Understand What Thou Readest?

“As for the Jesus stories, I accept them as are – but they are under criticism in my head as well. For example, one has to consider a few things about the gospel narratives – (a) they are narratives and a pseudo-history (they are not altogether factual events nor are they trying to be); (b) A lot of allegory and metaphorical comparison is being used (ie: Matthew writes a tale of Jesus like the great prophets – namely Moses); (c) I am aware there is an agenda to the gospels – a slant concerning winning the people over to the ’cause’. ” (Me)

I am kind of amazed at how unobvious this is about the gospels…but writers do have personalities as well.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Understand What Thou Readest?

  1. How are the gospels “pseudo-history”? Do you know how many specific references there are to Jesus in the Old Testament?
    Also, it appears to me that you are saying, “The gospel writers wanted us to believe what they were writing was true, which makes me suspicious.” Maybe I got that wrong.
    Hope all is well in SK. 🙂

  2. “Hope all is well in SK” (JJ)

    All is well, a lot of flooding though – climate change anyways.

    “How are the gospels “pseudo-history”? Do you know how many specific references there are to Jesus in the Old Testament?” (JJ)

    Specifity is in question – no name was ever mentioned for example – concerning the messiah. In fact, even the term messiah is under scrutiny within many Jewish communities as to what it means or of it is even real. However, that all being said, I accept Jesus as a messiah figure.

    Pseudo-history because it’s not actual proper historical recording in the gospels. I think we can see times and places but the authorial intent is not ‘history’ – it’s ‘narrative’. This means history is not the focus of the works of the gospel (for example) and we cannot expect each book to lay that out for us (ie: a timeline). For example, we know nothing of Jesus’ childhood – was it really that uninteresting?

    “Also, it appears to me that you are saying, “The gospel writers wanted us to believe what they were writing was true, which makes me suspicious.” Maybe I got that wrong” (JJ)

    I think the gospels are narratives with an agenda – the agenda being winning and keeping converts. Does this make it less ‘meaningful’ or ‘real’…no. What it does mean is when sifting through the gospels for history or meanings – we will need to be aware the fact this is not a history text and at the same time not a literal text – linguistically there seems to be a lot going on in the stories.

    For example, Spong just pointed out something about the Barabbas story – that it may have been written to include a Jewish liturgical element – the scapegoat scenario. That makes a lot of sense when we view that scene with that lense on. Maybe Barabbas was not a real person and it was never meant to be taken that way? However, the coding of the Jewish liturgy within the story was meant to make the story more meaningful?

    I think in this era the bible is being taken way too literally and not being examined by many of its own adherents. I find this kind of sad since it takes away from the depth of the scriptures.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s