who are you to say these things to us?"
"You don't understand who I am from what I say to you.
Rather, you have become like the Judeans, for they love the tree but hate its fruit, or they love the fruit but hate the tree."
44. Jesus said, "Whoever blasphemes against the Father will be forgiven, and whoever blasphemes against the son will be forgiven, but whoever blasphemes against the holy spirit will not be forgiven, either on earth or in heaven."
45. Jesus said, "Grapes are not harvested from thorn trees, nor are figs gathered from thistles, for they yield no fruit.
Good persons produce good from what they've stored up; bad persons produce evil from the wickedness they've stored up in their hearts, and say evil things. For from the overflow of the heart they produce evil."
46. Jesus said, "From Adam to John the Baptist, among those born of women, no one is so much greater than John the Baptist that his eyes should not be averted.
But I have said that whoever among you becomes a child will recognize the (Father's) kingdom and will become greater than John."
47. Jesus said, "A person cannot mount two horses or bend two bows.
And a slave cannot serve two masters, otherwise that slave will honor the one and offend the other.
Nobody drinks aged wine and immediately wants to drink young wine. Young wine is not poured into old wineskins, or they might break, and aged wine is not poured into a new wineskin, or it might spoil.
An old patch is not sewn onto a new garment, since it would create a tear."
48. Jesus said, "If two make peace with each other in a single house, they will say to the mountain, 'Move from here!' and it will move."
49. Jesus said, "Congratulations to those who are alone and chosen, for you will find the kingdom. For you have come from it, and you will return there again."
50. Jesus said, "If they say to you, 'Where have you come from?' say to them, 'We have come from the light, from the place where the light came into being by itself, established [itself], and appeared in their image.'
If they say to you, 'Is it you?' say, 'We are its children, and we are the chosen of the living Father.'
If they ask you, 'What is the evidence of your Father in you?' say to them, 'It is motion and rest.'"
51. His disciples said to him, "When will the rest for the dead take place, and when will the new world come?"
He said to them, "What you are looking forward to has come, but you don't know it."
52. His disciples said to him, "Twenty-four prophets have spoken in Israel, and they all spoke of you."
He said to them, "You have disregarded the living one who is in your presence, and have spoken of the dead."
53. His disciples said to him, "Is circumcision useful or not?"
He said to them, "If it were useful, their father would produce children already circumcised from their mother. Rather, the true circumcision in spirit has become profitable in every respect."
54. Jesus said, "Congratulations to the poor, for to you belongs Heaven's kingdom."
55. Jesus said, "Whoever does not hate father and mother cannot be my disciple, and whoever does not hate brothers and sisters, and carry the cross as I do, will not be worthy of me."
56. Jesus said, "Whoever has come to know the world has discovered a carcass, and whoever has discovered a carcass, of that person the world is not worthy."
57 Jesus said, "The Father's kingdom is like a person who has [good] seed. His enemy came during the night and sowed weeds among the good seed. The person did not let the workers pull up the weeds, but said to them, 'No, otherwise you might go to pull up the weeds and pull up the wheat along with them.' For on the day of the harvest the weeds will be conspicuous, and will be pulled up and burned."
58. Jesus said, "Congratulations to the person who has toiled and has found life."
59. Jesus said, "Look to the living one as long as you live, otherwise you might die and then try to see the living one, and you will be unable to see."
60. He saw a Samaritan carrying a lamb and going to Judea. He said to his disciples, "that person ... around the lamb." They said to him, "So that he may kill it and eat it." He said to them, "He will not eat it while it is alive, but only after he has killed it and it has become a carcass."
They said, "Otherwise he can't do it."
He said to them, "So also with you, seek for yourselves a place for rest, or you might become a carcass and be eaten."
61. Jesus said, "Two will recline on a couch; one will die, one will live."
Salome said, "Who are you mister? You have climbed onto my couch and eaten from my table as if you are from someone."
Jesus said to her, "I am the one who comes from what is whole. I was granted from the things of my Father."
"I am your disciple."
"For this reason I say, if one is whole, one will be filled with light, but if one is divided, one will be filled with darkness."
