Saturday, April 01, 2006

 

Did Jesus want his message to spread in a clear manner?


If Jesus had wanted his message to spread in an undistorted fashion, why did he not write down his message?

In other words, if one reason he had come was to reveal the will of God, why did Jesus seemingly fail to commit his revelations to writing during his lifetime, and with his own hand. Instead, it appears that he left this important task to "anonymous writers" (and later redactors) who may have made a sufficient number of mistakes and written a sufficient number of contradictory facts and ideas in their accounts to divide Christians for centuries to come.

Couldn't have Jesus written down his message in a clear manner? If he did, why don't the gospels tell us of his writings?

Comments:
Perhaps Jesus had no intention of starting a highly profitable religion and had no intent other than being in the now, if of course he even existed. There's no proof of his existance but that also means there's no proof he didn't exist. I believe Paul marketed his dionysian version of of the virgin birth- scape-goat-resurrection-miracle- Jesus to the Romans. It is an historical fact that the Romans on adopting Christianity as state religion also banned pagan practises causing prominent roman priestcraft families to become the source of popes for many years. The first "christian" church, the Church of Jerusalerm was led by James the purported brother of Jesus and Apostle. It did not teach the virgin birth or resurrection. The Catholic church declared it heretical. The Gospel of Thomas is thought to predate all the other gospels and to provide source materials for the other gospels written long after the death of Jesus. It is made up simply of the quotes of Jesus..reports no virgin birth, no miracles, and no resurrections. The gospels as we know them were selected by catholic counsels three hundred years after christ from a body of over four hundred extant gospels..the losers were then suppressed. It took until the 1850's for some books, like the Revelations of John to be accepted as canonical by the Catholoics and Protestants. Jesus most likely saw himself as a Jewish Rabbi, a Jewish Messiah and rightful King of the Jews in a political sense...again..Paul who did not meet Jesus found in him a marketable commodity and some confusion is good in marketing. Taking sides arouses passion which is useful in building tithe paying congregations. Plus, there's always been a military indusrial complex. Sides are a very important aspect necessary for real wars. Passionate religious wars serve the makers of swords and bombs
and those to whom victory goes can proclaim god on their side while those who lose if alive can seek penance, repentance and forgiveness while they slowly plot the imminent vengence of their embarassed gods.
 
It may be of some interest to note, by way of comparison, that we can point to other great thinkers who did not themselves commit their teachings to writing. Socrates seems to have deliberately avoided writing anything down & we have to wonder whether he’d have approved of Plato’s work. Shakespeare’s work, of all things, comes to us not by his own hand but by the devoted transcription of others. Wittgenstein, I believe, published only one book in his life time & the printed version of his most important work results from the careful reconstruction of lecture notes taken by his star pupils.

It is possible that Jesus was illiterate but what is more likely is that his intended audience was illiterate. It’s also important to note that had Jesus written any books they would probably have consisted entirely of parables & metaphors, rather than extensive explications of anything. These writings, therefore, would still have been subject to widely various interpretations & wouldn’t have helped the cause of clarity.

Had I more space, I would try to build an argument that supported the idea that in the sophisticated & cosmopolitan world in which Jesus lived he & John the Baptist were fundamentally anti-establishment & deliberately chose unconventional means of distributing their message. Both seemed to think that more was to be gained from martyrdom than from building communities of discourse.
 
He probably figured we wouldn't get it anyway, so way waste what little time he had on an exercise in futility. Besides, we're setting here talking about something that happened 2 thousand years ago, I'd say that he communicated pretty well.
 
