Jesus was an apocalyptic rabbi who did not believe in family values

January 21, 2016

Jesus was an apocalyptic rabbi who challenged authority and did not believe in family values. He was crucified for challenging authority and did not sacrifice himself to save humans for their sins.

From the Gospel of Thomas*:

Example 1

(55) Jesus said, “Whoever does not hate his father and his mother cannot become a disciple to me. And whoever does not hate his brothers and sisters and take up his cross in my way will not be worthy of me.”

Example 2

Jesus was speaking to a crowd in a public place that had gathered to hear him speak.

(99) The disciples said to him, “Your brothers and your mother are standing outside.”

He said to them, “Those here who do the will of my father are my brothers and my mother. It is they who will enter the kingdom of my father.”

Perhaps you thought he was all about peace?

Example 3

(16) Jesus said, “Men think, perhaps, that it is peace which I have come to cast upon the world. They do not know that it is dissension which I have come to cast upon the earth: fire, sword, and war. For there will be five in a house: three will be against two, and two against three, the father against the son, and the son against the father. And they will stand solitary.”

Dissension against whom?

Example 4

(63) Jesus said, “There was a rich man who had much money. He said, ‘I shall put my money to use so that I may sow, reap, plant, and fill my storehouse with produce, with the result that I shall lack nothing.’ Such were his intentions, but that same night he died. Let him who has ears hear.”

Example 5

(64) Jesus said, “A man had received visitors. And when he had prepared the dinner, he sent his servant to invite the guests.

He went to the first one and said to him, ‘My master invites you.’ He said, ‘I have claims against some merchants. They are coming to me this evening. I must go and give them my orders. I ask to be excused from the dinner.’

He went to another and said to him, ‘My master has invited you.’ He said to him, ‘I have just bought a house and am required for the day. I shall not have any spare time.’

He went to another and said to him, ‘My master invites you.’ He said to him, ‘My friend is going to get married, and I am to prepare the banquet. I shall not be able to come. I ask to be excused from the dinner.’

He went to another and said to him, ‘My master invites you.’ He said to him, ‘I have just bought a farm, and I am on my way to collect the rent. I shall not be able to come. I ask to be excused.’

The servant returned and said to his master, ‘Those whom you invited to the dinner have asked to be excused.’ The master said to his servant, ‘Go outside to the streets and bring back those whom you happen to meet, so that they may dine.’ Businessmen and merchants will not enter the places of my father.”

Example 6

(65) He said, “There was a good man who owned a vineyard. He leased it to tenant farmers so that they might work it and he might collect the produce from them. He sent his servant so that the tenants might give him the produce of the vineyard. They seized his servant and beat him, all but killing him. The servant went back and told his master. The master said, ‘Perhaps he did not recognize them.’ He sent another servant. The tenants beat this one as well. Then the owner sent his son and said, ‘Perhaps they will show respect to my son.’ Because the tenants knew that it was he who was the heir to the vineyard, they seized him and killed him. Let him who has ears hear.”

With whom did he identify?

Example 7

(54) Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor, for yours is the kingdom of heaven.”

Example 8

(58) Jesus said, “Blessed is the man who has suffered and found life.”

Example 9

(49) Jesus said, “Blessed are the solitary and elect, for you will find the kingdom. For you are from it, and to it you will return.”

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* The Gospel of Thomas consists of 114 sayings, in no readily apparent order, that are attributed to Jesus. The author identifies himself as Jude, Jesus’s identical twin brother. The book was written in Greek no later than the first half of second century, C.E., and it contains some sayings that are similar to but shorter than sayings found in the New Testament gospels. For this reason, many scholars believe that the author probably had not read the New Testament gospels and independently relied on sayings that probably go back to the historical Jesus.

The gospel was regarded as heretical and probably not included in the New Testament because it:

(1) does not mention the apostle Paul’s prescription for salvation (belief in Jesus’s crucifixion, death, physical resurrection and ascension), and

(2) contains language echoing the Gnostic belief that salvation comes from a spiritual resurrection based on knowing that we contain a divine spark and focusing our attention and identity on that spark. Indeed, the author assures the reader that,

These are the secret sayings which the living Jesus spoke and which Didymos** Judas Thomas*** wrote down.

(1) And he said, “Whoever finds the interpretation of these sayings will not experience death.”

(2) Jesus said, “Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds. When he finds, he will become troubled. When he becomes troubled, he will be astonished, and he will rule over the All.”

(3) Jesus said, “If those who lead you say to you, ‘See, the kingdom is in the sky,’ then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, ‘It is in the sea,’ then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty.”

I like this Jesus. I am not fond of family values and I believe my spirit is immortal. I do not believe in a physical resurrection of the dead and I do not believe Jesus sacrificed himself to save all human beings from being punished for their sins. He was crucified because he challenged authority.

The Gospel of Thomas was fortuitously discovered in 1947 at Nag Hammadi by an Egyptian camel driver named Muhammad Ali (no relation) and his companions who were searching for camel dung in a public dump site to use as fuel for fires.

**Didymos means twin in Greek

***Thomas means twin in Aramaic (the primary language Jesus spoke)


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