Saturday, July 08, 2006
New Cutting Edge: Revised Jesus Seminar
We here at Millstone Theological Seminary have decided to take a critical look at the teachings of Jesus. There are many passages and teachings that people accept today that we just need to seriously analyze in a scholarly fashion to determine whether they are valid or not (whether or not Jesus really said these things). Our process for determining what is very intensive, only the clearest passages will pass muster of our rigorous testing. Basically we have a room full of top notch theologians all with Phd's from the most renown seminary's around the world such as BOSS (Bag Of Snakes Seminary) WWTS (White Washed Tomb Seminary) and the up and coming BVS (Brood of Vipers Seminary) all in Germany with the exception of BOSS which is in New Jersey. Our top notch PHD scholars know more than you (you need to remember that) that's why we have PHD's in theology. Now although our system of deciding what Jesus really said may not seem too sophisticated it really is...again PHD's we know what we are doing and we know what Jesus would have said and what He wouldn't have.
Our system involves a round table discussion of our theologians at Round Table pizza on Tuesday nights (hot wings are 20% off and CSI is on the big screen). What we do is seriously lay before us a text say for example: "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people's faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in." (Matt 23:13)
We then carefully analyze with the entire mood of the bible whether this fits with the rest of scripture (Whether it fits with a God who is all wrath and purposely tries to make people angry, who is just looking for one reason to bring down His judgment) So upon looking at Matt 23:13 it is clear to all 14 of our scholars that this fits the mood of the bible therefore after a vote we determined that Jesus very probably said this. (The vote consists of thumbs up down in the middle or somewhere inbetween up/down and the middle). The above passage got a unanimous thumbs up.
Now when we look at a passage like in John 8 where Jesus supposedly forgives this adulterous woman of her sin saying "Has anyone condemned you?"She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more."]] Our scholars see a problem here, this passage has overtones of mercy and grace, these are things in our estimation God simply does not do based upon the "whole" of the bible. So this passage only received 3 up votes while it got 7 downs and 4 inbetweener downers. So we conclude saying: maybe Jesus didn't say this.
However when it comes to a way out of line passage like "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." This is pretty easy for our theologians to decide with their acute knowledge in theology, this passage has arrogant statements about love and how God will forgive all who hope in Jesus, this is WAY out of step with what our scholars have seen to be the mood of the entire bible. Passages like
And there came a voice to him: "Rise, Peter; kill and eat." are the main theme of the bible, not a forgiving, merciful God. So all 14 of our scholars roundly rejected this passage as being non-authentic.
We think non-authentic passages like Jn 3:16 came from an attempt to woo people into the church in the middle ages, rather than frighten people like the church should have, it appealed to these means and changed the words of Jesus.
Some of our critics have said that our methods seem arbitrary and we are shaping God in the way that we want. This simply is not true. We have Phd's. What we say is automatically valid, we know more than other people about religiousismic concepts therefore our rulings are above criticism. Our round table (at Round Table) has carefully been selected from the most prestigious and rigorous schools, only the most well trained we selected for this delicate task.