I should think that being father son holy ghost all in one person, running the infinite, prescribing the ultimate balm for salvation and raising oneself and another from the dead may not have given way for taking paprus in hand and crushing shells to make the ink to bother to make up words that would only be historized just like any other written pearls of wisdom. oh and could you mention to bob goat ah the Romans kept records of their coffin makers and western civilization , oh why bother faith is a gift
a person of faith i totally respect when it comes to Jesus told me that the single distinguishing charasmatic identity of Christ was his voice ... of course each heard it in their own tongue
 
Perhaps Jesus liked Matthew Mark Luke and John's writing better than his own...the point being Jesus was God and presumably in infinite wisdom one doesn't have the restriction of time like we mere mortals
 
I got a letter in the mail, addressed in firm stylish script to yours truly...so I opened the letter and read: Dear Frazzler, Due to the extreme popularity of using my name in vain I have decided to change it to Jihad Christ.

enclosed was some literature about the One Truth,
a guide to distinguishing worship from praise in a televised tabernacle setting
 
HAHAHAHA-frazzler - you crack me up!

Anyway, i agree with bob-the-goat on "had no intent other than being in the now". That's everything anyone ever has; although the bliss that comes with the knowing seems to be quite rare. Or those who experience it do exactly what Jesus did; they don't care about putting up a billboard. I prefer the latter.
 
Firedog nearly makes an historical point regarding the Romans but abandons it in mid stream because history, objectivity, and fact seem to pale beneath the gift and weight of faith. This means Firedog is content with the package he prescribes to. This might be good if empathy and humanism are the focus of the package but bad if holocaust or proseletyzing crusades are elements. It is always advisable to use your own mind, (even if it's God-given), to examine all the angles, especially in an age with so many books and versions extant. Even St.John recognizes the vast field of information which could be assembled and published regarding the enigmatic career of an illiterate Jesus,(JOHN 21:25),and thus tacitly encourages debate, discussion, and writing, outside the closed discourse of the Biblical Canon.
 
Actually, it's better that he didn't write his message down. Theologians love the New Testament because it is not from the view of one man. First of all, Jesus was not a Christian and practiced Judaism, so it is conceivable that his message was JUDAISM. Secondly, it is interesting to see from the point of view of the early apostles what was going on in the second generation of the Church.

going back in time it is clear that if you want to be remembered dont write a word down. Buddha, Socrates, Jesus.... all did not write a word! So just say something memorable and we'll quote you forever :)
 
I'm sure all the enlightened ones wanted their messages to spread clearly, but even elegantly simple ideas can be altered, however, as they relay through human perception and emerge as something dark and distorted.
 
No.

If Jesus wanted that, he would not have had 12 people hanging around to log and capture his data for posterity.

The old saying "If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself" applies.

The problem, human nature being what it is, remains that after Jesus passed beyond, even if he had written everything down himself, the same zealots would still have distorted his message and used it to exact their control over the oppressable.
 
Since when does writing something down make it clear?
 
http://www.theonion.com/content/node/29540


this article says jesus converted to islam as it is the worship of the one truth, not some phallocentric cult of personality
 
If Jesus did exist he was probably illiterate. A carpenter's son doesn't need to learn how to express his relationship with God on paper.

Outlining the newest shipment of beechwood and totting up profits before he headed out to the local drinking hole was probably all he was capable of.

Alternatively, Jesus did not exist in the form we currently know him. Seems most likely explanation for the whole of the new testament
 
For an interesting news article on the recently published, (by the National Geographic Society), BOOK OF JUDAS. see "Book of Judas Tells Different Tale" at the following address:

http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/
story?section=nation_world&id=4001145

Follow the suggested link.
 
Your question is based on false premises. I’ll explain:

Jesus’ message is, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” The key phrase here is “at hand.” Jesus taught that the people of his time would soon see the literal coming of the Kingdom of God. “Soon” as within the lifetime of those listening to him. (Which in those days wasn’t a very long time since lifetimes averaged 40 years.) They were to get ready for this event by repenting and changing their lives.

Reading the Gospels with this view, especially the synoptic Gospels, it is clear that “the coming of the end of the age” is what Jesus is teaching. Read the Sermon on the Mount with this view, and it makes perfect sense. The teachings of John the Baptist reflect this view also.

