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New Testament I - Remembering the Sayings and Deeds of Jesus Christ.


A List of Jesus' Aphorisms which the Jesus Seminar considered Authentic and the Qualities which distinguish Jesus' Sayings as Distinctive.


Jesus Aphorisms (70% Average Authentication and up)


Other Cheek-(Source: Q)-Matt 5:39; Luke 6:29a

Coat and Shirt-(Q)-Matt 5:40; Luke 6:29b

Congratulations, Poor-(Q, Thom)-Luke 6:20; Thom 54; Matt 5:3

Second Mile-(Q)-Matt 5:41

Love of Enemies- (Q)-Luke 6:27b; Matt 5:44b; Luke 6:32, 35a

 

Emperor and God-(Thom, Mark)-Thom 100:2b; Mark12:17b; Luke 20:25; Matt 20:2c

Give to beggars-(Q)- Matt 5:42a; Luke6:30a

Congratulations, Hungry!-(Q, Thom)-Luke 6:21a; Matt 5:6; Thom 69:2

Congratulations, Sad!-(Q)-Luke 6:21b; Matt 5:4

On Anxieties, don't fret-(Thom, Q)-Thom 36:1; Luke12:22-23; Matt 6:25

 

Foxes have dens-(Q, Thom)-Luke 9:58; Matt 8:20; Thom 86:1-2

Two Masters-(Q, Thom)-Luke 16:13a; Matt 6:24a; Thom 47:2; Luke 16:13b; Matt 6:24b

What goes in-(Mark, Thom)-Mark 7:14-15; Thom 14:5, Matt15:10-11 

Leave the dead-(Q)-Matt 8:22; Luke 9:59-60

Castration for Heaven-(M)-Matt 19:12a

 

The Distinctiveness Of Jesus' Aphorisms


The Jesus seminar has it right when they point out that the cynic philosophers were anti-social in comparison to Jesus' distinctive social vision. Let us remember that, in embarrassment, Diogenes threw his cup away when he saw a small boy drinking water from his cupped hands. Jesus' response might well have been not to throw away the cup, but to, at the very least, share his cup with the boy and encourage others to share their cups.

 

If one begs, don't just share, but "give to the one that begs from you."  Matt 5:42b Jesus' ministry was activist by its very nature. He is aware their must be interaction between all people, rich and poor, Jew and Gentile. Jesus' sayings speak about a world where people are in need of relief from both oppressive Roman and Jewish law. Each aphorism is a quick response to everyday questions.

 

For example, someone asked Jesus, "what if an enemy confronts me, what do I do? " His response is, " don't react violently against the one who is evil... when someone slaps you on the right cheek, turn the other as well ". Matt 5:39 and while your at it, " love you enemies ". Luke 6:27 When tested by his antagonists on the mater of  taxes, Jesus whimsically responded, "give to the Emperor what belongs to the Emperor, give to God what belongs to God."  Thom 100:2b The point is that Jesus considers their question a bit silly and they should learn the difference between the claims of the Emperor (taxes) and God ( Love ).

 

Jesus knows that those who are over taxed in this life will have the rewards that God will set out for them. So he congratulates them: "Congratulations you poor! Domain belongs to you. Congratulations, you hungry! You will have feast. Congratulations you who weep now. You will laugh."  Luke 6:20-21 

 

For the poor and oppressed, heaven will not be an austere place, but a great banquet hall with a huge feast laid out for all those who have earned their way into heaven. It will be a place of eternal joy. The cynics on the other hand, did not offer any sense of relief from this life for the almost ninety-nine percent of the population that so desperately needed it. They had no heaven, and only offered a severe existence for the sake of intellectual liberation.

 

Jesus offered the same people, a home in the kingdom of heaven and a God who loved them in their suffering. Jesus offered them a new way of life that promised a future where everyone was equal in God.


