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Fixing The Gospels


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I have a book by Geza Vermes called "The Authentic Gospel of Jesus" where he examines verses in Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Thomas to determine what came from Jesus, what came from the early followers, and what came from the later church.

 

I can't find the quote right now, but Vermes cautioned that some verses may have overlapping inputs from Jesus, the early disciples, and the early church. So a person can not simply classify a verse as authentic or inauthentic.

 

However, I've been tempted to take an editable version of the gospels and somehow mark-up the verses based on Vermes' opinions - just to see what it looks like.

 

Does anybody know a good source to download the gospels that I can edit with a text editor? Or maybe someone else has already done this, so I can simply look at the results?

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Hello smile.png

 

Question for you, are you looking for evidence to support your beliefs? I ask that because it seems you are on the fence, and wanting 'something' to convince you of the authenticity of the Bible. But, the Bible has no other reference point but it. You'll never verify anything in it, because it has nothing objective to compare it to. If you were to line up 1000 Biblical 'scholars,' each would interpret Scripture differently from the next. That's why faith is belief in things unseen. It doesn't require evidence.

 

If you have lost your faith, there will be no evidence to bring it back, is what I'm saying. Because that's not what faith is at all about. But, faith with absolutely no evidence to support it wasn't enough for me, anymore.

 

You have to ask yourself, is it enough for you? If not, then therein lies your answer. What you are seeking, you will never ever find. For there is no evidence to support your beliefs.

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DL, if you're indeed looking for evidence to reinforce christianity...

 

Can you answer this question for me:  http://www.ex-christian.net/topic/63985-the-story-that-tax-collectors-fear-most/#.U-Gf-2OTCa8

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Sometimes, I wish people would stop enabling others to stay lost in lies. :( The Bible is bullshit. I don't give a shit what 'translation' or 'interpretation' or 'version' you take in.

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Hello smile.png

 

Question for you, are you looking for evidence to support your beliefs? I ask that because it seems you are on the fence, and wanting 'something' to convince you of the authenticity of the Bible. But, the Bible has no other reference point but it. You'll never verify anything in it, because it has nothing objective to compare it to. If you were to line up 1000 Biblical 'scholars,' each would interpret Scripture differently from the next. That's why faith is belief in things unseen. It doesn't require evidence.

 

If you have lost your faith, there will be no evidence to bring it back, is what I'm saying. Because that's not what faith is at all about. But, faith with absolutely no evidence to support it wasn't enough for me, anymore.

 

You have to ask yourself, is it enough for you? If not, then therein lies your answer. What you are seeking, you will never ever find. For there is no evidence to support your beliefs.

The credence I give to the beliefs that I juggle seems to change radically from day to day with my mood. Right now I finished a long walk, so I'm relaxed and I feel like atheism is just fine. Other times I start ruminating on some paranormal memory, and I feel that I am whistling past the graveyard to pretend that atheism is fine.

 

I'm not sure of my motive, because my thinking changes so much with my mood that I almost can't understand my motives and reasoning unless I'm in that same mood again.

 

I think my motive was simple curiosity. Who was Jesus and what did he really teach and do? Probably Jesus did not teach many of the fundamental beliefs of Christianity.

 

Sometimes I wonder if there is a true God and Jesus somehow, but I'm not meaning Yahweh and I'm not necessarily meaning the historical human Jesus. Imagine the true God and Jesus simply adapted Christianity to express their unconditional love for us. But most of the time I don't care about this theory.

 

But I see what you are saying. I don't think I'm exactly on the fence about Christianity, but I'm on the fence about a God of some kind and a Jesus of some kind (but only sometimes - to make it all more confusing smile.png )

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Hello smile.png

 

Question for you, are you looking for evidence to support your beliefs? I ask that because it seems you are on the fence, and wanting 'something' to convince you of the authenticity of the Bible. But, the Bible has no other reference point but it. You'll never verify anything in it, because it has nothing objective to compare it to. If you were to line up 1000 Biblical 'scholars,' each would interpret Scripture differently from the next. That's why faith is belief in things unseen. It doesn't require evidence.

