God and the Bible
A Sequel to ‘Literature and Dogma’
By Matthew Arnold
This edition is 1906,
Smith, Elder, & Co.
Literature and Dogma was published one year earlier.
It too is a defense of Christianity.
Christianity calls forth, in governing conduct, “forces of love, reverence, gratitude, hope, pity, and awe – all that host of allies which Wordsworth includes under the one name of imagination.”
Viii – It cements the connection between imagination and conduct.
It must be clear to all that men cannot do without Christianity and they cannot do with it as it is.
It allows men to deal with conduct, which is 3/4ths of life.
The spread of physical science, knowing the earth goes around the sun, cannot do this. Religion must be attended to.
Ix – And, physics and religion have absolutely nothing to do with each other.
Scientists, some, are nasty towards religion, like Professor Clifford. But he is just a blustering youth who we listen to half smiling.
MA calls Christianity, “the greatest and happiest stroke ever yet made for human perfection.” We cannot do without it.
Xi – Love Pascal, but his whole system rests on taking Adam to be historical fact.
Xi – With his wager he says, we cannot believe it, but let us set out to attain belief just as others have.
By acting as you did believe.
Did ever a great reasoner reason so madly?
Adam is a legend. Moddy says, it is so beautiful, it must be true.
Xiv – the story is not true; it never really happened.
Xv – Nature being beautiful to us, does not show that it was made for us.
Xvi – Early Christians wanted miracles and so wrote them in.
Xvii – Clifford says Rome was ruined by Christianity. It was worth having Rome ruined 50 times over for this jewel.
Xviii – Protestantism and Catholicism have a want of intellectual seriousness, but it has more of the means of deliverance.
xx- The true force of Protestantism was not from severing with Rome, but with a grounding in individual conscience – to the method of Jesus. If it gives this to Catholicism, it will have given Catholicism all it needs.
Xxi – Goethe said, “All which merely frees our spirit, without giving us the command over ourselves, is deleterious.”
We have a frivolous and materialized upper class, to a raw and sensual lower class.
Xxiii – We cannot base our belief on miracles. But, so many have felt the power of the Bible in the US and Europe of all classes.
And, it doesn’t matter, in this sense, that the Protestant reading of the Bible has not been any better than the Catholic reading.
Xxiv – Oft times, Catholics are like liberals in not knowing the virtue that lays within the Bible.
Xxv – You can love the Bible and be intellectually serious.
The old Testament’s message: Righteousness is salvation.
And, “Nations and men, whoever is shipwrecked, is shipwrecked on conduct!” Whoever leaves this out of their program, such as the French in 89, is doomed.
Xxvii – “God is the Eternal not ourselves that makes for righteousness, we yet know also that men inevitably use anthropomorphic language about whatever makes them feel deeply, and the Biblical language about God we may therefore freely use, but as approximative and poetical merely.”
The “unknowable” will not do as it is purely negative. Man cared for God because of what they knew of him.
They knew he was eternal and not ourselves.
And, he who most seizes the real significance of the Bible and of Jesus, will be least disposed to cut himself off in religion from his fellow-men, to renounce all participation in their religious language and worship.”
But, poetry is essentially concrete; and the moment one perceives that the religious (xxviii) language of the human race is in truth poetry, which it mistakes for science, one cannot make it an objection to this language that it is concrete.”
That it has spoken to generations before us adds to its worth as poetry.
Jesus died and was born again and we can be too. “The real strength of Christian religion lies in its being founded on a truth.”
Xxix – We live at the beginning of a great transformation that cannot happen without confusion and distress. It will take much intellectual labor.
THE GOD OF MIRACLES
THE GOD OF METAPHYSICS
THE GOD OF EXPERIENCE
THE BIBLE – CANON
THE FOURTH GOSPEL FROM WITHOUT
THE FOURTH GOSPEL FROM WITHIN
2 – Atheism has prevailed.
This book is not anti-Christian, as accused.
3 – The object of literature and dogma was written to win safe grounds for the Bible.
THE GOD OF MIRACLES
The Bible is not scientific, it is literary. MA seeks to base appreciation for the Bible on nothing which cannot be verified.
