Tune in Saturday at 7PM, and then downloadable for your iDevice: We take a break from eating fat and sugar and wallowing in Christmas hangover to talk about Jesus, that “prince of peace” who is the inspiration for all this fine madness…
Who was Jesus? A pleasant, peace-loving hippy….or a violent fundamentalist Rabbinical zealot, ready to do battle with Roman oppressors in ancient Palestine?
Sunday 7PM – The End of the World?
Are you anxious about peak oil, government control of media, the prevalence of psy-ops, and massive suppression of information? Is zero-point energy possible? Will any of us survive the next five years?! We talk about our fears, anxieties, and paranoia, Sunday night on The Investigation.
- The Jesus Movement
- Cows, Pigs, Wars and Witches by Marvin Harris
- The Trouble with Jesus (Dramaturgy)
- Violent Jesus
From “Cows, Pigs Wars and Witches” by Marvin Harris, web type-up thanks to McClernan.com
“Although the gospels clearly intend to deny Jesus the capacity to carry out violent political acts, they preserve what seems to be an undercurrent of contradictory events and sayings which link John the Baptist and Jesus to the military-messianic tradition and implicate them in the guerilla warfare. The reason for this is that by the time the first gospel was written, nonpeaceful events and sayings which had been attributed to Jesus by eyewitnesses and unimpeachable apostolic sources were widely known among the faithful. The writers of the gospels shifted the balance of the Jesus cult’s lifestyle consciousness in the direction of a peaceful messiah, but they could not entirely expunge the traces of continuity with the military-messianic tradition. The ambiguity of the gospels in this regard is best demonstrated by arranging some of Jesus’ most peaceful statements in one column and the unexpected negations in another:
|Blessed are the peacemakers.
|Think not that I am come to send peace on earth, I come not to send peace but a sword. (Matthie 10:34)|
|Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. (Matthew 5:39)||Suppose ye that I come to give peace on earth? I will tell you nay, but rather division. (Luke 12:51)|
|All that take the sword shall perish with the sword. (Matthew 26:52)||He that hath no sword, let him sell his garments and buy one. (Luke 22:36)|
|Love thine enemies; do good to them that hate you. (Luke 6:27)||And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them out of the temple …and poured out the changer’s money and overthrew the tables. (John 2:15)|
I should also note at this point the obviously false construction traditionally given to what Jesus said when he was asked if Jews ought to pay taxes to the Romans: “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto God that which is God’s.” This could mean only one thing to the Galileans who had participated in Judas of Galilee’s tax revolt – namely, “Don’t pay.” For Judas of Galilee had said that everything in Palestine belonged to God. But the authors of the Gospels and their readers probably knew nothing about Judas of Galilee, so they preserved Jesus’ highly provocative response on the mistaken assumption that it showed a generally conciliatory attitude toward the Roman government…
As I indicated at the beginning of this chapter, the image of Jesus as a peaceful messiah was probably not perfected until after the fall of Jerusalem. During the interval between Jesus’ death and the writing of the first gospel, the groundwork for a cult of peace messianism was laid by Paul. But those for whom Jesus was primarily a Jewish military-messianic redeemer dominated the movement throughout the period of expanding guerilla activity leading up to the confrontation of 68 AD. The practical setting in which the gospels were written – gospels which depict a purely peaceful messiah – was the aftermath of the unsuccessful Jewish war against Rome. A purely peaceful messiah became a practical necessity when the generals who had just defeated the Jewish messianic revolutionaries – Vespasian and Titus – became the rules of the Roman Empire… it quickly became a practical necessity for Christians to deny that their cult had arisen out of the Jewish belief in a messiah who was going to topple the Roman Empire…
…I shall refrain from following out the chain of worldly events that eventually led to the establishment of Christianity as the religion of the Roman Empire. But this much should be said: When the Emperor Constantine took that momentous initiative, Christianity was no longer the cult of the peaceful messiah. Constantine’s conversion took place in 311 AD as he led a small army across the Alps. Wearily approaching Rome he saw a vision of the cross standing above the sun, and on the cross he saw the words HOC SIGNO VINCES – “By this sign you will conquer.” Jesus appeared to Constantine and directed him to emblazon his military standard with the cross. Under this strange new banner, Constantine’s soldiers went on to win a decisive victory. They regained the empire and thereby guaranteed that the cross of the peaceful messiah would preside over the deaths of untold millions of Christian soldiers and their enemies down to the present day.”