In Search of the Real Jesus
There is no historical or other evidence that Jesus is the founder of either Christianity or any other religion. Rather, from a fair historical perspective, Jesus is the founder of human and civil rights and, the founder of free quality education for the common masses (which is exactly what one might expect the true Messiah to be). Due to the extreme bias of both orthodox religious people and secular historians and scholars, Jesus is rarely viewed within the same context as public education, a very grave error on their part.
Virtually the entire focus of the words and deeds of Jesus are on human behavior, how we should treat each other and how we need God’s help in order to succeed at this. There is very little theology in the teaching of Jesus, other than simple concepts like father and friend. He uses both nature and human situations to illustrate what he refers to as the “kingdom of heavens” (Greek ouranon means heavens plural) and “kingdom of God” (Greek Theou); these are apparently the same thing. While many of his stories are assumed to be mere inventions for illustrative purposes, it might be that many of the stories he tells are true stories about real people caught in various kinds of morally challenging and life defining situations.
Much of the rest of what Jesus has to say is directed with much sarcasm and highly caustic remarks aimed at conservative orthodox religious leaders. Openly, directly and in their face, he is constantly publicly chastising them for their hypocrisy and burdening of the poor and common people with temple fees and forced adherence to useless vain traditions. That is, when he isn’t otherwise openly condemning them for their greed, vanity and laziness and, for gravely misleading the common masses (“if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch”). If this sounds a lot like how modern-day Christian leaders act, that’s because it is.
Other than the religious leaders noted above, Jesus condemns no one and though promoting extreme pacifism, he goes out of his way to befriend soldiers. Historians estimate that at least 40% of the people who Jesus befriended were LGBTQ folks. And yet, Jesus not only doesn’t condemn them, he never mentions sexual orientation. He has nothing to say about helping the unborn, but many pages to say about helping the already born.
The entire message of Jesus focuses on loving and caring and being helpful and kind to the already born among us. And in particular, Jesus is concerned with helping the sick, the poor, immigrants, the deformed and disabled, foreign and otherwise unwanted people and anyone and everyone else who is marginalized by the wealthy, powerful, self-righteous and elite of human societies. Jesus in particular hates outward religious pomposity and hypocrisy and, he spends considerable time railing against it. According to Jesus, agreeing with Proverbs 23:7 and later writings of his followers, our inward intentions are what matter to God, like the poor widow with two mites, who gave all that she had.
Jesus essentially represents the opposite of modern conservative Christian fundamentalism. It is a very great error to assume that Jesus is not political. Rather, Jesus is about changing our own self, group, town, city, state, nation and planet inside out and from the ground up, one heart at a time (compare Gandhi, “you must be the change you wish to see in the world”). Someone who truly follows Jesus not in word, but in deed and in truth, will automatically support the right leaders and endorse the right social, political and other agenda.
Jesus deliberately drank and associated with the sinners and common people, tax collectors and others who were considered by orthodox religious leaders to be less moral than themselves. Rather than twelve male followers as depicted in many modern sermons, books and films, literally thousands of men, women and children hung around Jesus on a daily and ongoing basis.
Several women were part of his inner-circle, traveling with him from town to town, considered scandalous in his society. Many of “seventy” others Jesus appointed to be primary followers may have been female. And the unknown author of “Hebrews” may also be a woman, which would explain why it is the only New Testament letter without an author’s name (leaving her name out would help ensure that both men and women of her society would listen to its contents).
Jesus openly flaunts various religious rules and traditions of the outwardly pious. He speaks “with authority” to crowds of up 15,000 people, without means of voice amplification, amphitheater or entertainment other than himself, holding their attention for days at a time. He is highly in tune with creation, using nature many times to illustrate his teaching, while seemingly preferring the seashore, mountains and hills to even very small towns.
a) Whatever you want people to do to you, do also to them. This is the proper and correct foundation for human and civil rights and, there is no greater proper ethical or human motivational idea in all of human history. To just teach us to do no harm, as some inferior so-called “golden rules” do, isn’t nearly as socially and politically effective as teaching us to pro-actively reach out and treat others like we would want them to treat us, even if they aren’t first friendly or kind towards us.
b) You will know the truth and the truth will make you free. This provides both the proper goal of education, to know what is true and the proper reason for being educated, so we can be free. Education not based on the proper goal, to know what is true and/or, the proper reason for knowing what is true, so we can be free, is not worthy of the term ‘education’. Unfortunately, this includes most of what passes for ‘education’ in the modern 21st Century world, which is generally focused on becoming educated so one can earn more money.
c) Solomon in all his glory was not clothed as well as a common grass or weed flower. This is by far the greatest environmental statement known in human history, given at a time and place where such an issue wasn’t even on the general public radar. To pretend that Jesus didn’t care about the environment is to say that one of his followers, the first prominent modern environmentalist Albert Schweitzer, didn’t care about the environment. Jesus is first and foremost, human history’s greatest example of how important personal example, inspiration and influence is to achieving positive change.
d) Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Consider how brave it was for Jesus to say this while a group of Roman soldiers were waiting to take him away to be crucified, the sword being the symbol of the might of the Roman Empire. And consider that to this day, no one has come up with a better solution for ending war and other human violence. This same axiom can be found in even more profound detail in Revelation 13.
e) “These things I command you, that you love one another”. For this reason, we will not kill, we will not steal, we will not bear false witness, we will not enslave our fellow human beings, we will not mass pollute the fragile home of our children’s future, we will have deep reverence and respect for all of God’s creation and, if there be any action worthy for the pursuit of life, liberty, fulfillment, security, happiness and peace on earth, for both human beings and every other living thing on our planet, it is summed up in this, that we love our neighbor as our self.
