I can’t say that I remember the young man I was 18 years ago, the time when I started that irreversible journey of looking through the Jewish Bible to check out all the supposed messianic prophecies that some had said pointed to Jesus. He’s a stranger to me now, only a footstep in the desert-path I’m on, a step buried by the winds of time, but is part of the reason I’m where I am. I wouldn’t be who I am without that man.
Neither can it be said that I remember the man I was, earlier than the “messianic prophecies” guy, who went through all the books of Paul, scribbling in his notebooks all the Jewish Bible verses that Paul violated and treated with contempt to create his “gospel.”
And what about the guy who years after, maybe 10 years ago, went thru the gospels and the book of Acts of the Apostles with even more notebooks, urged to do so on the behest of his christian wife who was eager to regain the christian man she had fallen in love with? I lost those notebooks but not the echo of that part of my path.
Each of these past versions of me made firm the bars of my current prison of thought concerning the bastard of Nazareth and the collection of books based on claims about him. I haven’t said anything inaccurate in that previous sentence.
As I currently try to actively retrace the steps of that more recent version of myself, deliberating over the pages of the gospel writers and how they portray the illegitimate son of Miriam, I recognise that parts of my path that I thought were unrelated to this subject have gained even more relevance to reading the words of Jesus and his followers.
For example, for the past few years I’ve been engrossed in learning about flat earth. What does that have to do with reading the new testament? Nothing on the surface! Yet in my cogitations and pondering over the topic, I learned about logical fallacies and the importance of rational coherence in argumentation. Lo and behold, as I read the gospels again, I notice the supposedly perfect man, the alleged divine being, committing logical fallacies. I don’t think I would have spotted them if I hadn’t gone through what I went through. What an odd connection!
I may write about such fallacies once I’ve gone a fair way into the project.
But another thing I realise even more than I did that Passover in 2003 is that there is simply no going back for me. For Jesus to be such a loser with regards to the predictions and messages of the Jewish Bible was one thing. I could have rejected Paul but still revered Jesus if Jesus had done what was explicitly predicted in the Jewish Bible. But Jesus’ failure when it came to the Jewish Bible was significant.
To then take another approach and judge Jesus from his own stories, the gospels, and to find him again to be both failure and loser was like dragging a dead man to an open grave and burying him.
To now go again through the gospels with new depths and insights to find Jesus worse off than before for seemingly more reasons is like digging up the rotting and malodorous corpse, and throwing it in the furnace in order to be cremated. When I first went through the gospels, I had a simple disagreement with the character of Jesus. Now I see more of a distasteful identity, a person that does not reflect the teachings of the God of the Jewish Bible, but something akin to a deluded egoist, someone who, in order to defy his enemies, will totally break away from the character of the anointed Davidic king promised to keep Israel safe to become one who strips the Jews of something special to offer it to the nations (Matthew 21), thereby undermining his own messianic claims.
I know. I already know a retort. “Jesus was supposed to be someone outside of the expectation of the Jews. They had their desire to have a political figure, a physical warrior, come and save them from the Romans. Jesus instead came as a suffering servant to forgive sins.” (By the way, not only do the depictions of Jesus in the gospels mess up the “suffering servant” angle, in the Jewish Bible there is no explicit and clear link between the suffering servant and “messiah.”) I’m sure at least one of the two remaining readers of this blog – me being one of them – can see the issue with this argument: there’s not one clear and explicit text in the Jewish Bible that the promised anointed one would forgive sins. Oooops!
So yes, I’m irredeemable. My only journey is forward and away from seeing Jesus as anything more than a bastard, possibly seeing him as less. The door seems closed.
Let me get back to work.