Saturday, April 01, 2006

 

Did Jesus want his message to spread in a clear manner?


If Jesus had wanted his message to spread in an undistorted fashion, why did he not write down his message?

In other words, if one reason he had come was to reveal the will of God, why did Jesus seemingly fail to commit his revelations to writing during his lifetime, and with his own hand. Instead, it appears that he left this important task to "anonymous writers" (and later redactors) who may have made a sufficient number of mistakes and written a sufficient number of contradictory facts and ideas in their accounts to divide Christians for centuries to come.

Couldn't Jesus have written down his message in a clear manner? If he did, why don't the gospels tell us of his writings?


Comments:
Great question... maybe a better way of stating it is this:

If God exists, and is all knowing, and love's people and want's people to come into relationship with Him, why didn't God make an infallible way for people to know without a shadow of a doubt that He exists?

One answer is... if Jesus had written everything down... would you believe? The answer is not concrete... because the amount of proof out there will never be enough to force someone to believe.

Another way to look at this question... in our current culture we are so print driven. But there are other ways to know the world besides reading. When looked at the history of the world, we are in the minority of people who can read. Why do we think this makes us superior to other people who have lived?

A quote:
When you listen to someone talk,
66% of what you understand comes from the person’s body language,
38% from the tone of voice
and only 7% from the actual words spoken.
Albert Meharbiam

We all know how poorly emails can communicate tone and how easily miscommunication comes from the written word. The written word has it's benefits, especially with accuracy, but more comes from a persons body language than the content of words.

One answer to this question is God did not want to emphasize the importance of words more than the importance of Jesus the man. The person is important, not some manifesto.

God also gave us words, the Law, and we see how easy it is to trap the words.

The importance of Jesus is who he was and what he did.

More than words.
 
The importance of Jesus is who he was and what he did.

More than words.


How would we know something about him then if not through words? D'oh.

In fact, too bad he didn't come down to Earth during our media age, just think about the footage possible ...
 
In the context of the times, He was raised as a carpenter. It was a skilled trade but not at the top of society, especially under the rule of Roman conquerors. Logically, His message was and is directed at the widest possible group of people alive at the time where the "seed might find fertile ground". Writing is often lost (Dead Sea Scrolls). The population where He was born was and still is the most strongly tied to religious roots. His message was put into a "time capsule" of people capable of a strong faith and that is why it still survives after 200 years.
 
maybe he did write down his message? the vatican library is a big place with alot of texts never seen even by clergy or considered not fit to be published...perhaps the truth is so damaging to a heirarchical religion that it was better to cherry pick what suited them and supress the rest? perhaps we will never know the truth of our own world, but it does not bother the powerful to shape reality to their own ends today, and such things rarely change through history...hidden knowledge is always the most fascinating of all knowledge
 
Were carpenters in first century Palestine taught to write?
 
its was part of Gods plan to have it this way, many people could not read and in that area there were many different languages spoken and written - the tranlations could have easily gone wrong - as they often do now. The gift of toungues was given to many people to spread the word, toungues meaning "in another language" rather than some random mumbling, this is much talked about in Acts 2 and emphasises the problem of there being many different languages. It has taken thousands of years to get the bible translated accurately and it was all part of Gods plan to use the Apostles to write to bible as thier eye witness experiences (not in all cases) were a very important part of the makeup of the bible - which is something you really understand when you start studying the bible - for instance, Paul talks in Romans 7 of his personal battle with sin and how it troubles him - this is a great example of how your troubles with sin confirm you are a christian - Jesus never had a battle with sin in the same way us mere mortal do. I hope this helps answer your question! James
 
Maybe it was Mary Magdalene's job to write things down. She had so much to do, milking the goats, turning the tricks, cooking the food, cleaning the hut. She just didn't get to it. Once again if we choose, we can blame the woman.
 
Perhaps the core of love that is at the center of Jezus's teachings (and any proper religion) can't be explained in a manner that is clear to everyone. Perhaps Jezus realised that writing down his message would mostly lead to misinterpretation and abuse.
 
Because of the poor communication channel that the written word could be He produced an organization that would keep the main message down through the ages. The Catholic church tradition is that Jesus instituted the church and that he would be with it always. The Church is an organization that maintains the tradition which when combined with the scriptures, was the way to transit the main message to later times. The organization ( The Church) hasn't always been the best example of how to keep the message but the it has survived and transmitted the message.

What's the message? I (Jesus) died for your sins. Love one another as I have loved you. Love your neighbor as yourself. Love God with your whole heart.

I think the message made it through.
 
Historical Jesus scholar John Dominic Crossan theorizes that Jesus was illiterate, but a powerful personal speaker. He also theorizes that the reason Jesus' message wasn't "clear" was because Jesus spoke in parables, a form of teaching common with rabbis of the time. Parables require that the listener to figure out the meaning of the story for themselves, much like a Zen koan.
 