62. Jesus said, "I disclose my mysteries to those [who are worthy] of [my] mysteries.
63 Jesus said, "There was a rich person who had a great deal of money. He said, 'I shall invest my money so that I may sow, reap, plant, and fill my storehouses with produce, that I may lack nothing.' These were the things he was thinking in his heart, but that very night he died. Anyone here with two ears had better listen!"
64. Jesus said, "A person was receiving guests. When he had prepared the dinner, he sent his slave to invite the guests.
The slave went to the first and said to that one, 'My master invites you.' That one said, 'Some merchants owe me money; they are coming to me tonight. I have to go and give them instructions. Please excuse me from dinner.'
The slave went to another and said to that one, 'My master has invited you.' That one said to the slave, 'I have bought a house, and I have been called away for a day. I shall have no time.'
The slave went to another and said to that one, 'My master invites you.' That one said to the slave, 'My friend is to be married, and I am to arrange the banquet. I shall not be able to come. Please excuse me from dinner.'
The slave went to another and said to that one, 'My master invites you.' That one said to the slave, 'I have bought an estate, and I am going to collect the rent. I shall not be able to come. Please excuse me.'
The slave returned and said to his master, 'Those whom you invited to dinner have asked to be excused.' The master said to his slave, 'Go out on the streets and bring back whomever you find to have dinner.'
Buyers and merchants [will] not enter the places of my Father."
65. He said, "A [...] person owned a vineyard and rented it to some farmers, so they could work it and he could collect its crop from them. He sent his slave so the farmers would give him the vineyard's crop. They grabbed him, beat him, and almost killed him, and the slave returned and told his master. His master said, 'Perhaps he didn't know them.' He sent another slave, and the farmers beat that one as well. Then the master sent his son and said, 'Perhaps they'll show my son some respect.' Because the farmers knew that he was the heir to the vineyard, they grabbed him and killed him. Anyone here with two ears had better listen!"
66. Jesus said, "Show me the stone that the builders rejected: that is the keystone."
67. Jesus said, "Those who know all, but are lacking in themselves, are utterly lacking."
68. Jesus said, "Congratulations to you when you are hated and persecuted; and no place will be found, wherever you have been persecuted."
69. Jesus said, "Congratulations to those who have been persecuted in their hearts: they are the ones who have truly come to know the Father.
Congratulations to those who go hungry, so the stomach of the one in want may be filled."
70. Jesus said, "If you bring forth what is within you, what you have will save you. If you do not have that within you, what you do not have within you [will] kill you."
71. Jesus said, "I will destroy [this] house, and no one will be able to build it [...]."
72. A [person said] to him, "Tell my brothers to divide my father's possessions with me."
He said to the person, "Mister, who made me a divider?"
He turned to his disciples and said to them, "I'm not a divider, am I?"
73. Jesus said, "The crop is huge but the workers are few, so beg the harvest boss to dispatch workers to the fields."
74. He said, "Lord, there are many around the drinking trough, but there is nothing in the well."
75. Jesus said, "There are many standing at the door, but those who are alone will enter the bridal suite."
76. Jesus said, "The Father's kingdom is like a merchant who had a supply of merchandise and found a pearl. That merchant was prudent; he sold the merchandise and bought the single pearl for himself.
So also with you, seek his treasure that is unfailing, that is enduring, where no moth comes to eat and no worm destroys."
77. Jesus said, "I am the light that is over all things. I am all: from me all came forth, and to me all attained.
Split a piece of wood; I am there.
Lift up the stone, and you will find me there."
78. Jesus said, "Why have you come out to the countryside? To see a reed shaken by the wind? And to see a person dressed in soft clothes, [like your] rulers and your powerful ones? They are dressed in soft clothes, and they cannot understand truth."
79. A woman in the crowd said to him, "Lucky are the womb that bore you and the breasts that fed you."
He said to [her], "Lucky are those who have heard the word of the Father and have truly kept it. For there will be days when you will say, 'Lucky are the womb that has not conceived and the breasts that have not given milk.'"
