Do miracles and then will I believe!

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INTRODUCTION

Today Mt 14,22-33 is read. Jesus and Peter walk on the sea.

I am a little bit ironic about the title of this post. But this has and still is true. To know that God exists, we still look for miracles.

Read more about this phenomena in demythologizing-the-gospels/#necessity

But this time we have a cute story. Maybe the intention was not to make a wonder. Jesus just wanted to join his disciples: he could. But the disciples saw a sign that made them say “Jesus is truly the Son of God!”

we easily ignore john 4:48:

“Unless you see signs and wonders,
you will in no way believe.” 

But the story about Peter having problems walking on the water gives us an important advice for life.

INDEX

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The text

( N:B. The texts below are copied from www.christianwritingtoday.com/free_downloads/WebNT_CWTedition.pdf )

Matthew 14,22-33 says in English:

The miracle on the lake of Galilee

14:22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat, and to go ahead of him to the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.
14:23 After he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into the mountain by himself to pray. When evening had come, he was there alone.

tThe boat in the middle of the sea
14:24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, distressed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.
14:25 In the fourth watch of the night, Jesus came to them, walking on the sea. 
14:26 When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It’s a ghost!” and they cried out for fear.
14:27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying “Cheer up! It is I!s Don’t be afraid.”
14:28 Peter answered him and said, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the waters.”

Peter walks on the water
14:29 He said, “Come!” Peter stepped down from the boat, and walked on the waters to come to Jesus.
14:30 But when he saw that the wind was strong, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”
14:31 Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand, took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

You are truly the Son of God.
14:32 When they got up into the boat, the wind ceased.
14:33 Those who were in the boat came and worshiped him, saying, “You are truly the Son of God!”

 

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The message

 

14:29 He said, “Come!” Peter stepped down from the boat, and walked on the waters to come to Jesus.
14:30 But when he saw that the wind was strong, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”
14:31 Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand, took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?

Source: Wiki

This is a cute story. I like Taylor Brown’s interpretation of this story. When we are struck by problems we often focus on the situation we are in instead of looking to solutions.

The wind ceased and they believed

14:32 When they got up into the boat, the wind ceased.
14:33 Those who were in the boat came and worshiped him, saying, “You are truly the Son of God!”

The fact that they were so dependent on miracles must have frustrated Jesus a lot angrily say Mt 16:4 :

An evil and adulterous generation
seeks after sign,
and there will be no sign given to it, 
except for the sign of the prophet Jonah.”

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conclusion

As you, I do not rely on miracles to believe that Jesus is inspired by God. His words and commandments proves that.
I see this story more like a message than a miracle.


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Men should keep silent – my will! – updated

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Introduction

This post was published on: Mar 15, 2018. Now I updated it.

I am tired to hear men’s voices in the church at JW meetings. I loved to listen to a woman at the Lutheran church in Sweden. I love female voices but not only because of their voice but also because of their way to talk and think.

I personally can not regard everything in the Bible as being words and commands of God. Some parts in the Bible look to be written by men not “inspired by God“.  Maybe were these men even inspired by the devil.  We are all humans, Jesus like Adam were tempted by the devil so maybe also Paul. I say this thinking about the damage some parts have created as I write about in “Consequences of Genesis

I probably met a fundangelical literalist last week at the JW “Sala del regno” in Lipari I had a discussion with a Jehovah Witness in Lipari.

( Image source: noreligionblog.wordpress.com  )

I am not a JW but I am attending JW (Jehovah witnesses) meetings as they are very helpful and talented in finding different parts of the Bible, even better than the catholic priests I talk with. And their jw app is a great tool for those who want to know more about what is written in the Bible.

As it looks like JW regards the whole Bible as the word of God, “inspired by God” using the words of 2Timothy 3:16.  I asked, therefore, a  Italian JW brother:

“Is the sentence of Paul

let the women keep silent in the congregations”

a sentence/order made by God?

He couldn’t answer, tried to deviate, starting to talk about other parts of The Gospel. I asked again the same question asking him for a yes or no or I don’t know, but invane.

A Witness sister had another approach telling me about other parts of Pauls’s letter where Pauls talked about women active in Rome (see the women leaders in my article below).  But that wasn’t an answer neither to my question. I made, however, thanks to her, my own research both in NT and OT. I came to the conclusion that Paul with his sentence, contradicted himself, the NT and OT. He had a blasphemous moment distracted by stress or the sentence was added later by others in the CAtholic church. I found a blog where Swedish Richard  Cruz discusses this issue. His articles are the main sources of information I used in this article.

Index

 

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Word inspired by God 

I think it has no sense to discuss which are the Words inspired by God without having any definition or criteria about what are “Words inspired by God”.

Paul wrote this about the Bible Timothy  in Ephesos in 2-Timothy 3:16

“All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight,* for disciplining in righteousness, so that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.”

As I have not found any criteria bout this,  I use my own criteria when I read the Muslim Quran, the Buddhist PaleCanon, the Zoroastrian Gatha, The Christian Bible.

These are:

Words may be inspired by God if …

  1. I find the same moral rules and principles in several holy books.
    good thoughts, good words, good deeds. the world's most beautiful country: IranThis is e.g. the case of Jesus rules and the Buddhist 8- fold path to enlightenment and the Zoroastrian Gathas Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds
  2. the sentences I read follow:
    1.  Jesus rules (my ethical ground rules)
    2. the Golden rule
    3. Love your next, your enemie (e.g. rivals), your neighbor
    4. Do not count the times you forgive ( Mat 18:22
    5. never betray a confidence 
      A talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter. ” (  Proverbs 11:13 NKJV  )
  3. A rule is not contradictory to other parts of the same book
  4. If modern science support
  5. a moral rule  leads to improvements, good constructive results 

The word of God is discussed in noreligionblog.wordpress.com/

As a pluralist, I am of course not a fundangelical, as is explained by  www.extremelysmart.com

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Paulus words

“let the women keep silent in the congregations, for it is not permitted for them to speak. Rather, let them be in subjection, as the Law also says.   If they want to learn something, let them ask their husbands at home, for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the congregation”   (  Cor 14:34 )

This is confirmed in  Thimothy 2:12 that says “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man, but she is to remain silent”

he comes to these conclusions with the Genesis as he says in 1-Timothy 2:13-15 :

“For Adam was formed first, then Eve. Also, Adam was not deceived, but the woman was thoroughly deceived and became a transgressor.  However, she will be kept safe through childbearing.”

