What did the Jesus of History Really Say: The use of forensic textual analysis based on philosophical coherence
It is a fact that the words attributed to the Christ character of the New Testament are the creation of at least five individuals. It is evident that each of the four gospel writers felt free to create their own narrative speech for their own version of the Christ character in order to further the cultic needs of the evolving Christian Church.
In reality, over the space of two thousand years, those words have been amended and expanded by many copyist and editors. To further complicate this already confusing situation, it is also evident that a core of uniquely Hebrew sayings were copied by the gospel writers, almost word for word, into their texts in order to bring their stories to life.
This paper seeks to provide anyone, with an interest in historical reality, a way to differentiate between the actual sayings of the Jesus of History and the biographical narratives of the Greco-Roman writers of the gospels.
By assuming that the Jesus of History was a real person and applying the comprehension skills already available to us, this paper demonstrates that it is possible to differentiate the words of one man, as an expression of one mind, whose words reflect the coherence and internal logic of that individual. It is proposed that by understanding the ‘matrix of reality’ of the Jesus of History it is possible to confidently identify those sayings spoken by him.
© 2020 M. A. Sebastian. All rights reserved.
The question, “What is the nature of evil”, is rarely asked in times of prosperity and political stability. It is no surprise therefore that since the end of the Second World War the academic elite have dismissed the concept of evil as a figment of the medieval imagination.
Until now, in 2020, as we see western civilisation implode in the face of the tyranny of the One-World Government questions about the nature of evil have suddenly taken on a new relevance.
Christianity looks at the phenomena of human suffering through a distinctly Greco-Roman philosophical paradigm and understands ‘Evil’ to be a state, not an action. While Rabbinical Judaism understands ‘Evil’ to be caused by human disobedience of the diktats made by their anthropomorphic god. Neither of these explanations have proved satisfying or very useful in the past.
Using forensic textual analysis, based on philosophical coherence, this paper examines those sayings that we can reliably attribute to the Jesus of History. We recreate the Nazarene doctrine of the Narrow Gate and show how it explains the nature of evil, how evil is created and how to avoid it.
Using practical examples from the modern world, we allow the Jesus of History to shed light on the phenomena of human suffering in the 21st century.