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Letters to the Editor

Fascinating but not historical

Easter is upon us, and millions celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus. While these events are fascinating, they’re not historical. Let’s look at the creative inventions of Jesus’ dying words.

In Mark 15:34, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” This line is stolen verbatim from Psalm 22:1. In Luke 23:46, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” This is stolen from Psalm 31:5. In John 19:30, “It is accomplished.” This brings to mind what Chris Hitchens said, “Religion is man made. Even the men who made it cannot agree on what their prophets or redeemers or gurus actually said or did.”

Using older scriptures to write new stories was commonly known as Jewish Midrash. As just illustrated by the three different and contradicting final words of Jesus, each gospel paints a different Jesus, yet they all rely on Mark. You could say the Gospel of John is the modern Republican Jesus, whereas the others are more of a liberal Jesus. This means the writers intentionally changed and created details on how they wanted their message to be.

The Gospel of John has Jesus die on a different day which means he would have died in a different year. Like other mythical persons, Jesus has no known birth or death year. More and more scholars are concluding that Mohammed was similarly a fictive person. That’s one-half of the world’s population believing in fictive saviors!

The names in the Bible should also make us suspicious they are literary devices. Jesus is the English name, but his Hebrew name Joshua/Yeshua conveniently means “Yahweh Saves” with Yahweh being the proper name of God. In a story that reflects a Jewish scapegoat tradition, Barabbas’ name, which means “son of the father,” is extremely ironic, since he is being swapped for Jesus. John the Baptist’s name means, “Yahweh is gracious,” while Ananias’ name means “Gracious is Yahweh.” Matthew16:18 uses Peter’s name (it means rock) as a pun, “upon this rock I will build my church.” The Gospel of Mark is a brilliant piece of literature filled with intentional irony, not history.

Claims that there is more evidence for the resurrection of Christ than for any other event of ancient history are moot once you realize all four gospels are cut, paste and embellish. Randel Helms spends over 100 pages showing OT stories that were rewritten. Outside the Bible and in the first 100 years of Christianity there is no reference to Jesus by anyone except a few sentences by historian Josephus which scholars have proven to be a 3rd century forgery.

In Matthew 27:52, we are told many dead people rose from their tombs and went into the streets. I know I’d be called crazy if I told someone I saw a scene similar to Resident Evil zombies, yet somehow the faithful regard such nonsensical stories as a miracle, then deflect any criticism as trumped by faith. Happy Equinox and look out for zombies! Don’t fret, Easter candy will be cheaper soon.

Jay Bauer

Walnut

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