Maybe JW doesn’t regard these as words of and orders by God as JW women are allowed to speak in the congregation but because of 1-Timothy 2:13-15 they never lead the assemblies.

In any case, the sentence “women keep silent” goes against Paul himself and the Bible

Read the thoughts about this verse by

www.rickardcruz.se 

this is another part that I hardly see as God’s word. How can the appearance of hair be that important for God?

In the Vatican and the Dome of Milan, women are not allowed to enter without covering the hair. But men can enter even with long hair.

These verses are according to me written by men who think they are superior to women.

The woman is man’s glory, not Gods?

( 1 )  ” But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered shames her head, for it is one and the same as if she were a woman with a shaved head. For if a woman does not cover herself, she should have her hair cut off but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or shaved, she should be covered.  For a man should not have his head covered, as he is God’s image and glory, but the woman is man’s glory.” (  Cor 11:5-7  )

This reminds of the Muslim people that require women to cover their hair. And a woman as man’s glory? typically written by a man with no self-confidence at all that has not learned that the last on Earth is first in Heaven. Paul, sometimes should men keep their mouth shut.

JW women seem not to follow this so these sentences may not be seen as words of God?

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Biblical arguments against “the women keep silent”

If it were heretical for women to speak in congregations, Jesus would not have asked Mary to tell what she saw and Jesus told her, to the brothers as is written in  John 20:16-18  :

( 1 )  “She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.”

In this text there is no distinction between women and men:

 ( 1 ” a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.”

( 1 )   So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.”  (  Col 3:11 -13 )

( 1 )   The women should not be silent in the congregation as is written in  ( Psalms 68:11  )

The Lord gives the command; The women who proclaim the good tidings are a great host

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Women Leaders in the early church
I found very useful information in my translation from  www.rickardcruz.se

Three women followed Jesus and are mentioned several times in the Gospels. At one point it says that Jesus was with the twelve disciples – and these three women. Why there were only men among the twelve were probably because they traveled, lived, stayed overnight, and went extremely close together for three years and that it had been very difficult to do that with a mixed group in that society. Translated from  www.rickardcruz.se

Mary, Joanna, and Susanna and many others( 1

 ” After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out;  Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means” ( Luke 8: 1-3 )

Mary from Magdala 
Mary from Magdala had a life-changing encounter with Jesus when he liberated her from seven evil spirits. She became one of Jesus’ followers and sometimes traveled with him. She was just like the other disciples, following Jesus and received his teaching.
She was present at the two most important events in Jesus’ life: the crucifixion and the resurrection. She is mentioned at least twelve times in the four Gospels, which is more than most of the male disciples. Jesus chose to allow Mary to be the first to prove himself in his resurrection as I wrote about above. He also sent her to be the first witness of the resurrection of the other disciples. This is contrary to the prevailing system in the Jewish society where women were not considered credible as witnesses. My translation from  www.rickardcruz.se

Philippus four unmarried daughters
 We do not know their names or if they were considered prophets but they prophesied according to   ( Acts 21:8-9 ): ( 1 )   “Leaving the next day, we reached Caesarea and stayed at the house of Philip the evangelist, one of the Seven. He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied.”

Phoebe – Co-worker of Paul who served the church in Cenchreae, We do not know which service/gift she had but that she was now traveling to Rome with Paul’s recommendations may very well suggest she was a traveling serviceman.

( 1 )   “I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church in Cenchreae.”

(Romans 16: 1)

My translation from  www.rickardcruz.se

Maria
– Workers in the Assembly of Rome. She was a congregation worker and leader who had made a big difference to the church in Rome. (

Greet Mary, who worked very hard for you. “  ( Romans 16: 6 )

My translation from  www.rickardcruz.se

Junia
– according to Paul, she was a highly regarded apostle. For centuries, the female apostle Junia has been the headache of the male church hierarchy. Many have tried to claim that Junia was actually a man but there is no proof of anything other than that she was actually a woman.

( 1 )   “Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.” ( Romans 16: 7 )

Hypatia

I wrote about her in a separate post.

My translation from  www.rickardcruz.se

Tryphena and Tryphosa

Their names make it likely that they were either slaves or former slaves. My translation from  www.rickardcruz.se

( 1 )   ” Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, those women who work hard in the Lord. Greet my dear friend Persis, another woman who has worked very hard in the Lord” ( Romans 16:12 )

Priska / Priscilla

“Greet Priscilla and (ed. Priscillas husband) Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus.  They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them.”

Priska and her husband traveled and moved several times. In Ephesus, Corinth and Rome. Probably she and her husband served as the noblest / community leader. She and her husband met Apollos early in his service and taught him thoroughly. He is later referred to as an apostle. (Acts 18: 2-3, 18, 26, Romans 16: 3-4, 1 Corinthians 16:19, 2 Tim 4:19)

My translation from  www.rickardcruz.se

Euodia and Syntyche

( 1 )   ” I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.”  ( Phil 4: 2-3 )

Friends, Leaders and Employees of Paul in the Gospel Service in the Philippi Assembly. 