7 – This is the benefit of the term, “The Eternal, not ourselves, that makes for righteousness.” ENOMR
People criticize him as they wish to speak of God as a personal God. But, this would go against his goal of verification.
8 – Is the name of God meant for science or poetry? Christians say it is a scientific term, but don’t frame it so that it can be verified.
So we ask, What does God mean in the Bible. Secondly, what is meant by ‘knowing Christ’? And, these are useful questions to all concerned.
The Shining is one word, based on literal translation. But then then sycophants would need to be called ‘fig informers.’ And, how to verify this?
11 – Our happiness is dependent on righteousness. And, this formula did not start with us. So the Eternal non-ourselves which makes for righteousness is confirmed.
13 – Still so many want a being that thinks and lives personally. And , so our verification provides less than what the theologian provides.
14 – But the only things we know that think and love are men and “lower animals.” MA will not deny that animals think and love, in however low a degree.
15 – We are anthropomorphic and so even would imbue the ENOMR with personality. Some even make Gods in the shape of animals!
Angels too are men etherealized.
17 – “To engag4e in an a priori argument to prove that miracles are impossible, against an adversary who argues a priori that they are possible, is the vainest labour in the world..”
People are losing faith in miracles and MA doesn’t feel he spent too little time on this in Literature and Dogma. So best to think what to do for Christianity IF people cease to believe in miracles.
19 – And, how to only believe in the Bible’s miracles. Herodotus explains two heroes came back to life and were seen about.
21 – And there are discrepancies in the accounts of Jesus, concerning who he healed where.
22 – We cannot ground the Bible on miracles successfully.
23 – We should have no more need to debunk the Bible than we do Cinderella. We need, flexible common-sense.”
24 – Every miracles has its own mode of growth and history. Perhaps the feeding at the Sermon on the mount was borne of people not feeling hungry while rapt.
THE GOD OF METAPHYSICS
27 – Huxley wrote on Descartes in wanting us to return to our eyes. But there is also, the mechanical philosopher, who began with doubt.
29 – Disbelieving people in a city exist would occur to Descartes, but not to MA. Still this scrupulousness may be useful to us plain folks
30 – Though Descartes’ I think therefore I am is the basis of much modern philosophy, MA always had a problem with it. “What does Descartes mean by ‘to exist’?
31 - To grasp
it, we have to extend it, “perhaps, “I think therefore I feel that I’m alive.”
But, this makes our thinking more important than the rest of consciousness.
It is disappointing that “his fundamental proposition, his first great certainty, is something which we cannot grasp as it stands.”
32 – We then jump from man being imperfect and impermanent to God thereby being both. All such philosophers move towards ‘being’ and ‘existing.’
33 – To counter MA’s doubts, people will bring up the axiomatic truths of mathematics.
34 – But even this is a deduction from some assumptions.
35 – Till we can define terms like ‘being’ we cannot affirm that God is a person who thinks and loves, because we don’t know either outside of a “certain bodily organization.” So then, what, again, does ‘being’ mean?
36 – And, worse yet, most people are plain and simple. So, such questions will baffle them too.
A German philosopher told us what Being means, Dr. Curtius.
37 - Without natural history, the word, ‘being’ just drops out of the air.
In it’s Aryan / Sanskrit root, ‘as’ means ‘breathe’ ‘existence’ = stand.
38 – How could ‘breathe, grow, and stand, evolve into these terrible abstracts, ‘is, be, and exist?
39 – Children often omit verbs. They say “Horse black.” When they advance, they ad activity. “Horse (is) black.”
40 – Primitive verbs, like ‘as’ and bhu (but), were connectors, but then grew to describe attributes when people wanted to assert something strongly. Virtue IS! Duty EXISTS!
41 – Not God breathes angry, but God IS Angry.
Israel was very serious about God. Moses asked, “When I speak of this unique God of Israel, how shall I name him?” The answer came, I am who am. “I will breathe” comes from the root.
42 – The philological digression’s point being, the
Israeli’s perceived energy and operation and nothing more. Of a subject, as we may call him,
that performs this operation, outside of plants and animals who grow and
breath, who the words as and but are borrowed.
But we reify these into actuality. Philosophers who speak of substance and accident – phenomena, under which is ‘being’.