All of Jesus' aphorisms are concerned not with ethereal matters, but with real everyday concerns. He ministry was "in your face" and he pulled no punches. He turned things upside down and inside out. However, his words delivered to the people a sense of  purpose and hope that no cynic could ever offer.


The Similarities and Differences of the Demonax Cynic Aphorism & Jesus' Aphorism in the Gospel of Saint Mark

 


The Cynic Aphorism


When one of his students said: "Demonax, let us go to the Asclepium and pray for my son, " he replied: "you must think Asclepius very deaf, that he can't hear our prayers from where we are. " (Lucian, Demonax 70AD-170AD) The cynic addresses themselves to the conventional logic implicit in the situation and turns it up side down in order to interpolate their point of view into the heart of the conversation and thereby achieve, or at least appear to achieve,  the higher moral ground. In the above quotation, it might at first appear that Demonax was correcting an inadequate understanding of religious belief by suggesting that gods are omni present and could hear prayers everywhere.

 

However, it would be unusual for a cynic to be found recommending piety or to offer religious teachings. They were in actuality 'anti-religious '. A closer look shows that Demonax is in a bit of a predicament, since the request is for his companion's son and entails the acknowledgment of a religious institution. So how does Demonax respond to his students request? How does he recover the high moral ground if he is to go the Asclepium?


Let's break it down.

 

Suggestion:       Let us go                         to the Asclepium                                  and pray         

 

Rejoinder:        You Think                       where we are                                       he is deaf

 

In this quotation, three contrasts are made and aligned. The result is the insinuation, made by Demonax, that the action being purposed by the student is not supported by his personal beliefs. Demonax creates a moment of deliberate confusion, in the mind of the listener, which creates time for him to get out of his crisis of belief.

 

Demonax uses his aphorism, with skill, to wiggle out of his problem. He is saying that even if he goes to the Asclepium, it is the student who is inconsistent in his thinking. Thus, Demonax is still on the high moral  no matter what he does.

 

Jesus' Aphorism


When asked why he ate with tax collectors and sinners, Jesus replied, "Those who are well have no need for a physician, but those who are ill." (Saint Mark 2:17 ) The pronouncement story has the structure of a cynic chreia and uses the same logic. The setting has been expanded in order to identify the objectors as scribes of the Pharisees and that the table fellowship are with tax collectors and sinners.

 

To the response has been added the pronouncement about Jesus' coming to call on sinners, and not the righteous, which is an obvious theological explanation. If the embellishments are deleted, the chreia reads as follows: When asked why he ate with tax collectors and sinners, Jesus replied, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are ill." What did Jesus mean in his response to the scribes of the Pharisees?


Let's break down Jesus' aphorism in the same manner as we did in the cynic aphorism. 

 

Objection:      For the Righteous         to eat with                       sinners ( defiled )

 

Response:       For  the Physician         to treat                            the sick ( does not defile )

 

The response counters an assumption that underlies the objection. The category that links the two statements are the uncleanness of the sinners and the sickly. The Jewish Law underlies the objection. However, Jesus' response shifts the order from the social to the natural. Like the sick, the sinners are unclean and are in need of treatment.

 

This confuses the scribes because it appears that Jesus agrees with their objections, but the shift away from the social rejection of sinners lets Jesus of the hook. Jesus shows that the objectors are inconsistent in their thinking when using the criteria of cleanliness.

How can they say that one group defiles and the other group does not, when clearly both groups are unclean and as such, are in need of help?

 

The objectors appear to have no compassion for sinners who are in need of a physician that can heal them spiritually. This aphorism puts Jesus on a high moral ground. The physician is an image that was a favorite character amongst the cynics and Jesus, who became familiar with the cynic cheria style, incorporated it into his own way expressing thoughts and ideas.

 

Cynic influence in the pronouncement stories is everywhere. Some example of cynic influence are: sayings about Jesus' family (Mark 3:33), the image of dogs and crumbs

(Mark 7:28) and the evasion of the well-wishers in Mark 1:38, to name a few. The pronouncement stories in the Gospel of Mark are constructed on the model of cynic chreia and cynic themes.

