Saturday, March 05, 2005

the man who awoke

there is not a christian bone in my body.

no one took down the words of jesus in his native aramaic.all the texts are in greek. you would think that if someone thought this was god, they would record his actual words. contrast that with the buddhist tradition, where a mechanism was set in place immediately to record the actual words. buddha says he awoke, but he was otherwise an ordinary man. mark, the earliest gospel, was not set down til 40 years after the passion. the last several verses of mark were added even later. it has the fewest miracles, the least dogmatic. what follows is 300 years of increasing miracles and increasingly complex religious doctrine. jesus the man becomes god. with the nicene creed in 325, the foundation for the inquisition and religous wars was laid, from oppressed to oppressor. the monks of the nag hammadi library responded to the edict to burn all non-approved texts by burying an urn containing copies of their non-canonical texts. they were found 1600 years later. one of them, the gospel of thomas, is thought to be contemporary with the gospel of john, early in the second century. it contains the sayings of jesus, and only the sayings of jesus, no miracles, no crucificion, no resurrection. the gospel of john goes out of its way to discredit thomas, it contains the doubting thomas stories, thomas the most dense of the apostles. he wasnt even there when jesus returned from the dead to give them their charge. only he and judas were missing. none of the other gospels have anything bad to say about thomas. what we have here is a religious rivalry, and finally we have the text to compare the actual disagreement. thomas, hebrew for the twin, has jesus say that the light is within and it is available to all now. jesus says what i do, you can also do, hence the twin theme. some scholars think these sayings may be closer to the actual words than the other gospels. they contain much the same material as the traditional gospels, but are less adorned, less edited. they may be the closest thing in writing to the words of the man so many call their savior, suppressed by their own church.

"Love your friends like your own soul, protect them like the pupil of your eye."

i could have been a thomasine christian, jesus the man who awoke.

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