43 – But being comes from the sensuous figure ‘growing’ and did not of necessity express anything of a thing’s nature. Being and essence philosophers consider the supreme reality. They made all accidents and being God, but thereby made him nothing at all.
44 – “To such a degree do words make man, who invents them, their sport!” Whenever we start with words we do not apprehend, there is danger.
We know what breathing is, because it is seen. But, we do not know what being is.
All this means Descartes’ motto means “I think therefore I breathe” which means nothing. The right science to study breathing is not metaphysics, but physiology. Also, I think therefore I am, means nothing as “am” means nothing.
49 – Knowing be and is are ‘grow’ and ‘breathe,’ let’s take it to the metaphysicians’ fortress.
We usually know things are true before we know they are a ‘law of nature.’
The Edinburgh Review said ‘God must be a person, not a thing because persons are superior to things.” Interesting.
Well, is the law of gravitation superior to persons? All we can say of our object of thought is that it ‘operates’. The rest is silly.
50 - We can know ‘not ourselves,’ but we cannot know ‘perfect, infinite being’ (which Anselm says God logically must be). Sorry, Descartes, we have no clear idea of infinite perfect being.
51 – The less and more in ourselves of whatever we account good, gives us a notion of what we call perfection in it. We have degrees of pleasure and so talk of perfect pleasure. We really mean ‘a great deal’ of pleasure, rest, etc.
52 – The perfect circle is just an idea of a circle made more round.
What of argument from design?
53 – Things working harmoniously well does not prove an intelligent being made them. Does an ear need to have been made from a God by this reason? We know nothing of the matter. We only know it works harmoniously well.
54 – “Reasons drawn from miracles one cannot but dismiss with tenderness, for they belong to a great and splendid whole, - a beautiful and powerful fairy-tale.”
But reasons from metaphysics can be dismissed with sheer satisfaction. They convince no one and give joy to no one. People fight over them and they get their substance from miracles, in the last analysis.
56 – The ENOMR is better than “a person who thinks and loves” as it passes in our age.
57 – True this formulation will not make for the “same religion which prevails now. But, who supposes that the religion now current can go on always, or ought to go on?”
58 – So now that he’s done with the unhappy task of telling us what not to believe. He will defend what to believe against liberal philosophers who say he teaches us to believe too much.
THE GOD OF EXPERIENCE
There is a mechanical character in certain German philosophers.
60 – Critics say the masses of Israelites were not swayed and the Israelites righteousness was only one of ritual.
61 – Some say that Christianity is wanting in vigor and rigor.
63 – Yes. Israelites never say, “we see righteousness outside of ourselves and must personify it.” But, you must ask how certain things came about. Certainly Israel talk of righteousness a lot and puts its faith in the eternal.
Where did the Israeli get these thoughts? Did he get them from a magnified man?
64 – No. To answer this we must go to Sir John Lubbock or Mr. Tylor for ‘pre-historic man.” And herein we learn that the pleasure or pain he received from natural objects may well have been the origin of religion.
65 – And in the Bible, earlier than morality, we see conduct. We see this in Greek religion.
Before he was about the intellect, Apollo was about morality.
67 – By the Persian war the oracle of Delphi had ceased to have a living influence. And, while righteousness lingered, it was weakened.
69 – So as the Greeks go into decline, their morals have too. But, the Jew’s are fervently religious as they fall.
70 – Thoughts of eternity and righteousness pour out of Isaiah.
71 – And we see that God will smite Israel’s evil enemies.
But, MA’s critics say he relies too much on prophets and psalmists. This doesn’t speak to the man in the street.
72 – But the nation adopted these prophets and psalmists.
73 – Jews were fascinated by righteousness, fascinated to the point wherein we can say he had the intuition with righteousness and so a revelation connected to it.
74 – Now this emerged in pre-history and in such times things appeared to be less in people’s own power. More was outside of people’s control and we can easily see how people would personify a sense of control.
75 – And early Gods were no so moral. But, there was a point in human history and religion where the ideas of conduct, the moral order and of right, had gathered strength enough to declare and establish themselves.
These moral precepts took possession of rites and ceremonies, that did not arise out of moral stirrings, but out of aesthetics.
76 – And slowly items like human sacrifice got dropped as the religion became more moral.
