Tuesday, August 30, 2011

ORIGINS OF CHRISTIANITY #3 ...december 22,2010(edited august 30, 2011)..response to Ed Fudge

Hi Edward. I'm just returning home from all night working at the hospital. Edward, do you see the point of view that all of the items you list are equally well explained by the creative writers, sitting with their O.T. scripture, 'seeing'  and reading Jesus into these O.T. pieces and writing them into his  life to create the living archetypal story?  This was not deceptive writing but creative writing born of the extreme stress of loss and hopelessness;  loss of the Jewish temple, holy city and religious institutions at the hands of the Romans and loss by the Hebrew  Christians of the murder of the one they had come to have such love and high hopes for, Jesus of Nazareth.

Roman Depiction of the looting of the Jerusalem Temple of 70 CE.

 In such tumultuous times creative people unknowingly bring forth the archetypes of the deeper collective archetypes. These writers did not  know they were being so inspired. They were simply struggling to make sense out of the tragedy their people were passing through. Their work such as  the canonical gospels( many others  were destroyed or lost) became the creative and archetypal foundation of the Christian movement; first as separate autonomous groups with various interpretations and  gospels of Jesus, and later as a consolidating religious/institutional world-wide power. 
Your first paragraph and continuing is a pantheon of powerful metaphorical, mythological descriptions of  the life and works of the  more general archetypal hero that were applied to Jesus decades after his death. These were not written to chronicle the literal details of the human life drawing them forward. This is the language of Spirit. This is religion coming into being. And a wondrous religious it did become, not only lifting its founders out of despair and becoming a world wide movement of the like there has never been.  We can love and appreciate that human life who did undoubtedly choose to die for his love of downcast people who had been oppressed by Rome and by the colluding religious Hebrew leaders. We can rightfully and naturally be drawn to worship the Sacred  trans-personal source of these  archetypal descriptions that then quickly grew up around that life. 
I'm convinced that nothing of the Spirit is lost in  this way of viewing this same Biblical material  in its own natural, not supernatural, way of becoming the support structure of a new religion. Even with this approach only the word 'miracle' is fitting  to describe this amazing process.  But it was all part of a natural unfolding of  the expressions from the Collective Unconscious  bringing in a whole new configuration of archetypal energy  to 'change the world.' I suspect even more that very much can be gained. We can take this view and not have to have our post-modern psyche split into those opposites that rob one of  more authentic and honest living. Life that is a balance of both  ones outer material , informed by science, life and rich inner life fed by the same  archetypal source that has nurtured life and consciousness from the mists of antiquity.  This kind of information about the N.T. scripture and how it originated , instead of keeping separated, unites 'natural and supernatural', 'flesh and spirit', 'past and present', 'the human Jesus and the archetypal Christ', 'Human and God', 'conscious and unconscious'  to name a few.  It makes it very possible and reasonable that we are now a part of  some kind of similar national and global  process of new archetypal energies reconfiguring the world as it last  did 2000 years ago. Only this time we can be far more conscious of what is happening and even more enlivened, worshipful, and astounded.   This to me is truly 'good news', truly a freeing  and challenging gospel for our times. 
Blessings, Jim


Edward Fudge

Jesus "fulfilled" the Prophets' inspired predictions, but he also filled full the highest prophetic dreams, ideals, aspirations and hopes. For example, the virgin Mary conceives a son (Isa. 7:14 in Greek), who is born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2-5). Jesus is born to be the consolation of Israel and a light to the nations (Isa. 42:6). The infant Jesus escapes from Herod, then returns from Egypt (Hosea 11:1). Bethlehem's infants are slaughtered amidst great weeping (Jer. 31:15). Thirty years later, John announces in the wilderness the coming of the Christ (Isa. 40:3-6). At Jesus' baptism, the heavens are torn open as God prepares to save his people (Isa. 54:1). The Spirit descends on Jesus, anoints him as the Messiah/Christ and commissions him for his mission (Isa. 61:1-2).
Jesus takes God's light to Galilee by the Sea (Isa. 9:1-2). He heals the sick -- bearing our sicknesses and diseases (Isa. 53:4). Jesus' teaching divides families (Micah 7:6), although his ministry is quiet and restorative in intent (Isa. 42:1-4). He teaches in parables to hide the truth from the insincere (Isa. 6:9-10). Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a lowly donkey (Zech. 9:9). There he cleanses God's Temple in holy indignation (Isa. 56:7; Jer. 7:11), chastens the religious establishment with his parable of the vineyard (Isa. 5:1ff) and predicts Jerusalem's destruction involving an Abomination of Desolation (Dan. 11:31).
The mob captures Jesus and his disciples scatter (Zech. 13:7). Judas returns the 30 silver pieces, which buy a potter's field to bury indigents (Zech. 11:12). Jesus is beaten and bruised, his head pierced with a crown of thorns, then crucified, and after his death, his side pierced with a spear (Zech. 12:10). But his piercing and wounds are for the salvation of his people (Isa. 53). He is buried for three days and nights (Jonah 1:17) then wondrously raised back to life. He ascends to heaven and receives kingship at the right hand of God (Dan. 7).
Weeks later, at the Feast of Pentecost, God pours out the Holy Spirit from heaven for all Jesus' followers and announces salvation and the commencement of the Last Days (Joel 2:28-32). One day Jesus will return in person and in power to bring about the Restoration of all things. This will include the conversion of Israel (Ezek. 37:24-28), the death of Death (Isa.25:7-9), the peaceable kingdom in new heavens and new earth (Isa.11:5-9), the universal knowledge of God (Mal. 1:11), and many more blessings foretold by the prophets.

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