80. Jesus said, "Whoever has come to know the world has discovered the body, and whoever has discovered the body, of that one the world is not worthy."
81. Jesus said, "Let one who has become wealthy reign, and let one who has power renounce <it>."
82. Jesus said, "Whoever is near me is near the fire, and whoever is far from me is far from the (Father's) kingdom."
83. Jesus said, "Images are visible to people, but the light within them is hidden in the image of the Father's light. He will be disclosed, but his image is hidden by his light."
84. Jesus said, "When you see your likeness, you are happy. But when you see your images that came into being before you and that neither die nor become visible, how much you will have to bear!"
85. Jesus said, "Adam came from great power and great wealth, but he was not worthy of you. For had he been worthy, [he would] not [have tasted] death."
86. Jesus said, "[Foxes have] their dens and birds have their nests, but human beings have no place to lay down and rest."
87. Jesus said, "How miserable is the body that depends on a body, and how miserable is the soul that depends on these two."
88. Jesus said, "The messengers and the prophets will come to you and give you what belongs to you. You, in turn, give them what you have, and say to yourselves, 'When will they come and take what belongs to them?'"
89. Jesus said, "Why do you wash the outside of the cup? Don't you understand that the one who made the inside is also the one who made the outside?"
90. Jesus said, "Come to me, for my yoke is comfortable and my lordship is gentle, and you will find rest for yourselves."
91. They said to him, "Tell us who you are so that we may believe in you."
He said to them, "You examine the face of heaven and earth, but you have not come to know the one who is in your presence, and you do not know how to examine the present moment."
92. Jesus said, "Seek and you will find.
In the past, however, I did not tell you the things about which you asked me then. Now I am willing to tell them, but you are not seeking them."
93. "Don't give what is holy to dogs, for they might throw them upon the manure pile. Don't throw pearls [to] pigs, or they might ... it [...]."
94. Jesus [said], "One who seeks will find, and for [one who knocks] it will be opened."
95. [Jesus said], "If you have money, don't lend it at interest. Rather, give [it] to someone from whom you won't get it back."
96. Jesus [said], "The Father's kingdom is like [a] woman. She took a little leaven, [hid] it in dough, and made it into large loaves of bread. Anyone here with two ears had better listen!"
97. Jesus said, "The [Father's] kingdom is like a woman who was carrying a [jar] full of meal. While she was walking along [a] distant road, the handle of the jar broke and the meal spilled behind her [along] the road. She didn't know it; she hadn't noticed a problem. When she reached her house, she put the jar down and discovered that it was empty."
98. Jesus said, "The Father's kingdom is like a person who wanted to kill someone powerful. While still at home he drew his sword and thrust it into the wall to find out whether his hand would go in. Then he killed the powerful one."
99. The disciples said to him, "Your brothers and your mother are standing outside."
He said to them, "Those here who do what my Father wants are my brothers and my mother. They are the ones who will enter my Father's kingdom."
100. They showed Jesus a gold coin and said to him, "The Roman emperor's people demand taxes from us."
He said to them, "Give the emperor what belongs to the emperor, give God what belongs to God, and give me what is mine."
101. "Whoever does not hate [father] and mother as I do cannot be my [disciple], and whoever does [not] love [father and] mother as I do cannot be my [disciple]. For my mother [...], but my true [mother] gave me life."
102. Jesus said, "Damn the Pharisees! They are like a dog sleeping in the cattle manger: the dog neither eats nor [lets] the cattle eat."
103. Jesus said, "Congratulations to those who know where the rebels are going to attack. [They] can get going, collect their imperial resources, and be prepared before the rebels arrive."
104. They said to Jesus, "Come, let us pray today, and let us fast."
Jesus said, "What sin have I committed, or how have I been undone? Rather, when the groom leaves the bridal suite, then let people fast and pray."
105. Jesus said, "Whoever knows the father and the mother will be called the child of a whore."
106. Jesus said, "When you make the two into one, you will become children of Adam, and when you say, 'Mountain, move from here!' it will move."