77 – From Abraham to Moses, in fact, we see an evolution from “innocency” to “righteousness.” And so rose the 10 Commandments.
78 – And, we have no way to account for this increasing strain except to say that the tie between conduct and outcome were clear to the Israelites. And this diminished the preternatural in the religion.
And, this is not just, as some contend, due to the harsh desert climate. The pre-Mohammedan Arabs had very licentious poetry. And, Muhammad was undoubtedly, under the influence of the Jews.
80 – Mr. Darwin would chalk up the intuition to “a social instinct, arising out of evolution and inheritance.”
But whatever we assign the origins to, doesn’t matter two
straws. Still he must address
81 – Let us, ala Darwinists, “suppose that our moral perceptions and rules are all to be traced up, as evolutionists say, ot habits due to one or other of two main instincts, - the reproductive instinct and the instinct of self-preservation. Let us take a moral example of a moral rule, cue to each instinct”
Self-preservation can be seen in the commandment to honor thy father and thy mothers. It doesn’t matter If it is so traceable, but let’s say it is.
“For let it be thus traceable, and suppose the original natural affection of the young to the parents to be due to a sense of dependence upon them and of benefit from them; and then, when the dependence and benefit end, when the (82) can shift for themselves, the natural affection seems in the lower animals, as they are called, to pass away.”
But for some, the feeling lasted. There was an ongoing tie of attachment.
“And while their neighbours, so soon as they were of adult
vigor, heedlessly left the side of their parents and troubled themselves about
them no more, and let them perish if so it might happen, these few remained
with their parents and grew used to them more and more, and finally even fed
and tended them when they grew helpless.
Presently they began to be shocked at their neighbor’s callous neglect
of those who had begotten them and borne them, and they expostulated with their
neighbors, and entreated and pleaded that their own way was best. Some suffered, perhaps, for their
interference; some had to fight for their own parents, to hinder their
neighbors maltreating them; and all the more fixed in their new feelings did
these primitive gropers after the Fifth Commandment become.”
“Meanwhile this extending of the family bond . . . this limiting of the reign of blind, selfish impulse, brought, we may well believe, more order into the homes of those who practiced it, and with more order more well-doing, and with both more happiness. And, when they solicited their more inhuman neighbors to change their ways, they must always have had to back them the remembrance, more or less alive in every man, of an early link of affection with his parents; but now they had their improved manner of life and heightened well-being to back them too.”
“So the useage of this minority gradually became the usage of the majority. And we may end this long chapter of suppositions by supposing that thus there grew at last to be communities which (83) Honored their fathers and mothers, instead of - . . . . . – eating them.”
But we don’t have access to this time.
But, “man and his history begin, we say, when he becomes distinctly conscious of feelings which, in a long preparatory period of obscure growth, he may have been forming. Then he calls his habit, - acquired by a process which he does not recollect, - nature, and he gives effect to it in fixed customs, rules, laws, and institutions. His religion consists in acknowledging and reverencing the awful sanctions with which this right way for man has, he believes, been invested by the mighty not ourselves which surrounds us ; and the more emphatically he places a feeling under the guardianship of these sanctions the more impressive is his testimony to the hold it has upon him. When Israel fixed the feeling of a child’s natural attachment to its parents by the commandment: Honor thy father and mother, that they days may be long in the land which the Eternal thy God given thee, he showed he haad risen to regard this feeling, - slowly and precariously acquired though by our supposition it may have been, - as a sure, solid, and sacred part of the constitution of human nature.”
“But as well as the supposition of a moral habit and rule evolved out of the instinct of self-preservation, we are able to take the supposition of a moral habit and rule evolved out of the reproductive instinct. And here, indeed, in the relations between the sexes, we are on ground where to walk right is (84) of vital concern to men and where disaster is plentiful.” “Who was he that . . . . first, though attachment to his chance companion or through attachment to his supposed offspring, gathered himself together, put a bridle on his vague appetites, marked off himself and his, drew the imperfect outline of the circle of home, and fixed for the time to come the rudiments of the family?” “Whoever he was, he must soon have had imitators.” “So the example was followed, and a habit grew up, and marriage was instituted.”
Early Hebrews have polygamy. But, the Hebrew people , impressed by ideas of moral order, made the Seventh Commandment, thou Shalt not commit adultery.
