or Why Jesus and not Christianity, Islam nor Judaism could be the answer for peace on earth for all.
We all share some fundamental capacities/instincts that when followed, lead to the best living outcomes.
This usually relates to losing the importance of self(ego), authentic selflessness, compassion for others, present in the moment and a sense of belonging etc... Emotional, hereditory, spiritual whatever but certainly shared (like tears :-)), in my view.
If one thinks of Jesus in the same way that Nelson Mandela, John Lennon or the Dalai Lama are generally held in regard, I think we have a chance of knowing the person(not god), his original identity and motivations.
In 1945, a legitimately ancient text was discovered. It's called the Gospel of Thomas. Rather than the type of Gospel we witness in the Bible where you have "eye witness" accounts, the Gospel of Thomas consists of just 114 sayings, supposedly attributed to one man, Jesus. A potential for a direct conversation, if it were authentic.
Interestingly in the 1800's, Scholars began to theorize about the existence of a missing source for the synoptic bibles. It has become known as the Q_Source. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q_source
. This theory is born out of a need to reconcile variations in the synoptic Gospels of Mark, Luke and Matthew.
At least 64 of the 114 sayings from the Gospel of Thomas also appear across Mark, Luke and Matthew. Most are accurately similar. One though, in my opinion, clearly shows a misinterpretation.
The Gospel of Thomas
8. And Jesus said, "The person is like a wise fisherman who cast his net into the sea and drew it up from the sea full of little fish. Among them the wise fisherman discovered a fine large fish. He threw all the little fish back into the sea, and easily chose the large fish. Anyone here with two good ears had better listen!"
The GOT meaning relates to how in life we can often get caught up in many trivialities (small fish - materiality ) until a time comes when we become aware of what's really important (the big fish). I'm sure there will be people who can relate to that experience.
with the Bible Matthew 13:47–50 NIV:
47"Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish.
48When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away.
49This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
Which do you suppose was based on the other? Notice the injection of the unprovable content and the "fear of god" element.
If I where to summarize the synoptic Gospels it would go something like this.
They each have the following characteristics.
1 They establish an association with john the baptist, record the deaths of John and/or Jesus, have a spin on a relationship to the jewish tradition and old testament prophesies.
2.They support the ideas of authority and leadership with teachers based on faith and obedient servitude.
3. They attempt to establish as creditable supernatural healing powers, a third party god and a special relationship through faith and authorship with the one who is identified by the authors as the son of God.
4. They use many (and add some extras - minor) of the parables attributed to Jesus. At least 64 of the 114 sayings in the Gospel of Thomas.
So what are the significant differences between the two versions of Jesus.
In my opinion, The Bible is the source that adds content that can never be proven or reproduced. The only hope of reconciling these parts of the Bible is through a "blind" faith. The authors take advantage of "the Jesus sayings" because they were possibly widely known and respected for their insight into the human condition.
What could be the possible motivation behind adding supernatural content. Perhaps it has something to do with who was in power when the Bible was brought to prominence and their ambitions. You know "History is only ever written by the victors". Could it be that this rebel Jesus (think Mandela) and his insight and conviction was a threat to two deeply intrenched authorities of the day. Judaism and Rome. What better way for Rome to quell the unrest and sort out the troublesome religions by taking ownership of this "new" wisdom.
The 50 odd Thomas sayings not included in the Biblical Tradition talk more to the human condition, a personal relationship with "spirituality" - you have to rely on instincts rather than words :-) , a knowable reality not a believed reality... Here are some examples 2 Jesus said, "Those who seek should not stop seeking until they find. When they find, they will be disturbed. When they are disturbed, they will marvel, and will reign over all. [And after they have reigned they will rest.]"
In the realm of the human condition there is something to be known/experienced, keep seeking until it is found.
Once found we are disturbed because this reality challenges the ego's perceptions of reality. Ever said anything that was meant with the greatest respect but taken as an offense. Our ego’s are easily disturbed, perhaps.
Don’t we, as we travel life’s roads, build up or manufacture our perception of reality in order to protect ourselves or possibly our ego identity. This defense strategy can be influenced by immature parenting, immature peer group advise or we could be well lead by authentic maturity. Perhaps perceptively we become our ego identity.
In the period of disturbance we marvel at the pervasiveness of this “new” reality, we see it in practice in many and come to realize a knowable spirit pervades humanity. We also see the faults and understand the cause of immaturity, greed, selfishness etc.... Two ends to the same conditional scale.
We are disturbed as we try to reconcile our ways to the ways of the instincts. Reconcile self interest and compassion. To trust that forgiveness is the best course even when logic says otherwise. Some need faith and other mechanisms to provide the discipline to follow the path prescribed by their realization.
The level of maturity is obvious. The "new" knowledge allows us to reign over all ,figuratively speaking, because we know the meaning and reality of an innate shared condition. When we resolve the disturbance by acting in accord with the new knowledge and the discrepancies it reveals we have peace and can rest.
A liberating realization for an individual. To much like anarchy for the Romans :-)3 Jesus said, "If your leaders say to you, 'Look, the (Father's) kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is within you and it is outside you.
When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you live in poverty, and you are the poverty."
This would cut out the need for a middle man and loss of the perks. Can't have that. Delete.7 Jesus said, "Lucky is the lion that the human will eat, so that the lion becomes human. And foul is the human that the lion will eat, and the lion still will become human."
The biblical authors probably, like me, could not make sense of this one. However I think if you substitute ego for lion and use consume instead of eat ...12 The disciples said to Jesus, "We know that you are going to leave us. Who will be our leader?" Jesus said to them, "No matter where you are you are to go to James the Just, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being."
Doesn't fit with the plan. Delete. If people want to know god they'll have to have faith in our version.15 Jesus said, "When you see one who was not born of woman, fall on your faces and worship. That one is your Father."
Doesn't leave room for worshiping the Pharisees and the Romans. Anarchy. Delete.17 Jesus said, "I will give you what no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, what no hand has touched, what has not arisen in the human heart."
Can't use it or make sense of it. Delete. Could Jesus meaning be the gift is the knowledge of a spiritual reality(enlightenment - confidence in instincts) that touches all humanity. 23 Jesus said, "I shall choose you, one from a thousand and two from ten thousand, and they will stand as a single one."
They'll think they're special. Delete.
Maybe Jesus is just another compassionate being, with a clear insight into the human condition and a rare gift of expressing that "living" condition. The Romans had a history of using religion to powers end. Think Pagan traditions.
Here's what I think Jesus was all about. Like volunteers who work their day job and then into the night helping their fellow beings, Jesus was passionate about humanities welfare and that's it. Simple. In the Gospel of Thomas, we get 50 additional insights into the "human condition". Each and everyone of the sayings is useful. There is no such thing as demons, devils, resurrection and if there were they'd have got a mention in the Gospel of Thomas.
Forget about the debate, after all it's a personal journey, and do something in accord with the "human condition" that makes the world a better place.
My suggestion. Drag something useful from Rome's History to restore the balance. Personally read and then debate the merit of the ICC's "Rome" statue. If you support it as the fundamental legal document for International Peace and Security then demand that China, India, Israel, US et al join the other 76% of all nations (already signed) to make this the global rule regarding atrocity. Personally consider reading the Gospel of Thomas and make up your own mind and then rest.
Is this a law 100% should all prescribe to http://www.preventgenocide.org/law/icc/statute/part-a.htm
Peace (by law) - it's a choice and a responsibility :-)