“In a rage,” Jesus lays waste to the public courtyard of the Jerusalem Temple, overturning the tables of money changers, driving out animal vendors and otherwise enraging Jewish priests and Roman rulers alike.
In Aslan’s telling, these two scenes introduce a “revolutionary zealot who walked across the Galilee gathering an army of disciples” to rain “God’s wrath . . . down upon the rich, the strong, and the powerful.” The rest of the book is devoted to fleshing out this portrait and explaining how and why Paul and other early Christians transformed Jesus from a man at war into a man of peace.
Like every other scholar with the chutzpah to try to divide the historical Jesus accurately from the Christ of Christian faith, Aslan does a lot of cherry-picking. Why credit the Palm Sunday story as historical when it so obviously serves to “fulfill” a prophesy from the Hebrew Bible: “Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and victorious is he, humble and riding upon an ass” (Zechariah 9:9)? More to the point, why credit and emphasize violent passages in the Gospels while discrediting and deemphasizing peaceful ones? Why believe that Jesus really told his disciples, “If you do not have a sword, go sell your cloak and buy one” (Luke 22:36)? Why the skepticism when it comes to “love your enemies” (Matthew 5:44)?
And what about the obvious problems with the argument that Jesus was not just a political revolutionary — as biblical scholar John Dominic Crossan and others have argued — but a violent one? What are we to make of Jesus’s apparent lack of interest in doing anything practical whatsoever to prepare for holy war? If he has come to fight for “a real kingdom, with an actual king,” where are his soldiers and their weapons? And why no battle plan?
The short answer to these questions is that Aslan is more a storyteller here than a historian. Throughout “Zealot,” he refers to selected New Testament passages as “preposterous,” “fanciful,” “patently fictitious” and “obviously contrived.” But Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are not the only ones spinning Jesuses out of fertile imaginations.
Zealot, the life and….reading this for the church hmmm. Initial first impression: not my thing. Jesus the man. The hairy dude, ok. Well, I guess. I guess I tend to follow an Enochian Jew, pertaining to Enoch (Enoch means “He who has Ascended, there are several Enochs in tradition. In the Hermetic tradition is the Enoch who becomes Metatron. From a certain perspective Metatron is the collectiv e consciousness of all Angels, and thus “physical manifestation of ALL Angels.”). The tradition then of Christ from within a lineage of Enoch, strongly connected to a strong Angelic tradition of mysticism is very interesting. I can see how this could lend itself to Islam. Islam is of course strongly angelic based, the revelation of the Angels ushering in the beginning of the Perfection that is Mohammed Pbuh. That is Mohammed as a Perfected man or being, harking back to an eternal Perefected tradition, Melchizidek, Noah, Seth, Adam, Christ….
But, history. The revolutionary, poltical, the factual, the academic and the Scholarly…. the dry, the empty, the lack of Gnosis…. It sounds fabulous…. NOT. But there, things we go do for love….climb a mountain if I had to…do do do do….
Le sigh,,,, but maybe I’ll be pleasantly sirprised and not yawn my way through. But who knows?…maybe I’ll enjoy the journey.
Tower, path of Gevurah and Tifferet, Mars and Sun, Severity and Beauty. Khamiel and Michael, Seraphim and Malakim
LoversTifferet and Netzach, Sun and Venus, Beauty and Victory, Michaeland Uriel
the cards of the child that wil be born on this day