The figure of Jesus seen as the “cut-off member” of the Jewish “body”

I ask you to be a bit patient as I go about helping you to see what appears to be an esoteric meaning contained in one of Jesus’s parables—a meaning which, if I am correct in believing that it was probably intended by the authors of the Gospels (whether consciously or unconsciously), would be quite remarkable.  I recommend that the first time you read the Bible passages quoted below, that you only read the text in red, and skip the bracketed material.  I also recommend that you not refer to the endnotes the first time you read the post.

The particular parable I have in mind can be found in Matthew 5:29-30, in which Jesus says,

And if your right eye causes you to be offended [or to stumble, or to offend, or to become indignant, or to be led into temptation, or to get stuck, or to get tripped up; more literally, to be ensnared: skandalizō], pluck it out [or pull it out, or lift it out, or take it out, or rescue it: ex-aireō][1] and cast [or send: ballō] (it) away from [apo] you.  For it is profitable [or advantageous: sympherō] for you that [hina] one [hen] of your members [melos] should perish [or be ruined, or be destroyed: apollymi, a word that appears to be derived from apo-lyō, which can mean “to cut loose, to detach, to cut off, to cut away”], and (the) whole [holos] (of) your body [sōma] not be cast [or sent: ballō] into Gehenna [or hell: geenna].[2]  And if your right hand[3] causes you to be offended [or to stumble: skandalizō], cut it off [ek-koptō] and cast [or send: ballō] (it) away from [apo] you.[4]  For it is profitable [sympherō] for you that [hina] one [hen] of your members [melos] should perish [apollymi], and (the) whole [holos] (of) your body [sōma] not go away [ap-erchomai] into Gehenna [or hell: geenna].[5]

Compare the quoted passage to John 11:47-53, which says,

So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered together [syn-agō] the Council [or Sanhedrin: synedrion] and said, “What do we do (now)?  For this man does many signs.  If we let him go on in this way, everyone will believe [or be persuaded: pisteuō] unto him, and the Romans will come and will take away [or destroy: airō] from us both the (holy) place and the nation [or people: ethnos].”  But one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, “You understand nothing at all.  Nor are you considering that it is profitable [sympherō] for us that [hina] one [heis] man [anthrōpos] should perish [or die: apothnéskō] for the sake of the people [laos, not ethnos], and (the) whole [holos] (of) the nation [ethnos, not laos] not be destroyed [or perish, or be ruined, or be lost: apollymi].”  And he said this not of his own accord [more literally, “from himself”], but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus was going to die [apothnéskō] for the sake of the nation [ethnos]—and not for the sake of the nation [ethnos] alone, but also so that he might gather together [syn-agō] into one the children of God who had been scattered [dia-skorpizō].[6]  So from that day (on) they made plans [or purposed: bouleuō] to put him to death [apothnéskō].

In other words:  One “member” of the “body” of the people would be made to “perish” in order to benefit the “whole.”

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Why did Jesus lie?

John 11:11-14 says,

(Jesus) said to (his disciples), “Our friend Lazarus is taking his rest [or, ‘has fallen asleep’: koimaō], but I go (to him) that I might awaken him [or, ‘bring him out of sleep’: ex-ypnizō, derived from hypnizō, which means ‘to put to sleep’ and is in turn derived from the word hypnos, meaning ‘sleep’].”  Therefore his disciples said to him, “Lord, if [ei] he is taking his rest [or, ‘has fallen asleep’: koimaō] [in other words, “If what you are telling us is in fact true”], he will be kept safe [or made safe, or saved, or rescued, or preserved: sōzō, related to the Greek word sōtér, meaning ‘savior’].”[1]  Now Jesus had spoken [ereō] about his death [thanatos], but it seemed [or appeared: dokeō, related to the word doxa, which can mean either “opinion” or “glory”][2] to them that he was speaking [or “meaning”: legō] about the rest [koimésis, derived from the word koimaō] of sleep [hypnos].  So then Jesus told them plainly [or openly, or forthrightly: parrésia], “Lazarus has died [apo-thnéskō, related to the word thanatos, meaning ‘death’].”

