493: WHAT JESUS SAID IN THE ORAL TRADITION

“A warm welcome to the 493rd Post on the post-Christian blog Zingcreed, which has had 13,410 hits in less than 3 years. An especially warm welcome to all the readers who clicked on in the last three days. WordPress tells me you come from Brazil (been there), Philippines, Germany (worked there), Australia (my father was born there), Norway (been there), France (worked there), UK (live there), New Zealand, US (been there), Greece (swam there), Czech Republic (drank there), Canada (been there). Why not drop me an email and tell me what you think of the blog. (I can be contacted at Zingcreed@yahoo.co.uk) I hope you find today’s piece useful and interesting.

In solidarity,

Peter Turner, M.A., M.Sc.”

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My title “What Jesus said in the oral tradition” should really read “What, Jesus probably said …” or “might have said…”, but there wasn’t enough room in the header to squeeze it all in. So it’s another misleading headline? No, just a bit oversimplified perhaps.

By oral tradition we mean the passing on of stories, etc. by word of mouth, as opposed to writing them down and then reading them out of a book later. There are two camps in Christianity here. Conservatives/evangelicals/fundamentalists believe (a) the gospels recorded very accurately what Jesus said and did: they were written close to the time he lived and are the infallible, inspired word of God;
(b) oral tradition is very accurate and preserves the original message intact, as can be seen in non-literate societies in parts of the developing world to this day.

It won’t surprise anyone to learn that liberal/progressive/radical believers don’t believe anything of the kind.
(a) They’ll tell you the bible should be studied in exactly the same way as any other historical document without any special allowance being made. No-one wrote down what Jesus said during his lifetime; the gospels were written decades after his death, in another language, and anyway each gospel is internally inconsistent and they all contradict each other.
(b) They’ll also tell you of the children’s game “Chinese whispers”, where a simple sentence passed round a circle of kids comes out comically different at the end, thus showing stories will be distorted over time whatever the wishes of the story-tellers.

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So, how on earth can one accurately know what Jesus was preaching decades before the evangelists put quill to parchment? At a time when it was word of mouth transmission of the words of Jesus or it was nothing. Perhaps by analysing the first canonical gospel (the one attributed to Mark) or the hypothetical gospel of Q. (See Post on Q listed at end.)
No, not quite; the modern bible scholars are cleverer than that. I give you Professor Dr Stephen H. Patterson of Willamette University in the US. In his fascinating new book “The Lost Way” he brings to a wider audience what scholars have known for a long time.

To be sure a verse in the gospels really comes from the earliest oral tradition you need independent multiple attestation. It is only recently, say the last 60 years, with the discovery of the gospel of Thomas, that this has been possible in any meaningful way. Q (it  stands for Quelle, the German word for “source”, c.f. my favourite beer is Pilsner Urquell, which means “true source or spring (of water)”). Q is the oldest known gospel, and Thomas offers independent attestation for many of its sayings. Therefore we may safely assume that all of these multiply attested sayings actually predate Q and derive from the oral tradition. In other words the Q-Thomas parallels offer a window into the earliest oral traditions about Jesus, traditions that circulated in the twenty years between the death of Jesus and the first written forms of Q.
That, for all practical purposes is the first gospel.

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Patterson thinks only a cross section of Jesus’ sayings got written down from this oral tradition and that most of it was lost, “but it is a cross section of material that we know was there at the beginning.” (p.195)

I find this very exciting.

A few years ago I was all into Burton Mack’s “layers of Q”, i.e. which bits preceded which, and were the earlier more authentic sayings in the Wisdom tradition or in an apocalyptic vein? Now we can precede even that and get even closer to some gold nuggets. Like archaeologists digging down to a lower older stratum. Of course, nothing will be new, it’s more like sorting the grain from the chaff, discarding later additions and paying particular attention to what’s not there.

I consider this so important that, unlike Patterson, I’m going to type them all out, all 53 sayings  attested independently in Q and Thomas. I shall probably use several of the different translations that I have, but mostly I shall be relying on Patterson’s own versions of the texts which I will have to fish out of other parts of his book. This will take me a very long time as I am slow on the keyboard, I mean days, so be patient dear reader. I’ll simultaneously leapfrog ahead to write other Posts at the same time. I feel a letter to the pope coming on!

