Gospel Jesus as lord of a here-and-now kingdom

Longfellow

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Even though this is about the Jesus in the gospels of the Christian bible, I'm posting it here because it's a non Christian or maybe even an anti-Christian view. What I see Jesus promoting in the Bible gospels is not a gospel of salvation. He himself calls it "gospel of the kingdom," not "gospel of salvation." My understanding of his gospel of the kingdom is that it's a metaphorical kingdom in which he is the king, a way for people to learn to live the best life they can in this world, and people enter it when they recognize and accept him as their lord, meaning a person to serve and obey above all others. In my understanding, that's what he wants people to know most of all, and it has nothing to do with any gospel of salvation that is being promoted by any of the Christian churches today.

The part about him being the son of God only refers to him being the one that God promised to David, saying "I will be his father, and he will be my son," and it's only part of the context for Jews to recognize him as their lord. Other people don't need to know anything about that, to recognize him as their lord, and enter his kingdom. They also don't need to believe that any of the miracles, or his resurrection, happened in any physical way. They don't even need to believe that he ever actually existed, or that God exists, to recognize him as their lord and enter his kingdom.

I'm not sure what to think of the part about him being a sacrifice for the sins of all people. That might have been invented by Paul. Even if it came from Jesus, again, no one has to believe it, to recognize him as their lord, and enter his kingdom.

(later) Each statement above should be understood as starting with "I'm thinking that ..." or "In my current understanding ..."
 
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Cino

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Interesting topic.

Of course, in the context of Interfaith Dialogue, one has to tread very lightly so as not to step all over other people's beliefs, when discussing such an interpretation of the Gospels.

This being said - i.e. that I am not telling anyone how to interpret their scripture or what or whom to believe in - here are some thoughts I've had on this topic:

There was in the centuries around the beginning of the common era a pietistic Jewish movement in Palestine, the "Hasidim" (not to be confused with the pietistic Jewish movement of the same name, in Eastern Europe over 1500 years later). I believe that some of the luminaries of this movement may even have made it into the Talmud, one candidate being "Honi the Circle-Drawer". Honi is an interesting figure, attested both in the Talmud and in Josephus (where his name is Hellenized to "Onias"). He was a miracle-working saintly figure. Now Josephus as well as the Jewish sages of the time were very sceptical of miracle-working holy men, but Honi seems to have been an exception, so maybe he wasn't part of that pietistic movement at all.

What I'm trying to get to is that the miracle stories of Jesus are comparable to those of the miracle-working members of this early pietistic movement of Hasidim. Trying to read his received teachings against such a backdrop is interesting in its own right, even if it may not be historically what was going on. Statements like "I and the father are one" have the "vibe" of mystical reports of unifying experiences - not unlike the utterances of people like Mansur al-Hallaj, who almost 1000 years after Jesus claimed "I am the Truth", and many, many others from all kinds of traditions, who reported similar insights. And, of course, a preoccupation with the coming (or even presence) of the Messiah is a prominent feature in current Hasidic culture and thought, and it is not a far stretch to imagine that messianic expectations would have been a prominent concern of the ancient pietists as well, again rhyming with the Gospels in interesting ways.

Be that as it may, to Christians Jesus was obviously not a starry-eyed mystic, and I want to repeat that my musings above are not meant as a critique or even comment on their beliefs.
 

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I'm not sure what to think of the part about him being a sacrifice for the sins of all people. That might have been invented by Paul. Even if it came from Jesus, again, no one has to believe it, to recognize him as their lord, and enter his kingdom.

Well, no doubt in my mind Jesus, as God in the flesh died on the cross and rose again, thereby defeating death (Satan) and securing salvation for the repentant. That said however, I don't think a person necessarily has to believe that or even be aware of it to receive that salvation. Why I believe that is a bit more complicated though and difficult to put into words.
 
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Longfellow

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Well, no doubt in my mind Jesus, as God in the flesh died on the cross and rose again, thereby defeating death (Satan) and securing salvation for the repentant. That said however, I don't think a person necessarily has to believe that or even be aware of it to receive that salvation. Why I believe that is a bit more complicated though and difficult to put into words.