My translation from  www.rickardcruz.se

 

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Consequences of verses in Genesis

I would like to analyze the consequences of some verses in Genesis regarding the Roles of Adam and Eve. 

It is important to know that both Muslims and Christians believe in the same story and roles of Adam (deceived by Eve) and Eve (the deceiver) 

As you will see the story of Genesis led to a chain reaction (Domino effect)

Effect 1.

Paul who thought that all scripture in the  Bible (Genesis included) were inspired by God ( 2 Timothy 3:15 ) red and interpreted  Genesis in  1-Timothy 2:13-15 as I wrote above, like this :

“For Adam was formed first, then Eve. Also, Adam was not deceived, but the woman was thoroughly deceived and became a transgressor.  However, she will be kept safe through childbearing.”

(ed. “kept safe” from being stupidly deceived by the Devil or commit more crimes? Only the Bible contains such a statement, the Quran doesn’t, even though many Muslims think that women should not study nor work but instead take care of the children and the home. )

Pauls conclusion after reading Genesis was, therefore:

  Effect 1a.” However, she will be kept safe through childbearing.”

  Effect 1b.“I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man, but she is to remain silent” ( Thimothy 2:12 )

Effect 2. With the support of Pauls  verses  above ( (Effect 1b in 1 Tim. 2:12-15).),  Brian Allison like many priests, states in http://www.bibleword.com/wwsnbp.htm: “The second reason why women are not to be pastors or elders is that the Scriptures (ed. Pauls letter to Timotheus is regarded as Gods law) specifically prohibit such action.”

As is described in http://www.womenpriests.org/jesus-empowered-women/

In the Middle Ages, everyone took for granted that only men were present at the Last Supper.” This led to the conclusion by the Church that only men should be allowed to perform the Eucharist in his name.

This is maybe changing as  “faithful Catholics  show why the exclusion of women from the priesthood is wrong”. Read more inn http://www.womenpriests.org/

Among those who welcomed Francis during his visit in Sweden was Lutheran Archbishop Antje Jackelen of Uppsala. Jackelen is the primate of the Church of Sweden and a woman.  See photo above from www.ncronline.org.

On the question ‘Who is more important in the theology or in the spirituality of the church: the apostles or Mary, on the day of Pentecost?’ ” Pope Francis answered: “It is Mary!”

However, the Pope said that the ban is going on that direction ( ed. an everlasting ban ) in the Catholic church.  Read more in  www.ncronline.org

This everlasting ban is one of the consequences of the story of Adam and Eve. Maybe this ban was only of one of many.

One can speculate about other consequences  of Genesis like 

Who loosed most from the story of Genesis? The women.

Who won power with the story of Genesis? The men.

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Bible scripts, Jesus did not accept

I discuss here a few parts that Jesus did not accept and whose rules he changed triggering the wrath of the priests of his time. 

  1. Did God say “Defeat your enemy and put aside the clothes of a pleasant woman prisoners in your home and make her your wife?”

These verses tell you how God will help you defeat your enemie and how a man can have sex with an attractive prisoner woman. 

( 1 )  “When you go to war against your enemies and the Lord your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives, 11 if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife. 12 Bring her into your home and have her shave her head, trim her nails 13, and put aside the clothes she was wearing when captured. After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife. 14 If you are not pleased with her, let her go wherever she wishes. You must not sell her or treat her as a slave since you have dishonored her”  (  Deuteronomy 21:10-14  )

What Jesus said years later

(You heard that it was said: ‘You heard that it was said: ‘You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy.  However, I say to you: Continue to love your enemies and to pray for those who persecute you,” ( Matt 5:43-44 )

Jesus said “it is said”  He didn’t say, “God said”. So Jesus may be indirectly said that Deuteronomy 21:10-14 :  is not the word of God. It is superfluous to talk about aberrant instruction to use a pleasant prisoner woman. 

  1. No, the word of God is this intelligent and constructive statement:

“love your enemie and persecutor”

2a. Did God order you to Stone your stubborn son?

These verses of  Deuteronomy 2:8-25 are also very questionable:

( 1 )   “If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him,  his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.” Then all the men of his town are to stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.”

Sons should show respect to the parents but stubbornness we know of today may have other causes than being evil. Maybe the son has some trauma from bad experiences or simply, the parents are not behaving as good parents. A God should know this and that elders may not be able to judge in a correct way. I can not see these verses as inspired by God.

2b. Did God order you in case of adultery to  Stone your daughter in front of your house?

This is what God commands according to the Bible: 

( 1 )  “If, however, the charge is true  (ed. the woman is found not to be virgin and no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found,  she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done an outrageous thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you.” ( Deuteronomy 22:20-21 )

More can be read about this in https://carm.org/bible-difficulties

How can you p4roove that a woman is virgin? Not all women loose blood after the first intercourse.  God would have known that.

What Jesus said years later

 “Read these verses of John 3:1-11

( 1 )  “As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.  “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery.The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” 
They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger.  They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”  Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman.10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?  “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

Jesus the one who has never sinned, did not ask for witnesses and proves  nor did he stone her. Even if he  clearly said “you shall not commit adultery”  (  Matthew 5:27-28 ) he let her go telling her “sin no more”

This behaviour of Jesus is in total agreement with the no judge  law Jesus himself proclaimed:

2. God said this intelligent and life-changing advice

( 1 )  “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. luke 6:37 )

We have to judge in today’s society but have developed a system for that to minimize risks for mistakes. many countries are against death sentences for the same reason. We must protect the victims. while respecting humans right, giving criminals possibilities to start a new life without crimes.

