Angel Cloud

If not Christ why even bother with Jesus?

Now that we’ve finally separated the Jesus of History from the Christ story it would be logical for many people to ask, “If not Christ why even bother with Jesus?” An even more important question might be, “After two thousand years, why now?”

Truthfully, before I can answer these two, rather pertinent, questions I would have to insert the caveat that the relevance of the Jesus of History entirely depends on what you are looking for. Therefore, in order to clarify our terms of reference, I will need to make a bit of a digression, so please bear with me.

Angels and Eagles

MountainImagine, if you will, that I had climbed the mountain behind my house. I trained and prepared for months and months and after much effort I got to the summit. I could draw you a detailed map. I could list the items of equipment that you would need. I could stipulate the kind of clothing you would need to wear. I could even try to describe the view and I could say that ‘as the sun rose I saw angels flying with the eagles’ but without repeating my experiment for yourself the experience would remain forever beyond you.

You might choose to believe in my descriptions and you would be able to pass on those stories to other people but your belief would not have changed you. You could decide to worship the map as sacred and revere the stories of the angels as scripture but no matter how deeply you ‘believed’ it would not give you the wisdom and the strength of the actual experience.

Cult of the Mountain

Over the years you might become a priest of the cult of the mountain and dress as if for climbing. How you dress would now define your idea of yourself and you would shun anyone who is not like you and think of them as less. Indeed, you might reserve the cult of the mountain to only members of your race, as the chosen people of the mountain. You might mutilate the genitals of your children as a mark of your cult.

In your heart of hearts you suspect that there are no angels at the top of the mountain so any information or opinion that challenges your belief you resist violently. You would have achieved ‘belief without effort, superiority and belonging without the need to excel’. You might then feel well justified in violently subjugating the world to the will of the priests of your cult and avoid ever having your ‘belief’ challenged.

Belief, Knowledge and Wisdom

Groundhog DayFrom this little analogy we can say that ‘belief’ based on ‘knowledge’ is inherently empty. ‘Wisdom’, on the other hand, comes from work, change and direct experience.

To understand the importance of the teachings of the Jesus of history (if you will indulge me further) there is yet another detour we need to make. Do you remember the film, ‘Groundhog Day’? If not, I’m guessing that most people will be familiar with the film ‘Scrooge’?

In both films, a cruel and selfish man objectively sees his past, present and future and through the experience fundamentally connects to a reality of which we are all subconsciously aware. When Phil Connors realises that, contrary to his previous cynicism, every moment of life and everyone he meets is infinitely precious. That message resonates deep within all of us. If that were not true, these films and millions like them would not really work.

A separate Self

We all recoil when we watch yet another narcissistic suicide bomber lecture the world on why he feels aggrieved enough to go out and kill innocent people. We all mourn as yet another self-obsessed star, lost within the illusion of their own desires, manages to kill themselves.

The common denominator to all of these sad stories is the universal sensation of a separate self and the suffering that illusion causes. Phil Connors, the Islamic Terrorist, Scrooge, the sexually obsessed actor with a needle in his arm all choose themselves over something else.

That ‘something else’ is the opposite to the ‘illusion of the self’ and can be thought of as that mountain behind my house. The teachings of the Jesus of History were designed to get you to the top. They were designed to help you do something about ‘you‘. The Jesus of History taught that nobody but you can make that journey.

Nicene Creed

Nicene CreedPrior to the fall of Herod’s Temple and the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, Hebrew spiritual life was extremely diverse. That destruction put an end to a religious reformation and civil war that had been raging since the fall of Israel to the Assyrians in 722 BC. In the first half of the first millennium, the Pharisees united what was left of the Jewish people and became what we now call ‘Rabbinical Judaism’.

It is true that the teachings of the Jesus of History can only really be understood when returned to their Jewish context but they go beyond the confines of Rabbinical Judaism. It is also true that the teachings of the Jesus of History have been accidentally preserved by Christians but they fundamentally contradict the Nicene Creed. It is true that the silent discipline and the required ‘mindfulness’ of Nazarene prayer is similar to Buddhist practice, but it sees the world as full of God rather than empty of reality and therefore infinitely precious.

So if you want to worship the map and if you feel the need to believe in the angels at the top of the mountain then I guess that the teachings of the Jesus History, and his example, are probably not for you.