List of Thomas-Q parallels

from: Patterson, S.J. “The Lost Way. How two forgotten gospels are rewriting the story of Christian origins” HarperOne (2014) (p. 215)

1/ Seek and Find
Thomas (Th) 2:1: Jesus said “Let all who seek seek until they find”
Q 11:9-10 (Matt. 7:7-8; Luke 11:9-10): “I say to you: Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you. for everyone who asks receives, and anyone who searches finds, and to the one who knocks it shall be opened.”

2/ The Empire Within
Th 3: Jesus said, “If those who lead you say to you, ‘Behold the empire is in the sky’, the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, ‘It is in the sea,’ then the fish shall precede you. rather, the empire is inside you and outside you. When you come to know yourselves, you will be known and you will realize that you are sons of the Living Father. But if it happens that you never come to know yourselves, then you exist in poverty, and you are the poverty.”
Q 17:20-21 (Mt 24:23; Lk 17:20-21): But when he was asked when the empire of God is coming, he answered them and said, “The empire of God is not coming with signs. Nor will anyone say, ‘Look here!’ or ‘There!’ For, Look! The empire of God is in the midst of you!”

3/ First Last, Last First
Th 4:2: (Jesus said) “For there are many who are first who will become last”.
Q 13:30 (Mt 20:16; Lk 13:30): “The last will be first, and the first last.”

4/ Hidden things revealed
Th 5:2: (Jesus said) “For there is nothing hidden that will not become manifest.”
Q 12:2 (Mt 10:26; Lk 12:4): “Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be made known.”

5/ The Golden Rule
Th 6:3: (Jesus said) “do not do what you hate.”
Q 6:31 (Mt 7:12; Lk 6:31): “And just as you want people to treat you, treat them likewise.”

6/ Hidden things revealed
Th 6:4: (Jesus said) “All things are revealed before heaven.”
Q 12:2 (Mt 10:26; Lk 12:2): “Nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be made known.”

7/ Fire on Earth
Th 10: Jesus said, “I have cast fire upon the earth, and look, I am guarding it until it blazes.”
Q 12;49 (Mt 10:34. Lk 12:49): “I have come to sow fire upon the earth, and how I wish that it were already ablaze!”

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8/ Heaven and Earth
Th 11:1: Jesus said, “This heaven will pass away and the one above it will pass away.”
Q 16:17 (Mt 5:18; Lk 16:17): “But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one iota or one serif of the Law to fall.”

9/ Eat what is before you
Th 14:4 “And if you go into any land and walk about in the countryside and they take you in, eat what they set before you and care for the sick among them.”
Q 10:8 (Mt 10:12; Lk 10:8): “And whenever you enter a town and they take you in, eat what is set before you and care for the sick there.”

10/ No peace on earth
Th 16:1-3: Jesus said, “Perhaps people think that I have come to sow peace upon the world and do not know that I have come to sow conflict upon the earth: fire, sword, war. For there will be five in a house: there will be three against two and two against three, father against son and son against father.”
Q 12:51,53 (Mt 10:35; Lk 12: 51, 53): “Do you think that I have come to sow peace upon the earth? I have not come to sow peace, but a sword! For I have come to divide son against father, and daughter against her mother, and daughter in law against her mother in law.”

11/ What eye has not seen
Th 17: Jesus said, “I will give you what no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, what no hand has touched, and what has not arisen in the human heart.”
Q 10:23-24 (Mt 13:16-17; Lk 10:23-24): “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I say to you, many prophets and kings have wanted to see what you see, but never saw (them) and to hear what you hear and never heard (them).”

12/ The Mustard
Th 20: The disciples said to Jesus,”Tell us what the empire of heaven is like.”
Jesus said to them,”It is like a mustard seed. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it falls on tilled soil, it produces a large branch and becomes shelter for the birds of the sky.”
Q 13:18-19 (Mt 13:31-32; Lk 13:18-19): “What is the empire of God like and to what shall I compare it? It is like a mustard seed, which a person took and threw into his garden. And it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the sky nested in its branches.” 

