Thursday, February 23, 2017

"the corn fields on the sabbath day" - The Gospels Written as Measures to Defend Paul

Around the Fukushima Station, Japan, in summer

The Gospels Written as Measures to Defend Paul

The most serious matter for Christians after the Resurrection of Christ Jesus was the arrest and trial of Paul by the Roman authority.

Peter and other leaders of the very early Christians at the late 1st century must have been all gravely concerned.  So, Paul went to Rome with Mark to help and support Paul facing a trial.  It is because if the No.1 leader of those Christians at the time Paul had been found guilty and sentenced to death penalty, a catastrophic shock will attack the Christian communities around Rome and the east Mediterranean.   It is because Christian churches were being established and created mostly through Paul's activities around Rome and the east Mediterranean at the time.

So, Peter and other Christians around Rome would do their best to help Paul get absolved. It was the era of Emperor Nero surrounded by Seneca and other Stoic philosophers.  So, Paul and those Christians must have tried to present documents that proved Paul's innocence to influential Roman officials, philosophers, etc.  In this context, it is apparent that Luke's Acts was written to explain who Paul was to those Romans.  And, the Gospel according to Luke must have been also written for this purpose.

Mark who accompanied Peter must have also written this version of Gospel in Rome for the same purpose.  But as Mark had been close to Peter, his Gospels included some vivid expressions.  And even Luke probably referred to the Gospel according to Mark.  However, the Greek sentences Mark wrote were not so sophisticates as those written by Luke.  Therefore, only the Gospel according to Luke must have been presented to the Roman authority to explain Christianity and Christ Jesus to them.  Accordingly, the Gospels according to Mark must have been shown to other Christians and influential Judaists in Rome who could work on the Roman authority to save Paul.  

So, from the beginning, these Gospels were written not as authentic sacred books of Christianity but as material to be used for defense of Paul in a court in Rome.  That is why it took a century or more for these Gospels to be recognized as the holy books of Christianity.

Indeed, if Paul and Peter had proclaimed that the Gospels according to Luke and Mark were holy books of Christianity, there should have been no controversy as to what books should be handled as holy or canonical books for the early Christianity.

The key to understanding the secret of the Gospels is Paul's trial, the most important incident for the very early Christians after the Resurrection of Christ Jesus.

Anyway, as these Gospels were written in the same environment around Paul and Peter in Rome, it is natural that they rather look similar in selection of episodes of Christ Jesus' mission and the time sequence of them.

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Mar 2:23 And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn.
Mar 2:24 And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?
Mar 2:25 And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him?