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Tony Grist

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The Golden Rule [Jun. 22nd, 2011|11:00 am]
Tony Grist
Because I'm a lazy sod I've never actually researched the allegation that the sayings of Jesus are plagiarised. Perhaps I will. One shouldn't pass these things on without being sure of the facts. The alleged sources are Jewish, Egyptian even Buddhist. Would first century writers in the Middle East have had access to Buddhist teachings? I don't see why not? If the citizens of Pompeii had Hindu figurines on their sideboards- and they did- why not Buddhist scriptures in their libraries?

One (positive) way of viewing the Christian scriptures is as a compendium of the wisdom of the ages.
OK, I'm going to do the research. How hard can it be? Here's something for starters.
One of the things Jesus is supposed to have originated, only he didn't  is the so-called golden rule. Among those who got there before him was the great Jewish rabbi, Hillel (who died c. AD 10). Challenged to summarise the Law while standing on one leg, Hillel came up with, "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn."

[User Picture]From: daisytells
2011-06-22 07:56 pm (UTC)
Truth is truth regardless of who said it first. Can we call it plagiarism if someone who says it has never heard of or met the previous source? It has never been a secret that Hillel, who died in the year 10 C.E. during the time that Jesus lived, taught what we know as the golden rule. This is not surprising. My very fundamental study Bible has a footnote that reads as follows: "The so-called Golden Rule is found in negative form ("do not do")in rabbinic Judaism and also in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. It occurred in various forms in Greek and Roman ethical teaching. Jesus stated it in positive form ("do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets").
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[User Picture]From: daisytells
2011-06-22 08:04 pm (UTC)
By the way, what a lot or people do not realize is that Jesus quoted from Scripture as well. "Perfect love casts out fear" is Old Testament. New Testament quotes of that proverb are nowhere in the sayings of Jesus - they appear in the book of Romans, and the Epistle of I John. Jesus often presaged a comment with "It is written..." Jesus using common truths in his talks is no more plagiarism than someone today stating a truth without citing a source, which they may or may not be familiar with. Truth = truth. When something rings true a person often adopts it as his or her own.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-06-22 08:13 pm (UTC)
Quite so.

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-06-22 08:12 pm (UTC)
I'm beginning to think plagiarism is the wrong word. I've been looking all day for sayings of Jesus that are duplicated elsewhere and thus far I've only found two- both from rabbinical sources. Quotations from scripture don't count, I think, because the earliest readers would have recognised them
as quotations and so there can have been no intention to claim them for Jesus as original sayings.
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