The Jesus of History

2002-1-18 05:34:00

Welcome back Glenys. Leave it up to you to find a text that evades everyone else.

Interesting link, Lars, to an unorthodox view of Jesus and the Christian Church. I also found that the writer Davis Pratt has indeed a wide variety of interesting writings and research. He apparently has made a life study of Theosophy, but never mentions Djwahl Khul. It never ceases to amaze me that some very intelligent Theosophists reject such an obviously great light.

Pratt makes some good points and brings up some interesting history as well as myth.

I find it ironical that he discounts the miracles of Jesus when all good Theosophists believe that H. P. Blavatsky performed numerous miracles herself. Having witnessed a number of miracles myself I do not find the idea of miracles as evidence of myth.

He cites contradictions within the Gospels as evidence that they are not true history. Yet it is a fact that any time you call the testimony of two witnesses of a single event that you will get different accounts. If two accounts match too closely it is a sign that they were fabricated and coordinated beforehand.

This is also a principle in finding forgery in handwriting. If a signature is too perfect each time it is a sign that it is a forgery. Everyone's real signature is a little different each time the name is signed.

Numerous books have been written on the apparent contradictions in the Gospels. I have studied some of them and have not seen a contradiction that could not have a plausible explanation.

For instance, John mentions the act of Jesus cleansing the temple at there beginning of his Gospel and Matthew near the end of his.

This could be easily explained by two possibilities. Jesus could have cleansed the temple twice as written in the Aquarian Gospel.

It is also possible that one or more of the gospels was not in precise chronological order.

Critics also point out that some of the gospel stories have incidents that the others do not. For instance only Luke mentions that Jesus was teaching the priests in the temple at the age of 12. The fact that this was left out by the other writers is not a contradiction. In fact, it is a sign of authenticity that the four accounts vary in content as noted earlier. Perhaps the other three authors did not think it important to include the temple account or it is also possible they were not aware of it.

The most powerful evidence that the New Testament is an account of an historical person is overlooked by critics and believers alike.

And what is this evidence?

It is the words of record attributed to the Master himself.

Consider this. The words of Jesus are quoted more than any other person on the earth, published in more languages, used in more speeches and has inspired more thought word for word than any other person in history. And their impact shows no signs of fading. The words of Christ are indeed "eternal words" that shall "not pass away."

Perhaps the greatest prophesy in the Bible was recorded two thousand years ago by Jesus as follows: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." Matt 24:35

Indeed, his words show no signs of "passing away" and being forgotten. The reason was that he continually spoke of eternal principles - such as: "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free."

Many great men and women have been born and died without making even one statement as profound as this, one of many, of the phrases of Jesus.

Now many critics maintain that sometime between 200-325 AD that a group of unscrupulous men got together and fabricated a messiah to fill the needs of a new religion. They maintain that the four accounts or gospels were fiction written by the hands of deceitful individuals and presented as truth to gain control over the minds of men.

Consider this. Is it logical that the most profound words of light and hope that have ever been written in the history of the planet could have been made up off the cuff by a group of deceitful men bent on feeding their egos and gaining control over their brethren?

This idea is a much greater stretch to believe than the fact of an historical Jesus.

Words of profound thought, and light and love can only come from one who is a source of profound thought, and light and love.

The words of Jesus are appropriate here: "An evil tree cannot bring forth good fruit..."

This is an eternal principle and this being true means that a group of evil and deceitful authorities could not have produced the words of Jesus, which even his enemies admit are good fruit - pleasing to the soul.

Critics have long maintained that the gospels were fabricated hundreds of years after the supposed birth of Jesus, but a powerful but seldom cited evidence that they were written in the first century is found in a discovery of a fragment of the gospel of John in Egypt. This fragment known as P52 is dated between 125-150 AD.

Side One translates as: Therefore Pilate said to them, "Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law." The Judeans said to him, "It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death." This was to fulfill the word which Jesus had spoken to show by what death he would die. Pilate entered the praetorium again and called Jesus, and said to him, "Are you the king of the Judeans?

Side Two reads: Therefore Pilate said to him, "Then you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into society: to witness to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth hears my voice." Pilate said to him, "What is truth?" After he had said this, he went out to the Judeans again, and he told them, "I find no crime in him."

Here is a brief write up on it: "This small fragment of St. John's Gospel, containing on the one side part of verses 31-33, on the other of verses 37-38 of chapter xviii is one of the collection of Greek papyri in the John Rylands Library, Manchester. It was originally discovered in Egypt, and may come from the famous site of Oxyrhynchus (Behnesa), the ruined city in Upper Egypt where Grenfel and Hunt carried out some of the most startling and successful excavations in the history of archaeology; it may be remembered that among their finds of new fragments of Classical and Christian literature were the now familiar "Sayings of Jesus". The importance of this fragment is quite out of proportion to its size, since it may with some confidence be dated in the first half of the second century A.D., and thus ranks as the earliest known fragment of the New Testament in any language. It provides us with invaluable evidence of the spread of Christianity in areas distant from the land of its origin; it is particularly interesting to know that among the books read by the early Christians in Upper Egypt was St. John's Gospel, commonly regarded as one of the latest of the books of the New Testament. Like other early Christian works which have been found in Egypt, this Gospel was written in the form of a codex, i.e. book, not of a roll, the common vehicle for pagan literature of that time."

You can view one side of this fragment and see the translation at:

Now is probably true that we have many misconceptions of Jesus and that the accounts in the gospel could have been altered and not 100% accurate, but undeniable evidence points to the fact that there did exist a historical man who we know as Jesus.

More Later.