Question: What do you think of the Beatitudes?
Answer: Eighty-two percent of the words ascribed to Jesus in the gospels were not actually spoken by him, according to the Jesus Seminar*.
However, the words most likely to be authentic according to the Jesus Seminar were as follows:
Other cheek (Q) Matt 5:39, Luke 6:29a Coat & shirt (Q) Matt 5:40, Luke 6:29b Congratulations, poor! (Q, Thomas) Luke 6:20, Thomas 54 Matt 5:3 Second mile (Q) Matt 5:41 Love of enemies (Q) Luke 6:27b, Matt 5:44b, Luke 6:32, 35a Leaven (Q, Thomas) Luke 13:20-21, Matt 13:33, Thom 96:1-2 Emperor & God (Thomas, Mark) Thom 100:2b, Mark 12:17b, Luke 20:25b, Matt 22:21c Give to beggars (Q) Matt 5:42a, Luke 6:30a The Samaritan (L) Luke 10:30-35 Congratulations, hungry! (Q, Thomas) Luke 6:21a, Matt 5:6, Thom 69:2
But all of these are about human behaviour, about being a better human, not about the actual spiritual experience of Reality this Blog is all about.
As Dr. Marsha Sinetar**, the author of Ordinary People As Mystics and Monks, said people are abandoning Christianity because Jesus did not leave any spiritual lessons.
This means many translations of Jesus’s meaning were made over the centuries, with all the possibilities of misreporting, changes in selection of meaning and languages, additional personal nuances of the scribe process, prejudices, and honest mistranslations throughout all the various languages this faced.
From the influence of my multiple mystic experiences of Reality (MER) I can detect two streams of meaning in the Beatitudes.
One is how the Beatitudes implies humans can know and obey of their own volition the Christian notion of God’s will.
This is such a jaw dropping example of spiritually ignorant hubris it goes a long way to explaining why the Christian Bible’s Jesus’ mission failed; perhaps even why self serving human religions bereft of the MER experience also fail. No one knows Reality’s will.
My experiences have taught me there is a non human, even non biological Reality infinitely beyond any human ‘God’ or gods that humans ordinarily do not have the ability to conceive.
Also, my multiple annual experiences were spontanious. They lead me to realise MER’s are caught, not taught.
Furthermore, Reality clearly shows to a mystic Reality has no intention of giving any stewardship of any part of real spiritual existence to mere humans who are just a comparitively few centuries old … The human race is in its infancy, destined for extinction into spiritual realms.
Secondly, if the Beatitudes were spiritual most of the promises could not be gifted by humans, not even by mystics!
The Beatitudes’ promises are only some of the multiple fruits of MER – all such fruits and many more are continually bestowed only on individuals by Reality Itself …
No one knows why such individuals are chosen to receive these gifts. These people, including me, have no qualifications known to human kind if my experiences and readings of the writings of the mystics are anything to go by …
All Is Well.
*The Jesus Seminar was an American group of about 50 critical biblical scholars and 100 laymen founded in 1985 by Robert Funk that originated under the auspices of the Westar Institute. The seminar was very active through the 1980s and 1990s, and into the early 21st century. The purpose was to decide their collective view of the historicity of the deeds and sayings of Jesus of Nazareth.
They produced new translations of the New Testament and apocrypha to use as textual sources. They published their results in three reports: The Five Gospels (1993), The Acts of Jesus (1998), and The Gospel of Jesus (1999). They also ran a series of lectures and workshops in various U.S. cities. WIKIPEDIA.
**Dr Marsha Sinetar made a scientific study of individuals who have had the Mystical Experience of Reality. She does not go into the greater consequences of this phenomena, which turns all historical, religious, scientific and scholarly experience of human existence on its head. Find a review of Ordinary People As Mystics and Monks on this Blog.
You may reblog all posts here as you wish.
“All of these are about human behaviour, about being a better human”.
All too true, and I guess much the same can be said about most of the Bible, canonical or otherwise. The entire Christian faith, as represented in the New Testament at least, is, to my ears, incredibly thin. There are many parts of the Bible I get great pleasure out of, and the Sermon on the Mount and / or In The Plain is one of those sections. There are other bits I love – the Psalms, Ecclesiastes and Proverbs for instance.
Whether or not they have any spirituality, these writings are nonetheless a moving exposition of how human society could and should conduct itself and to me at least that has great value for life on earth. Pity Putin and countless other thugs haven’t read it.
But as I say it is all very “thin” if you actually want to know what is out there. And, Why? Or How? Or any of the other Big Questions.
We are all merely exhorted to do God’s will and all will be well. No clues are given as to what we really want to know and understand. Its all very school-mam-ish.
I always find the epistles particularly priggish and distasteful. They mostly seem to be advice against sh***ing other people’s wives or warning against similar unseemly misdemeanors. As you say, precious little about the great mysteries we would all like to witness.
One has to hope that somewhere out there is the Reality we all hope for. But the Bible and religion in general is all about explaining life on earth and telling us not to worry – however ghastly it is, they insist something better awaits us out there somewhere.
So yes, better to have direct experience than to read the endless tedium of most of the scriptures.
Agreed all round!
Thank you Anthony! Now I shall never be able to reference the epistles again after your all too pertinent asterisks … LOL.