3. Did God at request from Elisha, order young children to be torn   to pieces by “shebears”?

Read 2 Kings 2:23-24 that tells about what young boys made to Elisha and what God made at his request:

“He went up from there to Bethel. As he was going along the way, some young boys came out from the city and began to jeer at him, and they kept saying to him: “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!”   
Finally he turned around and looked at them and cursed them in the name of Jehovah. Then two she-bears came out of the forest and tore 42 of the children to pieces

Do you  believe that God had this happen? Is this the truth? I am in doubt of that.

3. No. God said this intelligent and life-changing advice about how many times you should forgive:

up to 77 times” ( Mat 18:21-22 )

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Conclusion

 about that Paul with his sentence contradicted himself, the NT (Jesus himself), and OT (Psalms 68:11). He had a blasphemous moment distracted by stress or the sentence was added later by others in the Catholic church.

That God gives instructions on how humans should dress (  see verses in  Cor 11:5-7  ) is like the Muslim God that in the Quran instructs about heritage amounts ( 4-Al-Nisa ). This seems to me, not to be an issue for a God to spend precious time with.  Especially not when the main message is to love your next and enemie ( enemies that maybe women challengeing you.

I can not find any other conclusion that the story of Genesis was written by men led by their own instincts and absolutely not “inspired by God”.

If there is a God (I am agnostic as you may understand) and a  God per definition should be all-knowing, a God would have understood the weakness of Adam, that Adam in the presence of a beautiful woman like probably Eve was, were to become simply stupid. Not forgetting that Eve was of the same body of Adam and therefore like a twin brother.

God should have sent the message instead, that men should sometimes keep silent and not get to much powers being to much driven by instincts and heir hormones.

For me it seems obvious that some parts of the Bible are the word of men and not inspired by God, words of men who in part  either

  •  erroneously translated their messenger
  • or misinterpreted their messenger
  • or overinterpreted what they heard adding their own fantasies to make their story more interesting or readable (like parts in the  Genesis, as using the word day instead of millennia and with “God rested the seventh day”  or blaming the woman for the man’s failures

There is also a hypothesis that Pauls  “Women shall keep silent ” has been added after his death, maybe by the same people who argued that Pauls Junia was a man.

The same can be seen in the Quran were “fight” has been translated to kill in contradiction of Moses law “you shall not kill” a translation that led many youth to go to ISIS.

like the Catholic church does not accept women to be priests because of Pauls’s “Women should keep silent.” and many women in Sicily have suffered as hey couldn’t prove their virginity after the first marriage night, one has to read the Bible with listening and thinking mind. Not to forget that several texts were created 6000 years ago, transmitted orally and written down hundreds of years later, like the books of Moses.

That the Genesis said the Paradise was created down here on Earth (as the translations sound like) is one of my doubts. Even if geniously written, I think the Creation message in Genesis has been greatly simplified and misinterpreted downgrading God to a magician and artists. If Genesis really originated from God, then God shows great humility with this account of the Creation.

I prefer however the more mystical Muslim version where Paradise with Adam is created in Heaven (like Jesus was before everything) and Adam was sent down to Earth as a punishment for disobedience, incarnated in a human beings body, like I wrote about in my Unified creation theory.

Words inspired by God or by the devil? 

About the suggestions of the evil ones will be the issue for the next post.

 

Footnotes

(1) About texts from the Bible in this article. If you are reading Bible text in the English version and using the Google translate option, you must know that the Google translation may not be an approved translation. We recommend you to open the approved text  in your chosen language here in Biblia or here in jw.org.

 

He will wipe every tear from their eyes

I saw again the film Don’t Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves”, a story about love, in this case about the love of Benjamin and Rasmus, two boys who loved each other. 

One of them, Rasmus, died in Aids in the early 1980s when AIDS came to Stockholm. 

Benjamin was a brave Witness of Jehovah who knew the Bible very well.  But Benjamin loved Rasmus and decided to leave the Jehovah witness. Despite that, he remained a good Christian. He never committed adultery and betrayed Rasmus, something that Rasmus did going to bed with other men.
Benjamin was therefore lucky and never got infected.
He survived the painful death of his boyfriend. Benjamin helped taking care of Rasmus at the hospital, despite the risks of infection.

Benjamin, declaring himself as homosexual, was however excluded from his family who was J. Witnesses. Benjamin suffered heavily being abandoned by his family.

Benjamin was not even allowed to attend Rasmus’s funeral as Rasmus’s parents were afraid of bad talks in their home village north of Stockholm.

Benjamin told about his story, 20 years later, and about his story is this film based. The film that is really a film about true love, is available at IMBd.

Benjamin’s favorite Bible verse was Revelation 21:4:

4‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. 
There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, 
for the old order of things has passed away.”

Benjamin comforted his friend Rasmus with this verse before he died at the hospital.

God/Allah/יהוה is a forgiving God that understands humans’ need for true love. And Jesus said “Love you enemies and forgive 7×77 times.

(from the Quran Al-Fatihah 1:1
in English: In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful

Some scientific facts to consider

  • We are all developed in the womb as physically female embryos with e.g. clitoris instead of a developed penis. Only later female embryos become male embryos. Some males can develop differently getting in love with the same-sex humans.
  • You can not decide whom you get in love with, as it depends on your brain’s functions.
  • Homosexuality does not depend on previous traumatic experiences and can be cured as some religious (JW) say.


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Jesus didnt wan’t to do miracles

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INTRODUCTION

Sunday mass August 2 we read Mt 14,13-21 about the miracle of the bread and fish. As you know from my page about Miracles I do not believe in all those miracle stories. They are not important. The important his Jesus kerygma.

Jesus said according to Mt 16:4 :

An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign,
and there will be no sign given to it, 
except for the sign of the prophet Jonah.”