The Narrow Gate

If, on the other hand, you want to climb the mountain for yourself but keep tripping over the stories told by ‘religions’ and their unhealthy preoccupation with the map; then, like me, you could well find that the words of the Jesus of History are the most profound spiritual teachings you have ever found.

The teachings of the Jesus of History include the ‘Two Ways’ and the ‘Narrow Gate’ doctrines. These teachings actually result in a form of Judaism that is, in many ways, much stricter than the ‘Rabbinical’ form but is free of its racial divisions. Where for many Jews the Mitzvah are cultural identifiers and totem objects, by focussing on and guarding the gate of intention they once again become tools that bring us closer to the ‘Mountain’ to which we are all connected.

Every life matters

The ‘Narrow Gate’ doctrine reveals all mental constructions of the self to be ‘idolatry’. Within the teachings of the Jesus of History, there is nowhere to hide. We cannot feel the satisfaction of being ‘saved’ through belief. Nor can we feel justified by an accident of birth and superior by virtue of our culture. We are, like Scrooge and Phil Connors, confronted by reality naked of the pretensions we clothe our self in and finally we learn that every moment and every life ‘matters’. In my opinion, this is why the teachings of the Jesus of History are so important and in a world torn apart by fundamentalist violence on every side we have never needed a way past ‘belief’ more.

If you enjoyed this Blog, then you might like: What did Jesus say and what did he actually mean?  and The Sayings of the Jesus of History

Research Paper: What did the Jesus of History Really Say – The use of forensic textual analysis based on philosophical coherence

Non-Fiction Book: The True Sayings of Jesus – The Jesus of History Vs. The Christ Myth

The True Sayings of Jesus

Synoptic Gospels

The Sayings of the Jesus of History

This is a re-post from an old website of a blog we produced back in 2015 about the sayings of the Jesus of History. We hope you enjoy.

Before I go any further, I just want to make this clear; I am not saying anyone is wrong. Everyone says that their idea of “God” is right and unless you agree, you must be wrong. I am not going to waste my time and yours telling you something you probably won’t even hear. This blog is concerned with and discusses the words of a man not a God.

Albert Mohler33,000 denominations of Christians in the world argue about who “Jesus” was and interpret his story differently. Some people have even resorted to making up their own Gospels and put ‘better’ words in the mouth of ‘Jesus’. If you are the sort of person that needs to believe in the Cosmic Christ or you need to believe in nothing, you might want to stop reading here; you won’t like where I am going.

Assuming you are still with me, let’s put our ‘idols’ to one side and just look at the facts logically. Let’s look for the original teaching of the historical Jesus using textual criticism and biblical archaeology. This is not to say that anyone else’s view is wrong, I am just saying that I am not looking for the same things as they are. I am not looking for another ‘idol’; I am not looking for a ‘God’.

I am just looking to understand, if I can, the mind of the man that said,

“The Kingdom of God is within you

if, indeed, he did?

Kingdom of GodLooking at the Gospels we notice that there are two kinds of exposition. There are a lot of ‘narrative stories’ and there are a series of ‘sayings’. Reading the Gospels horizontally, the narrative stories do not line up. They contradict each other and make factual errors in geography and culture. Once we look at the chronological sequence of the texts we have to accept that these stories were obviously written by people who did not know Palestine in the first century and did not understand Jewish culture. What does become glaringly obvious is that the narrative stories follow the evolution of ideas within the nascent Roman Church culminating in the Gospel of John. So rather than represent the unique and coherent vision of one man at one time, the ‘narrative stories’ are evidence of an evolution of a belief.

The sayings, however, do line up; the sayings are shared by the Synoptic Gospels and also with external texts. Revealing that they were copied from a common source. The source exhibits a particularly Hebrew world view and its syntax suggests an Aramaic and Hebrew origin. What it does offer is a coherent vision, as if from one man with a unique and profound philosophy.

What is most interesting is if we look at the ‘sayings’ from the point of view of meaning something dramatic happens. Look at the ‘sayings’ separate from the narrative stories, you will soon see that the philosophy expounded by the ‘sayings’ almost exactly contradicts the philosophy of the ‘narrative stories’.