 

The Names of the Parables of Jesus

considered Authentic by the Jesus Seminar.


The Parable Of The Good Samaritan Interpreted Allegorically

&

How Modern Scholars Would Interpret This Parable In A Non-Allegorical Manner.



Jesus Parables That Have 70% Or Higher Authenticity By The Jesus Seminar.


Leaven-(Q, Thom)-Luke 13:20-21; Matt 13:13; Thom 96:1-2. The Samaritan-(L)-Luke 10:30-35. Mustard Seed-(Thom, Mark, Q)-Thom 20:2-4; Mark 4:30-32; Luke 13: 18-19; Matt 13:31-32.Lost Coin-(L)-Luke 15:8-9.

 

Treasure-(M, Thom)-Matt 13:44; Thom 109:1-3. Lost Sheep-(Q, Thom)-Luke 15:4-6; Matt 18:12-13; Thom 107:1-3. Corrupt Judge-(L)-Luke 18:2-5. Prodical Son-(L)-Luke 15:11-32


Allegorical Interpretation


Let us look at Saint Augustine's (354 AD- 430 AD) allegorical interpretation of the Good Samaritan. According to Augustine, the traveler in the story is Adam, whose fall from Jerusalem, the heavenly city, down to Jericho, is a sign of mortality. The Priest and the Levite represent the ministry of the Old Testament which should provide for salvation, but is not sufficient. The Samaritan is Jesus, who gives aid to Adam and then places him in the hands of the Apostle Paul (the innkeeper). Paul keeps the traveler at the inn until the resurrection.

 

Allegorically speaking, the Christian had no problem wrapping their mind around a parable about Jesus, which encompassed the whole of divine history. In the minds eye of a Christian, an allegory can clearly show the movement from Adam through Christ and Paul to the Eschaton, because the absolute truth about Jesus was beyond all temporal restrictions.


Modern Non-Allegorical Interpretation


The problem with a parable being read as allegory is that it is read as an epic which allows the imagination to run through it and that may not have been the original intent of the author. As a way of countering the many flights of fantasy in parables, a critical approach to the matter arrived in the 19th century, when German scholar and biblical exegete Adolf Julicher (1857-1938) took a closer look at interpreting parables.


Julicher argued that parables were not allegories and should not be read as allegories. To him, parables were teaching tools used to depict moral principles. For example, the Good Samaritan was a story of compassion which points out that even a Samaritan, looked down on by Jews, could be approved as a neighbour, so long as they acted compassionately.

Julicher found that this manner of teaching agreed with the Greek traditions of Parabole (Comparisons) which were meant to be understood rhetorically to make a single point.

 

In 1935, Welsh New Testament scholar and influential Protestant theologian, C.H. Dodd (1884-1973) proposed a thesis that established the future direction of parable studies. Accepting Julicher's distinction between parable and allegory, he emphasized rhetoric and instruction. Dodd defined a parable as a metaphor or simile derived from nature and/or common life, that would surprise the listener with its vividness and/or strangeness leaving in their mind some doubt about its precise application in order to tease the person into an active thought.


German Lutheran theologian, Joachim Jeremias (1900-1979) saw the parables as example stories of Jesus' overall teachings. For instance, he saw the Good Samaritan as an example of how no one is beyond the reach of Charity, a theme that belonged to Jesus' teaching of discipleship.

 

In the latter part of the 20th century, parable studies continues with the 'New Hermeneutic' and the 'American School' thereby continuing the analysis of  Jesus' words and teachings. These schools of thought are creating new paradigms that lead away from allegory and toward a single statement or concern in the parable.