 

If you have lost your faith, there will be no evidence to bring it back, is what I'm saying. Because that's not what faith is at all about. But, faith with absolutely no evidence to support it wasn't enough for me, anymore.

 

You have to ask yourself, is it enough for you? If not, then therein lies your answer. What you are seeking, you will never ever find. For there is no evidence to support your beliefs.

The credence I give to the beliefs that I juggle seems to change radically from day to day with my mood. Right now I finished a long walk, so I'm relaxed and I feel like atheism is just fine. Other times I start ruminating on some paranormal memory, and I feel that I am whistling past the graveyard to pretend that atheism is fine.

 

I'm not sure of my motive, because my thinking changes so much with my mood that I almost can't understand my motives and reasoning unless I'm in that same mood again.

 

I think my motive was simple curiosity. Who was Jesus and what did he really teach and do? Probably Jesus did not teach many of the fundamental beliefs of Christianity.

 

Sometimes I wonder if there is a true God and Jesus somehow, but I'm not meaning Yahweh and I'm not necessarily meaning the historical human Jesus. Imagine the true God and Jesus simply adapted Christianity to express their unconditional love for us. But most of the time I don't care about this theory.

 

But I see what you are saying. I don't think I'm exactly on the fence about Christianity, but I'm on the fence about a God of some kind and a Jesus of some kind (but only sometimes - to make it all more confusing smile.png )

 

Okay, I understand. I'm not judging you. Once you're ready, you'll know. And you will wonder why you hesitated, once you know.

 

My only concern, if that's the right word, is that people come to a site like this ready to leave, and they just need support and encouragement. I just don't want them to be confused with mixed messages, but...such is life I guess.

 

Don't be afraid to leave. Sometimes, that's what it boils down to, letting go of the fear one has of leaving religion.

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DL, if you're indeed looking for evidence to reinforce christianity...

 

Can you answer this question for me:  http://www.ex-christian.net/topic/63985-the-story-that-tax-collectors-fear-most/#.U-Gf-2OTCa8

The problem is that I never believed the whole bible when I was a youngster. I thought the bible was interesting, but I knew parts of it were bogus. My faith was always based on experiencing God:

- In college I couldn't experience God so I became an atheist.

- I tried several more times to experience God but I couldn't so I remained an atheist.

- I had a psychotic episode and thought I experienced God so I became a Christian again.

- I began to question my psychotic experiences so I went back to atheist (sort of).

 

The bible was never that important to me.

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I've read Geza Vermes' translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls, but not this book you're referring to. The group founded by Robert Funk, The Jesus Seminar, have published several books that examine the authenticity of the scriptures. Their most famous work is The Five Gospels, which includes Thomas with the four canonical gospels. Members of the group, scholars many of whose names you would recognize in the field, voted to determine how authentic was each saying of Jesus. They rated the passages from most authentic (red) to probably (pink) to unlikely (grey) to definitely not (black). I used to call it "The Pink Bible" and had a copy. Here is the link to their organization's website, The Westar Institute:

 

http://www.westarinstitute.org/

 

They have published a book similar to the one you described. Here is a link to theirs:

http://www.westarinstitute.org/store/gospel-of-jesus-second-edition/

 

Many people throughout history have marked up or cut up the bible, esp. the gospels. One of the most famou is US President, Thomas Jefferson. Here is the wiki link to the article about The Jefferson Bible:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_Bible

 

Many of the online Bible study sites have downloadable files available in several different translations. The free ones are, of course, those in the public domain, such as the King James Version, American Standard Version (ASV 1901) and some modern works made available free to the public. Copyrighted translations can be purchased. You can also do a simple internet search for the bible in .pdf and get a plain text version of the KJV or other public domain translation.

