A voicehearer’s path ~

Posts tagged ‘Constantine’

Holy Writ ~

hh-tenzin-gyatsoI have read the Christian Bible more than 4 times through, and have read the New Testament so many times I have lost count. I have copies of the Tanakh, the Bhagavad-Gita, the Quran, and books written by HH Tenzin Gyatso, the current Dalai Lama. I respect the writers as men whose dedication to holy living was born out in their lives. I tend to give weight to the words written by the level of holiness that was evident in the lives they lived. Erego, I place greatest weight on the words of his Holiness, the Dalai Lama, as a living example of compassion in action.

Even here, though he is reckoned the 14th incarnation of Avalokitesvara, the Buddha of Compassion, I do not consider him infallible. He comes far closer to infallibility than do I, who am a simple woman of faith residing in the US. He is not God incarnate, nor does he claim to be. He is a human being, enlightened, to be sure, but a human being. What he shows is that Holy Writ, good as it is for guidance and instruction, is written by men who may be inspired by the Holy Presence, but they are still men and their words must be weighed in that light.

The books I have that he has written are in English, and this is my point regarding Holy Writ from any source, I must presume upon the good intent of the translators of his work. This is easier to do when the writer is living, and has loyal helpers who will let him know if a mistranslation has skewed his meaning on any teaching. When the writer is long since passed on, there is no such safety line.

Y’shua cannot stand up in an assembly and say, “That is not what I said or 1_robetaught.” At least not with any legitimate verity, as even one who would say they represent him is representing their vision of Him. I do not trust the machinations of humans who have done little in their lives to sort their “impressions” from objective truth. Constantine has been called a saint by many, but I do not trust the “vision” of a conqueror who chooses to use the teachings of a peaceful rabbi to enhance his position as a head of state, consolidating his kingdom by making Christianity the state religion.

Many of Y’shua’s teachings resemble the Buddha’s, enough so that I question the veracity of those statements that seem to claim Godhood beyond the Godhood of all sentient beings, and because of the way Aramaic is written, and the way Y’shua could easily have spoken of the Ruach Ha-Kodesh, I believe his words have been skewed.

I believe Moshe’s words are pretty much intact, as they were in the keeping of his kinsmen for generations after his passing. I believe Buddha’s teachings are intact also, because there was no great upheaval where his words were removed from the hands of his students and “sorted” by some great “council” of men seeking to justify the position of a monarch.

zoo_2_bg_072603The best any one person can ask of any version of Holy Writ is that it be consistent to the principles of truth and compassion. Any time that consistency is lacking, I will question the source of the teaching. By the way, the Buddha gave that as one of the criteria for knowing whether your teacher was representing the teachings truthfully, his words were to obey the teaching, not the earth bound teacher. I wish that had been passed down from Y’shua, for I am certain that somewhere and at some time he said that, though, of course, if his teachings have been so completely tampered with as I believe, why should I believe those words were not simply deleted?

My Hero ~

Y’shua is very much a hero to me. I love the teachings he brought. I love that he was a rebel and a bit of a rabble rouser, but then, I always did like the “bad boys”. I have never doubted that he had an incredible sense of humor. There is a lot of material appearing these days saying he was married. I do not know if that was true. I think it was altogether possible, I have always felt he was very male.

But, I have long since thought that he did not teach his disciples in any way that he was God incarnate. They were Ivrit, and sons of Ivrit, and could not have stayed with him if they had thought he believed that. There are a couple of places in the gospels that say, as in the garden, that the crowd picked up stones to throw at him, but I don’t believe that was in the original Gospel. I do believe he taught that he had a solid, loving relationship with Hashem, and that it was available to all mankind if they would follow the path he was teaching (which could easily be twisted by folks with less than honest intent!).

I do believe that the bishops at Istanbul (Constantinople) chose only the four Gospels they chose, out of more than 100, because these were the ones that could be altered as little as possible to reflect the God-Man Constantine felt “inspired” to present to the world.

If the Church fathers could produce just one ancient copy of one of the Gospels in Aramaic or temple Hebrew, and it said what the current gospels say, and held it’s own through all the aging and scholarly tests any skeptical expert wanted to put it through, I’d quit thinking of myself as Thomasina. But, apparently the oldest manuscripts available are Greek. That would make sense for Luke’s Gospel, he was a Greek physician writing to a Greek friend, and he was traveling with Paul, who spoke Greek better than Hebrew.

So, Paul’s letters would be in Greek. Now, I know that he said he was a Jew’s Jew, but I am not certain of that at all. First, I am fairly certain he was educated in Greece, that makes his perspectives on Hashem suspect, at least. Then, one of the things that hampered the original 12 that doesn’t seem to have stopped Paul at all is that they had been taught for a lifetime that you do not proselytize. It’s hammered so thoroughly into the Jewish mind that even in a loving relationshipĀ  with a gentile a Jew will go out of their way to convince the gentile that they may not want to become a Jew.

But, Matthew was supposed to have been a Jew, a tax-collector, to be sure, one of the despised among the despised, and probably fluent in Greek as well as Latin, but a Jew, so why write his gospel in Greek? And Mark, isn’t it thought that he grew up listening to Y’shua? One of the children of the entourage?

And John Boanerges? Now, he was a Jew’s Jew, may be not from the Sanhedrin, but then, he shows no signs of putting on airs anywhere. He was a fisherman, and so quite probably fluent enough in Greek or Latin to get by in the marketplace, but at home he would have spoken Aramaic, and as the son of righteous Jews he would have at least known how to write in Temple Hebrew.

In fact, he and Y’shua would always have communicated in Aramaic or Hebrew. Take for instance the point on Patmos when Y’shua announced himself. Now remember my stance on the I Am business, what if Y’shua said, “The I Am is the Aleph and the Tov, the beginning and the end . . .” Now, that wouldn’t be a challenge to understand at all, not at least if you knew that the Aleph was considered to have been given by Hashem to Moshe as is, sacred, and representative of the eternal creative forces that shape and mold all of life. The Tov then is the completion and joyous redemption of all creation. Furthermore, there is no reason to presume that Y’shua would have addressed John in anything but Aramaic or Hebrew, so why would John choose to write the book for us in another non circular language that cannot even begin to convey the nuances that are part and parcel to the language of their forebears?

So, you surely ask why this teacher should, after all that, still be my hero. Well, think about it. His teachings were of peace. His teachings were of compassion. His teachings are still there, in the Gospels, tainted, to be sure, but there nevertheless. When I began this journey, and had severe doubts as to what Y’shua would actually have taught, I contemplated Buddhist teaching, and I went to a Wichasha wakan of the Lakota people. I began to see a pattern in all the teachings. Compassion is an abiding concept throughout. That means that there is, somewhere in back of it all, one teacher, may be not actually Y’shua in the flesh, but the Spirit of Holy Wisdom, it would seem. So, he represented her if I am right about the “I Am” twist. And I guess I will just have to wait and see how far off I am.

BTW, I will always suspect the conversion of a man of war who, instead of putting away his sword for the sake of peace, places the cross on his standards as though to say to his enemies, “Here, I’ll show you power!” Modern Christianity began in war, and it still as often as not serves war, even to the point where accolytes are called “Soldiers of the Cross”, yeah, and the Moschiak is called the “Prince of Peace” in the Tanakh. Hm, any wonder the Hebrew scholars doubt?

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