There are two different gospels bearing the title "Thomas"; Infancy Gospel of Thomas is the one referred to by rekless, the Nag Hammadi Gospel of Thomas (also in Greek versions) is the one referred to by Elaine Pagels.
Who was Jesus actually?
A compassionate man with a gift for expressing himself, powerful in his convictions and truly empathetic to his fellowman.
His Holiness, the Dahli Lama?
The only way people are going to get a glimpse into the life of Jesus is to read the Bible without religious colored glasses. Religion has evolved a Jesus not recognized by those closest to him. He is not religiously conceived. Yet, it is still just a collection of 'books' about him. You will not know him by reading them.
You will find even less in books by modern authors. They have a target audience and are all trying extremely hard to be politically correct. They haven't met him, talked to him, or received information from those that did/do. If they did, their books would be somewhat 'less' popular.
It's becoming all the rage to worship psuedo-intellectualism. People just ooh and aah and manufacture for themselves another god. It gives glory to man and attempts to discredit a historical reality.
A better question is "Who IS Jesus actually?" Because the only way anybody is going to know his yesterday is to know him today. And that is only accomplished spiritually. Man has a living savior. However, THAT does not a good book make!
Discerning spiritually the spirit realm is a boogey-man concept. In the case of JWs/exJWs the WT has so distorted the mystical that the psyche is pre-formed and solidified into one of repulsiveness. But to be truthful, it's not even a conscious concept. To phrase a cliche, it's a classic case of letting go and letting God.
It is recorded that Jesus said "blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." But purity of heart comes with a price. People find it distasteful because it involves ridding of 'self' and submission to the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit. It's much easier and speaks so loudly to the 'natural' man to turn to those of the flesh, instead of turning in faith to the One that is calling them. And he's calling each of you. Meet him for yourselves.
Interesting post, PB, thank you for your perspective.
Who was he? As the Dahli Lama was raised from 2 or 3 years old within the Buddhist Lama structure of being the previous Dahli Lama incarnate, Jesus was a human with sacred birth raised with Essene training to develop his direct connection with "god".
The questions I have asked myself, and worked toward answer are:
Did Jesus exist on this earth? Yes. He was required to to understand "humanness" and the limitations we have within our skin suits and small brains.
Does Jesus still exist? Yes.
Is he on earth today? No. But many with his qualities whom he has send are and have been.
Is he there only for JW's? For Christians? For the world? Yes, he is there, bur for the whole world. No need for "christianity" to acknowledge him and his works; to believe.
Is Jesus god? No. He is not the souce of the universe whose power connects us all(my concept of god). He is an intermediary. Some say THE intermediary.
Does Jesus love me, personally? Maybe. Definately indirectly. I have guides whose job it is to assist and pass on his "love"..
Is Jesus a he? He was when he was human. Now "he" is part of and an extension of "He She It They", in my understanding.
I believe he is one of, maybe the leader of, many who minister to the earth and everything and everyone upon it.
Just part of what I have come to believe. Do I have any documentation? I can't quote book, chapter, verse, nor author, but I have done much reading and speaking with spiritual people to formulate my beliefs.
Just as it is difficult to prove Jesus existed on this earth outside of the NT and a limited handfull of writings since his death - the sarcophogus of his brother Joseph being "proved" fake, and all; King David has no modern day proof outside of the bible, either.
I would like to add that many of the things written about jesus in the bible,,are the product of human imagination. I say that because the mind often projects its own imagination on the unknown. Since the gospels are full of redactions this would allow for writers useing their imagination in making jesus the way they wanted him to be to fit their community and by giving the gospels different names of prominant ones like this is John's or Thomas' gospel it gave more credit to what they already believed. Fullfilling the human need to be right about his religion. And we all know how dishonest religions have been to keep control of their followers,,WT being no exception.
King David has no modern day proof outside of the bible, either.
So, you believe King David was real? How about the Apostle Paul, any/all of Jesus' disciples, Lazarus? Moses, Noah, Onan, Abraham, Lot, Adam & Eve, how about Methuselah and that guy with his talking donkey?
Not a smidgin of evidence for any of these Bible personalities.
Just plain common sense to me.
The beleif in Jesus is hurt deeply by modern science and what archaeology has uncovered. I don't see the Christian religion surviving much longer except as perhaps maybe some sort of a club that people join to socialize. I see Christianity and belief in Jesus suffering the same fate as all the other mythological gods and forms of worship. I don't see Christianity surviving another 50 years,, as anything more than a club you join.
As has been mentioned, there is virtually no mention of Jesus outside of the Bible. And even what the Bible tells us about him is often contradictory.
Now, It is entirely possible that a bloke by the name of Jesus lived in the first century. In fact, I can virtually guarantee it. It may even be possible that the stories of the Bible are loosely based on his life, or on a composite of actual persons. But, this really doesn't tell us anything useful.
The Jesus of the Bible is a legend, a myth. It may have a factual root, but what difference does that make? He was not God or the son of God. He did not perform miracles or rise from the dead. And, he certainly is not coming back to redeem us.
As for the other Bible characters, well, many of them are also myths - Noah and Job for sure, Moses likely. Daniel may have existed, but the story of Daniel in the Bible is virtually a complete fabrication. David and Solomon appear to have existed, but when you think about it, their stories are no more fantastic than many other kings.
The Bible is filled with history, myth, wisdom, and poetry. It's a great book, but it ain't the word of God.
I read a book by Robert Graves, who ties the Jesus story into a previously long-standing pagan king mythology, [...]
Graves is perhaps best known for his historical novels.
Novel , definition:
- an extended fictional work in prose; usually in the form of a story.
- a long printed story about imaginary characters and events .
- a fiction book for adults usually 40,000 to 60,000 words or more - often contemporary Romance or Young Adults are less. Generation, spy thrillers and historical are often more - 80,000 to 100,000 words.