A good example of the modern approach to interpreting the parable is by a former Roman Catholic Priest, New Testament Scholar and prominent Jesus Seminar participant John Dominic Crossan (1934- ). His theory is that a parable is meant to subvert the status quo; like on the day a Samaritan came to the aid of a stranger because a Priest passed by.

 

How would you Characterize the Social Situation of the Q Community?


Life in Galilee


In many ways, Galilee was a multi-cultural region during the first century. For ages, it had been a land controlled by countless overlords, the latest being the Romans. It was no doubt that other peoples were interested in possessing Galilee. The land was prized for its inland resorts and produce. It was located in the middle of the Mediterranean trade routes. Galileans were part of the commercial setting and as such were able to reach beyond their small communities into the larger Greco-Roman world.

 

In general, Galileans were worldly wise and for generations understood and recognized the plurality that existed around them; and they were not shy in choosing to take sides on foreign matters, as long as it was in the interest of Galilee. As long as the interest of Galilee was taken care of, it really didn't matter if Antioch or Jerusalem was their capital.

 

Galileans were also exposed to the centers of Education. A well known Cynic poet of the first century, Meleager, was born and raised in Gadara, east of Galilee and educated in Tyre to the west in Phoenicia. Those itinerant preachers in Galilee lived in this world and it is quite possible that some of their leaders were given at least some form of a Greco-Roman education. To be sure they didn't live in a vacuum.

 

The Qumran (Q) Community and Judaism


There were two groups of Jewish communities that resided in Galilee. The first group were the Galilean Jews, who lived for generations in the region and had the same temperament and attitude as all Galileans. The second group were the Judean Jews who came from the south and were sympathetic to Jerusalem and the Temple System. They were more resistant to the Roman occupation and religious reformation. It was the Judean Jews who were most antagonistic toward the Jesus communities. (QS 34 "You Pharisees")


In contrast to one another, while the Judeans fought fiercely against the Romans and other Rebellious bands in Judea, the Galileans were more pragmatic and preferred peace and prosperity over war and poverty. Their respective social situations mirrored their beliefs. For example, the Qumran or Q community, primarily an ascetic sect of Judean Jews, inhabiting the Judean Desert between 150 B.C. and 68 AD was less interested in apocalyptic and eschatological prophesy and more interested in exhorting wisdom in aphoristic forms.


The Qumran community saw Jesus as a Sage, but as opposition to Jesus grew stronger they became more eschatological. The character of the Q community had changed when confronted or when it confronted the Pharisaic leaders and conservative Jews. (QS 18 "This Generation") They criticized the excessive misuse of traditional Jewish beliefs under the Law.


The Qumran community were in many ways more critical than Cynic wisdom. Norms and values were attacked and their brand of wisdom could be considered subversive. (QS 12 "On Hypocrisy") They clearly proclaimed, "Now Jesus would return, to both judge and condemn these antagonistic outsiders." (QS 62 "Judging Israel") The Q community eventually would be led by spirit-filled eschatological prophets, who constantly spoke of a soon to return Jesus. However, the larger Jewish community would also be invited to the Heavenly banquet in the near future.

 

Indeed, the Q community were early Christians who, like Jesus, became itinerant missionaries, leaving home, families and security to preach the Kingdom of God and teach the wisdom of Jesus and perform miracles in the Galilean village, taking with them only the necessities of life. Their inclusive concerns were for the poor and marginalized.


The Q prophets spoke some sayings called 'Jesus Sayings'. Many of these sayings are personal challenges to ancient conventional wisdom. Thus, the Q or "Quelle" (German for "Source") sayings are a collection of sayings that has been brought down to us from this, essentially, 'Judean Jesus Movement', and it is through the Q community, that twenty centuries latter, Jesus is able to speaks to us as a finite human being who was not yet, "the Christ".

 

Is the Gospel of Thomas a Gnostic Text?