13/ Beware the thief
Th 21:5: “For this reason I say, if the owner of a house knows that a thief is on the way, he will be on guard before the thief arrives and will not let him break into his house, his domain, and carry away his possessions.”
Q 12:39-40 (Mt 24:43-44; Lk 12:39-40): “But know this: If the householder had known in which hour of the night the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to broken into. You too get ready, because the Son of  Man is coming at a time you don’t expect.”

14/ The Person of Light
Th 24: His disciples said,”Show us the place where you are, for it is necessary for us to seek it.”
Jesus said to them,”Whoever has ears to hear should listen: There is light within people of light, and they shed light on the whole world. If they do not shine, there is darkness.”
Q 11:34-35 (Mt 6:22-23; Lk 11: 34-35): “The eye is the lamp of the body. if your eye is generous, your whole body is luminous; but if your eye is evil, your whole body is dark. Therefore, if the light that is in you is dark, how great is the darkness!”

15/ Speck and beam
Th 26: Jesus said,”You see the splinter that is in your brother’s eye, but you do not see the beam that is is your own eye. When you cast the beam out of your own eye, then you will see clearly to cast the splinter from your brother’s eye.”
Q 6:41-42 (Mt 7:3-5; Lk 6:41-42): “And why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye, but fail to notice the beam that is in your own eye? How do you say to your brother,”Let me remove the speck from your eye,” and look, there is the beam in your own eye? Hypocrite, first take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will clearly see so as to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

16/ Preach from your housetops
Th 33:1: Jesus said,”That which you hear in your ear, preach from your housetops.”
Q 12:3 (Mt 10:27; Lk 12:3): “That which I say to you in the dark, speak in the light, and that which you hear with your ears, preach it on the housetops.”

17/ Lamp under a bushel
Th 33:2-3: “For no one lights a lamp and puts it under a bushel, nor do they put it in a hidden place. Rather, they  set it on a lamp stand, so that everyone who comes in and goes out will see its light.”
Q 11:33 (Mt 5:15; Lk 11:33): “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a hidden place, but on a lamp stand, and it provides light to everyone in the house.” 

18/ Blind leading the blind
Th 34: Jesus said,”If a blind person leads a blind person, both will fall into a pit.”
Q 6:39 (Mt 15:14; Lk 6:39): “Can the blind lead the blind? Won’t they both fall into a pit?” 

19/ Strong Man’s House
Th 35: Jesus said,”It is not possible for someone to enter a strong man’s house and take it by force unless he (first) binds his hands. Then he will loot his house.”
Q 11:21-22 (Mt 12:29; Lk 11:21-22): “A strong person’s house cannot be looted. But if someone stronger overpowers him, then he does get looted.”

20/ On cares
Th 36: Jesus said,”Do not worry from morning to evening and from evening to morning about what you will wear.”
Q 12:22b-31 (Mt 6:25-33; Lk 12:22b-31): Therefore I say to you, “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? Think about the ravens: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet God feeds them. Aren’t you more valuable than the birds? But who among you can add (even) a cubit to his height by worrying? And why do you worry about clothes? Study the lilies, how they grow: they do not work, nor do they spin. But I say to you, not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is here today and tomorrow thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, people of little faith! Therefore, do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the Gentiles pursue all these things. Your father knows that you need all these things. But seek his empire and all these things will be provided to you.”

21/ The Keys of Knowledge
Th 39:1-2: Jesus said, “The Pharisees and the scribes have taken the keys of knowledge and hidden them. They have not entered, nor have they allowed those who wish to enter to do so.”
Q 11:52 (Mt 23:13; Lk 11:52): “Woe to you interpreters of the Law, for you close (the doors) of the empire of God in peoples’ faces; you did not enter, nor would you allow those who would enter to do so.”

22/ Whoever has receives
Th 41: Jesus said, “Whoever has (something) in their hand, to them will be given (more); and whoever has nothing, the little they have will be taken from them.”
Q 19:26 (Mt 25:29; Lk 19:26): “For to all who have, it will be given, and from he who does not have, even that which he has will be taken from him.”