Thanks I will check-out those links. smile.png

 

I was reading about the Jesus Seminar on wikipedia and they had some criticisms. Apparently verses were considered more authentic if they disagreed with both Judaism and Christianity. Geza Vermes took a different approach where he expected authentic verses to match Judaism at the time of Jesus. So he assumed Jesus was man of his culture and times. That makes more sense to me.

 

Here is the quote I mentioned criticizing the Jesus Seminar:

The Seminar places much value on the criterion of dissimilarity. For the Seminar, a saying will only be held as authentic if it does not match the beliefs of Judaism or those held by the early Christians. Critics such as Gregory Boyd have noted that the effect of this is that the Jesus of the Seminar shows no continuity with his Jewish context nor his disciples.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_Seminar
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Hello :)Question for you, are you looking for evidence to support your beliefs? I ask that because it seems you are on the fence, and wanting 'something' to convince you of the authenticity of the Bible. But, the Bible has no other reference point but it. You'll never verify anything in it, because it has nothing objective to compare it to. If you were to line up 1000 Biblical 'scholars,' each would interpret Scripture differently from the next. That's why faith is belief in things unseen. It doesn't require evidence.If you have lost your faith, there will be no evidence to bring it back, is what I'm saying. Because that's not what faith is at all about. But, faith with absolutely no evidence to support it wasn't enough for me, anymore.You have to ask yourself, is it enough for you? If not, then therein lies your answer. What you are seeking, you will never ever find. For there is no evidence to support your beliefs.

The credence I give to the beliefs that I juggle seems to change radically from day to day with my mood. Right now I finished a long walk, so I'm relaxed and I feel like atheism is just fine. Other times I start ruminating on some paranormal memory, and I feel that I am whistling past the graveyard to pretend that atheism is fine.I'm not sure of my motive, because my thinking changes so much with my mood that I almost can't understand my motives and reasoning unless I'm in that same mood again.I think my motive was simple curiosity. Who was Jesus and what did he really teach and do? Probably Jesus did not teach many of the fundamental beliefs of Christianity.Sometimes I wonder if there is a true God and Jesus somehow, but I'm not meaning Yahweh and I'm not necessarily meaning the historical human Jesus. Imagine the true God and Jesus simply adapted Christianity to express their unconditional love for us. But most of the time I don't care about this theory.But I see what you are saying. I don't think I'm exactly on the fence about Christianity, but I'm on the fence about a God of some kind and a Jesus of some kind (but only sometimes - to make it all more confusing :) )
Okay, I understand. I'm not judging you. Once you're ready, you'll know. And you will wonder why you hesitated, once you know.My only concern, if that's the right word, is that people come to a site like this ready to leave, and they just need support and encouragement. I just don't want them to be confused with mixed messages, but...such is life I guess.Don't be afraid to leave. Sometimes, that's what it boils down to, letting go of the fear one has of leaving religion.
I think we all recognize that deconversion is a process. And many of the well-known deconverts, such as Bart Ehrman, would agree. During deconversion, there will be many mixed emotions and thoughts occurring. This is evidence of the dynamic process going on within the person experiencing deconversion. We all need "reasons" for why we no longer believe. It took me 10 years. Our individual experiences will be unique to who we are, what our experience has been, and what's happening in our lives as we deconvert.

What a patronizing post. I'm well aware.

That's not the topic of this thread, however.

 

Keep enabling people to stay lost in the lies of religion, though. And their deconversion process will go on longer than it needs to.

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Hello :)Question for you, are you looking for evidence to support your beliefs? I ask that because it seems you are on the fence, and wanting 'something' to convince you of the authenticity of the Bible. But, the Bible has no other reference point but it. You'll never verify anything in it, because it has nothing objective to compare it to. If you were to line up 1000 Biblical 'scholars,' each would interpret Scripture differently from the next. That's why faith is belief in things unseen. It doesn't require evidence.If you have lost your faith, there will be no evidence to bring it back, is what I'm saying. Because that's not what faith is at all about. But, faith with absolutely no evidence to support it wasn't enough for me, anymore.You have to ask yourself, is it enough for you? If not, then therein lies your answer. What you are seeking, you will never ever find. For there is no evidence to support your beliefs.

