You're asking a hard thingAugust 8 2010 at 8:46 AM
Vince (Login MoxiFox)
Response to Understanding is joyous -- Carl Sagan
Kate. You agree that the ONLY record we have of the man-god Jesus Christ is in the Gospels but you also agree that the Gospels are flawed. That leaves us NOT KNOWING WHAT ... to believe! Paul didn't talk about him, James didn't talk about him, Jude didn't talk about him, Peter didn't talk about him, the writer of Hebrews didn't talk about him and neither did the writer(s) of the 3 little Johns! NOBODY but the 4 Gospels and a wee bit of Acts ... described the human being Jesus ... and then they disagreed terribly with EACH OTHER yet! (Acts was written by Luke and Luke wrote for Theophilus and Theophilus was a Bishop of Antioch around 167 AD ... which might give you a better idea of Gospel Luke and Acts compilations.)
So like ... if he was a composite, made up character to fit the bill for 4 particular and different "denominations" to establish his existence for these denominations ... how would we KNOW or be able to decide if he wanted to be King or not? For one denomination, he would have come to be King of Israel; for another, he came to be a martyr ... and for another, maybe he came to be both?
But .... I'll give it a whirl and see where it goes ....
Let's start with Luke. Luke ch. 1. starts off with the "author" writing a small intro to his boss, Theophilus, who will undoubtedly be reading this work of Luke's to his own congregation way up in Antioch Syria. That's why the intro is important because it establishes the pedigree of the writing. Luke makes it clear that he's setting down, IN ORDER, the events which they all most certainly BELIEVE and which Luke claims to be very familiar with, as they've been related to him by others.
So Luke wanted to be thorough. Many others had already done the same as him but ... he wanted his to be more exact and faithful. Thus, Luke proceeds to comb through the available archives to put the most accuracy into his own rendering. (He was a journalist, researching this story for his church back home in Antioch. Who knows, maybe he was in the hot library of Alexandria Egypt under a hot August sun, searching through all the records he could find, and wishing he could be back home skinny dipping in some fond pool of his childhood?~)
Luke then, starts off by writing up the history of John the Baptist ... or at least his birth. Lots of miracles surrounding with that. Then he does the history of Jesus birth and there were lots of miracles included with that. Then he goes into Jesus' birth but here, he's very specific about it ... making SURE he dates it to the beginning of Quirinius ("Cyrenius") first census of Judea, after Herod's son Archelaus had been kicked out of Judea -and Judea for the first time ... became a direct province of Rome. (Galilee was still a kind of franchise Kingdom under Herod's other son Antipas but Archelaus was kicked out completely after reigning only 10 years in Judea. This was TRULY the end of an era/age for Judea because for the first time in about 250 years, they were totally King-less. Perhaps he thought that Jesus was born right then, to be the successor King?)
He finishes this section on Jesus' birth and in ch.2 vs. 40 we see the end of this first section and then he may have gone home for the weekend -Luke, that is. Vs. 41 starts off as a new section, 12 years later when the young kid Jesus gets lost and they find him having intercourse with the "doctors" in the temple. (That word "doctor" and "doctors" appears only in Luke's writing and it might help with confirmation of dating his work).
Then in vs. 49 the 12 yo Jesus -speaking exactly like a 30 yo Jesus- says to his mother, "How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Fathers business?"
His parents -guess what?- didn't have a CLUE what he was talking about!~
"And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them."
Now there's some kind of "problem" here because any journalist, with a bent for accuracy is NOT going to create a schism in his own writing. We were ALREADY told of the amazing miracles and angel confirmations of this child up to ch. 2 vs. 48. His parents should IMMEDIATELY have clued in to what "his father's business" was! We, the readers have no problem comprehending it but his parents were clueless? And then ... his mother "kept all these sayings in her heart"?? Like they were some kind of news to her? She didn't KNOW that he was conceived of the Holy Ghost and all that ... and he WASN'T just a normal kid? What's going on here? Did Luke lose his mind over the weekend or is he merely copying stuff and writing it down unchanged ... or has some other author jumped in to change the story? Normally, an author would write up a little aside explanation but there's nothing here.
There's some more history on JTB and then in ch. 3 vs. 23 we have a curious statement that, "Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph..."
Again, what's GOING ON here? He was "supposed" to be the son of Joseph but he was really conceived of the holy ghost? Nevertheless, the "author" Luke still plunges in and writes an entire genealogy on Joseph to prove ..... what?
Were the first 2 chapters and ch. 3 up to verse 23 inserted by some later scribe ... or ... was Luke simply copying this previously developed genealogy from a book he was reading in the library at Alexandria (or wherever) ... in order to MAINTAIN the most accuracy of an historical record he could find?
If the genealogy was important -(and Matthew has one as well, though it doesn't match with Luke's)- then yes ... Jesus definitely intended to become King of Israel. If the genealogies WEREN'T important, I can't imagine WHY they were ever included! They're obviously a lot of work to do and obviously subject to varying opinion, as we see if we compare Matthew's with Luke's. If Jesus was truly conceived of the holy ghost, the genealogies wouldn't have made the slightest difference.
So it seems apparent to me that at SOME time, Jesus was viewed as a next King of Israel ... being merely a mortal man .... and then somewhere, the opinion changed to have him be the son of God instead.