23/ Love the tree, hate the fruit
Th 43:3: “But you have become like the Jews, for they love the tree (and) hate its fruit, or love the fruit (and) hate the tree.”
Q 6:43 (Mt 7;16; Lk 6:43): “No good tree bears rotten fruit; neither does a rotten tree bear good fruit.”

24/ Blaspheming the Holy Spirit
Th 44:1-3: Jesus said, “Whoever blasphemes against the father will be forgiven, and whoever blasphemes against the Son will be forgiven. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, neither on earth nor in heaven.”
Q 12:10 (Mt 12:32; Lk 12:10): “Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be  forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him.”

25/ No Figs From Thorns
Th 45: Jesus said, “Grapes are not harvested from thorns, nor are figs picked from thistles, for they do not produce fruit. Good people bring forth good fruit from their treasure. Bad people bring forth evil things from their wicked treasure (which is in their hearts), and say evil things. For out of the abundance of the heart they bring forth evil things.”
Q 6:44b-45 (Mt 7:16,18; 12:33-35; Lk 6:43-45): “Are figs gathered from thorns or grapes from brambles? The good person brings out good things from his good treasure, and the evil person evil things from his evil treasure. For the mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.”

26/ Greater than John
Th 46:1: Jesus said, “From Adam to John the Baptist, among those born of women there is no one superior to John the Baptist, so his eyes need not be downcast.”
Q 7:28 (Mt 11:11; Lk 7:28): “I say to you, among those born of women, none has arisen who is greater than John. But the least person in the empire of God is greater than him.”

27/ Serving two Masters
Th 47:2: “And it is impossible for slaves to serve two masters; else they will honour one and insult the other.”
Q  16:13 (Mt 6:24; Lk 16:13): “No one can serve two masters for he will hate the one and love the other or attend the one and disregard the other. You cannot serve both God and riches.”

28/ Move a Mountain
Th 48: Jesus said, “If two make peace with one another in one and the same house, they will say to the mountain, ‘Move away!’ and it will move.”
Q 17:6 (Mt 17:20b; Lk 17:6): “If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry bush, ‘Be uprooted and replanted in the sea!’ and it would obey you.”

29/ Blessed are the poor
Th 54: Jesus said, “Blessed are the destitute, for the empire of heaven is yours.”
Q 6:20 (Mt 5:1-2; Lk 6:20): And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are you beggars, for yours is the empire of God.”

30/ Hating one’s Family
Th 55:1-2a: Jesus said, “Those who do not hate their father and mother cannot become my disciples. And those who do not hate their brothers and sisters.”
Q 14:26 (Mt 10:37; Lk 14:26): “Anyone who does not hate his father and mother cannot be my disciple; and anyone who does not hate his son and daughter cannot be my disciple.”

31/ Take Up Your Cross
Th 55:2b: “(Those who do not) take up their crosses in my way will not be worthy of me.”
Q 14:27 (Mt 10:38; Lk 14:27): “Anyone who does not take up his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”

32/ Two on a Bed
Th 61:1: Jesus said, “Two will rest on a bed. The one will die and the other will live.”
Q 17:34 (Mt 24:40; Lk 17:34): “I say to you, there will be two (men) in a field, one is taken and one is left.”

33/ Jesus and the Father
Th 61:3b: “I have been given some of the things of my Father.”
Q 10:22 (Mt 11:27; Lk 10:22): “All things have been entrusted to me by my Father. And no one knows the son except the Father, and none the Father except the son, and anyone to whom the son wishes to reveal (him).”

