Jesus/Godhead

Jimmy Akin writes:

It’s getting near Christmas, and you know what that means. That’s right! It’s time for another book to be released telling us the sensationalistic “truth” about Christianity.

This time we have The Lost Gospel: Decoding the Ancient Text that Reveals Jesus’ Marriage to Mary the Magdalene by Simcha Jacobovici and Barrie Wilson.

You may remember Jacobovici from his involvement in previous biblical-archeological shenanigans like the discredited “Jesus family tomb” claims of a few years ago—in which Jacobovici similarly claimed that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene.

So what do he and sensationalist co-author Barrie Wilson have in store for us this time?

Zecharias Who?

The key text used in their new book is preserved in a set of writings attributed to Zecharias Rhetor (i.e., Zecharias the Rhetoritician), also known as Zecharias Scholasticus (i.e., Zecharistias the Scholar), also known as Zecharias of Mytilene.

He was a native of Gaza who lived in the late A.D. 400s and early 500s and who became the bishop of Mytilene.

He wrote a number of works in Greek, including a work on Church history that was later translated into Syriac (a dialect of Aramaic), with various editorial changes.

It is this Syriac text, brought to the British Museum in 1847, that Jacobovici and Wilson are using in their new book.

Simcha Jacobovici

What They’re Claiming

Among other things, Jacobovici and Wilson claim that they have discovered a lost gospel that is written in code and, when properly decoded, states that Jesus was married, likely to Mary Magdalene, and that they had two sons.

None of this is true.

 Not Lost.

First, the text in question is not “lost.” It is not some newly discovered work that scholars were previously unaware of.

The particular manuscript that Jacobovici and Wilson rely on was brought to the British Museum for more than a century and a half ago, and the same text has been known through other sources for centuries.

The scholarly community has been well aware of it, and translations of it in English and other languages are common.

To give you an idea of how not-lost this work is, it’s been in print for centuries,I have it in my own library, and here’s a version you can read online from a book printed in 1918.

Not a Gospel.

The work is also not a Gospel. Although some scholars use the term “Gospel” in surprising and misleading ways, a Gospel (in the literary sense) is a book about the life and/or teachings of Jesus.

That is not what this text is. This text is not about Jesus. The story it tells is not even set in the first century, when Jesus lived.

It’s set more than a thousand years before the time of Christ.

To read the whole article, click HERE.

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Was Jesus Nice?

by Steve Ray on October 15, 2014

I'm OK, you're OK. Be yourself! Gotcha covered buddy!

I wish I had a dollar for every time someone has said to me. “That was not very Christ-like.” This response usually comes after being honest to the point of making someone upset.  The implication is that Jesus was a cuddly little nice guy who was always smiling, always accepting with kind words – in short NICE.

In America we tend to be pretty nice, except maybe if you live in New York City. But in contrast to the rest of the world we tend to be very polite, genteel, gracious and nice. Tour guides in other countries say that Americans are the nicest people. We transpose our niceness onto Jesus and think he was a lot like us.

But does LOVE = NICE?

Of course Jesus was loving. He is God after all and God is love (1 John 4:8). We also know that love does not always equate to NICE. God allowed Paul to have a thorn in the flesh to keep him humble (2 Cor 12:7). Three times Paul prayed for it to be removed. God said NO.  God was not acting very American. He certainly wasn’t very nice about it.

Nice is defined primarily as “pleasant or commendable, kind or friendly” (Collins English Dictionary). It originally comes from the Latin meaning “simple, silly or ignorant.”

"He's not a tame lion, afterall" Quote from Narnia series

There is such a thing as “tough love.” It is the kind of love that cares enough to be honest, to confront, to discipline, to cause temporary pain to bring about eternal glory.  On the surface “tough love” does not always appear to be nice. How often has a child, sent to the corner blurt out “You are not very nice!”

Was Jesus nice?

Like Aslan the Lion in C. S. Lewis’ Narnia series, Jesus is approachable and loving, but don’t ever consider him “tame” or too cuddly. Jesus is God as well as man. He expressed the wrath and anger of God as well as the mercy and love of God.

Imagine coming to the Temple in Jerusalem one day to pray. You hear a great commotion and run over to see an angry man throwing over tables, grabbing the money from the merchants and throwing the money on the ground.

Whipping the money changers and dumping over their tables

But worse, you see him make a scourge of cords – a whip – and striking people with it. You are shocked that anyone would be so rude and destructive, so inconsiderate and mean to lash people with a whip. People ran in fear! Everyone was upset. Jesus was red in the face and scowling.  It certainly wasn’t very “Christ-like.” How nice was that?

Jesus was always loving, but he was not always nice, as we Americans count niceness. Here is just one example. Jesus spoke very harshly to his fellow Jews.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. . . .  You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? (Matthew 23:27,  28, 33).

Ouch! Doesn’t sound very kind and courteous: not very thoughtful or nice!

So, maybe there is more to WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) than we’ve been led to believe. Maybe we shouldn’t worry so much about being nice, being liked, acting like  genteel Americans. Maybe we ought to be more honest and forthright about the things that really matter.  Maybe we should be more willing to hurt some feelings, step on some toes, show tough love to those in sin.