85 – “Religion, we know, arises when moral ideas are touched with emotion. And, this may be the case with moral ideas from whatever source they were at first derived.”
“The moral perceptions and habits in what concerns the relation of the sexes may have been originally formed for Israel, and for everybody else, by evolution and inheritance.”
86 – And it is equally religion “whether it have proceeded from a magnified and non-natural man in the clouds, or arisen in the way we have supposed.”
And those who it touched the most had the most bent for religion, feeling, apprehension. As one man and one race seem to turn out to have more gift, without any conscious intending and willing of it, for one thing, and another man and another race for another. Now such a bent, such a feeling, when it declares itself, we call and intuition.”
How does such a bent declare itself? Though the conviction of a powerful speaker. Such moral perceptions take a long time to build up. There is a back and forth with them. However at long last comes something like Israel that lays down the 7th and takes the lead.
87 – For such moral perception does not always, and for all persons retain the vividness it had at the moment when it established itself in a rule like the 7th Commandment.”
People are diverse within a population. Argumentative systems of free love and of rehabilitation of the flesh, come up. And, philosophers, like Mill undermine such social strictures. So arises disintegration of that moral perception on which the Seventh Commandment is founded.
“And, whatever, . . . reinvigorates the perception, does it tend to man’s freedom, safety, and progress.”
88 – Goethe said, “What culture has won of nature we ought on no account to let go again, at no price to give up. In the notion of the sacredness of marriage, Christianity has got a culture-conquest of this kind, and of priceless value, although marriage is, properly speaking, unnatural.” But, this is before the fixing of moral habits has formed the right human nature.
Man’s progress depends on keeping such ‘culture conquests’. Free love is fatal to progress.
So now the reviewers may allow us to speak of intuition, even “moral perception and habits may have originally been evolved as Mr. Darwin supooses.”
89 - A THIRD TYPE OF REVIEWER says the secret and power of Jesus are objects of ‘faith’ only.
Jesus made it his great object to clear and transform the extra-belief of his countrymen.
90 – The idea of the apocalypse “was, in a certain way, a testimony to the idea of moral order and of right.”
92 – Israel has more than a hint or intimation that virtue is the law man is born under. He had an irresistible intuition of it. Therefore he breaks into joy, which Butler and Greek tragedy do not.”
93 – The idea for Literature and Dogma, MA says, came from Butler, and from his treatment of naturee in connexion with religion.” But the idea of following it out further came from MA himself.
Finally, the ‘proof from happiness’ has been accused of being utilitarian. “Utilitarianism! Surely a pedant invented the word; and oh, what pedants have been at work in employing it!” But that joy and happiness are the magnets to which human life inevitably moves, let no one doubt.” Augustine and Pascal agreed to this. But, pleasure and utility are not the same as joy and happiness.
94 – As
for cures, there are charlatans who play upon the nervous system for their own
purposes. So can there be no doctor who does so?
We have said that it can be verified that Jesus is the son of the Eternal that makes for righteousness. Of natural law, Jesus is verifiably the offspring or outcome.
Yes, Literature and Dogma relies mostly on the 4th Gospel. But this speaks to the canon.
So on to it we go . . . .
THE BIBLE – CANON
We must labor in the 4th gospel to tell what Jesus said and what the reporters say he said.
We don’t have the original record. When we get the record at least half a century had passed.
But the fourth has a special clue. This in that it repeatedly insists on internal evidence.
98 – The historiography is in doubt, evolving and mostly written in German.
99 – In our exploration, we must remember the object of one’s inquiry: “to enjoy the Bible and to turn it to his benefit.”
We have looked into the authorship and history of Homer’s work. The object remains to enjoy Homer and turn it to our benefit.
So much more for the Bible, whose interest is not intellectual, but practical.
100 – Whereas the Old Testament is over the head of the reporters, John seems to have had a closer understanding of Jesus.
101 – Aristotle begins his Metaphysics “All mankind naturally desire knowledge.”
103 – It is a flaw to spend too much time on historiography. We do so to establish certainties where one has no right to certainty. In Germany they do this too much. In France and England, we get no such over obsession.
104 – MA does not write for professors. All he says is not proven.