34/ The Great Feast
Th 64: 1-11: Jesus said, “A man had guests. And when he had prepared the dinner, he sent his servant so that he might invite the guests. He came to the first and said to him, ‘My master summons you.’ He said, ‘I have bills to present to some merchants. They are coming to me this evening. I ought to go and give them some instructions. Please excuse me from the dinner.’ He  came to another and said to him, ‘My master has summoned you.’ He said to him, ‘I have bought a house, and I have been called away for a day. I will not have time.’  He went to another and said to him, ‘My master summons you.’ he said to him, ‘My friend is going to marry, and I am the one who is going to prepare the meal. I will not be able to come. Please excuse me from the dinner.’ He came to another and said to him, ‘My master summons you.’ he said to him, ‘I have bought a village. Since I am going to collect the rent, I will not be able to come. Please excuse me.’ The servant went away. He said to his master, ‘Those whom you invited to dinner have asked to be excused.’ The master said to his servant, ‘Go out on the roads. Bring back whomever you find, so that they might dine.’ “
Q  14:16-21, 23 (Mt 22:2-10; Lk 14:16-21, 23): “A certain person prepared a great banquet and invited many guests. And at the appointed time for the banquet he sent his slave to say to the invited guests, ‘Come, for it is already prepared!’ But one declined in order to tend his farm. And another declined in order to tend to his business. And another declined because he was newly married. So the slave reported these things to his master. Then the householder became angry and said to the slave, ‘Go out on the roads and invite whomever you find, so that my house might be filled!’ “

35/Blessed are the Persecuted (i)
Th 68:1: Jesus said, “Blessed are you whenever you are hated and persecuted.”
Q 6:22 (Mt 5:11; Lk 6:22); “Blessed are you when they insult and persecute you and utter every sort of evil against you because of the Son of Man.”

36/ Blessed are the Persecuted (ii)
Th 69:1: Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have been persecuted in their hearts. They are the ones who have truly come to know the Father.”
Q 6:22 (Mt 5:11; Lk 6:22): “Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every sort of evil against you because of the Son of man.”

37/ Blessed are The Hungry
Th 69:2: “Blessed are those who go  hungry, so that the belly of the needy will be satisfied.”
Q 6:21 (Mt 5:3; Lk 6:20): “Blessed are you who hunger for you shall be filled.” 

38/ The Harvest is Great
Th 73: Jesus said, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So beg the Lord that he might send workers into the harvest.”
Q 10:2 (Mt 9:37-38; Lk 10:2): He says to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. So ask the lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.”

39/ Treasure in Heaven
Th 76:3: “So also with you, seek the treasure that never perishes, which endures where no moth ever comes to eat it and no worm ever destroys.”
Q 12:33 (Mt 6:19; Lk 12:33): “Do not store up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and consumption destroy and thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor consumption destroys and thieves do not break in and steal.”

40/ Why Go Into the Wilderness
Th 78: Jesus said, “Why have you come out into the countryside? To see a reed shaken by the wind, and to see someone dressed in soft clothing like your rulers and aristocrats? These people wear soft clothing, but will not be able to recognize the truth.”
Q 7:24-25 (Mt 11:7-9; Lk 7:24-26): He began to talk to the crowds about John. “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? A person all dressed up in fancy clothing? Look, those who dress in fancy clothing live in palaces.”

41/ Foxes have holes
Th 86: Jesus said, “Foxes have their dens and birds have their nest. But a human being has no place to lay his head down and rest.”
Q 9:58 (Mt 8:20; Lk 9:58): So Jesus said to him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but a person has nowhere to lay his head.” 

42/ Washing the Outside
Th 89: Jesus said, “Why do you wash the outside of the cup? Do you not understand that the one who made the inside is also the one who made the outside?”
Q 11:39-40 (Mt 23:2; Lk 11:40): “Woe to you, Pharisees, for you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full from plunder and spoil. Cleanse the inside of the cup and  and its exterior will be clean enough.”

43/ Reading the Times
Th 91:2: He said to them, “You examine the face of the sky and earth, but the one who is in your presence you have not recognized, and you do not know how to examine this moment.”
Q 12:56 (Mt 16;3; Lk 12:56): “You know how to read the sky, but you cannot read the times.”

44/ Seek and Find (i)
Th 92: Jesus said, “Seek and you will find. But the things you asked me about in past times, and what I did not tell you then, now I am willing to tell them, but you do not seek them.”
Q 11:9-10 (Mt 7:7-8; Lk 11: 9-10):  “I say to you: ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and anyone who searches finds, and to the one who knocks it shall be opened.”

45/ Seek and Find (ii)
Th 94: Jesus said, “The one who seeks will find. to the one who knocks, it will be opened.”
Q 11:9-10 (Mt 7:7-8; Lk 11:9-10): “I say to you: ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and anyone who searches finds, and to the one who knocks it shall be opened.”

