My demythologizing the Gospels

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Introduction

I have demythologized and published the Gospels of  

You find these under Theology – Christianity – Gospel

I wrie in this post about this work and why I have done it.

Jesus wanted us to listen to his words and commandment and not to make miracles. My demythologized Gospels are tools for those who want to read Jesus’ words, without loosing time with irrelevant stories, in fact to ” build a house on the rocks” (Lk 06:47).  As ( Lk 8:6 ) says:

He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” 

and Lk 8:21 says :

My mother and my brothers are these who
hear the 
word of God and do it.”

Index

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background

“Unless you see signs and wonders,
you will in no way believe.” (Jn 4:48)

An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign,
and there will be no sign given to it, 
except the sign of the prophet Jonah.”
(Mt 16:4)

These sentences of Jesus tells what he thought about signs and miracles. These sentences made me wonder if Jesus really did all those miracles the Gospel authors write about. If the sign of the prophet Jonah will be given to an evil generation, did he do the other miracles to a good (faithful generation? This seems absurd to me.

Jesus himself talked about some of his miracles. Because of this and the impact he had around the Mediterranean, I have no doubt that he made some miracles to attract attention and respect, a little bit like Moses. I explain more about this below.

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Fantasies and myth?

Uta Ranke-Heineman in her book “Nein und Amen”  says that the most part of the miracles were fantasies and myths, written to raise Jesus authority and status.  I wrote some time ago a post about the miracles of Jesus where I shared my opinion about these. 
Working with that post, I became inspired by  Rudolf Bultman and his Demythologization concept. He wanted to get the story of Jesus more acceptable by a generation like ours, that knows more about math, chemistry, physics, and biology.
I myself were focused to get the teaching of Jesus more visible without the many distracting miracle stories. 

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The necessity of supernatural phenomena

Moses said to  God according to Exodus 4:1 :

‘But suppose they will not believe me or listen to  my words, and say to me, “Yahweh has not appeared to you”?’  

At these times and probably also 2000 years ago, people required supernatural phenomena to believe that Prophets were sent by God. 

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Are miracle stories still important today?

A friend of mine thought that the miracle stories are still important for many Christians today.  Very few Christians are able to follow Jesus’ commandments (turn your left cheek, love your enemy and forgive 7*70 times) and how many do really understand his parable.? It looks for me that many Christians maybe think that it is enough to believe in these miracle stories to be a good Christian. you don’t have to follow his commands. The  Apostle’s creed mentions “Son of the Virgin Mary, miracle ” but there is no  “I follow Jesus commandments of love”. Only in the prayer of the Father your say “I forgive…”  It looks really that many, like  Jesus said using Isaiah’s words people : honor me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. Can you hate your neighbour and practice  revenge  and still be regarded a  Christian?  

I decided  to make a version of the Gospels were almost only Jesus words are left, something like  the Gospel of Thomas.
 https://en.wikipedia.org/

The  Gospel  of Thomas is to difficult to read as Jesus sentences are totally out of context.  I decided therefore to leave some information about where and why he spoke in my demythologized Gospels.

Removing the story of Jesus birth and first year and some  miracle stories, I get emphasis on Jesus’ dialogs and  teaching.

In my demythologized gospels, I left some stories  where Jesus himself talked about these. Look e.g.  at   

  • the miracle of the blind man, the deceased Lazarus

and about  the man with a withered hand (Luke  6:6-11 ),
the last one, that was integral part of a dialog about Sabbath. If he talked about a miracle, that miracle must indeed have been made.
But Jesus wanted us to listen and not to make miracles.

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Why “demythologization”?

As I wrote 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 the sign of the prophet Jonah.”

Jesus wanted us to listen and not to make miracles. My demythologized Gospels are to become tools  for me and those who want to read Jesus words and build a house on the rocks (Lk 06:47).  As Ejsus said according to Luke 8:6  :

He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” 

and Lk 8:21 says :

My mother and my brothers are these who
hear the 
word of God and do it.”

I chose to describe my gospel editions with Bultmann’s word “demythologized” as the word most visualize my purpose of the work, to make the Gospels readable tools for those who want to study Jesus kerygma not being distracted with  “supernatural” stories.

Read more about Demythologization at www.oxfordbiblicalstudies.com or look at this video.

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The Gospel demythologized a tool to study Jesus kerygma

The demythologized and published Gospels are:

You find these under Theology – Christianity – Kerygma

  • All words by Jesus are in bold.
  • I  search in the page with CTRL-F and find myself helped with the kerygma index below that gives link to all the gospels.
  • I hope my work may become useful for you too.

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Method

Finding free versions of the Gospels online

I needed to have the Gospels offline as my Internet was slow and Gospels online like e.g.  the ones on www.catholic.org or www. biblehub.com are  polluted with publicity and menu options.  It was difficult to find  the Gospels in cleaned pdf format.  The whole Bible that I found in pdf format  was far to heavy for my old computer.

I finally found the new testament from   www.christianwritingtoday.com  that I could download and have  on my local hd in my pdf map.The Texts I have in my demythologized gospels were  taken from “The World English Bible (WEB)”. One may ask, are the Gospels still copyrighted? as the site specifies that   

“The World English Bible (WEB) is not copyrighted.”  

Editing the Gospels

When the Gospel author  tells about a miracle or a story that may be a myth, I add a subtitle about it, leave the verse numbers and remove the texts about it.

Exceptions

I have done exceptions

  • with the miracles that are integral parts of Jesus reaching like
  • the one made on a Sabbath
  • the miracles  Jesus himself mentions.

I invite you to focus on Jesus’ words but I leave  miracle  verse numbers  if you can not resist or you want to read these for your children. 🙂

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Conclusions

I consider more and more miracles that Jesus talked about. The apostles would probably not put words in Jesus that are not his. Maybe the words may not be 100% accurate as Talmidins may not remember every detail. 

I will continue …

to work with these Gospels, updating these if I find errors.

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

Inspired by  Nils Bohr’s saying about Quantum mechanics, I conclude this page with:

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