Hiding the True Jesus: In reshaping American politics and society, the Christian Right has applied a distorted version of Jesus’s teachings, downplaying his pacifism and his contempt for wealth while emphasizing later revisions that didn’t threaten the powerful.
By the Rev. Howard Bess
I grew up as a devout, “red letter” Christian who hung on every word from Jesus. My Baptist church had a heavy influence on me and my faith was focused on making certain that I ended up in heaven. I learned that Jesus died for my sins and I was forever indebted to him.
I believed that the stories that Jesus told were earthly stories with heavenly meaning. To me, Jesus was a teacher of spiritual truth and divine wisdom. Then came seminary, where I was exposed to a different kind of study of the Bible.
It was while I was in seminary that I learned that the Bible is like every other book in that every word, every sentence, every paragraph was written by a human being and in a context. So, everything that is reported about Jesus had a context.
Early in the modern effort to understand Jesus in context, scholars concluded that Jesus was crucified by Romans soldiers (not by Jews) because he was a social and political rabble-rouser. The Roman rulers could not have cared less about Jesus’s ideas about heaven. They killed him for political reasons.
The idea that Jesus was a universal sacrifice for the sins of the whole world was a theological construction of Paul, who never knew Jesus and had little knowledge of his life. Indeed, in Paul’s many writings, he never indicates any awareness of the life of Jesus or his teachings.
Instead, Paul said he had an experience of the resurrected Christ on the road to Damascus, and he developed a theology to fit his experience and his background in Judaism (with its emphasis on sacrifice, not forgiveness).
Despite Paul’s lack of contact with Jesus during his days as a teacher (and Paul’s strained relationship with Jesus’s disciples), Paul became the early church’s theologian, a brilliant thinker with unbounded energy. He was literate and wrote voluminously.
By contrast, Jesus’s disciples were not writers and none of the gospel writings can be traced to them. The gospels that we have in the Bible are collections of oral traditions reduced to writing and enlarged by unknown writers two generations after the death of Jesus.
So who was the historical Jesus, the reputational rabbi who grew up in Galilee in Northern Palestine? We have few verifiable facts of his life and it was not until the early 20th Century that the search began in earnest when Albert Schweitzer wrote The Quest of the Historical Jesus.
If you’re an Atheist and you live in America you must be retarded
Did you not read the part where it says, “One nation, UNDER GOD”
Yeah, that means God is real and he controls America, idiots.
We’re one nation under Canada. Some people think Canada is God. It was just a misprint. Easy mistake to make.
Not to mention the “under god” part wasn’t even originally there until 1954.
If you disobey the Old Testament’s laws, God will give you hemorrhoids (along with other nasty things).The LORD will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed. —Deuteronomy 28:27
God smote an entire city (Asdod) with “emerods [hemorrhoids] in their secret parts.”the hand of the LORD was against the city with a very great destruction: and he smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they had emerods in their secret parts. — 1 Samuel 5:6-7And the men that died not were smitten with the emerods: and the cry of the city went up to heaven. 1 Samuel 5:12
Then he ordered the same city to make him five golden hemorrhoids (and five golden mice) as a “trespass offering.”What shall be the trespass offering which we shall return to him? They answered, Five golden emerods, and five golden mice … Wherefore ye shall make images of your emerods, and images of your mice that mar the land; and ye shall give glory unto the God of Israel: peradventure he will lighten his hand from off you, and from off your gods. — 1 Samuel 6:4-5
This is my favorite WTF Bible story! I really wish someone would illustrate this story or make a video of it. :)
This should have been the sequel to Bruce All Mighty.