Thank you. That’s good news to me, that a person can believe all that without thinking that it’s a belief requirement for salvation.

(later) I think that Jesus has all the power, authority and everything else that we can know about the God of Abraham, and in that way can be considered as “God in the flesh,” but not in any other way. Not God the creator being or becoming a part of His creation.
 
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Longfellow

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Well, no doubt in my mind Jesus, as God in the flesh died on the cross and rose again, thereby defeating death (Satan) and securing salvation for the repentant. That said however, I don't think a person necessarily has to believe that or even be aware of it to receive that salvation. Why I believe that is a bit more complicated though and difficult to put into words.

You mean, why you believe all that about Jesus and salvation, or why you don't think a person necessarily has to believe that or even be aware of it to receive that salvation, or both? If you would want try to put it into words, I would be interested.
 

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You mean, why you believe all that about Jesus and salvation, or why you don't think a person necessarily has to believe that or even be aware of it to receive that salvation, or both? If you would want try to put it into words, I would be interested.
I believe the Biblical account of Jesus, who he was, why he died and all that, simply because it resonates with me and aligns with personal experiences and thoughts I had, long before ever picking up the book. Mind you, while I did grow up in a Christian household of sorts, we were not regular church goers or particularly pious. Think I'm the only one in the family ever really got into it.

Anyway, it is my beliefs regarding salvation I have trouble conveying to others. There's just no one specific thing I can point to. More a combination of thoughts, ideas and observations I've made over the years.

I guess some of it does stem from my exposure to Hindu culture and reading the Bhagavad Gita, but not entirely. When I read doctrine, I pay attention to the words, words are important, but I put more emphasis on the lesson behind the words. If that makes any sense. I think that's why Jesus taught in parables. Words get corrupted and mistranslated, but the lesson behind the words is often still there I find. In the case of the Bible though, you really have to consider it in it's entirety before the meaning of individual passages becomes clear.

I guess that doesn't really answer the question, but hopefully it will lend some insight into my mindset. Such as it is. :)
 

Longfellow

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I believe the Biblical account of Jesus, who he was, why he died and all that, simply because it resonates with me and aligns with personal experiences and thoughts I had, long before ever picking up the book. Mind you, while I did grow up in a Christian household of sorts, we were not regular church goers or particularly pious. Think I'm the only one in the family ever really got into it.

Anyway, it is my beliefs regarding salvation I have trouble conveying to others. There's just no one specific thing I can point to. More a combination of thoughts, ideas and observations I've made over the years.

I guess some of it does stem from my exposure to Hindu culture and reading the Bhagavad Gita, but not entirely. When I read doctrine, I pay attention to the words, words are important, but I put more emphasis on the lesson behind the words. If that makes any sense. I think that's why Jesus taught in parables. Words get corrupted and mistranslated, but the lesson behind the words is often still there I find. In the case of the Bible though, you really have to consider it in it's entirety before the meaning of individual passages becomes clear.

I guess that doesn't really answer the question, but hopefully it will lend some insight into my mindset. Such as it is. :)

I see an explanation there of why you believe what you do about Jesus and salvation. My views and ways of thinking have always evolved in the same way. Is the last part an explanation of why you don't think a person necessarily has to believe that or even be aware of it to receive salvation?
 

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I see an explanation there of why you believe what you do about Jesus and salvation. My views and ways of thinking have always evolved in the same way. Is the last part an explanation of why you don't think a person necessarily has to believe that or even be aware of it to receive salvation?
Not exactly. I was just trying to explain my mindset and the way I read the Bible. As I said, there's just no one specific thing I can point to as to why I believe that. It's just an overall vibe I get.
 

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Not exactly. I was just trying to explain my mindset and the way I read the Bible. As I said, there's just no one specific thing I can point to as to why I believe that. It's just an overall vibe I get.