In the Old Testament we have law, prophets and psalms. The lost Hebrew book of the Wisdom of the Son of Sirach, or, as we call it, Ecclesiasticus.
In the next few pages, MA talks about how the Old Testament was compiled. Books were lost and rediscovered and compiled and edited.
He calls Torah ,Thora and different sections were, of course, compiled at different times.
110 – The book of Job was originally not in the Canon.
During the two centuries between Judas Maccabeus and the fall of Jerusalem, materials for the 4th scripture accumulated that met the needs of the moment, and which spoke a modern language that especially et the needs of Greek Jews far from Jerusalem.
111 – The book of Enoch is quoted in the New Testament as genuine scripture. If not for Christianity, more books ‘knocking on the door’ would have been admitted into the Hebrew Bible.
112 – At the Reformation, Protestantism reverted to the Hebrew Canon. But, the influence of the Latin Vulgate and of the Greek Bible, still shows itself in the order of the books.
113 – The scriptures of the Old Testament are appealed to in the New. But when did it become scripture?
The African Synods of Carthage in 397 and 419 delivered the Canon of the New Testament as we have it now. Jerome died in 420.
115 – Undertaken at the request of the Pope, his first work appeared in 383 with a prefatory letter addressed to the Pope himself.
And Jerome critiques the Canon sources and refers to the African Synod.
116 – Still all his sympathies were with what was orthodox, ecclesiastical and regular.
Augustine died 10 years after Jerome.
118 – So with the Canon of the New Testament, consent determined it. By the beginning of the 5th, it was established, before that, not so much.
119 – So some books in the New Testament plainly have dubious authenticity.
120 – The compiler of the 4 gospels is kept from us, we see Luke, John, etc., but not who chose them. And Paul himself speaks of forged letters circulating.
122 – We have reliable testimony from a Churchman concerning the 4 gospels, though, at 180 ad.
124 – People who follow this hot controversy think every question can be answered. They cannot.
127 – And we don’t know what early Christians were reading, if they read what became the Gospels or heard via oral tradition.
128 – One source tells us that Jesus was born in a cave and this is in some Christian art.
129 – There is a lot of discussion of the Epistle of Barnabas, which starts with ‘many are called, but few are chosen.’
132 – And even the Sermon on the Mount is quoted quite differently by different sources, some extant and some quoted by Jerome and others. And, this when the Old Testament is quoted with fidelity.
134 – The gospel “when we first get it, has passed through at least have a century, or more, of oral tradition, and through more than one written account.”
THE FOURTH GOSPEL FROM WITHOUT
136 – In judging authenticity, we need sound judgment and common sense, bred of much conversance with real life and practical affairs. The German professors are good, but too obsessed.
137 – All such theories going forward need to pass the “Englishman’s strong and strict sense of fact.”
138 – Baur said the 4th testament was written in the heat of conflict between Jewish and anti-Jewish Christianity, to help the anti-Jewish side.
The miracles and sayings are less authentic and all out of the carver’s brain.
139 – In the first gospel Jesus is fire, now he is the holy Ghost as seen in the wine story. This and the Nocodemus and woman of Samaria story are all made to create two opposite classes of believers.
The healing at Bethesda pool shows Jesus as life and the blind woman shows him to be light.
140 – This is all demonstrable, (not just plausible or possible). But is it so? Is Baur right?
141 – We can believe theory or tradition. Tradition may be false, but it has in its favor that men have delivered it.
142 – We do note that John writes as if he were not a Jew, which he was. He writes of the Jews as if they were of another race from him. No other Evangelical speaks in this way. And, it is almost impossible to think of a Jew born and bred like John was could speak in such a way.
143 – The introduction of John the Baptist is so much more mystical than the other’s introduction and other differences appear. And, John was later and so did not know the Baptist.
144 – And other mistakes indicate that it was written by a person not familiar with Jews of Palestine.
145 – The form, style, ideas of John do not sound like a Galilean fisherman.
It is a recording of someone of someone else’s memories.
149 – And it oddly skips back and forth from Galilee
But, this does not mean we toss it!
151 – Baur says there is proof it did not exist prior to 180.
156 – There are pages of argument. MA thinks it existed earlier. Using evidence where Jesus said, “I am the door”. “I am the gate.”