The credence I give to the beliefs that I juggle seems to change radically from day to day with my mood. Right now I finished a long walk, so I'm relaxed and I feel like atheism is just fine. Other times I start ruminating on some paranormal memory, and I feel that I am whistling past the graveyard to pretend that atheism is fine.I'm not sure of my motive, because my thinking changes so much with my mood that I almost can't understand my motives and reasoning unless I'm in that same mood again.I think my motive was simple curiosity. Who was Jesus and what did he really teach and do? Probably Jesus did not teach many of the fundamental beliefs of Christianity.Sometimes I wonder if there is a true God and Jesus somehow, but I'm not meaning Yahweh and I'm not necessarily meaning the historical human Jesus. Imagine the true God and Jesus simply adapted Christianity to express their unconditional love for us. But most of the time I don't care about this theory.But I see what you are saying. I don't think I'm exactly on the fence about Christianity, but I'm on the fence about a God of some kind and a Jesus of some kind (but only sometimes - to make it all more confusing smile.png )
Okay, I understand. I'm not judging you. Once you're ready, you'll know. And you will wonder why you hesitated, once you know.My only concern, if that's the right word, is that people come to a site like this ready to leave, and they just need support and encouragement. I just don't want them to be confused with mixed messages, but...such is life I guess.Don't be afraid to leave. Sometimes, that's what it boils down to, letting go of the fear one has of leaving religion.
I think we all recognize that deconversion is a process. And many of the well-known deconverts, such as Bart Ehrman, would agree. During deconversion, there will be many mixed emotions and thoughts occurring. This is evidence of the dynamic process going on within the person experiencing deconversion. We all need "reasons" for why we no longer believe. It took me 10 years. Our individual experiences will be unique to who we are, what our experience has been, and what's happening in our lives as we deconvert.

What a patronizing post. I'm well aware.

That's not the topic of this thread, however.

 

Keep enabling people to stay lost in the lies of religion, though. And their deconversion process will go on longer than it needs to.

 

Your post is just as patronizing, really.

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Sometimes, I wish people would stop enabling others to stay lost in lies. :( The Bible is bullshit. I don't give a shit what 'translation' or 'interpretation' or 'version' you take in.

Exfuckingzackly!!!!! That pisses me off, too.

 

"Oh, I was just wondering -- did Jesus really feed millions with a bucket of KFC?"

 

HEY, BUDDY, WHO GIVES A SHIT? WILL YOU JUST LISTEN TO YOURSELF FOR TWO FUCKING SECONDS?!?!?!

 

 

 

 

Stuff makes me wanna slam my head into a wall until I wanna chew glass and run my face over with a lawn mower.

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Guess I thought this was a deconversion site, not an online Bible study.

So we cannot concede individual points because it'll make Christianity appear to be slightly more solid than it is? You apparently hate reasoning and rationalism just as strongly as Christians do!

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Guess I thought this was a deconversion site, not an online Bible study.

 

So we cannot concede individual points because it'll make Christianity appear to be slightly more solid than it is? You apparently hate reasoning and rationalism just as strongly as Christians do!
Christianity? "Solid"? Can you elaborate just a little?

 

And Deidre32 is absolutely correct. This site is for helping those that are losing or have lost faith in Christianity. If anyone is looking for info to help solidify their faith in it, this is one of the last places you need to be. Actually, one with such an agenda has no place here at all.

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(This question will probably show how little I know about bible study.)

 

Is there a type of bible that is printed single-sided with a fairly large font and big margins for scribbling notes? I was thinking about simply writing my notes beside various verses of the gospels as I read the book by Geza Vermes. I just realized that people who study the bible probably need a format like this also for scribbling their insights, so they must be a common product for Christians.