We do not know if Jesus did or did not write down his teaching. The “Q” document could very well be his. (I’ll let those unfamiliar with “Q” find out about it for themselves.) In any event, Jesus did not have a whole lot to say. His message, “get ready for the end of the world,” would fill only a couple of pieces of parchment. “Q” is a very short work and makes that point.

However, since very few people could read in those days, the only way to disseminate information to the masses was verbally, through himself and his followers. The world would be ending within 5, 10, maybe 15 years and the quickest method to relay this message would be verbally. This is what Jesus taught his followers to do: “Spread the word.”

In no way though did Jesus think that the world would continue on as it has for 2000 years. Your question assumes that he would have.

Furthermore your question assumes that Jesus had something of importance to say, which he didn’t. Since the world didn’t end, what Jesus had to say turned out to be worthless.

And lastly, since the world didn’t end, the church had to spin Jesus’ message another way, or it was out of business. Different people though spun his message differently; hence, the different views in Christianity referred to in your question. And there were many different spins right out of the box: Gnosticism, Arianism, Nestorianism, Trinitarianism etc, etc, etc.
 
Best evidence has Christ as an Essene recruiter, on the stump to fill empty slots at the flagging Qumran enclave. Any later effect this outreach was to have on greater Jewry, was completely unforseen by the man. His lousy treatment by all made him Jewishly notable, and his first cult, 100% Jewish , was diverted, written up, & imported into the Greco-Roman classical polity by Paul as one in a long string of backwoods cult importations around that time. This development would never have even crossed the mind of the the poor recruiter, hoist on his own petard as almost no one other, before or since. Never intending it, he then became Christ to us.
 
The message was not one of mundane fact, but of deep insight. Which, as such, is not necessarily served by semantic clarity...rather by the pondering of the mystery, paradox, and subtle significance.
 
First of all Jesus was not illiterate. He could read the scriptures. Secondly the question is wrong if it assumes writing is the clearest of communications. The history of God’s revelation is one of increasing clarity (Hebrews 1:1-4) through preachers and writers, but Jesus IS himself the ultimate clarity. He did not come to merely expound on more laws and ideas. He came to point people to himself as the revelation of God in person, in human flesh. “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” (John 1:1) In a sense Jesus did write his message down. It is written in flesh and blood of his life, death and life again. ("And the Word became flesh . . ." John 1:14) Matthew, Mark, Luke and the others wrote down what they were witnesses to, with the purpose of introducing people to the living (yes, still) Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Anyone who believes that message gains far more than just an understanding of the words on paper. They gain a person to person relationship with Jesus via the Word of God and the Spirit of God. They are “born again.” They are saved. They finally ‘get it.’ Anyone reading this can do the same by believing the historical message of Jesus. My telling you this is testimony that Jesus still gets himself across to this very day. Jesus is Lord and Savior. June 11, AD 2006
 
democracy-war.
 
As a teacher myself, I have discovered that you cannot teach anyone anything. You can only provide the opportunity for them to exercise their brain.
Now combine this thought with the game telephone – one person whispers a simple phrase (or truth) to one person and that person whispers passes it along to another person until you’ve gone around the room.
The phrase (truth) never survives the process.

Besides, the truths I value most are the ones I have discovered (come to understand) myself. When someone tells me something, it isn’t really mine until I understand it for myself.

For example, this is one of my discoveries:
Patience is the art of timing.
 
I think the real message from Jesus is not the words he said while in the flesh, but rather a living voice, his voice, which is found in one's conscience. In my view, his mission was to first live as a human being, to understand what that's like, then to be "lifted up" to become a sort of telepathic counsellor available to anyone and everyone. Here are some verses upon which I base this view:

"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."

And:

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." (This was his explanation for why he had to die-- and speaks to the idea that after his resurrection, he expected to be able to "produce much fruit" by keeping company with any and all who desired him.)

