#0105 “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.”
Scripture relevant to today’s posting…
John’s Disciples Follow Jesus
35 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”
37 When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38 Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”
They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”
39 “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”
John 1: 35-39 (NIV)
Today’s posting is part 7 of the new series: “Words of the Bible vs. the WORD”. This series is based upon material to be included in my new book. As I am inspired to write this, I am posting these ideas on-the-fly, so they will be fleshed out and edited more before they get incorporated into the book. Today I begin with a bit of a rewrite of the first paragraph which appeared in Post #0103 and from there I add to it. The bulk of the post is an excerpt from a posting I found one the web. The concept that is offered here might be a bit strong for some more traditionally minded believers to take in; but the belief that Christ died for the sins of mankind is a fundamental issue that must be addressed so that we can get a more accurate look into our Christian roots. Remember, our goal isn’t to undermine the Christian message; but to strengthen it with truth and a clear and accurate view of Christ’s message.
Words of the Bible vs. the WORD
22 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”
Gen. 22: 1-2 (NIV)
In this narrative God actually (supposedly) tells Abraham to take his son, kill him and burn his carcass as an offering on the sacrificial altar. A few lines later we read that an angel stops him from completing the act just in the nick of time. This scripture is often used as an example of Abraham’s unfailing love and faith in God. Again we must ask ourselves what kind of God would behave this way and what message is He telling those people who are listening to the story; who are also striving to please this God? Throughout Christendom the leaders of the Church have attempted to whitewash the actions and commands of the Old Testament God. A name the ancient Hebrews had for this God was Yahweh. And again, Christians defend this God at every turn, even though He often comes across as more of a monster than a loving Father in the stories that make up the oral tradition. The Jesus God is different than this God; we know this to be true because Jesus once said: “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.”
Human Sacrifice in Judaism
- Though the usual assumptions are that Yahwehism, or archaic Judaism, was free of human sacrifice the evidence in the Bible refutes that belief. A careful reading of the text – despite all of the editing by the priestly caste which was done before the text became “Holy” and fixed – shows a lot of nasty material which the devout manage to read without seeing.
- A frequent complaint of the “prophets” is the falling of the Israelites into the ways of their neighbors, including child sacrifice. [For example Jeremiah 19:4-5] Ignoring the claimed extreme impressionability of Yahweh’s people, it is not clear that this was merely the influence of their neighbors. The texts strongly suggest that this was a survival from archaic Yahwehism which had by then become an embarrassment [to some, but by no means all]. In Ezekiel 20:25-26, the prophet gives an ingenious explanation for religious rules and practices which were becoming an embarrassment. Yes, they were indeed given by the God of Israel, but God gave the bad laws as a form of punishment. The bad laws seem to include child sacrifice. [Since God admits that parts of the Bible are bad laws, where does this leave the fundamentalist?] But there is more.A regular theme is the warnings that Yahweh’s chosen are not to come too close to the divine presence to protect the people from his tendency to kill without warning, for example Exodus 19:21.
- I do not believe this is the complete case for human sacrifice in Yahwehism since I only made a cursory search for evidence in the Bible and have not checked the Talmud or other traditions. But what is here is enough to make the case. God sometimes ordered and other times accepted human sacrifice. Many people, especially first born sons, were only saved by the substitution sacrifices of additional livestock. [Note: Wives, children and livestock had the same legal status.] There is also the hint that the purpose of circumcision was either as a substitution for the sacrifice of the entire baby boy, or a marker that substitution sacrifices had been made. [See 1 Samuel 18:24-27 on the use of foreskins as a way to track the numbers of kills.] The circumcision would let god, or the priests rather, know not to take that particular child.
- This human sacrificial tradition may have had a long life in Judaism. The Jewish heresy of Christianity only makes sense if these sacrifices were still going on at the times of the Christianity’s origins. Whether Jesus was a man before he was a god; or was killed in a tree or was crucified does not matter. This all makes no sense as an act of redemption unless there was a human sacrificial rite!
One of the main points the author is making in this article is that the entire narrative about Christ dying for the sins of the world originates in an ancient practice designed to appease this blood-lusting deity! The reason Christianity as a whole can’t let go of this characterization of God the Father is because they have assigned too much authority to the collection of books known as the Bible. They have done so to the extent of referring to this book—that is to say the words of this book—as the WORD. Because this is where the Church is at, the job of establishing a new Christian narrative becomes a tall order, indeed!
If you have a question or a comment about this or other postings please feel free to send them in. As usual, thanks for reading.
TBC: Saturday, August 20, 2016