Maybe we should be more Christ-like.

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Muslim Imam Converts to Catholic Church

by Steve Ray on July 5, 2014

From Darkness to Light (34 minute video explaining how he discovered Jesus was the Word of God, the Son of God)

As a Muslim imam, Mario Joseph was well-versed in the Koran and in the teachings of the Islamic religion. In fact, it was precisely the Koran that brought him to an encounter with Jesus Christ and with the truth of the Catholic faith.

But his conversion did not come without difficulties; as a consequence, he has undergone grave persecution. How has he attained his intense love toward the Church, the Cross and Heaven? He himself tells us in this week’s impacting episode of Changing Tracks.

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Was Jesus Crucified Naked?

April 17, 2014

A gentleman heard me on Relevant Radio earlier. I had mentioned on the air that one of the great humiliations of a crucifixion was that a man was crucified naked. This thoughtful gentleman wrote to challenge my comments. Below is his e-mail and my response. Dear Mr. Ray, Please correct your description of the Passion. [...]

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Catholic Answers Live: Stations of the Cross and Pain of the Crucifixion

April 16, 2014

Wow, what a fun show. Great questions and lively discussion. Listen on-line HERE and other audio options HERE. the audio links as soon as they are available on Thursday. Also, for those who are interested in my audio talks on this topic, visit Steve Ray’s Store/audio. Look for “Stations of the Cross” and also “Pain of [...]

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Meaning of Sacred and Immaculate Hearts

September 21, 2013

My non-Christian brother found two paintings at an art show and asked me, “What in the world are these? They seem to have pagan elements. What do they have to do with Jesus and Mary?” Here is my explanation. If you readers have anything to add, please post it in the Comments below. Thanks. Thanks. [...]

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A Limerick for a Questioning Grandson – Did Jesus Really Exist?

September 16, 2013

Was there really a man named Jesus? Or do the Catholics just try to tease us? I went to the places, Studied books for all traces, And discovered he’s real which should please us. A Limerick just sent to me from Darrell, a new convert, in response to the limerick I just posted: There once [...]

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We Looked into the Face of God Today – literally – in Manoppello

June 21, 2013

Today we visited “The Face of God” here in Manoppello Italy. This cloth is woven of mussel shell threads and the face of Christ can clearly be seen at the moment of his coming to life in the resurrection. We talked about it for a half an hour on Sean Herriott’s show on Relevant Radio. [...]

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Entering the Empty Tomb; A Contrast – Now and Back Then (our 1st group arriving in Israel today)

April 22, 2013

It looks different today, but the place is the same. It is darker now, covered with a dome that blocks the sun. There is no grass, no hillside, no trees waving their leaves nearby.   Instead there are the hushed voices of hundreds of people, the Muslim call to prayer echoing in the distance and the [...]

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Fewer Believe in the Resurrection

April 2, 2013

Percent of Americans Believing in the Resurrection Drops To 64% From 77% Last Easter April 1, 2013 By Dan Joseph A study released by the Rasmussen Reports polling firm on Good Friday found that 64% of Americans believe that Jesus Christrose from the dead. While Americans who believe in the resurrection remain in the majority, that number is [...]

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Turin Shroud ‘is not a medieval forgery’

April 1, 2013

Are we surprised? I am not! Read intriguing article here. Watch the video here. Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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How Long was Jesus on the Cross?

March 29, 2013

Do the Gospels Conflict? How Long was Jesus on the Cross? The question intrigued me sufficiently enough that I spent the best part of a day working on it. There seems to be a contradiction in the Gospels, mentioning different times for the crucifixion. Maybe someone forgot to check their watch! Mark says Jesus was [...]

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Entering the Desert of Lent – but with Joy and the Word of God

February 13, 2013

Forty days in the wilderness; forty days of Lent. We are now embarking on the adventure we’ve called Lent since the early centuries of the Church. It may not be fun, but if our spirit is right it can be exciting and rewarding. We may even loose a few pounds.  Jesus left the opulence and [...]

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Excellent Summary and Explanation of the Pope’s New Book on The Infancy Narratives of Jesus

December 27, 2012

Not only a good summary of “The Infancy Narratives of Jesus of Nazareth” but also of the Pope’s thought in general. A short, crisp enjoyable read – especially over Christmas. Click here for the article in Catholic World Report.

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‘Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’ papyrus is a fake fragment, Vatican says Editorial in Holy See’s official newspaper declares it to be a ‘clumsy forgery’

September 29, 2012

Like I said a week ago, this had to be a forgery if not a heretical document written by the gnostics back on the 4th century. Catholics should be prepared for repeated reports (assaults) like this. Here is the article about the Vatican’s comments on the fake document suggesting that Jesus had a wife.  By Naomi [...]

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Did Jesus Have a Wife? Scholarly Reviews of the Papyrus Fragment

September 21, 2012

Peter Williams, the Warden of Tyndale House in Cambridge, England, just sent out this evaluation of the manuscript discovery that to some people suggests Jesus was married. It also includes the evaluation by Dr. Simon Gathercole, another expert in these matters. Dr. Darrell Bock has also weighed in on this issue. “The Web is by [...]

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