||[Jun. 24th, 2011|10:56 am]
I'm still looking. I found a Taoist text about the reasons why the writer (who was pretending to be Laozi) wrote in parables- and it was a lot like something Jesus is supposed to have said- and then I found the Taoist text dated from the 7th century.|
I was directed to a parable (again I think it was Taoist) that was supposed to parallel the parable of the sower. Apart from both texts using agricultural imagery I couldn't see the resemblance.
I think that's how it's going to be. The material Jesus or his ghost writers are supposed to have plagiarised is all going to turn out to be not very similar and/or of a later date- so that it's more likely the writers were cribbing from the New Testament.
Of course the New Testament cannibalises a lot of Jewish scripture- both canonical and apochryphal. Of course it does. But there's nothing dishonest in that. The earliest readers would have recognised and approved the borrowings. The writer's whole point is to show how Jesus fulfilled the Law and the Prophets.
I was expecting my researches would undermine the uniqueness of the Christian scriptures. What has happened is the reverse. They have brought home to me just how new and fresh the gospels are.
Somewhat maddening, isn't it?
It is, it certainly is...
Bloody facts, getting in the way of one's prejudices...
On Taoist scripture: I actually believe that Lao Tzu was pretending to be Lao Tzu. The name means something like, "the Old Master", and seems a somewhat mythical figure.
Following Waley, I maintain that the Tao Teh Ching was not written by Lao Tzu, but was drawing on a collection of spiritual aphorisms, hymns, and so on, received from "the old master" in some hoary past. This body of wisdom was probably similar to, or even related to, the aphorisms and folk wisdom attributed to Grandfather Ping.
Few of the world's sacred books are entirely what they seem.
Indeed. I can't think of one that is simple and straight-forward, off the top of my head.