Gnosticism was an influence on both the traditional and emerging religious movements of the first century. It imbedded itself within the framework of both Judaism and Christianity as they attempted to define and re-define themselves in a turbulent time. The Gospel of Thomas, considered to have been written during the second century, also reflects a Gnostic influence, and it appears, if read through Gnostic eyes, one could come to the conclusion that Thomas is essentially a Gnostic text. The Jesus Seminar points out five areas that have the markings of Gnostic influence in Thomas. Let's look at them.

 

Jesus speaks as the Redeemer that comes from God

" As for you, then, be on guard against the world." {Thomas 21:6}

 

For the Gnostics, the world is viewed as a threat because it is a place of evil and it has the potential to lull the true people of God into a deep sense of apathy, thereby causing them to forget their Heavenly home. In the Gnostic tradition, the people are reminded of their forgetfulness and the Redeemer tells them that in order to return to God, they are in need of enlightenment and true knowledge.  

 

Jesus Condemns The World

" If you do not fast from the world, you will not find the (Fathers) domain. {Thomas 27:1} &

" Let one who has found the world, and has become wealthy, renounce the world. " {Thomas 110}

 

As the Redeemer, Jesus came into existence as an enemy of the physical world and all those who pay homage to anything but God. Jesus tells everyone to remove themselves from the goings on of everyday life. It is only in absolute devotion to God and total denunciation of the world, does one have a chance to acquire a place in Heaven. No matter how wealthy one is, the command is crystal clear, they are to renounce it all for the next world.

 

Jesus reminds people of their Origins


" Congratulations to those who are alone and chosen, for you will find ( Fathers ) domain. For you have come from it, and you will return their again."  {Thomas 49}

 

Typical of Gnosticism is the idea that  people had originally come from the Eternal goodness of God and  by accepting the message of the Redeemer, and thereby being one of the Chosen, they would return to a place where their loneliness would be no more.

 

Jesus shows the Gnostic how to Escape from this World 

 

"If they say to you, ' Where have you come from?' say to them, ' We have come from the light, from a place where the light came into being by itself, established {itself}, and appeared in their image.' If they say to you, ' Is it you? ' say, 'We are its children, and we are the chosen of the living Father. ' If they ask you, ' What is the evidence of your Father in you? ' say to them, ''It is motion and rest." {Thomas 51}

 

This passage is understood by Gnostics as a kind of  "knowing the Password" for entrance into the domain. Jesus is telling the person how to respond to each question and one can sense the tension as the last question is asked. The password is "motion and rest".


Jesus Also speaks Of His return To The place that He came from

 

"Often you have desired to hear these sayings that I am speaking to you,

and you have no one else from whom to hear them.

There will be days when you will seek me and you will not find me." {Thomas 38}

 

A Gnostic understanding of this passage is that Jesus, as Redeemer, is telling the Chosen that His Mission to spread the 'gnosis' will eventually come to an end and that no matter how much they may seek Him out, for more Enlightenment, He will have already returned home to His Heavenly Domain.

 

Is Thomas a Gnostic Text?


All of these sayings shows a definite Gnostic flavour in Thomas' writing. However, the basic concept of Thomas can also be found in the Gospel of Saint John and in the writings of Saint Paul. So, it is difficult to say that Thomas as a whole is Gnostic. That would be like viewing Saints' John and Paul as completely Gnostic.

 

Even though it exhibits some signs of Gnostic influence, and all religions of the period experienced this, there are parts of Thomas that are not Gnostic at all. Thomas has no Doctrine of Creation and mentions no Creator 'evil god'. Thomas seems more influenced by orthodox Judaism because most of his sayings and parables are found in the earliest versions of the Canonical Gospels.

 

The basis of Thomas is in the Jewish wisdom tradition and is heavily influenced by the writings of psalms and proverbs. Thomas is a wisdom gospel made up of the teachings of  the sage, Jesus of Nazareth. A Sage that the Thomists and the Q community remembered so well, but as time moved on, Gnostic speculation blended into the body of work as a natural bi-product of a maturing theological corpus.