And finally:

"And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die."

Thus, Jesus wasn't concerned so much about whether his words spoken on earth were preserved for all posterity as much as he was that man understand that he would make himself available through your conscience, to be a guide through this difficult world.

Larry Gerndt
http://www.emergingtruth.com
 
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

This started out as a very clear message, and look how well we've managed to muck it up. Perhaps Jesus knew (and if it's true then he certainly did know) that there is no clarity when humans have an agenda to promote.
 
I am continually amazed that as I change with age and experience, what I understand about Jesus changes too. I am neither historian, philosopher, or bible scholar but have found myself the past several years studying Jesus and his teachings from a variety of sources...as well the teachers of other faiths.
In John, Jesus repetedly says, "All ye who have ears to hear, hear." What I hear now from what Jesus said (and the other great teachers) is different than what I heard 10 years ago. There WAS a time when it seems that I finally "got it" (that is to the best of my ability for ME). I think that we all come from different states of mind and realms of experience...much like spokes on a wheel...seeking a center or "source". I think he knew that, which is why he spoke in parables that most people could relate to in simplified form. And he was patient. He seemed to try to break it down to simple concepts, like he was saying, "Look, forget the details you've managed to get tangled up in...lets break it down. Love your neighbor as yourself, and love God with all your heart." That is, to me, a personal God (Father, Source, Allah, Great Spirit, Spirit of the Universe...).
 
Maybe he had bad hand writing!
As an Atheist, I think at most, Jesus was merely another human being and nothing more.
Given that the New Testament was written many, many years after his death, I believe he was made out to be the Messiah by those who used that idea to bring about changes for the better in those times.
 
Your points are interesting, there are many mysteries, e.g. why is the universe so fine tuned and biology so complex,which came first the chicken or the egg, the sperm or the egg? What is the "Shroud of Turin" and what does it represent? Look into the complex information depicted on this cloth and then draw your own conclusions.
 
A wonderful topic. I am finding strong reason to believe that Jesus has briefly returned to clarify His Word and teach us “another way” to get along. This work has been scribed in the form of A Course In Miracles (ACIM). This artfully written Course guides our mind toward spiritual access plus helps to clarify misquoted and misunderstood versions of verse and scripture in a manner that will “speed-up” focus on our own Resurrection experience rather than crucifixion. One of the supplemental books, Absence from Felicity, provides more details about the scribes and how the Course came to be delivered in our time. As we journey in our separated illusionary worlds seeking knowledge as to the truth of our origin we most oft forget we are brothers/sisters of One. The Course teaches in part how the miracle of our memory will return as we remember to forgive and release the grievances held against all others and ourselves. This self-study guide is answering many of my questions about myself, my mind and the role of competing organized religions as “tollgates” in matters of faith as ascribed to Jesus Christ and God. The Course and details may be accessed at www.acim.org
 
jesus was illiterate
 
It's impossible to know for sure but it seems most likely that what we ascribe to the sayings of Jesus is actually a composite of several different messianic preachers that exsisted at the time which someone wove together into an invented narrative using the already exsisting concept of Jesus Christos around AD70.

This isn't a provable assertion but it has the advantage of being the simplest explanation for the apparent plagarism in the gospels and the renouncement by the early Christians of the gospel as heresy (some early christians didn't believe that Jesus Christ was ever a person, a belief which exsisted before the gospels appeared).
 
I have often wondered why He did not write his own message, unless of course He could not write.
To leave this to others would be futility. Others are going to write what they want , to be as they want it to be.
The only thing I feel I know for certain is that if you could have heard Him preach, it would be somewhat different that what we were left with.
Just as an example, I would never believe that He taught the total subjugation of women. Only egotistical controlling baffoons full of fear would write that.
Jesus taught goodness, equality, & the golden rule- not the best methods of subjugation.
(signed-a man)
 
you people who write this are wrong Jesus didn't want us to question him he wanted us to believe!!!!!!!1
 
you people who say jesus had bad hand writing maybe you
 
Jesus actually did, and published books by hands of Anne Catherine Emmerich.