It is highly recommended that one study the Bible for themselves while, it is not recommend that anyone view reading the Bible as being either a religious ritual or obligation. It is recommend that one read the New Testament completely through at least three times before tackling the Old Testament, as doing so will help one understand the Old Testament better.
While any part of the New Testament is worthy of study, it is recommend that one focuses on the words and deeds of Jesus. Carefully reading just the book of “John” alone, would make one wiser and better educated than if they read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica but failed to read John. Regardless of what we believe or fail to believe, it is fair to conclude what has already been touched on by many, that never a man or woman either spoke or acted, the way Jesus both spoke and acted for the positive advantage of us all.
There are many translations of the Bible available today, some considerably more reliable than others. The New King James Version is recommend for both it’s modern English clarity and over-all accuracy. This is not to imply that the KNJV is fully accurate and without error. There is not likely to be any existing version of the Bible that is without error and human bias, nor are there likely to be any works of length found anywhere on earth that are without error and bias.
According to the Bible itself and unlike modern Christianity teaches in all of it’s insidious incarnations, our faith is supposed to be based on “the evidence of things not seen”. According to Paul, we believe in the unseen Creator based on the magnificent splendor and grand design of God’s visible creation. There is no such concept as “faith-based” as opposed to evidence-based found in the Bible. To claim to follow Jesus while endorsing and/or teaching and/or doing the opposite of what Jesus teaches, is to confuse God’s children both young and old and, to oppose human and civil rights and our father in heaven who created us all.
There is no difference between believing in God, based on the visible creation and, believing in black holes, invisible light, dark matter, dark energy and tiny bits of matter in the quantum reality, based on the observable visible evidence. That is of course, except in the twisted minds and baseless rhetoric of self-contradicting modern people and except of course, there is very, very, very far more evidence for God than for all of the rest noted combined.
The purpose of the Bible is not so that we believe in the Bible but rather, so that we believe in Jesus Messiah; like Jesus expressly and definitively states, “this is the work of God, that you believe in him who he sent”. While the Bible is a very great gift from our father in heaven, no one should ever elevate the Bible as being on the same level and plane as God, as self-righteous fundamentalist preachers often do in very great error. We should be highly suspect of anyone who feels the need to rant and rave and shout and otherwise, force what they believe onto someone else, for faith “works by love” and, not the other way around.
According to the Bible itself, all God requires from us to receive his help is to sincerely call on the name of Jesus and ask him. It is advisable that we also ask Jesus to forgive us for being a sinner, because without forgiveness, none of us are likely to get very far with God; for God knows why his only son had to die and, “by grace we are saved.” A very simple and entirely effective prayer is to ask Jesus to forgive us for being a sinner and, to save us from our sins. If you don’t believe you are a sinner, try doing what you think is good all of the time and, see how well you do.
God has given us all a name we can call on, regardless of our understanding, religion, education, gender, sexual orientation, the color of our skin or any of the myriad of other ways we sinners divide ourselves up. Like the Pharisees of old, modern priests and preachers place heavy monetary and other burdens of vain traditions and all manner of religious quackery-jackery on us common folks, that apparently God himself not only doesn’t require, but very likely utterly detests and abhors (note how Jesus treats the religious leaders of his day).
No one can even begin to fully address the unparalleled wisdom, words and deeds of Jesus and rather than attempting to do so here, it is highly recommended that anyone who desires to know what is true do their own research. Like the Psalm 33:15 says and as the evidence is clearly revealed throughout human history, God fashions each one of our hearts “individually”. And thus, we need to learn to rely on Jesus as our teacher, rather than relying on the bias of scientists, educators, priests, preachers, self-help gurus, so-called “spiritual advisers” or anyone else; who are all just sinners born in the dark like the rest of us.
If the term “easier” ever applies to God, it is perhaps easier for our father in heaven to work with sinners who have been around a few blocks, than to try to convince the fundamentally religious that there might just be an easier and better way to live. Perhaps this is why Jesus seems to have preferred the company of sinners and the common people, who can say for sure?
And for those who believe modern science somehow disproves Jesus and our father in heaven, Albert Einstein said: “I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene. Jesus is too colossal for the pen of phrase-mongers, however artful…no man can read the gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life” (quote from biographer Walter Isaacson).
Will Durant, a very learned historian, said that Jesus was by far, “the greatest mind” in human history. Also according to Durant, if Jesus did not exist, “neither did Julius Caesar and half of human history.” Durant then goes to great length in his epic historical volume “Caesar and Christ”, to explain why those who claim Jesus is an invention are the worst kind of liars and frauds.
Who among us can read the Good Samaritan story, the story of the prodigal son, the story of Zacchaeus, the story of the rich man and poor Lazarus and, the story of the widow with two mites and, not know that these are truly the thoughts and words of the Almighty, who is no respecter of persons? These four narratives of Jesus who is called “Messiah”, are truly the words and deeds of the son of God.
According to the narrative of Jesus found in John, the first miracle he did was to turn water into very fine wine. This pretty-much sums up how much different Jesus is than the religious leaders of human history.
The above is true and correct as far as I understand and am aware as of this edit. One should run in the opposite direction from any scientist, educator, priest, preacher or anyone else who claims or otherwise acts as if they know everything that is true or even a small minority of what is true; for now we see “in part”.
And as our beloved brother Paul writes, “if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know”. As he also writes, we all must “work out” our own salvation. No one can do it for us, not matter who they are, what they claim or, how much money we throw away paying them. For as Peter and Paul both agree, God “is no respecter of persons” and, “by grace we are saved.”
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