The Gospel kerygma

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Introduction

I have published Matthew’s gospelLukeMarc and John demytrhologized. You find these under Theology – Christinity – Gospel

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

My demythologized Gospels are tools  for me and  those who want to listen to Jesus words and as Jesus said “build a house on the rock” (Lk 06:47). 

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)

Jesus wanted us to listen and not  to make miracles. My demythologized Gospels are tools  for those who want to read Jesus words and 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 a evil generation, did he do the  other miracles to a good (faithful generation? This seems absurd.

As 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.

Fantasies and myth?

Uta Ranke-Heineman in “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 to get the  teaching of Jesus more visible without the many distracting miracle stories. 

The necessity of supernatural phenomena for prophets

Moses said to  God “‘But suppose they will not believe me or listen to  my words, and say to me, “Yahweh has not appeared to you”?’ Exodus 4:1  At these times and probably also 2000 years ago, people required supernatural phenomena to believe that Prophets where sent by God. 

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 dont have to follow his commands. The  Apostle’s creed mentions “Son of the  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 Isaiahs 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 added, 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.

Removing the story of Jesus birth and first year and some  miracle stories I get emphasy 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 deceised Lazarus and about  the man with a withered hand (Lk), 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.
Jesus wanted us to listen and not  to make miracles.

Why demythologization?

I choosed to describe  my gospel editions with Bultmanns 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 distracting with  “supernatural” stories.

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

The Gospel demythologized a tool to study Jesus kerygma

  • All words my 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 clean 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 dfound 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 sepcifies 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 ones 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 you childrens. 🙂

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kerygma Index

index of speeches and parables in the Gospels 
(referrals to Marc are in green, Matthew in Lila, John in blue, Luke in orange)

Gospels about the Mosaic law

Parables

Parables about the Kingdom of Heaven

Gospel speeches and dialogs

About the End of the Age 

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Conclusions

After my work with Luke

Like Mark, John uses the word Kingdom of God instead of Matthews  (ed Peters as Mark probably wrote with help of Peter) 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 seemingly contraddicts Jesus  parable desciption of the Kingdom of Heaven in Matthew where the Earth may be the Kingdom of Heaven.   If not the Kingdom of Heaven is to be intended as a Kingdom after the Resurrection day.

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 the kerygma index and writing other post like posts about Jesus parables.