 

Anybody know what they call these bibles so I can search on amazon?

 

Also, I don't want to make it sound like I'm searching for a way to be a Christian again. I don't think I have an agenda other than curiosity and a desire to tie-up loose ends in my thinking.

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I remember having a bible that had lots of scribble room.  I think it was even called the note taker's bible?  I agree, it's helpful to have everything in one place.  At the start of my deconversion, I became obsessed with going back over my old notes and books, but that feeling is fading as I become more secure in my godlessness.  Best of luck!

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I remember having a bible that had lots of scribble room.  I think it was even called the note taker's bible?  I agree, it's helpful to have everything in one place.  At the start of my deconversion, I became obsessed with going back over my old notes and books, but that feeling is fading as I become more secure in my godlessness.  Best of luck!

Thanks, I just googled and "note taker's bible" brings up a lot. smile.png

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Guess I thought this was a deconversion site, not an online Bible study.

So we cannot concede individual points because it'll make Christianity appear to be slightly more solid than it is? You apparently hate reasoning and rationalism just as strongly as Christians do!
Christianity? "Solid"? Can you elaborate just a little?

 

And Deidre32 is absolutely correct. This site is for helping those that are losing or have lost faith in Christianity. If anyone is looking for info to help solidify their faith in it, this is one of the last places you need to be. Actually, one with such an agenda has no place here at all.

 

I don't think Christianity is solid at all. If we have a scale of solidity from 10 to 0, Christianity resides somewhere around 0.00....03. If we reject a bad argument against Christianity, maybe its solidity grows a slight bit - 0.00......05 or somesuch. What I am saying is that conceding some points to Christians isn't all that much of a problem, there are actually some things Christians are right about at times. In Swedish there's a saying: even a blind hen finds grain. So do the Christians, at times.

 

I figured words like "appear" and "slightly more" would have given this away.

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Sometimes, I wish people would stop enabling others to stay lost in lies. sad.png The Bible is bullshit. I don't give a shit what 'translation' or 'interpretation' or 'version' you take in.

Exfuckingzackly!!!!! That pisses me off, too.

 

"Oh, I was just wondering -- did Jesus really feed millions with a bucket of KFC?"

 

HEY, BUDDY, WHO GIVES A SHIT? WILL YOU JUST LISTEN TO YOURSELF FOR TWO FUCKING SECONDS?!?!?!

 

 

 

 

Stuff makes me wanna slam my head into a wall until I wanna chew glass and run my face over with a lawn mower.

 

 

That's fine for you, but directionless is going through a process, and each person's process is unique to them.  Knowledge is power, and he is just trying to work through his process by gaining knowledge.  Why would you want to censor the information he accesses and decide for him what knowledge to investigate for himself?  Give him credit for being intelligent enough to sift through what he finds in his own time and his own way. This site is supposed to be about supporting people through what can be a difficult process.  Let's try not to impose our own issues onto others.

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It has nothing to do with imposing our views. The title is about ''fixing the gospels.'' Would you bring beer with you to an AA meeting, just in case people get thirsty? After all, they'll figure it out on their own.

 

Which is true, but I don't believe in enabling people to stay in bad places ... guess we will have to agree to disagree on that one.

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It has nothing to do with imposing our views. The title is about ''fixing the gospels.'' Would you bring beer with you to an AA meeting, just in case people get thirsty? After all, they'll figure it out on their own.

 

Which is true, but I don't believe in enabling people to stay in bad places ... guess we will have to agree to disagree on that one.

Yes we will :)

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Sometimes, I wish people would stop enabling others to stay lost in lies. :( The Bible is bullshit. I don't give a shit what 'translation' or 'interpretation' or 'version' you take in.

 

Exfuckingzackly!!!!! That pisses me off, too.

"Oh, I was just wondering -- did Jesus really feed millions with a bucket of KFC?"