Do you see any reason to disagree with what I'm saying, that what Jesus is promoting in the gospels is not a gospel of salvation, that it's a gospel of a metaphorical kingdom, a way for people to learn to live the best lives that they can, that people enter when they recognize Him as their lord, a person to serve and obey? I'm thinking that even if the teachings of Paul about salvation are true, they are not at the center of the teachings of Jesus in the gospels, and not what He wants people to know most of all. What He wants for people most of all, according to the gospels, is to recognize Him as their lord and be filled with a desire to learn to live the way He says to live. If there is anything in His teachings about Him being sacrificed for the sins of all people, it is far from the center of His teachings in the gospels. Recognizing Him as lord and being filled with a desire to learn to live the way He says to live comes far ahead of that in the gospels. Do you see any reason for disagreeing with that?
 

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Recognizing Him as lord and being filled with a desire to learn to live the way He says to live comes far ahead of that in the gospels. Do you see any reason for disagreeing with that?
I think historical research suggests that Paul's writings are older than the Gospels.
 

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I think historical research suggests that Paul's writings are older than the Gospels.

Are you saying that's a reason for disagreeing with what I'm saying, that in the gospels, recognizing Jesus as lord and being filled with a desire to learn to live the way he says to live, comes far ahead of any teachings, if there actually are any, about him being sacrificed to save us from the consequences of our sins?

As far as historical research is concerned, do you have any reason to think that there weren't any people in the year 30 who believed that the temple would be destroyed some day?
 

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Jesus predicted His own death AND resurrection several times. His life and death and resurrection WERE His message, more than just his words IMO
 

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Jesus predicted His own death AND resurrection several times

Thank you.

Are you saying that's a reason for disagreeing with what I'm saying, that in the gospels, recognizing Jesus as lord and being filled with a desire to learn to live the way He says to live, comes far ahead of any teachings, if there actually are any, about Him being sacrificed to save us from the consequences of our sins? Does He ever say anything in the gospels about the reason for His death and resurrection being to take the punishment for our sins?
 

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Are you saying
IMO @Cino is observing that the Pauline doctrine of salvation was already in circulation while the gospels were still taking shape, so the doctrine probably is not incidental at all
Are you saying that's a reason for disagreeing with what I'm saying, that in the gospels, recognizing Jesus as lord and being filled with a desire to learn to live the way He says to live, comes far ahead of any teachings, if there actually are any, about Him being sacrificed to save us from the consequences of our sins?
Yes. I disagree with you. His death and resurrection are extremely important
 

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IMO @Cino is observing that the Pauline doctrine of salvation was already in circulation while the gospels were still taking shape, so the doctrine probably is not incidental at all

You and Cino are raising a historical issue which I started discussing in another thread, and which I will respond to there. The question here is strictly about the gospel stories. In the gospel stories, does Jesus say anything at all about the reason for His death being to pay the price for our sins? Even if you think that it's implicit in what He says, are you disagreeing that His teachings in the gospels are mostly about recognizing and accepting Him as lord and learning to live the way He says to live, and very little about His death and resurrection and their significance?
 

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..but why?
Are you asking why Jesus Christ did what He did?
How does it affect us all in practical terms?
You'll never get it.
are you disagreeing that His teachings in the gospels are mostly about recognizing and accepting Him as lord and learning to live the way He says to live, and very little about His death and resurrection and their significance?
Yes. I'm disagreeing. It's a package. Paul's writings about salvation precede the gospels Everybody seems to needs to promote their own 'messenger' by trying to diminish the actual message of Jesus Christ. His sacrificial death and resurrection cannot be separated from his other teachings. He healed the broken and forgave sin. It all comes as a package. IMO
 
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Longfellow

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Yes. I disagree with you. His death and resurrection are extremely important

The question is not how important they are. There are two questions:

1. In the gospels, does Jesus ever say or even imply that He will be sacrificed to pay the price for our sins?

2. Are you disagreeing with saying that in the gospels, Jesus talks much, much more about recognizing and accepting Him as a person to serve and obey and about learning to live the way He says to live, than He does about His death and resurrection and their significance?
 
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