46/ Do not lend at Interest
Th 95: Jesus said, “If you have money, do not lend it at interest. Rather give it to someone from whom you will not get it back.”
Q 6:34 (Mt 5;47; Lk 6:34): “And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what reward do you have? Don’t even the Gentiles do the same thing?”

47/ The Leaven
Th 96: 1-2: Jesus said, “The empire of the Father is like a woman. She took a little yeast, hid it in some dough and made it into large loaves of bread.”
Q 13:20-21 (Mt 13:33; Lk 13:20-21): “And again, to what shall I compare the empire of god? It is like yeast, which a woman took and hid in 3 measures of flour until the whole batch was leavened.”

48/ Hating One’s Family
Th 101:1: “Whoever does not hate his father and his mother as I do will not be able to be my disciples.”
Q 14:26 (Mt 10:37; Lk 14:26): “Anyone who does not hate father and mother cannot be my disciple; and anyone who does not hate son and daughter cannot be my disciple.”

49/ Where Thieves Enter
Th 103: Jesus said, “Blessed is the man  who knows in which quarter the brigands are going to enter, so that he might arise, mobilize his [empire], and arm himself before they invade.”
Q 12:39, 41 (Mt 24:43-44; Lk 12:39-40): “But know this: If the householder had known in which hour of the night the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into.”  

50/ Move a Mountain
Th 106:2: “and when you say, ‘Mountain, move away,’ it will move away.”
Q 17:6 (Mt 17:20b; Lk 17:6): “If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry bush, ‘Be uprooted and replanted in the sea!’ and it would obey you.”

51/ The Lost Sheep
Th 107:1-2: Jesus said, “The empire is like a shepherd who had a hundred sheep. One of them, the largest, went astray. He left the ninety nine and sought the one until he found it.”
Q 15:4-5a, 7 (Mt 18:12-13; Lk 15:4-5,7): “What man among you, if he had a hundred sheep and lost one of them, would not leave the ninety nine in the mountains and go and look for the one that is lost. And if he should happen to find it, I say to you, he celebrates more over it than the ninety nine that had not wandered off.”

52/ Heaven and Earth
Th 111:1: Jesus said, “The heavens and the earth will roll up before you,”
Q 16:17 (Mt 5:18; Lk 16:17): “But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one iota or one serif of the Law to fall.”

53/ The Empire Within
Th 113: His disciples said to him, “The empire – when will it come?” Jesus said, “It will not come by watching for it. They will not say, ‘Look, here!’ or ‘Look there!’ Rather, the empire of the Father is spread out upon the earth and people do not see it.”
Q 17:20-21 (Mt 24:23; Lk 17:20-21): But when he was asked when the empire of God is coming, he answered them and said, “The empire of god is not coming with signs. Nor will anyone say, ‘Look, here!’ or ‘There!’ For, look! The empire of God is in the midst of you!”

 

Patterson’ comments:

Zingcreed comments: Wow! So there it is; Jesus’ authentic core teachings. Print this page out and throw away your bible! It’s all a Christian needs (or a student of the teachings of Jesus, such as myself.) If you just stuck with these gold nuggets, Jesus’ residual teachings, after all the later additions are swept away, you are onto a winner!

Most gratifying from the ideological viewpoint of the Zingcreed Christian-atheist polemic are the following:
1/ Like all Wisdom teachers he has a lot to say about ordinary everyday topics: food, money, health and  family;
2/ He never claims that he will die for our sins;
3/ He never claims to be the son of God;
4/ He says nothing about resurrection or eternal life;
5/ He is not apocalyptical;
6/  He is on the side of the hungry, the needy, the disabled and the persecuted;
7/ Several verses are about his central concern, the establishment of a fair and just society on earth, the “empire of God”, or, as it is more usually translated, the “kingdom of God” (See the Zingcreed Posts on this)
8/ More negatively: much of what he says is in the form of riddles. Frankly, I don’t know what he’s talking about in some of these quotations.

 

Related Zingcreed Posts:
Jesus’ 5200 authentic words
Temporary Autonomous Zones and the Kingdom of God
The kingdom of God: a kingdom of nuisances and nobodies
Q: the hypothetical gospel

TO BE CONTINUED

 

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