INDEX

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The text

( N:B. The texts below are copied from www.christianwritingtoday.com/free_downloads/WebNT_CWTedition.pdf )

Feeding the Five Thousand

14,13-21 says:

14:18 He said, “Bring them here to me.”
14:19 He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass, and he took the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he blessed, broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave to the multitudes.
14:20 They all ate and were filled. They took up twelve baskets full of that which remained left over from the broken pieces.
14:21 Those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

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The message

Comparing the Gospels

the “Feeding of the 5,000”, is reported by all four gospels
(Matthew 14:13-21Mark 6:31-44Luke 9:12-17John 6:1-14).(Read more in Wiki )

To compare the stories I added these
with the oldest (Mark) first in this table: 

Mark 6:40-44;

40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. 41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and he divided the two fish among them all. 42 And all ate and were filled; 43 and they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. 44 Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand men.

Mt 14:13-21

Those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

 

Luke 9:12-17

And he said to his disciples, “Make them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 They did so and made them all sit down. 16 And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. 17 And all ate and were filled.

John 6:1-14

10 Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so theyc] sat down, about five thousand in all. 11 Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted.

 14 When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.”

This was the first miracle with thousands of “guests”.

He did this first miracle near the lake of Galilee. Having the people sit in groups of 0 or 100 is a time-consuming task. We have to consider that families maybe did not want to be separated by their children especially newborns.

Counting up to 5000 is not an easy task 2000 years ago. Who could have done that?  Matthew was before tax-collector so he was maybe the one who could count such large numbers maybe with the help of a abacus. the fishermen disciples selling fish, maybe could do that too.

The early Christians taught these miracles to be important not considering Jesus’ own opinion about these ( Mt 16:4). At their time you had to do supernatural things at least like Moes, to be considered worthy to listen to.

At the marriage of Cana, they made Jesus into a God of wine Bacchus. (John 2:1–11). The gospel writer of John had a big need to make Jesus a miracle man, a wizard.

They took inspiration from Isaia 55:1-3 about the miracle of the fish and bread, from Moses. Jesus mus realize  Isaia 55:1-3 to be regarded as a God.

At the marriage of Cana, they made Jesus into the Roman God of wine Bacchus. (John 2:1–11).

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conclusion

As said in my introduction, Jesus said according to Mt 16:4 :

An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign,
and there will be no sign given to it, 
except for the sign of the prophet Jonah.”

Jesus wanted us to listen and not to believe in him thanks to miracles. So I strongly doubt this fish bread story.

But I had an interesting association with this miracle.

The real miracle came after Jesus’ death. There are an estimated 1.2 billion Roman Catholics in the world most of them taking the bread at eucharistic / communion on Sundays,

I wonder if they believe in Jesus because of his miracles or because of his kerygma. Many do not follow his commandments.

 

 

 

 


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the treasure and pearl parables

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INTRODUCTION

Today Sunday Mt 13,44-52 is read. It is about three parables of the Kingdom of Heaven (Kingdom of God): 

  1. Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field,
  2. the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who is a merchant seeking fine pearls
  3. the Kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet

The first two parables look to be more cryptic than those of the what and the grain of mustard I wrote about last Sunday.

But in the light of the mustard grain parable, I found what the Kindom of Heaven’s treasures and pearls could be.

INDEX

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The text

( N:B. The texts below are copied from www.christianwritingtoday.com/free_downloads/WebNT_CWTedition.pdf )

Matthew 13:44-52 says:

13:44 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found, and hid. In his joy, he goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field.
13:45 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who is a merchant seeking fine pearls,
13:46who having found one pearl of great price, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
13:47 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet, that was cast into the sea, and gathered some fish of every kind,
13:48 which, when it was filled, they drew up on the beach. They sat down, and gathered the good into containers, but the bad they threw away.
13:49 So will it be in the end of the world. The angels will come forth, and separate the wicked from among the righteous,
13:50 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth.”
13:51 Jesus said to them, “Have you understood all these things?” They answered him, “Yes, Lord.”
13:52 He said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been made a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who is a householder, who brings out of his treasure new and old things.”

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The message

I interpret Jesus’ parables according to my Confirmation and judgment bias. I base my prejudices on Jesus’ teaching of love and my studying of the Creation.

13:44 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found, and hid. In his joy, he goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field.

the Universe is the Kingdom of God.

“sells all that he has, and buys that field.” is like” loving he field”

Our planet has a lot of hidden treasures like oil, gas, precious metals, salt. Wee must take well care of these.

As I understood the parable of the mustard seed, the Universe is the Kingdom of God. if we “buy the field” or “love the field/Universe) / the Creation 

13:45 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who is a merchant seeking fine pearls, 
13:46 who having found one pearl of great price, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

This one is another version of the treasure parable. Again I believe it is a parable about loving the creation and its treasures/pearls.

13:47 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet, that was cast into the sea, and gathered some fish of every kind,
13:48 which, when it was filled, they drew up on the beach.
They sat down and gathered the good into containers, but the bad they threw away.
13:49 So will it be in the end of the world.

This last parable is obvious as Jesus said. The question is what the good and bad are. Obviously Christians interpret it as being good are those believing in God. God is a loving and all-knowing God. So indigenous in eg the Brasilian forest can not be regarded the same way even though some priests may have told them about Jesus. The most important is that they behave as good people loving their next and the creation with its plants and animals.

Jesus taught love. 

Christian hypocrites.

Many Christian behave like hypocrites. They go to church only to show themselves up as good Christians.

Animists, shamanists, Atheists, Buddhists, Taoists, Zoroastrians, Muslims may be better loving their next and the Creation than some Christians.

A Muslim in Sweden said to me once that some Swedes are better Muslims than many Muslims. 

I belive that Animists, shamanists, Atheists, Buddhists, Taoists, Zoroastrians, Muslims will be regarded the same way by a loving God. at the “end of the world”. God is not a deity discriminating nor having a chosen people.