107. Jesus said, "The (Father's) kingdom is like a shepherd who had a hundred sheep. One of them, the largest, went astray. He left the ninety-nine and looked for the one until he found it. After he had toiled, he said to the sheep, 'I love you more than the ninety-nine.'"
108. Jesus said, "Whoever drinks from my mouth will become like me; I myself shall become that person, and the hidden things will be revealed to him."
109. Jesus said, "The (Father's) kingdom is like a person who had a treasure hidden in his field but did not know it. And [when] he died he left it to his [son]. The son [did] not know about it either. He took over the field and sold it. The buyer went plowing, [discovered] the treasure, and began to lend money at interest to whomever he wished."
110. Jesus said, "Let one who has found the world, and has become wealthy, renounce the world."
111. Jesus said, "The heavens and the earth will roll up in your presence, and whoever is living from the living one will not see death."
Does not Jesus say, "Those who have found themselves, of them the world is not worthy"?
112. Jesus said, "Damn the flesh that depends on the soul. Damn the soul that depends on the flesh."
113. His disciples said to him, "When will the kingdom come?"
"It will not come by watching for it. It will not be said, 'Look, here!' or 'Look, there!' Rather, the Father's kingdom is spread out upon the earth, and people don't see it."
[Saying probably added to the original collection at a later date in order to justify the exclusion of women from the Priesthood. This is particularly ironic, since the very first Priest(ess) was Mary Magdelene ( see The Gospel of Mary below). ]
114. Simon Peter said to them, "Make Mary leave us, for females don't deserve life."
Jesus said, "Look, I will guide her to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every female who makes herself male will enter the kingdom of Heaven."
Selection from Robert J. Miller, ed., The Complete Gospels: Annotated Scholars Version. (Polebridge Press, 1992, 1994).
6. The Gospel of Mary
From the Nag Hammadi Library, James M. Robinson.
In this gospel Christ teaches that sin is not a problem of moral ignorance so much as a manifestation of imbalance of the soul. Christ then encourages the disciples to spread his teachings and warns them against those who teach of spirituality as an external concept rather than as an internal, gnostic experience. Mary, to whom this text is credited, then lifts the hearts of the disciples who have become despondent over Christ's departure. Peter and the other disciples acknowledge Mary's spiritual calibre and superiority and yet they challenge her when she describes her own gnostic experiences. This confrontation between Mary and Peter is well documented in many gnostic Scriptures. Mary exposes the small mindedness and superficiality of Peter and Andrew who find it difficult to comprehend, let alone accept, the deeper spiritual understanding that Mary has acquired through her personal experience and closer relationship with Christ. Indeed Peter and Andrew seem to prefer the very thing against which Christ warned them - a religion based on arbitrary ideas (in this case represented by Peter's male chauvinism and Andrew's ignorance). And yet many of their ideas have shaped modern Christianity while, paradoxically, Mary Magdelene's spirituality, which here seems more consistent with the teachings of Christ, is unheard of today.
"Will matter then be [destroyed] or not?". The Saviour said, "All natures, all formations, all creatures exist in and with one another, and they will be resolved into their own roots. For the nature of the matter is resolved into the (roots) of its nature alone. He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
Peter said to Him, "Since you have explained everything to us, tell us this also: What is the sin of the world?" The Saviour said, "There is no sin, but it is you who make sin when you do the things that are like the nature of adultery, which is called 'sin'. That is why the Good came into your midst, to the essence of every nature, in order to restore it to its root." Then He continued and said, "That is why you [become sick] and die, for [Š] of the one who [Š He who] understands, let him understand. Matter gave birth to a passion that has no equal, which proceeded from (something) contrary to nature. Then there arise a disturbance in the whole body. That is why I said to you, 'Be of good courage', and if you are discouraged (be) encouraged in the presence of the different forms of nature. He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
When the blessed one had said this, He greeted them all, saying, "Peace be with you. Receive my peace to yourselves. Beware that no one lead you astray, saying, 'Lo here!' or 'Lo there!' for the Son of Man is within you. Follow after Him! Those who seek[