July 12, 2005

Jesus and the High Priest / C

main point -

The unfairness of the situation in which Jesus finds himself is what most strikes me. He preached in the traditional places and now wants his words/acts to be his witness, but the authorities don't want to be confused with the facts ... they've already decided his fate.

new light -

I have said nothing in secret ... I hadn't noticed before Jesus' emphasis on his openness. This is one of the things I most value about him. A while ago I came upon the secret gospel of Mark and I was disturbed by it because it seemed to imply that Jesus taught in secret and that his teaching had more in common with mystery cults than a straightforward and accessible philosophy of love (of God and others). As it turns out, that gospel is likely a hoax - link/more info

truth -

Is this unfairness of Jesus' trial true to my experience? This is an every day occurrance for most people, I'd guess, though on a less dramatic scale ... someone starts with a belief or an agenda and then notices the factrs that support it, ignoring those which contradict it ... sadly, I do this myself a lot.

implications -

the implications for me of the "new light" - that Jesus does nothing in secret - is to foster my trust in him.

problems -

the problem I have with this passage is that it is upsetting ... why do you strike me? ... :-(


At 4:31 p.m., Blogger david said...

Now that is interesting (Secret Mark being a hoax I mean) -- John Dominic Crossan uses Secret mark in a lot of his reconstructive work -- so this seriously undermines certain of his arguments.

Thanks Crystal.

At 4:38 p.m., Blogger crystal said...

Hi David. The guy who I asked about it, Mark Goodacre, has a very nice website and also blog that you might like, if you haven't already seen them ... here's his blog -
New Testament Gateway Weblog

At 9:46 p.m., Blogger Joe G. said...


I think we sometimes are on the same wave length with this book because I noticed the same thing about the "secret" stuff. (NOTE: I try to blog on the passage without reading others' first to see how my post compares to others'.)

I think you are accurate about the whole "secret gospel" stuff. I wondered in my post if this passage was included because it was an attempt to counter the idea of "secret teachings", apparently promulgated by certain groups influenced by Gnosticism. Hmm.

Thanks for the link regarding this!

I agree, by the way: it kind of creeps me out about Jesus having "secret teachings". I'm not sure why, but it does.

At 5:21 a.m., Blogger david said...

Moderns seem to embrace gnosticism without appreciating that it was quite cultish in its original forms. It was not less hierarchal than what became orthodox Christianity.

There also seems to be a new gnosticism in fundalmenatlist circles with their secret codes and the like.

Having said this: I do rather like the gospel of Thomas.

At 1:05 p.m., Blogger Larry said...

A lot to comment on here; not just Crystal's post, but the comments it elicited.

Re secret: There are secrets and secrets; Jesus did, and he did not.

He was always perfectly transparent, but much of what he had to say was completely opaque to most of his hearers: "he who has ears to hear, let him hear".

"Blessed are the poor in spirit". Is that a secret?

In the synoptics Jesus said that some things were for his disciples, and some other things for the crowds.

Incidentally, like David does, I like Thomas: something refreshing and new. Was he a gnostic? Debatable.

Re the gnostics: maybe they got a bum wrap. Undoubtedly there were many superstitious gnostics, and maybe some smart ones, too. Like othodox Christianity.

Actually in my History of the Church I refer to the Quakers as gnostics. My definition of the word is someone who gets his insight from God rather than from an "authority".

David, I don't equate gnosticism with secrecy. Most of what we know about gnosticism of course came from the pen of its sworn enemies.

At 1:16 p.m., Blogger crystal said...

There is something creepy about stuff done in secrecy. As a character siad on an episode of StarGate SG-1 :-) ... I believe that that which grows in the dark but withers in the light does not belong on the vine.

I have only seen a few verses of the gospel of Thomas ... they seemed pretty obscure to me. The thing I like about the accepted gospels as opposed to Thomas is that they are not just a collection of sayings but they also show Jesus' life, his acts and deeds, which I think speak louder and more truly than any words alone.


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