Carefully observe the Greek words being used, and notice how Jesus’s disciples initially took everything that he said at face value.[3]  The disciples’ supposedly incorrect “interpretation” of what Jesus said was essentially nothing other than a straightforward restatement of what Jesus had himself told them.  In other words, what Jesus “really meant” was something other than what he actually said.[4]

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What would you have done?

What would you have done if—after having already given up on all esoteric (i.e., traditional) religions for good because of the “obscurity” of the meanings of their writings—you happened to remember that the esotericist Christians’ idea of paradise was a place where everything would finally be “clear, clear, clear, clear, clear”?

And what if—after having already come to the conclusion that all “prophets” (i.e., esotericists) are necessarily liars—you happened to notice that one of the ancient Jewish prophets (namely Zechariah, in 13:2-4) envisioned the “day of the Lord” as ushering in an age when there would be no more “prophesying”—and, moreover, that the reason for this would be that a “prophet” was actually someone who “spoke lies” and “deceived” people?

That’s the position in which I found myself at one point.  If you found yourself in that same position, would those “ironic coincidences” have sparked your curiosity at all?

Might they have raised the possibility in your mind that perhaps there was some unconscious “hidden message” contained in the Bible that the authors were passing along to the reader—even, to a large extent, in spite of themselves?

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The Crucifixion understood as equivalent to the fall of Babel/Babylon; both events being understood to signify the end of religious esotericism (i.e., cryptic “prophecy”)

At one point in Romans 3:1-8 (which I plan to discuss in the near future), Paul quotes Psalm 51:4.  A comparison of the Hebrew Masoretic and Greek Septuagint versions of Psalm 51:4 suggests that the “overcoming, prevailing, conquering, being victorious” (Greek nikaō) spoken of in Romans 3:4 was understood by the translators of the Septuagint to be equivalent to “being made pure, being made clean, being made clear” (Hebrew zakah).  This should be kept in mind when considering the use of the Greek word nikaō in passages such as Revelation 21:6-7 (especially when that passage is read in conjunction with Revelation 22:1).

Such an equivalence between the idea of “overcoming” or “prevailing,” and “being made pure” or “being made clear,” would also tend to reinforce the hypothesis that I offered in a previous post that the purified “spirit of Jesus” may have been regarded by the authors of the New Testament as something that would ultimately come to replace the “unclean spirit” or “impure spirit.”  This would indicate that the figure of “Jesus”—which I believe should be regarded as an archetype representing all of the schizophrenic “prophets” at once—was understood to “prevail” (i.e., “be made clean, be made clear, be made pure”) at the symbolic moment of his “death” on the Cross.  And I think that it was Jesus’s speech or language that was, more than anything, understood by the authors of the New Testament to have been made “pure” or “clean” or “clear” at that symbolic moment—that is, from the perspective of those listening to him—when he finally gave the “great shout” or “loud cry” that he had been holding back prior to that.  (Cf. Matthew 10:27.)

I think the belief of the authors of the New Testament was that non-schizophrenics would acquire the ability to speak in “schizophrenese” to some extent, even at the same time as their doing that would provide the schizophrenic “prophets” with a greater feeling of safety, giving them the freedom to speak less schizophrenically themselves.  I think the hope or expectation of the authors was that the two groups would “meet each other half-way,” so to speak—and doing this is what would accomplish the “fulfilling” (or “completing,” or “finishing,” or “perfecting,” or “bringing to an end”: teleō or teleioō) of “prophecy.”

Continue reading “The Crucifixion understood as equivalent to the fall of Babel/Babylon; both events being understood to signify the end of religious esotericism (i.e., cryptic “prophecy”)”

The “spirit of Jesus” viewed as a substitute for the “unclean spirit”

Let’s compare Mark 1:26 with Mark 15:37 and Luke 23:46.