 

How do the Miracles of Jesus function in the Social History of the Jesus Movements?


The Miracle Chains in Saint Mark


Stilling the storm               Walking on sea

                                        (4:35-41)                                  (6:45-51)       

 

Gerasene demoniac                Blind, Bethsaida

                                         (5:1-20)                                    (8:22-26)

 

Jarius' Daughter                  Syrphoenician

                                          (5:21-43)                                 (7:24b-30)


Woman with hemorrhage          Deaf-Mute

                                           (5:25-34)                                 (7:32-37)

                                      

Feeding of 5000                Feeding of 4000

                                    (6:34-44)                                 (8:1-10)         


The Miracle Chains, (Saint Mark 4:35-6:44 and Saint Mark 6:45-8:10) according to the American author and scholar Burton Mack (1931-2022), reflect the thinking of a particular Jesus Movement known as the 'Congregation of Israel'. To Mack, the Miracles speak about the people of the Jesus Movement and there unlikely gathering as a new Congregation. The motifs of testing, hesitation, courage and faith are present in the stories. The individuals who became part of the new Faith Community were the previously mentioned Gerasene, a Syrophoenician, an official, women, children, the blind, lame, deaf and dumb. These people were truly a melting pot of the socially marginalized.


For the Jewish establishment, any person that was considered unclean would be in need of purification or healing before re-entering the congregation. But, the Congregation of Israel were considered even beyond any form of rehabilitation. That is why they were chosen as prime examples of an unthinkable part of the social arrangement. Jesus heals and cleans them with no pre-conditions to their social status.

 

The Miracle events, for the Congregation, correlates with the Exodus stories, from the crossing of the sea to the feeding in the dessert. They place the Miracle stories in a wilderness setting. The Feeding of the Multitude, taking place away from home on the other side of the sea, represents the social boundaries that have been crossed. (Saint Mark 8:2-3, 6:35; Saint John 6:1-3)


Jesus is the Founder and Leader of this New Movement and could be compared to Moses (as leader) and Elijah (as restorer). However, Jesus is not claiming the office of Moses, because he is not the "New Moses". Rather, Jesus is the Founder of a New Society and the Miracles are the Stories of its beginnings. Because of its Galilean origin, the Miracle Stories do not suggest even a hint of hostility toward the "old Israel".

 

Indeed, the ideas of the New Congregation is not a polemic in regards to orthodox Judaism, but a method of displaying a sense of Galilean autonomy in the interpretation of the Law, Moses and Elijah. For example, the argument about ritual purity is not a matter of showing the conflict between Jesus' authority and the religious establishment, but is a matter of self-definition.

 

In light of the rejection of Jesus by the "old congregation", the Congregation of Israel felt that it was incumbent upon them to explain who and what they were and how they could bring their sage alive to those who never met him. Since they would predominantly speak to a Jewish audience, they would talk about the Miracles of their Jewish Leader, Jesus. The Miracles would reflect back on the Social History of Israel, of the Exodus, Moses and Elijah, but with a twist. For example, the stilling of the storm and the Walking on the Sea spoke of individual testing and courage, and the Feeding of the Multitude spoke of Unity.

 

For  the Congregation of Israel, this was the Sign of God's continual involvement with the People of Israel and a clear message that all People were to be part of the New Congregation. All people, including the deaf, the blind, the lame, as well as the women and children represent the Marginalized, who along with the Unmarginalized, accepted the Good News of Salvation of Jesus, who by His Miracles began this New Congregation.

 

Do you think Jesus was a "Faith Healer"?



American Author and Religious Studies Professor Stevan Davies (1948-) in his 1995 article " Whom Jesus healed and how " aptly describes a faith healer as a person whom others believe can heal their problems, and by their faith, actually does heal them, or at the very least reduces their suffering, so as to convince them that either the healing has occurred or the healing process was due to the healers intervention. Davies points out that there is no evidence that Jesus ever used potions or engaged in any Jewish rituals of healing that was common in antiquity. There is also no evidence that Jesus was a Shaman.