Well, let's then ask ourselves: why did Jesus leave His Church into the hands of a betrayer, a wretch, a poor fisherman like Peter?

Why did He say: "Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them", since "two or three" would obviously mean "2 or 3 people", therefore certainly imperfect ones, so probabily sinners enough not to be able to bring His message in the best way?

But these questions remind me of another question, already heard: "If you're the Son of God, why don't you come down from the cross?"

I think this is called: "the method of God".
 
Historical Jesus scholar John Dominic Crossan theorizes that Jesus was illiterate, but a powerful personal speaker. He also theorizes that the reason Jesus' message wasn't "clear" was because Jesus spoke in parables, a form of teaching common with rabbis of the time. Parables require that the listener to figure out the meaning of the story for themselves, much like a Zen koan.

Jesus was a rabbis, so he probably was not illiterate.

Could it be that it is all made up? Not saying that he wasn't a real person, but just glorified. Seeing that the bible was written about 40 years after his death; how accurate could the information have been? What was the average lifespan of the people of that time? Without modern medicine, the sick would have been left for dead unless Jesus came around and saved them.
 
Maybe Jesus didn’t want a perfect "clear" message spread. An authoritive and 100% "true" and unambiguous message may have been against his purpose.

Why did he incarnate in a weak, human form if he could have come with all the authority and trappings of heaven? Given that his birth was shrouded in illegitimacy, he existed at the lowest rung of the social hierarchy as a carpenter’s son (“Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” John 1:46), it is likely that Jesus did not wish there to be only one way to find him. If there is only one way then that way can be appropriated by the powerful at the exclusion of the weak. My reading of the gospels show me a Jesus that did his best to subvert this tendency.
 
Yeah, I agree...

If we look at Religion like it's a martial art, or any other form of "learning" thing...

Jesus is fairly high up in the order of things... so yeah, he's got like crazy good knowledge of stuff - because he's got crazy good ability (and therefore crazy good being)...

That means... sure he can go talk to joe average all he wants... but mr joe average will only "get" a small fragment of the total truths and information Jesus can give... so waht's he do? He grabs some guys who are "up to the task" - these are the apostles.

I don't reckon most of what he said was for anyone but them... but hey THEY are fit to propagate his message to THEM in the way that best fits whatever situation and context is available to them... right?

At least, that's my take on it.
 
Thank you....
I think that he did not write down his messages because of the loaded content of his messages. Not that they might be found and he punished, which seems kind of obvious, but that the messages held so much more in the energy and intent, in the implication of what he really meant. Like the idea of energetically encoding through intent. In a small way:Ever hear three people say the same thing. Its totally different each time. The meaning is completely changed, or can be very easily. But what I am refering to is something that has to do with the particular level that each person is at, that will be the level at which they recieve the message. He had quantum implications in his messgaes, but ifthe listener wasnt ready for that much "news", that deep, they would hear it at the first or the second level you might say.
well la di da... Lizzabeth
 
I don't remember what Evel Knieval wrote or even said, but I do remember him doing some amazing things. What do you think history remembers more: words or actions? What is the best way to get a new message out?

I think Joshua (Jesus) was a great man that had some great wisdom and was a light from God, but it's time we throw away our Bible based fairy tales. I think we have an uncommon man that came from a common background. I doubt he had the time or money, or maybe even the skills or desire to create a long Socratic work. He may have a buried manuscript somewhere but I think his plan was bigger than a book, he wanted to rock the establishment. Perhaps his need for followers was for documenting his wisdom which he had no interest in, while he performed the Knieval style leaps of faith.
 
I don't think it was legal for Jews to write at that time in the Roman Empire. Jews secretly taught their children Hebrew letters by playing dreidel. The children could seem to be innocently playing a silly top game right in front of the Roman soldiers, and the Roman soldiers were too stupid to realize that the letters on the top were teaching the kids to read.
 
As far as Christ writing down his memoirs, Christ contitinually set an example for everyone and his discpiles around him. He said if you've seen me you've seen the father (creator). He also said he came to do the will of his father, with the cross at 33 years of age, predicted in the old testament, he didn't have time to write down his memoirs. He had come to save the world from their sins.
He knew he was born to die Psalms 22, Isaiah 53:5, he had studied the Torah and knew it all and quoted it in the temple when he was young and his parents were looking for him.
He said, if anyone comes after me let him take up his cross and follow me. He healed the sick, raised the dead and fed and clothed the poor.
One day, after his ressurection, which would prove who he was, while being watched by about 1500 people, he rose up into the air, two supposedly angels said not to worry that this same Jesus would come some day as he left (in the sky).. No other so called prophet has ever had it said that he was going to return and even more rule the world with an iron rod because mankind would be incapable of ruling himself and be on the brink of destroying himself (Iran has threatned the United States and Israel with destruction. He said that would happen when Israel became a nation again. Don't have to write that down now!
He also showed us of a loving creator that cared enough to give us an inkling of who he was. In other religions God is an uncaring individual who is far from his creation and gives him constant lives to live in a now finite universe or sexual favors forever.
His writings are written down, by people who all went to their death because they wouldn't lie, they knew who he was, by martyrdom, except one, John. John lived to an old age.
John is the only Disciple who went to the "cross" and consoled his mother and Mary Magdelenine.
So, men have their lives written down to be put in books, presidential libraries. Christ made an important point though. He said, the heavens and earth would pass away, but his word would never pass away. His words are in eternity (another dimension?), somewhere else, where mankind could never get to them. At the demise of this universe, no one,not you or I or Kennnedy, or The Bill Clinton library will surviive, it will be as if it never existed. All the great things that mortal humans would say or do would be as if never said or done, and the only ones to know about Christ, will be where he is, he called it the "Marriage supper of the lamb". not a lamb who writes but the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
Lansing W.
P.S. Although there is another book written, it's called the Lambs book of Life and everyone whos name is in it is with Christ.
 
