Further to looking at those sweepings (The Cutting Room Floor), he suggested some research this morning. And so often when I reach for the internet, he taps the blackboard and suggests we keep this between us. So when the Main Man suggests that I Google …. I Google!
John, the last Gospel, was written around 96 A.D. It’s primary purpose was to combat heresies that had developed in the 60+ years since Christ’s ascension. Gnosticism was teaching … Adoptionism taught that …
ISMS!! So soon? How depressing is that?
The Gospels are actually compilations of short anecdotes. They were written much closer to the events described. Hence, although the Gospels was written thirty-six to sixty-six years after the events, the main content was written much earlier.
Little notes. Bits of a jigsaw. A jumble. That sounds real.
Jesus was expected to return in a short time. If your friend has all sorts of wise sayings you want to remember and he goes out of town on a temporary job for six months, do you start writing everything down? 1 Thessalonians Chapter 4 was written specifically because Christians were worried about what would happen to other Christians who died before Jesus’ return – would they “sleep” forever? Were they lost?
Questions. As much then as now. A fog of confusion. A new mathematics, the numbers not adding up as expected … I feel right at home.
Archaeologists have found that literacy was much more common in ancient times than was previously thought. But consider our own society – we leave voice mail, answering machine or pager messages, or use Post-Its, or we call cell phones. How often does the average person write a long document explaining something in detail?
And how often do I pass on reading that long document full of detail … the bible I think it’s called.
One problem with written materials is that you only have whatever the author wrote down. If you have additional questions or don’t fully understand, you’re stuck. The attitude of many was, “I would prefer to learn from a disciple of Jesus or a disciple of a disciple than from a scroll.”
And then comes The Main Man into the equation. Tapping the blackboard, whispering quietly, listening and nodding, laughing and rolling around on the floor … making it Fun! Some call it insight – I call it “in spite of insight”.
As long as there were many people who knew Jesus or knew someone who knew Jesus and people believed Jesus would return soon, there wasn’t a big concern about writing an organized presentation. But as time went on, Christians realized that if they didn’t write down what the participants were teaching, the teachings would become distorted and unreliable.
Now that does sound familiar. The “I Am Right You Are Wrong” clattering continues. The isms flourishing. The gians and gies (and a whole extended family of division) being birthed through generations.
Now young Paul, put aside that Googling malarkey and let’s talk … let’s walk … let’s meander together again..
Googling Malarkey courtesy of God and: http://www.godonthe.net/evidence/gospels.htm