The first of these passages, describing the exorcism of a demon from a man that was performed by Jesus, says,

And the unclean spirit [to pneuma to akatharton] convulsed (the man) [or “shook him,” or “tore him in pieces,” or “pulled him apart”: sparassō], and, crying out [or calling out: phōneō] with a loud voice [or “great voice,” or “loud speech,” or “loud language”: phōné megalé], came out [ex-erchomai] of him.

The next passage, Mark 15:37, describing Jesus’s death, says,

And Jesus let out [or yielded up: aphiémi] a loud cry [or “loud speech,” or “loud language”: phōné megalé] and expired [or, “breathed out his spirit,” or “expelled his spirit“: ek-pneō].

The same event of Jesus’s death is described in Luke 23:46:

And Jesus, crying out [or calling out, or summoning, or speaking (loudly), or speaking (clearly), or giving utterance: phōneō] with a loud voice [phōné megalé], said, “Father, into your hands I commit [or deposit, or entrust: para-tithémi] my spirit [pneuma]!”  And, having said this, he expired [or, “breathed out his spirit,” or “expelled his spirit“: ek-pneō].

A comparison of the passages suggests that the “spirit” (pneuma) of Jesus may have been understood to correspond to the “unclean spirit” (pneuma akathartos) that had been in the demon-possessed man; and also that the first passage, Mark 1:26, may have been meant to prefigure the Crucifixion passages—so that, perhaps, the “spirit” of Jesus was understood to have temporarily “taken on the role” of the “unclean spirit,” so to speak, or to have been temporarily “working undercover” under the guise of the “unclean spirit”—with the “unclean spirit” understood, at least in one sense, as a spirit of “mixed meanings,” as opposed to one of “pure meanings” or “single meanings.”  (The “hiddenness” or “concealment” of the “spirit of Jesus” or “Holy Spirit” is indicated, for example, by the use in Matthew 13:33 of the Greek word eg-kryptō, meaning “to hide, to conceal,” in reference to “leaven,” which I think was probably meant to signify the “Holy Spirit.”)

In other words, according to such an hypothesis, the “spirit” of Jesus would have been made to serve as a substitute for the “unclean spirit” so that it could eventually displace it with the occurrence of the symbolic “Crucifixion and Resurrection”; and if that is correct, then “the spirit of Jesus” would have been understood to function as something analogous to a “brood parasite” such as the cuckoo bird.  (However, I stress that much of this thinking, if it in fact existed at all, may have been taking place at an unconscious level of thought.)

The same connection between the idea of an “exorcism” of an “unclean spirit” and the “Crucifixion and Resurrection” can be found by comparing Mark 9:25-29 with the passage immediately following, Mark 9:30-32.  Notice that the events spoken of in the first passage seem to be prefiguring the events spoken of in the second, focusing especially on the use of the same Greek word an-istémi, meaning “to rise up, to raise up, to stand up, to resurrect,” in both Mark 9:27 and Mark 9:31.  (Also notice that Mark 9:32 indicates that even Jesus’s “disciples” did not understand what the symbolic “Crucifixion and Resurrection” signified—so we should not assume its true intended significance to be obvious.)

The “Crucifixion” might thus have been understood to have achieved a kind of large-scale “exorcism”—that is, the driving out of the “unclean spirit” or “impure spirit”—and, with that, the bringing into being of the “purity of speech” or “purity of language” associated with the “spirit of Jesus” or “Holy Spirit.”  In other words, the “Crucifixion” would have been symbolizing (consciously or unconsciously) the driving out of that “unclean spirit” which was the motive force behind religious esotericism as a whole and in general, as well as behind schizophrenia and psychosis—i.e., “lunacy” or “demon-possession”—as a whole and in general.