Friday, February 24, 2017

"And to offer a sacrifice" - Preaching by Christ Jesus, Preaching by Paul and Peter, and Later Preaching


Preaching by Christ Jesus, Preaching by Paul and Peter, and Later Preaching

What did Christ Jesus preach in His holly mission till the Crucifixion and the Resurrection?

Did He preach that He was the Son of God or even God Himself?  In other word, did Christ Jesus preach about Himself?  No, but he preached teachings of God.

Accordingly, Paul, Peter, and other Apostles must have also preached teachings of God.  They did not preach the life of Christ Jesus or what His mission had been like.  Accordingly, they did not need the Gospels to take with them in their missions.  In deed, while Christ Jesus had been preaching, he once sent His disciples for preaching to different places, but He did not tell them to carry holy books of Christianity or Judaism.

So, Paul, Peter, and other Apostles must have not carried any holy books in their missions after the death of Christ Jesus.  What they relied on was words and teachings of Christ Jesus they remembered.  Therefore, the very early Christian leaders did not need the Gospels.  They must not have asked Luke, Mark, Mathew, and John to write Gospels for their missions.  It means that their Gospels were written for other purposes than preaching.

The largest reason must be linked with Paul who was sent to Rome for a court trial.  If Paul had been found guilty by the Roman authority in a court of Rome, the negative shock the very early Christians in the Roman Empire would have had should have been so devastating.    So, leaders of the very early Christians, and especially Peter, must have made full efforts to help Paul get absolved.

Accordingly, Peter went to Rome to meet and help Paul.  But how?  The means Peter took must have been writing of a document that could prove innocence of Paul.  To prove innocence of Paul, the document should explain what Christianity was and what Christ Jesus was.  Accordingly, Peter asked Mark and Paul asked Luke to write their versions of the Gospel.

So, these Gospels were expected to be read by influential Romans and other Judaists or Romans who were interested in Christianity and had an influence on the Roman authority.

However, although Paul was once relieved by the Roman authority probably due to these Gospels, Paul and Peter were later executed by Emperor Nero.  So, another Gospel was written by Mathew, following the examples of Mark and Luke, to save other Christians in Rome from further persecution.  For this reason, Mathew emphasized the tie of Christianity to Judaism, so that the Roman authority and the Emperor would not regard Christianity as something utterly new and dangerous but as a kind of extension of Judaism.

Yet, subsequently the Jewish-Roman War erupted and the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by Roman troops.  The linkage to Judaism would not benefit the early Christians any more.  It must have looked rather safer for Christians to show their independence from Judaism to the Roman authority.  Accordingly, John wrote his version of the Gospel, following Mark, Luke, and Mathew but emphasizing independence of Christianity from Judaism.

 So, these Gospels were not written for general purposes to promote faith among Christians like in later centuries or today.  But they were written for urgent necessities of the era, namely in the late first century.  That is why today scholars of the Gospels find some mysterious expressions or sentences in these Gospels.  To understand these expressions, we have to know why they were written.  They were written for specific expected readers in each specific circumstance for each specific purpose.    

But these Gospels focus on Christ Jesus rather than His teachings or teachings of God He introduced.  So, Christianity today looks like meaning knowing Christ Jesus through the Gospels.  But, Christ Jesus did not teach that Christians must know Him and His mission.  Christ Jesus preached teachings of God.

So, there have been three phases in Christianity: (1) the preaching by Christ Jesus, (2) the preaching by Paul, Peter, and other Apostles without the Gospels, and (3) the preaching by later Christian leaders relying on the Gospels.

However, it is difficult to judge whether God had from the beginning expected Christianity to prevail through these phases, since there are too many betrayers of Christ Jesus in the Christian communities all over the world today.        

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Luk 2:24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.
Luk 2:25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
Luk 2:26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.

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?

Monday, February 20, 2017

"before the great and notable day of the Lord" - Oswald Duped by True Assassins


Oswald Duped by True Assassins

North  Koreans espionage agents used one Indonesian woman and another Vietnamese woman to assassinate, in Malaysia, Kim Jon-Nam, a half older brother of the dictator Kim Jon-Un.

Those agents left the Kuala Lumpur airport taking a jet liner soon after the assassination leaving the two women behind.   The two women were arrested by the Malaysian police but they said they had been duped by North Koreans who had told them that the attack on Kim Jon-Nam was for a funny TV show or something like that.
So, the JFK Assassination in 1963 might have been similar, since it looks like Oswald had been duped and left on the assassination scene alone.

How would you behave after you had shot a US president to death with your rifle from a window of your workshop?

You must know that you will be surely identified as the assassin because of too much circumstantial evidence.  And you must know that you cannot run away, since all the American police should look after you if you run away.

So, you have to kill yourself or boldly accept arrest by the police to be famous all over the world.  Otherwise, you have to beforehand carefully make up a genius plan to run away.  But Oswald did not act following any of these scenarios.