 

Who did Jesus Heal?


John Dominic Crossan's book, " Jesus, A Revolutionary Biography" lays out a convincing separation of meaning between the terms disease and illness. If we look back at the distinction between illness and disease, we see that a disease can be described as a physical malady and illness refers to a larger social and psychological disfunction. Crossan uses an appropriate example of the disease known as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (or AIDS) when he speaks of, prior to curing the disease, healing the illness by refusing to ostracize those who have it, by empathizing with their suffering with both respect and love. Crossan also points to the fact that Jesus focused on the social and psychological stress experienced by people in their everyday lives. In essence, he focused on their illness.


According to Crossan, there are some people who develop disorders that are psychosomatic in nature and is known as "Conversion disorder". Conversion disorders occur when a person has a cause to feel guilty about something and refuses to accept the guilt. By not accepting the responsibility of guilt, the person then interiorizes it, only to have it manifest itself in the form of self-punishment, such as blindness, paralysis, and dermatitis, to name a few. The loss of physical functioning suggests a physical problem, but according to psychiatric medicine, the conversion disorder is an expression of a psychological conflict or need.

 

A related psychosomatic illness is called "Somatization disorder", which is the same as Conversion disorder, but lasts for a longer duration. The voiceless, the deaf, the blind, the paralyzed, the excessive menstrual bleeders and in some cases the lepers, can experience an outward sign of an inner rage. It was considered the Role of the Faith Healer to help them cope with their repressed guilt, anxiety and stress and to cure them of there personal emotional and physical disorder.

How did Jesus Heal?


Dr. Davies gives a convincing explanation of how Jesus is taken with the Spirit of God by correlating it with a Pentecostal experience. Jesus, as a Faith Healer and Psychotherapist, was able to convince the people that His ability, received in baptism from John the Baptist, to forgive sins, as God, could affect their illness and thus cure them.

 

It at that moment that Jesus knows He was a force for God, and, in essence, is God. In His Day, what Jesus experienced could have been considered either a Demon possession or a Divine possession. When Jesus realizes that He was someone other than Himself, He concludes that He is a Prophet of God. In which case, He joins the dozen or so other prophets of His day.

 

However, Jesus developed his own style of Prophesy in which the forgiveness of sins was a major component. He discovered that He could intervene in the 'conversion disorder' with the Forgiveness of Sins, thereby eradicating the individuals problem. Recognized by the Peasant Class, Jesus was able to bring them into a mind set that was the Kingdom of God. Through the Spirit of God, He was able to authenticate His alter ego as 'the God incarnate' who heals all ills, because, " Who can heal but God?"

 

Conclusion


So, it seems to me that Jesus healed people who suffered from 'Conversion disorder'. The inward repressed guilt and rage manifested itself as a physical disorder, which was perceived as a sign of personal sin on the part of both those afflicted and society in general.

Jesus, after his own Spiritual Awakening was able to maintain that unique experience, forgive the  personal sins of the people He encountered, as well as heal their underlying 'Conversion disorder'; and thereby alleviate their psycho-social illness.

 

This is what separated Jesus from the other prophets. He forgave the Sins that kept people from enjoying an emotionally healthy life, which accordingly effected the physical well-being of the person. As the word spread about Jesus, I'm sure that Faith in Him grew as He revealed himself in God's Spirit, His Spirit. Indeed, Jesus was a Faith Healer and he could heal the people because of their faith.


End.


Originally entitled Remembering the Sayings and Deeds of Jesus - Journal Two submitted to the Rev. William Cantelon as a Master of Theological Studies course requirement 505 E - Introduction to Christian Scriptures   St. Stephen's Theological College, University of Alberta

Published on February 6th, 1997

{Revised February 28th, 2024}


© Dr. Charles Warner 2024

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