The evolved Christian dogma of the ‘Narrative Stories’

  1. We are creations of God and are separate from ‘him’ and each other
  2. God’s love is conditional on our obedience and worship
  3. Inherent nature of life is depraved and evil
  4. The ‘elect’ through ‘belief’ find ‘salvation’ from a sinful world, while the rest of creation is damned
  5. Our actions are irrelevant
  6. Cosmic Christ as a sacrifice for sin

Original ‘Sayings’ dogma

  1. We are all ONE with God and each other
  2. God’s love is unconditional and eternal – we judge ourselves
  3. Inherent nature of life is divine
  4. Light of the Creator is constantly available to all – requiring only that we turn toward him
  5. Our actions are vital to the evolution of the world
  6. The most important thing about the Jesus of History was his sayings

Don’t take my word for it – research the texts for yourself.

It seems sad to me that many of the ‘made-up’ Gospels of recent centuries, like the Gospel of the Holy Twelve and the Aquarian Gospel, while trying to reform the Church, ultimately cling to so much that is antithetical to the original sayings, like concepts of sacrifice and atonement, that they manage to refute themselves.

Just as Progressive Christians of today are fighting so hard to change the Pauline Church into their own image while ignoring the obvious fact that the philosophy inculcated within the original ‘sayings’ already gives them the affirmation they instinctively know they deserve.

Many people can only think in terms of the Cosmic Christ and that is fine for them. I cannot visualise the eternal in terms of a Native American Indian and that does not make me any less.

I offer these observations, only to gently suggest that for some of us there might be an alternative to Atheism, the Roman Church or Calvinistic Hell. From my research, I have concluded that just the ‘sayings’ alone will take me a lifetime to come to terms with and try to understand. I feel no need to add more.

If you enjoyed this Blog, then you might like to read: What did Jesus say and what did he actually mean?

Research Paper: What did the Jesus of History Really Say – The use of forensic textual analysis based on philosophical coherence

The True Sayings of Jesus: The Jesus of History Vs. The Christ Myth

The True Sayings of Jesus


Ravi Zacharias

Life without consequences

In May 2020, the famous Christian apologist, Ravi Zacharias, sadly passed away after losing his battle with cancer. Almost immediately, and somewhat inevitably, a host of women came forward to accuse the allegedly energetic septuagenarian Ravi of sexual misconduct. Since then, RZIM, his organisation, have been doing everything they can to distance themselves from their founder, including his daughter. Social media has suffered a tsunami of Evangelical Christians denouncing Ravi and explaining how they never liked him anyway.

This somewhat undignified and sordid spectacle is as repetitive as Christian predictions for the end of the world. Every year the Evangelical community raises yet another champion in between tearing down their last. This somewhat pagan cycle of rebirth and death highlights the fact that Christianity has spent the last 2000 years studiously ignoring everything the Jesus of History actually said. Among which was his advice about judging.

“Be merciful even as your Father is merciful. Don’t judge and you won’t be judged. For the standard you use (for judging) will be the standard used against you.”

Luke 6:36 and Matthew 7:1

Before we examine this ‘Logia’, it is important to note two things:

  1. What the teaching implies
  2. What it doesn’t say

What the teaching implies:

The Jesus of History is inculcating the idea that God is inherently merciful; God is his datum for all that is good. He is also saying that we share that essence of God.

The implication of this ‘Logia’ is that we must try to emulate the very nature of God and judge only ourselves.

What the teaching does not say:

What it does not say is that we can do just as we please in life without consequences.

‘The standard you use (for judging) will be the standard used against you.’

How many parents castigate their children for bullying their siblings and yet go to work and bully their secretaries? We judge other people constantly and mostly life seems to give us a free pass, but does it? In reality our own hypocrisy eats at our soul until we are eventually destroyed by the darkness within our deepest self.

Jesus’ students would have been familiar with the Judean phrase:

“…but in righteousness you shall judge your neighbour.”

Leviticus 19:15

Judge Me

It is evident from the phrasing of this Saying that the Jesus of History is making a beat against the accepted interpretation of the Law of Moses. It is obvious that anyone who judges believes that they are judging with righteousness.

Again, the Jesus of History is taking an external teaching and taking it to an inner level. This internalising and logical extrapolation is a keynote of the True Sayings of the Jesus of History.

The Kabbalah – the modern manifestation of the Nazarene tradition – explains the concept clearly.

Rav Michael Berg teaches in his seminal book, ‘The Way’.

“Kabbalah implores us to judge ourselves and our motivations with great care. One of our obstacles on our spiritual path, however, is the tendency to become judgemental about other people…”

His father, Rav Phillip Berg taught (I paraphrase)

“The moment we judge another, the universe pulls the trigger on us; we are judged by the force of our own judgement.”

