|Passing The Time Of Day
||[Nov. 10th, 2014|11:58 am]
We're sitting at the dining room table. We have been all morning.|
My mother has spent most of the time looking at the front page of the business section of the Daily Telegraph. I believe she's asleep now.
Ailz is cross-stitching.
I've been reading about Barbara Thiering and her theory that the New Testament is an Essene document composed on two levels. Level one is for the simple souls- a tale of magic and miracles; level two is for the illumined, and reveals the true- complicated and deeply political- history of Early Christianity. Almost everybody else in the field- Jewish, Christian, unaligned- thinks she's
bonkers completely wrong.
We keep buying eggs and then not eating them so I've decided we'll have a big fry up for lunch and shift some of the stockpile.
So it is.
You know, I could fancy an egg mayonnaise sandwich.
Mmmmmm, yummy! I also love fried egg, cheese, and ham sandwiches.
I'm not sure that she is COMPLETELY wrong.
First of all, I do not believe that Jesus was an Essene. The Essenes were and ascetic sect. Every time we see Jesus, he is either at, going to, or coming from a party. But I think he had CONNECTIONS with the Essenes. John the Baptist clearly was.
I don't think the entire NT was written this way, but the teaching of Jesus seem to have two audiences. The Sermon on the Mount seems to be written for the rich, while the Sermon on the Plain seems to be written for the poor. I was stunned when I realized that. Minister to both the poor AND the rich, because they can be spiritually of service to one another!
So, I might say that I think that THIS is the "big esoteric secret" of the NT... that when the rich take care of the poor, not only are the poor fed, but rich are spiritually nourished as well.
See, I don't see that as a big secret - the message of "you're supposed to care for one another" seems pretty damn plain to me, all over the NT. Sadly, given the way many Christians behave, I can only assume people are blind and that it has, indeed, become some sort of "secret" that nobody can see.
Exactly. It IS all over the NT. But I was in seminary before I realized it. Obviously, not everyone is getting the message.
Jesus had a cultural context and the Essenes would have been part of the context- I'll grant her that.
Two different audiences? I hadn't thought of that, but it's clear that Jesus mixed with all sorts- rich and poor, respectable and outcast.
Sermon on the Plain: "Blessed are the poor..." He is speaking, specifically, to poor people. The whole sermon is addressed to them.
Sermon on the Mount: "Blessed are the poor in spirit". He is speaking to people of means who, nonetheless, find their life "meaningless". The whole sermon reflects that.
Even the titles "... On the Mount" and "... On the Plain" suggests that the one is "higher" (in status) than the other.
I need to get my Bible out, contrast and compare....
My work is done here :-)