Intro to the next 3 articles on the Jesus legend--jk

Home | Intro to the Jesus legend articles | In the Gospels Jesus Was a Mortal--jk | Mark Describes Jesus' Gay Affair | SOURCE FOR JESUS LEGEND | SKEPTICISM ON HISTORICAL CHRIST by Catholic theologian | Published Commentary on the Previous Article | Fictional Christ--McKinsey | New Testament Studies, Professor Wells | EARLIEST CHRISTIANITY--Prof. Wells | Who Was Jesus--Prof. G. A. Wells | NO HISTORICAL JESUS, response to critic by Prof. Wells | Old Testament Messiah Prophecies and the Gospels | Balanced New Testament Analysis | THE HISTORICAL REFERENCES TO JESUS; A Scholarly Analysis | Jesus Legend Sources--Wikipedia | TEXTUAL CRITICISM OF THE NEW TESTAMENT | TEXTUAL PROBLEMS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT | THE HISTORICAL REFERENCES TO JESUS | Did Jesus Exist?--Walker | The Jesus Puzzle--Doherty | The Jesus Puzzle--Doherty, continued | NASTY JESUS & STUPID ADVISE | New Testament, Sources, Transmission, Variations, & Modifications | CONTRADICTIONS: New & Old Testaments | BIBLE CANON: History & Analysis Thereof | End of the World is soon, Bible Tells US--quotes

Seminal article on the historical Jesus: a foundation for what follows.

This section of my web site is designed to correct the inaccurate views about Jesus 

Patrick Woodroffe



Introduction to Four essays on the historical Christ


            There is a thread that runs thought the next 3 essays on this menu which amounts to an overall picture of the times and events that lead up to development of the early worship of the a figure known as Jesus and the resulted in the production of what became the Bible and the extent extra biblical materials.  They build upon the fact that there is no historical Jesus {link here} and come to 4 conclusions.  (1) Jesus the greatest of prophets  was a mortal like Elisha.  (2) Jesus according to Mark (based on a recently discovered passage) had sex with a young man whom he raised from the dead.  (3)  The Essene leader known as the Teacher of Righteousness (executed during the reign of Jannaeus, 103 to 76 BC) was the seed for the Christ legend.  (4) The Gnostics were the earliest Christians.  To those who have put aside the production of ideas generated by Christians and look at the period through the eyes of an historian, these conclusions are consistent with the surviving record of that period.  Moreover, except for (4), other scholars have come to arrive at the same conclusions.   

             This conclusion (that the bible is not to be taken as history) reached by historians is fundamental for you to come to an understanding of the following three essays and this guide you are now reading.  There are 4 basic reasons for finding the Gospels fictive.  First, is the silence of Paul.   The Epistle (Pauls and others) do not contain an account of the life of Jesus, and do not rely upon his teachings.  Since they are earlier than the Gospels, either they lacked the source for Mark, or Mark wrote a work that creatively fulfilled these gaps.  But given the importance of such source, it is likely that if there was a source document, it would have been widely disseminated.  The silence of the Epistle support as more likely that there was no source document or such work was considered unreliable.  Second, the Gospel of Mark (the foundation for Luke and Matthew) has been freely modified by them only in ways in which they would consider it as an improvement.  Each narrative implicitly argues that the other is fictional.  Secondly, based on the energies of Randel Helms (a Christian), it is shown that the NT fulfills very consciously the OT prophecies.  The authors of the Gospels believed that the life of Jesus (which was not recorded or known to them) fleshed for the oracles of the OT.  Such an approach assures that the Gospels are fictions.  Third, the numerous inaccuracies as to events recorded by historians of that period and the failure of historians such as Josephus to mention such a worthy figure as the Christ of the Gospels for inclusion in their histories (assuming the Gospels to be essential true).    Fourth, unless the world was much different back then, things found in the Gospels simply do not occur.  The dead are not raised after 3 days; there are no demons to cast out; etc.  The work is mythic.  For all these reasons the Gospels are held to be fictions.  It is a fiction about the Revealer of the Truths of Heaven.  The silence of the Epistles has been corrected by the Gospels.  If the new faith was to spread among the common herd, a narrative in the form of history was needed. 

            The essays form a group on a theme.  In the first essay, that on Mark believing Jesus to be a mortal unto whom the spirit of god had entered upon baptism, I examine the question of divinity as it was understood by Mark and his contemperanous audience.  The conclusion is that the phrase the son of god means being selected by god and given special powers, and there were many who made this claim.  Thus the debate of the early Christians on the nature of Christ and todays position of the Unitarians as to Christ being mortal have a foundation in the meaning of the phrase the son of god.  The second essay, Mark Describes Jesus Gay Affair, concerns a missing passage from the Gospel of Mark which has been preserved in part in a letter by Bishop Clemens of Alexandria.  The Church in Alexandria thought it best to censor Mark.  The portion about Jesus visit to Jericho is described in the letter of Clemens, c. 190 CE.  The purpose of the essay, besides embarrassing Christians, is to expose how freely the Gospels were dealt with.  If Marks production was either that of a witness to the acts of Yahwehs dutiful Son and/or inspired by Yahweh, then such radical changes as Luke and Matthew made of Mark would be contrary to the intent of Yahweh.  (One can indeed wonder how the Church decided which passages to include and which of the over dozen Gospels were truly inspired.)  This second essay besides implicitly containing these problems for Christians, serves the purpose to publicize the discovery of Professor Morton Smith of the letter by Saint Clemens.  The third essay, Sources of the Jesus Legend, deals primarily with two speculation, one that the Quamran (Essene) communitys leader The Teacher of Righteous is the source for the Jesus legend; and second that the Gnostics were the first Christians.  Their surviving scriptures are closer in content to those of the Essenes.  What the surviving records support is much different than is taught in Sunday school and repeated on television. 

These three essays and the one on the historical Christ form a family that reveal the state of biblical scholarship.  And as you will see in the references in these essays, it is a state that many Christian scholars and theologians acknowledge. 



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