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conclusion

I have found support in the first two parables o the treasure and pearl, for us to love the Creation with its hidden resources (oil, salt and other) as well animal, plants, seas and woods and take good care of these.

I wrote some time ago an article in Italian about loving the Creation in www.kireus.com/wordpress/lipari.


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the mustard grain and the Universe

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INTRODUCTION

Sunday 19 Mt 13,24-43 is read. It is about the Kingdom of God.

Kingdom of God is restricted to the Christian world of faith.

For most Christians the Kingdom of God is restricted to the Christian world of faith.  There is no logic in this. Jesus was a Jew and had contact with the Smaritans  regarded as dogs by the Jews. He for sure had contact with the Essenes to.he wanted to convert to lost Hebrews. He did not want to spread phobia but love.  I see a different Kingdom of God  were all humans are welcome, with faith or not.

I decided to make a second post about this reading with focus on the mustard grain seed.

No priest talked about this parable probably because they are looked into the Genesis story of Moses and don’t want to see what Science says about the Universe’s first moments of existence.

Nils Bohr said once

Bildresultat för if you are not astonished by quantum mechanics then you have not understood it.

I say:

“if you are not astonished by the words of Jesus,
then you have not understood Jesus.”.

INDEX

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The text

( N:B. The texts below are copied from www.christianwritingtoday.com/free_downloads/WebNT_CWTedition.pdf )

Mathew 13,24-43 says among others :

the grain of mustard grain parable
13:31 He set another parable before them, saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field;
13:32 which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.”

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The message

I have all the parables indexed in this page.

The parable of the yeast and the grain of mustard.

 Luke 13:18 shares the same parable  with these words. To be able to compare these I put both parable versions beside each other in this table.

Matthew 13:31  Luke 13:18 Thomas
13:31 “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field;
13:32 which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.”
 “13:18 He said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? To what shall I compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and put in his own garden. It grew, and became a large tree, and the birds of the sky lodged in its branches.” 3 [20]. The disciples say to Jesus: “Tell us what the Kingdom of heaven is like!” He says to them: “It is like a grain of mustard: it is smaller than all the <other> seeds, but when it falls on ploughed land it produces a big stalk and becomes a shelter for the birds of heaven.”

 

what msutard seed was it really?

“At times, Bible scholars concluded erroneously that is was seed of the black mustard (Brassica nigra)  Jesus talked about. The Brassica nigra seed grow up to a brush to seek shelter in as Thomas wrote but not a tree were birds lodge like Matthew and Luke said.

 

Closeup of yellow blossoming black mustard or Brassica nigra plants growing in the wild on a pile of earth at the edge of a farmer’s field in the Netherlands. It is in the middle of the summer period.

But this seed 
a  mustard tree that become so big that it can lodge birds  in its branches is the three of  Salvadora perisica. In scientific communities, the mustard tree is the Salvadora perisica, commonly called the toothbrush tree. they are in favor for the Salvadora because it is a larger plant than the black mustard and better able to accommodate birds resting in its branches. TheSalvadora perisica mustard tree grows throughout arid Africa and the Middle East.” ( godasagardener.com )

Thomas was more accurate.
Jesus may have talked about the brassica nigra seed but described the parable as Thomas reported it. Indeed can birds find shelter in a big brassica nigra plant.

Metaphore for faith?

The metaphor of the seed is mainly interpreted as the faith in God that can grow. As I wrote in my introduction:

For most Christians, the Kingdom of God is restricted to the Christian world of faith. The Christians want to be the chosen people. But there is no logic in this.

Jesus was a Jew and had contact with the Samaritans that were  regarded as dogs by the Jews. he had no Samarophobia like the Jews.
He for sure had contact with the Essenes too like John the Baptist. He wanted to convert to lost Hebrews. He did not want to spread phobia but love.  I see a different Kingdom of God were all humans are welcome, whatever faith they belong to. As fart as they behave as good caring humans.

the kingdom of God

But is the Kingdom of God only restricted to the world of faith? I doubt that. I think that everything that exists (visible and not) is part of the Kingdom of God.

The disciples did not have knowledge enough to understand the parable of the grain of mustard in other contexts than their own faith and life experience.

Nor does probably many priests understand it, listening to their obscure bla bla bla explanations. 

I see that  the mustard grain and tree metaphor rather as a beautiful metaphor for the birth of the Universe. Something very small becomes something huge. I do it after having followed Pauls advice in Romans 1:19-20

Study the creation to be remove your blindness.

paul wrote a  about woman, natural sex and other issue out of studio stereotypes of his time and biases.  But I admire a free thinking part in Romans where he motivates us to study the creation:

. Paul’s motivation to do this in Romans 1:19,20 is very important to consider:

“What may be known of God is manifest in them for God has shown it to them. 
For since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made,

even his eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse”
(Romans
1:19,20).”. 

I find that Pauls words were followed by a few famous people Scietnist with open minds like Einstein who said: 

“I believe in Spinoza’s God, Who reveals Himself
in the orderly  harmony of what exists,

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. - Albert Einstein(Image source : www.brainyquote.com/quotes)

read more about  Einstein in my page dedicated to him.

To study the creation became my way to try to understand God. 

The mustard seeds

I write the page “Evolution of Physics” and “Earth and life primordial atoms” some time ago. As you can read on my first page, the building blocks of the Universe are very very small. They may not even be regarded as particles anymore.

David Tong, Professor of Theoretical Physics, call these The real building blocks of the Universe”

”Source:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNVQfWC_evg minute 33)

These may in fact be just strings according to the string theory)

At Jesus time what smaller could be seen than mustard grains?