This is a very deep teaching and not one to be discarded lightly. The words that we speak and think against another person opens a door for darkness to enter our life. This saying only makes sense in context of the following:

“For God will bring every deed into judgement, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.”

Ecclesiastes 12:14

The Kabbalists teach us that the moment we form a judgement in our mind of another, we separate ourselves from the ‘Light of the Creator’. We effectively create the darkness that will consume us.

Only God can look downAs an example, take a devout Christian who sees homosexual behaviour as the work of the devil. He will see homosexuals everywhere. When his best friend hugs him, in the back of his mind he can’t help suspecting that his friend might be homosexual. His judgement becomes a cancer in his life and ruins his friendship with his boyhood companion.

If he had, on the other hand, taken the Jesus of History’s advice, he would recognise the fact that his understanding of the world and of other people is limited and leave other people’s lives to them and God. He would have done better by concentrating on setting the best example he could of a good family man and father.


Taken from the book – “The True Sayings of Jesus: the Jesus of History vs. the Christ Myth

Read the Blog – “The Self of Now

Watch the Video – “The Dangerous Myth of Forgiveness

The True Sayings of Jesus

Love Your Enemy

Love Your Enemy

Consider the following sayings attributed to Christ, three of which may well be from the common source. In order to confirm our suspicion let’s examine the text for philosophical coherence.

“I am telling you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

If someone slaps you on the cheek, offer your other cheek as well. If anyone grabs your coat, let him have your shirt as well. Give to anyone who asks, and if anyone takes away your belongings, do not ask to have them back. As you want people to treat you, do the same to them.”

If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?

Even Non-Jews love those who love them, do they not? And if you embrace only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Doesn’t everybody do that?”

If you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you?

Even wrongdoers lend to their kind because they expect to be repaid. Instead, love your enemies, do good and lend without expecting anything in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of God. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good; he sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

Luke 6:27 and Matthew 5:43

Obviously, we have three ‘phrases’ that have been extensively elaborated on by the gospel writers. It is unlikely that each complex definition could be remembered. We must be very sceptical of these obvious embellishments on the ‘Golden Rule’ as being somewhat facile and illogical.

It is also a mistake to assume that the phrase ‘Love your Enemy’ is advocating passivity – it is not. This teaching is a discussion of the practical application of the concept of the ‘Restriction of the sense of self’.

When you learn to notice the ‘you’ that exists beneath your ‘idea’ of you – deep within the silence inside of yourself. You will see that most of our lives are lived on autopilot. We only love people who love us back. We give to people, if there is something in it for ‘me’. Anger and hatred are AUTOMATIC reactions to external stimulus. The Jesus of History is teaching us how to live ON PURPOSE – in the real world.

I'm OffendedMost people live their lives like dogs mindlessly barking into the night. We react without thought. In the modern world, we put the responsibility for our reactions onto someone else and demand that they give us a ‘trigger warning’ before speaking. The teachings of the Jesus of History suggest that it is precisely our control of our instinctive reactions that leads us to spiritual growth.

Rav Michael Berg says, “Resisting our self-serving nature in everyday life is an external act that awakens our own inner potential, and that of everyone (around us) as well.”

The Kabbalists teach ‘Living on Purpose’ and it is all about restricting our reactive nature. I suggest that the Jesus of History was serious when he said, “Love your enemy” but as a symptom of an inner reality rather than a conscious show of piety.

As our ego is slowly crushed, we begin to naturally react in different ways. Loving our enemy is not something you should have to try to do, it is a product of the changes that occur through practice. Instead of reacting we find that we can empathise with where the other person is coming from, we can share their pain.

That empathy and control gives us a power. Sometimes life, in the real world, demands that we have to sometimes do terrible things. I don’t hate a dog with rabies but if I were attacked by one in the street I would have no choice but to kill it.

That doesn’t mean that I hate the dog, nor do I have to see the dog as my enemy. In fact, my empathy and love gives me the power to give the dog a kind death. That is also true of war. People who believe that loving your enemy only leads to defeat have probably never even fought off a cold. The most efficient soldiers are those who truly understand and respect their enemy.

Sun Tzu

“If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. But, if you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”

Sun Tzu – The Art of War



This Blog is taken from the book – “The True Sayings of Jesus: the Jesus of History vs. the Christ Myth

Watch the video on Forgiveness – “The Dangerous Myth of Forgiveness

The True Sayings of Jesus