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(Religion Forum) Jesus: The Gospel Disharmony (Original Post) edhopper Dec 2023 OP
Excellent read. anciano Dec 2023 #1
Good points by Mr. Paine edhopper Dec 2023 #2
Much as I admire Tom Paine I think he's wrong about this. thucythucy Dec 2023 #3
When the gospels were written, there was no organized, didactic church Karadeniz Dec 2023 #4
Interesting edhopper Dec 2023 #6
Karma and reincarnation. The parables explain how these provide for the Karadeniz Dec 2023 #7
I asked a Bible follower if the Bible was the truth. keithbvadu2 Dec 2023 #5


(1,064 posts)
1. Excellent read.
Mon Dec 4, 2023, 03:59 PM
Dec 2023

Thomas Paine addresses this issue in his treatise "The Age of Reason":
"The contradictions in those books demonstrate two things: First, that the writers cannot have been eyewitnesses and earwitnesses of the matters they relate, or they would have related them without those contradictions; and, consequently that the books have not been written by the persons called apostles, who are supposed to have been witnesses of this kind. Secondly, that the writers, whoever they were, have not acted in concerted imposition, but each writer separately and individually for himself, and without the knowledge of the other."


(33,788 posts)
2. Good points by Mr. Paine
Mon Dec 4, 2023, 04:09 PM
Dec 2023

Another thing is that Yeshua spoke in Aramaic, yet all the Gospels were written in Greek. So we have translation problems from the very beginning. We really don't know where these unnamed writers (Mathew, Mark, Luke are pseudonyms) got the stories they tell. Were they told in Aramaic and then translated it? It's obvious Mathew and Luke used Mark as a basis, and John went totally off in his cave in Greece.


(8,174 posts)
3. Much as I admire Tom Paine I think he's wrong about this.
Mon Dec 4, 2023, 05:02 PM
Dec 2023

It is entirely possible for two or more people to witness the same event and come away with entirely different narratives. "Eye witness" testimony is in fact often woefully unreliable.

A classic example: the final hours and minutes of the Titanic were witnessed by the 700 or so people who managed to make it into the lifeboats. During that time this huge ship was the only feature visible out in the middle of the Atlantic, outlined against the clear night sky, and no doubt the center of most everyone's attention.

And yet, those hundreds of eyewitnesses were pretty much evenly divided as to whether the Titanic went down in one piece, or split in two before sinking. This was an event that took place in their presence, and testimony that was gathered only days or weeks after the sinking. And yet there was no consensus on what should have been an easily observable phenomenon.

The writers of the Gospels--or more likely the sources, whether written or oral, that they drew on--could very well have been reporting what they saw or what people told them they saw. They may well have thought they were telling the truth. And they may well also have gotten it all totally wrong, or fudged the parts that they thought needed to be filled in. These were polemicists, not historians, and anyone reading these accounts has to take that into account.

Fascinating read: I thank the OP for posting it.


(22,667 posts)
4. When the gospels were written, there was no organized, didactic church
Mon Dec 4, 2023, 05:46 PM
Dec 2023

telling newcomers what the gospels meant. Anyway, for the next thousands of years, most people couldn't read, so the church rulers were free to cherry pick and change scripture as it suited them and their theology. Missionaries like Paul traveled from community to community preparing people for the secret teachings (this even before the parables were written), judging the people's readiness. All this changed when Jerusalem fell and most communities were left suspended in incomplete knowledge.

There are many clues, however, as to who wrote the gospels and this explains the anomalies. The synoptic gospels make clear that there are higher spiritual truths; orthodoxy downplays them completely because secret teachings would obviously interfere with their sole focus on the literal level of scripture. There is only one group touting secrets and differing levels of soul growth: the Gnostic, proto as the movement was then. The Gnostics encouraged knowledge; Orthodoxy encourages blind faith and obedience to dogma, a spiritually stultifying stance. If you study the later Gnostics, you find writers unafraid to use logic creatively, although I find their cosmology too overdone. However, proto Gnostic beliefs can be found in later heresies, testimony to the fact that there were originally two basic levels of Christianity, the newcomers' fixation with the literal, "biographical" level of knowledge with jesus as sole savior and the Gnostic knowledge of theology which focuses on soul development for salvation. The reason Christians can't get to the heart of the secretive parables is that modern Christianity tries to force its notion of Jesus's role as savior onto teachings which explain Jesus's role as the imparter of knowledge which will encourage salvific soul development.

The biographies' literal agreement was not as important as providing opportunities to interject imagery to enhance the message. Surprisingly, thanks to modern research and internet testimony, it's the secret teachings which are provable. The church continues to deprive their congregations of this knowledge, but it could be implemented by having an additional level of discussion for those who are dissatisfied with the literal biographies. As more and more evidence is found that the biological info can't be relied upon, exploring the truths in the secretive parables could make churches more relevant!


(22,667 posts)
7. Karma and reincarnation. The parables explain how these provide for the
Tue Dec 5, 2023, 01:37 AM
Dec 2023

Improvement of society and the choices we make. Jesus was not immune from these laws.


(37,266 posts)
5. I asked a Bible follower if the Bible was the truth.
Mon Dec 4, 2023, 06:31 PM
Dec 2023

He gave a long-winded reply but he refused to say 'yes'.

Much about 'God's word' but would not verify that it was the truth.

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