160 – The 4th gospel likely came from compilers, but with help from John, who was an eyewitness. But this was not scheming.
THE FOURTH GOSPEL FROM WITHIN
So, the 4th worked to appeal to Greeks’ sense of logos and descry the Jews using the contrast between dark and light, primarily. This seems unlikely to MA.
164 – Rejectors rely on internal evidence. But, if this work were propaganda, it would be more flawless. The person who did these flaws could not have invented the beautiful prose attributed to Jesus.
165 – We see two distinct ideas joined together and know that it is poorly edited. So, this is not a great forger’s document.
167 – Sometimes the parables are clear, but poorly joined.
168 – In one spate of bad editing, Jesus says, “Let us arise and go hence.” And, then doesn’t leave.
169 – “And Jesus sat thus.,” with no description is bad editing. Which makes sense if the erudite author is remembering John’s words.
171 – The awkward phrases inconsistencies go against Baur’s theory of a consummate artist writing this Gospel. The defects of philosophical grasp also make Baur’s theory improbable.
172 – Some commentators make John wiser in Jesus when he discusses internal insights. But, Jesus was above his audience, above the author.
173 – 174 – Three phrases appear and reappear in John, “I go to the Father,’ ‘I go away, and come again to you,’ and ‘A little while and ye see me not, and again a little while and ye shall see me.’
But are these physical or spiritual?
175 – In context, it is clearly spiritual. And this physical return helps the message stick.
178 – 2 or more times, the disciples admit not understanding that Jesus would come back until long after the fact.
180 – Rising on the 3rd day is taken from Hosea.
181 – Everything Jesus is doing is supplanting the Messiah ideal in the minds of his followers, mildness in place of David’s vengeful promises.
182 – And for this extra-belief was needed.
184 – Finally, Baur thinks this whole work sprung from an imaginative intellect. No way. It proceeds from the soul.
187 – The question, then, is are there fundamental themes discoverable in the 4th?
Well, people have a point when they say the style is different in John. The sayings are not maxims, which was not a Greek style.
192 – And, we have now concluded that a Greek Christian wrote this book.
202 – MA thinks it very impossible that Jesus said, Eat my body, drink my blood. More likely words been the food of life, eat them or something like that.
But, he doesn’t want to go through every darn passage (though he has). And to do so perfectly would be impossible.
203 – But he wishes to say that the Evangelical is a combiner, not an inventor.
210 – Jesus called himself the ‘wisdom of God’. Which aims at Sophia and Logos.
Jesus never theosophised. So, such statements must not have come from him. But the author often did.
211 – The 17th chapter is where expansions appear most.
215 – They disagree on which day Jesus was taken into custody. The others are right and John is wrong. So much detail!
219 – The editor doesn’t know much about Jewish holidays.
222 – He believes the gospels are real and that the rudiments were in place by 120 ad.
224 – But, yes, not all the canons were written at the same time.
225 – But they were not immediately canonical. So, people even tampered with them later.
226 – We must read with care, and the epistles are more sure, yet we know of forgeries in this era too. And, given that history is lost, we must lean on internal evidence.
And, we don’t know which ‘John’ wrote the apocalypse.
If we had the originals from the earliest days, we would probably have much the same texts, but without miracles.
233 – The pure work and doctrine of Jesus shines through in these works, though the people of the time were like to add the miracles that were popular in their time.
The belief in miracles will decline (with Catholics slower than with Protestants, but inexorably just the same).
People who believed in witchcraft were not dumber than us. We stand on the shoulders of giants, as they did.
235 – “The central am of Jesus was to transform for every (236) religious soul the popular Messias-ideal of his time, the Jewish people’s idea of happiness and salvation; to disengage religion, one may say, from the materialism of the Book of Daniel.”
And, yes, this cost Jesus his life and he may have known this was necessary. And, “he has risen, his cause has conquered; The course of events continually attests to his resurrection and victory.”
Conscience and self-renouncement are set up in the world.
237 – But Jesus had loftier ideals, ‘he that will save his life shall lose it, he that will lose his life will save it. He that lives in the eternal order shall never die.
People materialized Jesus’ vision by making it about miracles and heaven. And, now they materialize it by looking for ‘facts.’ But, Jesus has and shall overcome.