What actually happened AFTER Jesus zoomed up into the clouds and disappeared?

by TerryWalstrom 23 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • TerryWalstrom

    WHAT HAPPENED AFTER Jesus zoomed up into the sky?

    For a while, he was expected to return rather quickly.
    In the meantime, there was the “great commission” and evangelism to be tended to.

    The Jesus believers were meeting in people's homes. Members of that community would take turns using private homes to gather. Thus, they went house to house.

    These footstep tracers of Jesus (they called themselves Akolouthontes "followers" or some called themselves Mathetai or "learners.") were puzzling out what it meant to follow Jesus. Who was he...really? Was he going to return? Why? When?

    Each was curious about the others. Maybe somebody else knew something they didn't? They sought each other out....with questions...

    If somebody brought word that another house in another town had Akolouthontes or Mathetai a person would be appointed as an emissary. These emissaries were called Apostles. The job of an apostle was to contact other believers and create a network with them.

    The task cut out for believers was in overcoming the dissonance of OPINIONS to the contrary within each group.

    They were called out of Judaism and pagan cults into little groups. As such, those "called out" were ecclesia. People and not church.

    Few groups were without contradictory ideas of who/what Jesus was or meant.

    Early on, there were no Jesus writings at all, only oral stories and opinions.

    Pagans, who were broad-minded about religious worship, called them contemptuous names such as "christian" as a pejorative.

    Eventually the Jesus movement called themselves that as well.

    The common term for 'christians' was FECAL HERETIC or Stercorantist because the arguments were incessant b.s. to the pagans.

    Jehovah's Witnesses ask of another, "Are you in the Truth?" But, early members of the Jesus Movement would ask "Are you following the path?"

    He Hodos (the path).

    The big problem was in DEFINING that path and standardizing it in the face of contrary ideas about solidarity and "lockstep" ritual.

    For there to be apostasy there would have to be a STANDARD christianity which there NEVER was until it was forced by the pagan state in 325.

    But, non-stop fighting, bickering, violence and divisions continued for decades and decades!

    Writings began to appear and the proliferation of these was never-ending. No canon of Judaism existed nor of the Jesus Movement until after Marcion began organizing letters from the emissary Paul into a set of little books (bible). After that, reactionary followers began selecting from among many existing writings their own REBUTTALS or apologia. Eventually after many debates a formal canon appeared.

    Jesus was many opinions told by word of mouth. Those who followed the path were not in agreement. One thing is certain, however, all were convinced for quite awhile that Jesus was quickly returning. When this DID NOT happen, it was the first GREAT DISAPPOINTMENT. The religion changed into a formal social movement of apocalyptic aspirations, martyrs and gadflies.

    There was no central house of worship or governing body. There were Didaskale or teachers.

    Many charismatic "gifts" were given and no formal meetings were ordered or established with priests.

    In fact, there weren't any priests in christianity because, according to Jesus, his death did away with the need of it.

    By the time the catholic (i.e. "universal") church was established, Priests appeared to perform the magic trick of turning

    wine into blood (yes, actual blood of Jesus) and bread into the body (yes, Jesus actual body) so that a ritual purpose for attending

    a building (called CHURCH) could be invoked.

    The Catholic priesthood was an elite invention of mere men to induce the unwary to attend a central meeting place and partake of the magic trick

    called COMMUNION.

    The Jehovah's Witness mythos about "Early Christians" is largely a cherry-picked fantasy that never existed.

  • TerryWalstrom


    Read about The Cradle of Judas as a form of torture and you'll begin to appreciate

    what sort of human beings were involved in religious puritanical beliefs.

  • Finkelstein

    The Jehovah's Witness mythos about "Early Christians" is largely a cherry-picked fantasy that never existed.

    Or was an attempt that just turned into crass and corrupt commercialism instigated by the proliferation and distribution of literature.

    Did the JWS correctly emulate the early Christians in a righteous and pure way by adhering to Scripture ?


  • menrov

    Hi Terry, interesting WHat is your source?


  • TerryWalstrom

    Menrov: What is your source?


    Garry Wills is one of my favorite writers on religion and/or politics.
    His book, WHY PRIESTS? is particularly well-researched and the information about what occurred after Jesus' death was endlessly informative.

    Here is a NYTimes review:

  • Diogenesister

    Garry Wills is one of my favorite writers on religion and/or politics.

    His book, WHY PRIESTS?

    Ordered on Amazon.

    Sounds absolutely riveting

  • TerryWalstrom

    Garry Wills wrote terrific books on Kennedy, Nixon, and Reagan, too.

  • Crazyguy

    The earliest complete bibles don't mention Jesus ascending anywhere in the gospels. The story of Jesus obvious evolved over time as did the rest of the New Testament

  • TerryWalstrom

    The "good news" was transmitted orally and whoever put up a good argument or asked a stumper of a question undoubtedly created a NEED FOR MODIFICATION. And so it goes, year after year, getting to be better and better "good" news. :)

    I've always had the idea that the changes in JW doctrine were externally created and the New Light was a patch on a blowout.

  • Island Man
    Island Man

    I believe it's quite possible that the claim of Jesus' resurrection was in fact a hoax involving the stealing of his body from the tomb. That would explain why one of the gospels claims that the soldiers were paid to lie saying that his body was stolen. Maybe the soldiers didn't lie. Maybe that is, in fact, the truth and the writer is claiming that it's a lie to poison the minds of new, prospective converts so that they will disbelieve the stolen body truth when they hear it from critics of the religion. JWs do the same kind of thing today to their bible students: "People will tell you that we break up families and we're a cult. Don't believe them it's all lies by those who hate us".

    It's very interesting that gospel accounts relate that Jesus' disciples had trouble recognizing him after his resurrection. Another NT book suggests that the identity/recognition of the resurrected Jesus was kept hidden from most but revealed only to a few chosen ones. Think about it: This claim would be extremely convenient for explaining why no one noticed Jesus alive after his death - because he was never actually resurrected. His disciples can simply answer that refutation by saying no one saw him because his identity was kept hidden from all but a few. In other words, this hidden identity claim serves to make the claim of Jesus' resurrection unfalsifiable - at least from the perspective of persons saying no one saw Jesus alive after his death. And here's the best part:

    Resurrection hoaxing disciple: "Of course you saw Jesus. Do you remember that man you were speaking to on the road to Emmaus? That was Jesus! You didn't recognize him because his identity was miraculously kept hidden from you. But that was Jesus - you spoke to the resurrected Jesus!!"

    Gullible disciple: "I did? . . . I did . . . I saw the resurrected Jesus! I SAW THE RESURRECTED JESUS!!"

    See how that could work? What if the bulk of the 500 witnesses whom the bible claims saw the resurrected Jesus, were persons that were duped in a manner similar to the example above, using the hidden identity claim? What if, in a desperate bid to keep the religion going after the death of the historical Jesus, a hoaxer impersonated the resurrected Jesus; and the hidden identity claim was concocted to serve as cover for the fact that he didn't resemble the Jesus that all were familiar with? When people want to believe it's not hard to deceive them.

Share this