The Kingdom of God could be a metaphor for the Universe and its origin. A metaphor that is today illustrated with this image:

St. Augustine wrote: ‘If it happens that the authority of Sacred Scripture is set in opposition to clear and certain reasoning, this must mean that the person who interprets Scripture does not understand it correctly.” [St. Augustine, Epist. 143, 7, PL 33, 588]

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conclusion

I have found an alternative explanation for the grain of mustard and yeast that is in agreement with” clear and certain reasoning”.

But I have still not looked at the other parables about the Kingdom.  These may contradict the conclusion I came to today. 

Whatever, I find the parable of the yeast and mustard grain, to be just genius. Miracle stories are not needed to justify that this man is to be listened to.


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Kingdom of Heaven

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INTRODUCTION

Sunday 19 Mt 13,24-43 is read. It is about the Kingdom of Heaven. It is time to look not only at the parable shared today but all the parables about the Kingdom of God to get the best picture.

“if you are not astonished by the words of Jesus,
then you have not understood Jesus.”.

In the text today three parables about the Kingdom are shared by Jesus. he said that the Kingdom of God is

  1. like  man who sow wheat
  2. like the yeast
  3. Like a grain of mustard

then the man who sow wheat is explained but not the other two. Maybe the disciples did not have knowledge enough to understand these.

But we have it maybe today.

I am astonished but I can not say that I understood the Kingdom of God.

INDEX

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The text

( N:B. The texts below are copied from www.christianwritingtoday.com/free_downloads/WebNT_CWTedition.pdf )

Mathew 13,24-43 says

The parable of the wheat and darnel
13:24 He set another parable before them, saying,
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field,
13:25 but while people slept, his enemy came and sowed darnel weeds also among the wheat, and went away.
13:26 But when the blade sprang up and brought forth fruit, then the darnel weeds appeared also.
13:27 The servants of the householder came and said to him, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where did this darnel come from?’
13:28 “He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and gather them up?’
13:29 “But he said, ‘No, lest perhaps while you gather up the darnel weeds, you root up the wheat with them.
13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and in the harvest time I will tell the reapers, “First, gather up the darnel weeds, and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn.”

the grain of mustard grain parable
13:31 He set another parable before them, saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field;
13:32 which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.”

The parable of the yeast
13:33 He spoke another parable to them. “The Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, until it was all leavened.”
13:34 Jesus spoke all these things in parables to the multitudes; and without a parable, he didn’t speak to them,
13:35 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophet, saying, “I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things hidden from the foundation of the world.”

The wheat parable explained by Jesus
13:36 Then Jesus sent the multitudes away and went into the house. His disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the darnel weeds of the field.”
13:37 He answered them, “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man,
13:38  the field is the world; and the good seed, these are the children of the Kingdom; and the darnel weeds are the children of the evil one.
13:39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels.
13:40 As therefore the darnel weeds are gathered up and burned with fire; so will it be at the end of this age.
13:41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will gather out of His Kingdom all things that cause stumbling, and those who do iniquity,
13:42and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be weeping and the gnashing of teeth.
13:43 Then the righteous will shine forth like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

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The message

These are the parables that talk about the Kingdom of Heaven or God:

Kingdom of Heaven or God

John uses like Mark the word Kingdom of God instead of Matthews Kingdom of Heaven.

Jesus talked about the Kingdom of God together with Nicodemus saying “unless one is born of water and spirit, he can’t enter into the Kingdom of God“. This makes me conclude that the Kingdom of God is not on Earth.
Jesus  parable description of the Kingdom of Heaven in Matthew as Jesus explains it may it look like that the Kingdom of Heaven is on Earth and after the Resurrection in Heaven. This is confusing.

However it is, Weknwo that Jesus used both the title “Kingdom of Heaven” and “Kingdom of God”. He used it maybe in the sense that 

the “Kingdom of Heaven” is the  “Kingdom of God”.

The parable of the wheat and darnel – a story of human beings

As I said in the introduction the man who sows wheat is explained but not the other two. Jesus’ explanation is clear enough. It tells about the human beings’ history of the battle between good and evil and what will happen after the Resurrection day.

The parable of the yeast and the grain of mustard.

I wrote about these two parables in my later post. Read it the-mustard-grain-and-the-universe

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conclusion

I have found a explanation for the grain of mustard and yeast. But as said above, I decided to dedicate a separate page to that one. Most think that the Kingdom of God is restricted to the Christian world of faith. That does not seem reasonable for me. read more in  the-mustard-grain-and-the-universe


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The farmer parable

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INTRODUCTION

Today at the Catholic Church, we read the parable of the farmer in Mt 13,1-23 (Italian version) 
The farmer in the parable sowed seeds on
roadside,  on rocky ground,  among thorns, and on good soil.

The priest at the mass like Pope Francis interprets the seeds in this parable as the words of Christ. But this contradicts Luke 8:10 where it is said that the seed is the word of God.

But a new kind of association about the farmer came up in my mind.

INDEX

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The text

( N:B. The texts below are copied from www.christianwritingtoday.com/free_downloads/WebNT_CWTedition.pdf )

Matthew 13,1-23 says:

13:1 On that day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the seaside.
13:2 Great multitudes gathered to him, so that he entered into a boat, and sat, and all the multitude stood on the beach.
13:3 He spoke to them many things in parables, saying, “Behold, a farmer went out to sow.
13:4 As he sowed, some seeds fell by the roadside, and the birds came and devoured them.
13:5 Others fell on rocky ground, where they didn’t have much soil, and immediately they sprang up because they had no depth of earth.
13:6 When the sun had risen, they were scorched. Because they had no root, they withered away.
13:7 Others fell among thorns. The thorns grew up and choked them.
13:8 Others fell on good soil and yielded fruit: some one hundred times as much, some sixty, and some thirty.
13:9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
13:10 The disciples came, and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?”
13:11 He answered them, “To you, it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but it is not given to them.
13:12 For whoever has, to him will be given, and he will have abundance, but whoever doesn’t have, from him will be taken away even that which he has.
13:13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they don’t see, and hearing, they don’t hear, neither do they understand.
13:14 In them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says, ‘By hearing you will hear, and will in no way understand; Seeing you will see, and will in no way perceive:
13:15 for this people’s heart has grown callous, their ears are dull of hearing, they have closed their eyes; or else perhaps they might perceive with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their heart, and should turn again; and I would heal them.’
13:16 “But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear.
13:17 For most certainly I tell you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see the things which you see, and didn’t see them; and to hear the things which you hear, and didn’t hear them.
The explication
13:18 “Hear, then, the parable of the farmer.
13:19 When anyone hears the word of the Kingdom and doesn’t understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away that which has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown by the roadside.
13:20 What was sown on the rocky places, this is he who hears the word, and immediately with joy receives it;
13:21 yet he has no root in himself but endures for a while. When oppression or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.
13:22 What was sown among the thorns, this is he who hears the word, but the cares of this age and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.
13:23 What was sown on the good ground, this is he who hears the word, and understands it, who most certainly bears fruit, and brings forth, some one hundred times as much, some sixty, and some thirty.”

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The message

What is the seed in the parable?

Christians say that Seed is the Word of God according to Luke 8:11 “…The seed is the word of God.”

Jesus always said that all he does he does with the help of God. When he got Lazarus alive he said (John 11:41):
Father, I thank you that you listened to me. 11:42 I know that you always listen to me, but because of the multitude that stands around I said this, that they may believe that you sent me.” 

BUT who is the sower?

In  Matthew 13:36-37 we read He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man”

As Luke 8:11 says “…. The seed is the word of God.”
I wonder therefore if Matthew 13:37 is a correct reproducing of Jesus’ words.

Matthew 13:37 sounds again like a sentence of a bragger. I wonder if he instead maybe said  The one who sows the good seed is God” in agreement with Luke 8:11.

Early Christians removed the tetragrammaton several times to instead “write the Lord” So why not make a correction years later in Matthew to make the sentence correspond to Luke 8:11″? As I believe, with the adaptation in  Matthew 13:37 the sentence became more  intuitive. But today we know better.Today we can better understand a God that sows randomly.
we know today that everything is ruled by probability laws. Einstein said that “God does not play dice” but he maybe create a Universe based on conditional probability. I wore about this issue in http://www.kinberg.net/wordpress/stellan/god-does-not-play-dice/#natureprobability 
and in
 http://www.kinberg.net/wordpress/stellan/probability/

Why parables?

This is another question that I find is important to meditate on:

13:10 The disciples came, and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?”
Matthew 13:11 He answered them, “To you, it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but it is not given to them.

 

This is in agreement with Luke 8:10 that says: “I speak in parables, so that, “‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.”

As among the people many were Galilean farmers, it is quite obvious why Jesus explains the kingdom of God with the use of a farmer and sowing parable. But he does not motivate like this.

13:11 He…. but it is not given to them.

Who was he referring to with the word “them”?

Does he refer to the great multitudes around him or some others not being there?

13:12 For whoever has, to him will be given, and he will have abundance, but whoever doesn’t have, from him will be taken away even that which he has.

This is a rather discriminatory speech. As he always said that the little ones, the poor will be first, this speech sounds bad in the mouth of Jesus.

This video visualize this discrimination when Jesus points his finger to the people on the shore:
The video is not a good representation of a loving Jesus but rather a representation of many clerics who judge people as ignorant.

Is Jesus talking about having ears and eyes?

13:13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they don’t see, and hearing, they don’t hear, neither do they understand.

13:14 In them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says, ‘By hearing you will hear, and will in no way understand; Seeing you will see, and will in no way perceive:

What is the meaning then to tell the parables if he knows that many will not understand?

I find 13:13 difficult to understand.

But telling in parables it has been easy for disciples and people to remember his kerygma. But to understand the parables is more difficult. 

If someone could not understand why could Jeus  not  explain with other words? or did the parables had a different purpose? Maybe did he share these to make it easy to remember these for future generations?

Jesus own explanation of the parable

Jesus she does not explain about the farmer and why the farmer sow on so different soils. 

As you can read, Jesus only explained the different grounds: the
roadside,  the rocky ground,  the among thorns.  the good soil and how human beings behave. 


the evil at the roadside

13:19 When anyone hears the word of the Kingdom and doesn’t understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away that which has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown by the roadside.

This makes me think about “cognitive bias” that is defined as “Cognitive bias refers to a systematic predictable deviation from rationality in judgment or decision-making. (read more in www.kinberg.net

In other words we hear what we expect to hear and
we understand with the mood we are in.

if we are angry for something we interpret differently than when we are in peace of mind. 

In the time of Jesus for reasons we know (poverty, persecutions by Romans etc), many did not have peace in mind so could listen to the evil inner voice. Jesus may refer to when he said evil one comes and snatches away

conclusion

God as the sower makes me think about the Creation of the Universe that is almost entirely based on conditional probability rules from the quantum level up to the visible in nature.

Everything in the world is governed by precise ratios and constant law of change.”  Read more on my page about probability in www.kinberg.net. This was of course difficult for our ancestors to understand. As we have inherited a cognitive bias it as natural for them to simplify and we still have without having studied more deeply the nature of things.

However, by studying the creation and its laws we may understand better Jesus parables of the Kingdom of God.

My final conclusion of today’s reading, is that I will continue to :

  • fertilize the soil
    (get and share information about the Creation)
  • and sow
    (spread God’s word in Jesus Kerygma)


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A pluralist agnostic seeker

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