HEY, BUDDY, WHO GIVES A SHIT? WILL YOU JUST LISTEN TO YOURSELF FOR TWO FUCKING SECONDS?!?!?!

Stuff makes me wanna slam my head into a wall until I wanna chew glass and run my face over with a lawn mower.

 

That's fine for you, but directionless is going through a process, and each person's process is unique to them.  Knowledge is power, and he is just trying to work through his process by gaining knowledge.  Why would you want to censor the information he accesses and decide for him what knowledge to investigate for himself?  Give him credit for being intelligent enough to sift through what he finds in his own time and his own way. This site is supposed to be about supporting people through what can be a difficult process.  Let's try not to impose our own issues onto others.

So, exactly WHAT am I being accused of here? Censorship or imposing my views?

 

I've done neither.

 

Once again, your penchant for idiocy knows no bounds.

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Sometimes, I wish people would stop enabling others to stay lost in lies. sad.png The Bible is bullshit. I don't give a shit what 'translation' or 'interpretation' or 'version' you take in.

Exfuckingzackly!!!!! That pisses me off, too.

"Oh, I was just wondering -- did Jesus really feed millions with a bucket of KFC?"

HEY, BUDDY, WHO GIVES A SHIT? WILL YOU JUST LISTEN TO YOURSELF FOR TWO FUCKING SECONDS?!?!?!

Stuff makes me wanna slam my head into a wall until I wanna chew glass and run my face over with a lawn mower.

 

That's fine for you, but directionless is going through a process, and each person's process is unique to them.  Knowledge is power, and he is just trying to work through his process by gaining knowledge.  Why would you want to censor the information he accesses and decide for him what knowledge to investigate for himself?  Give him credit for being intelligent enough to sift through what he finds in his own time and his own way. This site is supposed to be about supporting people through what can be a difficult process.  Let's try not to impose our own issues onto others.

So, exactly WHAT am I being accused of here? Censorship or imposing my views?

 

I've done neither.

 

Once again, your penchant for idiocy knows no bounds.

 

 

*irrelevant personal nonsense

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Thanks, everybody, for the ideas. smile.png

 

You guys are probably right that my interest in this project indicates a semi-unconscious desire to find a real spiritual God and Jesus somewhere under the folk lore, scribal errors, and lies.

 

I also suspect the effort would reveal Jesus to be a uncommonly wise but otherwise orthodox Jew of his times (since that is the view of Vermes). Judaism becomes progressively less inspiring as we trace it back through history (Yahweh the lord of armies and so forth).

 

So the historical Jesus and God probably wouldn't match the Jesus and God that I have felt at times (in hallucinations, coincidences, answered prayers, dreams). This result might clarify things for me.

 

Sometimes I feel a strong need to know if there is some spiritual truth out there. Other times I don't care. It seems to depend on my psychological state.

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Thanks, everybody, for the ideas. :)You guys are probably right that my interest in this project indicates a semi-unconscious desire to find a real spiritual God and Jesus somewhere under the folk lore, scribal errors, and lies.I also suspect the effort would reveal Jesus to be a uncommonly wise but otherwise orthodox Jew of his times (since that is the view of Vermes). Judaism becomes progressively less inspiring as we trace it back through history (Yahweh the lord of armies and so forth).So the historical Jesus and God probably wouldn't match the Jesus and God that I have felt at times (in hallucinations, coincidences, answered prayers, dreams). This result might clarify things for me.Sometimes I feel a strong need to know if there is some spiritual truth out there. Other times I don't care. It seems to depend on my psychological state.

You need no one's permission or approval to question and look into whatever issues related to Christianity you deem necessary and appropriate for your individual situation.

 

I am not certain one way or the other whether there was a historical Jesus; however, some have said that the Gospel of Thomas may have some sayings that may be authentic, not all, but some. I like the Jesus of the Gospel of Thomas. There are no miracles, no resurrections, etc., only someone with some things to say. If you are interested, here's a link.

 

http://gnosis.org/naghamm/gosthom.html

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