He acted as if he had been a complete idiot who could not foresee what would happen after he shot Kennedy to death.  He was buying a drink bottle from a vending machine in the eating place of the school textbook depository building when a policeman got into the building to search for an assassin.  Then he went back to his boarding house as the day's work was cancelled in the building due to the assassination turmoil.  Oswald picked up a handgun in his room and started to walk around nearby streets.  He eventually got into a movie theater a few miles away from his boarding house without buying a ticket to be arrested after hard resistance.

It was a behavior of someone that was duped by true culprits.

This is not a behavior of an assassin of a US president.  Psychologically it is impossible that Oswald was the sole assassin of JFK, since Oswald had an intellectual level enough to work in the Marines as U2 spy jet operator in a US air base around Tokyo, learn Russian, travel to the USSR like a secret CIA agent, work in Minsk, and marry a Russian girl with whom he returned to the US.  He was also under a kind of surveillance by FBI when he came back to the US, while he made pro-Castro demonstration in New Orleans and made a TV appearance in the summer of 1963.  Oswald was not a complete idiot.

So, the issue is how Oswald was duped, since it is apparent that he had some connection with true assassins because Oswald himself was killed by a Mafia-associated strip club owner in the Dallas Police building two days after he was arrested in the Texas Movie Theater.

In addition, Oswald had family members, friends, and acquaintances around Dallas, New Orleans, etc. who were linked to CIA, FBI, and the Mafia.  There were many who could dupe Oswald.

Oswald cannot be a complete idiot who shot a US president with his rifle from his workshop, left the rifle there, went back to his boarding house, picked up a handgun, and walked around the streets near his boarding house to be arrested in a movie theater after hard resistance.

Indeed, it was a behavior of someone that was duped by true culprits.

Oswald must have been duped.

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Act 2:20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come:
Act 2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

"thou sufferest that woman Jezebel" - True Purposes of Creation of the Gospels

Around Tokyo

True Purposes of Creation of the Gospels

Let's check the beginnings of the Gospels, since they might tell true purposes of their creation.
Luk 1:1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,
Luk 1:2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;
Luk 1:3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,
Luk 1:4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.
Luke must have been written to the Roman authority to defend Paul in the trial that must have been the most important issue for Paul and Luke in Rome.  They had to explain what Paul's belief was.
Mar 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
Mar 1:2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
Mark must have been written also to the Roman authority and Judaists in Rome who might be able to help Paul in the trial.  Probably as Mark knew that Luke was writing his Gospel targeting the Roman authority, he wrote his version rather succinctly, mainly targeting influential Judaists in Rome and friendly Romans.
Mat 1:1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Mat 1:2 Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren;
Mathew must have written after Nero executed Paul and Peter in the wake of a big fire in Rome, though Paul must have been freed from the trial due to the effect of the Gospels according to Luke and Mark.  As so many Christians were executed by Nero while Judaists in Rome were not attacked, Mathew must have written the Gospel to prove that Christianity had a strong tie with Judaism and Judaists.
Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Joh 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
Joh 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Joh 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
Joh 1:5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
John must have written his version of Gospel after the Jewish-Roman War and the fall of the temple in Jerusalem.  Christianity did not need to be linked to Judaism anymore like in the case of Mathew.  Rather, it might cause a problem for Christians in Rome and the Roman Empire to be regraded as a kind of Judaists.  Therefore, John clearly depicted Jesus as the founder of a new religion, Christianity.  John must have wanted the Roman authority to read his Gospel and have clear distinction between Christians and Judaists so that Christians would not face disadvantage due to any connection to Judaism.

So, these Gospels according to Luke, Mark, Mathew, and John were written for an imminent need each.   They were all written to save Paul and other Christians in Rome and the Roman Empire from persecution by the Roman authority.   So, depending on a circumstance, a Gospel stressed Christianity's relationship with Judaism or another Gospel clearly separated Christianity from Judaism.

If these Gospels had been written from the beginning as authentic holy books for Christians, like those in Judaism, they must have been advertised so among the very early Christians based on the authority of Peter and Paul.  And, followers of Peter and Paul must have handed over these documents to the next generations unfailingly as the very holy books.  But it took 100 years or more for these Gospels to be recognized as canonical documents by the church.

It also tells that the emphasis in preaching by Christian leaders in the era of Paul, etc. must not have been put on reading these Gospels.   Their preaching must have been made in the manner with contents such as expressed in Paul's letters.  The core of early Christian teaching must have been how to live with faith in God and not how much followers would know about the mission by Christ Jesus.
So, those Gospel writers, Luke, Mark, Mathew and John, did not intend to make their writings authentic holy books of Christianity.  They simply wrote them to respond to a need on each occasion.  That is why these Gospels lack some complete style and mode suitable for authentic holy books.

However, they clearly and strongly explain what Christ was and what He did to us as readers like Roman officials, influential Roman citizens or Judaists in Rome or the Roman Empire.

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Rev 2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
Rev 2:21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.