You can buy the book from Amazon.

http://my.homewithgod.com/israel/acemmerich/
 
ITS LIKE THIS JE4SUS LEFT NOTHING FOR US TO GUIDE OUR LIVES BY.THE BIBLE HAS BEEN TRANSLATED 100'S OF TIMES AND TAMPERED WITH MORE THAN THAT.WE DONT KNOW WETHER WE ARE COMING OR GOING AND JESUS DIDNT SAY "THE END IS AT HAND"IT WAS PAUL WHO WAS A GNOSTIC WHO DIDNT BELIEVE IN A PHYSICAL JESUS AND PAUL CONTRADICTED ALMOST EVERYTHING JESUS SAID ! ! !
 
I would imagine it was for the same reason Socrates words are expressed through the writings of Plato, or Buddah's, Pythagoras', and Lao Tzu's teachings were recorded by their followers:

They were never intended to be written down. Language distorts truth, in that it relies on our limited ability to correctly absorb & interpret the speaker's intended message.
It is difficult enough to get an idea or thought across, when speaking to someone face-to-face, without being misunderstood.

By replacing the spoken word with the written one, you take away the subtle clues given by tone of voice, body language, etc. Without those, the likelihood of being taken out of context, misunderstood, misinterpreted, or having one's words deliberately distorted, is an even greater possibility.

Some truths cannot be expressed or understood through words alone. You either grok them or you do not, and all the written and spoken words in the universe can't tell you anything if you're not ready.

This is why the Tao Te Ching explains the nature of the Tao as,
"The way that can be spoken of
Is not the constant way;
The name that can be named
Is not the constant name."
Just because you can describe a tree, doesn't mean you know what it is to BE a tree.

That being said, Truth is never really lost, and I think, the records we do have of Jesus' and the others' teachings still contain it. You just have to trust your heart to know what is true and not your brain on this one.
 
perhaps this excerpt may help answer the posed question...

"subjectivism which, by regarding reason as the only source of knowledge, becomes incapable of raising its “gaze to the heights, not daring to rise to the truth of being”"

Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, August 6, 2000, the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord.
Joseph Card. Ratzinger
Prefect
Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B.
Archbishop Emeritus of Vercelli Secretary

the testator... give rise to the testimony.
 
Even if he wrote his teachings it could and most likely would be reinterpreted, the result being the same.
 
I love these stupid questions about some guy that might never have existed, been dead a couple of thousand years if he did, didn't do much of anything during his life, people thought so little of him that no record exists of anything the man ever said, thought so little of him that no images exist that were created from first hand knowledge of the man and so on and so on. Other people built a religion on this guy and no one really has any ideas what this peasant type middle eastern guy who probably could neither read nor write tought about anything. As far as his looks I think he looked more like Klinger on Mash than all those wonderful western european paintings showing him with that nicely trimmed beard and hippie hairdo. We happen to be in the 21st century and I think that humans should have long ago stopped wasting their time on nonsense like this. Stories that not even children could believe. So-called miracles that are so hokey not even a bad magiciian would bother doing.

Jesus, message? I don't think jssus, if such a man existed, had any message and therefore no want to spread it in a clear manner. You can't spread what isn't there.

Speaking of jeses, let's look at a slighlty different view. The Nazi's considered jesus to be a christian and were quite rabid on that point as well as the fact that the jews were responsible for the crucifixion (I believe this is what the bible actually says but I don't remember). hitler himself said that in his fight against the Jew he was carrying on with what jesus had started. Can't you see what an albatross around the neck of humanity this religious stuff has been? Millions of dead over the centuries. Wars and inquisitions and burning people at the stake and torture and merrily into the future we go dogged all the way by these antiquated superstitions.
 
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