I consider the answer to be No he did not want his word spread in a clear manner to the masses. But yet he would rather have it spread to just a "few" in every generation through and by himself to those "few". Many are called but few are chosen.The question you ask here is a great one.
 
Well to answer the question about why he didn't write it down, or even if he did, that can never be answered. As far as the Christian world being divided as it is, Corinthians and Romans say that we should not let the little things that we beleive personally, but are not specifically mentioned by God, divide us. Both speak of Christian unity being more important than petty differences in interpretation and belief. We (Christians) have apparently strayed pretty far from this teaching.
 
Sometimes there are little things in life that make it well worth getting up in the morning.

It just happened to me.

Thanks pattyjrsatanicfeminist.

I've got to write that down & read it to my daughter the next time I talk to her cross country.

It will make her day too.
 
I'm reminded of Proverbs 25:2 which states..."It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings."

God has never NEEDED us to do anything. He has, however, asked, us to be obedient even in light of a situation looking hopeless.

As many times as Jesus said, "It is written...", I do believe He understood the value of the written word. I mean, in the beginning WAS the word and Jesus was the word himself.

However, we as humans often see a need for something and therefore strive to fill in the gaps. Someone asked why it took 40 years. Also, historically speaking when you look at the writings of Plato, Aristotle, etc., you'll find that there are only a few (up to 14-20) original copies of their writings yet few people question their validity. On the other hand, there are over 500 original copies of the biblical manuscripts. That is utterly amazing.

Anyway, I digress. Jesus spent much more time in direct prayer and meditation on the word rather than writing stuff down all the time. How else does one claim, "I only do or see and I do or see the Father doing"?? His ministry reflects a continous flow of outpouring which begs the question...just how much time did Jesus spend "in-pouring" in order to do all that he did and prepare himself for the signs, wonders and miracles?

As amazing as his feats of love were...God's infinite wisdom knew that the message would spread even under the intense persecution of the Jews/Romans because of the way people were touched by Jesus. I once heard a quote that stated: There's no greater power than a man determined to rise."

Not only did Jesus rise to the occasion but he literally rose from the dead. That's the greatest power this world has and will ever see.
 
I was just thinking about this. Could it be that God wants us to search for Him. If we really appreciate our Creator, we will want to get to know Him. We will look for Him. So maybe He didn't have Jesus write the bible, but rather imperfect men who would incorporate pagan and other traditions into it over the years, so we would have to search to see what is true about Him and what is false. We would also have to pray to Him because there's just too much conflicting information out there. We would have to rely on His holy spirit to give us the answers.
 
it was writin;in the bible.
 
/1/ The Roman Empire certainly didn't forbid Jews to write. No Roman law forbids this, and much writing survives from Jews of the era (including Jews loyal to Rome, such as the Jewish historian Josephus, as well as Jews disloyal to Rome);.

/2/ The game of dreidel did not exist (as far as anyone can discover) in Roman Judea. Even its name comes from a far later language, several thousand miles away from Rome.

/3/ Playing dreidel, in any case, doesn't teach reading. The top you spin in dreidel has only four letters — the Hebrew equivalents of N, G, H, and SH — but to read Hebrew you need all 22 of the Hebrew alphabet letters. You can, in any case, spend all day spinning a top with four letters on it, and even saying the letters' names, without learning from this how to read those letters or any other letters.

/4/ We know (from the Gospel account) that Jesus wrote — at least once, in the sand, during the case of the woman taken in adultery. We don't, however, know WHAT he wrote even on that one occasion: the New Testament just doesn't telll us. (The fact that the New Testament tells us he wrote in sand makes it sound as if he actually did not want his words preserved.)

/5/ Given that "66% of what you understand comes from the person’s body language,
38% from the tone of voice .... ", absolutely nobody living today can claim to have more than 4% of Jesus' message. (Do the math!),
 
Correction: I mistyped "6%" where I meant to type "4%".
 
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